Forty-eight years have been silent about the tragic fate of the Joseph Stalin turbo-electric ship that was blown up and abandoned in a minefield. A few publications usually ended with the message: ships of the Red Banner Baltic fleet more than 2500 people leave the liner with those on it! - defenders of Hanko.
Stories of the participants
At the end of November 1941, the steamship Vakhur commanded by Captain Sergeyev moored at the iron wall of the Leningrad port. His deck and holds were filled with fighters who arrived from the Hanko Peninsula, where our military base was located. The enemy has adjusted to our facilities on this piece of the Baltic land, and the hidden transportation of parts has been increasingly difficult.
Voentekhnik second rank Mikhail Ivanovich Voytashevsky:
“I arrived at Hanko with my comrades who had previously graduated from civil institutions, former cadets: Mikhailov, Martiyan, Marchenko, Molchanov. We erected an airfield, underground shelters for people and aircraft.
The fact that we had to leave Hanko, did not know until the day of the last evacuation. Our battalion as part of the consolidated regiment left among the closing ones. Without noise, all base equipment was destroyed or destroyed. Locomotives and cars dropped into the water. Took only weapon, ammunition and food. 1 December 1941 at dawn began to load onto the I.Stalin passenger turboelectric passenger ship, which stood at the wall. The rest of the ships were in the raid. The enemy apparently discovered the landing and began shelling the port. We received an order - to hide on the shore. We arrived the next day, when the "I.Stalin" with the number of military transport "BT-501" was on the raid. We, the officers, were warned: “In the event of shelling or explosions, stay in place. The vessel is overloaded and navigating is dangerous. ”
The caravan started off on the night of 2 on December 3. On the liner, not counting the team, according to the base commander Hanko S.I. Kabanov, there were 5589 hankovtsy. The commander of the ship was the captain of the 1 rank, Evdokimov, the commissar was the captain of the 2 rank Kaganovich, and the captain was Nikolay Sergeevich Stepanov. My platoon occupied a cabin designed for three people.
In the middle of the night there was a strong explosion. Extinguished electrical light. The fighters jumped up and rushed to the exit, but I had already closed the doors and ordered everyone to stay in place.
After a while the light turned on, but soon a second explosion was heard stronger than the first one. The light went out again. In the dark, under the onslaught of the fighters, I found myself on the deck. It was a mess. People rushed about the ship, not understanding what had happened. The ship shuddered at the third blast. Moaning and shouting the wounded. Mad people filled the lifeboats, jumped overboard. Tali one boat stuck. The boat stood upright, and people fell out of it into the water. Started a shootout. Some shot at themselves. It was hard to understand what was going on and what to do. One comrade in a leather jacket was holding two lifebuoys in his hands. I simultaneously grabbed the circle with someone, but could not control it.
The warships to which the wounded were transferred began to approach the "I.Stalin". The destroyer “Glorious” approached the ship’s nose, tried to take us in tow, but the ship again came across a mine. The explosion of a large force tore the nose of the ship, and he began to sink faster. I was contused and fell on the deck.
Feed has been torn off before. Only the middle of the ship survived, dead and alive and wounded. For warships, for three hours, in the dark of frosty stormy weather, 1740 people, most of the wounded, took off. The minesweepers, the destroyer and the boats left crowded, the people stood close together. In the holds of the ship was scary to watch. The mutilated corpses of fighters and commanders swam among the boxes broken from the shells, interspersed with bags of flour.
The capture of Soviet soldiers who survived the crash of the liner "Joseph Stalin." The photo was taken from a German ship.
Captain 1 rank L. Leonid Rodichev:
- The fifth detachment under the command of Vice-Admiral V.P. Drozd was supposed to finish the evacuation of our troops from Hanko before there was ice on the bay.
... 2 December in 21.25 we broke anchor. Ahead of the ledge formation were three minesweepers. Behind them, forming the second row, two more minesweepers followed, followed by a flagship — the destroyer “The Stable”. The turbo electric-powered I.Stalin, the destroyer Slavny, the minesweeper without trawl and the boat Yamb followed. The detachment was accompanied by seven boats of sea hunters and four torpedo boats.
I was on the bridge of the destroyer "Glorious". Face burned northeast frosty wind. The excitement of 5-6 points. Behind the stern, on Hanko, the city and the port were burning.
3 December in 00.03, according to the signal from the flagship "Resistant", according to the approved route, changed the course from 90 to 45 degrees. Within five minutes after the turn of the three minesweepers, mine explosions killed the trawls. Began their hasty replacement.
... In 01.14, during a change in the course, “I.Stalin” emerged from the protracted strip, there was an explosion of a mine at the left side of the turboelectrode. The first explosion disabled automatic steering control systems. The vessel began to move in a curve and, leaving the beaten strip, by inertia entered the minefield. Two minutes later, a second mine exploded from the starboard side of the liner. Dodging floating mines and pushing them away with poles, the destroyer Glorious approached the starboard of the I.Stalin at a distance of 20-30 meters.
... 01.16. The explosion of mines under the stern of the turboelectrode drifting in the wind. From the destroyer shouted at the liner: "Become anchored!"
... 01.25. A radiogram was received from the commander of the detachment from the destroyer “The Resistant”: “To take the turboelektrohod in tow” to the Commander of the “Glorious”.
... 01.26. The fourth explosion of a mine at the nose of the liner. We were told from “I.Stalin”: “The windlass and anchors were torn off, we cannot anchor!” The destroyer “Glorious”, pushing the poles away from the floating mines, began to anchor. The turbo electric propulsion continued drifting over the minefield to the southeast.
... 01.48. The base minesweeper arrived to the aid of the destroyer "Resistant". By exploding a mine, his right paravan (Paravan is an underwater vehicle for protecting a ship from anchor contact min. Here and below, the author’s notes.) Is disabled.
... 02.44. The destroyer "Glorious" was removed from the anchor and in reverse began to approach the liner that had drifted to the 1,5 miles to deliver the towing cable. Finding a floating mine behind the stern, "Glorious" gave a move forward. Mina rejected by the movement of water from the screws.
... 03.25. Finnish battery Makiluoto opened artillery fire on our ships. A tug line was started up from the Glorious turboelectric. At that moment, one of the enemy’s projectiles hit the liner’s nose hold. In the hold were shells and sacks of flour on which the soldiers sat. The explosion of heavy projectile and detonated ammunition was terrible. A column of flame from the burning flour rose above the "I. Stalin." Nose turboelektrohodab even plunged into the water. Towing the liner was no longer possible.
Learning about the incident by radio, Vice-Admiral Drozd ordered all ships and boats to shoot fighters. The minesweepers began to receive people from I.Stalina. Strong emotion prevented. To help from the flagship destroyer "Resistant" came two more minesweepers.
With the onset of the day, one could expect a raid aviation enemy, and our detachment received an order: to follow to Gogland! Behind, in a minefield, there was a wounded turboelectric passage.
Head of construction battalion Anatoly Semenovich Mikhailov:
- After the explosions of mines and detonated shells, those who could come over to the board in a crush began to jump on the crowded minesweepers approaching. People crashed, fell between the ships in the water. The alarmists were shot at close range, and the minesweepers were forced to retreat.
Order on the ship, in these desperate conditions, the commandant of the transport “I.Stalin” Lieutenant Commander Galaktionov (with difficulty, after the captivity of Galaktionov disappeared, rumored, was repressed.), Commanding 50 armed with machine guns of the navy.
As A.S. Mikhailov testifies and as the Red Banner Baltic Fleet headquarters confirms, only 1740 people were able to take off the liner. But after all, with Hanko, turboelectrode, according to various sources, was loaded around 6000 people. Apart from those killed, more than 2500 injured and healthy defenders of Hanko remained in the holds. Where are the others?
About 50, the merchant seamen, by order of captain liner Stepanov and with the permission of Vice-Admiral Drozd, prepared a lifeboat for the morning on 05.00.
Captain Stepanov gave his Browning to the podshkiperu D.Esinu.
- Tell the authorities. I can not leave the fighters. I will be with them to the end. I appoint the second assistant Primak as the elder on the boat. I handed him all the documents.
Turbinist machine team "I.Stalin" Peter Makarovich Beregovoy:
- From the car where I was, on the upper deck was not to get out. All passages are crowded with people. I got out of the brace-ladder laid inside the chimney, opened the door and jumped on the radio room. Sneaking up to the board, I saw Evdokimov and Captain Stepanov, the commander of the vessel, standing nearby. Captain Stepanov himself hunted tali, lowered the first boat. On an emergency alert, I was painted on the first boat and told the captain about it. Stepanov said nothing. The boat, swaying, was already hanging down, and I, without hesitation, jumped into it. There were shouts and shots behind, someone fell into the water. The boat departed from the board.
Later we were picked up and the Red Banner Baltic Fleet ships were taken to Kronstadt.
The warships departed from the "I.Stalin". On the broken liner, by the efforts of the mechanics, the pumps continued to work tirelessly, pumping out water from the broken compartments. At dawn, the enemy fired at the liner again, but quickly ceased firing.
During the shelling, someone on the upper superstructure threw out a white sheet, but he was immediately shot dead.
Without waiting for help, the commander of the liner, the captain of the 1 rank, Evdokimov and the captain Stepanov gathered about twenty people into the mess-rooms of all the commanders of the units that were on the ship.
Commander of the artillery battery Nikolai Prokofievich Titov:
- At the meeting, besides other commanders, the commandant of the vessel, captain-lieutenant Galaktionov, was also present.
We discussed two questions:
1. Open the Kingston and go to the bottom with the 2500 survivors.
2. Everybody leave the ship and swim to the coast, and this is 8-10 kilometers.
Considering that in ice water not only the wounded, but even the healthy ones will not stand more than 15-20 minutes, the second option was considered equivalent to the first one.
I, as the youngest, inexperienced in life, patriotically brought up in school, took the floor:
“The Baltic is not surrendering,” I said.
- More specifically, - said Evdokimov.
“Open the Kingston and go all the way to the bottom,” I said.
Silence reigned, after which the commander of the vessel Evdokimov took the floor.
- Nobody is to blame for what happened to us. We are not alone, we have people on board, and it’s impossible to decide for them.
You are passengers, and I, as commander alone, will be accountable under the maritime law to the government for your lives. What Comrade Titov offers is not the best way. I think you need to get down to business. Killed on deck to betray the sea according to sea custom. Wounded to help, heat, water hot. All that is floating, bound in rafts. Maybe someone at night will get to the partisans.
Stepanov agreed with Evdokimov.
- ... Soon the drifting liner drove into a shallow place. The ship lost stability even more. Under the blows of the waves, it crept in shallows, falling one after another, then the other. In order not to tip over, we continuously moved from side to side and dragged along with heavy crates of shells.
By morning, everyone was exhausted. Penetrating prickly frosty wind. Storm intensified. Suddenly, the liner crawled off the bank, dangerously tilted. The remaining boxes flew overboard. Aligning the bank, everyone who could move, moved to the opposite side, but the bank did not decrease. Then they decided to throw a heavy backup anchor overboard. Anchors were taken and dragged as best they could. Only with the dawn was it possible to push him into the water. Whether the ship itself went off the bank, or the anchor helped, the list decreased.
The wounded still moaned. Most waited, believed, hoped: “they will not abandon the brothers, they will help out”.
At Gogland, in fact, they did not forget about the liner or its passengers, but most likely due to the reason mentioned in the article by V.N. Smirnov “Torpedo for“ I.Stalin ”. After all, the liner bore the name of the great leader. If a ship with people dies, no one from the highest echelon of power will reproach the sailors, but if the Germans capture the liner and take the 2500 soldiers into captivity, the troubles cannot be avoided. Fear of punishment was probably the main arbiter. The question was solved simply: what is more important - the inscription of the name of the leader on the ship or the life of 2500 of his soldiers and officers? Perevesila - the inscription.
Captain 1 rank retired, Hero of the Soviet Union Abram Sverdlov:
- In 1941, in the rank of lieutenant general, I was the commander of a large wooden torpedo boat D-3 under the numbers 12 and 22. After accepting two more boats, the 32 and 42, from the factory, I was appointed commander of the 1 squadron of the 2 division of the brigade of torpedo boats.
The hanko base evacuation ended December 2 of the year 1941. The base commander, Major General S.I. Kabanov, and his headquarters on boats 12-m, 22-m and 42-m left the last.
The stormy wind in 7 points and snow charges hindered the movement of boats to Gogland. When passing through the Porkkala-Uud area, mine explosions were observed at the location of the convoy.
With the dawn of December 5, the commander of the water area of Gogland (OVR), captain of the 1 rank Ivan Svyatov ordered us to attack and drown the I.Stalin turbo drift in Ae-gno island by two large boats D-3. For the escort, one I-16 aircraft was allocated. Execute the order entrusted 12-th and 22-th boats. 22-m boat commanded by Senior Lieutenant Jacob Belyaev.
The operation was extremely dangerous. Turboelektrohod drifted near the artillery batteries of the enemy. In the daytime, the Germans would not allow Soviet torpedo boats to be in control of their own nose. But the order is an order and must be executed. Storm, the boats flooded with wave, blinding snow. I had to slow down. On the traverse of the lighthouse, Rodscher received a radiogram: “Come back!” The motives for which Svyatov gave the order, and then canceled, he did not explain.
So, four torpedoes, while still on the boats, were moving towards the goal - the I. Stalin turbo-electric-powered ship, filled with soldiers, sailors and officers who were waiting for help.
Let us recall four torpedoes, directed by the commander of a Soviet submarine, Alexander Marinesko, into the giant liner of the enemy, "Wilhelm Gustlov." Three of them hit the target and sank over 7 with thousands of people along with the ship. That was the enemy, and now - their own, Russian, got into trouble, the heroes of Hanko.
Private, machine-gunner Anatoly Chipkus:
- Upon the return of the crews of boats to Gogland in the garrison of the island, a rumor quickly spread about the order to our torpedo boats to attack and drown the I. Stalin liner. The reasons for this order were explained in different ways. Some said: because of the name of the vessel. Others argued that the Germans did not get shells and flour. Some were indignant, but there were those who said: this does not concern us. How many people left on the liner, no one knew. Most of the reasons for non-fulfillment of the assignment were attributed to a motor crash on one of the boats, a storm and the proximity of a drifting turbo electric vehicle to the German artillery batteries. Some people said that the boatmen did not torpedo the ship, because they did not want to sink theirs.
- After the meeting of commanders on "I.Stalin" people tried to leave the ship by any means. The fighters made a raft out of logs lying on the deck. “The raft is needed for crossing over to the ships that will come after us,” explained the fighters. They launched the finished raft into the water, and then, having given up the ropes, left the ship. The fate of this raft and the people on it remained unknown. The second group made bayonets and tied a small lash with their belts. Fighters began to jump on him, together with my friend A.S. Mikhailov.
- We easily let down the raft - the water was almost at the level of the upper deck. Dozens of people jumped on the raft. The unstable structure staggered, and many fell into the water. When we sailed from the ship, 11 people were left on the raft. Over the eight-hour drift to the Estonian coast, the raft turned over several times. Whoever had the strength, with the help of his comrades, got out of the icy water. The coast got 6 numb, in wet clothes, huddled together in a tight clump of people. Unidentified men armed with machine guns picked us up, brought us to a warm room, warmed us with boiling water and handed them over to the Germans.
- December 5 around 10 hours of the morning from the "I.Stalin" noticed the ships. Whose?! It turned out the German minesweepers and two schooners. Many were tearing up documents and even money. The water around the ship turned white from the papers.
The nearest German minesweeper asked: can the ship move independently? No one answered. We could not move. The Germans began to moor to the "I.Stalin." With guns at the ready, they moved to the liner. Through a translator, the team was handed over: surrender personal weapons. Who does not pass, will be shot. At the first minesweeper, they took the captain of 1 rank Evdokimov, the captain of the ship Stepanov, the commanders and political workers, the electrician Onuchin and his wife, the barmaid, Anna Kalvan.
My friends and me, the military technicians Martiyan and Molchanov, and I were dressed in the uniform of the Red Navy men and came to the second minesweeper as privates. They took us to Tallinn, took knives, razors, belts and drove them to the basement of the building in the port, where my other comrades and the junior political instructor Oniskiewicz found themselves. At the end of the same day, our group - about 300 people - under strong guard was sent by rail to the Estonian city of Viljandi.
It was still dark in Viljandi when we were driven into a prisoner of war camp located in the center of the city. The first gates of barbed wire opened and, having let us in and the guards, closed. There was another closed gate ahead, and we entered the camp. Strange shadows moved rapidly around the circle, fell into the snow and rose again. Shadows were depleted prisoners of war.
From that day began a continuous horror and perennial inhuman suffering in the fascist dungeons ...
An epidemic of typhus began in the camp. Patients with high fever were “sanitized”. They were driven under an ice-cold shower, after which rare “lucky ones” survived from hundreds. My friend Martiyan died immediately after a shower, laying his head on my weakened arms.
The next camp, where we were transferred, was a real hell. Life has lost all value. The chief of police Chaly and his assistant Zaitsev, on any occasion and for no reason, together with his team, beat exhausted people and set the sheepdogs up. Prisoners lived in dugouts that they built themselves. They were fed with gruel from rotten unwashed potatoes without salt.
Daily hundreds of prisoners died. My friend Sergey Molchanov also passed away. For the year of the 12 000 prisoners of war, less than 2000 remained. (The Germans motivated the inhuman treatment of Soviet prisoners compared to prisoners from other countries by the USSR’s non-adherence to the Geneva Convention 1929 on the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Germany signed the convention in 1934). The USSR did not sign the convention because of the negative attitude of the Soviet government (Stalin, Molotov Kalinin) to the very possibility of the capture of Soviet soldiers and officers.In addition, the government believed: if a war arises, it will be fought on the territory of the enemy and the conditions of capture of Soviet soldiers e will be. However, towards the end of 1941, the Germans captured 3,8 million of our soldiers and officers.)
In April, 1944, the last of our camp in the west of Germany, American troops approached. A group of 13 prisoners decided to flee. We crawled up to the fence of the camp, cut a hole in the barbed wire with a wire cutter and headed towards the nearest military barracks, which the retreating Germans had left. They found a food pantry and made a feast. They barely got out of the barracks, laden with biscuits and marmalade, like bullets whistling around. We hid in the bushes. I felt a punch and pain in my left hand. Loss of blood after some time lost consciousness. As it turned out, we were shot at by the SS, returning from the city. The officer ordered all the fugitives to be shot.
Our doctor, who spoke German, began to prove to the officer that in Germany there was no law on the execution of the wounded. A German soldier joined his argument - a medical student at the University of Berlin. The officer agreed and ordered to transfer the two wounded to the barracks, and to shoot the eleven fugitives ...
25 August 1945, I was discharged to the camp of repatriated prisoners of war, where I was declared unfit for military service, my hand grew together incorrectly and hung like a whip.
The next check I took place in the Pskov region, at the station of Tumor. In this camp, ex-prisoners of war were the most rigorously tested.
In October 1945, as an invalid, I was sent to Kiev, from where I was called up to the Navy. The military enlistment office did not take me on record, since I did not work anywhere, and did not accept a job because of the mark: “I was in captivity” ...
Of the living comrades I knew from “I.Stalin”, only Mikhailov remained. He passed away in the 1989 year.
Foreman 1-th article of the service of observation and communication (SNIS) Nikolay Timofeevich Donchenko:
- At that time I was an orderly for the commander of the defense forces of Hanko, Major General S.I. Kabanov. The general had to go on the I.Stalin turboelectrode. A cabin was prepared for him, but he went with headquarters on torpedo boats. Me and the last minute before leaving with the suitcase of the general, where there were documents and stamps of the headquarters, the torpedo boat was taken to the liner. I remember, during the second explosion, the anchors strained. Chains and cables, twisting, clinging and throwing people into the water, breaking their arms and legs. The explosions tore up a fireproof safe, and in the place where I was located, the money littered the deck. Storm It was dark and cloudy. No one knew where we were taken. After we killed the senior radio operator who transmitted the distress signals, we ordered all the equipment in the radio room to be destroyed by order of Stepanov.
From dawn on the third day a Paldis lighthouse appeared in the distance. Under the groans of the wounded, they began to prepare machine guns for the final battle. The enemy's artillery battery fired on the ship, but soon fell silent. Captain Stepanov commanded the ship to the last minute. When the German ships appeared, he ordered me to sink a suitcase with the documents of the headquarters. With a nagan general, I pierced the lid of the suitcase and threw it along with the documents, stamps and Nagan into the water.
After the Germans took the commanders away, they transferred the foremen and privates to Tallinn’s Merchant Harbor. Fifty sailors, among whom I was, were being transported separately.
In the morning of all who could move, built to be sent to the station. We were surrounded by a crowd, some blond guy turned around and with a force threw a stone at the Russians. The stone hit the head of a young Red Army soldier Sergei Surikov tied with bandages from the first company of the second battalion. Surikov was a believer and secretly prayed at night. Above the quiet, incredibly good soldier, under the tacit encouragement of the authorities, laughed. Only the soldier Stepan Izyumov, supporting Surikov, who was now weak, knew that his father and elder brother, “believers and alien elements”, were shot in Stalin’s camps ... Clamping a new wound from his blood that had oozed out, Surikov began to be baptized with the right and in a thin, falsetto voice, suddenly burst out loudly the verse of the prayer from the Holy Writ. The crowd subsided. And in the structure of prisoners who knew suffering and humiliation, no one laughed.
Fate with Surikov ordered in its own way. He survived in fascist captivity and was taken to the Stalinist camps.
I passed the Nazi death camps in Estonia, Poland, Prussia. During the unloading of coal on one of the ships, one of the hungry prisoners of war stole food from the ship’s crew. The SS built all the workers and shot every tenth. I was the ninth and survived.
Tried to escape from the camp in Poland. Caught, beat with a ramrod to a pulp. When I remember the past, not only my hands, but also my whole body are shaking ...
The torpedo player of the first brigade of torpedo boats Vladimir Fedorovich Ivanov:
- The ship reached the Estonian coast quite close. Only after the war, during a meeting with the Khankovites, I learned that this drift saved our liner from torpedoing. Turboelektrohod was off the coast at gunpoint enemy batteries.
From Estonia, the Germans transported us to Finland. Finns separated commanders from privates. Directed to the restoration work on the destroyed Hanko. We tried to move to the village to the peasants, where it was easier to escape. The peasants were transferred together with Viktor Arkhipov. In the village, for the unfriendly attitude towards work and agitation, the Finns wanted to beat me. Victor grabbed forks and drove the peasants. After a skirmish, a Finnish officer arrived at the village and threatened to shoot him.
Filippova, Maslova, Makarova and I were separated from other prisoners in the penalty camp, where we stayed until the conclusion of peace with Finland.
I passed the state political inspection in the camp of the NKVD of the USSR No. 283, city of Bobrin, Moscow Region. After that, as an amateur artist, I tried to enter an art school, but I was not accepted because of captivity.
After the war, it became known that the Germans from the "I.Stalin" transferred Finns around 400 Soviet prisoners of war to restore Hanko. The Finns adhered to international laws on the humane treatment of prisoners of war and fed them tolerably. After Finland left the war, all prisoners of war returned to their homeland.
The Finns saved the life of the Hero of the Soviet Union, commander of the submarine Lisinu. With the explosion of the boat, he was thrown overboard. The Germans demanded to issue Lisin to the Gestapo, but the Finns did not obey.
And what happened to the captain of the vessel Nikolai Sergeyevich Stepanov?
Chairman of the Council of Veterans of the Baltic Shipping Company Vladimir Nikolayevich Smirnov:
- Bold, intelligent, highly respected in the Baltic Shipping Company, he was not a military man. Electrician Alexey Onuchin and his wife Anna Kalvan said that from December 1941, Stepanov sawed wood in the port and was a pilot. He transmitted data on the transport of troops and cargo of the Germans through Onuchin and Kalvan. Feeling no guilt behind him, he waited for the arrival of the Soviet units.
With the entry of our troops into Tallinn, captain Nikolai Sergeevich Stepanov disappeared.
According to N.P. Titov, he was immediately shot by “faithful servants” of the people.
There were a lot of rumors circulated about the fate of the liner captain 1 rank Mr Evdokimov, but nothing definite was found. According to Voytashevsky and other prisoners of war, he was in a Nazi concentration camp, and then disappeared too.
Onuchin and his wife Anna Kalvan survived and worked for a long time in Tallinn. According to the 1990 year, Anna Kalvan died, and Onuchin was seriously ill and lost her memory.
Son of captain Stepanova Oleg Nikolaevich Stepanov:
- The last time I saw 16's father was November 1941 of the year. My father was going on a flight, and that day I defended a degree in mechanical engineering at the institute of water transport engineers. Shortly before that, my father took a photo, he is 53 of the year on the photo. November 1941 of the year was tragic. Leningrad blockade, the Gulf of Finland littered with mines. My father and I had a premonition: see each other for the last time.
What happened to the I. Stalin liner itself, which for many years, broken, half-submerged, sat on stones near the port of Paldiski?
Captain 1 rank retired Yevgeny Vyacheslavovich Osetsky:
- The last time I saw a turbo electric, or rather, the remains of it, in the 1953 year. At that time I commanded the ships of the auxiliary fleet of the Port of Tallinn. The corroded body was tried to be cut into metal, but they found projectiles packed in layers with bags of flour. On top lay the decaying bodies of the defenders of Hanko. The soldiers removed the dead, cleaned the ship from the shells and cut the hull on the metal. I don’t know where the dead were buried.
In an attempt to torpedo a liner "Stalin" with soldiers, sailors and officers, there is still a lot of obscure ...