The icebreaker Jermak (1898). This 1:100 scale model shows the „Jermak“ in its original state from 1899. It is displayed on deck 7 of the museum as part of our exhibition on the history of oceanographic research.
The „Jermak“ (Ермак) was the first polar icebreaker ever to enter service. She was built in 1898 at the Armstrong-Whitworth shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne for the Imperial Russian Navy to a design by Admiral Stepan Makarov (1848-1904), who is considered the great moderniser of the Russian Navy in the 19th century. He recognised the need to keep the Arctic waterways open for strategic reasons. Her military utility was already proven during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). However, her outstanding capabilities as an icebreaker were also used for civilian purposes, such as supporting the merchant navy, as a research vessel or in rescue operations. Her main areas of operation were the Baltic Sea and the White Sea. She was active as a naval vessel in both world wars. On 31 March 1918, she fought the icebreaker „Tarmo“ (1907) in the Finnish Civil War. This unusual sea battle between two icebreakers is also considered the first battle of the Finnish navy. Both ships survived. The „Tarmo“ is still preserved today as a museum ship in the Kotka Maritime Museum. The „Jermak“ was kept in service by the Soviet Union until 1964. Then she was decommissioned after a long and varied career, during which securing the Northeast Passage was one of her tasks. Although the ship had been awarded the Order of Lenin on its 50th anniversary in 1949, the „Jermak“ was finally scrapped in Murmansk.
Her reinforced hull was shaped to break pack ice up to 2 meters thick. The ship was rebuilt several times during its career.