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Theodor Kristian Avellan
Admiral Theodor Avellan in 1904
Born (1839-09-12)September 12, 1839
Died September 30, 1916(1916-09-30) (aged 77)
Place of birth Loviisa, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire
Place of death Petrograd, Russian Empire
Allegiance  Russian Empire
Service/branch  Imperial Russian Navy
Years of service 1855-1905
Rank Admiral
Battles/wars Russo Japanese War
Other work Minister of the Navy

Theodor Kristian Avellan (Russian: Фёдор Карлович Авелан, Fyodor Karlovich Avelan; 12 September 1839 – 30 September 1916) was a Finland-Swedish admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy, noted for his role in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Although castigated by the Russian government for the defeat of Russia in that war, he subsequently served on the Board of Admiralty and was member of the State Council (1914).


Avellan was born in Loviisa in the Grand Duchy of Finland. He graduated from the Sea Cadets Corps in 1855, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1857, and was assigned to the Baltic Fleet, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1872. In 1878, he took part in a naval expedition to the coasts of North America and was subsequently given command of the cruiser Asia. Between 1879-1889 he made two world tours, commanding a number of different vessels. In 1889 he was promoted to Chief-of-Staff of Kronstadt naval base. He was promoted to rear admiral in 1891. From 1893-1894, Avellan commanded the Russian squadron in the Mediterranean, and visited the French Navy in Toulon (October 1893) to reinforce the Franco-Russian Alliance.[1] From 1895-1897 he served as Deputy Chief-of-Staff of the Imperial Russian Navy. He then became Chief-of-Staff and was raised in rank the Adjutant-General in 1903. He served as Minister of the Navy from 10 March 1903 to 29 June 1905. Following the massive defeat of the Imperial Russian Navy at the Battle of Tsushima, he was held responsible for the disaster due to his underestimation of the Japanese and was stripped of his rank. Although he presented his resignation to Tsar Nicholas II, his resignation was rejected. In 1914, he was allowed to have a seat in the Council of State. He died on 30 September 1916 in Petrograd.



  1. L'Illustration, n° 2642 , October 14, 1893
  • Connaughton, R.M (1988). The War of the Rising Sun and the Tumbling Bear—A Military History of the Russo-Japanese War 1904–5, London, ISBN 0-415-00906-5.
  • Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5. 
  • Warner, Denis & Peggy. The Tide at Sunrise, A History of the Russo-Japanese War 1904–1905. (1975). ISBN 0-7146-5256-3.

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