On one of the weekdays of April 1958, the port tugs deployed a huge hull of a metal cruiser written off with their noses toward the Sea Canal and slowly took it to the last pier - to the Kronstadt ship graveyard. The bright spring sun gently warmed the sides, reflected in numerous portholes, the remnants of the dismantled superstructures cast fancy shadows on the deck, where from under the torn-off ball paint, in some places dimly reflected the armor of the Votan brand. The combat service of one of the most unusual ships of the Soviet Navy is over.
At the beginning of the 30-s, most of the leading maritime powers entered the so-called "cruising race" - the construction of well-armored cruisers that are not subject to the restrictions of the "Washington agreements". 16 March 1935, Adolf Hitler announced the denunciation of the peace treaty signed by defeated Germany after the end of the First World War, and set about to rush the Third Reich. The Kriegsmarine leadership was clearly aware that it would not be possible to catch up with the main potential enemy at sea — Britain in terms of the number and strength of combat surface ships. Therefore, instead of building monstrously expensive and resource-consuming dreadnoughts, the Germans developed the concept of building heavy cruisers and “pocket battleships” capable of long hikes and actions as single raiders. Officially, Germany was not bound by the framework of the “Washington Treaty” in the tonnage of ships and artillery caliber, however, in order not to cause irritation of the leading Western states, the Führer and head of the Kriegsmarine Grossadmiral Erich Roeder officially announced plans to build 5 cruisers of the Admiral Hipper type with a displacement of 92.9% tons with guns of the main caliber in 10 mm. The development of this type of ships was begun in the fall of 000, however, when implementing the plan, it became clear that it was not possible to meet the stated framework. The installation of lighter “hundred millimeters” did not give a big reduction in tonnage, however, it significantly reduced the armor penetration parameters, there were also periodic questions about the choice of the type and methods of mounting the main power plant, there were unresolved many other minor, but no less significant, technical problems. Having finally spat on various agreements and restrictions, the Reich leadership decided to build Solomon's ships with a displacement of thousands of tons in 150-1934, to return to the classic caliber of 15 mm with an arrangement of two guns in 20 gun turrets, the minimum thickness of armor of the main belt 203 mm. The lead ship of this project (symbol “cruiser H”) was laid in July 4 at the Bloom and Foss shipyard in Hamburg, in August the Deutsche Werke in Kiel proceeded to build a second ship from the same series (cruiser G), the third order (cruiser J) was taken over by the company Germany, belonging to the Krupp family. The fourth (K) and fifth (L) cruisers began to assemble at the Deshimag AG Wesser in Bremen respectively in December 80 and in August 1935 of the year.
With the advent of Hitler to power, close cooperation in the economic and military sphere, which was between the young Soviet state and the Weimar Republic, began to decline. In order to defuse the tension between the two powers, the USSR began to look for ways of rapprochement with Germany, by concluding a number of trade and economic contracts. As a result of the efforts made, 9 on April 1935 was signed an "Agreement between the USSR Government and the German Government on additional orders of the USSR in Germany and the financing of these orders by Germany." In accordance with it, the Soviet side received the right to place orders for German industrialists for 200 million marks under the guarantee of the Reich government. These orders were supposed to be equipment for factories, machinery, apparatus, products of the electrical industry, equipment of the petroleum and chemical industry, vehicles, equipment for laboratories, etc. This included technical assistance. In fact, under this loan, the USSR received from Germany factory equipment and other goods for 151,2 million marks. The supply of Soviet goods in the loan coverage was to begin at the end of 1940, and end in 1943.
19 August 1939, a few days before Joachim von Ribbentrop's visit to Moscow to sign the famous “Nonaggression Pact”, the Soviet government received a principal agreement of the German side to allocate another loan worth about 200 million marks, including , the possibility of purchasing the most modern weapons in Germany. At the end of September, a representative delegation from 48, including not only diplomats, but also many leading experts in the field of tank building, aircraft building and other industries, arrived in Berlin to familiarize themselves with the latest models of German military equipment. The delegation was headed by the People's Commissar I.F. Tevosyan Following Stalin’s very reasonable decision that “a ship bought from an alleged enemy is two: one more from us and one less from the enemy,” special attention was paid to attempts to acquire large warships. Many options were considered, but the German side reluctantly made concessions and, after lengthy negotiations, Germany sacrificed only one ship - the heavy cruiser Lutzow being built at the Bremen shipyard. As a result, the Soviet Union received, albeit in 50% readiness, but a completely modern combat unit. And on February 11 of 1940, the signing of the purchase agreement for Luttsova, which received the name “Project 53” from the Soviet side, took place for 104 million marks. On April 15, “purchase” accompanied by two sea tugs slowly pushed off the extension wall of Deshimag and on May 31 was moored in Leningrad at the pier of the Baltic Plant No. XXUMX. Together with the cruiser, a team of German engineers and technicians arrived, numbering about 189 people led by Rear Admiral Otto Feige.
According to the German-Soviet plans, the final launch of the cruiser was scheduled for 1942 year, however, the planned schedules of work suddenly began to be disrupted due to the disruption of supplies of equipment and materials by the German side, as well as the facts of direct non-performance of their duties and the deliberate red tape of German technical specialists. In Soviet and Russian historiography it was repeatedly stated that the Germans deliberately went on a dishonest game. The war with Soviet Russia was practically solved, and Germany was clearly not going to help the future enemy to arm. Numerous witnesses and eyewitnesses point to intentional sabotage by the Germans. The deputy chief of the Baltiysky Zavod plant, B.P. Favorov, in his book of memoirs, “On the stocks under fire,” wrote the following: “So, gradually, day after day, the work on the ship was delayed, the planned deadlines were disrupted. Such tactics of representatives of German firms, naturally, led us to the idea that all this is being done with a certain intent, in order to delay as much as possible the completion and commissioning of the cruiser. At the same time, the calculation was this: without the Germans, we ourselves, they say, cannot cope with the completion of Luttsov. He is echoed by former petty officer S.Ya Prikot, who served as a boiler driver until July 1941 on the ship: “The Germans failed to provide a number of important details. For example, the joints on the pipelines are corrugated. And the steam pressure there was 52 kg. It was impossible to manufacture such joints in a short time at our plants. And do not give steam! So, the ship without a turn. One pump to power the boilers was not delivered, the pump was from the old cruiser, we discovered this, and the pump was sent back to Germany. New did not deliver. So they did it intentionally. ” Documentary evidence of the German side suggests otherwise. For example, the German Foreign Ministry official Karl Julius Schnure, who oversaw Soviet-German economic relations, in a memorandum prepared for his superiors from 15 in May 1941, reported the following: “Construction of the cruiser“ L ”in Leningrad continues as planned, German supplies arrive according to the schedule ”(The bodies of state security of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War.) T.1. On the eve of. Book 2. "January 1 - June 21 1941 g." The Germans rightly explained the occasional supply disruptions for objective reasons: the continuing war with England, which caused difficulties with the materials, the flow of which was urgently redirected to the needs of the front, and the shortage of skilled labor because of the massive recruitment of industrial workers to the army.
Nevertheless, the work on putting the ship into service continued. In the bow and stern towers, 203 mm guns were installed in the regular places, 20 and 37 mm anti-aircraft guns arrived from Germany, and the necessary power equipment was gradually commissioned. Despite the massive departure of German specialists and the lack of necessary details, the workers of the plant and the team, led by the captain of the 2 rank A.G. Vonifatyev, made every effort to bring the cruiser in combat readiness. The 22 1941 cruiser was in 70% readiness, by which time the first level of the superstructure, the bow and stern lower towers, the base of the navigating bridge, the tube and the lower part of the mainmast, rose above the hull. Trials were scheduled for August. Petropavlovsk was staffed by 100% officers and 60-70% by foremen and sailors, the total crew size was about 1000 people.
On the night of 21 on 22 on June, the ship’s crew was alerted: it was announced that it was necessary to take and place a man from the sunken destroyer Gnevny on the 50 cruiser. Exhausted people began to descend from the arriving trucks, many half-divisions, some could not walk themselves, and comrades led them by the arms. To the questions of the alarmed sailors, about what happened, one of the new arrivals breathed a short breath: "War ..".
From the first days the Baltic Fleet was actively involved in the fight against the invaders. In Leningrad, by order of the People's Commissar of the Navy N.G. Kuznetsova, 5 July 1941 was organized by the Maritime Defense Headquarters of Leningrad and the Ozerny District, and Rear Admiral F. I. Chelpanov was appointed commander. Vigorous measures were taken to equip additional positions of coastal batteries, to accelerate the commissioning of warships who were under repair, to form marines. Two companies of "Petropavlovsk" joined the ranks of the marines. Starshina S.Ya.Prikot recalled this in the following way: “So, the cruiser decided to suspend. To prepare the main caliber for shooting, specialists of the electromechanical part - to the front. And right there in the yard they read: "... List of the battalion of the Petropavlovsk cruiser. The battalion commander is lieutenant commander Socheikin. Three steps out of order! First company: company commander senior engineer-lieutenant Schaefer. Three steps out of order! First platoon. Platoon commander Lieutenant Ershov! ... "Literally, the order was read to us, and so everyone went out. "The first branch, Pomkomvvod - foreman Prikot!" Came out, got up. My sailors, subordinates also read. Twelve people under my command. Everyone knew each other, and therefore kept together. From the next day we went to the factory, preserved the cruiser, poured everything with oil, attached tags. And in the evening - with training rifles to the Kirov Palace, to where they went to the dances - for ground training. It lasted until July, about twenty days. And after that issued weapon: on the 12 man of the 2 branch of the machine guns, the rest all, except the squad commander, received SVT rifles plus grenades. As a squad leader, I have PPD, as in Finnish. ” Of course, sending highly skilled specialists, whose training the fleet spent more than one year, privates to the infantry - the top of wastefulness, but the Soviet command had no choice: the enemy rushed to Leningrad. Only the gunners and a few sailors from various ship services needed to maintain the life support of the vessel remained on the cruiser. The shipboard power plant was hastily mounted, the completion of the projectile feed mechanisms and other necessary work for successful artillery fire continued. 15 August 1941 of the cruiser, named Petropavlovsk, was raised by the RKKF naval flag and, in accordance with its condition, the vessel was included in the detachment of ships of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet together with the destroyers Experimental, Strict and Stroy.
Fig. The destroyer "Experienced" firing at the enemy
The city’s defense headquarters decided to transfer Petropavlovsk to a shooting position in the area of Coal Harbor. Since the cruiser did not have high superstructures, it was able to disguise it relatively well: the hull of the vessel was “lost” among various coastal installations. The ship was brought to the pier and connected to the onshore power station, because by the beginning of the active phase of the fighting for the city, to the limit, the reduced crew of the vessel managed to fully put into operation only one diesel generator station.
When the Germans approached Leningrad in early September, work was found for the 203 mm cruiser guns. Artillery observers were sent ashore in advance, and on September 7 they received their first target designation on the cruiser: in front of the 21st NKVD division there was a large concentration of German troops and equipment. The guns of Petropavlovsk opened fire for the first time, sending 122 kilogram shells to the enemy. The Germans swept over and began to retreat in panic. New goal: in the vicinity of the station Uritsk unloading the composition with the troops. The Kruppen guns of the cruiser barked again. Within a few minutes, the composition was destroyed. Probably, the soldiers of the 36th motorized division of the Wehrmacht would have been quite surprised to learn that the former German cruiser “Lutz” from German guns was doing it with German shells. In just the first week of fighting, the cruiser fired 676 shells, causing significant damage to the troops of the 18th German Army, in particular, Petropavlovsk very effectively fought a counter-battery fight, several attempts of the German troops to break through the defense in the vicinity of the railway to Leningrad and the shortest ways to enter the city. As Admiral recalled in his book, “Towards Victory,” fleet N.G. Kuznetsov: “The unfinished cruiser Petropavlovsk annoyed the Nazis with their artillery fire.” On September 11, an accident occurred on the ship: during live firing, on a 22-shot shell explosion in the barrel channel, the barrel of the left gun of tower No. 1 was torn apart. When examining the scene of the incident, a defect was discovered: the shell on the barrel carefully sealed and painted over by the Germans. Intentional sabotage or factory marriage? The exact answer is unlikely to ever be received. On September 10, the army of the Army Group “Sever” came ashore in the Gulf of Finland, which enabled them to more carefully adjust the fire of their long-range artillery, and to shoot through the field guns through the main waterway between Kronstadt and Leningrad - the Sea Canal. Enraged by the successful actions of the sailors of Petropavlovsk, the Germans decided to destroy the cruiser at all costs. A series of air raids followed, which were successfully repelled by anti-aircraft gunners of the ship. However, from the dropped bombs, which, although they did not cause the "ex-Luttsov" any harm, the port buildings covering him from enemy eyes caught fire, and the coastal power substation was disabled. The position of the lost course and now in direct visibility of the enemy cruiser became threatening. The commander of the ship, captain of the 3rd rank A.K. Pavlovsky, urgently called for tugboats, and so far the cruiser continued to fire all night.
September 17 heavy 210 mm howitzer 768-th motorized division of the Wehrmacht attacked the first projectiles on a fixed ship. The Petropavlovsk Komendory tried to answer, but the Germans saw the target perfectly and fired very accurately. Practically one of the first projectiles, the room of generators No. 3 was put out of operation - the last remaining source of energy and the vessel was completely de-energized. The cruiser turned into a defenseless target, which began to mercilessly beat the enemy artillery. During the day, Petropavlovsk received more than 50 hits from projectiles of various calibers, mostly 210 mm, which is quite enough to sink almost any vessel. There was a fire on the cruiser, which could not be extinguished due to numerous damages in the fire lines. Outboard water began to flow through the holes. The team hastily left the sinking ship, after evacuating all the wounded. September 19, taking a huge mass of water, a warship sat on the ground, heavily leaning overboard on the mooring wall. Crew lost 10 people killed and 30 wounded. However, the cruiser did not give up. At night, observing all precautionary measures, the remaining crew members climbed aboard, together with the arrived specialists of the ship repair plant No. 189. Concealedly, they carried out the dismantling of anti-aircraft weapons, which were essential for equipping the vessels of the Ladoga military flotilla.
The difficult situation at the front forced the Soviet command to further reduce the crew, from the sailors of Petropavlovsk one more company of marines was formed, hastily sent to the front, to the landing party at Peterhof ..
The city’s defense headquarters decided not to abandon the shot cruiser, it was decided to work to lift and tow it to a safe place. The small crew and EPRON specialists for a year fought to save the ship. It was especially hard for people in the winter: cold, hunger, and even before the front edge of the German troops there was only three kilometers. Noticing the slightest perturbation in the area of the forced parking of the vessel, the Germans opened massive artillery and mortar fire. Keeping all measures of light and noise masking, in the flooded rooms of the cruiser there was an unprecedented struggle. The Baltic seamen pumped water from the compartments with weak portable pumps, divers sealed holes outside the hull, and mechanics restored pipelines and electrical wiring. Things went faster when ship specialists managed to “revive” some ship pumps. And now 10 September 1942, the iron machine, 212 long and 22 wide, meter has finally surfaced. It was possible to repair the damage in that part of the hull that was resting on the pier, by the morning a plaster had been started, cement boxes had been installed on the holes. Beginning to dawn, the Germans might have noticed that the warship came to life and again to fall asleep with shells, so the order was given to open the Kingston and again to sink the cruiser.
The next attempt was repeated a few days later. Powerful ship pumps quickly pumped out almost 1600 tons of water, imperceptibly creeping up the tug picked up a steel whopper and quickly dragged it into the Neva. However, here again the sailors were in for a failure: the fairway changed a lot over the year and the cruiser ran aground. Work on the break-off continued until dawn, and in the morning, before the eyes of the German observers, the familiar picture was again: the tilted cruiser stood calmly in its place. On a moonless night, 17, September, 1942, another attempt to save the ship was a success. In the morning the dumbfounded Germans saw an empty jetty, and the securely moored Petropavlovsk was already standing at the pier of the Baltic Shipyard.
In December 1942, repairs on the ship were completed, and the day before the new, 1943, the cruiser was towed to the iron wall of the Trade Port, from where it opened fire on the enemy. "Petropavlovsk" was introduced into the 2 th artillery group of the fleet, which also included the battleship "October Revolution", the cruiser "Kirov", and "Maxim Gorky", as well as several destroyers. The artillery of the cruiser was commanded by senior lieutenant J.K. Grace. The guns of the warship continued to smash the enemy, assisting land forces. The German equipment did not let down, the fire was fired extremely accurately. “KP of the enemy at the height of 112 (east of Red Village). Two direct hits in the concrete pillbox. The corner of the dota was demolished, the upper overlap was destroyed. In 100 radius 31 meters funnel. The shooting of the cruiser "Petropavlovsk" "- testifies in the book" Soviet surface ships in the Great Patriotic War "G.I. Ferrets. Petropavlovsk took part in the Krasnoselsko-Ropshinskaya offensive operation, firing 15 of the year, 1944 shells on the very first day, 250 January. From 15 to 20 in January, this number increased to 800 with a factory guarantee of barrel survivability on 300 shots. In total, 31 shells were fired at the enemy for 1036 shelling. The guns of the crippled ship were not too sorry: about a third of the firing and the shells fired by the 2 artillery group of the fleet fell to his account, especially the Germans for some reason put almost double ammunition before the war. “According to reports of coastal observation groups and our troops, the actions of the artillery of Petropavlovsk turned out to be very effective. Only for 19 in January, 3 guns, 29 vehicles, 68 vehicles and 300 dead soldiers and officers of the enemy were recorded at the expense of the cruiser battery, “quoted by the Red Banner Baltic Fleet V. Kofman in the book Princes Kriegsmarine. But gradually the front was moving away, and firing became more and more difficult. The last volleys of the ship produced 24 on January 1944 of the year. At this military service "Petropavlovsk" ended. 19 September 1944, the cruiser was renamed "Tallinn".
Fig. Heavy cruiser "Seidlits" in Pillau
After the war, several options for completing the ship were considered, one of which was very original. In 1945, in the Pillau Bay (now Baltiysk, Kaliningrad Oblast of the Russian Federation), the Seidlits cruiser, captured by the Germans “classmate” “Lyuttsova”, was captured by Soviet troops. Now it is possible, using one ship as a “warehouse of spare parts,” to bring the started 5 years ago to the logical end. However, having considered all the options, the command of the Navy considered the costs of restoring a foreign and already obsolete cruiser excessive. In addition, the hybrid power plant, standing on this type of ships, was difficult to operate and repair, and did not meet the requirements of the post-war domestic shipbuilding.
After the war, Tallinn began to be used as a non-self-propelled training ship until March 11 1953, when it was renamed Dnepr again. The cruiser was turned into a floating barracks, in which the crews of warships being repaired at Leningrad docks resided. The next wave of renaming was not long in coming, 27 December 1956, the former combat ship was named PKZ-112.
3 April 1958, the former "Lutz" was excluded from the fleet lists.
Fig. Landmarks for shooting German artillery
In some works of modern authors on this topic, the Soviet government often censures the purchase of an unfinished cruiser, they say, the price is too high, and it was possible to buy or build something more necessary for the spent currency. This judgment shows only one thing: their superficial knowledge of the realities of the beginning of the war. In 30, by evil intent or incompetence, Marshal Tukhachevsky, now in charge of the innocent victims of Stalinist repression, was directly responsible for armament, concentrated his efforts on the weapons bazaars and directed the means and power of weapons factories to implement various fantastic ideas like "universal anti-tank anti-aircraft guns "or air gun caliber under 250 mm. The development of long-range artillery was stopped by them, and the USSR approached the beginning of the war with a few units of field guns firing at distances over 30 km. The artillery systems that were then part of the Leningrad Front, had the maximum range of 20-25 km, regular German guns of infantry and motorized divisions confidently hit targets at 25-30 km. It turned out that the Germans could completely with impunity level the city with the land by the actions of one artillery. However, it turned out that the fleet blocked in September of the Markov Puddle in September turned out to be the savior of Leningrad: for example, guns of battleships of pre-revolutionary construction could send a heavy projectile at a distance of 1941 km. Eight-inch "Luttsov" shot at 44 km, which allowed to effectively carry out a counter-battery struggle against any type of German guns. During the war, the cruiser fired more shells on the enemy than any other ship of the Baltic Fleet, thus saving many thousands who have no cash equivalent to the lives of Soviet soldiers and civilians of the heroic city on the Neva.