June 20 - Day Specialist Navy Mine Torpedo Service
According to historical materials, the first real result of the use of Russian sea mines was obtained on June 20, 1855. On this day, the combined squadron of Great Britain and France, which entered the Gulf of Finland to attack Russian cities, stumbled upon a minefield set up by our ships. Four enemy ships went to the bottom, and the remaining were forced to go to safe areas. This episode markedly influenced further hostilities in the Baltic Sea.
The Russian fleet for the first time used torpedoes during the 1877-78 Russian-Turkish war. On the night from 15 to 16 December 1877, the mine route Grand Duke Constantine, with several boats on board, approached Batum. Under cover of night boats launched a pair of self-propelled mines on Turkish ships. Unfortunately, both torpedoes missed targets. However, a month later, on the night of January 14 1878, the boats successfully attacked and sank the gunboat Intibach. It was the first in domestic practice and in the world case of a successful torpedo attack of a surface ship. In the future, Russian sailors made several new attacks.
Mines and torpedoes in practice confirmed their capabilities, and the mine-torpedo service acquired special significance. Soon it became one of the most important components of the fleet and directly influenced its combat capability. In all the new conflicts, the Russian Navy used not only traditional artillery, but also modern torpedo armament.
In parallel with the development of armaments, the potential and importance of the mine-torpedo service grew. During the two world wars, she made a significant contribution to the fight against enemy ships. The installed minefields protected the most important areas from the enemy’s ships and submarines, and the torpedo attacks disrupted the supply and reduced the enemy’s combat potential.
In the post-war period, in connection with the beginning of the Cold War, the mine-torpedo service received new tasks of particular importance. Minerals from the crews of submarines had to fight with enemy submarines carrying ballistic missiles. Now they were responsible not only for the safety of their squadrons or bases, but also for the protection of the entire country. Special tasks and special responsibilities led to the emergence of a special weapons. The armament of the mine-torpedo service received products with nuclear warheads.
To date, a significant part of the combat missions of the Navy is solved with missiles. Despite this, there are many tasks for the mine-torpedo service. It still remains the most important component of the Navy and is unlikely to have to be abandoned. This service has existed for more than 160 years, and will soon be able to celebrate more than one new anniversary.
The editors of the Military Review congratulate all the specialists of the mine and torpedo service of the Soviet and Russian Navy on their professional holiday!
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