Military Review

Solo swimming. As soldiers from the Soviet construction battered the world.

31
After 49-day drift in the Pacific, emaciated Soviet soldiers told American sailors: we only need fuel and food, and we can sail to home.

Solo swimming. As soldiers from the Soviet construction battered the world.


Barge T-36

“They are not born as heroes, they become heroes” - this wisdom is best suited to stories Four Soviet guys shook the world in the spring of 1960 year.

Young guys were not eager for fame and fame, did not dream of exploits, just once life put them before a choice: to become heroes or die.

January 1960 of the year, Iturup Island, one of the very island of the South Kuril Ridge, which Japanese neighbors still dream of.

Because of the rocky shallow water, cargo delivery to the island by ships is extremely difficult, and therefore the function of a transit point, a “floating pier” near the island, was performed by a self-propelled tank landing barge T-36.

Behind the formidable phrase “tank landing barge” was a small ship with a displacement of one hundred tons, whose length along the waterline was 17 meters, the width was three and a half meters, and the draft was slightly more than a meter. The maximum speed of the barge was 9 nodes, and the T-36 could move no more than the 300 meters away from the coast without being at risk.

However, for those functions that the barge performed at Iturup, it was quite suitable. Unless, of course, there was a storm on the sea.


Barge T-36.


Missing

And 17 January 1960, the element was played out in earnest. At about 9 in the morning wind, reaching 60 meters per second, pulled the barge from the mooring and began to carry it into the open sea.

Those who remained on the shore could only watch the desperate struggle that was waged with the angry sea by people aboard the barge. Soon the T-36 disappeared from sight ...

When the storm subsided, the search began. Some things from the barge were found on the shore, and the military command came to the conclusion that the barge and the people on it were dead.

On board the T-36 at the time of her disappearance there were four soldiers: 21-year-old junior sergeant Askhat Ziganshin21 year old Private Anatoly Kryuchkovsky20 year old Private Philip Poplavsky and one more private, 20-year-old Ivan Fedotov.

The relatives of the soldiers were told that their relatives were missing in the performance of their military duty. But the apartments were still monitored: what if someone from the missing did not die, but simply deserted?

But most of the fellow soldiers believed that the soldiers disappeared into the ocean depths ...

Gone With the Wind

The four on board the T-36 fought the elements for ten hours until the storm finally subsided. All the meager fuel reserves went into the struggle for survival, the 15-meter waves strongly battered the barge. Now it just took it farther and farther into the open ocean.

Sergeant Ziganshin and his comrades were not sailors - they served in the engineering and construction troops, which in the slang are called "construction battalion".

They were sent to the barge to unload a freighter that was about to come up. But the hurricane decided otherwise ...

The situation in which the soldiers found themselves looked almost hopeless. The barge no longer has any fuel, there is no connection with the shore, there is no flow in the hold, not to mention that the T-36 is not suitable for such “journeys” at all.

From the food on the barge were a loaf of bread, two cans of stew, a can of fat and a few spoons of cereal. There were two more buckets of potatoes, which were scattered during the storm in the engine room, which made it soaked with fuel oil. Overturned and drinking water tank, which is partially mixed with sea water. There was also a stove-stove, matches, and a few packs of Belomor.

Prisoners of the "flow of death"

The fate of them allegedly mocked: when the storm subsided, Askhat Ziganshin found the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper in the wheelhouse, which said that just in the area where they were taken, training missile launches should take place, in connection with which the entire area was declared unsafe for navigation.

The soldiers concluded: nobody will search for them in this direction until the end of the missile launches. So you need to hold out until they finish.

Fresh water was taken from the engine cooling system — rusty but usable. Also collected rainwater. As a meal, a stew was cooked - a little stew, a couple of potatoes smelling of fuel, just a little cereal.

On such a diet, it was necessary not only to survive on their own, but also to fight for the survivability of the barge: to clear ice from the sides to prevent its overturn, to pump out the water that was collected in the hold.



We slept on one wide bed, which we built ourselves - clinging to each other, we were keeping warm.

The soldiers did not know that the current that carried them farther and farther from home was called the “course of death”. They generally tried not to think about the worst, because from such thoughts it was easy to fall into despair.

A sip of water and a piece of boot

Day by day, week by week ... Food and water are less and less. Once, Sergeant Ziganshin recalled the story of a school teacher about sailors who had suffered disaster and suffered from hunger. Those sailors cooked and ate leather things. The sergeant's belt was leather.

First they cooked, crumbled into noodles, a belt, then a strap from a broken and inactive radio, then they began to eat boots, tore off and ate the harmonica that appeared on board ...

With water, the situation was very bad. In addition to soup, she got everyone a sip. Once every two days.

The last potato was cooked and eaten on February 23, on the Day of the Soviet Army. By that time, auditory hallucinations were added to the throes of hunger and thirst. Ivan Fedotov began to be tormented by bouts of fear. Comrades supported him, as they could, reassured.

For all the drift time in the four, not a single quarrel, not a single conflict occurred. Even when there was practically no strength left, not one tried to take away food or water from a friend in order to survive on his own. They just agreed: the last one who will survive, before dying, will leave a record on the barge about how the T-36 crew died ...

"Thank you, ourselves!"

2 March they first saw the vessel passing in the distance, but it seems that they themselves did not believe that it was not a mirage before them. March 6 new ship appeared on the horizon, but the desperate signals for help, which served the soldiers, did not notice it.

7 March 1960 year aviation a group from the American aircraft carrier Kearsarge discovered a T-36 barge about a thousand miles northwest of Midway Island. The semi-flooded barge, which should not be more than 300 meters from the shore, traveled more than a thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean, covering half the distance from the Kuril Islands to Hawaii.


The servicemen Phillip Poplavsky (left) and Askhat Ziganshin (center) talk to an American sailor (right) on the aircraft carrier Kirsarge, who took them on board after a long barge drift.


The Americans in the first minutes did not understand: what, actually, is a miracle in front of them and what kind of people are floating on it?

But the sailors from the aircraft carrier survived even more shock when a sergeant Ziganshin, who was brought in from a barge by helicopter, said: we are fine, we need fuel and food, and we will sail to home.

In fact, of course, the soldiers could not sail anywhere. As the doctors later said, the quartet was left to live quite a bit: death from exhaustion could have come in the coming hours. And on the T-36 by the time there was one boot and three matches.

American doctors marveled not only by the stamina of the Soviet soldiers, but also by surprising self-discipline: when the crew of the aircraft carrier began to offer them food, they ate a little bit and stopped. If they had eaten more, they would have died at once, as many had died after a long famine.

Heroes or traitors?

On board the aircraft carrier, when it became clear that they were rescued, the forces finally left the soldiers - Ziganshin asked for a razor, but fainted near the washstand. Shaving him and his comrades had the sailors "Kirsarj".

When the soldiers fell asleep, a completely different kind of fear began to torment them - there was a cold war in the yard, and they were not helped by anyone, but by a “likely adversary”. In addition, a Soviet barge fell into the hands of the Americans.


Soviet soldiers Askhat Ziganshin, Philip Poplavsky, Anatoly Kryuchkovsky and Ivan Fedotov, who were drifting on a barge from 17 January to 7 in March 1960, are photographed during an excursion in the city of San Francisco.


The captain of Kirsarj, by the way, could not understand why the soldiers so eagerly demanded that he load this rusty trough aboard an aircraft carrier? To calm them down, he told them: the barge would tow another ship to the port.

In fact, the Americans sank the T-36 - not because of the desire to harm the USSR, but because the half-submerged barge posed a threat to shipping.

To the credit of the American military, towards the Soviet soldiers, they behaved very worthily. Nobody tortured them with questions and interrogations; moreover, they put guards on the cabins where they lived, so that the curious wouldn't bother them.

But the soldiers were worried about what they would say in Moscow. And Moscow, having received news from the USA, was silent for a while. And this is understandable: in the Soviet Union, they were waiting for the saved political asylum in America to be asked not to be trapped with their statements.

When it became clear that the military was not going to “choose freedom”, the four Ziganshin’s feat was talked on television, on radio and in newspapers, and the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev sent them a welcoming telegram.

"How does the boots taste?"

The first press conference of the heroes took place on the aircraft carrier, where about fifty journalists took by helicopters. I had to finish it ahead of time: Askhat Ziganshin had a nose bleed.

Later, the guys gave a lot of press conferences, and almost everywhere they asked the same question:

- How does the boots taste?

“The skin is very bitter, with an unpleasant smell. But did it really taste like that? There was only one wish: to deceive the stomach. But just do not eat the skin: too hard. Therefore, we cut a small piece and set it on fire. When the kersey burned, it turned into something similar to charcoal and became soft. This "delicacy" we smeared with grease so that it was easier to swallow. Several of these “sandwiches” made up our daily ration, ”Anatoly Kryuchkovsky later recalled.

Already at home the same question was asked by schoolchildren. “Try it yourself,” Philip Poplavsky joked once. I wonder how many boots the experimenter boys welded after this in 1960's?

By the time the aircraft carrier arrived in San Francisco, the heroes of the unique voyage, which, according to the official version, lasted 49 days, had already gotten stronger. America greeted them enthusiastically - the mayor of San Francisco handed them the "golden key" from the city.


Soviet soldiers drifting on a barge from January 17 to March 7 1960 (from left to right): Askhat Ziganshin, Philip Poplavsky, Anatoly Kryuchkovsky, Ivan Fedotov.


"Iturup Four"

The hospitable hosts dressed the soldiers in suits in the latest fashion, and the Americans literally fell in love with the Russian heroes. In the photos taken at that time, they really look great - neither give nor take the "Liverpool Four".

Experts admired: young Soviet guys in a critical situation did not lose their human appearance, did not become brutalized, did not enter into conflicts, did not sink to cannibalism, as happened to many of those who were in similar circumstances.

And ordinary residents of the United States, looking at the photo, wondered: is it the enemy? Dearest guys, a little shy, that only adds to their charm. In general, for the image of the USSR, four soldiers during their stay in the United States did more than all the diplomats.

By the way, with regard to comparisons with the "Liverpool Four" - Ziganshin and his comrades did not sing, but they left a mark in the history of Russian music with a composition called "Ziganshin-Boogie."

Domestic dudes, now sung in cinema, created a song to the tune of "Rock Around the Clock", dedicated to the T-36 drift:

Like the pacific
Sinking barge with dudes.
Dudes do not lose heart,
Rock on the deck throw.

Ziganshin-rock, Ziganshin-boogie,
Ziganshin - a guy from Kaluga,
Ziganshin-boogie, Ziganshin-rock,
Ziganshin devoured his boot.

Poplavsky-rock, Poplavsky-boogie,
Poplavsky ate a friend's letter,
While Poplavsky teeth grinned,
Ziganshin ate his sandals.

The days are swimming, the weeks are swimming,
The ship wears on the waves
Boots already ate in the soup
And with an accordion in half ...

Of course, to compose such masterpieces is much easier than to survive in such conditions. But modern filmmakers are more stylish.

Glory comes, glory goes ...

Upon returning to the USSR, the heroes waited for a reception at the highest level - a rally was organized in their honor, the soldiers were personally received by Nikita Khrushchev and Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky.

All four were awarded orders of the Red Star, they made a film about their voyage, wrote several books ...

The popularity of the foursome T-36 barge began to descend only at the end of 1960's.

Soon after returning home, the soldiers were demobilized: Rodion Malinovsky noticed that the guys had served their full time.

Philip Poplavsky, Anatoly Kryuchkovsky and Askhat Ziganshin, on the recommendation of the command, entered the Leningrad Naval Technical College, which they graduated from in 1964 year.

Ivan Fedotov, a boy from the banks of the Amur, returned home and worked all his life as a riverman. He was gone in 2000 year.

Philip Poplavsky, who settled near Leningrad, after graduating from college, worked on large sea vessels, went to foreign navigation. He passed away in the 2001 year.

Anatoly Kryuchkovsky lives in Kiev, worked for many years as deputy chief mechanic at the Kiev plant "Leninskaya Kuznitsa".

After graduating from school, Askhat Ziganshin entered the rescue squad in the town of Lomonosov near Leningrad as a mechanic, married, raised two beautiful daughters. After retirement, he settled in St. Petersburg.

They didn’t rush to glory and didn’t worry when the glory, having touched them for several years, disappeared, as if it didn’t exist.

But they will remain heroes forever.

PS According to the official version, as already mentioned, the T-36 drift lasted 49 days. However, reconciliation of dates gives a different result - 51 day. There are several explanations for this incident. According to the most popular, about the "49 days" first said the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The data officially announced by him no one dared to dispute.

Author:
Originator:
http://www.aif.ru/society/history/1366533
31 comment
Ad

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site: https://t.me/topwar_official

Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. SHILO
    SHILO 25 October 2014 09: 26
    +11
    It echoes the history of the "Anadyr" operation on the transfer of troops to Cuba. Then the military spent up to 20 days in twin decks. When the mattress makers tried to repeat something similar with their special forces, he stupidly rebelled a week later. And we were carrying ordinary warriors! what
    1. neri73-r
      neri73-r 25 October 2014 12: 09
      +9
      Then the military stayed in tweendeks for up to 20 days. When the mattresses tried to repeat something similar with their special forces, he stupidly rebelled in a week. But we did carry ordinary warriors! what


      We are different, we have a different worldview! They have everything for me, we have everything for people, society, and "I" is the last letter in the alphabet !!! hi
      1. SHILO
        SHILO 25 October 2014 12: 41
        +6
        Quote: neri73-r
        They have everything for me, everything is for people


        I am afraid that this principle has left with the USSR crying
        1. aleks_29296
          aleks_29296 25 October 2014 13: 24
          +4
          Yes, there were people in our time, heroes.
  2. tolancop
    tolancop 25 October 2014 09: 29
    +12
    I learned about this Feat for the first time. I have no words. And who? The usual "scoops" ...
    A magnificent illustration of the quality of Soviet education.
    1. miv110
      miv110 25 October 2014 12: 47
      +7
      In Soviet times, almost everyone knew about it, but times are changing and former heroes are no longer needed by politicians. But without such examples, patriots cannot be raised! soldier
    2. Talgat
      Talgat 25 October 2014 12: 55
      +7
      An excellent example of how the USSR brought up people, nevertheless the majority grew up as decent people - no matter what you say, the pioneer and the Komsomol instilled the concepts of collectivism and brotherhood. The society itself was very humane, with care for the elderly, children and the sick, there weren’t even iron doors

      And 90 was not only that everything was stolen - the people became impoverished, so we all became brutal, all the women became .... all the men were gangsters or speculators who couldn’t live in poverty. Kindergartens hospitals institutes Kaput factories

      I don’t know now sailors would behave with the same dignity?
      1. dkflbvbh
        dkflbvbh 25 October 2014 15: 15
        +2
        The recent events in Ukraine clearly show how the modern generation operates - this is me talking about "lost paratroopers" (though the family has its black sheep ...).
  3. Kibalchish
    Kibalchish 25 October 2014 09: 37
    +5
    Amazing people! Moreover, when you consider that only two generations later, Soviet people began to idolize jeans and Coca-Cola. am
  4. Archon
    Archon 25 October 2014 09: 49
    0
    Why didn’t they fish?
    1. Nayhas
      Nayhas 25 October 2014 10: 23
      0
      Quote: Archon
      Why didn’t they fish?

      Than? On live bait?
  5. parusnik
    parusnik 25 October 2014 10: 07
    +7
    The story of the feat of soldiers was in his native speech for the third class ...
  6. salamandra2826
    salamandra2826 25 October 2014 10: 08
    +5
    All kinds of Rimbaud have a rest. It is a pity that the media tell little about them to young people.
  7. TVM - 75
    TVM - 75 25 October 2014 10: 27
    -1
    A lot is not finished. After the storm warning, all the barges were securely moored. Except one. If our four caught this four, then there would be no fanfare.
    1. SHILO
      SHILO 25 October 2014 16: 51
      +4
      Quote: TVM - 75
      then there would be no fanfare.


      Nuuu ... and what does that change !? I'm talking about the True Human face of these Guys.
  8. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 25 October 2014 10: 47
    +6
    21-year-old junior sergeant Askhat Ziganshin, 21-year-old private Anatoly Kryuchkovsky, 20-year-old private Philip Poplavsky and another private, 20-year-old Ivan Fedotov.

    Since childhood, these names have been heard. Indeed, it was a feat of endurance and patriotism of Soviet people. True, in the 90s, in the wake of permissiveness and groaning of everything Soviet, this feat began to be presented with such falsification of facts that it was disgusting to read. It’s interesting, what are those zhurnalyugi who are hungry over guys now writing about?
  9. Dimka off
    Dimka off 25 October 2014 11: 17
    +3
    The Russian spirit is unbreakable. Each time I am amazed at the stamina, courage, sacrifice and heroism of our soldiers.
  10. SveTok
    SveTok 25 October 2014 11: 24
    +2
    Strong in spirit, this was an example, in our time it looks like a fairy tale.
  11. mervino2007
    mervino2007 25 October 2014 12: 24
    +6
    They, coping with the test, remained PEOPLE. This is the main thing. But the basis of this behavior - our culture, Russian or Soviet - is not important.
    1. aleks_29296
      aleks_29296 25 October 2014 13: 29
      +4
      Very important. Soviet education and culture were much stronger than now. Then patriotism and culture were inculcated from childhood, such examples as in the article were well-known to everyone, youth was brought up on them.
  12. Ka-52
    Ka-52 25 October 2014 13: 18
    +1
    Discipline, education and punishment, Discipline, education and punishment ...
    When a society is healthy, healthy people live in it. Under the union, the "Educator" was the entire state, from state institutions to grandmothers on the bench. Eh, they were good guys.
  13. svp67
    svp67 25 October 2014 13: 32
    +1
    Domestic dudes, now sung in cinema, created a song to the tune of "Rock Around the Clock", dedicated to the T-36 drift:
  14. Thomas Neveru
    Thomas Neveru 25 October 2014 13: 39
    +6
    These are our simple Soviet guys. I am proud that I lived in the USSR.
  15. The point
    The point 25 October 2014 14: 36
    +4
    Quote: Thomas Unbeliever
    I am proud that I lived in the USSR.

    And rightly so!
    Quote: Thomas Unbeliever
    These are our simple Soviet guys.

    These are OUR SOVIET guys! Born in the country by the name of the USSR (later it was called the Russian Federation). For the West, Soviet and Russian meant the same thing. I say this without purpose to hurt Belarusians, Ukrainians, Moldavians, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Georgians and others. For the West, I repeat, they were all Russian.
  16. midshipman
    midshipman 25 October 2014 14: 41
    +3
    In youth, we admired them, they were our peers. And my commanders, I also graduated from college, thought differently. The guys were not taught to survive in extreme conditions. Already the head of large structures (scientific and industrial) often visited the North and the Far East (Kamchatka, Kuril Islands, Sakhalin), I saw young soldiers and commanders who knew the rules of survival in extreme conditions. Life taught. I have the honor.
    1. pensioneree
      pensioneree 25 October 2014 15: 43
      +1
      Mr. Starleyt, I'm sorry, maybe I am! And where is the famous (about the Zampolitov- "I know from Edita ... Before Bach) And YOU want in words (I made the Muslims eat pork: -in war the warrior feeds" from his feet " on the DMB in the battalion!
  17. Elena2013
    Elena2013 25 October 2014 14: 58
    +2
    So here's the docfilm about them with interviews of participants fellow
  18. pensioneree
    pensioneree 25 October 2014 15: 22
    +1
    Quote: tolancop
    I learned about this Feat for the first time. I have no words. And who? The usual "scoops" ...
    A magnificent illustration of the quality of Soviet education.

    PS About this incident, I found out when I was at school! YOU DO NOT GET THE RUSSIAN SHOWER Not a single foreigner will protect his house GLOBAL (let them translate). Believe me, SORRY !!!
  19. Andrei from Chelyabinsk
    Andrei from Chelyabinsk 25 October 2014 15: 36
    +5
    To my shame - I hear about this story for the first time.
    I'm shocked
    For all the drift time in the four, not a single quarrel, not a single conflict occurred. Even when there was practically no strength left, not one tried to take away food or water from a friend in order to survive on his own. They just agreed: the last one who will survive, before dying, will leave a record on the barge about how the T-36 crew died ...

    American doctors marveled not only by the stamina of the Soviet soldiers, but also by surprising self-discipline: when the crew of the aircraft carrier began to offer them food, they ate a little bit and stopped. If they had eaten more, they would have died at once, as many had died after a long famine.

    Could I have been like this when I was 20 years old? Oh, I’m not sure ... I’m even sure that I couldn’t.
    soldier
    Sergeant Ziganshin and his comrades were not sailors - they served in the engineering and construction troops, which in the slang are called "construction battalion".

    No more questions.
    There were airborne troops in the USSR, and these were tough guys
    There were marines in the USSR, and they were super cool guys
    There was GRU special forces in the USSR, and these were the Uberkrut guys.
    But back in the USSR there was a construction battalion - just animals, they weren’t even given weapons, because there’s nothing laughing
    These were the people in the USSR
  20. Lyolik
    Lyolik 25 October 2014 16: 59
    +2
    Strong guys, strong in spirit, heroically behaved, were friends and survived.
    They didn’t sort things out, here is an example for today's youth, for all of us.
    Many thanks to the author of the article, he takes pride in the fact that there were such people,
    Yes, and now there are Heroes of our time, they are simply very modest.
  21. Mwg
    Mwg 25 October 2014 17: 03
    +2
    It used to be: man is friend to man, comrade and brother. Now: man to man is a wolf. Something like this...
  22. Dragon-y
    Dragon-y 25 October 2014 17: 23
    +2
    And someone put a "minus" on the article ... Inadequate or just a petty dirty trick?
    1. Drunya
      Drunya 25 October 2014 18: 49
      +1
      Quote: Dragon-y
      And someone put a "minus" on the article.

      Not the first time I notice, but write why? probably lacking in spirit.
  23. hunn
    hunn 25 October 2014 17: 58
    +3
    Stroybat, special forces. What the hell difference? Just Russian soldiers.
  24. saygon66
    saygon66 25 October 2014 21: 11
    +3
    - After the men returned, they drove around the military units for a long time, to communicate with the personnel ... in the family archive there is a photograph in which Dad and his colleagues at a meeting with Poplavsky ...
  25. hard
    hard 25 October 2014 23: 47
    +2
    Quote: Archon
    Why didn’t they fish?

    I read in the book that they caught a small shark (they found a piece of iron in the form of a hook, which was a bait - I don’t remember, tied it to some kind of hand-rail), but, exhausted, they could not even pull it out with four of them. The shark is gone.
  26. Logos
    Logos 26 October 2014 01: 19
    0
    Quote: Talgat
    An excellent example of how the USSR brought up people, nevertheless the majority grew up as decent people - no matter what you say, the pioneer and the Komsomol instilled the concepts of collectivism and brotherhood. The society itself was very humane, with care for the elderly, children and the sick, there weren’t even iron doors

    And 90 was not only that everything was stolen - the people became impoverished, so we all became brutal, all the women became .... all the men were gangsters or speculators who couldn’t live in poverty. Kindergartens hospitals institutes Kaput factories

    As for me, there was no decency and collectivism in the late Soviet education, there was only one continuous window dressing, otherwise there would not have been such brutality and crime in the 90s. And poverty is not an excuse for moral descent - morality either exists or does not exist, regardless of environmental conditions
  27. Bort radist
    Bort radist 26 October 2014 04: 16
    0
    Constantly the youth set this case as an example. Details were erased in memory, the first time I read in Komsomolskaya Pravda, now it is a completely different newspaper. The sediment leaves the fear of the state and the guys themselves about the application of the article for treason.
  28. Prager
    Prager 26 October 2014 15: 13
    0
    yes, the guys were not afraid of death, but accusations of treason. I also remember the Tuapse tanker ...
  29. Volgarr
    Volgarr 27 October 2014 19: 39
    0
    That's what we need to talk about in our schools as before !!!
  30. andreykitson65
    andreykitson65 28 October 2014 13: 32
    0
    By the way, in 2013 he worked on such a barge on the archipelago - "Franz Josef Land". They took out garbage from our former military bases ... The most interesting thing is that their common name is "zigansha" ... True, almost no one knows where it comes from ...