Popoff, Andrei Alexandrovitch

SUBJECT AREA: Ports and shipping
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b. 21 September 1821 Russia
d. 6 March 1898 Russia
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Russian admiral and naval constructor involved in the building of unusual warships.
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After graduating from the Naval School Popoff served in the Russian Navy, ultimately commanding the cruiser Meteor. During the Crimean War he was Captain of a steamship and was later Manager of Artillery Supplies at Sevastopol. At the conclusion of the war he was appointed to supervise the construction of all steamships and so started his real career in naval procurement. For the best part of thirty years he oversaw the Russian naval building programme, producing many new ships at St Petersburg. Probably the finest was the battleship Petr Veliki (Peter the Great), of 9,000 tons displacement, built at Galernii Island in 1869. With some major refits the ship remained in the fleet until 1922. Two remarkable ships were produced at St Petersburg, the Novgorod and the Vice Admiral Popoff in 1874 and 1876, respectively. Their hull form was almost circular in the hope of creating stable and steady gun platforms and to lessen the required depth of water for their duties as defence ships in the shallow waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Despite support for the idea from Sir Edward Reed of the Royal Navy, the designs failed owing to unpleasant oscillations and poor manoeuvring qualities. One further attempt was made to find a successful outcome to this good idea in the construction of the Russian Imperial Yacht Livadia at Elder's Glasgow shipyard in 1880: for many reasons the Livadia never fulfilled her purpose. Despite their great advantages, the age of the Popoffkas was over. Popoff had a remarkable effect on Russian shipbuilding and warship design. He had authority, and used it wisely at a time when the Russian shipbuilding industry was developing quickly.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Honorary Associate of the Institution of Naval Architects, London.
Further Reading
Fred T.Jane, 1899, The Imperial Russian Navy, London.
AK / FMW

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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