By mid-August 1941, the situation on the fronts was becoming more difficult. On the northern front of the Red Army, Tallinn had to be left, the fascists broke through the Luga line of defense and were rapidly advancing towards Leningrad. Under these conditions, the Supreme Commander’s Headquarters decided to reorganize the Northern Front and create two separate fronts on this bridgehead. One - to protect Leningrad, the other, Karelian, - to protect the northern borders of the country. The length of the Karelian front was fantastic - more than 1500 km.
Lieutenant-General Valerian Alexandrovich Frolov knew the northern parts of the country well. In peacetime, he devoted much of his strength to the creation of fortified areas of this region. Therefore, when creating the Karelian front 23 of August 1941 of the year, the Supreme Commander of the Red Army I.V. Stalin had no doubts about the appointment of V.A. Frolov commander of this front.
German troops near Leningrad at that moment were moving towards the city at a speed of more than 30 km per day. Finnish troops, fulfilling the tasks set by Hitler, also rapidly occupied the territory of the northern part of the USSR. According to the plans of fascist Germany, when, for a number of reasons, Finland became a “axis” country, it was assigned the role of a deep seizure of the north of the USSR. According to this plan, on the very eve of World War II 16 Finnish saboteurs, dressed in German uniform and trained by German intelligence officer Major Scheler, landed in the area of 6-th gate of the White Sea Canal to undermine the dams to destroy the canal and stop the wiring of warships from Baltic to the Northern Fleet . Through the efforts of the militarized guard of the canal, testers of the radio engineering system of one of the scientific research institutes of Leningrad, who carried out research work there, and four prisoners — these were students assigned to support equipment tests — the saboteurs were destroyed. The landing of saboteurs was made from two non-115 hydroplanes launched from the Finnish Lake Oulujärvi. While the units of the Red Army of the Karelian Front were holding back the attack of the Finnish troops, the passage of submarines, patrol boats, torpedo boats and auxiliary ships went through the canal day and night. Although the nights in this region during this period of the year could be considered conditional. The “white nights” period continued.
The destruction of a group of saboteurs forced the fascist and Finnish command to look for new ways to destroy the White Sea Canal. The limited armament and small number of units of the Karelian Front did not allow for the timely establishment of the air defense of the channel. Therefore, the Ju-88A group of aircraft KGr 806 squadrons began to appear freely above the channel, they were based on the airfields of Utti and Malmi in southern Finland. By a lucky coincidence, the raids did not cause catastrophic destruction to the buildings of the White Sea Canal, therefore workers of all services managed to carry out restoration work and continue to escort ships.
With one of the raids on the gateway №9, the bomb dropped from the lead bomber did not hit the gateway, but into the concrete abutment. The explosion on a solid concrete plane turned upward. He hooked the plane, and Ju-88A fell apart. The bomber was piloted by Chief Lieutenant Eming, whose certificate was obtained by the specialists of the channel from the wreckage of the Junkers.
By this time, evacuation transportation through the canal of civilians of Karelia, specialists and equipment of individual enterprises of the republic had already begun. The Povenets shipyard, which was equipped with good equipment, was evacuated in full force. At the plant in the pre-war period after the end of navigation, dozens of ships of the White Sea-Onega Shipping Company were repaired. The Povenets part of the locks and canal dams was urgently equipped with anti-aircraft installations.
People's Commissar of the river fleet country Z.A. Shashkov especially noted the prowess of Karelian watermen. In his orders of that time, one can find such formulations: “The Management Team of the Way of the White Sea-Baltic Canal named after I.V. Stalin, with the active participation of the leaders of the White Sea-Onego Shipping Company, in difficult conditions, in an extremely short time, completed the most difficult production task ... "Channel workers were awarded the signs" Excellence in Socialist Competition of the People’s Commissariat for Sea Fleet. "
After heavy fighting, the Red Army units of October 1 1941 of the year were forced to leave Petrozavodsk, and began to withdraw to the north. A few days later, the front command created the Medvezhiegorsk task force, whose headquarters since 20 in October 1941 was located in Medvezhegorsk. In this area there were four partisan units. But the enemy in this area was superior to Red Army units in numbers by more than 3 times, and by armament - by 6 times.
The persistence with which the Finnish units rushed to Medvezhiegorsk, was understandable to the headquarters of the Karelian Front. But there was nothing to hold back this enemy attack, there were no reserves. According to the plan, which was agreed upon by fascist Germany, the Finnish troops, capturing Medvezhiegorsk and Povenets, were to rise along the channel to the Sea Maselge and further to Sumsky Posad. On the White Sea coast, fascists and Finns hoped to close the ring around northern Karelia and cut the way from the Kola Peninsula to the central regions of the USSR. Evaluating the current situation, the front command, with the involvement of individual hydraulic engineering specialists of the White Sea Channel, observing strict secrecy mined the locks from the first to the sixth, as well as the dam in the area of the seventh lock. The charges were laid in specially prepared holes. The watershed level at the dam and Lake Onega was more than 80 meters. Hydrotechnical specialists were well aware that if the plan was carried out, the Povenets village would be washed away into the lake. In mid-December 1941, the White Sea Canal began to freeze, and on December 5, Finnish units broke into Medvezhiegorsk. The days of fighting for this northern city, which changed hands several times, cost the Finns irretrievable losses to more than 600 soldiers. The command of the Karelian Front explained such sacrifices very simply - the enemy was climbing into firing points in a drunken state. Finnish troops led by Mannerheim and Ryti celebrated "Independence Day". In 1918, that day Finland seceded from Russia on the basis of a decree of the Soviet government.
Led the operation to destroy the Finns in Medvezhegorsk commander 313-th division Grigory V. Golovanov. The surviving fighters and commanders of the 126 and 131 regiments carried out his plan. This battle in Medvezhiegorsk was instrumental in the defense of the approaches to the White Sea Canal. The troops of the advancing Finns were divided into three groups, and a significant part of their GV. Golovanov threw off-road to the northeast of the city. Part of the troops of the Medvezhyegorsk operative group departed through the fur farms, along the shores of Lake Onega and around the area. The troops were transported across the canal to the delivered barges and the locks' gates. We managed to withdraw not only all troops and equipment, but also to evacuate the remaining civilians. Troops retreated to the area Pudozh. In the morning of December 7, the last units of the Red Army left Povenets, and the armored battalion of the Finnish army entered the village. In the afternoon of December 7, at 14, the sappers blew up the gateway of the #6 gateway. This was done to prevent the part of the Finnish army from speeding up the channel. After the withdrawal of all units of the Red Army to the lines established by the headquarters of the Karelian Front, dam No. XXUMX and gateway No. XXUMX were alternately blown up. The command order was executed on 20 December 7 of the year.
Water Volozero poured Povenets at air temperature, which reached minus 37 degrees. The ice shaft washed away everything in its path for three days. What the fascists and the leadership of Finland, led by Risto Ryti and Mannerheim, tried to do in June 1941, they received in December 1941. At this point, previously working specialists at the White Sea Channel of 800 continued to fulfill their 80 duties. Only 8 specialists remained in the office of Povenetsky and Onega technical departments. The blasting operations were carried out personally by the heads of the sluices, the dam was blown up - the deputy head of the “Hydraulic Department of the Canal” and the sappers of the Medvezhiegorsk operative group of the Karelian Front assigned to them. This was explained by the fact that only the heads of gateways competently knew the hydrotechnical features of the equipment of the objects entrusted to them.
The leadership of the Narkomrefflot of the country already at that time considered that specialists under the guidance of the heads of the gateways would have to restore the locks and the canal. This is how, at the very beginning of the war, selfless and dedicated leaders were valued. A different picture was in a number of other regions of the country, where the sappers of the active army carried out the destruction of factories, bridges and other objects. If the withdrawal of parts of the Karelian front to new positions was carried out under the control of the command, then another picture took shape at the end of November 1941 on the raid of Povenets. Dozens of shipping vessels, having received no indication of the place of wintering, arrived in Povenets. Here the teams were captured by the Finns and many were shot.
The actions of the Soviet government with the participation of the United States and Britain forcing the Finnish government to cease hostilities against the USSR continued from the very beginning of the war. However, the agreements signed with Hitler were more valuable to the Finns than those offered by the USSR and its allies. Therefore, the last step remains - to declare war on Finland.
December 6 1941 of Finland declares war on the UK, December 7 1941 of the year - Canada and New Zealand, December 9 of the year 1941 - Australia and South Africa. The US abstained from declaring war. But in the warnings that came to the Finnish top leadership, it was hinted that in the event of continued hostilities against the USSR it would be declared war criminals after the defeat of Germany. They are waiting for the trial and execution. For a number of reasons, the Karelian front after 11 December 1941 of the year became stable. Until 1944, troops remained in the positions they occupied on December 11 1941.
The destruction of enemy units by a water stream as a result of a dam explosion was the only and effective for the entire period of the Great Patriotic War and only on the Karelian front.
PS General V.A. Frolov has passed the glorious path of the defender of our Fatherland. He was born in Petrograd in 1895, died 6 in January 1961, was buried in Leningrad.
In March, 1942, the country's Commissarreflot was decided to restore the White Sea Canal. 22 On June 1944, the village of Povenets was liberated and the southern section of the channel was cleared of Finns. The movement of ships through the White Sea Canal was restored already in 1946. This is how our grandfathers and fathers worked to restore the economy destroyed by the fascists.
Mannerheim and Ryti escaped the trial as war criminals, which is a pity. They were spared I.V. Stalin. On their hands are the blood of hundreds of thousands of our compatriots and the terrible blockade of Leningrad. If they did not join the war on the side of fascist Germany, the Murmansk-Leningrad railway could operate, and the city would avoid a blockade.