It is in this vein that people are accustomed to perceiving their heroes, with full or high confidence in the state system of distinctions and rewards! But after all, the best of the best - submariners Pyotr Grishchenko and Alexander Marinesko - remained not awarded both in fact of their heroic deed and in the future, following the results of the Great Patriotic War. Alexander Marinesko, however, received the high title of Hero of the Soviet Union ... after 45 years in the wake of public outrage and democratization of 90. But Peter Gryshchenko is not awarded so far. Needless to say, these unmarked heroes have long since passed away. But since they are not noted, various doubts and misinterpretations arise, a distrust of the purity and holiness of their feat is generated.
There are additional clarifying questions. For example, such:
- maybe the role of submarine forces in World War II was insignificant? After all, the war, though it was unprecedentedly large-scale, but is positioned mainly as a typically continental one;
- maybe the achievements and achievements of our submariners were obviously not high compared with their foreign counterparts, including the enemy?
- maybe the war is not marked at all by any noticeable, significant achievements and merits of the domestic fleet? The total number of homeland awarded with the highest award cannot help but suggest such an idea, especially in comparison with representatives of other branches of the Armed Forces.
The fact of not awarding the best of the cohort of legendary submariners will always remain the moral and moral rebuke of the current generation of compatriots, the authorities and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Reproach is no less than the realization that hundreds of thousands of soldiers of that huge war have not yet been buried. In addition, this fact can not affect the future generations of submariners and sailors.
“UNBASIC TASKS” OF STRATEGIC VALUE
What was the role of the sub-basement in that gigantic battle of the peoples that shook all humanity, the war for the very existence of civilization? If the Great Patriotic War really was predominantly the Great Continental War, as many people call it, then we should not forget that the Second World War, which began in the 1939 year, until the spring of the 1940 year was predominantly waged in the vast expanses of ocean and sea theaters. And only in the 1941 year, with the German attack on the USSR, the weight and significance of the continental war are made decisive. At the same time, the load on the fleet did not decrease after that, but, on the contrary, increased, and the war that began in the Pacific Ocean was conducted entirely on the ocean directions.
The submarine fleet of the USSR to the beginning of the war looks quite representative - 218 submarines (submarines). True in the West against Germany, which then had 142 submarines, the navy was able to concentrate no more than 124 submarines by the start of the war. In this case, the smallest number of them turned out to be in the Northern Fleet, 15 PL, although it was there that the greatest prospects opened up in the war at sea.
What was the submarine of that time?
One of the greatest authorities in the submarine war, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz pointed out: “... the sinking of two transports with a displacement of 6 thousand tons and one tanker with a displacement of 3 thousand tons deprives the enemy of at least 42 tanks8 152-mm howitzers, 88 87,6-mm guns, 40 40-mm guns, 24 armored vehicles, 50 large-caliber machine guns, 5230 tons of ammunition, 6000 rifles, 428 tons of spare parts for tanks, 2000 tons of products and equipment, 1000 cans of gasoline. To destroy this military property by bomber forces aviation it would take up to 3000 sorties ... "
Germany managed to create such serious problems for the mistress of the seas, which nearly led her to collapse. “Greatness and the fall of Britain depends on whether we will be able to keep imports at the level of 48 million tons ...” - said Churchill in the summer of 1942, speaking in parliament. At the same time, the main results in the fight against Britain were achieved precisely by submariners - in Germany the 1131 PL was built, of which 863 participated in the hostilities. They managed to sink 2759 ships with a total displacement of about 14 million gross registered tons (in total, Germany destroyed more than 19 million gross registered tons of union tonnage). For comparison: at the beginning of the war, imports were secured by the English merchant fleet in 24 million gross registered tons. In addition, the German submariners destroyed the entire Allied navy: the 2 battleship, the 5 aircraft carriers, the 5 cruisers and the 72 destroyers. Total 142 ship main classes - more than the actual forces Kriegsmarine in the best times of war. A large number of warships were damaged.
American submariners, in turn, destroyed 1178 Japanese ships with a displacement of 5,1 million gross registered tons, mainly tankers, as well as the battleship, 8 aircraft carriers, 12 cruisers, 45 destroyers, 77 anti-submarine ships and 25 submarines. In fact, the submarine forces of the US Navy cut off Japan from sources of strategic raw materials, primarily oil.
As for the Soviet submariners, they also had quite serious tasks. Not to mention the fact that in the Far East we could only oppose submarines and aircraft to the gigantic and hostile fleet of Japan. Here and today: who owns the sea - he owns the operational-strategic initiative. If we talk about the North, then during almost the entire war, along the Arctic route, important supplies of lend-lease allies went by sea. But over these communications, at least until 1944, hung the group of large German surface ships, based in Norway and including the battleships Tirpitz and Scharnhost, the heavy cruisers Admiral Scheer, etc. It suffices to note that this grouping is throughout the war, created a headache not only for us, but also for the British fleet. We could oppose to it again only submarines and partially aircraft. And no one could guarantee that the Germans would not repeat the successful analogue of the Norwegian operation in relation to our North.
However, the main activity of our submarine is probably the impact on the strategic communications of Germany. The need for iron and nickel ore was 11 million tons for it, and the supply was roughly equally divided between the North and the Baltic, depending on the season. What this meant for a country that is at war with the whole world is completely understandable. We should not disregard the convenience of supplying our troops by sea - with a certain underdevelopment of land communications in the North. Besides submarines, there was nothing to do, especially since in the Baltic the fleet until the 1944 of the year was blocked in besieged Leningrad (Kronstadt).
And some still say - the fleet in that war solved non-essential tasks ...
CONDITIONS OF COMBAT ACTIONS OF SOVIET UNDERWATERS
Special mention should be made of the conditions in which our submariners operated. This is all the more instructive because quite a few conversations have been conducted around comparative performance, which subjectively testifies, unfortunately, in favor of the enemy - German submariners. Indeed, if we talk about the best achievements, then at Kriegsmarine the score goes to many tens and even hundreds of thousands of tons of submerged tonnage, dozens of large-tonnage vessels and large surface warships, including battleships, aircraft carriers and heavy cruisers. With us, as regards numbers, everything is more modest. However, to go on about this arithmetic means to understand nothing in a naval war. Underwater war in particular.
First of all, we and Germany had completely different tasks, and the submariners operated in radically different conditions.
Underwater warfare for Germany, especially in the 1939 – 1942 years, often resembled a giant safari in the open spaces of Africa, crowded with big game hunted by hunters with large-caliber automatic weapons, put on high-speed jeeps. A rare volley on the main communications of the world did not reach the goal. Trifle here in the open ocean, rarely came across - a chronicle of the battle for the Atlantic of those days is replete with such periods as "Fatty Times", "Happy days" (as they called them submariners). No wonder the periscopes of the then returning German submarines often flew to 8 and more victorious pennants. Separate convoys of the Allies were completely torn apart by German “wolf packs”. Yes, among the German submarine commanders there were quite a few real masters of the tonnage war, and the crews were well prepared, as a rule. And it’s not worth talking about what a wonderful weapon the VII and IX series submarines were.
Quite differently was destined to fight us. Here, instead of rich in large-tonnage transports and tankers, “ocean land” had to be content with limited and to the limit sea-mounted theaters, which were filled with mines. So, on the Black Sea, the coast and the main base of which were caught up in fierce battles, in the first three years of the war, in fact, there was no sea enemy at all, and therefore no worthy targets for submarines. But the losses were - from aviation, mines, misuse and bad control of forces. The Northern Fleet entered the war in the conditions of the most severe shortage of forces: in the huge, almost ocean theater, there were only a half dozen submarines, some of which were “babies”. It was completely sparse with other classes of ships. The enemy here waged his main naval war against us and our strategic interests.
However, the most tragic situation was in the Baltic. Here, in order to reach the enemy’s communications, the submarine had to cross the 220 for miles of a deadly and extremely complex route that runs through the whole Gulf of Finland, which even at first glance, geographically, was least suitable for submarine operations. This circumstance did not fail to take advantage of the German command. In addition to the strategic minefield in advance from the shores of East Prussia across the Baltic Sea to Öland, given the abundance of shoals, treacherous currents, practical unaliened deployment routes, the Germans literally filled up the shipping part of the Gulf of Finland with thousands of mines of all types. Particular emphasis was placed on the equipment of two antisubmarine areas, Holland and Nargen-Porkalla-Uddsky, which remained in stories as a synonym for physical obstruction (in addition to several tens of thousands of mines, there were double steel nets here that stretched to the very bottom). The losses here speak for themselves: six months 1941 of the year - 19 PL, 1942 year - 11 PL, 1943 year - 5 PL. After this, it was concluded that the areas were obstructed. Total losses - 35 PL, while, recall, in the North at this time there were only 15 submarines. In just three years, the fleet on the western direction lost 75 submarines, that is, more than half of what we started with.
The submarine "C-7" was one of those that during the Great Patriotic War did not return from a military campaign in the Baltic.
As for the "prey", then, with inhuman labor, breaking through to the Baltic, our submariners were often forced to be content with "cabotage", if not schooners, scandies and other trifles. As in the Black Sea Fleet, where self-propelled landing barges are the most common target! Solid ore carriers also used a neutral flag and neutral terwoda.
It is clear that on the remaining sections of the route that were insignificant in length, it was not difficult for the Germans to organize almost impassable anti-submarine defenses. Therefore, each thousand tons of tonnage extracted here was measured at a completely different price, it was worth a lot! An exceptional feat was the very breakthrough in the Baltic and the return from there. Any appearance of our submarines there was already an unpleasant revelation for the enemy, forcing him to delay the exit of transports and convoys, change routes. A clearly constructed schedule for the supply of raw materials and supplies, troops and equipment was disrupted.
Extremely significant was the factor of the mine war, the mine danger faced by the Germans in the Baltic, and also thanks to our submariners. Having mined all the approaches and locked up the Baltic Fleet in Kronstadt, the Germans each time declared the Baltic Sea the “inland sea” of Germany. However, explosions are rattling on newly worn fairways, specially protected communications hubs, on the approaches to the most important ports and bases. The low Baltic sky is illuminated by the glow of ascended tankers who ascended to the sky, the sea greedily absorbs sinking transports with ore, troops and equipment. But the main factor is still the very mine risk factor. It is he who paralyzes the fear of the deadly uncertainty of all who have entered the most important sea roads of the Third Reich ...
Moreover, if the lot of conventional submarines were dashing torpedo and artillery attacks, then a few submarine minelayers were engaged in real fighting. It was they who, with skillful use, informed the enemy of the mine-stricken fear of mine danger, secretly penetrating its most important communications and dangerously approaching its specially protected bases. The real master of the mine war was the commander of the "L-3" captain 2 of the rank of Peter Grishchenko.
Active mine performances, namely, they are the crown of mine-defensive actions, demanded an advance filigree analysis of the situation - literally at the operational level, patient close observation of the enemy from special identified areas and, finally, sniper mine on the fairways identified, just dragged by the enemy. It was also a masterpiece of nautical art. There is no other way - even a minor error is fraught with hitting enemy minefields and dying on foreign mines. The drawing of the location of mine cans in a minefield is really a work of art, only in a different art - naval.
And now the winter all over Grishchenko scrupulously studies the lot, analyzes the reports of the submarines returning from the sea and the intelligence of the fleet headquarters. As a result, the trekking plan is born in spring. The deployment route is only a few cables from the brigade headquarters and the fleet headquarters, and the course is 0,5 – 2 degrees. And he will win and return in the fateful 1942 year, while many of his combat friends, who were literally near, the official route, will remain forever in the depths of the sea. However, Peter Grischenko was great in a torpedo attack!
In conclusion, we note that in 1945, when conditions changed dramatically, the Baltic Fleet submarines were able to penetrate the Baltic Sea freely through Finnish thermo-boats, and that, in turn, was overflowing with large-tonnage transport and large combat surface ships, decent Baltic submarines appeared “trophies” in size and importance, but there were no casualties at all. While the opposition was extremely fierce.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS
Everyone knows about the Knight's Cross, which had varying degrees. So, in order to obtain it, the submarine commander needed to sink 100 thousand of gross registered tons of merchant tonnage, or to accomplish a feat similar to Gunther Prin, or, say, to sink an aircraft carrier, battleship or several cruisers. During the war, the Knight's Cross was marked by the 122 submarine commander, of which the most productive 32 sent more than 800 ships to the bottom with a total displacement of 4,7 million gross registered tons - almost as many as the entire US submarine fleet in World War II. The first two of the first, Otto Kretchmer and Wolfgang Lut, together sank the 94 vessel with a total displacement of almost half a million tons! Needless to say, both were marked by the highest degrees of the Knight's Cross and occupied a fitting position in the Kriegsmarine hierarchy.
And what about us? If the effectiveness of the belligerents is strictly correlated with awards, only 19 people were awarded the highest title of Hero of the Soviet Union for the war, of which 17 - submarine commanders - about 0,15% of all awardees (against 2% of the Germans from the Knight Cross awards).
Based on the fact that the military achievements of two of the most productive domestic submariners are beyond doubt: Peter Grishchenko has the largest number of ships and ships sunk and Alexander Marinesko has the largest tonnage, and their tactical style is recognized as classics of the naval case - another question arises, concerning comparison. Comparison of the mechanism of awarding warring, directly located on the front line. We and the enemy. The answer is very unflattering.
It turns out that it is enough for TAM to accomplish the feat, to distinguish themselves in battles, to achieve a specific combat success, provided for by the status of the award, in order to become state-recognized and, accordingly, awarded. For this, there was absolutely no need for a routine and a series of bureaucratic perceptions and approvals, it was often enough that the report of victories from the sea was enough - and the reward followed. Often they learned about him even at sea, by radio. This exclusively stimulated the crews, commanders, giving rise to the submariners confidence in their command. No wonder Karl Doenitz enjoyed such confidence from his subordinates.
We, as it turns out, it was much more complicated. To perform an unprecedented feat and even to be the first among the heroes turned out to be clearly not enough. On the way to rewarding could stand the originality of the hero with the authorities, sympathy or antipathy towards him personally and even his objective superiority over those around him. And even more so - the independence of the thinking and judgments of the hero! And the “bosses of different things” between the belligerents and the Authority, who decides who is a hero and who is not, are many! I remember that the indecisiveness and independence in front of the authorities almost prevented Alexander Pokryshkin, the first Soviet Air Force leader, from becoming who we know him. At the same time, this comparison honors the command of the Air Force before the command of the fleet. There they were more attentive to their heroes, which means they were more jealous of the glory of aviation.
Throughout the war, Admiral Vladimir Tributs, who commanded the Baltic Fleet, would later say: “Now, in 20 years, it turned out that L-3, in terms of the amount of war tonnage sunk during the war, was ahead in the fleet (and therefore in the Navy) all but the boat commanded by A.I. Marinesco. And in the art of ship navigation and in the use of weapons, in tactics — in a word, according to all combat indicators, the L-3 had no equal. ” The only question that remains is: why did Gryshchenko, being a subordinate of Tributz the whole war, remain bypassed by the highest award of the Motherland? As well as Marinesco. After all, the sinking of Gryshchenko 18 ships and vessels was well known and confirmed during the war years, at least in the 1943 year, and certainly in the 1945 year, when the archives of Kriegsmarine were captured.
Tributs replies that Gryshchenko allegedly didn’t submit to the award his immediate superiors - the division commander and brigade commander. One might think that the fleet commander, chief of staff and the Military Council of the fleet did not know him and about his exploits ?! Amazing hardness and amazing blindness! All the more strange that his exploits in 1942 – 1943 did not leave the pages of the naval, Leningrad and army press. Without exaggeration, during this period he was one of the most popular figures in the fleet and in Leningrad. He became the literary prototype of the commander in the novel about the divers “House and Ship” by Alexander Kron. Famous naval writer and journalist Alexander Zonin won the right to go camping with him in 1942 year. He was already the first of the first: the 423 military orders and medals received by his crew, the Guards flag raised over the L-3 in the 1943 year, quite eloquently testify in favor of his unique military merit, in favor of his superiority. The Lenin Order already in 1943, on the "L-3" were awarded not only the command, but without exception, the foremen of the teams.
If to be completely consistent and fair, he fully deserved the title of Hero of the Soviet Union as a result of the 1941 campaign of the year, when in extremely unfavorable conditions “L-3” alone brought more than a quarter of the entire military success of the Baltic Fleet to the sea - others had a similar result. . So why did the best submariner not so pleased the command, however, like the second one - Alexander Marinesko? What on scales of scales of an assessment of valor overtighted - a feat or offenses? If there were any wrongdoings?
Apparently, it all began with the fact that Petr Grishchenko, being the only commander of a ship with an academic education in the Navy, refused after the academy from a high staff position, in fact, challenging many, primarily “staff” and chiefs, since the idea of military duty in the conditions of the approaching war was inextricably linked with the leading edge - the command of a warship. In addition, the development of naval thinking of Peter Denisovich, “burdened” with education, made him an undesirable witness to mistakes and mistakes of the command, including the command of the fleet. After all, he saw the war much wider and deeper than his comrades-commanders, and even immediate superiors.
A lot has been written about Gryshchenko, and many publications, voluntarily or unwittingly, relate to the history of his non-awarding. It turns out that there were denunciations here, there was a petty revenge of the chiefs stung by just remarks, there was a mean jealous envy of the magnificent Gryshchenko. Peer into his photo of the year 1942 - the time of his glory. Rare beauty captain! Clearly, it was preferred by women: after all, he was also the first of the heroes. Is it too much for one person?
As for the “hooliganism” attributed primarily to Marinesko, how can these people be judged by ordinary measures? The horror of a breakthrough to the Baltic Sea and the return of 220 lengths of fire miles (one end) up to the limit of various types of mines, crowded with steel nets and other traps of the scuba diving fairways means that on returning from a regular hike they lost their minds to go camping On “L-3” writer Alexander Zonin and the foreman of the team of radio-telegraphists “L-3”, and the commander himself had legs in a few days.
Needless to say, what was done at sea stood far beyond human capabilities, human endurance, human composure. Even by the standards of this terrible war! Most of Gryshchenko’s comrades in the 1942 campaign of the year, also great submariners and mostly marked by the high title of Hero of the Soviet Union, remained forever that year in the Baltic Sea, literally putting the bottom of the Gulf of Finland into the steel hulls of their submarines. Did you happen, reader, to stand in front of a long alley of mourning boards with their names in Sosnovy Bor? One question breaks out of the chest: who is left? But it was the best! To win and return in such conditions alive, you had to be above the best, to be absolutely first.
It would be useful to note that Peter Grishchenko achieved his unique achievements in 1942 year. Even Alexander Marinesko became a hero only in the year of 1945, when the Baltic will be crowded with large and especially large, valuable enemy targets. Hardened submariners in this final campaign did not lose a single submarine, while achieving remarkable success. In particular, the L-3 brought the combat score to 28 victories. Its commander at that time was the former assistant of Grischenko, Captain Z of the rank Vladimir Konovalov, who, by the way, was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
Today, when attempts are being made to critically evaluate the role of the command of the Soviet fleet during the Great Patriotic War, the greatness of the feat of the ship commanders (submarines), officers and sailors of their crews remains unaffected by any influence. As for the high command, it is difficult to explain and justify the heartlessness and lack of principle in the awards, indifference to people. And until they are corrected, it is difficult to talk about some kind of completion in the history of the greatest of wars. Remember, what work it cost to achieve the title of Hero of the Soviet Union for Alexander Marinesko. On the conscience of the "command" are, after all, outstanding submariners Aleksanovich, Matveyev, Afanasyev, who were bypassed by the highest award of the Motherland.
The hushing up of individual facts of the past war, their generalized and populist interpretation, play today with us is not the best joke. The most unpleasant was the fact that young people, in search of the truth and having read foreign military history literature, increasingly idealize the achievements of foreign fleets and armies, including our former adversaries, not knowing and ignoring their own! But it is not far from here and to the sheer neglect of national experience, national glory, history and national heroes.