The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Log Stories

An empire in need of ships was an empire in search of oak trees.

In theory, any oak tree that bore the seal of the Imperial Navy would in time find itself forming the hull of a glorious naval vessel, armed to the teeth with cannon and ready to prowl Russia’s northern and southern seas.

In practice, naval oaks suffered any number of fates. What do their stories tell us about how the empire dealt with distance, scarcity, human interventions and natural obstacles?

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