Military Review

In the history of the fleet should not be forgotten heroes

In the history of the fleet should not be forgotten heroesIt is believed that the truth is always the first victim of war. And it is no coincidence that it is from this statement that the material has to begin. And in fact - what do we know about the role of the submarine, submariners in the Great Patriotic War? Their contribution to achieving victory? We know a little or do not even know at all. This idea is suggested by the fact that the best of the best in this unprecedentedly heroic community have not yet been named. A best in the public consciousness - it is appropriately marked homeland!

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.


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 ...


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.


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.
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  1. drop
    drop April 9 2014 08: 55
    An excellent article that raises issues of concern to all of us. I personally admire such commanders as P. Grishchenko. I myself lost my father in December 1941 in Leningrad. After reviewing the archives, he published in Yunost the story "Maskitniki" about the legendary commander of a torpedo boat, on whose account 2 Wehrmacht divisions were destroyed. (AO Shabalin) In "VO" published an article "First Attack" about him and his glorious crew. Submariners are a special class of people that Russians admire. For the submarine fleet, I personally made a lot of equipment, I went down many times during depth tests. Thanks for the raised topic. I have the honor.
    1. smile
      smile April 9 2014 10: 57
      I read your "Mosquitoes" in "Youth". Great story. Thank you very much! I am pleasantly surprised that on our site you can easily talk with people like you. :)))
  2. parusnik
    parusnik April 9 2014 09: 28
    Is it time to restore historical justice ..
  3. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk April 9 2014 09: 32
    The article leaves a very dual impression.
    On the one hand, it is absolutely rightly noted that the passage through the Gulf of Finland, which is crammed with mines, is already in itself, if not a feat, then it is extremely close to this. On the other hand, when our submarines did enter the enemy’s communications, the German cover didn’t lie nearby with powerful escorts of Atlantic convoys, against which German submariners had to act.
    I am not a specialist in WWII submarines, but I have repeatedly met allegations that our submarines were equipped with equipment much worse than German ones. Moreover, taking into account the explosive expansion of the USSR’s submarine fleets, it was hardly possible to recruit experienced personnel from somewhere. We now know for sure that our ground forces and the Air Force, for the most part, were prepared worse than the Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe (the intensity and duration of training) at the beginning of the Second World War. I don’t think that the divers were different. Nevertheless, our naval warriors went into battle and fought sparing no life.
    However, their dedication turned out to be completely insufficient to carry out the combat mission - German Baltic communications did not suffer significant damage.
    It is completely unclear why the respected author of the article refers to the German archives. In my opinion, it was precisely according to them that the L-3 submarine had in its account not 28 enemy ships and ships, but much less.
    During the command of Grishchenko:
    The Germans confirm the sinking of the "L-3" of the Swedish transport "K.F. Liljewalsh "(5.513 brt), going to Germany with a cargo of iron ore (torpedo attack), its mines blew up the sail-motor schooner Walther (177 brt) with five sailors, transport Hindenburg (7 888 brt, the steamer Edith Bosselman "(952 brt), possibly (but not the fact) transports" Grundsee "(866 brt) and" Tristan "(1.766 brt)
    During the command of Konovalov (from 9 on March 1943):
    the Albert Leo Schlagetter training ship (1.634 gross) was damaged in mines, the destroyer T-34 was killed, as well as, apparently, the Henry Lutgens transport (1.141.brt) (although it’s impossible to be sure of it with all 100% - in the area of ​​his death, mines were also laid by our aircraft)
    Well, the most famous victory was the torpedoing of the Goya transport (5.230 gross vehicle), on board of which, according to various estimates, there were more than 7 thousand people (1.500 soldiers of the 4th tank division of the Wehrmacht, 385 wounded military personnel, and the rest of the civilian refugees). The ship sank, taking with it, according to various estimates, about 7 thousands of lives; only 175 people survived on board. The death of this ship in terms of the number of victims ranks first among maritime disasters in the history of navigation, ahead of the famous "Titanic" and "William Gustlov."
    1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk April 9 2014 09: 33
      The most unpleasant thing was that young people, in search of the truth and having read foreign military-historical literature, increasingly idealized the achievements of foreign navies and armies, including our former opponents, not knowing and neglecting their own!

      The problem with our historiography is that during the years of the USSR it was customary to talk about the achievements of our Navy in excellent tones. At the same time, seditious questions come to mind of any young man who is carried away by the history of the Navy. How did the Germans, in the conditions of the domination of Soviet aviation and the Navy, manage to evacuate by sea a significant part of the troops trapped by the Red Army in the Crimea? Why did the same "Prince Eugen" shoot at our advancing troops in 1945, and what was the Baltic fleet doing at that time? Why is the fleet so badly provided the landing on the same Shumsha? And many, many others ...
      The thing is that if Soviet historiography idealized the actions of our fleet (which caused rejection), then the post-Soviet one went to the other extreme and flooded the Soviet Navy with mud to the very bottom. Neither approach is acceptable. The truth is always somewhere in between, there were victories and defeats, there were obviously illiterate actions, but there were also cleverly planned and executed operations, there was stupidity and excessive caution, but there was heroism.
      So only one thing can be said - the history of the Soviet Navy in the Second World War awaits its impartial researchers.
    2. The comment was deleted.
  4. Gomunkul
    Gomunkul April 9 2014 10: 16
    Silence of certain facts of the past war, their generalized and populist interpretation is now playing with us not the best joke
    I agree with the author that it is impossible to hush up certain facts, but we should not forget that victory was forged not only on the battlefields, but also in the rear. We know little about how this victory was won and through what difficulties and hardships the country's civilian population went through. A deep bow to everyone that we living can calmly meet every morning - dawn! Glory to the people of the winner! hi
  5. RoTTor
    RoTTor April 9 2014 12: 49
    Little about Grishchenko himself and his life and service after the Second World War
  6. Arct
    Arct April 9 2014 14: 01
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    "On the other hand, when our submarines nevertheless entered the enemy's communications, the German cover did not lie nearby with powerful escorts of Atlantic convoys, against which German submariners had to act."
    Usually I see balanced comments from Andrey. But here, either the topic is sore, or bad knowledge. In order not to indulge in idle talk, I advise you to read the memoirs of American and British escorts. They became powerful and difficult to overcome only by the 44th year, and even then, closer to the middle. The parity of 43 years arose only due to the lack of boats at Doenitz, the industry was hardly rebuilt for mass production, the training of crews was lame, the support system was only being built. And the Germans did not need to swim in "soup with dumplings", something slightly similar existed in the Faroe Shetland region, and there the Kriegsmarine's successes were very modest.
    And about the protection of the German convoys, that’s what happened. One of our boats, going to the convoy in relation to the ships of the convoy, was at best equal to a wolf pack, going to the Atlantic convoy, in relation to its protection. And the air cover of the German convoys was up to par. Plus, an important fact, a restriction on the depth of maneuvering and the possibility of a collision with the terrain, which German submariners could not bother with. Well, let's not forget about the number of convoys.
    So we will not extol the Germans and belittle ours. Their work was hellish, and those who have achieved certain successes deserve at least respect.
    P.S. And then lovers of mattresses already appeared here, who really swam in greenhouse conditions and the main problem was the limited time spent in the position. Well, there’s a separate discussion about the German archives, especially considering the fact that some of the data for the 44th and 45th years were lost and restored according to the records of officers in the 46-49th in the West. So we will not talk about the objectivity of the data provided by the West. And ours only operated on the part that fell into their hands.
    1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
      Andrei from Chelyabinsk April 9 2014 15: 53
      Quote: Arkt
      Usually I see weighted comments from Andrey. But here, either the topic is sick, or poor knowledge.

      The topic is not painful, but about knowledge - they are definitely not exhaustive. In general, this is IMHO, of course. Do you have a different point of view? Well, let's try to figure it out together. Personally, I do not miss the opportunity today to become smarter than I was yesterday :)
      Quote: Arkt
      In order not to engage in idle talk, I advise you to read the memoirs of American and English convoys. They became powerful and difficult to overcome only by the year 44, and even then, closer to the middle.

      Dear Arct, here the memoirs can play a bad joke. It is nevertheless necessary to get the number of convoys and their protection. For example, if we take "Actions of German submarines in the Second World War on sea routes, then we will see that in the same 1940 a convoy of about 40 ships was covered by 3-4 destroyers / corvettes, and this of course was not much, but already in 1941 their number increased to 7. In 1942 there were convoys of 30 ships, covered by 10 ships (4 destroyers, the rest were sloops, corvettes, etc.)
      In 1943, the total number of transports on the Atlantic routes reached 7600 units, their safety was ensured (as of 30.06.) By 75 escort aircraft carriers and 2606 escort ships of various types.
      At the same time, in 1943 and out of 7,6 thousand transports, only about 1300 went out of convoys, i.e. one convoy ship had no more than 2-3 vehicles.
      In general, I am silent about the protection of the Middle Sea and Arctic convoys - traditionally the defense was very strong there
      As a result, from February to September 1943, the German submariners sink 378 ships, but lose 160 submarines.
      Quote: Arkt
      The 43 parity of the year arose only due to the lack of boats at Doenitz

      Well, actually, in 1943, at Doenitz, there were 427 submarines in service, of which 105 was usually at sea (on average)
      And what about the Baltic? Honestly, I don’t understand at all how widespread the escort was.
      Quote: Arkt
      One of our boats, going to the convoy in relation to the ships of the convoy, was equal, at best, to a wolf pack, going to the Atlantic convoy, in relation to its protection

      Let's do something in numbers, please. For example, in 1941, one U99 attacks the convoy HX-133, in which 40 transports, 5 destroyers and 2 corvettes. She (in the water position, naturally) follows the convoy all day, at night attacks and destroys the 3 tanker and 3 vehicles. Which Baltic Fleet submarine attack should I compare with this?
      1. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
        Andrei from Chelyabinsk April 9 2014 15: 54
        Quote: Arkt
        So we will not talk about the objectivity of the data provided by the West.

        There is a practice that has long been proven itself - if you want to know your losses - study your own documents, if you want to know the losses of an adversary - study his documents. Not that they were the ultimate truth, but, on the whole, far more accurate than their reports. The history of the war at sea simply replete with bona fide delusions, this is normal, this is not a lie, it’s just that everything is different in battle
      2. The comment was deleted.
  7. mvv
    mvv April 9 2014 17: 03
    How long can you rattle the name of Marinesco in vain? Yes, a hero. Yes, a skillful officer. Yes, he is morally decayed and is not an example for subordinates. In the history textbooks the FEAT of Marinesco should take place, but the PERSONALITY of Marinesco should be forgotten. No matter how enchantingly stupid it may sound. It is NOT the time or place to fan the cry for the "humiliated and insulted". Zhukov, too, is not a fig not a gift as a person, but as a BATTLE OFFICER - a great genius. Suvorov can also be remembered in every way. But I only remember that PRINCE ITALIAN COUNT OF RYMNIKSKY.
    1. Turkir
      Turkir April 9 2014 18: 30
      Marinesco is a hero and his crew are heroes, and that’s it.
      And it is better not to write about "moral decay" at all, first of all, the envious people denounced it, moral decay, a good term, for living people, in general it never existed. And secondly, why punishing Marinesco punished his entire CREW. Also for moral decay? The wording is good, the whole crew is decomposed, morally.
      And those who like to use terms like "moral decay", in fact, never smelled gunpowder, but sat in dugouts.
      And one bastard, recently wrote in Runet, about Marinesko, that this scoundrel (!), Along with 20 crews for the Reich submarines, drowned a lot of civilians. What?
      We ourselves, by talking about "moral decay", give the 5th column the opportunity to spit on our memory, about our heroes.
      1. plut-k
        plut-k April 9 2014 19: 04
        Marinesco is a hero and his crew are heroes, and that’s it.

        I fully support, as they say, "in war as in war", but at the expense of moral decay, so look at the biographies of the greats, Tchaikovsky alone is worth what,
        however, "swan lake" on TV from morning to evening, many probably still remember.
  8. Navy7981
    Navy7981 April 9 2014 18: 02
    That's really the SERVICE! ALWAYS BEFORE the subfloor ADJECTED, in the full sense of the word. Long memory!
    Here is an example of whose lives (I mean all those who have lived a beautiful, vibrant, difficult, but insanely interesting life) we need to teach our children. Let them at least sometimes think about what is DEBT, HONOR, COURAGE.
  9. Sergei75
    Sergei75 April 9 2014 18: 35
    In general, I agree, but ... Why Alexander Marinesco was not immediately given a hero, the answer is obvious and has already been described here. I think that he himself would not want to receive a star, this is the main tragedy of Alexander Marinesco himself, and if he had a second chance, knowing who is on the "Wilhelm Gustloff" liner, he would not drown him, because there , in the overwhelming majority, there were refugees - women and children.
    He was not to blame for this tragedy, he masterfully did his job, but that made it no easier for him.
    How to live, if your conscience has several thousand innocent lives - women and children.
    And the hero was assigned to him on May 5, 1990, and now everything sounds much more tragic.
    Nobody would want to drown this ship and nobody would want to be at that time in the place of Alexander Marinesco
    1. Morgan
      Morgan April 9 2014 23: 18
      List of roll-call women and children, pliz. As well as other passengers (from the SS and the Wehrmacht, for example). Or do you think that the Nazi officials will give way to the LAST (or one of) vehicles for refugees?
    2. bbss
      bbss April 10 2014 00: 11
      I wanted, I didn’t want ... What nonsense! In the sight of enemy vehicles, drown!
      1. Morgan
        Morgan April 10 2014 11: 42
        Right. The signs of the hospital ship 'Gustlofff' did NOT carry. Marinesco had to drown him. And by the way, I don’t remember on it or there were submariners on “Goya”? Choice ogres like Lut ... negative
        1. Sergei75
          Sergei75 April 10 2014 23: 45
          I guess I did not express my point correctly.
          Suppose you are the captain of a submarine, the sea is calm and clear on a periscope and you see an enemy ship, you know for sure that it is well armed and the entire command of your enemy (executioners, rapists and murderers) is sailing on it, but .... You see that on the open decks there are a huge number of refugees, women and children, civilians. Knowing this, you will issue a volley order on this ship?
          So, Marinesco saw the ship, but he did not know who was on it and sank it.
          The tragedy is that he fulfilled his duty, destroyed the enemy, but that made it no easier for him. You represent the sensations of a man, not a machine, who returned as a hero and who BECAUSE RECOGNIZED WHO WAS on this ship.
          This raises questions of morality and accomplishment, and each person should have moral principles.
          No wonder he later drank himself up.
          Man must always remain man, even during war. And I think he remained a Man!
          Remember the monument in Treptower Park - the Warrior-Liberator, he holds in his hands a German girl, in fact the child of his enemy, whom he came to protect, and not punish.
          1. Turkir
            Turkir April 11 2014 13: 13
            Once again I write - on it were fully equipped 23 crews for submarines. Several thousand soldiers and officers.
            And this is fully described and DOCUMENTED in Crohn's book about Marinesco.
            Continuing to say the opposite means only one thing - not knowing the material you are writing about. It doesn’t reach you that the sinking of this transport saved the lives of Soviet soldiers, far exceeding the number of your civilians that you grieve for.
            Hitler waged war on the Eastern Front until the last soldier (he, unlike you, did not think about his citizens - an order to flood the Berlin metro) and without hesitation would put all these crews on submarines if they sailed to the destination port. For you, the lives of Soviet soldiers, of course, do not have the same significance as for Marinesco and for us, the patriots of our land.
            All that you wrote, sheer hypocrisy.
            Touching upon moral issues, it would be nice to know that Marinesko was fired, worked as a foreman at the Leningrad plant and in the warehouse, rusty beds were lying to no one, which he gave to homeless lenigraders. An honest supply manager is nonsense, and Marinesco until the end of his days remained an HONEST MAN, was not needed. The director told him and Marinesco ended up in prison, where he showed his character to criminals. After leaving prison, where he earned cancer, he lived with a woman who loved him and died of cancer.
            Even here, you are writing a lie.
            I am always suspicious of people speaking slogans, today they are communists, and tomorrow they are fascists. Only with Marinesco this lie will not pass.
            1. Sergei75
              Sergei75 April 11 2014 15: 42
              You do not hear!
              So, in your opinion, the life of one innocent child is worth achieving the Highest goal?
              Well then, it is clear.
              People without moral principles bombed Dresden and then dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  10. alex20081308
    alex20081308 April 9 2014 20: 50
    Follow Marinesco’s biography and you’ll realize that he didn’t participate in minefields. There are no 41 or 42 results. And at 43 he was just lucky. This is my opinion of me as a professional submariner, RPKSN senior commander, originally a torpedo.
    1. Turkir
      Turkir April 11 2014 13: 26
      His boat was locked in the besieged Leningrad. And in 45, he was unlucky, he was an Extra-professional. Even in besieged Leningrad, the crew constantly trained and the whole crew loved him very much.
      I write from memory, but I was very impressed with the essay on Marinesco written by Alexander Kron, I don’t remember which magazine.
      He personally knew Marinesco and wrote about his difficult fate in great detail, down to the smallest detail, after Marinesco’s death. Significantly, but they wanted to ban this publication! Why?
      Be sure to read and do not pay attention to the lies that are poured on him by all sorts of Ost-zey barons and even the so-called colleagues.
      And to the great malice, half-wits and unwavering, Americans call him Submariner No. 1 of the Second World War. Marinesco Hero.
  11. Artem1967
    Artem1967 April 9 2014 20: 58
    Particular emphasis was placed on the equipment of two anti-submarine areas, the Dutch and Nargen-Porkalla-Uddsky, preserved in history as a synonym for physical obstruction (in addition to several tens of thousands of mines, there were double steel nets extending to the bottom). The losses here speak for themselves: six months of 1941 - 19 submarines, 1942 - 11 submarines, 1943 - 5 submarines.

    Apparently, this refers to the Hogland anti-submarine border near the island of Hogland in the Gulf of Finland. Before the self-sacrifice of our submariners, you can only kneel. These are all heroes! The chances of surviving in the Baltic in 1941-1943 are practically zero. Shallow depths, tightness of the theater of war, enormous mine danger - everything was against them. It's time to restore justice and reward the heroes, albeit posthumously!
  12. Arct
    Arct April 9 2014 22: 56
    Andrei, I also read a lot of books with statistical data, that is, from those authors who did not want to delve into the topic and used only open data or had access to open parts of the archives. About the memoirs of the convoys, he probably put it wrong. Memoirs of specialists who, among other things, served as officers on convoy ships during the war, and worked in the archives after the end of the service. And dry statistics were diluted with the truth of life, which correlated with these statistics far in not so bright colors.
    Even from your dry numbers (with a source sign) you get one CAV per 100 transports and 1 escort ship for 3 transports. Given the average number of the Atlantic convoy of 30 ships, we get 1 CAV per 3 convoys and 10 guard ships per convoy. That is 2 out of 3 convoys without air cover. Next, the points: the numbers refer to the last quarter of 43 years; every fifth ship of the convoy was forced to return due to breakdowns (no matter for what reasons), not having completed its task; every seventh ship encountered breakdowns during the escort and, accordingly, did not fulfill its task most of the convoy time;
    the Atlantic convoys had a zone of non-aircraft cover from the coast and a zone of responsibility (American and English) - quite often, before the transfer, the convoy marched almost without cover; I don’t even want to talk about the quality of cover ships up to 44 years, especially in the English zone. And a lot of other little things that authors who love statistics do not see.
    I’m not trying to belittle the courage and skill of German submariners, I just don’t have to put some on the pedestal and belittle the merits of others.
    If we talk about ours, before the start of the 44th year, any submarine that broke into the vast expanses of the Baltic Sea appeared in an information vacuum and acted rather on a hunch, pre-war calculations and testimonies of the few who returned.
    About the comparison - I compared the level of protection of the convoy. Such gifts, as in the above example, our submariners did not have. Convoys usually dragged along the coast, which further complicated the task. Most large vessels sail under neutral flags (that is, they must not be attacked) in waters that were difficult to reach due to their autonomy. That is why the main victories occurred in 44-45 years, when the Baltic submariners got out of the soup with dumplings and began to receive information. And then nothing could prevent them. Unlike the Germans, who finally turned sour by the end of the 44th.
    Well, about 427 boats and 105 in positions, even Doenitz himself wrote. Half of our boats at the bases are ready to go and cannot go camping for six months. Of the boats at sea, a third returns, a third goes into position and only a third is ready to sink everything that swims past.
    And about the reliability of other people's data - there is a contradiction. That is, ours, it turns out, inflate victories and underestimate (hide) losses, but in the west are all white and fluffy? Isn’t such a delusion funny? Especially on the other side, the aces worked as propagandists of the war.
    By the way, there is such a thing as a register of merchant ships for each year. And if the mattress toppers were able to establish mass production of ships during the war, then the rest with this was more difficult. And the comparison of the post-war and pre-war registers quite accurately reflects the true figure of the losses of transport ships. So, if you look at these registries, a very interesting picture emerges. The ships of the German fleet, as well as the ships confiscated by them, have the year and place of death without details (Baltic Sea 1942 or Baltic Sea 1944). And these ships are not even mentioned in the archives. Here's another confirmation of the "veracity" of Western archives. The ships could die for any reason, including from the actions of Soviet submarines in the Baltic. Draw conclusions ...
  13. Morgan
    Morgan April 9 2014 23: 23
    The greatest ass Lut increasingly specialized in neutrals (ok1 / 4-1 / 3). And in the complete absence of opposition. Convoys in the Atlantic did not receive his attention.
  14. DimychDV
    DimychDV April 10 2014 04: 08
    But I stumbled upon the unique history of a Russian submariner quite by accident - this is Captain of the First Rank Mikhail Andreevich KITITSYN. The author of the material I found on the Internet claims that this commander, who fought in 1915 on the Seal submarine in the Black Sea, became practically the most effective commander of the domestic submarine in two world wars. 58 thousand tons of sunk, liquidated (say, by order of the Russians threw ashore) and prize tonnage of enemy countries for a year of hostilities. This is according to the ship's log. Exactly half of them were confirmed by the enemy, but whoever, after the World War and the Civil War, would dig in the naval archives of Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and others like them. It seems that only Lunin in the Great Patriotic War sank something with a tonnage of 60 thousand tons or in total? ...
    In a word, Kititsyn had all the available awards of the Empire - military and staff -, and in 1917 he turned out to be a teacher of the Naval Cadet Corps and with a team of cadets underwent practical training on the training cruiser Oryol in Vladivostok. Here he was found by the Civil War. In April 1919, he and his cadets were ordered to land in Lashkevich Bay near Nakhodka (America Gulf, near the mouth of the Suchan) and to unblock a ground detachment of 2000 white bayonets, which were blocked by partisans in Vladimir-Alexandrovsky. The attempted landing of the partisans, who apparently had intelligence sources in Vladivostok, was suppressed by sniper fire on the petty officers. Kititsyn turned the landing: I did not agree to expose my cadets to the bullets of the taiga hunters. A week later, another group of ships came (the midshipmen were assigned to ship positions), and volunteer punishers from the Russian Island landed under the cover of the main caliber of the British cruiser "Kent", moved to Nakhodka, where they shot four members of the village council, caught and shot a partisan scout and agitator ... And whether they drove the partisans away or not - history is silent. It was rumored that ALL the infantry, as well as the specialist sailors, who were caught on the Russian island in 1922, were tied to grate bars and sent overboard alive. Anyone who wanted to leave with him by sea, Admiral Stark took with him - mainly to Shanghai. He requisitioned practically the entire merchant and military fleet of the Pacific Ocean and left Soviet Russia without him.
    By 1920, M.A.Kititsyn reached the Crimea, and from there with Wrangel left during the evacuation (or earlier, it is unclear). Until 1928, he was engaged in the training of naval cadets in Bizert, and having passed the last graduation, he left for America. There, according to indirect information, for some time even interacted with Sikorsky. He died in Florida in 1960, having lived a family life with some American. There are pictures on the web, but I can’t insert them all here.
    1. drop
      drop April 10 2014 08: 03
      Dear Dmitry, about the same fate has developed with the chief officer of the submarine "Crocodile". What a pity these talented officers who were ruined by the Emperor of Russia. Something similar will happen now with the officers of the Military District of Ukraine. I have the honor
  15. rubin6286
    rubin6286 April 11 2014 10: 15
    I agree with the author of the article and a number of comments, but listing the sunken ships and tonnage does not give a complete picture of the horrors of war at sea and underwater war, in particular. Everything happens in life, but in war, in an extreme situation, courage, cowardice, skill, inability, careerism, self-sacrifice, nobility and hatred, responsibility and formalism are most clearly manifested. There are a lot of books in my home memoir library, including and on marine topics, but a holistic book, reflecting not only the heroism and features of the campaigns, but also the life of the crews, the mood of the people, their dedicated work has not yet been written. I think because those who could write about it died in that terrible and brutal war.

    Now, in separate works, information reaches us, sometimes throwing us in surprise and confusion. I will not list the authors of publications, but I will share what I recently learned myself:

    • Submarines of the Northern Fleet, on average, made about 4 outings during the war. The greatest success was achieved by C-56 under the command of G.I.Shchedrin;
    • On the eve of the war, most Soviet submarines did not have sonar equipment. Poor workmanship, structural and manufacturing defects, poor coordination and training of crews, and low level of commanders exacerbated the situation. A submarine, in this case, did not turn into a submarine, but into a “briefly and shallow diving” ship, sailing on which in itself was a great danger;
    • In the north, boats returning from the campaign were seriously damaged. The crews took an active part in the restoration, since there were not enough forces and facilities on the shore for this;

    Marinesco was good at sea, but on the shore he delivered a "headache" to the fleet command. It was for this that he was not introduced to the title of Hero, although he sank the most Soviet submariners by tonnage.
    There are always those who are lucky in any business. I believe that the commander of the submarine Grishchenko was lucky to stay alive, to go through the network fence and minefields literally over the heads of the fallen comrades. What kind of campaign was this, one can imagine if “on returning from the next campaign, writer Alexander Zonin and the foreman of the radio telegraph team“ L-3 ”, who went on a campaign on L-3, lost their minds and his legs were taken away after a few days” .
    1. Turkir
      Turkir April 11 2014 13: 34
      Marinesco was good at sea, but on the shore he delivered a "headache" to the fleet command. It was for this that he was not introduced to the title of Hero, although he sank the most Soviet submariners by tonnage.

      sunk more than all Soviet submariners.
      - I am very grateful to you for mentioning this, this is a key phrase.
      Marinesco was very worried that his whole crew suffered because of him, they were deprived of all the awards. Please note: not for yourself, but for your team.
      And this is "moral decay"?
      I completely forgot - Hitler declared Marinesco his personal enemy No. 1 !!!
  16. Turkir
    Turkir April 11 2014 14: 33
    At this link you can download the book by Alexander Kron "Sea Captain" and get acquainted with the present, alive marinescorather than a castrated poster hero. A hero and an honest man.
    1. rubin6286
      rubin6286 April 11 2014 21: 48
      I, of course, read this book and even presented it to my friend, the commander of the KBF submarine. With all due respect to the military prowess of Captain 3rd Rank Marinesco, I believe that he still got off lightly. They did not fight for awards and for refusing to go into battle, the entire crew of his boat could go to death or to a penal battalion together with their commander. A front-line pilot told me how, on the Kursk Bulge, in one of the regiments, after 5 sorties a day, exhausted pilots refused to fly for the sixth time. The command was shot, and the rest in full force in the infantry in the penal battalion and the whole regiment then lay down. If my memory serves me correctly, in the "perestroika" years they wrote about it in "Ogonyok". In peacetime, it is customary to reason, to be kind, gentle and sentimental. Like A. Kron, in a war there is no time for this - "the order must be carried out unquestioningly, exactly and on time!"
      On the site "kruzzz military literature" you can read the book by Miroslav Morozov
      "Submarines of the USSR Navy in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Chronicle of military campaigns. Part 3. Northern Fleet". I think that it will be interesting for you.
      Regards, Rubin 6286.
      1. Turkir
        Turkir April 27 2014 21: 43
        A front-line pilot told me how on the Kursk, in one of the regiments, after 5 sorties in a day, the tormented pilots refused to fly for the sixth time. The command was shot, and the rest in full force in the infantry in the penal battalion and the whole regiment then lay down.

        No wonder we had such losses. High-class specialists, pilots in the infantry (!), And infantry on airplanes? Or the NKVD fly skillfully? And how much time did they prepare new pilots? Rationally?
        With all due respect to the military prowess of Captain 3rd Rank Marinesco, I believe that he still got off easily

        There is a logical discrepancy in your phrase - "with all due respect" and "got off easy." Not quite clear. What order did Marinesco not follow?
        For example, I drew attention to another aspect in the book of Crohn, saviv, this feeling is inherent only to small and flawed people, and even during the war and colleagues.
        Thank you for the title of the book.