Rear Adm. Georgy Karlovich Stark

Rear Adm. Georgy Karlovich Stark. Born in 1878 to a Scottish family that had come to Russia under Peter the Great and served under every Tsar since then, he is often confused with his uncle, Admiral Oskar Stark, who had commanded the Russian Pacific Squadron at Port Arthur in 1904– when the Japanese attacked. The younger Stark, also a naval officer, did fight the Japanese in that war, as an engineering officer on the famed cruiser Aurora. Rising to command a series of destroyers between 1912 and 1917, shortly after the March Revolution he was promoted to rear admiral under the Kerensky government in June 1917 and given command of the Mine Division of the Baltic Fleet, probably the most effective unit of that fleet. When the Red Navy abolished his rank in March 1918, he headed to the East and by August 1918 White Russian commander Admiral Kolchak put him to work in leading first a flotilla of gunboats on the Volga, then a division of naval infantry, then the Siberian naval flotilla– the aging and negelcted remnants of his uncle’s old Russian Pacific Squadron. Outlasting Kolchak and the White cause in general, his 25 ships, loaded with 10,000 refugees, escaped Vladivostok on step ahead of the Reds in October 1922, then spent the next two months as a fleet in exile, first in Shanghai (where he landed his refugees) and then in the Philippines (where he sold his ships and donated the funds to take care of the diaspora in China.) He then made his way to France where another Russian exile fleet languished in North Africa and became head of the All-Foreign Association of Russian Naval Officers. He passed in Paris in 1950, aged 71, and is buried at Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois.

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