The Russian Imperial Yacht Standart, serving Emperor Nicholas II and his family, was in her time (late 19th/early 20th century) the largest Imperial Yacht afloat. After the Russian Revolution the ship was placed in drydock until 1936, when she was converted to a minelayer. During World War II she played a significant role in the defence of Leningrad.
The Imperial Yacht Standart was built by order of Emperor Alexander III of Russia, and constructed at the Danish shipyard of Burmeister & Wain, beginning in 1893. She was launched on 21 March 1895 and came into service early September 1896.
Standart was fitted out with ornate fixtures, including mahogany panelling, crystal chandeliers, and other amenities that made the vessel a suitable floating palace for the Russian Imperial Family. The ship was manned and operated by a crew from the Russian Imperial Navy. During the reign of Nicholas II, Standart was commanded by a naval Captain, although the official commander was a Rear Admiral. Her commander in 1914 was Nikolai Pavlovich Sablin.
In 1907, Standart ran aground on an uncharted rock off the Finnish coast. Although damaged, the ship did not sink and was repaired and soon returned to service. The Russian Imperial Family was vacationing on the Standart during the Summer of 1914, when they received the news of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo. With the outbreak of World War I, Standart was placed in dry dock.
After the fall of the Romanov Dynasty, Standart was stripped down and pressed into naval service. The ship was renamed 18 marta (18 March), and later Marti. In 1932-1936, Marti was converted into a minelayer by the Marti yard in Leningrad. During the Second World War, Marti served in the Baltic, laying mines and bombarding shore positions along the coast. On 23 September 1941, Marti was damaged in an air attack at Kronstadt, but later repaired and continued service until the end of the war.
After the war, Marti was converted into a training ship and renamed Oka in 1957. She continued serving in that role until she was scrapped at Tallinn, Estonia, in 1963.
Thank you Merja for this nice card.