The Pacific Fleet ((ロシア語:Тихоокеанский флот),〔http://flot.com/nowadays/structure/pacific/〕 translit: ''Tikhookeanskiy flot'', named Red Banner Pacific Fleet, Краснознамённый Тихоокеанский флот in Soviet times) is the part of the Russian Navy that is stationed in the Pacific Ocean, which formerly secured the Far Eastern borders of the Soviet Union. The fleet headquarters is located in Vladivostok and a number of fleet bases are located in the Vladivostok area. Another important fleet base in the Russia Far East area is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in Avacha Bay on the Kamchatka Peninsula, with a major submarine base located at Vilyuchinsk in the same bay.
In the Soviet years, the Pacific Fleet was also responsible for the administration and operational direction of the Soviet Navy's Indian Ocean (8th) Squadron and Soviet naval technical support points hosted by nations in the Indian Ocean rim, such as the facilities in Socotra Island.
In 1731, the Imperial Russian Navy created the Okhotsk Military Flotilla (, ''Okhotskaya voyennaya flotiliya'') under its first commander, Grigoriy Skornyakov-Pisarev, to patrol and transport government goods to and from Kamchatka. In 1799, 3 frigates and 3 smaller ships were sent to Okhotsk under the command of Rear-Admiral I. Fomin to form a functioning military flotilla. In 1849, Petropavlovsk-na-Kamchatke became the Flotilla's principal base, which a year later would be transferred to Nikolayevsk-on-Amur and later to Vladivostok in 1871. In 1854, the men of the Flotilla distinguished themselves in the defense of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy during the Crimean War, (1853-1856). In 1856, the Okhotsk Military Flotilla changed its name to the "Siberian Military Flotilla" (, ''Sibirskaya voyennaya flotiliya'').
In 1860, the provisions of the Convention of Peking ceded parts of Outer Manchuria in northeastern China, including the modern day Primorsky Krai to the Russian Empire. A large squadron under Rear Admiral A. A. Popov was sent from the Baltic Fleet to the Pacific Ocean. During the American Civil War ships of the squadron visited San Francisco while the Baltic Fleet visited New York City. Parts of the squadron, including the Finnish corvette ''Kalevala'', returned to the Baltic in 1865.
At the turn of the 19th Century, the Flotilla was still small in numbers. Owing to a gradual deterioration in Russo-Japanese relations, the Imperial Russian government adopted a special shipbuilding program to meet the needs of the Russian Far East region, but its execution dragged on and in addition there were several clashes and defeats between Russian and Imperial Japanese Navy vessels. So the Naval headquarters in St. Petersburg ordered the famous Baltic Fleet on its round-the-world dash to the Pacific to reinforce the Russian naval forces and Pacific Squadrons on the east coast of Asia and its naval base at Port Arthur, near the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, off the coast of Korea.
By the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, Imperial Russian naval forces in the Far East consisted of the 1st Pacific Squadron (7 battleships, 8 cruisers, 13 torpedo boats, 2 gunboats) and a number of ships from the "Siberian Military Flotilla" (2 cruisers, 2 mine cruisers, 12 torpedo boats and 5 gunboats), based in Port Arthur. Other ships of the "Siberian Military Flotilla" (4 cruisers, 10 torpedo boats) were stationed in Vladivostok.
During the Russo-Japanese War, most of the Russian Navy in the Pacific was destroyed. The Russian Baltic Fleet under Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky, renamed the Second Pacific Squadron, sailed halfway around the world to confront the Japanese after the defeat of most of the fleet forces. However the Second Pacific Squadron was defeated at the Battle of Tsushima.
During the Russian Revolution of 1905, the sailors of the Pacific Fleet were actively engaged in the revolutionary movement, participating in armed revolts in Vladivostok in January 1906 and October 1907. During the October Revolution of 1917, the sailors of the Siberian and Amur military flotillas fought for the establishment of Soviet authority in the Far East and against the White army and interventionists. During the Russian Civil War, almost all of the ships of the Pacific Fleet were taken away by the White army and the Japanese. After the departure of the interventionists in 1922, the Soviets created the Naval Forces of the Far East, under commander Ivan Kozhanov, as a part of the Vladivostok unit, and the Amur Military Flotilla (Амурская военная флотилия, or Amurskaya voyennaya flotiliya). In 1926, these were disbanded: the Vladivostok unit was transferred to the command of the frontier troops in the Far East, and the Amur flotilla became a flotilla of its own.
Owing to Japanese aggression in Manchuria in 1931, the Central Committee and the Soviet government decided to create the Naval Forces in the Far East on April 13, 1932. In January 1935, they were renamed the Pacific Fleet, under commander M. Viktorov. The creation of the fleet entailed great difficulties. The first units were formed with small ships delivered by railroad. In 1932, the torpedo boat squadron and eight submarines were put into service. In 1934, the Pacific Fleet received 26 small submarines. The creation of the naval aviation and coastal artillery was underway. In 1937, they opened the Pacific Military School.
By the beginning of World War II, the Pacific Fleet had two surface ship subdivisions, four submarine subdivisions, one torpedo boat subdivision, a few squadrons of ships and patrol boats, airborne units, coastal artillery and marines.
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