Time which was not
My father did not like to talk about the war, but I continued to collect materials about the last days of the defense, and fate gave me an unexpected gift. Among the documents of the State Archive of Sevastopol were “Memories of a participant in the defense of Sevastopol I.A. Bazhanov about the evacuation of the group of 2 air force employees on July 1942 from the besieged Sevastopol ”, where, as an eyewitness, he describes history with a seaplane that almost completely coincided with my childhood memories.
Now it is possible to more reliably, comparing the facts from other sources, to present in details how everything was in reality. Bazhanov gives the names, and among them the name of my father. “... Among the evacuees were: Major Pustylnikov, Art. Technical Lieutenant Stepanchenko, Art. Lieutenant Medvedev, captain Polovinko, captain Krutko, captain Lyanev, art. Lieutenant Fedorov and others. There were girls and workers from the medical unit: Nina Legenchenko, Fira Golberg, Riva Kayfman, Dusya ... ”The commander of the crew of the GTS amphibious aircraft (“ Catalina ”) was Captain Malakhov, the co-pilot - Art. Lieutenant Kovalev. When boarding the plane, the 32 turned out to be a man, “... for the GTS, this is a big overload”, but to remain meant to die, and captain Malakhov decided to take everyone. After a dangerous flight and forced landing on the water on the open sea, after repeated raids by enemy aircraft that dropped 19 bombs on a helpless amphibious aircraft, they finally reached Novorossiysk - the Shallot mine sweeper under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Gerngross saved everyone .
Thus, my childhood memories unexpectedly received documentary evidence. And yet somewhere, deep down, a aching feeling of bitterness and resentment for our fathers and grandfathers smoldered. I think that not only I, but not one generation of Sevastopol residents wondered: “Couldn’t it be possible to organize evacuation, to avoid mass death and shameful captivity of tens of thousands of heroic defenders of our city?”
WAITING FOR RESCUE
In the last days of defense, people pressed to the sea, fighters and commanders, civilians, waited in vain for the “squadron” as the only hope for salvation. Desperate, many shot. They tried to escape on improvised rafts, planks, swam into the sea, sank. With boats, airplanes and submarines from 1 through 10 in July, it was possible to take part of the wounded to the Caucasus and, with the permission of the Bid, on the night of 1 in July, the command of the Sevastopol Defense Region (COP), the party leadership and the city leadership. Total 1726 people. Major-General P.G. was left to lead the defense. Novikov, his assistant on maritime issues (organization of evacuation) - captain 3 rank Ilyichev. Remaining 78 230 fighters and commanders, not including civilians. Most of them were injured. But the evacuation did not take place. They were all captured or killed with weapons in hand.
Why did this happen? After all, the same military leaders, Petrov, Oktyabrsky, planned and more than successfully carried out the evacuation of the defenders of Odessa from October 1 to October 15, 1941. It was exported: 86 thousand military personnel with weapons, 5941 wounded, 570 guns, 938 vehicles, 34 tank, 22 aircraft and 15 thousand civilians. Only on the last night, in ten hours, “under the nose” of the Germans, four divisions with heavy weapons (38 thousand people) were evacuated from their positions. After the defeat of the Crimean Front in May 1942, Oktyabrsky, having pulled all boats, minesweepers, tugboats, barges, longboats to evacuate the three armies from the nearest bases, transported more than 15 thousand people from Kerch to Taman from May 20 to 130 (42 324 wounded, 14 thousand civilians), aircraft, Katyusha guns, vehicles, and 838 tons of cargo. In conditions of fierce opposition from the Germans, using the naval for cover Aviation from the Caucasian airfields. The instructions of the Supreme High Command for evacuation were fulfilled. The military carry out orders. Without an order, evacuation is not possible.
Then, in the spring of 1942, the situation on the fronts was critical. The defeat at Rzhev and Vyazma, the defeat of our troops near Kharkov, the Wehrmacht unimpeded offensive against Stalingrad and the North Caucasus. To realize the whole tragedy of the current situation, when the fate of our people “hung in the balance,” it is enough to read thoughtfully the order of NKO No. 227, known as “Not one step back!”. It was necessary to gain time at any cost, delay the German offensive, prevent the enemy from seizing Baku and Grozny (oil). Here, in Sevastopol, parts of the Wehrmacht were “milled”, the fate of Stalingrad was decided, the foundations of the Great Fracture were laid in World War II.
EVACUATION AND NOT THOUGHT
Now, when materials from our and German archives are available, one can compare losses in the last days of defense, ours in 1942 and German in 1944, as well as evacuation issues. It is clear that the question of our evacuation was not even considered in advance. Moreover, the directive of the Military Council of the North Caucasus Front of May 28 1942 / 00201 / op was categorically stated: “1. Warn all command, Red Army and Red Navy personnel that Sevastopol should be withheld at all costs. There will be no crossing to the Caucasian coast ... 3. In the struggle against alarmists and cowards, do not stop at the most decisive measures. ”
Five days before the start of the third offensive (2 – 6 of June), the Germans began a massive aviation and fire training, conducting methodical, corrected artillery fire. These days, the Luftwaffe planes made more sorties than during the entire previous seven-month defense period (3069 sorties), dropped tons of bombs on the city 2264. And at dawn 7 June 1942, the Germans launched an offensive on the entire front of the CPF, periodically changing the direction of the main attack, trying to mislead our command. Bloody battles ensued, often turning into hand-to-hand combat. They fought for every inch of land, for every pillbox, for each trench. The frontiers of defense several times passed from hand to hand.
After five days of intense, exhausting battles, the German offensive began to run out of steam. The Germans made 1070 combat missions, dropped 1000 tons of bombs, lost 10 people killed and wounded. In individual units, losses were up to 300%. In the same company in the evening there were only 60 soldiers and 8 officer. A critical situation evolved with ammunition. According to V. von Richthofen himself, the commander of the 1-th Luftwaffe Air Corps, he only had a day and a half of intensive bombing. The situation with aviation gas was no better. As Manstein, the commander of the Wehrmacht's 8 army in the Crimea, wrote, “the fate of the offensive these days seemed to hang in the balance.”
On June 12, the CPM command received a welcome telegram from Supreme Commander IV. Stalin: “... The selfless struggle of Sevastopol serves as an example of heroism for the entire Red Army and the Soviet people. I am confident that the glorious defenders of Sevastopol will fulfill their duty to the Motherland with honor. ” It seemed that the advantage of forces would be on our side.
Could the commander of the SOR F.S. Oktyabrsky raise the issue of planning the evacuation of troops? After the war, the commander-in-chief of the Navy N.G. Kuznetsov will write that until the last moment there was confidence that Sevastopol could be held. “... In such a grandiose battle that took place for Sevastopol, no one could foresee when a critical situation would arise. The order of the Headquarters, the entire course of the military situation of those days on the fronts demanded to fight in Sevastopol to the last opportunity, and not think about evacuation. Otherwise, Sevastopol would not have played its big role in the struggle for the Caucasus and, indirectly, for Stalingrad. Manstein's army would not have suffered such losses and would have been transferred earlier to a new important direction. When the Germans moved to the last lines of the Sevastopol residents on Cape Chersonesos and the entire water area began to be shot through, it became impossible to send transports or warships there ... And least of all, the local command should be blamed for lack of foresight, which was instructed to fight to the last possible ... in an atmosphere of intense fighting, they could not engage in the development of an evacuation plan. All their attention was focused on repelling enemy attacks. " And further: “... no other authority should have taken care of the defenders of Sevastopol in the same way as the Main Naval Headquarters under the leadership of the People's Commissar ... nothing absolves us from responsibility, naval leaders in Moscow ".
By June 20, the Germans dropped more than 15 thousand tons of bombs on the city, having exhausted all their reserves. Instead of bombs from the aircraft began to dump rails, barrels, locomotive wheels. The assault could have choked. But the Germans received reinforcements (three infantry regiments and the 46 division from the Kerch Peninsula) and managed to give 6 thousands of tons of bombs they had captured in the warehouses of the Crimean Front defeated. The superiority was on the side of the enemy. On the night from 28 to 29 June, the fascists secretly crossed over to the southern coast of the Sevastopol Bay with the help of two divisions (22 and 24 infantry divisions) and were in the rear of our troops. The offensive of the Germans from the front did not weaken. The defense of the outer frontier has lost all meaning. The Germans did not enter street battles, artillery and aircraft were active. They dropped leaflets, small incendiary and heavy high-explosive bombs, methodically destroying the burning city. Later, Manstein would write: "In general, in the 2 World War I, the Germans never achieved such a massive use of artillery as in the attack on Sevastopol." On June 29, in the 22 hours, the command of the CPF and the Maritime Army was transferred to the 35 coastal battery (BB), a reserve fleet command post. There, with the battles, our units also began to depart.
Was it possible to evacuate in principle in the blockade from the sea and from the air, under continuous shelling and bombing attacks, with full air domination of enemy aircraft?
The range of our aviation from the airfields of the Caucasus and Kuban did not allow it to be used for air cover. For the next five days, 450 – 500 of the planes of 8’s General Von Richthofen’s air corps continuously, day and night, bombed the city. In the air, replacing each other, were simultaneously 30 – 60 of enemy aircraft. It was possible to load onto boats only at night, and summer nights were short, but the Germans bombed at night, using lighting aerial bombs. A huge mass of people (about 80 thousand people) accumulated on a narrow strip - just 900 – 500 meters - an unequipped coast, near 35-nd BB and Chersonesus. There were also civilians in the city, in the hope of planned (rumored) evacuation. The Germans from Konstantinovsky ravelin, from the other side of the Sevastopol bay, illuminated the runway of the Chersonesus airfield with a searchlight. Almost every bomb, every shell found its victim. It was unbearable summer heat. There was a persistent, deadly smell in the air. Swarmed swarms of flies. There was almost no food. But most of all, people suffered from thirst. Many tried to drink sea water, they immediately vomited. They saved themselves by drinking their own urine (whoever it was) by filtering it through rags. German artillery swept the entire water space, the approach of the courts was impossible. The time for evacuation was irretrievably missed. This was understood both at the Stavka VG and at the headquarters of the North Caucasus Front, but they did everything that was really possible in that difficult, critical situation.
The Budenny directive was communicators 35 of the BB received in 22 hours. 30 minutes 30 June. “1. By order of the Stavka Oktyabrsky, Kulakovu urgently depart for Novorossiysk to organize the removal of the wounded, troops and valuables from Sevastopol. 2. The commander of the CPR remains Major General Petrov. To help him highlight the commander of the landing base as an assistant with the naval headquarters. 3. To Major General Petrov, immediately develop a plan for consistent withdrawal to the places of loading of the wounded and the units allocated for transfer in the first place. The remnants of the troops to lead a stubborn defense, on which the success of the export depends. 4. Anything that cannot be exported is subject to unconditional destruction. 5. Air Force SOR are up to the limit of possibility, after which they fly to Caucasian airfields. ”
While the ciphering was processed and searched for General Petrov, he and his headquarters were already at sea, on the submarine U-209. Petrov tried to shoot himself. Surrounding did not give, took the gun. At the same time, the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Novorossiysk (Rear Admiral Eliseev) received the instruction: “1. All the MOs in service, submarines, patrol boats and high-speed minesweepers are consistently sent to Sevastopol for the removal of the wounded, soldiers and documents. 2. Before arriving in Novorossiysk, the organization is your responsibility. 3. By passing flights, deliver the ammunition necessary for the defenders to cover the export. Sending replenishment stop. 4. For the entire time of the operation to remove the Black Sea Fleet air forces, it is necessary to maximally strengthen the strikes at enemy airfields and the port of Yalta, from which the blockade forces act.
July 1 to 23 h. 45 min. On 35, the BB received a telegram from Novorossiysk: “... Keep the battery and Chersonesos. I will send ships. October". Then the communications workers destroyed ciphers, codes and equipment. Communication with the Caucasus has been lost. Our units, being in complete blockade, pressed by the Germans to the sea, occupying a perimeter defense, from the last forces repulsed attacks at the cost of great losses. In 00 h. 35 min. 2 July on the orders of the command, shooting the last shells and idle charges, was blown up 1-I tower 35-th BB, in 1 h. 10 min. blown up the 2-i tower. People were waiting for the arrival of ships as the last hope for salvation.
Played a negative role and weather conditions. So, from the 12 planes of the air forces of the Black Sea Fleet that departed from the Caucasus on the night from 1 to 2 of July, the 10 ICBMs could not splash down. There was a big reel. The planes flew up to the airfield in full blackout mode, but there was no conditional signal for landing - the person on duty at the airfield was seriously wounded by another projectile break, - and the planes turned back. At the last moment, the commander of the 12 air base, Major V.I. The dummy gave for a second a searchlight beam to the zenith, in the direction of the departing aircraft. Two managed to return and sit in the reed bay in the light of the moon, almost blindly, under the nose of the Germans. The twin-engine Chayka transport aircraft (commander captain Naumov) picked up a 40 man, GTS-9 Catalina (commander captain Malakhov) was a 32 man, of which 16 were wounded and medical workers led by chief military doctor 2 rank Korneev, and XNUM military personnel Air Force Black Sea Fleet. In this plane was my father.
In the area of Yalta and Foros, our ships got into the combat zone of the Italian torpedo boats (Mokkagata group). In the final, it was the Italians of July 9 who carried out the sweeping of the 35 BB casemates and the capture of her last defenders. There is a version that the Abwehr agent KG-15 (Sergey Tarov) who is among our fighters helped them from the inside.
AGENTS SOWED PANIKA
On July 4, Budyonny, at the direction of the Supreme Command Headquarters, sent a telegram to the Military Council of the Black Sea Fleet: “There are still many separate groups of fighters and commanders on the coast of the CPA who continue to resist the enemy. It is necessary to take all measures for their evacuation by sending small vessels and sea planes. The motivation of sailors and pilots of the impossibility of approaching the coast because of the waves is incorrect, you can pick up people, not approaching the coast, take them aboard in 500 – 1000 m from the coast ”.
But the Germans have already blocked all approaches to the coast from land, from the air and from the sea. July 2 minesweepers No. 15 and No. 16, patrol boats No. 015, No. 052, No. 078, submarines D-4 and W-215 did not reach Sevastopol. Attacked by airplanes and torpedo boats, after being damaged, they were forced to return to the Caucasus. Two boats, SKA-014 and SKA-0105, in the area of Sarych metro station, discovered our boat SKA-029, which was fighting for several hours from enemy aircraft. From 21, the crew members of the 12 boat were killed and 5 injured, but continued to fight. The injured were removed from the damaged SKA-209 and the boat was brought in tow to Novorossiysk. And there were many such episodes.
All attempts to break into the mountains to the partisans were not successful. Until July 12, our fighters, in groups and alone, half-dead from thirst and hunger, from wounds and fatigue, almost with their bare hands, butts, knives, stones, fought against enemies, preferring to die in battle.
The situation was also aggravated by the active work of German agents. There was no solid front line from June 29, when the Nazis secretly crossed the night to the south side of the Sevastopol Bay and attacked our defenses from the rear. German agents dressed in civilian clothes or Red Army uniforms who speak Russian fluently and immaculately (former immigrants, Germanized Russians, defectors) who had received special training in the Brandenburg Special Purpose Regiment from the 6 of the 2 Battalion of this regiment, together with the retreating units and the population moved to the area 35 th BB and m. Chersonese. The Germans, knowing that in the days of defense, the replenishment was mainly from the fighters mobilized in the Caucasus, they additionally used the special Abwehr RDG “Tamara” formed from among Georgian emigrants who know Georgian and other Caucasian languages. Enemy agents, rubbing into trust, sowed panic, defeatism, hostility to the command, called on the commanders and commissars to shoot in the back, to pass to the Germans, guaranteeing life and rations. They were identified by conversations, by well-fed people, by clean linen and killed on the spot. But apparently not always. Until now, it is not clear who gave signals from different places of the coast with a flashlight, Morse code, semaphore unsigned, causing confusion, confusing boat commanders approaching the coast in blackout, in search of places for loading the wounded and the remaining fighters.
LIBERATION OF SEVASTOPOL
How did the Germans 8 – 12 May 1944 of the year? The command of the 17 Army in advance, since November 1943 of the year, has developed options for the possible evacuation of troops, by sea and by air. In accordance with the evacuation plans: “Rutherboot” (rowing boat), “Gleyterboot” (glider) and “Adler” (eagle) - in the Streletskaya, Round (Omega), Kamyshevoy, Kozachaya bays and in the municipality of Chersonesus were equipped with 56 berths . There was a sufficient number of motoboats, BDB and boats. In the ports of Romania, 190 of Romanian and German transports, civilian and military, were on the alert. There was their German practicality, organization, and the praised German order. It was clearly defined - when, where, from which pier, which military unit and which motobot, barge or boat should load. Large vessels had to wait on the high seas, beyond the reach of our artillery. But Hitler demanded "not to depart, to keep every trench, every funnel, every trench" and allowed the evacuation of only 9 in May, when our units already took Sapun-gora and entered the city.
Time to evacuate was lost. It turned out the same "human meat grinder." Only ours fought to the last, almost barehanded, without food and without water, for almost two weeks, and the Germans, having weapons and ammunition in abundance, surrendered as soon as it became clear that the evacuation was breaking down. Only the SS, covering the evacuation on the m. Chersonese, about 750 people, fiercely resisted, tried to go to sea on rafts and inflatable boats and were destroyed.
It becomes obvious that without reliable, effective air cover, to organize evacuation in those specific conditions of active fire resistance, blocking from the air and the sea was almost impossible. In 1944, the Germans lost the Crimean airfields in the same way as ours in 1941. Under the blows of our troops, panic reigned, chaos and total confusion. According to the testimony of the former chief of staff of the German Navy on the Black Sea, G. Konradi, “on the night of May 11, panic began on the quays. Places on ships were taken to the battle. The vessels were forced to roll off without completing the loading, because otherwise they could have sunk. ” Command 17-th army was evacuated in the first place, leaving his troops. Nevertheless, the army sued the German Navy, accusing them of the tragedy of the 17 Army. The fleet also referred to “large losses of vehicles as a result of torpedo attacks, artillery attacks and enemy air strikes”.
As a result, the Germans lost more than 35 thousand people killed and 20 24 people captured only on land, in the area of 361 and BB. Chersonesos. Killed at sea about 8100 Germans. The number of missing is not precisely determined. Of the five generals of the 17 Army, only two were rescued, two surrendered, and the corpse of another was found among the dead.
It should be borne in mind that the Germans left for the defense of the fortress a minimum number of troops. A total of May 3 was about 64 700 Germans and Romanians. Most of the troops of the 17 Army, “unnecessary for battle directly” —the rear, Romanian units, prisoners of war, “Hiwi” and the civilian population (as a cover) —was evacuated earlier, from April 8 to April 5, as 1944. Only our troops broke through the German defenses on the Crimean isthmus. During the period of evacuation of the German-Romanian troops from the Crimea, the ships and aircraft of the Black Sea Fleet sunk: 69 transports, 56 BDB, 2 MO, 2 gunboats, 3 TRSch, 27 other patrol boats and 32 of other types of vessel. Total 191 ship. Losses - more than 42 thousand Romanian and German soldiers and officers.
With full supremacy in the air of German aviation in July 1942, the same fate awaited the ships of the Black Sea Fleet. No wonder the Germans called the plan for the third assault on Sevastopol "Sturgeon Fishing". Sanitary transport “Armenia”, which transported medical personnel of hospitals and wounded, more than 6 thousand people, Santransport “Svaneti”, “Abkhazia”, “Georgia”, ship “Vasily Chapaev”, tanker “Mikhail Gromov”, cruiser "Chervona Ukraine", destroyers "Free", "Capable", "Impeccable", "Merciless", leaders "Tashkent" and "Kharkov". And this is not a complete list of losses only from airstrikes. Subsequently, the Stavka banned the use of large ships without reliable air cover.
ON THE ADMIRAL OF OCTOBER
It was customary to blame Ukraine’s “Square” Ukraine for our military leadership — the Supreme Command headquarters, the commander of the CPA, and Admiral F.S. October. It was alleged that the “fighters were deceived”, the command “frightened and shamefully fled”, leaving their units, and the warships, “rusty iron, smelt of needles,” regretted leaving them to defend in the ports of the Caucasus. A hate virus to the Soviet past was introduced into the public consciousness. The real culprit of the death of the Maritime Army - E. von Manstein was replaced by the imaginary - Admiral F.S. October. Such publications were sold even on the territory of the museum complex “35-I coastal battery”.
Of course, from the point of view of civil morality, our command was unsuitable for us to leave our troops. But the war has its own laws, cruel, ruthless, based on military expediency, to achieve the main ultimate goal - Victory. "In war as in war." It takes 30 – 35 years to train a division commander, and a few months to train a fighter. In combat, the fighter breast closes his commander. So says the Charter (Ch. 1 Art. 1 UVS USSR Armed Forces). And in war it is normal. So it was under Suvorov, and under Kutuzov, and under Ushakov. So it was in World War II.
War forces you to think differently. Assume that Petrov, Oktyabrsky, the Military Councils of the Primorye Army and the Socialist Party, the headquarters and directorates of the army and navy would have remained to fight with the units “to the last possible”. All high command heroically died or would be taken prisoner. It was only beneficial to our enemies. October was not only the commander of the CPF, but also the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, and this, in fact, the fleet itself, warships and ships. This is a large and complex fleet economy. Five to seven naval bases, almost as many as in the Baltic and the Northern Fleet together, are naval aviation (VVS of the Black Sea Fleet). Ship repair enterprises, medical and health services (treatment of the wounded), ammunition depots (projectiles, bombs, mines, torpedoes, ammunition), fleet technical management, IIA, hydrography, etc., which Oktyabrsky took in time from Sevastopol to the Caucasus as instructed October 1941 of the year. With the loss of Sevastopol, the story did not end. There were still years ahead of a bloody, merciless war in which anyone could die, both an admiral and a private. But each has its own destiny ...
Philip Sergeevich commanded the Black Sea Fleet in a very difficult time - from 1939 to 1948 a year. Stalin "rented" him and appointed him again. He was the 1 Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Navy of the USSR, the Head of the ChVVMU them. P.S. Nakhimov, inspector-adviser of the USSR Ministry of Defense, deputy of the USSR Supreme Soviet. Despite a serious illness, I could not imagine myself outside the fleet, until the end I remained in the ranks. At the request of veterans only in 1958, he became the Hero of the Soviet Union. His name is a warship, a training detachment of the Navy, the streets in Sevastopol, in the city of Chisinau and in the city of Staritsa, Tver region. He is an honorary citizen of the hero-city of Sevastopol.
By thoughtlessness or because of the vain desire to propiarize, individual historians continue to discover the “white spots” of the dark pages of our “terrible” past, snatching out individual facts, without taking into account the root causes and real events of that time, and young people take it all at face value. Reproaching the admiral with betrayal (he left the fighters, ran off cowardly), in dishonesty, these “not smelling gunpowder” so-called “critics”, having waited for a person to go to another world, accuse him of all mortal sins, knowing that he can no longer adequately answer.
Veterans, with rare exceptions, did not consider themselves to be "abandoned, betrayed, deceived." The foreman of the 1 article Smirnov, who was captured on the metro station Khersones, wrote after the war: "... they did not betray us, but they could not save us." The question was more technical: why couldn’t everyone be evacuated? One historian "from infantry", "an expert" of naval traditions, accused the admiral of having broken the tradition, "did not leave the ship last."
The whole structure of naval life, the combat and daily organization, the duties of officials, the rules of serving for more than 300 years are not determined by traditions, but by the ship’s charter and other statutory documents, starting with the five-volume “Charter of the Sea” Peter I. This is the basis, that matrix from which the naval traditions originated, and not vice versa. There are in the charter and duties of the ship commander at the time of the accident (article 166). The last item is highlighted: "The commander leaves the ship last." But before this, it is clearly stated that “the commander decides to leave the ship with personnel”. The commander on the ship and the "king" and "god." He is given the right to make decisions independently. And the means of salvation are at hand, on the ship. He does not need to collect the Military Council, request permission from the Bet, “launch the mechanism” of staff planning. And all this takes time - time that was not there.
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