I am standing on the old concrete pier of the Finnish port of Gange. It was from here that Russian submarines left for the sea on their very first military campaigns. Then, in 1914, as, however, even now is the Gange, known to us thanks to the historic victory of the Russian fleet over the Swedes, like Gangut, was a cozy resort town. And few people knew that the 1st submarine division was based here, which included the very modern and formidable at that time submarines Bars, Vepr and Cheetah. On the other side of the Gulf of Finland, in Revel, there was a 2nd division (Tiger, Lioness and Panther). Both divisions were part of the Baltic submarine division, the main task of which was to cover the sea approaches to the capital of the empire.
Before the outbreak of World War, none of the sea powers had any real experience in the combat use of submarines. And because the tactics of their actions was very primitive.
With the beginning of the war it was supposed to bring submarines into the Gulf of Finland, arrange them in anchors in a staggered manner and wait for the enemy to approach. That boat enters the battle near which the enemy ships will pass.
In fact, it was a kind of moving minefield filled with people and torpedoes.
In 1909, Maritime Academy lecturer (later known military theorist, rear admiral) A.D. Bubnov wrote that boats in the future war would carry out positional service on their shores, "as peculiar mine cans ... Their only advantage, compared with ordinary mine cans, is that it is almost impossible to remove them from position before the arrival of the squadron, but, on the other hand, the ship has against their weapons — nets that it does not have against the mines. ”
This is exactly how the submariners of the 1-division found the beginning of the war: they left the Gulf of Finland and anchored, waiting for the enemy. But two years ago, in 1912, Russian submarines took part in naval maneuvers in the Baltic and successfully attacked the cruisers, breaking through the escort from the destroyers. However, almost no one thought seriously about the attack of a moving target and actions against merchant ships. It was believed that, at best, the submarine would be able to attack an enemy ship anchored. That is how the German U-9 submarine sank three English cruisers in the North Sea: Hogh, Abukir and Cressy in just a few hours. Those were anchored in the open sea without escort. And the German submariners, as in the dash, alternately torpedoed all three ships. It was a serious claim that, from now on, in the struggle on the seas, a new formidable weapon appeared - a submarine. Russian sailors also experienced his insidious power in the very first month of the war. On the approach to Revel the cruiser Pallas was torpedoed. It detonated artillery mounds and the ship sank in minutes. No one was left alive. They began to look at submarines as full-fledged warships, and very soon the tactics of waiting for the enemy were replaced with active actions: raids to the shores of the enemy and the hunt for his ships. So, already 7 September submarine "Shark" under the command of Lieutenant Nikolai Hudyma went on a campaign to Dagerort to search for the enemy. The commander was in no hurry to return to the base, and at his own risk he moved to the shores of Sweden, from which transports with ore regularly went to Germany. The next day, the signalman discovered the two-pipe German cruiser Amazon. He was guarded by two destroyers. Humming gave a volley from the cable in 7, but the Germans managed to see the trail of the torpedo and left for the island of Gotska-Sande. So the first attack of the Russian submariners in the Baltic took place.
And if in the 1914 year, Russian submariners managed to make all 18 trips before the winter freeze-up, then in the next one - almost five times more. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to open a truly combat account. None of the torpedo attacks of 1915 of the year have been crowned with success. The fact is that Russian torpedoes could not withstand immersion to great depths. However, the submariners captured two enemy steamers with cargo.
“The first half of the 1915 campaign of the year,” as a participant in the events of the military naval officer, fleet historian A.V. Tomashevich, - is characterized by very active actions of Russian submarines against the German fleet, which was aimed at blocking the outputs of the Russian fleet in the Baltic Sea. Russian submarines captured several enemy ships and, with their presence, had a great influence on the course of operations of the German fleet, disrupting a number of its operations. As a result, the enemy could not expand the planned plan of operations in the northern part of the Baltic Sea. ”
It was the year when the commanders of Russian submarines under combat conditions worked out tactics of underwater attacks, maneuvering and reconnaissance from a complete zero. After all, there were no combat documents, except the instructions of the position service. The experience was given a deadly risk and desperate courage.
The watch officer of the submarine “Wolf”, Lieutenant V. Podnier, wrote: “We, the officers, are calm in appearance in the mess room and only occasionally throw over the phrases. Each of us has a thought in the same direction: I want to think things over, take into account and take into account all sorts of accidents. Everyone offers some combination. We speak in hints, in one or two phrases, but the thought becomes clear to everyone immediately. We look at the map, and the commander, collecting all opinions, does not leave a single one unanalyzed, not subjected to all-round criticism. What a wonderful and perfect school! The theory is immediately verified by practice, and by what practice! The human mind is refined to the limit. We have to remember that our own and many other lives are at stake. Misfortune can occur from the slightest misstep man. Needless to say about the mechanisms: their malfunction or just a bad action threatens serious consequences. And that is why they are subject to constant inspections and inspections. ”
30 April 1915, the submarine "Dragon" under the command of Lieutenant N. Ilinsky discovered the German cruiser in the escort of the destroyers. The boat was also discovered and subjected to artillery shelling and harassment. Skillfully dodging, the commander of the “Dragon” at this time was directing the boat not by tearing off, but toward a rapprochement course, in order to determine the elements of the main target movement and attack it, for which he managed to raise the periscope several times. He avoided the danger of a ram and at the same time fired a torpedo at the cruiser. In the boat clearly heard the explosion. After some time, having risen again to the periscope depth, and finding another cruiser, Ilinsky attacked him. The torpedo passed near the ship, which forced him to leave the area.
A little later, in May, the Baltic Fleet spread the news about the daring attack of the German squadron by the Okun submarine. She was commanded by one of the first submarine officers, Lieutenant Vasily Merkushev. While at sea, he met 10 of German battleships and cruisers marching under the guard of destroyers.
It was almost a suicide attack. But Merkushev broke through the line of protection and lay down on the combat course, choosing one of the largest ships.
But with the battleship noticed a periscope and immediately, giving full speed, a heavy ship went to a ram. The distance was too small, and the death of "Perch" seemed inevitable. All decided seconds.
"Boatswain, dive to the depth of 40 feet!" As soon as Merkushev managed to give this command, the boat began to fall on board - the battleship crushed it under him. Only the commander’s composure and excellent crew training allowed him to wriggle out from under the bottom of the dreadnought and go into the depths with a bent periscope. But even in this position, the Perch managed to release two torpedoes, and an explosion of one of them was clearly heard. The German flagship, not wanting to risk big ships, thought it good to return to base. Exit squadron was frustrated! "Perch" came to Revel with a bent "verb" periscope. But come. For this dashing attack, Lieutenant Merkushev was rewarded with St. George’s weapons.
So, already in 1915, the headquarters of the commander of the Baltic Sea naval forces recognized: “Now, when discussing future operations, everything has to be based on the properties of submarines.”
But let us return to Ganga ... Knights once lived in local castles ... Centuries later, at the height of the First World War, knights again came here - knights of the deep sea. Most of the officers of this detachment of Russian submariners in the family noble emblems actually had knightly helmets, such as the senior officer of the submarine “Wolf”, midshipman Alexander Bakhtin: black eagle wing ... "- says the ancient" Armorial. " Or in the family coat of arms of the wife of midshipman Bakhtin - Olga Bukreeva - the shield is crowned with the same crown with a raised hand, chained in armor. In his hand - a black sword ...
However, even if they didn’t have these noble regalia (for which they had to pay bitterly later), they were still knights - in their spirit, in their mental outlook ...
When the submarine "Cheetah" was leaving on his last trip, the officers presented the basket of white chrysanthemums to the wife of his comrade. “According to them you will know that we are alive and that we are fine. After all, they will not wither until our return ... ". Chrysanthemums were long. They didn’t fade even when all the terms of the “Cheetah” return home were out. They stood by Olga Petrovna even when the order for the division of submarines declared the crew of the Cheetah to be killed ... And Bakhtin saved the fate, preparing him for glorious deeds.
It was he and his fellows on the submarine "Wolf" who managed to open a combat account of the Baltic submariners, and then, in 1919, and the combat score of the Soviet submariners (the Red Army officer Bakhtin then commanded the Panther).
By the beginning of the 1916, the Russian submarine fleet received new torpedoes of improved quality and new submarines. May 15 from Revel submarine "Wolf" went on a march to the shores of the "Swedish Manchester" - the port of Norrköping. It was the first trip for the crew, which had never been in combat alterations, and therefore the commander of the ship, Senior Lieutenant Ivan Messer was extremely strict and cautious.
In the area of combat patrols, the Wolf tracked down German transport Hera, loaded with Swedish ore, and sank it, observing all the norms of the then international law — that is, surfaced, allowed the crew to leave the ship in boats, and only then torpedoed.
A little later, the Russian submariners stopped another German steamer, the Kalga. Despite the fact that a periscope of an enemy submarine was noticed nearby, Senior Lieutenant Messer attempted to stop the ship with warning shots from a cannon. But “Kalga”, barely shooting stopped, added speed. The torpedo, aptly released by the "Wolf", got, as the sailors say, "under the pipe." The ship began to sink, but the crew managed to get into the boats. "Wolf" hurried to intercept the third German steamer - "Bianca". Her captain did not tempt fate, quickly fulfilled all the requirements. Just as the last boat had fallen off the side, the torpedo raised a column of water and smoke. On the vessel the whistle was jammed, and the “Bianca” went under water with a prolonged howl ... The Swedes who came up picked up people from the boats. The Germans for a long time delayed the exit of their ships from the Swedish ports. Senior Lieutenant Ivan Messer successfully solved the task of interrupting enemy communications. So for one campaign, the Wolf produced a record tonnage in a year and a half of the war.
Here is how one episode of this raid describes Lieutenant Vladimir Poderny:
“... Having taken the convolutions of the maps, the German captain rolled off from the board and went to us. When he was quite distant from the steamer, we, aiming, released a mine.
On the surface of the water immediately marked a sharp white stripe, all growing towards the ship. The Germans, too, noticed her and stood up in boats, watching the last minutes of his steamer.
This moment of approaching the mine to its goal is particularly exciting and even, I would say, delivers some keen pleasure.
Something powerful, almost conscious, expensive and artistic in its performance, rushing at the enemy with terrible speed. Here "it" is already close, but the ship is still safe and sound - it is still alive, quite healthy. A precisely-fitted machine spins in it, steam comes through the pipes, the holds are neatly loaded with cargo, the human genius is visible in everything, who has adapted and subdued these forces to overcome the elements. But suddenly a terrible explosion of another, even more powerful weapon, invented for the struggle between people - and it's all over! Everything mixed up: steel sheets are torn, iron beams burst under pressure, an enormous hole is formed, and the water, winning its rights, finishes the wounded man and absorbs the proud work of human hands in the abyss.
There was an explosion, - a column of water and black smoke rose, fragments of various objects flew into the air, and the ship, immediately stern, began its agony.
I saw at that moment how the German captain, who was on the boat, turned away and closed his hand. Maybe he was afraid that some fragments would fall into him? But no, the boat was far from the steamer; we, the sailors, understand what it means to see the death of our ship.
Seven minutes after the explosion of the boilers, the steamer, having reared its nose upward, swiftly went to the bottom. Sea, having closed over the place of death, still welcomingly ruffled, glinting in the sun.
It’s time to move on - an hour is not even, some other enemy will appear on the horizon and open us up. ”
Of course, not always underwater trips were bloodless. Lieutenant Alexander Zernin kept detailed diaries of their campaigns. In the summer of 1917, he wrote in his notebook:
“I woke up from the fact that a teapot put by someone on the navigator table spilled on my head. Books, a protractor, compasses, rulers, and other navigator belongings fell down after him. I immediately jumped up and, in order to stay on my feet, I had to grab onto the buffet cupboard, from which the poorly fixed dishes had already poured. The boat with a strong bow on the bow went into the depths. Both doors in the central post swung open by themselves, and I saw a cascade of water pouring out of the exit hatch through the conning tower to the central post. Behind me, at the opposite door, two captive captains, with their mouths open and faces as pale as a sheet, looked ahead.
- Electromotors full speed ahead! - shouted the commander nervously. - Is not it ready? Hurry up!
A few drenched people jumped down. The entrance cover, overwhelmed by the wave, was hardly closed when it was already under water. Motorists bustled around the diesel engines and, barely maintaining their balance, separated the clutch connecting the diesel engine with electric motors during charging. At this moment, a strange buzz flashed along the entire boat and, passing over the immersed nose, passed from one side to another.
- Past! Cried a few voices.
“The electric motors are full speed ahead! ..” the commander shouted excitedly, and the electricians, who had gripped the switches for a long time in their hands, locked them to full speed.
The mine engineer Biryukov, who was standing at the conversion coupling, made the last turn at her moment and wanted to take the lever out of the socket. The disconnected clutch spun on the shaft, and the lever struck Biryukov in the stomach with a sweep. He fell, not having time to shout, but, having yet managed to pull out the ill-fated lever, which, remaining in place, could thwart the entire movement. The boat, taking the course, finally leveled out at depth, and a minute over our head, boiling with screws, slipped the German destroyer.
“Dive into the 100 foot,” the commander ordered the horizontal helmsman. Steering motors screamed, and the depth gauge began to fall down under the eyes of people crowded in the central post, eagerly gazing at it. Going over the designated limit, she slowly returned to the indicated figure and the boat went to a hundred-foot depth.
Biryukov, lying unconscious, was transferred to his bed and examined. According to signs that left no doubt, the paramedic identified a hemorrhage in the abdomen that threatened inevitable death. Some time later, Biryukov groaned and regained consciousness. Unhappy asked to drink all the time and really wanted milk. He was diluted in canned water, trying to create the illusion of the present. He had the strength to pass several times, stooping and stumbling, arm in arm with the paramedic in the latrine, but he soon fell down and, moaning for another day, died the next night.
Wrapping the flag of St. Andrew, he was left to lie on his bed, tightening it with a sheet. The commander did not want to use his right to lower him into the sea, but decided to take him to Revel in order to bury him with all the honors appropriate to the hero. ”
A lot of heroic deeds were carried out by submarine officers of the Black Sea Fleet. The submarine Seal, commanded by Lieutenant Mikhail Kititsyn 1 on April 1916, torpedoed the Austro-Hungarian steamer Dubrovnik. In late May, the same boat, cruising off the Bulgarian shores, destroyed four enemy sailing schooners, and delivered one schooner in tow to Sevastopol. For successful exploration off the coast of Varna and in the aggregate of all victories Kititsyn, the first of Russian submariners, was awarded the Order of St. George. And then he received the St. George weapon for the battle with the armed enemy ship Rodosto, which he managed to capture and bring to Sevastopol as a trophy.
Mikhail Aleksandrovich Kititsyn is recognized as one of the most successful submariners of the Russian Imperial Navy: he won 36 victories, sinking the gross gross tonnage 8973 vessels of gross registered tons.
After the revolution, the submarine hero chose the White Fleet. Died in Florida, 1960.
Following the "Seal" and the submarine "Morzh" captured and led to the port of Sevastopol Turkish brig "Belguzar", heading to Constantinople. In the autumn, the submarine Narwhal attacked a Turkish military ship with a displacement of about 4 thousand tons and forced it to be thrown ashore. Several enemy ships were on the combat count of the Kashalot and Nerpa submarines.
In the evening of April 27, 1917, the Walrus went out of Sevastopol on his last battle trip. Its commander, Senior Lieutenant A. Gadon, conceived an odious thing: to secretly enter the Bosphorus Strait and sink there the German-Turkish battleship Geben. However, he failed to do this. The boat was spotted from the coastal battery Akchakoja and fired from guns. Turkish gunners reported that they had observed a cloud of smoke over the chopping of a Russian submarine. But the exact circumstances of the death of "Walrus" are not known until now. According to one version - the boat hit a minefield in front of the entrance to the Bosphorus. Sea threw corpses of several submariners. The Germans buried them on the territory of the Russian embassy in Buyuk-Dere. (The author of these lines had a chance to open in 90-e years a modest monument to the submariners of the “Morges” in Istanbul, just opposite the place where “Geben” stood in 1917 year).
According to other sources, the crew of the Morzah took on the battle with the airplanes and was sunk by their bombs.
Creation and military operations in 1915 — 1917, the world's first underwater layer “Krab”, designed by M. Naletov, a truly original ship of the Russian Navy, can be called an epoch-making event in the history of world submarine shipbuilding.
The Crab, commanded by Captain 2 Rank Leo Fenshaw, successfully performed critical combat missions. It is known that in August 1914 of the year German ships arrived in Constantinople - the battle cruiser “Goeben” and the light cruiser “Breslau”, which were soon transferred to Turkey and became part of its fleet. When the newly-built and still incapable Russian battleship "Empress Maria" was preparing to go from Nikolaev to Sevastopol, it was necessary to cover the battleship from the attacks of "Geben" and "Breslau". It was then that the idea arose of blocking the exit of these ships to the Black Sea, secretly setting up a minefield at the Bosporus. This task was brilliantly solved by the "Crab". Together with the ships of the Black Sea Fleet that had been put there by minefields, a serious obstacle was created for the breakthrough of the most dangerous German-Turkish ships. At the first attempt to exit the Bosphorus, Breslau blew up on mines and almost died. It happened 5 July 1915 of the year. Since then, neither Breslau nor Goeben have attempted to break into the Black Sea.
“Crab” repeatedly performed even more complex mine productions, which were highly appreciated by the Black Sea Fleet Commander Admiral A. Kolchak: “Due to the difficulty of the installation, which demanded accuracy of the calculation, since the distance between the coast and the Bulgarian barrier does not exceed one mile, performance of the task assigned to him by the Crab, in spite of a number of previous failures, by an extraordinary feat. ”
The submarines of the Russian fleet, if we turn to the absolute figures of the sunk ships and tonnage, were less effective compared to the German ones. But after all, their tasks were completely different. And the closed sea theaters to which the Baltic and Black Sea fleets were doomed were no match for the ocean ones. Nevertheless, when in 1917, the opportunity to reach the Atlantic Ocean presented itself, the Russian submariners did not blunder there either.
So, a small - coastal action - the submarine "St. George", built by the Russian order in Italy - made an ocean voyage. It was the first in the history of the domestic submarine fleet. And what a swim!
A dozen sailors, led by Senior Lieutenant Ivan Riznich, sailed on a fragile submarine from La Spezia to Arkhangelsk — across the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Arctic Ocean, crossing the combat areas of German and British submarines, risking to disappear forever and underwater from enemy torpedoes, and from a crazy wave of an autumn storm. Ivan Ivanovich Riznich safely led the "St. George" to Arkhangelsk. The yard was already September 1917 of the year. Despite the brilliant assessment of this campaign by the naval minister, despite government awards, the hero’s fate was tragic. In January, 1920, Captain 2 of the rank Riznich, was shot in the Cheka camp near Kholmogory, along with hundreds of other Russian officers.
“Let us turn an imperialist war into a civil war!” This Bolshevik appeal, unfortunately, was realized.
The bloody Russian strife deprived Russia of the submarine fleet for a long time. Almost all the submarines of the Black Sea Fleet, together with the legendary "Seal" went to Tunisia, where they ended their journey in Bizerte. For many years the Baltic “leopards” in the harbors of Kronstadt and Petrograd also rusted. Most of their commanders turned out to be behind a cordon or behind barbed wire.
No matter how bitter it is, today there is not a single monument to the heroes of the submariners of the “forgotten war” in Russia: neither Bakhtin, nor Kititsyn, nor Gudyma, nor Riznich, nor Ilyinsky, nor Merkushev, nor Fenshow, nor Monastyrev ... Only in a foreign country and on the tombstones you can read the names of some of them ...
R§R ° SЃS,SЊ RєRѕRјR ° RЅRґRoSЂRѕRІ-RїRμSЂRІRѕRїRѕRґRІRѕRґRЅRoRєRѕRІ RЅR RІSЃRμRіRґR ° ° ° RѕSЃS,R P "P ° SЃSЊ PI RєRѕSЂRїSѓSЃR ° C ... ... SЃRІRѕRoS RїRѕRґRІRѕRґRЅS <C ... P" RѕRґRѕRє RЅR ° RјRѕSЂSЃRєRѕRј RґRЅRμ. R'СЂРµРёСЏRЏR R R RЏRЏR R R R R R R RµRµRµRµRёRёR °RѕR R RµRµRµRёRёR °RѕR RµRµRµRµRµRёRёRѕRѕRµRµRµRµRµRµRёRёRёRёRёRёRёRёRёЅ РЅЅ Р РЅ РЅ Рё Р Р Р Р Р Р Р РЅґ Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р Р РѕС ‡ РЅС ‹Рµ РєРѕРѕСЂРґРёРЅР ° С, С‹ Р ± СЂР ° С, СЃРєРёС… РїРѕРґРІРѕРґРЅС <С… РјРѕРіРёР ». РўР ° Рє РѕС‚РЅРѕСЃРёС‚РµР »СЊРЅРѕ РЅРµРґР ° РІРЅРѕ Р ± С‹ Р »Рё РѕР ± РЅР ° СЂСР¶РµРЅС‹ Рё В «РњРѕСЂР¶В», Рё В РРРРРССР¶В, РёРРРРРРСР РR РR РR ,R¶R ,R ,R ,R РR РR »R »RРRРRРRRRRRRRRRRRRR ±RRR ‹R ‹R ‹R ,R ,RRRѕRѕRRR ‹R ‹R °R ,R ,RRR ±RR ±R ‹R ‹R РR ,R ,RRR ±RR ±R ‹R ‹R ,R ,R ,RRRR ±R ±R ‹R "RμRїR ° SЂRґV" ... RўRμRј RЅRμ RјRμRЅRμRμ, SЂRѕSЃSЃRoR№SЃRєRoR№ C "P" RѕS, RїRѕRјRЅRoS, RoRјRμRЅR ° Roes ... RєRѕSЂR ° F ± F "RμR№. RЎRμRіRѕRґRЅSЏ P ° S,RѕRјRЅS <Rμ RїRѕRґRІRѕRґRЅS <Rμ P "RѕRґRєRo In" RђRєSѓR "P ° B" In "RЎRІSЏS,RѕR№ P" RμRѕSЂRіRoR№V "The" P "RμRїR ° SЂRґV" In "P'P ° S Ѓ Р ¶РѕРѕ РІРѕРµРІР ° Р »Рё СЂСѓСЃСЃРєРёРµ РїРѕРґРІРѕРґРЅРёРєРЁ РІ РџРµСЂРІСѓСЋ РјРёСЂРѕРІСѓСЋвЂ¦