Minor Land Carriers. Unsung Heroes Part of 1

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The formation of the “Malaya Zemlya” bridgehead in February 1943 of the year set new tasks for the supply of paratroopers torn from the “Big Earth” to the Novorossiysk naval base. Initially, these tasks were so painful that the command decided to take a very desperate step to drop the cargoes of the planes necessary for the troops. But this solution turned out to be absolutely ineffective, since the dense anti-aircraft fire of the Nazis did not allow dropping the load at the desired point. Sometimes ammunition, supplies and weapon simply “fed” to the sea, at best. At worst, the domestic good fell into the hands of the enemy. Thus, the only rational way out was to use the fleet.

Minor Land Carriers. Unsung Heroes Part of 1

Minesweeper T-406 "Finder" (type "mine") during the Novorossiysk offensive operation



225 days, the ULBM forces supplied the bridgehead and the protection of sea communications on the approaches to the Lesser Land. In fact, each landing of the replenishment, cargo delivery and removal from the shore of the wounded were a separate operation, held under enemy fire. As a result, according to the Novorossiysk Historical Museum-Reserve, from February to September 1943 of the year they brought to Malaya Zemlya:

- 57 721 person;
- 346 guns;
- 75 mortars;
- 111 machine guns;
- 6 864 tons of ammunition;
- 7 243 tons of food and feed;
- 123 tons of petroleum products;
- 300 horse heads and livestock;
- 11 000 tons of various household goods;
- 67 cars.

They even managed to deliver to the bridgehead up to 35 tanksHowever, they practically did not take part in the defense of Malaya Zemlya. This armored group was considered by the command as the last argument in an attempt by the enemy to drop troops in the sea. Therefore, the tanks were so carefully disguised that the Germans could not find out about their presence until the liberation of the city. Only during the assault on the city, the Nazis were surprised to find an armored fist approaching them from the side of the Malaya Zemlya.

In addition, by fleet over 47 people were evacuated from the bridgehead. Among them were wounded warriors and absolutely civilians. Indeed, as the territory recaptured from the occupiers expanded, the paratroopers also liberated the population on this very territory, which was immediately evacuated to Gelendzhik, which at that moment turned into a huge hospital, among other things.


The U-9 submarine transferred to the Black Sea TVD in the port of Constanta in 1943

However, all these actions were carried out, so to speak, by "different" naval forces. During the formation of the bridgehead, it was required at any cost to build up a military fist sufficient for both defense and expansion of the Lesser Land. This is in addition to the need to constantly "fuel" the landing. Therefore, at the beginning, i.e. in February and March 1943, the supply of the bridgehead was carried out with the involvement of large fleet ships: gunboats, minesweepers and large mobilized ships. For example, a day after the landing of the Kunikovsky detachment, on February 5, a detachment of ships consisting of the Red Adzharistan and Krasnaya Gruzok cannons and nine MO-4 type sea hunters left for the Stanichki area. However, the extreme complexity of mooring to an unequipped shore, in fact, the duration of unloading, made supply ships an easy target for aviation, artillery and navy of the enemy.


Zibel high-speed barges

The last threat, despite the relatively small number of the German fleet in the Black Sea theater of operations, was becoming more and more obvious every day. Since 1942, the Germans constantly increased their naval "muscles". The S-26 high-speed torpedo boats Schnellboats, MFP high-speed amphibious barges, often called the Zibel type, small diesel submarines Type II, as well as many different patrol boats, patrol boats and hunters for the submarines were deployed to the Black Sea by boats. And this is without taking into account the fleet of the German ally Romania, which is located 2-I destroyers - Regele Ferdinand and Regina Maria, 2-I destroyers (the pre-war Italian-built), 3-I destroyers, 3-I submarines, 4-I gunboat, 5- minzagi and minesweepers, torpedo boats, small hunters, etc.


Shnellbot S-26 with the image of a jaguar on board on the Black Sea in 1943

The result of these actions of the Nazis was not long in coming. 27 February 1943, the cannon ship “Red Georgia” under the command of Grigori Vasilievich Katuntsevsky (future holder of the Order of Lenin and the Battle of the Red Banner) once again prepared to go to the Mysyhak coast for unloading. As soon as she “moored”, or rather, simply buried her nose in the ground and began unloading ammunition and landing troops, closer to midnight the German shnellboats S-28, S-51, S-72 and S-102 appeared from 1. Flotilla torpedo boats. Kanulodka displaced to 1400 tons, pressed to the shore, was doomed. The ship hull, of course, tried to pull off the shoal and take it to be repaired, but the enemy, knowing the coordinates, did not risk putting boats under coastal artillery fire, but simply covered the point with air raids. Later, the cannabis wreck was used as an improvised pier for unloading supply ships.


"Red Georgia" torpedoed off the coast of Myskhako

On the same days, the base minesweeper “Gruz” (project 3 type “Fugas”) with a displacement up to 500 tons set off to the bottom of the Black Sea. Minesweeper with a tactical number T-403 (BTSTCH-403) arrived in the area Myskhako with a load of ammunition, food and transported on his board to the 270 fighters. Shortly before midnight, being in 500-600 meters from the shore, “Cargo” was attacked by the 1-th flotilla of the corvette-captain George Christiansen, already known to us. Despite the desperate struggle for vitality, the efforts were in vain. During midnight, the minesweeper lay down on the ground at a depth of 15 meters, taking with him not only valuable, and most importantly, the air needed on the bridgehead, ammunition and provisions, but also the lives of fighters.


Minesweeper type "land mines"

The next major tragedy that took place in the Black Sea waters of Novorossiysk was the death of the minesweeper Chervonny Kazak, which went under the number T-511. The former cargo lighter mobilized by the fleet and converted into a minesweeper had a displacement of more than 670 tons and speed in 8 knots, and the old man just about would have crossed fifty dollars, and he was already mobilized several times. Loaded to the eyeballs with ammunition and replenishment, the “Red Cossack” managed to break through to Myskhako and even unload safely. But as soon as the unfortunate mobilized minesweeper moved away from the coast, he fell on a mine. In just a few minutes, the ship went to a depth of 45 meters.

It is worth noting that only in February-March of 43 was German aircraft threw hundreds of mines between Novorossiysk and Gelendzhik. Only near the once resort Gelendzhik waves grinned in one month of February, two hundred mines.


Approximate drawing lying on the ground T-511

The tragedy of the situation was that on board the “Red Cossack” at that time was from 400 to 600 people. Among them were the wounded and evacuated civilians of the liberated Myskhako, i.e. women and children. Many could not even get out of the hold. According to various sources, the approached sea hunters were able to save, at best, a third of the minesweeper passengers.

After a series of tragedies, the command wanted less and less to send large ships to the bridgehead, which, of course, could not just deliver more cargo and soldiers, but also drag them to the bottom. Moreover, besides the carrying capacity of the large fleet ships, all this time used to supply the bridgehead, did not have any significant advantages due to the terrain relief and the nature of the coast.

The command decided directly for the dangerous caravans in the Myskhako area to use mainly small ships, i.e. boats, pleasure passenger ships, fishing schooners, seiners, barges, tugs, motorboats, etc. So small, but the proud "Tyulkin fleet" shouldered almost all the supplies of the bridgehead.

To be continued ...
11 comments
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  1. +2
    30 May 2018 05: 28
    Thanks, interesting. You mentioned sea mines. I don’t remember the author of the book, Admiral Basisty, the EMNIP, it stated that under Novorossiysk the Germans used new types of bottom mines, with combined fuses, to complicate the supply of landing on Malaya Zemlya and the further use of the Novorossiysk port.
  2. +3
    30 May 2018 08: 29
    Good article, this topic has not yet been covered. As far as I know, neither the Romanian Navy nor the German submarines were used in the blockade of Malaya Zemlya. Why then mention them?
    1. BAI
      +4
      30 May 2018 13: 05
      They had an indirect effect. For example, this:
      During this period, the Germans found another use for submarines, or rather, their deck artillery. The fact is that on the Tuapse-Sochi stretch, the railway, due to the mountainous terrain, almost runs almost all the way to the edge of the coast, being not even protected by trees. On this road, oil tanks from Baku and trains with cargoes and troops were constantly moving to the combat area. Using this, German submariners began to bombard moving trains of 20-mm anti-aircraft guns mounted on deck with a certain frequency. True, they did not achieve serious interruptions in the movement of trains, but they “forced”, perhaps for the first time in the practice of the movement of trains, and also the sea, to escort trains with warships.
      1. 0
        30 May 2018 20: 25
        Okay, these are the Germans. And why should Romanians frighten readers of an article?
  3. +3
    30 May 2018 14: 42
    Thank you, I look forward to continuing ... did not know many details ..
  4. +2
    30 May 2018 17: 18
    Quote: Amurets
    Thanks, interesting. You mentioned sea mines. I don’t remember the author of the book, Admiral Basisty, the EMNIP, it stated that under Novorossiysk the Germans used new types of bottom mines, with combined fuses, to complicate the supply of landing on Malaya Zemlya and the further use of the Novorossiysk port.

    And I read that for the first time such mines were used near Sevastopol. There is still a good film about these events: "Alegro with Fire" (touches before the demonstration they said: "the film is based on real events")
  5. +1
    30 May 2018 17: 31
    Wind, thank you for your story. Just starting to read: “So it remained, the only national way is to use the fleet” I already knew that it would be an “east wind”. In addition to you, I don’t know anyone on the site so that I could well write off these events
    The wind, if you are not a researcher at the museum then the historian is an amateur and you know the material very well
  6. 0
    31 May 2018 23: 50
    Siebel is a catamaran.

    And in the photo is a classic German BDB.
    1. 0
      12 August 2018 13: 02
      "Siebel" is a catamaran ferry.
  7. 0
    12 August 2018 13: 01
    It is not possible that when preparing for writing this article, it was impossible to find out simple things. What is the difference between the BDB (high-speed landing barge) and the ferry "Siebel" ?! Moreover, under the photo, write: Fast barges of the "Siebel" type ... No words ...
  8. 0
    12 August 2018 13: 13
    Also, if you use sketches at the bottom of dead ships, then indicate where you take them from.