September 28, 1913 laid at the Baltic Plant in St. Petersburg. September 28, 1913 enrolled in the lists of ships of the Baltic fleet. June 2, 1913 launched. July 25, 1915 the submarine went into operation and became part of the 1st division of the Submarine Division of the Baltic Fleet. In 1915, a device was installed on the submarine to place 8 minutes on the deck along the sides of the deckhouse. Tests of this device showed not entirely satisfactory results and mines were not put on the submarine. In 1916, on a submarine, the external trellised torpedo tubes of Dzhevetsky were raised to the deck of the superstructure. In the spring of 1916, the submarine was prepared for hostilities. In 1917, it was based on Revel. From 1916 to 1917 she took part in the First World War: search operations on enemy communications in the Baltic Sea, provision and cover for mine-guarding and raiding operations of light fleet forces, made 15 military campaigns.
In May 1917, the submarine Bars was killed while carrying out the fifteenth military campaign for an unknown reason at a position in the Baltic Sea. The estimated death date is 8 May 1917, in the Heffring area. The probable cause is a mine explosion (according to German data). 29 May 1918, the submarine "Bars" is excluded from the list of ships of the Baltic Fleet.
In February 1993 Vice Admiral Dick Bjeresson, Commander of the Swedish Naval Forces, sent a letter to the Russian Ambassador in Stockholm. In it, Admiral Bjeresson reported that the Swedish minesweeper Landsort during exercises in the Baltic Sea at a depth of 127 meters from the point with coordinates: 58 ° 21,033 N and 19 ° 51,902 E in international waters, but in the economic zone of Sweden, discovered a submarine , perhaps one of the Russians and two torpedoes nearby. No one went down to the boat, but a remotely controlled underwater robot A video was filmed which was attached to the letter. “Separate details of the video recording,” Admiral Bieresson reported, “show that, perhaps, these are the Bars or Lioness submarines, according to published data, who died in May and June 1917.” According to the admiral, a more accurate identification is impossible without a person descending to the boat. The letter, dated February 24, 1993, was sent to Moscow, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from there it was transferred to the Main Headquarters of the Navy. Later it became known that the Swedish video appeared for a short time in St. Petersburg, where it was viewed by specialists in underwater shipbuilding. One of them assessed the video in this way: “The recording is of low quality, “muddy” and anything other than the fact that this is a Bars-type submarine cannot be said.” Apparently, the question of the possibility of lifting the boat was also considered at the viewing. And, most likely, it was decided in the negative, since in response to the commander of the Swedish Navy, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy only said that "it is planned to use the names of the dead crew members of the Liovitsa submarine for a memorial plaque in order to perpetuate the memory of Russian submariners." Needless to say, this intention remained unfulfilled.
The first reaction in the press to the discovery made by the Swedes was an article in the December issue of Noviye Vremya 1993 of the “Requiem for Barça.” Its author did not mean Barça itself. Besides him and the Lioness in this area of the Baltic, he could die and “Cheetah” that disappeared in October 1917 of the year. The author proposed to “identify by sign” of a sunken boat found by a Swedish minesweeper, and “at least throw a wreath at the place of death and serve a requiem for the dead sailors.” He did not report the Swedes to the Russian Navy Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which It decided that the Navy was not interested in the find. In March 1997, the 2 European Department of Foreign Affairs offered to identify the boat to the oldest Russian travel and adventure magazine “Around the World”, which has extensive connections with people involved in history domestic fleet and the leading special heading "Historical Search". The identification of the submarine turned out to be not so simple. More than that, no one was found who saw this record. Nor were the specialists of the historical group of the Navy who prepared the certificate for the response letter of the commander-in-chief of the Navy. The fact that the sunken boat, the Lioness (as reported by the Swedes), was derived, moreover, from the mention in the Swedish admiral’s letter of two torpedoes lying on the bottom next to the boat.
According to the compiler of the certificate, the torpedoes could have fallen to the bottom, falling out of the collapsed external apparatus Dzhevetskogo, which according to his information in 1917, remained only on one of the boats of the type "Bars" - "Lioness". In the end, we managed to find out that this information was allegedly drawn from the rare edition of “Tables of the elements of ships belonging to the Baltic and Black Sea fleets, the flotilla of the Arctic Ocean and flotillas that arose during the war” according to information collected from February 1916 to February 1917 of the year. Statistical Office of the Marine General Staff, Petrograd, 1917. However, in this book nothing is said about removing Dzhevetsky’s vehicles from Bars-type boats. On all the boats, including the Bars and the Cheetah itself, Dzhevetsky’s apparatuses are indicated as part of the mine armament. Returning to the Swedish videotape, it should be said that after searches that could have become the plot of a detective story, she was found at home by a retired naval chief, and in April 1997 of the year was finally available for “identification by sign”.
The first thing that could be revealed by looking through the video was the location of the anchor and the clutch on the port side. On the Russian submarines of that time, there was one anchor for parking in the surface position - this is stated in the book of the former captain of the ship hull engineers AN. Shcheglova "Architecture of submarines", Leningrad, 1929. And on the boats of the Baltic Shipbuilding and Mechanical Plant in St. Petersburg, he put on the left side, and on the boats of the plant of the shipbuilding company "Noblessner" in Reval - on the right. That is how the anchor was set on the Lioness built on the Noblessner in 1916. This is clearly seen in her photographs, where the name written in Slavonic script is read on the left side of the board. On the sunken boat on the port side there is an anchor of the Morell-Rizbek system, and therefore it cannot be a “Lioness”. It remained to solve the dilemma: "Bars" is it or "Cheetah"? But how to distinguish between boats of the same project, built on the same Baltic factory and launched in one day, 25 May 1915 of the year?
It was possible to find out that in the fall of 1915, Barça had one important and, most importantly, noticeable, constructive difference. We are talking about the installation on it of the “device for dropping mines” proposed by the 1 rank captain Schreiber, as this mining device was called according to factory documents.
The device consisted of two slightly concave metal platforms that were attached on both sides of the wheelhouse (modern specialists prefer a more precise constructive term - the fencing of the military wheelhouse, although during World War I it was said about the wheelhouse, indicating, if necessary, about the casing surrounding the wheelhouse) . On the platforms there were four barrage mines, which were dumped into the water along lattices projecting from the sides, which were called crinolines. The mining device can be clearly seen in the Barça photographs taken after the 1915 - 1916 repair in the winter. It is indicated in the reply to the request list of the Statistical Division of the Marine General Staff. The installation of the mining device caused the need to move the logging ladder from the regular place near the middle of the cabin to the edge of its stern. At the Cheetah, the mining device was never delivered, although such an intention existed in November 1915 of the year when the boat was being repaired. In the above-mentioned answer to the request list, the commander of the "Cheetah" as of March 1916 reported: "there is no mine barrage." The gangway remained at the regular place, which can be clearly seen in the photo of the Cheetah taken after 1915-1916 repairs - a rear-admiral Levitsky, who commanded the Baltic Sea diving unit, sent a telegram about the end of the repair from Revel to Petrograd.
The video recording of the sunken boat clearly shows that the logging ladder is installed on the very edge of the aft cabin. Just like the photo of the Barça pop-up made in the summer of 1916. On some frames of the video, the mining device itself is visible, or rather its individual details: the crinoline with a side mount, the mine-deck fixing grid. Thus, a boat with a mining device cannot be a "Cheetah", therefore, it is a "Bars". There is one more constructive difference between the Barça and all other boats of this type, which did not appear in the documents, but appeared when viewing a photo of him and other boats. This is the Barça nose cannon, whose image with such a signature was placed in the Sea Collection No. 2 — 3 for the 1918 year.
According to the project, the author of which was the famous Russian shipbuilder I.G. Bubnov, submarines such as "Leopard" did not have artillery weapons. The main weapons was considered a mine, which was represented by twelve torpedo tubes: four tubular - in the bow and stern, and eight external lattice apparatus of the construction of S.К. Drzewiecki. However, after the first 1915 campaign, submarine artillery weapons were classified as "the most important of the desired changes and innovations." In the above answer to the request list of the Statistical Office of the MGSH, the Barça Commander, who since December 1915 was Senior Lieutenant N.N. Ilyinsky, reported that as of March 1916, the artillery armament of the boat consists of two guns of caliber 57 mm, one 37-mm gun and machine gun. The same artillery armament was on the Lioness and Cheetah, but it was additionally indicated that 57-mm guns have a length of 40 caliber.
Photos of these guns with a characteristic shoulder rest for horizontal guidance leave no doubt that these are guns of the Gotchkis system. In the photographs of the "Leopard" nose gun looks different than its own feed, as well as guns on other boats of this type. The length of the barrel is more than forty calibers, the canopy of the instrument is more massive, there is no shoulder rest and there is an optical pointing tube.
Judging by the photographs and drawings of the deck-mounted artillery installations of the Russian fleet, this is also a Gotchkis gun, but with a length of 50 gauges. This is confirmed by the relative measurements of the lengths of the trunks in the photograph of the pop-up Barça, where the bow and stern guns are practically in the same plane. It is this tool that can be clearly seen on the wreck. And since there was no such thing on others, in particular, neither on the Lioness, nor on the Cheetah, this once again confirms that the Russian submarine found on the bottom of the Baltic Sea, the Bars.
In a letter to the Russian ambassador, the Swedish admiral believed that without launching a person onto a boat, its exact identification is impossible. And at first, all efforts were directed to organize such a survey. But it turned out that in the present conditions it is beyond the power of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which has underwater habitable apparatuses, or the Russian Navy, which has in its search and rescue service not only means of underwater surveillance, but also the lifting of sunken submarines. And then I had to focus on “identification by signs”, preserved in archival documents and old photographs in museums and private collections.
You also need to look at the last question: why was the Leopard, which according to published German data was sunk off the coast of Sweden near Landsort Cape and the Hefring Lighthouse, found in 50 miles east? The answer to this may be as follows: on his last, fifteenth, Bars combat campaign under the command of Senior Lieutenant N.N. Ilinsky was released as part of the Baltic Sea 1 6 submarine division in May 1917 from Ganghe. The division in the "Wolf" (under the brand-pennant commander captain 2 rank VF Dudkin), "Leopard", "Cheetah" and "Boar" followed to intercept German transports with military goods transported from the ports of neutral Sweden. Submarines were ordered to enter the caravan route, and from there go to the Libavan positions and the position at Fore, the northern tip of the island of Gotland and 13, to arrive at the Daguergort frontier, the western tip of the island of Dago. The injunction was exactly fulfilled by “Boar” and “Cheetah”, on the evening of May 13 returning to Ganga. It turned out that the "Wolf" returned here again on May 10. On May 9, the engine crashed on the boat, and in 18.30, on one remaining "Wolf", without going into a new position, began returning to the base, where it arrived at 21.15 the next day. Bars has not returned to base. On 14 May, Capt. 2 of the rank Dudkin sent a telegram to the Revel, to the headquarters of the submarine division of the Baltic Sea, a report on the campaign of his division. Among other things, he said that the 8 “Wild boar” in May in 18.40 and May in 9 in 12.50 on Landidort meridian and the parallels of the lighthouse Hsfringe saw a submarine at shallow depths. What kind of boat it was, was not reported, but according to the prescription these days and in this place the “Leopard” was supposed to be. After that, following the prescription, he had to move to a new position. And just May 10 "Wolf", following to the base and being at a point with the coordinates 58 ° 36 'N and 20' 10 'E, met the boat going to S. "Perhaps," Leopard "- as was said in “Notes on the hikes of the submarine division of the Baltic Sea”, which were conducted by the flagship division navigator Lt. Essen.
In the Monthly Scuba Diving magazine, published in July 1917 by the division headquarters, this was stated more specifically: “10 May at 11 hour. Day of the "Wolf", changing its position, met with the "Leopard", and the "Leopard" plunged, taking the "Wolf" for an enemy submarine ". This does not come as a surprise, since at that time, on submarines, no solution was found to the identification of the “friend-to-other” task. Famous Soviet admiral, radio engineer A.I. Berg, who was a Russian navigator officer in the English boat E-1917 in 8, was part of the division along with other seven English boats, recalled “The boat’s complete alienation began from the moment it went out to sea. Becoming a potential prey for strangers and its own, she had to undergo a double test: there was no time to catch the eye of the enemy, no friend ... There was no time to identify the connection, the second decides the fate. The law of wartime is cruel and logical: attack until you have time to attack you. ” Apparently, it was the meeting of the "Wolf" with the "Leopard", after which he disappeared forever, and gave rise to rumors that the "Leopard" by mistake was sunk by its own. In the intelligence section of the operational section of the headquarters of the Baltic Sea Fleet Commander for May 1917, in the “Losses” section it was said: “... around May 12 the Bars submarine died from an unknown cause in the first (Libava) position. The “List of ships killed during the 1914 — 1917 war”, compiled in the 1918 year by the Mobilization and Economic Department of the MGS that still existed, indicated another place of death for “Barca” - at Landsort Cape (by irony, the Swedish minesweeper had the same name, who found Barça at the bottom of the Baltic Sea). It is this place that appears in the German data published in the writings on the history of the naval war of 1914 — 1918.
It is quite possible that the last battle of Barca looks like this: 19 of May 1917 of the year Bars on the way to Hefring was discovered and attacked by a German destroyer who dropped a depth bomb. After it didn’t explode, mine-sweepers entered the battle with 2 "dragons" - special deep-water trawls with TNT charges mounted on them. Four minesweepers were combing a suspicious area until two explosions were heard, and an increasing oil slick appeared on the surface. Then depth charges were dropped on this place. However, the message about this fight is doubtful: wasn’t the “ghost chasing” usual in such a situation on the part of the Germans? First, attention is drawn to the difference in the battle dates given in different sources, of which the most likely is 28 (15) in May. Although Barça at that time could no longer be at the position on the Swedish coast: after the change of position, 13 may have had to return to Ganga in May. Secondly, why is it unconditionally claimed that it was the Leopard that was sunk? Finally, why the names of the ships involved in the battle are not reported anywhere? All this testifies to the fact that the German message is based on someone’s stories, and not a report about the battle that took place, indicating the ships that took part, the exact date and the assumption that the enemy boat was most likely Bars, whose death Revel newspapers have notified: May 28 (old style) in the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky, with a huge gathering of people, a memorial service was held for the Barca sailors. But the most significant objection to the version of the death of "Barca" in battle is that the video of the sunken boat did not notice the damage that would have happened if it had been killed by depth charges or draconian charges of trotyl.
If you go back to the chronicle of the 1 division, you can see that on May 10 the Wolf met the submarine, which in July 1917 of the year was precisely considered the Bars. And the coordinates in which the "Wolf" met the boat: 58 ° 36 'N and 20 ° 10' E - very close to those where the Leopard was found at a depth of 127 meters: 58 ° 21,033 N and CH9 ° 51,902 Eb and met underwater the boat headed south. All this gives a good reason to assume that in the morning of May 10, Bars went to its new, Libavian position. But he did not reach it, sinking at the point with the indicated coordinates and hardly having had time to give “radio” to the base of a meeting with the “Wolf.
It is possible that the "Leopard", taking the "Wolf" for the enemy submarine, immediately plunged into a place called the Gotland Basin, where the depths reach more than 100 meters. And this dive could be an emergency - the history of scuba diving knows more than one case of urgent diving, caught up by the latter due to a malfunction.
The submarine "Bars" could not stop at a working depth not exceeding for boats of this type 50 meters, and fell into the abyss of the Gotland depression, which became its grave.
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- Vladimir Boyko
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