Pravda, Zvezda and Iskra. Series IV submarines

26

General view of the submarines of the "P" project at the time of commissioning

Since the First World War in developed countries, the concept of the so-called. squadron submarine - a ship with torpedo and artillery weapons capable of conducting surface combat as part of a formation. In the thirties, the Soviet industry implemented this idea in the framework of the IV series of submarines ("Type" P "), but the results were far from desired.

From concept to project


At the end of the twenties, an employee of the Leningrad Ostekhbyuro of the OGPU at plant No. 189 (now the Baltic plant) Alexei Nikolaevich Asafov (1886-1933) proposed to develop and build a diesel-electric submarine with advanced artillery weapons capable of fighting as part of a squadron. Such a boat could complement the vanguard and attack the enemy at the initial stages of the battle or fire at him when retreating. It could also be used to hunt amphibious assault forces during their transfer.



Several interesting technical solutions were proposed to implement the unusual concept. In order to improve the running and maneuvering characteristics in surface combat, the hull contours were designed with an eye on the destroyers of that time. At the same time, the submarine received a high side, for which the buoyancy reserve had to be brought to the level of 80-90 percent. The project involved the use of torpedo tubes and cannons up to 130 mm in caliber.

In the fall of 1930, the preliminary design of the future IV series was reviewed and approved by the command fleet, after which the development of working documentation began. However, organizational problems arose almost immediately. It was proposed to use German-made diesel engines on the new boats, but Ostechbyuro was unable to quickly obtain the necessary data about them. Without waiting for them, the bureau in January 1931 began to develop the final version of the project.


The appearance of the submarine after the modernization of 1937-38.

Having saved time, shipyard # 189 laid down the foundation of the lead ship in May. This boat received the number P-1 and the name Pravda. In December, construction began on the P-2 Zvezda and P-3 Iskra submarines. They decided to name the cases of the new series after the famous party newspapers.

Motives for criticism


Against the background of the start of construction, disputes began about the real possibilities and prospects of submarines. Calculations showed that the sediment is approx. 3 m and a buoyancy margin of more than 90% make it difficult to dive, and a quick dive tank was not envisaged in the project. The robust hull allowed operation at depths of no more than 60 m, which was considered insufficient. There were also complaints about insufficient torpedo armament, etc. Later, new problems were identified.

Due to the identified shortcomings and the critical attitude of the Navy specialists, at the end of 1931 the construction of three submarines was suspended. By this time, "Ostekhbyuro" was transformed into a Special design and technical bureau No. 2, and the revision of the project was entrusted to the renewed organization. In October 1932, a new version of the "Type P" was approved, after which it was allowed to continue the construction of "Pravda". At the same time, Iskra and Zvezda should have been mothballed.

Early next year, a group of engineers led by A.N. Asafov visited Germany to organize the supply of the necessary imported components. Returning home, the chief designer fell seriously ill. On February 21, 1933, he passed away. Asafov's place was taken by P.I. Serdyuk. Under his leadership, the development of the "P" project was completed, and the development of the "Baby" series continued.


Head P-1 at sea, photo of the mid-30s, before modernization

On January 30, 1934, the completed submarine P-1 was launched and transferred to sea trials. The main characteristics were confirmed, but the question of the strength of the case and the permissible immersion depth remained open. On September 12, "Pravda" without a crew, with ballast and measuring equipment, was lowered to a depth of 72,5 m with the help of the "Kommuna" vessel. As a result of this event, the working depth of the boat was determined at 50 m, the maximum - 70 m.

After passing the tests, the P-1 "Pravda" went for the last revision before being put into service. The Navy also allowed the construction of the P-2 and P-3 submarines according to the modified design to continue. The Iskra was launched on December 4, and the Zvezda entered trials only in mid-February 1935. However, the submarines of the new IV series were no longer considered as warships. They were planned to be used as training ships, as well as to gain experience in new solutions and technologies.

Design features


Project "P" proposed the use of a two-body scheme. The robust hull was divided into seven compartments and for the first time in domestic practice was built using external frames. The light hull formed general contours designed to improve performance on the surface. A set of ballast tanks was placed between the two hulls. The filling and blowing valves were equipped with electric and pneumatic remote actuators.

For the IV series, diesel engines MAN M10V48 / 49 with a capacity of 2700 hp were purchased in Germany. At that time, these were the most powerful engines in Soviet submarine building. Also, "Type" P "received two rechargeable batteries of the EK type in two groups of 112 pcs. and two propulsion electric motors PP84 / 95 with a capacity of 550 hp each. The normal supply of diesel fuel exceeded 28 tons, the full one was approx. 92 t.


"Pravda" at the naval parade in Leningrad. The submarine has already been upgraded

During the tests, "Pravda" showed a maximum surface speed of 18,8 knots. At this speed, the normal fuel reserve provided a cruising range of 635 nautical miles. An economic surface course of 15,3 knots gave a range of 1670 miles. The maximum speed under water reached 7,9 knots, while the batteries were enough for 108 minutes of movement. It took almost 14 hours to recharge the batteries.

P-1/2/3 received navigation and other devices typical for domestic submarines of that time. In particular, they used the MARS-12 sound direction finder, several radio stations and receivers of different ranges, the Sirius sonar communication device, etc.

In the bow of the submarine there were 4 torpedo tubes of 533 mm caliber, two more devices were placed in the stern. Ammunition included 10 torpedoes - one each in the vehicles and 4 additional ones in the bow compartment. The torpedoes were loaded through the apparatus and through a separate hatch.

It was originally proposed to equip the squadron submarine with 130 and 37 mm cannons. In the final version of the project, two 100-mm B-24 guns were used in closed installations at the bow and stern of the wheelhouse enclosure. A 45-mm 21-K anti-aircraft gun was placed on top of the fence. Ammunition - 227 and 460 shells, respectively.

The crew of the submarine "P" consisted of 53 people, incl. 10 officers. The latter were located in separate cabins; an improved layout was envisaged for the commander, commissar and navigator. There was also an officers' mess and a wardroom. 44 berths for foremen and Red Navy men were divided into several compartments.


In 2012, a memorial sign was installed on the deceased P-1 Pravda

The design autonomy of Pravda and other boats reached 28 days, but the actual one was reduced to 15 days. An air regeneration system with 13 machines was envisaged. There were 17 oxygen cylinders with a total volume of more than 650 liters and 1438 RV-3 regeneration cartridges.

In the original project, the length of the boat "P" reached 90 m, then it was reduced to 87,7 m. Width - 8 m. The average draft in the final version of the project remained at the level of 2,9 m. Surface displacement was 955 tons, underwater - more than 1670 T.

U-boats in the service


On June 9, 1936, all three boats of the IV series were taken over by the navy. A few weeks later they were included in the Baltic Fleet. Due to the limited tactical and technical characteristics and specific weapons, such ships were not of interest as combat units, and they were identified as training ones.

Until the end of 1937, Pravda, Zvezda and Iskra provided training for the Red Navy and submarine officers of the Baltic Fleet and proved to be quite good in their training capacity. In addition, they have repeatedly had occasion to receive various delegations of the country's military and political leadership.

In the fall of 1937, a "Type P" modernization program began, taking into account the operating experience. In dry dock conditions, individual components and assemblies were replaced due to resource depletion or obsolescence. Also, the lightweight hull and the wheelhouse guard were improved. In particular, the B-24 cannons were now located openly. By the end of 1938 Pravda was returned to service; two other boats followed her.


P-2 "Zvezda" in Leningrad, early 1942

On June 22, 1941, all three submarines were in Oranienbaum. In early September, they were transferred to Kronstadt to solve various problems. So, the P-1 was to deliver ammunition, medicines, food, etc. our parts on about. Hanko. September 8 "Pravda" under the command of Lieutenant-Commander I.A. Loginova arrived in Kronstadt, where she received almost 20 tons of cargo. The next day she went to see Hanko. On September 11-12, the submarine was supposed to arrive at the point of unloading, but this did not happen. In October, the ship was expelled from the Navy as missing.

In 2011, a wrecked submarine was found 6 miles south of Kalbodagrund Lighthouse. The following year, the expedition "Bow to the ships of the Great Victory" established that it was the missing P-1. During the trip to Hanko, the ship was blown up by a German mine. A memorial plaque was installed on the deceased Pravda. The submarine is recognized as a mass grave.

The P-2 "Zvezda" was also supposed to participate in the transport operation, but after the loss of the P-1, this was abandoned. Until the end of October, the P-2 remained in Kronstadt, when it was sent to fire at enemy positions on the coast. Due to technical problems, the submarine had to return; during the combat exit, she came under fire several times. After repairs, in December, the P-2 was repeatedly used to deliver fuel to Leningrad.

P-3 "Iskra" in September fell under the fragments of an enemy bomb and required minor repairs. On October 29, she arrived in Leningrad and became part of the city air defense system. In May 1942, P-2 and P-3 were mothballed. At the beginning of the next year, they were transferred to the division of submarines under construction and overhaul.


P-3 "Iskra" at the Leningrad pier, 1942

In August 1944, the P-2 and P-3 submarines were withdrawn from the Navy. "Zvezda" was transferred to the Research Institute of Communications and Telemechanics as an experimental ship, and "Iskra" was transferred to the Higher Naval Engineering School. However, already in August and November 1945, the boats were returned to the fleet for use as training. In 1949, both pennants became large submarines. Soon P-2 received the number B-31, and P-3 - B-1.

In 1952, due to moral and physical obsolescence, the B-1 submarine was withdrawn from the Navy, disarmed and dismantled. The building was transferred to NII-11 for research. The B-31 remained in service until 1955. The next year it was handed over for cutting.

Useful experience


Project "P" was based on the original idea of ​​a squadron submarine capable of conducting open artillery combat and secretly attacking targets with torpedoes. Its implementation in the form of series IV ships was unsuccessful. The authors of the project, due to the lack of the necessary experience, made a number of serious mistakes, as a result of which the three built submarines turned out to be unsuitable for full-fledged combat use.

However, with the help of Pravda and two other submarines, it was possible to test new ideas, solutions and components. The accumulated experience of creating the "Type" P "project was soon used in the development of cruising submarines" K ". They were built in a larger series, were actively used in the Great Patriotic War and showed acceptable performance.
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26 comments
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  1. +10
    31 July 2021 05: 44
    Thanks. I read it with interest. The photo of the sunken ship was impressive.
  2. +7
    31 July 2021 05: 46
    Be in a squadron at 18.8 knots? Would you like to conduct an artillery battle without armor protection? Doubtful business ...
  3. +14
    31 July 2021 06: 06
    ... build a diesel-electric submarine with advanced artillery weapons, capable of fighting as part of a squadron.


    Another proof that the admirals (and not only ours) were preparing not for a future war, but for a long past. With which squadron, whose fleet were they going to fight? And, as a result, what was the combat value of these particular boats?
    1. +18
      31 July 2021 06: 45
      The opinion of the specialists was expressed by the commander of the Baltic Sea submarine brigade M.F. Storozhenko. In March 1931, the commander of the Baltic Sea submarine brigade M.F. Storozhenko appealed to the head of the Navy, in the RVS MSBM and in the PTKM with a report
      "Tactical elements for squadron submarines", in which he noted the futility and shortcomings of the project: torpedo armament is weak, bubble-free torpedo firing is not provided, the immersion depth is small and allows the submarine to be defeated by any existing anti-submarine weapons, the presence of two 130-mm guns in the towers, taking 44 tons displacement, nothing is justified, at the same time there is no triple spare set of torpedoes and there is no provision for firing a torpedo salvo. The report ended with a categorical conclusion: "Under no circumstances should Asafov's submarine be accepted."
      But the opinion of the designers and sailors did not coincide with the point of view of the chief of the Navy R.A. Muklevich, who from the very beginning supported the idea of ​​creating this squadron submarine. Muklevich attacked the opponents of Asafov's boat in the spirit of that time, sending a sharp "message" to the Revolutionary Military Council of the Baltic Fleet:
      "... It is impossible to speak like Storozhenko about submarines, and the Revolutionary Military Council should pay serious attention to such speeches and put an end to them. poorly versed ... Along the way, I draw your attention to the fact that the newly nominated flagships reveal the former desire to deal with issues of great maritime policy. These "traditions" of the past must be done away with. maritime policy, then it will be decided by those bodies in the competence of which these issues are ".
      After such a shout, the squadron submarine "Pravda" in May 1931. was laid down, M.F. Storozhenko - one of the first commissars of the submarine forces of the Baltic Fleet, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1930 - was removed from the post of brigade commander, and subsequently repressed, and Alexei Nikolaevich Asafov was appointed chief engineer the following year .More if interested here
      1. +7
        31 July 2021 06: 53
        Thank you, Serge. hi Well, who is the "enemy of the people" here? negative
      2. +3
        31 July 2021 11: 37
        Quote: SERGE ant
        MF Storozhenko - one of the first commissars of the submarine forces of the Baltic Fleet, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1930, was removed from the post of brigade commander, and later repressed,

        But in "Review of the evolution of the USSR submarine forces (1935-1941)"
        Chapter 6.
        "Renewal of the Baltic submarine (1930–1941)" written by ...

        In January, instead of the terminally ill Storozhenko, administrator Samborsky, who had never commanded a ship, let alone a submarine, became the brigade commander.
      3. ANB
        +1
        2 August 2021 00: 52
        ... Chief of the Navy R.A. Muklevich

        Was there such a position?

        ... Baltic submarine brigades

        Maybe all the same the Fleet?
    2. +6
      31 July 2021 10: 21
      Quote: Sea Cat
      With which squadron, whose fleet were they going to fight? And, as a result, what was the combat value of these particular boats?

      Attempts to cross a snake with a hedgehog did not give viable offspring, except, perhaps, barbed wire lol ... So in this case, both the submarine is so-so, and there is no artillery ship. But we must take into account the time in which these weapons were created - the 30s, when the main leitmotif in the country was the song: "We were born to make a fairy tale come true!" led to the creation of, for example, rocket artillery, recoilless guns and other technical solutions or perversions, from which side you look. But people were not afraid to create, and now everything is so regulated, that once again think, lift a finger - and why? Who was the last time who saw BRIZ - the Bureau of Rationalization and Inventions - in production? And once at any small factory there was such a structure, a plan for rationalization was given.
  4. +11
    31 July 2021 06: 23
    I have always considered the profession of a naval sailor one of the most. And the submariners - the heroes of the fleet. No matter how grievous the fate of those killed in the campaign, the skeletons abandoned as unnecessary are a grievous sight.
    It is not for us to discuss the mistakes and shortcomings of those who went first.
    1. Aag
      +1
      31 July 2021 22: 40
      Quote: ROSS 42
      I have always considered the profession of a naval sailor one of the most. And the submariners - the heroes of the fleet. No matter how grievous the fate of those killed in the campaign, the skeletons abandoned as unnecessary are a grievous sight.
      It is not for us to discuss the mistakes and shortcomings of those who went first.

      I agree ... With every word ... Except for the last sentence: it is necessary to discuss (!), Draw conclusions (without judging those in front of the past) ... So as not to repeat ...
      The "diaspora" of submariners on this site is perhaps the strongest ... - Let them express themselves (not only Klimov is fighting for the sub-fleet!) ...
      Not special ... in this thread (but, extremely interesting, maybe, thanks to people representing the topic ...) Good luck to them!
      But!! The thought does not leave that the whole path of our Soviet Fleet (I will not say anything about the new Russian for now ...) is ... - the heroism of the crews, hard, no less heroic works of designers, shipyard workers, and, - dubious efficiency ... Honestly! I don't want to offend anyone ... I perfectly understand that in the 60s, even such a submarine fleet was an argument. (By the way, there are a number of relatives who served at that time, and on those ships ..) I know that there are a lot of Gurus on the site. submarine. If it is not difficult, please provide links to successful experience, operations. ...
      hi
  5. +5
    31 July 2021 11: 13
    There was also a "mulka" in the world in those years - submarine aircraft carriers
  6. +4
    31 July 2021 11: 18
    During the trip to Hanko, the ship was blown up by a German mine. A memorial plaque was installed on the deceased Pravda. The submarine is recognized as a mass grave.
    The submarine was killed by a mine 6,2 miles south of Kalbodagrund lighthouse several hours after being released by an escort. In the summer of 2009, the hull of the submarine was found while laying the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
    There were 55 people on board Pravda on its last voyage.

    Damage to the submarine Pravda.
  7. +3
    31 July 2021 11: 57
    It is believed that Asafov, on a business trip in Germany, worked in the design bureau of German submarines of the Deshimag company, and after a business trip he shot himself, having learned about the results of tests of type M VI series boats (August-October 1933), Asafov had already been convicted earlier of sabotage (errors in designing boats of type D series I) in 1930, but in 1931 he was rehabilitated and reinstated in office and even went to Germany on a business trip more than once.
  8. +5
    31 July 2021 15: 00
    The idea of ​​getting a submarine with powerful artillery weapons is not a purely Soviet idea. In the world, it hovered in the alzduh.
    For example, the French Surkuf of those years was armed with two 203 mm guns and an aircraft for correction and reconnaissance.
    1. +1
      31 July 2021 18: 07
      I was also surprised at the lack of references to foreign artillery submarines. The dead-end branch turned out to be. The same Surcouf, named after the French pirate - Robert Surcouf (fr. Robert Surcouf; December 12, 1773, Saint-Malo, France - July 8, 1827, Saint-Malo)
      1. +2
        1 August 2021 08: 23
        A pirate in Russian has a negative meaning, and, strictly speaking, Surkuf is a privateer who fought against the British, so the French have a legendary personality.
        For the rest, the author did not mention that such submarines are more of a global trend at that time, and not a purely Soviet invention.
        By the way, I read that during the war in Crimea, submarines were used to fire at German positions, but I'm not sure that it was possible to fire effectively without adjusting the fire, just in a square, the submarine does not have a high mast where a spotter could be placed.
        1. 0
          1 August 2021 10: 02
          during the war in Crimea, submarines were used to shell German positions,

          Yes, such tasks were carried out with a near-zero result, since without adjusting the artillery fire, these shellings had, rather, a psychological significance.
          As for the term "pirate" - in fact, it was originally an individual entrepreneur who worked at his own peril and risk, but some of them were hired by the state to fulfill government orders (like Drake, for example). Well, in our country, due to the rather late entry of Russia into the ocean, this stage of development of the fleet did not take place, therefore the term "pirate" has the unambiguous meaning of "romance from the high road" (cartoon "The Bremen Town Musicians").
          1. 0
            1 August 2021 10: 18
            Somehow there was a series of articles here, discussing the intricacies of all these pirates, filibusters, buccaneers, privateers, privateers and other corsairs :)))
            Pirate is a general term, not all of them were criminals.
            Many were private individuals in the service of the state, who fought for a share of the captured enemy property.
            And about the shelling from the boat, the admirals also wanted to show their participation, not always with real actions, unfortunately: ((((
            1. 0
              1 August 2021 10: 33
              And about the shelling from the boat, the admirals also wanted to show their participation, not always with real actions, unfortunately: ((((

              Estessno, the story is written by the survivor. There are more than many questions to Admiral Oktyabrsky, as well as to Kuznetsov, however, both are now canonized, although indirect information that Sevastopol was going to be surrendered at the end of October 1941 (removal of ammunition and hospitals to the Caucasus) is given by Shirokorad in his books ... He, of course, is still that storyteller, but here it seems he is right. Only a tough order from the Headquarters made them defend Sevastopol in early November 1941.
              As for the pirates - and to hell with them, even on state ships and vessels, the crew was often recruited from dens with the appropriate personnel morale.
              1. 0
                1 August 2021 11: 25
                What can you do, even if the team at the privatization was officially engaged in a legitimate and patriotic matter, the essence was the same - they fought for a share in the booty, to which highly moral people, who prefer to earn their own work, did not always agree.
              2. 0
                5 September 2021 18: 14
                Quote: Aviator_
                And about the shelling from the boat, the admirals also wanted to show their participation, not always with real actions, unfortunately: ((((

                Estessno, the story is written by the survivor. There are more than many questions to Admiral Oktyabrsky, as well as to Kuznetsov, however, both are now canonized, although indirect information that Sevastopol was going to be surrendered at the end of October 1941 (removal of ammunition and hospitals to the Caucasus) is given by Shirokorad in his books ... He, of course, is still that storyteller, but here it seems he is right. Only a tough order from the Headquarters made them defend Sevastopol in early November 1941.
                As for the pirates - and to hell with them, even on state ships and vessels, the crew was often recruited from dens with the appropriate personnel morale.

                there was an opinion that the premature export of ammunition was caused by the fact that the rate of the mummy with the answer whether there would be a tough defense of the Crimea or not, the general situation and the fact that the Crimea was defended by Voroshilov said that the Crimea could be surrendered quickly and then someone would have to answer for the huge lost ammunition and that's it rest. and it will no longer be possible to evacuate it under shelling. in general, and mediocre defense of the Crimea and landings on it, the cant of the rate in its purest form.
                The October campaign got scared after the failure of the first days during the shelling, it seems constant, when its own boat sank several of its ships and then acted as if nothing happened. but it was necessary to take a reasonable risk
        2. 0
          1 August 2021 22: 31
          Quote: Avior
          By the way, I read that during the war in Crimea, submarines were used to fire at German positions, but I'm not sure that it was possible to fire effectively without adjusting the fire, just in a square, the submarine does not have a high mast where a spotter could be placed.

          Submarines for shelling the coast were used not only in our country - the Yankees used their large submarines ("Argonaut", "Narwhal", "Nautilus") in the same way.
          In particular, the "Narwhal" on 15.07.1943/17.08.1942/XNUMX fired at the airbase on Matua, diverting attention during the breakthrough of American submarines through the Freeze Strait. And the "Nautilus" on XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX supported the landing troops with fire during the raid on Makin.
          1. 0
            2 August 2021 07: 30
            Probably, you need to look at the circumstances.
            If you divert attention to the airfield, then I think it's easier than shooting at temporary positions, but defeat is not required.
            And so, which does not happen during the war.
            I remember that on Sakhalin there was a case when an American submarine torpedoed a steam locomotive - the Japanese railway passed in some place near the water's edge.
  9. Alf
    +2
    31 July 2021 19: 02
    Its implementation in the form of series IV ships was unsuccessful.

    So this idea did not work anywhere at all.
  10. 0
    1 August 2021 13: 33
    I must also say that during the blockade winter P-2 and P_3 were used as power plants. If I remember correctly, then one of them provided electricity to the Hermitage.
  11. 0
    10 September 2021 13: 59
    Quote: aleks neym_2
    Be in a squadron at 18.8 knots? Would you like to conduct an artillery battle without armor protection? Doubtful business ...
    it was designed to be fast for the squadron, hence the drawbacks of the type: too long immersion time

    "pl in the Russian and Soviet fleets" cowards. 1963

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