Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov headed the Soviet Navy as People’s Commissar of the Navy fleet, from 1939 to 1946 Nikolai Gerasimovich, a man of amazing fate, recalling his life, wrote: “I never suffered great ambition and did not try to climb to the top of the career ladder, but, admittedly, I dreamed of becoming the commander of a ship - large or small - and, standing on the bridge, control it But fate would have liked for a number of reasons, either to raise me high, or to throw me down and force me to start the service all over again. The proof of this is a literally unique change in my ranks. During all the years of my service, I was twice rear admiral, three times vice "admiral, wore four stars on the uniform of the fleet admiral and twice had the highest military rank in the fleet - Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union." And in his life there was a wrong court, reinstatement, unjust resignation and disgrace. But still, this is probably not the main thing. The main thing in his life was service in the navy.
After the revolution, 15, a young man - the son of a peasant from the Vologda province, Kolya Kuznetsov, volunteered for the North Dvina military flotilla. To become a warrior, I had to add two years to myself. The tall lad got off at the age of seventeen, and was credited with all kinds of allowances. After the civil war was studying at the naval school. When Nikolai Kuznetsov entered the Petrograd school, the former illustrious Naval Cadet Corps, where the beds had not yet erased, the names of the owners, drawn in white paint: Prince Lieven, Prince Trubetskoy and other noble families, and on textbooks one could find the autographs of Butakov, Kolchak, him It was just 16 years old. All teachers were imperial officers and carriers of the age-old traditions of the Russian fleet. You can’t achieve anything with a paperless screaming shout. In the Navy, aristocracy is not only effective, but also saving. Kuznetsov was sent to unite the tradition of Petrovsky stolniki, torn by the shootings. In this educational institution, everything was authentic: the paintings, the memory of the heroic Russian fleet, and traditions, for the fleet keeps on loyalty and purity of relations. And any falsehood perished in the sea air of this educational institution. The spirit of the naval cadet corps left the cadets a whole-hearted love for Russia and the same faith in the truth. The appearance of the city in the delta of the deep river and the walls of the school, which saw all the Russian naval commanders and emperors, aesthetically shaped the souls of sailors. Of course, the years spent in the school, had a strong influence on the formation of the personality of the young Nikolai Kuznetsov.
After graduating from college with honors, Nicholas refused to headquarters and was distributed to the Black Sea Fleet - appointed to the cruiser "Chervona Ukraine". On it the young commander consistently went through all the steps of the naval service. From 1 October 1927 to 4 in May 1932 N.G. Kuznetsov studied at the Naval Academy, which he also graduated with honors and with the right to choose the fleet. NG Kuznetsov again chose the Black Sea and went to serve as a senior assistant to the newest cruiser, the Red Caucasus. The memories of one of Kuznetsov’s colleagues of that time were preserved: “After a six-month absence I appeared on the cruiser“ Red Caucasus. ”I saw a new foreman NG Kuznetsov and was just amazed at the changes that had taken place. An absolutely exact schedule of the day had been developed that was not there before. Up to minutes the ship’s schedule is observed. The team is in an immaculately clean working dress. Everything that everyone is supposed to do is done on time - being laid off, having lunch, a bath. And awnings during the heat at the raid? Previously, they hardly managed to deliver them in two or three hours - now unit after the command “give away the anchor” went the command “to put the awning.” And in 15-18 minutes all the decks were under the awnings. The new chief officer was closer to the team than his predecessors, he drank the sailor’s life. some more from the old fleet.
For the first time, the new senior officer made all the commanders of combat units, and us, the flagship specialists, develop a methodology for combat training. Previously, there was no technique. Veterans taught the young how and what to do. But it is suitable for singles. And the actions of the unit? And the interaction? And the training of combat units, the ship as a whole? Everything, in fact, began with the cruiser "Red Caucasus". Kuznetsov unfolded this work in full measure when he became commander of the cruiser Chervona Ukraine. Everything then resulted in a “Combat Training Course” at the fleet scale. We then only "gave birth" to the BuMS - the temporary Battle Regulations of the Naval Forces. The academy worked on it. And “Course on the ship” is Kuznetsov’s initiative and merit. "
Here, on the Black Sea, Kuznetsov took command of the cruiser Chervona Ukraine. His dream came true. In 29 years he became the commander of a cruiser, and at thirty-one he brought "his" cruiser to first place in the Naval Forces of the USSR and became the youngest captain of the 1 rank of all the seas of the world. For outstanding achievements in organizing the underwater and surface naval forces of the Red Army and for success in the military and political training of the red sailors (for first place in all types of combat training of the cruiser Chervona Ukraine) in December 1935, N.G. Kuznetsov was awarded the Order of the Red Star. It would seem that all the goals were achieved.
A year later, an unexpected order followed to hand over command of a cruiser and leave for Moscow. Here, the young captain of the 1 rank received a new appointment; he was awaited by the post of naval attache and chief naval adviser in battling Spain. The Republican fleet had to escort transports, protect them from the attack of enemy ships, and go on raids. On ships and submarines, many Soviet volunteer sailors fought. Don Nicholas - under this name was known to the battling Spain Nikolay Kuznetsov. Then he often said how much Spain had given him. It is one thing to study the auditoriums of the naval school and the academy, training alerts and peaceful trips. The other is war. The squadron of the fleet of the republic was constantly at sea. The sailors showed real courage, but they did not write about it in the newspapers. The radio was silent, and very few people knew that Kuznetsov secretly supervised the entire complex and important work on which the outcome of the struggle largely depended. And in one more Spain helped him. A shaft of repression that swept the country in 1937, passed by. His work in helping the Spanish fleet was highly appreciated by the Soviet government: in 1937, he was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Red Banner.
Upon returning home, he was already awaited by a new position: first, deputy, and then commander of the Pacific Fleet. Soon, in 1939, the fighting began at Lake Hassan. Pacific Fleet provides transportation weapons, ammunition and military personnel, but the war in Spain did not let the young comflot go. The fighting going on in the steppes is only a local conflict, but did a big war happen? One unexpected raid aviation can destroy an entire squadron, wipe the naval base off the face of the earth. In Vladivostok, the first training was held to bring the whole fleet to high alert. Fleet - hundreds of ships and vessels, coastal units, aviation. All this colossus was hardly rebuilt for operations in wartime, it chose fuel and ammunition. Instead of different teams, different units needed a single short signal for the fleet, upon receipt of which each commander knew what he should do.
In the midst of battles, ships and units received the first directives on operational readiness. The work started had to be completed in Moscow when Admiral Kuznetsov took the post of People's Commissar of the USSR Navy. He was a Commissar of thirty-five years: he was the youngest Commissar in the Union and the first seaman in this position (previously Commissar Smirnov and Chekist Frinovsky were Commissar, both were active organizers of repression in the navy and both became their victims). Fleet affairs were largely neglected. The last two predecessors of Kuznetsov in this post — a political worker and a border guard — did not understand naval affairs. Urgent decisions were needed on the shipbuilding program, on the management of fleets. But first and foremost, the People's Commissar continued the work begun in the Pacific Fleet. The experience of the war with Finland confirmed the correctness of the measures taken by the people's commissar to improve combat readiness. Rebuked and snapped at Stalin’s discontent, Kuznetsov continued to prepare the fleet for war throughout the prewar years. N.G. Kuznetsov conducted a number of major exercises, personally visited many ships, solving organizational and personnel issues. He initiated the opening of new maritime schools and marine special schools (later Nakhimov schools). With his active participation, the disciplinary and ship regulations of the Navy were adopted.
The 1941 year began, and the first order, issued by the Navy Commissariat, demanded that anti-aircraft batteries be opened when foreign aircraft appeared over our bases. In the North and the Baltic, German reconnaissance aircraft were flying around them with might and main. In March, German intelligence officers shot at Liepaja, Libava and Polar. For vigilance while guarding the border, the People's Commissar received ... reprimand. The naval operational readiness system developed by the Chief Naval Headquarters on the personal instructions of the People's Commissar of the Navy, which in the shortest time possible and with the observance of the necessary measures of secrecy, transfers the fleet forces to a state of immediate readiness to repel a surprise attack of the enemy, N.G. Kuznetsova, his contribution to the development of naval control theory. In total there were three levels of readiness, taking into account the technical condition and level of combat training of ships and parts of the fleet. Depending on this, they could be in the combat core (from which duty personnel were appointed) or in reserve.
Operational readiness number 3 corresponded to the daily level of associations, formations, ships and fleet parts, and the stocks of material resources - to the presence of their minimum level. According to operational readiness number 2, the crews of the battle core ships were to be located on the ships and in the units, the stocks of the ships were taken in full, the weapons were being prepared for use, additional ship patrols were deployed. Aerial reconnaissance at sea was intensified, repair of reserve ships accelerated. For operational readiness number 1 provided for the immediate use of weapons. The naval composition of the combat core was in time readiness for launching to sea for solving the tasks of the current operational plans. Announced the mobilization of bonded composition.
By mid-June, 1941, the relationship with Germany became increasingly strained. Assessing the situation, N.G. Kuznetsov decided to increase the combat readiness of the fleets by order. Admiral Kuznetsov, risking not even a career, but his head, these days, with his order, he transferred all fleets to combat readiness No. 2, ordered bases and formations to disperse forces and strengthen monitoring of water and air, and prohibit the dismissal of personnel from parts and ships. The ships took the necessary supplies, put in order the material part, stood in readiness for battle and march.
19 June 1941, the Baltic and Northern fleets were converted to operational readiness No. 2. 20 June The Black Sea Fleet completed the exercise and returned from the area of Odessa to Sevastopol. The fleet was ordered to remain in operational readiness number 2. Summaries of the Main Naval Staff of the People's Commissar of Defense and the Chief of General Staff were notified of the transfer of fleet forces from 19 June 1941 to operational readiness No. 2. There were no objections to the measures taken in the Navy to raise the combat readiness, but there was no approval of them either. Until the last moment, the Commissar of Defense did not send a directive to the commander of the military districts to increase readiness, which played a fatal role at the initial stage of the Great Patriotic War.
Only in 23.00 21 of June, People's Commissar of Defense, Marshal Tymoshenko, told Kuznetsov about a possible attack by the fascists that night. Fleets were immediately declared operational readiness number 1. And at midnight, the naval forces were ready to repel aggression. The Navy was the first in 3 hours 15 minutes met with enemy attack fire and did not lose a single ship or aircraft. In fact, the sailors and the fleet were saved from defeat. And at five o'clock in the morning, the People's Commissar of the Navy, under its responsibility, ordered the fleets to be informed that Germany had launched an attack on our bases and ports, which should be repelled by force of arms. Then, at three o'clock in the morning on June 22, after reporting to the Kremlin about the raid on Sevastopol, Admiral Kuznetsov, without waiting for instructions from above, ordered all the fleets: "Immediately begin setting up minefields according to the cover plan." The minesweepers who went into the sea covered our bases with a mine ring, put mine banks on the tracks of the German convoys. Fleets and flotillas began to operate according to pre-war defense plans. In the most difficult for the country August 1941 of the year, at his suggestion, 10 naval aviation once bombed Berlin!
Here is what N.G. wrote about the initial period of the war. Kuznetsov: “More seriously, deeply, responsibly, the causes of failures and mistakes in the first days of the war must be dealt with. These mistakes are by no means on the conscience of people who survived the war and kept in their hearts the sacred memory of those who did not return home. These mistakes to a large extent on our conscience, on the conscience of leaders of all degrees. And lest they repeat, they should not be hushed up, not put on the souls of the dead, but rather bravely, honestly confess them, for repeating past mistakes is already a crime ... Because that was not clear organization in the center, many questions remain unresolved, and on the ground. " And another thing: “We paid a long time for organizational unpreparedness in the first year of the war. Why did all this happen? I think, because there was no clear regulation of the rights and duties among high military leaders and senior officials of the country. And yet they should they knew their place and the limits of responsibility for the fate of the state. After all, at that time we were already confident that in the upcoming war, military operations would begin from the very first hours and even minutes. "
The operational-strategic use of the Navy and the nature of its tasks during the Great Patriotic War were determined by the continental nature of the war. The fleet began to carry out the necessary work subordinate to the ground forces: ships, aviation, coastal defense and units of the marines, working closely with the ground forces, provided all possible assistance to the fronts in the coastal areas. Naval aviation re-targeted against tank enemy groupings and enemy aircraft, surface ships were attracted by fire to support the coastal flanks of the Red Army groupings. The fleet transported millions of people, millions of tons of various cargo. In October 1941, 25 naval rifle brigades were formed in the fleets and flotillas, which participated in the battle for Moscow and then in all battles and offensives of our troops up to Berlin. The main task of N.G. Kuznetsova during this period was to ensure the interaction of the army and navy in coastal areas. Admiral N.G. Kuznetsov, as a representative of the Headquarters, traveled to the fleets and fronts to personally direct the most important operations. The interaction between the coastal units of the armies and the forces of the Navy had to be practiced literally during the fighting.
The paramount tasks of the People's Commissar of the Navy during the war years also included organizing the wiring of allied convoys that made lend-lease supplies to the northern ports of the USSR. Kuznetsov personally coordinated the actions of the Northern Fleet, the country's air defense aviation and the reserve for Stakes on the protection of convoys against enemy strikes. In 1944, due to the changing situation on the fronts, the nature of the naval operations changed. Their goal was to participate in the liberation of the coast and coastal cities. The organization of management has also changed. 31 March 1944. A directive was issued on rates for the appointment of Navy Commissar of the Navy Admiral NG NG Kuznetsova, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, with direct submission to it of fleets and flotillas. A special page of N.G. During the war years, Kuznetsov was involved in negotiations with the Allied naval missions in 1941-1945, and as a member of the Soviet delegation in conferences of heads of state in Yalta and Potsdam.
In the 1944 year, on the eve of the Great Victory, he was the only one to receive a new higher military rank "Admiral of the Fleet", equivalent to the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union. Of the nine largest strategic offensive operations conducted by the USSR armed forces during the Great Patriotic War, six of them involved naval fleets and flotillas. During the war years, they sank more than 1200 warships and auxiliary vessels, 1300 transports, landed over 110 operational and tactical assault forces, in which more than 250 thousands of people participated. The Northern Fleet secured 77 allied convoys as part of the ocean transports 1464.
For the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral of the Fleet N.G. The Kuznetsov war did not end on 9 in May on 1945. He went to the Far East to organize the interaction of the forces of the Pacific Fleet and the Amur Flotilla with the Red Army units in the war with Japan. 14 September 1945 of the year Nikolay Gerasimovich became the Hero of the Soviet Union for "the heroic feat manifested in the fulfillment of the tasks of the Supreme Command for managing fleet combat operations and the successes achieved as a result of these operations."
In September, 1945, Kuznetsov, prepared and submitted to the government a ten-year program for the construction of the Navy, which included the production of aircraft carriers - cruisers with 9-inch artillery, new submarines and destroyers. The question was raised about the protection of the fleet and naval bases from atomic weapons. The stubborn admiral on the reports in the Kremlin continued to remind the leader of the unsolved problems of the fleet. Stalin only frowned with displeasure and slowly began to distance Kuznetsov from himself. At all times, enough careerists and scoundrels. In the wake of the revelations, scoundrels made their careers, the envious people settled scores. Found this in the Navy Commissariat. One of the captains of rank 1 reported that during the war the parachute torpedo drawings were officially handed over to the British allies. The People's Commissar of the Navy, as he could, did not allow reprisals in his apparatus, he defended the officers. And then came under attack himself.
In 1947, Admiral Kuznetsov was removed from his post as Commissar of the Navy. Four past admirals came to trial: N. Kuznetsov, L. Galler, V. Alafuzov and G. Stepanov. Three of them were deprived of all military ranks and state awards and sent to camps. Kuznetsov was demoted to Rear Admiral, determining the location of the Far East. Maybe the leader’s hand trembled, signing the sentence sheet, maybe Stalin decided to teach a stubborn lesson.
Far East "link" lasted three years. Here, at the extreme eastern frontier of the country, the fleet star Kuznetsova began to rise, here he returned to continue his service. He was not circumvented by orders, and in due time the second time he received the next rank of vice admiral. In 1951, Stalin unexpectedly returns Kuznetsov to Moscow and appoints the USSR Naval Minister. The lesson received from the leader did not go to Kuznetsov for future use. On September 1, he sent a report to the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars on the obsolete fleet, on ships built on old projects, on the need for a number of major and urgent measures on the fleet. All the requests and petitions of the Navy Minister seemed to go into the sand. Nevertheless, he succeeded in many things: the development of jet weapons for the fleet began, new projects of ships and submarines were made.
In the year 1953, after Stalin’s death, the verdict of February 1948 of the Supreme Collegium was canceled, and the case for lack of corpus delicti in the cases of the admirals of the crime was terminated. Kuznetsov was restored to the former military rank of admiral of the fleet, received during the war. It seemed that all the troubles are over. The project was approved and the construction of the first nuclear submarine began. The admiral again raises before the Minister of Defense and the government the need to consider a shipbuilding program for the Navy. He is assigned a new, just-established title - the Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union with the award of a marshal's star - and all this in 50 years, in the prime of his life and military leadership talent.
However, the admiral did not develop a relationship with Nikita Khrushchev, who replaced Stalin. By order of that, they began to cut cruisers ready for launching on the stocks. The years in Moscow did not teach the admiral diplomacy, resourcefulness, or at least pleasurable silence. He won victories at sea, he did not notice and did not know how to bypass numerous pitfalls in the corridors of power. In 1955, there was an explosion on the battleship Novorossiysk, the ship sank. The former Italian ship, which we received after the victory on account of reparations, became part of the Black Sea Fleet. There is still no clarity in the causes of the catastrophe. There are two main versions: the explosion of the bottom mine established by the Germans in the bay and the explosion of the battleship as a result of the diversion carried out by a group of combat swimmers. Guilty of the explosion on the battleship found quickly. The commander-in-chief of the Navy, who had been on sick leave for several months before, was removed from his post as First Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR — Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, demoted to the rear admiral and dismissed.
Former commander of the Navy, the hero of the war generously put a pension of three hundred rubles. In those years, the driver of the capital's tram received more. The country celebrated anniversaries of victory, honored the heroes, and at a summer cottage near Moscow, Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov used an old typewriter “tapping” the pages of his memoirs: “Unusual dismissal created many difficulties. I had no significant savings. Two sons "The schoolchildren still demanded help and attention. It was impossible to earn extra money: everyone looked at me with suspicion — no matter how much happened. That's when the only real way to earn a little for retirement was the knowledge of foreign languages." He began to learn English (he knew Spanish, French and German before) and after a year he could translate separate articles for the Military Herald magazine. During his life, justice for the disgraced admiral did not prevail. The rank of Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union was returned to Kuznetsov only in 1988 year 14 years after his death. History, our memory and respect will reward everyone according to their merits! The memory of the unbroken admiral will call on today's boys who are dreaming to see the oceans and seas, cities and countries, to serve their Fatherland.
Not broken Admiral N.G. Kuznetsov.