Military Review

The world's first underwater mine layer "Crab". Part 7. The end of the first underwater mine layer "Crab"

German troops at the end of April 1918 approached Sevastopol. In order to save their ships from being captured by destroyer teams, patrol ships and submarines, and then the battleship teams decided to leave for Novorossiysk. But at the last moment, the submarine teams changed their minds and the submarines remained in Sevastopol. Repaired and outdated ships remained there. The German command in July 1918 presented the ultimatum to the Soviet Government, which required by July 19 to return the fleet to Sevastopol and transfer the ships "for storage" until the end of the war. Part of the ships of the Black Sea fleet It was flooded in Novorossiysk, the other part was blown up in Sevastopol. A revolution took place in Germany on November 9 and German troops soon left Crimea and Ukraine, and an allied squadron (ships of France, Great Britain, Greece and Italy) came to Sevastopol. Power passed into the hands of whites. However, in January-March 1919, the Red Army went on the offensive and won a number of victories. Nikolaev, Kherson, Odessa, and then the whole Crimea were liberated. The troops of the Entente and General Wrangel left Sevastopol. However, before leaving, they took away transports and warships, destroying military equipment and aircraft. On the remaining old ships, the retreating blew up the cylinders of the cars, rendering them completely unusable.

The world's first underwater mine layer "Crab". Part 7. The end of the first underwater mine layer "Crab"

The British 26 on April 1919 of the year with the help of the tugboat "Elizaveta" brought the 11 of Russian submarines to an external raid. Opening the hatches and making holes in them, they flooded these submarines.
The twelfth submarine - "Crab" flooded in the North Bay. Among the submarines flooded by the British were: 3 submarines of the Narval type, 2 of the Bars type (completed in 1917 year), the AG-21 submarine, 5 of old submarines and the Krab submarine minelayer. To submerge this submarine in the felling area on the port side, a hole of 0,5 m2 in size was made and the bow hatch was opened.
The civil war is over. The Soviet government began peaceful construction. As a result of the two wars, the Azov and Black Seas became cemeteries for submerged ships. For Soviet Russia, these vessels became a great value, since some of them, perhaps a small one, could be repaired by replenishing the merchant and military fleet of Soviet Russia, and some could be used to melt it into metal, which is necessary for a reviving industry.
At the end of 1923, the company created the EPRON (Expedition of Underwater Special Purpose Operations), which over the following years was the main organization that carried out the recovery of sunken ships. In the middle of the 1920 heads, work began on the search and recovery of submarines, which were flooded on April 26 by the British near Sevastopol. As a result of the search, the submarines "AG-1919", "Sudak", "Salmon", "Burbot" and others were found and raised.

In the 1934 year, when searching for submerged submarines, the metal detector gave a deviation, which indicated the presence of a large amount of metal in this place. At the first survey it was found that this is a submarine. And at the beginning they thought that this was the submarine "Loon" (type "Leopard") built 1917 of the year, because it was assumed that there could not be another submarine in this place. However, as a result of a more thorough survey conducted next year, it turned out that this is an underwater minelayer "Crab", lying at a depth of 65 meters, buried deep in the ground astern, there was a hole on the left side of the hull with dimensions 0,5 м2; periscopes and tools were intact. Work on the rise began in the summer of 1935. Due to the large for that time depth of flooding, the submarine was decided to be raised in several stages, that is, transferring it to a shallower depth. The first attempts to raise the "Crab" were made in June 1935 of the year, but failed to tear the stern from the ground, so we decided to wash away the soil under the stern of the submarine. This work was very difficult, since bringing the entire ground-suction pipe system upward was difficult, and the swell could turn the whole system into scrap. Also, due to the great depth on the ground, divers could work no more than 30 minutes. But despite this, by October 1935, the ground washout was completed. In the period from 4 to 7 of October, three consecutive lifts were carried out, the landlord was injected into the port, after which it was lifted to the surface. Naletovym M.P. The project of restoration and modernization of the underwater mine layer was made.
But the Soviet navy over the years has gone far ahead in its development. Dozens of new, sophisticated submarines of all types, including submarines of type "L", appeared in the Navy. The need to restore the already outdated submarine "Crab", of course, disappeared. Therefore, after lifting near Sevastopol, the "Crab" was scrapped.


More than 85 years have passed since the mine crab "Crab" carried out its first mine setting at the Bosphorus ... 62 year - since the heart of the talented inventor and remarkable Russian patriot Naletov Mikhail Petrovich stopped beating. However, his name will not be forgotten.

Germany was the first of the foreign powers to appreciate the importance of the invention of MP Naletova, which German sailors and specialists undoubtedly learned when they built the Crab in Nikolaev from a representative of the Krupp Curting factories, who often visited the Marine Ministry of Russia.

In Germany, during the First World War, 212 underwater mines were ordered and built. Each of them carried from 12 to 18 min. Only large "U-71" - "U-80" carried by 36 min, "U-117" - "U-121" - from 42 to 48 min, but the surface displacement of the latter was 1160 tons, that is, two times more displacement submarine "Crab".
Even the submarine minelayers of Germany ordered in the year of the end of the war, whose displacement practically did not differ from that of the submarine minelayer “Krab”, were inferior to the Russian layer.

Comparative characteristics of the underwater mine-layer “U-119” - “U-192” / “Crab”:
Surface displacement (underwater) - 510 t (580 t) / 533 t (736 t);
Motor power - 2 x 240 hp and 2 x 310 hp / 4 x 300 hp and 2 x 330 hp;
Freeboard speed (underwater) - 11,5 nodes (6,6 nodes) / 11,8 nodes (7,1 nodes);
The number of mines - 14 / 60;
The number of torpedo tubes - 3 / 2.

In Germany, Naletova did not know the device, and they created their own, consisting of 6 specials. wells located with a slope 24 degrees to the stern of the submarine. 2-3 mines were located in each of these wells. The lower and upper ends of the wells did not close. During the underwater stroke of the barrier, the water jet moved the mines to the lower holes of the wells, thus, mines were facilitated. Consequently, German-made underwater mine layers put mines "by themselves." Because of this, they became victims of their mines. Such a fate befell the "UC-9", "-12", "-32", "-44" and "-42" fencers, and the last minelayer sank in September 1917 of the year, that is, two years after the mine layer was commissioned. this type.

By that time, the personnel had undoubtedly already well mastered the device for setting mines. The German submarines who died for this reason were probably more than 5, because part of the minelayers were "missing", and probably some of them were blown up by their own mines during their production.
The first German mine-laying device, therefore, proved to be very unreliable and dangerous for the submarines themselves. Only on large barriers ("UC-71", etc.), this device had a different design.
On these submarines, mines were stored on horizontal racks in a rugged hull. From the shelves, they were introduced into two special pipes that ended in the rear part of the minelayer. Each of the pipes served to accommodate only three minutes. After setting the min data, the procedure for inserting the next min into the pipes was repeated.

Naturally, with such a device for the additional required specials. tanks, such as putting mines into pipes and setting them, caused the movement of the center of gravity of the submarine and the trim, which was compensated by the reception and transfer of water. This shows that the last device of the system for setting mines, which was adopted at some submarine barriers of Germany, is much more complicated than the system of Naletov MP

In the Russian fleet, unfortunately, the valuable experience of creating an underwater mine layer was not used for a long time. However, as mentioned above, back in 1907, at the Baltic Shipyard, two options were developed for an underwater minelayer with a displacement of 250 tons with 60 mines on board. However, none of them was carried out: it was absolutely clear that it was impossible to supply miner 60 with mines at such a small displacement, despite the fact that the plant claimed the opposite. At the same time, the experience of war and combat use of the "Crab" showed that the fleet needs underwater mine layers. Because of this, in order to obtain submarine barriers, which should have been incorporated into the Baltic Fleet as soon as possible, it was decided to convert into submarine barriers two Bars-type submarines from being completed in 1916 year. Assistant Marine Minister 17 June 1916, in a letter to the Chief of the Marine General Staff, wrote: "Such alterations can only be carried out on submarines" Yorsh "and" Trout "built by the Baltic plant only because the plant will carry out this work on the submarine" Krab " while Noblessner offers its own system, the drawings of which have not yet been developed. "

Recall that the Baltic plant for 9 years before was taken to install a mine device and mines ("the system of second-rank captain Schreiber") of their own design, and not proposed by Naletov MP, now that the mines and mine device are carried out on a submarine " Crab ", they were recognized at the Baltic Shipyard ... In addition, it is necessary to emphasize that the mines and mine device projects were carried out for the underwater mine layer by the Noblessner plant with the participation of the plant consultant, which was the largest shipbuilder Or Bubnov Ivan Grigorievich, according to whose projects almost all Russian-type submarines (including Bars-type submarines) were built.
And if, nevertheless, preference was given to "MP Naletov's system" (although it was not already called that), then the uniqueness and value of MP Naletova’s invention. become even more obvious.
Despite the fact that the Trout and Ersh submarines were larger than the Crab, the Baltic Shipyard was unable to place the same number of mines on them as Naletov could.

Comparative characteristics of the “Ersh” / “Crab” underwater mine-layers:
Surface displacement (underwater) - 650 t (785 t) / 533 t (736 t);
Motor power - 2 x 420 and? / 4 x 300 and 2 x 330;
Freeboard speed (underwater) - 11 nodes (7,5 nodes) / 11,8 nodes (7,1 nodes);
Quantity - 42 mines / 60 min;
The number of torpedo tubes - 2 / 2;
Artillery - one 57 caliber mm / one 70 caliber mm.

Of the two underwater mine layers for the Baltic Fleet, only the “Ruff” was built, and then only by the end of 1917.

In connection with the need to place mines at shallow depths in the southern part of the Baltic Sea, the question of creating small submarine barriers arose in the Marine General Staff. In addition, these vessels could be built in a short time (supposed to be September 1917 of the year). 3 February 1917, the issue was reported to the Marine Minister, who subsequently ordered four small submarine minelayers to be ordered. Two ("З-1" and "З-2") ordered the Baltic plant and the same ("№-3" and "З-4") - to the Revel Russian-Baltic plant.

These barrier layers were slightly different from each other: the first had a displacement of 230 t / 275 t and took on board the 20 min, and the second had 228,5 t / 264 t taking only 16 min. The barriers were not completed by the end of the war.
Despite the fact that Naletova was soon removed from the building after the launch of the Crab, his priority in creating the first underwater mine layer was quite obvious.
Of course, in the process of building a minelayer and employees of the Nikolaev plant and officers made various changes and improvements to the initial design. For example, the captain of the first rank N. N. Schreiber. proposed to replace the chain elevator with a screw having a more advanced design. Its technical design was carried out by the designer of the plant Silverberg SP At the suggestion of the ship's engineers, who supervised the construction of the mine layer, the aft tank of the main ballast was divided into two, because it was much larger than the nasal tank, and this resulted in a difference when the submarine was submerged and ascended; as is well known, the bow differential tank was carried out of the main ballast from the bow tank; the anchor connections between bulkheads that restricted the medium tank were removed as unnecessary and so on.
This is all quite natural, since the expediency of many details of the vessel was checked during its construction and especially during operation. For example, when repairing a barrier, the nasal trim tank was going to be replaced by the nasal compartments of the propellants, since its location above the waterline was impractical. But after all, this arrangement of the tank during the construction of the minelayer was proposed by the ship engineer Karpov V.Ye., a man, undoubtedly, experienced and technically competent. Thus, despite the improvements and changes made during the construction of the layer, it is necessary to recognize that both the mine device and the mines were made on the basis of those technical considerations and physical principles that were originally laid by the inventor himself, MP Naletov, and mine the layer “Crab” as a whole was built according to his project. Despite the shortcomings (such as the complexity of the immersion system), the minelayer "Crab" was in all respects an original design, not borrowed from anywhere and not implemented anywhere before.

When they say that "Crab" was an unsuitable submarine, they forget that although "Crab" was essentially an experienced submarine, he still participated in the war, carrying out important combat missions for laying mines near enemy shores, and such tasks could only be completed underwater minelayer. Also, do not forget that the "Crab" was the first ship in the world of this type and could not have the flaws inherent in a completely new type of ships, not having their own kind. Recall that the first German underwater minelayers of the "UC" type were equipped with very imperfect devices for laying mines, due to which some of them died. But the German shipbuilding technology was developed much better than the shipbuilding equipment of Tsarist Russia!

In conclusion, we give an assessment that the inventor himself gave to the first underwater minelayer "Crab": "Crab", with all its merits and novelty of both the design and the nested idea, had ... natural flaws that were inherent in the first copies of even great inventions (to for example, the Wright Brothers airplane, the Stephenson locomotive, and so on) and the submarines of that time ("Shark", "Cayman") ... "
We also give the opinion of N.N. Monastyreva, who wrote about the "Crab": "If an underwater mine layer and had many ... flaws, then this was due to the novelty of the design, and not the idea itself, which, in my opinion, was perfect." From this assessment does not agree.

All parts:
Part of 1. New project of underwater mine layer
Part of 2. The second and third variants of the underwater layer
Part of 3. Fourth, the latest version of the minelayer Naletova MP.
Part of 4. How was arranged underwater mine layer "Crab"
Part of 5. The first military campaign of the underwater mine layer "Crab"
Part of 6. "Crab" becomes in repair
Part of 7. The end of the first underwater mine layer "Crab"
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