ADMIRAL IVAN GRIGOROVICH (1853-1930) - RUSSIA'S LAST IMPERIAL NAVAL MINISTER
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Ivan Grigorovich, born in 1853, graduated from the Naval Corps in 1874 and served in the Baltic Navy between 1878 and 1896. Appointed naval attaché in London, he spent there the following two years before being sent to France to monitor the construction of warships ordered by the Russian Navy. During the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-1905 he was captain of the dreadnought Cesarevich and then commander of the besieged Port Arthur. After the war he held important posts in the command of the Black Sea and Baltic Navy. He was Chief of Staff, then Commander of the Black Sea Navy and Harbours, Commander of the Libava Harbour, Deputy Commander of the Navy and Harbours and Commander of the Naval Defence of the Baltic Sea and Military Governor of Kronstadt. In 1909 he was appointed Deputy Minister, and two years later Minister of the Imperial Navy. The appointments were matched by promotions to the rank of vice-admiral and admiral respectively. In his ministerial post Grigorovich soon gained the reputation of a superb administrator. He used his popularity in the Parliamentary circles to secure huge extra funds to expand the navy. Although the completion of his ambitious plans was interrupted in 1914, he made sure that most of the newly-built ships reinforced the Baltic and the Black Sea Navy during the war. He was dismissed from office in the wake of the February Revolution. From his retirement he asked for permission to get medical treatment abroad, and left for France in the autumn of 1924. He died there in 1930.
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