Military Review

C-80 - the tragedy of the Soviet submarine

The fate of the Soviet submarine C-80 - one of the most tragic and mysterious in stories Russian fleet. According to the official version, on January 26, 1961, during a normal raid, the submarine sank in the Barents Sea due to the ingress of sea water and fatal crew errors. However, there are too many white spots in the boat’s death story. Let's try to consider the formal version, after which we turn to the recollections of the people involved in this case. Their stories also shed some light on what happened to this Soviet ship, which sank fifty years before the Kursk.

C-80 - the tragedy of the Soviet submarine

The C-80 submarine was built on the 613 project in the 1950 year. By type, it refers to diesel submarines with cruise missiles ("Whiskey Twin Cylinder" according to the NATO classification). During the period from 1957-th to 1959-th years, it was carried out work on the modernization of the project 644. As a result, a new astronavigational system "Lira" and two containers with cruise missiles were added.

Underwater speed C-80 was 10 nodes, and the maximum depth of immersion reached 230 meters. Its length was seventy-six meters, the width of the body (maximum) - 6,6 meters. The power plant included: two diesel engines for 2000 hp, four electric motors (two rowing and two economical strokes), batteries. The armament consisted of four torpedo tubes mounted in the nose (533-mm) and a pair of strategic cruise missiles P-5. On board the boat, when she went on her last voyage, there were fifteen officers, sixteen foremen and thirty-seven sailors of the main and reserve crews.

The C-80 missile submarine (the first of the 644 project) assigned to the Northern Fleet sank in the Barents Sea 26 in January 1961 of the year as a result of water entering the RDP mine, and only seven years later, the submarine found the tip from local fishermen - 23 in June 1968 year - at 196-meter depth at a point that has the coordinates 70.01'23 ”north latitude and 36.35'22” east longitude. The boat was surveyed using a descending underwater camera and, after the analysis was reviewed by a government commission, it was decided to lift it. Expedition special purpose was formed long and carefully. It was headed by the captain of the first rank Sergey Minchenko. Before him was a very difficult task to lift the submarine from a depth of almost two hundred meters. Especially for this work, the rescue ship Karpaty, which had a special device for lifting such vessels, arrived at the place where the drowned submarine lay. The water area was guarded by a detachment of minesweepers and a destroyer.

Operation "Depth" was carried out by forces of the Northern Fleet EON-10. It started on 9 on June 1969 of the year, and took place in two stages. At first, the boat was torn off from the ground and suspended from the slings on the under-hook attachments, and then the ship Karpaty raised the boat to a depth of seventy meters and towed it to the coastal region. Then it was lifted by divers and pontoons. 12 July C-80 was delivered to Zavalishin Bay, where it was lowered to the ground at a depth of fifty meters. 24 July 1969 year of operation was successfully completed, C-80 was on the surface of the water.
In August, a government commission headed by Vice-Admiral, Hero of the Soviet Union Grigory Shchedrin began work. As a result of its activities, events that led to the death of the submarine were restored. 26 January 1961 year C-80, practicing single swimming tasks in the Barents Sea, was at a periscope depth at a temperature of -5 degrees Celsius and excitement around 6 points. At about 01 hours 27 minutes the boat began to go below the periscope depth, which led to the ingress of water into the shaft of the RDP. The heating of the float valve was turned off, so it froze and did not work. When the driver discovered that water was entering the fifth compartment, he made a mistake and instead of closing the RDP shut-down, turned the flywheel of the Lyra complex. The motorists who attempted to manually close the second air lock of the RDP shaft did not have time to do this - the valve stem bent under the pressure of water. In the emergency situation that arose, the crew made two mistakes - in time did not use the emergency ballast tankers blowing system and did not launch the rowing electric motors. After the speed of the C-80 dropped to zero, the boat went down to the stern depth and entered the ground.

When all seven compartments of the submarine were drained, the boat was able to independently float. Most of the entries in the ship logs were eroded by sea water. There were no traces of fire, and according to the testimony of the found ship hours, it was found that the accident occurred in a matter of moments. The first, fifth, sixth and seventh compartments had no damage. The bulkheads of the second, third and fourth compartments were destroyed, and both bulkheads of the third compartment were generally swept away by force acting from the stern to the bow. In the fourth (battery) compartment, the deck is arched up. As a result of the explosion, all those who were in the fourth (including those who managed to cross here from the fifth), the third, second compartments and the conning tower died. The teams of the sixth and seventh compartments got together and tried to get out of the boat, using the devices "IDA-51". However, they did not have time, the bulkhead in the end compartment cracked, and the water quickly flooded it. The remaining people in the first compartment fought the longest. They competently and consistently carried out all measures to combat durability established in such cases. The water filled the compartment only a few days later ...

All this formed the basis of the official version of the tragedy. Now let's turn to eyewitness accounts. Below is an excerpt from the characteristics of a thirty-six-year-old C-80 commander, third-rank captain Anatoly Sitarchik given by his former chief, the legendary Soviet submariner, member of the Great Patriotic War, who commanded the entire Northern Fleet, George the Mihailovychteyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy dayy byaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa program team with cruise missiles were new, difficult to control and device ships. Therefore, we often went to the sea at them, studied commanders and other personnel. It was then that I paid attention to one thing. He was often nervous at sea and made mistakes, which is unacceptable for a submariner. More than once I asked the commander of the submarine forces, Rear Admiral GT Kudryashov send him to check his psychological state, but he never did. ”

The vice-admiral wrote about the disaster that occurred: “I personally went to sea on this boat to check the ship and all its systems. A deep-sea dive was carried out with a depth of 170 meters. The tests showed that the submarine itself and its mechanisms meet all the requirements. But to the commander of the ship had serious complaints. That is why I gave the order to the division chief N.M. Baranov is not allowed to let the boat into the sea, to train the personnel and the commander at the base. ”

However, this order is not fulfilled. The submarine C-80 was sent to the next scheduled task. Georgy Mikhailovich was at the Irtysh floating base when he learned that the boat had gone to sea. From further memories of Egorov: “By many signs, a storm was approaching, therefore, referring to the weather forecast, I gave a radiogram:“ In connection with the approaching hurricane, I ask you to return immediately to the C-80 submarine base ”. I also gave the command to send part of the boats from the raid into the sea and dive to the depth in designated areas. Having settled down on the bridge of the floating base “Irtysh”, dangling at anchor from hurricane winds that reached 25-30 meters per second, I watched the location of the ships in the roadstead by location. Periodically reported the commanders of the boats. A radiogram came from the C-80 submarine, but since it was heading the submarine forces, we failed to decode it. I mistakenly decided that my request was fulfilled, that the boat was sent to the base and the commander confirmed the order to return. At dawn, a report came to me: “The communications center of the fleet calls the submarine C-80. No answer". Hurricane jokes are bad, and there are many assumptions about the reasons why the ship was silent. If the commander of the C-80 did not receive orders to return to the base, he had to go for a dive in order to hide under water from the storm. But unfortunately, my doubts about the capabilities of the commander were confirmed. "

However, there are other opinions about this submariner. For example, former lieutenant, and now Hero of the Soviet Union, reserve vice-admiral Yevgeny Chernov remembers the commander of C-80 as a completely different person: “He was a competent, brave and determined man. His father was a general and aviator who died in the war. And he went to sea in his flight helmet and gloves. I just don’t know if Anatoly took them with him on his last trip ... ”
The initial search for the boat lasted a relatively short time. A week later - 3 February - the fishermen from the trawler T-38 found in their trawl an emergency buoy from a submarine. But none of them could tell where exactly the buoy was caught. On maps struck the area where he could be broken by a storm. Until February 16, submarines were actively looking for C-80. If then the rescuers took only a mile and a half to the north, they could have found the boat. But the seventieth parallel, no one has crossed. Although, even if she had been found then, they could not have helped her with anything. The ship-raising enterprise, by the Khrushchev's will, was in desolation. A barely developed rescue service of the fleet was not able to lift such a boat from such depth. The commander-in-chief of the USSR Navy was able, under the accident, to knock out money from the state for the development of life-saving equipment. And later it was designed and built a special vessel designed to lift sunken submarines.

And here is what Minchenko himself, who led the operation to lift the boat, recalled: “C-80 was towed to Zavalishin Bay, and there it was installed on pontoons. What to do with it next? Mine-torpedo control experts have repeatedly stated that torpedoes that have lain under water for many years can dry out of the compartments when the compartments are drained. They practically managed to convince the management to undermine the boat, not to try to risk, not to retrieve the bodies of the dead. The whole point of our tremendous work was lost - after all, we were raising a boat to find out why the sailors died! In the evening a miner came to me, cavtorang. I asked to let him get into the first compartment and inspect the torpedoes. The risk was huge, but I still allowed it. It was necessary to know all the circumstances of the disaster. And at night we went to C-80. Cavtorang dressed in light water equipment disappeared into the hatch. I insured him. Then he emerged, looked into my eyes and said: "They will not explode." In the morning I reported that it was possible to work. They asked why. He told the authorities about the attack. For self-righteousness, of course, they hovered. But the chairman of the commission - Vice-Admiral Shchedrin, Hero of the Soviet Union - ordered the compartments to be drained. Then they turned to the most difficult part of the work - the removal of bodies. ”

Next, it is worth referring to the story of the submariner veteran Vice Admiral Rostislav Filonovich Dmitrievich: “I was the first to enter the compartments of the C-80. This right was claimed by political workers, specialists, but it was decided that the submarine should first be examined by the shipbuilder. I entered the boat from the stern - through the emergency hatch in the seventh compartment. Submariners were face down. Everything - in the solarium, squeezed out of the fuel tanks inside the case. In the first, third, second and seventh compartments were airbags. Most of the bodies were extracted from the compartments in the bow of the submarine.

Surprisingly, the bodies were well preserved, I recognized many by sight .... The blow seemed to come from the fifth compartment with diesel engines, almost everyone who was removed from the third and fourth compartments were with their heads smashed. Those who were saved by steel from instant death died from suffocation. Scary end. All breathing apparatus oxygen cartridges were empty. But beforehand, the sailors had etched all the compressed air of combined-cycle torpedoes into the nose compartment. Not everyone endured the most difficult torture. In the second compartment was found the midshipman, who closed the bus, which went through a multi-ampere current. One sailor pulled a noose around his neck, lying in his berth. So he lay in it for all seven years. Others held to the last. On the lid of the lower hatch in the conning tower, they were found by the senior officer V. Osipov and the commander of the missile warhead V. Chernichko. At the time of the accident, one of them carried a commander's watch, the other - like a watch officer stood on the periscope. The commander of the C-80 and its understudy V. Nikolaev were found in the residential officer's compartment. Apparently they went down to the breakfast room for the night breakfast. The irreparable happened very quickly - they barely had time to run out into the passage of the compartment ... ”.

Yuri Senatsky, a former chief engineer of a special purpose expedition, said this: “An average landing ship was driven into Zavalishin Bay. In the hold set the tables of pathologists. The doctors rubbed the faces of the dead with alcohol and were amazed: the cheeks of the dead were pink. The blood in their veins did not even have time to clot. Doctors claimed that submariners could hold out for a week on the stocks of cut-off air. For a week they were waiting for help ... The bodies of the dead were interred in a common grave near the village of Olenya Guba in the Murmansk region. The personnel officers conducted their ritual - they burned the certificates of the dead midshipmen and officers. And the captain of the first rank, Babashin, had to do one more difficult thing - to send their personal belongings to the relatives of the deceased. To do this, we bought several dozen suitcases, put in them telniki, beskozyrki, books, letters .... And sent to the Union.

The patriarch of the domestic ship raising, Yuri Konstantinovich Senatsky, was born in 1924 in Arkhangelsk. In 1944, he was awarded the Order of the Red Star for showing courage in the battles of the landing of the amphibious assault forces on the islands of the Baltic Sea Dago and Ezel. From 1974 to 1987, he served as deputy chief, chief engineer of the emergency services of the navy of our country. Directly involved in the rise from the bottom of the sea more than fifty ships, including four submarines. It was the Senate that in 1969 developed the original method of lifting the C-80 missile submarine, which sank in the Barents Sea. In October 1981 of the year Yury Konstantinovich supervised the rescue of the crew and the ascent from the thirty-meter depth C-178. In the 1983 year in Kamchatka, he led an operation to rescue personnel and rise from the forty-meter depth of the K-429 nuclear submarine.

But in fact, what Babashin himself, a fellow officer of Lieutenant Commander Viktor Chernichko, said: “Vitya remained in our memory as a guitarist, a merry fellow, an athlete. His nose was slightly crooked, but it even went to him. At the same time he was a good family man, the father of two children. An avid boxer and skier. Sometimes they resorted to raising the flag right on skis ... Rocket high class graduate of the Sevastopol Naval School named after Nakhimov. I managed to get an appointment to the rocket boat of the 651 project. In the sea could not walk. But he decided to prepare a successor - Kolya Bonadykov, the commander of the rocket group. He told everyone: “Last time I go ...”.

Why did the C-80 sink? And this account has several versions. Diesel torpedo submarine, which could carry cruise missiles - the test platform of the powerful Soviet weapons. Sergey Minchenko says the following: “The vertical C-80 steering wheel — twenty degrees to the port side — is evidence that the submarine was forced to turn away sharply so as not to collide with something or someone. There were no reefs or rocks. Maybe the boat tried to disperse from an unknown vessel ... ".

What could it be for a ship that suddenly turned out to be at a combat training range. Neither fishing trawlers, nor the Soviet ships could not be there, this is confirmed by all operational services. If we recall how often alien submarines appeared and continue to appear near the Kola Peninsula, then it can be assumed that a submariner spotted an alien reconnaissance ship. Maybe that's why the sailors decided to make a fateful maneuver.

Evgeny Chernov, the vice-admiral of the reserve, who was the senior officer of this submarine, who was transferred to another vessel shortly before her death, shared information on this account: “Submarines should not sink during an emergency dive, even if the float valve was frozen. Air supply to diesel engines is blocked by a powerful flapping. As soon as the C-80 began to sink to a depth, the mechanic began to block the air line from which water was beating. The sailor pushed the lever to the right, but it was necessary to the left. I stung so hard that I bent the stock. Thought that overlaps, but opened to the maximum. Why did it happen? A sailor was seconded from another boat. There the air line was blocked precisely by turning the handle to the right. And he did not know about this feature. Therefore, guilty of the fact that the boat sank one who did not warn the sailor about it. Whoever it is, it makes no sense to accuse him now, especially since there were seven more people of the same kind of “strangers” on the submarine.

In conclusion, I would like to note the courage and skill of Soviet sailors who pulled C-80. Prior to this, no one in the whole world carried out a similar task of lifting on a kapron cable and transporting a huge submarine to the shore. The authorities only noted the people in the order and gave them souvenirs and gifts.

Find out exactly what happened to the submarine, we probably will not be able to. But we will definitely remember the brave submariners, who held on to the depth of their last breath. And about the courage of those who could, no matter what, return their bodies to the ground.

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  1. Civil
    Civil 26 March 2013 09: 24 New
    Kursk was already raised by foreigners ...

    however there is a chance to distinguish ourselves with us, to raise Komsomolets ...
    1. Hudo
      Hudo 26 March 2013 14: 36 New
      Quote: Civil
      Kursk was already raised by foreigners ...

      however there is a chance to distinguish ourselves with us, to raise Komsomolets ...

      There is no need to disturb the ashes of worthy people.
  2. MacTavish
    MacTavish 26 March 2013 10: 09 New
    Good article. And the sailors who died at sea ETERNAL MEMORY
  3. wax
    wax 26 March 2013 13: 51 New
    We will probably not be able to find out what exactly happened with the submarine.

    And what else, besides the position of the vertical rudder, can lead to an external cause? On the basis of the boat, completely raised to the surface and studied "from" and "to", the conclusion about the reasons for its death is unambiguous. Unfortunately, as is often the case with us, there is insufficient attention to "little things". Eternal memory to sailors. Well-being to their families and children.
  4. vyatom
    vyatom 26 March 2013 14: 45 New
    This article was very successful, because I’m just studying all kinds of materials on this boat. I read about s-80 in the book of Nikolai Cherkashin and was amazed by the circumstances. I myself was born and raised in the Murmansk city of fishermen. And then he repeatedly went to sea on trawlers for fishing in the Barents Sea. But he knew nothing about the s-80. When I began to study the documents, the further into the forest, the more firewood. And I think that nevertheless, the characteristic who Admiral Egorov gave to the captain Sitarchik was not true. Commander Sitarchik brought up on his boat an outstanding submariner - Evgeny Dmitrievich Chernov, who began under his command with the commander of the warhead, and grew up to the senior assistant, and was certified as a submarine commander. Subsequently, Chernov became the commander of the Northern Fleet and took part, for example, in a test dive of Komsomolets to a depth of more than 1000 meters. Subsequently, he investigated the death of Komsomolets and our other boats and put the unpreparedness and unworkedness of the crew, and not the technological shortcomings of the boats, at the forefront. So Anatoly Sitarchik prepared a wonderful submariner under his command, and if Yevgeny Chernov writes about his commander that he was brave and decisive, then it means so.
    I also read about the turned steering wheel at the boat, that it went down stern to the bottom, and when entering the ground it was quite natural that she turned the steering wheel in one direction, and not at all from evading an enemy ship. Eternal memory to submariners.
  5. zav
    zav 26 March 2013 18: 13 New
    "As soon as the S-80 began to go to a depth, the minder began to block the air line, from which water was gushing. The sailor squeezed the lever to the right, but it was necessary to the left. The sting was so strong that he bent the rod. . "

    The replenishment arriving from the training course on the Project 613 submarine has been introduced to the valve that opens the line for purging ballast tanks with exhaust gases from a working diesel engine from the very first days (to save high pressure air). And immediately inform that this is the only valve on the submarine with a LEFT thread. It is small in size and although it is located almost close (in a meter or a half) with an air flap blocking the pipeline from the RPD mine, it is impossible to confuse them - the flywheel is several times larger.

    "When the driver discovered the flow of water into the fifth compartment, he was mistaken and instead of closing the flaps of the RDP, he turned the flywheel of the Lyra complex."

    The version of the catastrophe with which we were introduced in 69 or in the 70s coincides with the version described in the article, but I don’t remember mentioning "Lyra", and I confess that I do not know the purpose of this device. It was said that the bilge driver sitting in the central control unit actually turned the lever (not the flywheel!) Of one of the hydraulic machines that had nothing to do with the slamming - he had a number of these machines at his combat post. And supposedly after the work of the commission on the emergency submarine, these hydraulic machines on other boats began to be removed from the row, so that next time no one would confuse anything.

    Everlasting memory!
  6. Terrible ensign
    Terrible ensign 26 March 2013 19: 01 New
    From time to time you become convinced that the main principle of military pedagogy "story, show, training" is not humor, but truth. Knowledge of the "materiel" and its confident use, the use of skills is not possible without the development of automatism. This is especially important (skills and automatism) when fighting for the survivability of a ship. Instructions in the army and navy are written in blood. This story is one of those lines ... Eternal memory to sailors!
    1. brelok
      brelok April 7 2013 07: 59 New
      In the sixties, my father was a submariner. After meeting with the Americans, their boat sank near Norway. He told that 18 people had been saved. They came from Angola. Then they were captured in Norway. There is no information about this anywhere. The father is no longer alive. Glory to the heroes!
  7. ABV
    ABV 26 March 2013 21: 54 New
    Quote: MacTavish
    Good article. And the sailors who died at sea ETERNAL MEMORY

    sailors eternal memory !!!
  8. Denis
    Denis 26 March 2013 23: 05 New
    Submarines with cruise missiles were new, difficult to control and arrange ships
    No matter how sad, but it was and still will be. Technique doesn’t give away its secrets, it takes lives in return. Anyone, even the most proven mechanism can fail. The same way a person makes a mistake
    Well then, Ineta was not yet, nobody disturbed the memory of the dead
    And then it’s like with Kursk, but if only with him, how many unfortunate experts who only saw water in the tap were found

  9. gora1960
    gora1960 April 11 2013 17: 36 New
    There are no words. The sailor did everything right, as taught. Surely he tore his ligaments. Under Joseph Vissarionovich, more than one commander would be shot. Horror. That is correct.
    Glory to the heroes!