Novorossiysk, with insets of Tuapse and Batumi, Soviet Navy Nautical Chart [Порт Новороссийск]
Cold War-era Soviet Navy Nautical Chart of Ukraine.
This nautical chart shows the northwest coast of the Black Sea from Odesa to the Karkinitsky Gulf (also spelled Karkinit, Karkinitski, Carcinites), the inlet to the southeast of Odesa, south of Kherson, and immediately south of Skadovsk. The chart’s scale is 1:150000 at 44º N parallel and depths are given in meters. Cities and ports are shown on land with illustrations of important lighthouses. Red text under the title includes ‘warnings’ about difficulties and hazards in certain areas, while hand-written annotations correct or update information across the chart.
The area around Odessa has been home to important ports since ancient times, attracting a succession of trading networks and empires, including the Greeks, the Mongols, and the Ottomans. At the end of the 18th century, the area was conquered by the Russian Empire and the modern city of Odessa was founded, becoming a free port soon afterward. Typical of the Russian Empire at the time, a multinational group of administrators set the city up for success, with gorgeous architecture and beneficial trade policies, attracting an extremely diverse group of merchants and residents from all over Europe and the Black Sea region, including a Jewish community that at its height was nearly 40% of the city’s population, though it was subject to repeated discrimination and pogroms.
Odesa played an important role in Russian revolutionary history as the Battleship Potemkin docked there while mutinying, coinciding with a general strike, resulting in a violent crackdown in the city. It was nearly destroyed in World War II during a lengthy defense in 1941 but was rebuilt and upgraded after the war, becoming the largest port in the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Odesa became a vitally important economic and military center for independent Ukraine but faced attacks during both the 2014 and 2022 conflicts with Russia. Kherson, just beyond the scope of this map to the northeast of Stanislav, Shyroka Balka, and Sofiivka, was occupied by Russian forces, while Mykolaiv, nearby to the north, faced repeated bombardment and threat of ground attack.
This chart was printed in 1956, based on earlier Soviet naval maps, and then updated with handwritten annotations. A stamp at the bottom states that the map was ‘corrected’ in 1957, but some of the handwritten annotations are dated to 1959. It was produced by the Naval Map Factory (Картфабрикой ВМФ (Военно-морской флот) of the Soviet Navy and this is stated to be the edition of the Office of the Chief of the Hydrographic Service of the Navy (издание Управление начальника гидрографической службы Военно-Морского Флота).