According to him, the search for the destroyer took place in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland in September-October, the operation was initiated by the chairman of the St. Petersburg Club of sailors-submariners and naval veterans Igor Kurdin. About historical The Club has already notified the British Admiralty.
Kochetkov recalled that the Vittoria squadron died during the confrontation of the Red Army with the White Guards during the Civil War. In the summer of 1919, the Red Army fought defensive battles against the attacking North-Western Army (SZA) of General Nikolai Yudenich, who had already begun a large-scale offensive operation in the autumn of the same year to capture the northern capital.
The Yudenich army was supported by an English squadron under the command of Admiral Cowen. It included one of the most modern V-class destroyers built at the time, built in 1917. August 31, 1919 Baltic submarine fleet The Panther, under the command of Alexander Bakhtin, a submarine hero, discovered and destroyed with two torpedoes the anchored destroyer Vittoria, after which she was able to escape the pursuit of the British squadron. This was the first major success of the Soviet submarine fleet. The Panther attack ended the activities of Soviet submarines on the Baltic Sea in 1919.
The sinking of the destroyer Vittoria - the first victory of the Soviet submariners
During the beginning of the civil war, only a few surface warships and submarines of the Baltic Fleet remained combat-ready, which is why the British could act as masters in the Gulf of Finland, the Maloarkhangelsk website writes. But it was “Panther” that was to shake this order.
Initially, at the end of July 1919, in the Koporsky Bay, a Soviet submarine tried to hit two British submarines with four torpedoes, but the enemy managed to dodge. This was the first, albeit unsuccessful, torpedo attack by Soviet submariners.
Then, early in the morning of August 31, Bakhtin again removed his submarine from the base and went on patrol to the Koporskaya Bay area. At about 18 hours, two enemy destroyers were discovered. The commander maneuvered for about three hours until he took the most convenient position for firing torpedoes. In 21: 16 Bakhtin gave the command, and from the 4-5 cable distance (cable - 185,2 meter) the boat fired a volley, hitting one of England's newest destroyers, Vittoria. A few minutes later he was at the bottom.
Following this, nine enemy ships and several seaplanes pursued the Panther. But Bakhtin, continuing to skillfully maneuver, managed to break away from his pursuers, despite the damage the boat had received, and return to Kronstadt. The submarine was under water, without air regeneration, more than 28 hours, which was unprecedented. And the sinking of the English destroyer Vittoria was not only the first, but also the only victory of the Soviet submarine fleet during the years of the civil war.
The fact that at the beginning of the XXI century the destroyer Vittoria was able to find it was also due to Bakhtin. According to ITAR-TASS, the exact place of the death of the British destroyer helped to determine the personal archives of the sailor, copies of the documents are in the Club of submariners.
After the end of the Civil War and the formation of independent Baltic states, the death area of the destroyer Vittoria became the territorial waters of Finland. In the interwar period, as well as after the end of the Great Patriotic War (when this area returned under the jurisdiction of the USSR), Vittoria was not searched.
It is worth noting that in 1923, Bakhtin was the first of the submariners to be honored with the Order of the Red Banner. After some time, he was arrested on charges of engaging in counter-revolutionary activities, sentenced to 5 years and deprived of his reward. The name of the commander of "Panther" is listed in the "Book of Honorable Sailors", stored in London, as the sole representative of Russia.
Vittoria remained in the picture, and the "Panther" was cut into metal
The destroyer Vittoria, sunk by Soviet submariners, remained captured at the time of its defeat by torpedoes of a Soviet submarine. This historical event is depicted in the painting by the Soviet painters Bublikov and Gorshkov "The sinking of the Baltic fleet Panther by the submarine of the English destroyer Vittoria on Seskar Island."
The fate of the boat that sank the destroyer Vittoria turned out to be extraordinary. The Panther submarine, built at 1916 at the Noblessner shipyard in Reval (formerly Tallinn), was the only submarine in the world to take part in three wars: World War I, Civil War and World War II, they write in the LiveJournal community Picture story.
After the end of the civil war, it was used as a training ship for training submariners. In the 1922 year, the “Panther” was renamed the “Commissioner”, and then in the 1934 year - in the B-2.
In 30-s, it underwent modernization: improvements improved the survivability of the submarine, improved its seaworthiness, increased the speed of travel. In 1940, it was withdrawn from service, but the submarine continued to serve as a charging station.
During the Second World War, the boat made a military reconnaissance campaign, and on July 23, 1941 during the German raid aviation on Kronstadt, a German bomber shot down artillery fire. Subsequently, the B-2 continued to serve as a charging station.
39 for years the submarine "Panther" / "Commissioner" / B-2 was in the fighting force of the Baltic Fleet. Only in 1955, it was written off and cut into metal.