FIRST BATTLE PASSAGE OF THE UNDERWATER MINING PLAYER "CRAB"
When the First World War began, Russia's Black Sea Fleet was clearly superior in power to the Turkish Navy. However, 12 days after the start of the war (Turkey was still neutral) two Germanic ships arrived in Constantinople (Istanbul) - the battle cruiser Goeben and the light cruiser Breslau, which broke through into the Eastern Mediterranean past the ships of Great Britain and France, and then entered through Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus in the Black Sea. "Goeben" was a modern battlecruiser, armed with 10 X-guns caliber guns - mm, and also had a speed 280 nodes.
At the same time, the Black Sea fleet only obsolete battleships entered, each of which was armed with four 305-mm guns (and the battleship “Rostislav” - four 254-mm guns), their speed did not exceed 16 knots. The entire Russian brigade of armored ships in the number of large-caliber guns exceeded the artillery armament of the battle cruiser Geben, but, taking advantage of its superior speed, he could always avoid meeting with the Russian squadron. Modern Russian ships were still under construction in Nikolaev, and not one of them was ready for the start of the war. Therefore, the interest of the Russian Black Sea Fleet command in replenishing the fleet with these ships is understandable.
In the summer of 1915, the first of these battleships, the Empress Maria, was to be commissioned (12 X-mm caliber guns and 305-20 caliber guns). But the ship had to make the first transition from Nikolaev to Sevastopol with untested gun turrets of the main caliber. Naturally, the transition could be considered secured only if the encounter of the battleship "Empress Maria" with the German battle cruiser "Goeben" was ruled out. In order to provide this transition for the "Empress Maria" to Sevastopol, an idea arose to block the "Goeben" from entering the Black Sea. For this, it was necessary to secretly put a minefield at the Bosphorus Strait. The most suitable for such a statement of mines near the enemy's coast could be an underwater mine layer. That is why the fulfillment of this task was entrusted to the Krab submarine, which had not yet completed its tests.
25 June 1915 in the 07.00 The Crab, under the commercial flag with 58 mines and 4 torpedoes on board, has shot from mooring lines.
In addition to personnel, there were: the head of the Underwater Brigade, Captain 1 of rank V.Ye. Klochkovsky, the flagship brigade navigator, Lieutenant MVParutsky and the transfer captain of the plant, mechanical engineer Lieutenant V.S.Lukianov (the latter went on a march on his own wish). Protector was accompanied by new submarines "Walrus", "Nerpa" and "Seal".
According to the instructions received, the Krab submarine was supposed to put a minefield as far as possible on the line of the Bosphorus lighthouses (Rumeli-Fener and Anatoli-Fener) a mile long 1. Submarine Nerpa was supposed to block the Bosphorus from the east (east), being in the area of the Shili lighthouse (on the Anatolian coast of Turkey, east of the Bosphorus); Submarine "Seal" was supposed to hold to the west (west) of the Bosphorus, and the submarine "Walrus" - to take a position against the Bosphorus.
In 09.20, being on the parallel of Cape Sarych, the submarine "Crab" headed for the Bosphorus. Submarines "Walrus", "Nerpa" and "Seal" were walking in the wake column, and the head submarine "Seal" was on the left traverse of the "Crab". The weather was clear. Wind 2 points. Submarine "Crab" was under the two kerosene engines of the right side. After several hours of work, they assumed to switch to the motors of the left shaft in order to inspect the first ones and put them in order.
From 10 to 11 hours, artillery and rifle exercises were conducted: 37-mm guns and machine guns were tested. At noon, by order of the submarine brigade commander, a military flag and pennant were raised. In the 20.00, the submarines began to diverge so that in the dark they would not constrain each other in maneuvering. In the morning they were to meet again.
Submarine "Crab", having greater speed than the other submarines, came to the meeting point on the morning of June 26 earlier than the accompanying submarines. Therefore, in order to use the free time, the motors stopped and made immersion and trimming of the layer Crab. When diving, they found that the Crab was losing its buoyancy astern. As it turned out, the aft trim tank was filled with water due to the fact that the neck of this tank let the water out of the setting. I had to float and change the rubber on the neck of the tank. The damage was repaired and the trimming started again.
During trimming, it was found that it was impossible to pump water from one trim tank to another because of the low pump power. When the minelayer emerged, the remaining water in the superstructure was piped.
In the hold, but it turned out that this was happening very slowly, so I had to open the fodder of the aft trim tank and lower part of the water into it, and then pump it out with a hose overboard.
In 10.50, all the submarines were assembled. After de-differentiation of the "Crab", the PL "Nerpa" and "Seal" headed for the given positions, and the PL "Morzh", since its position was marked against the Bosphorus, followed along with the "Crab". Until the Bosphorus 85 miles remained. Captain 1 of rank Klochkovsky planned to make a mine setting in the evening twilight, so that in case of possible failures and faults of the minelayer, some reserve of time remained at night at the moment of statement or immediately after it. Therefore, he decided to make a mine setting in the evening of the next day, i.e. 27 June.
In 14.00, the motors were started up, and then they set in motion and simultaneously started charging the battery. At 20.00, the Morse submarine left, having received an order to meet the next morning against the Bosphorus, but out of sight of the submarine from the shore. June 27 in 00.00 battery charging finished (taken 3000 A-hours), the motors stopped, and the "Crab" stood on the spot until 04.00, after which it went slow. In 06.30, the shore opened on the nose, and in 07.35, the Walrus submarine appeared to the right along the traverse. At 09.00, the coast almost disappeared into light haze. The Crab was located 28 miles from the Bosphorus. The motors were stalled, and then in 11.40, after lunch, they were started up again, but already on the screw and on charging, so that the batteries were fully charged for the upcoming mine setting. On 16.15 in 11 miles from the Rumeli-Fener lighthouse, the motors stopped, and in 16.30 they began to dive, and after 20 minutes, the submerged 4 node was given. The submarine brigade chief decided to put a minefield from the Anatoli-Fener lighthouse to the Rumeoli-Fener lighthouse, and not vice versa, since in the latter case, with an error in speed, the Krab submarine could jump onto the Anatolian coast.
Determining the location of the submarine was made in the periscope. But in order not to find himself, the head of the brigade of the submarine who was in the control room took the bearings by the periscope, exposing it to the surface for only a few seconds, then he passed the countdown in a circle to the flagship navigator, who led the course.
In 18.00, the barrier was 8 miles from Anatoli-Fener. He walked at a depth of 50 feet (15,24 m), counting from the keel of the submarine to the surface. Then the immersion depth was increased to 60 feet (18,29 m). In 19.00, in determining the location of the barrier (periscope) opposite the strait, a Turkish steamship was found, located from the barrier in the 10 cable. However, Captain I Rank Klochkovsky refused to attack this ship, fearing to find himself and thereby disrupt the minefield setting. Increasing the depth to 65 feet (19,8 m) to pass under the keel of a Turkish steamer, the "Crab" lay down on a course of 180 degrees.
In 19.55, the minelayer was located in the 13,75 cab from the Anatoli-Fener lighthouse. In 20.10 started min. After 11,5 minutes, the minelayer lightly touched the ground. Since the head of the submarine brigade sought to put a minefield as close as possible to the lighthouses, he suggested that there was a touch on Rumelian bank. Therefore, Klochkovsky immediately ordered to put the rudder on board, stop the mine elevator and blow the high-pressure tank. According to the pointer at this moment the last mines have not yet been delivered.
There was a big push in 20.22, followed by a few others. The hawker surfaced to 45 feet. (13,7 m), having a big trim on the nose, but did not surface further, apparently, having touched something with a nose. Then they blew through the middle tank and stopped the course in order to allow the submarine to free itself and not wrap the minrepra on the screw (if the minelayer got on the minefield). A minute later, "Crab" surfaced to half cutting, having a course to the north. In the porthole window from the left side was seen at dusk the lighthouse of Rumeli-Fener ...
In 20.24, the hacker again plunged, increasing the turn to 5,25 knots.
A minute later, when I tried to put the “last mine”, it turned out that the pointer worked inaccurately: this mine was put in its place just before touching the ground. The speed of the minelayer was reduced to 65 feet (19,8 m) in order to freely pass under the keel of oncoming ships and under a possible mine barrier.
In 20.45, the Crab increased its speed to 4,5 knots, in order to move more quickly from the Bosphorus, since there was a lot of trim and the assumption was that the submarine was damaged hull. In 21.50, Captain I rank Klochkovsky gave the order to surface. After the ascent, the submarine brigade commander with the commander went up to the bridge. It was dark. Nothing can be seen around: only on the black strip of the coast, near the strait there were flashes of fire, and to the west of it - a faint flickering light ... The submarine ventilation was turned on and they allowed people in need of fresh air to go upstairs, and such were, in particular, in the rear compartment of the minelayer, where they stood kerosene engines ... Here is what the submarine commander Art. Lieutenant L.K. Fenshaw: "Due to the lack of time left before the dive in the view of the Bosphorus, I could not cool the kerosene engines properly and went under the water with hot engines.
From the high temperature emanating from them and from the heating electromotors with a long 6-hour underwater course, there were significant emissions of kerosene and oil vapors, so strong that not only in the stern of the submarine, where most of the team was angry, but even in the control room, where the head of the submarine brigade, the flagship navigator, the vertical helmsman and the submarine commander, the eyes were very watery and breathing was difficult, as a result of which, after the ascent of the submarines, part of the crew went on deck and the senior mechanical engineer midshipman Ivanov was carried out in a semi-unconscious state. "
In 23.20, starboard kerosene engines were launched, and in 25 minutes - the starboard kerosene engines. The brigade commander was supposed to give the commander of the Morzh submarine the agreed radiogram, but this was not possible because during the underwater stroke of the barrier, the antenna was torn.
Further navigation of the submarine "Crab" to Sevastopol occurred without incident. They were only afraid that there would not be enough lubricating oil, because his expense was greater than estimated. The latter was not unexpected, since another 8 of April, when testing the barrier on a surface course, the commission found it necessary to change the device for lubricating the thrust bearings and put a refrigerator to cool the running oil, which, however, did not have time to do this.
When approaching Sevastopol on June 29, in 07.39, the “Crab” minelayer separated from the squadron of the Black Sea Fleet, which had left Sevastopol. The submarine brigade commander informed the fleet commander about the fulfillment of the combat mission by the minelayer. In 08.00, the commercial flag was raised again, and in 09.30, the Crab dropped off from the base in South Bay.
The first hike showed that the minelayer has a significant number of design flaws, for example: the complexity of the dive system, resulting in a dive time reaching 20 minutes; clutter submarines mechanisms; high temperature in the premises during the operation of kerosene engines and harmful evaporation from them, which made the work of the minelayer difficult. In addition, it should be noted that the staff before the march did not have time to properly study the structure of such a complex ship as a minelayer. Only an urgent and important task forced the command to send yet, in essence, not fully completed by construction, the minelayer to such a responsible campaign.
Thanks to the resourcefulness and complete peace of mind, as well as the intense and dedicated work of the personnel of the submarine, which has eliminated many shortcomings, it was possible to perform a given operation. Indeed, when 27 in the evening, during a mine setting, 4 was hit hard in the nose of the minelayer and the mine elevator motor current increased significantly, there was a concern that the auxiliary circuit fuses would blow and all auxiliary mechanisms would stop, and when the mine layer stopped and the elevator continued to work, mines will be placed under the stern submarine. Lieutenant V. Kruzenshtern immediately stopped the elevator, thereby avoiding this danger. At the same time, during strikes, the maximum switch of the horizontal rudders stopped working. The steering boatswain N. Tokarev, instantly realizing what the rudders do not shift from, turned on the open maximum switch, which kept the layer from large and dangerous trimmers. Nikolai N.Monastyrev, fearing that the torpedo tubes and the ballast tank could be damaged by the blows, took the necessary measures: ordered to keep the compressed air and pump at the ready for pumping water. Despite severe fatigue and headache — signs of burnout — the mechanical engineer midshipman MP Ivanov was always among the team and encouraged everyone.
The deliverer of the plant mechanical engineer V.S.Lukyanov, appearing at the right moment in the compartments and giving instructions, contributed to the normal operation of the minelayer mechanisms.
For the successful fulfillment of the combat mission of laying mines near the Bosphorus, the officers were promoted or rewarded. The commander of the submarine "Crab" LK Fenshaw was promoted to the rank of 2 captain of rank, the flagship navigator of the submarine brigade, MV Parutsky, was promoted to senior lieutenant, N. Monastyrev was promoted to lieutenant, MP Ivanov - engineer - Mechanic - Lieutenant.
Awarded orders: V.E. Klochkovsky - Order of Vladimir 3-th degree with swords, V.V. Kruzenshtern - Order of Anna 3-degree, MPIvanov-Order of Stanislav 3-th degree. Later, by order of the Black Sea Fleet Commander from September 26, 1915, and so on. Senior Officer Protector Lt. V.V. Krusenstern was awarded the St. George weapons for the fact that "during the setting of the minefield, the submarine brought the submarine out of a critical position by its valiant and selfless activity, which contributed to the success of the military operation. The sailors were also awarded for this campaign: the crosses of St. George - 8 people, the St. George medal - 10 people, the Medal" For zeal "-12 people.
The day after the mine was laid, the Turks discovered a boom on the surface of the mines, which was set up by the Krab submarine. Raising one of them, the Germans realized that the mines were delivered to the submarines. The minesweeper division immediately began trawling, and on July X, the commandant of the Bosphorus informed that the minefield had been cleared.
However, this conclusion was very hasty: on the "etched" barrier the Turkish gunboat "Isa Reis" was undermined by the bow. She was towed to the shore and rescued.
5 July 1915, the 4 came forward to the Turkish steamers with coal cruiser "Breslau". In 10 miles north-east from Cape Kara-Burna Vostochny, it hit a mine, taking in 642 tons of water (with a displacement of 4550 tons). This minefield was fielded in December 1914 by minelayers of the Black Sea Fleet - "Alexei", "George", "Konstantin" and "Xenia". Under the protection of the minesweepers, the cruiser Breslau entered the Bosphorus and stood at the dock at Stenia. Its repair took several months, and only in February 1916, he went into operation. It was a significant loss for the German-Turkish fleet, given that in its composition of light cruisers remained only low-speed "Hamidiye". During this period, the liner cruiser “Goben” did not sail into the Black Sea, as it was decided to use it only in extreme cases. The reason for this decision is a lack of coal caused by the fighting of Russian ships in the coal area of the Anatolian coast.
23 July 1915, the battleship "Empress Maria" safely came from Nikolaev to Sevastopol.
After the return of the minelayer "Crab" in Sevastopol on it until August, repaired and eliminated the deficiencies remaining due to the urgent exit to the military campaign.
After the end of 20-21 repair in August 1915, he went to sea. At the beginning of December, the Black Sea Fleet Commander ordered that the Crab, in the event of favorable weather, go to the mine setting, and then block the port of Zunguldak.
On December 10, the crab "Krab" went to sea to fulfill the order of the Black Sea Fleet Commander, but because of the stormy weather, December 12 was forced to return to Sevastopol. Thus, in the last months of 1915, the "Crab" did not conduct mine settings. In August, the captain of the 2 rank, L.K. Fenshaw, was appointed i.d. the chief of the submarine's 1 battalion, which included the Crab, the Walrus, the Nerpa, and the Seal. In October, 1915 was appointed the head of the "Crab" Art. lt. Mikhail Vasilyevich Parutsky (genus 1886, graduated from the diving course in 1910) - the flagship navigator of the Underwater Brigade, who previously held the position of submarine commander, and in 1912 - the position of deputy chief of the submarine division for technical issues. Instead of a mechanical engineer lt. M.P. Ivanov was appointed to "Crab" by a mechanical engineer midshipman P.I. Nikitin, who served as a senior mechanical engineer from February to October, 1916.
In February, 1916. The Crab was ordered to mine mines from the Bosphorus. 25 February in 17.10 he left Sevastopol under the pennant of the head of the Underwater Brigade Captain 1 of rank Klochkovsky. However, due to the stormy weather in two days, 27 in February at 20.45, "the minelayer was forced to return to Sevastopol.
28 June 1916 was appointed Vice-Admiral A.V. Kolchak (instead of Admiral A.Ebergardt) as Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, for whom the Headquarters and the Tsar had high hopes.
In pursuance of the Stavs directive, it was decided to set up a minefield at the Bosphorus. To accomplish the mission, the Crab and 4 of the newest destroyers of the 1 Division - “Restless”, “Wrathful”, “Brash” and “Shrill” were planned. The first was supposed to put mines "Crab", and then at the nearest approaches to the strait - destroyers. The last barrier was supposed to be placed in the 20-40 cab from the entrance to the Bosphorus in the 3 line. In June, before the battle campaign to the Bosphorus, the "Crab" made 6 sailing into the sea, and in July, just before the march, two exits (July 11 and 13). 17 July in 06.40 underwater mine layer "Crab" under the command of Art. lt. M.V. Parutsky and under the pennant of the chief of the Underwater Brigade of the captain 1 rank V.E. Klochkovsky came from Sevastopol to the Bosphorus, having on board 60 mines and 4 torpedoes. The duties of the senior mechanical engineer were performed by the machine conductor J.Pusner. The weather was clear. Wind from the north-east force 1 score. In the afternoon, the batteries were recharged. As always, the haulier’s march was accompanied by accidents: on July 18, the shirt of the second cylinder of the aft kerosene engine of the starboard side burst on 00.30. Under Pusner’s guidance, the damage was repaired, and all 03.00 engines were launched on 4. After 2 hours, a new damage was revealed: the mine and machine conductor P. Kolenov discovered that he had broken the lash of the steel cable of the nasal anti-mine taps. Kolenov grabbed these taps on the move, and thus this damage was repaired. The barrier was approaching the Bosporus. In 12.30 opened its shores. When 18 remained miles before the strait, the captain of the 1 rank Klochkovsky decided to continue sailing in a positional position. Kerosene engines were stalled. Submarine was ventilated. In 13.45, the minelayer plunged into the water and became differentiated. Horizontal rudders were tested and submarine control was checked.
The 14.10 blew the middle tank and moved to the positional position. After 5 minutes, the right kerosene engine was started up. When 12 remained until the Bosphorus for miles, the engine was again locked; Submarine re-ventilated. The motors cooled, and an underwater course was given at 16.00 depth in 12. The time of the mine setting was approaching. The weather was favorable: the northeast wind 3 - 4 points, white scallops. In 19.50, when the barrier was in the 4,5 cab from Rumeli - Fener, Klochkovsky ordered the mine to start, and the submarine gradually left to the left with the intention of drifting to the right, since a weak current was detected on the west.
By 20.08, the production of all 60 mines was completed. The barrier was set south of the line connecting the capes of Yum-Burnu and Rodighet, on the way of the warships of the enemy, the fairway which according to the latest data passed from the north to Cape Poiras. The barrier involved the western wing of the Rumelian shallows, while the eastern one did not reach the Anatolian coast to the 6 cabin. Only the fairway of the enemy’s commercial ships remained open. Mines were exposed at a depth of 6 m from the surface.
After the mine setting, "The Crab" lay down on the opposite course, going underwater. In 21.30, when it was dark enough, the medium tank was blown out, and the minelayer moved to the positional position, and in 22.15, in 7 miles from Anatoli-Fener, all the main ballast was blown, and the Crab moved to cruising position. After 15 minutes, kerosene engines were running. 19 started charging batteries in July at 06.00, and an accident occurred at 13.00: the shirt of the fourth cylinder of the starboard engine burst. I had to stop the starboard motors and stop charging the batteries. But the misadventures did not end there: in 21.00, at the nasal port motor, the circuit of the circulation pump broke.
Motor began to cool autonomous pump. On July 20, the kerosene engines stopped in 08.00: water went out of the fuel tanks ... I had to send a radiogram to the fleet headquarters with a request to send a tug. However, an hour later, they managed to launch the stern left-side engine, and the Krab submarine went on its own. On the nose finally opened the shore. A new radiogram was sent to the fleet headquarters that the minelayer would reach the base independently. In 11.30 "Crab" lay down course on the Chersonese lighthouse. Due to the rapid elimination of damage, the second kerosene engine was started up.
After 10 minutes, the port vessel "Dneprovets" (serving as the escort of the submarine) approached the expander, which followed him to the Chersonesus lighthouse. In 14.45, the "Crab" was moored at the side of the submarine base ship in Sevastopol. Thus ended the second military campaign of the world's first underwater mine layer.
18 August 1916. Preparation of the "Crab" for a new campaign began. 13.00 mines were sunk to 38, but suddenly one of the mines skewed and stuck in the mine elevator. Because of this, part of the elevator had to be disassembled. During the night, the elevator was reassembled, and by the next day 08.00 the loading of the mines continued. To 13.00, all 60 mines were loaded onto the minelayer.
20 August 1916 in 00.50 "Crab" left Sevastopol and headed for Varna. At first, the weather was quiet, but by evening it was fresh, and by midnight a storm broke out. The waves hit the barrier, the propellers began to bare. As always, kerosene engines began to fail. The 01.40 had to stop the starboard kerosene engine to inspect and repair damage. Meanwhile, the wind increased to 6 points. Submarine set a lag to the wave. To 04.00 pitching reached 50 degrees. Acid started to pour out of the batteries, the insulation resistance in the batteries decreased and a number of electrical mechanisms failed. In the mess room, the table was torn off. The team began to sway. The engines of people worked in difficult conditions: high temperature, evaporation of kerosene and the smell of burnt oil ... Due to the uneven load during rolling weakened the circuit of the circulation pump. I had to go under the electric motors. 05.35 was able to re-launch kerosene engines. However, in 06.40, the circuit of the circulating pump broke - the starboard kerosene engine finally broke down. The submarine went at low speed under the action of the left-side aft motor. At this time, the submarine "Crab" was in 60 miles from Constanta.
In 09.00, the thrust bearing of the left shaft overheated due to clogged oil pipe. On the battleship "Rostislav", standing in Konstanz, was sent a radiogram asking for help. The wind reached 8 points. At noon, the Crab was located 11 miles from Cape Shabla. The mine installation had to be abandoned, and a second radiogram was sent to Rostislav that the minelayer was going to Constanta for repair. In 13.00, despite the enhanced cooling, the left-side kerosene engines heated up. I had to turn them off. Submarine went under the electric motors. At 15.30, at the Tuzla lighthouse, the Crab met with the Zvetyny EM and, following him in the wake, passed a Romanian minefield and entered the port of Constance.
During the stay of the "Crab" in the port of Constanta, enemy seaplane raids were carried out. The first raid was made in the morning of August 22 between 08.00 and 09.00. "Crab" managed to sink under the water and lay on the ground during the raid. However, during the 25 raid of August 1916, the minelayer did not have time to dive. Fortunately, everything went well.
August 27 "Crab" was assigned to put a minefield in the southern approach to Varna (closer to the Galata lighthouse). Experience has shown that kerosene engines can refuse at any time, so they made a decision: the "Crab" will be towed by the destroyer to a point offshore in 22 miles. Then he will independently follow to the site of the mine setting with the expectation of arriving there at sunset. After the mine setting, the haul is first submerged, and then, at nightfall, will go to the meeting place with the destroyer. Tow "Crab" received the appointment of EM "Wrath."
28 August 1916 The haulier "Crab" was differentiated in the harbor and by 22.30 he was ready to receive a tug with EM. Due to the fact that there was no towing device on the Crab, the towboat was brought through the anchor line of the submarine.
29 August in 01.00 PL "Crab" in tow EM Gnevny "when accompanied by minesweepers left Constanza. In 05.30, minesweepers were released, and the minelayer and destroyer followed independently to their destination. It was a beautiful sunny day. The weather favored the campaign. In 06.00, the commander of the crab "Crab" Art. Lieutenant MV Parutsky asked the destroyer to stop the vehicle in order to reset the towing cable. When the submarine team chose the cable, "Wrathful" suddenly gave full speed. The towing cable darted, he pulled himself along and cut through the deck of the superstructure throughout the 0,6 m. The Destroyer opened fire. It turned out that the enemy's 2 seaplane appeared in the air. One of them went to the "Crab" and tried to descend, but the destroyer "Wrath" with his fire did not allow him to do it.
However, the "Crab" could not dive, since this was prevented by the cable that hung on the nose of the submarine. A seaplane dropped 8 bombs near it, but none of them hit the landlord. Thanks to the well-aimed fire of the destroyer Gnevny, one of the aircraft was hit. Seaplanes flew away, having spent a supply of bombs. The attack of enemy aircraft failed, but the mine installation was disrupted, because the enemy found our ships. Now the "Crab" was on its own. Having taken a new supply of bombs, the enemy's aircraft appeared again over the minelayer, but the “Crab” managed to sink, and the attack of the enemy was again unsuccessful.
In 15.30, the hacker safely dropped off in Constance.
To 16.30, the Port Crab superstructure was repaired by port forces and a large hook was installed for towing on it. In order not to undergo more attacks, the planes decided to leave Constanza in the evening. Now the minelayer was accompanied by an older destroyer "Voiced". When 31 August in 17.50 "Crab" approached the "Beeper" to start the tug, it failed. Broke hook. The campaign was postponed until the next day.
September 1 in 18.30 "Crab" is already being towed by EM "Angry" out of Constanta. In 20.00, ships with speeds of 10 nodes passed 2 miles from Tuzla Lighthouse. Getting fresh. The 21.00 burst the towline. After 2,5 hours, he was brought back.
2 September to 06.00 wind verse. Have given a towing cable. Having agreed on a rendezvous with the landlord, EM "Angry" left. At noon, the "Crab" approached Cape Emine. In 15.00 prepared for immersion. The weather turned bad again: a fresh north-north-west blew, which spread a small wave with scallops. Immersed, "Crab" was going under the periscope at a speed of 3,5 node. In 16.30 in order to shorten the way, Art. Lieutenant Parutsky decided to pass under the minefield of the enemy, which, according to available data, was delivered. That he failed. In 19.10, the Crab was located in the 16 cab from the Galata lighthouse. The shore began to hide in the evening mist. Approaching the lighthouse on the 5 cab, the minelayer began setting mines. After the mine elevator started working, suddenly there was a clang of iron in the superstructure, and the elevator rose. Turn it on the other side, and then again on the min. Initially, the load increased dramatically - to 60 A (instead of the usual 10 A), and then the elevator began to work normally. In 19.18, when the pointer showed that 30 minutes had been delivered, the production was interrupted, and after 30 minutes it was resumed again.
In 19.28, all the mines according to the sign have been exposed. The air in the submarine completely spoiled. Breathing became hard. Therefore, a high-pressure tank was blown through, and the submarine was vented through a manhole. It was completely dark around.
In 21.15, in 3 miles from the coast, tanks of the main ballast began to drain, the minelayer began to emerge, but at the same time its roll increased and reached 10 degrees. When ascertaining the causes of this roll, it was established that the right mine store remained in place, since the mine of this store had jammed at the exit from the superstructure at the door of the aft embrasure. Therefore, due to the accident of the right elevator, not all mines were put up, as the pointer showed, but only 30 mines. Mines were delivered in 2 lines at intervals in 61 m (200 feet). Instead of relying in 30,5 m (100 feet). The 10 roll of degrees to starboard and the overflowing water in the superstructure forced the Crab commander to fill in the left side displacer. The mine stuck in the right elevator was decided not to touch it until dawn. Under kerosene engines with a speed of 6 nodes, the minelayer left the coast and went to a rendezvous with the Gnevnyi EM. At dawn, a mine in the right elevator with great precautions wedged and closed the door of the aft embrasure.
3 September in 06.00 "Crab" met with EM "Wrath" and took a towline from it. In 7 miles from Constanta, the Crab attacked enemy seaplanes that dropped a 21 bomb, however they did not cause him any harm.
September 4 in 18.00 both ships arrived safely in Sevastopol.
Giving an assessment of the last mine setting made by the Krab underwater mine-layer protector, the Black Sea Fleet Commander in his report on fleet operations from 1 to 15 September 1916 wrote: “In terms of difficulty of setting, which required accuracy of the calculation, since the distance between the coast and the Bulgarian obstacle one mile, and in case of failure of the submarine mechanisms, I consider the fulfillment of the task assigned to him by the Crab, despite a number of previous failures, an outstanding feat. "
For setting mines at the Bosnian 18 in July, the Black Sea Fleet Commander issued an order from 15 in November 1916 to the commander of the minelayer Art. Lieutenant MV Parutsky with the St. George Cross of St. George 4 degree, and Acting Senior Officer Lieutenant N. A. Monastyrev by order of November 1 1916 St. George’s weapon. Midshipman MF Prishetsky, who performed the duties of a mine officer, was promoted to lieutenant and awarded the Order of Vladimir 4 of the 13th degree with swords and a bow. An earlier order from 27 June 1916 of the head of the submarine brigade captain 1 of the rank of V.Ye. Klochkovsky was awarded with St. George weapons.
By order of the Black Sea Fleet Commander from 6 in October 1916, 26 people of the Krab planer team were awarded: 3 man with a St. George cross of 3 degree. 7 man of St. George 4 degree. 3 man St. George Medal 3 degree, 13 man St. George Medal XNUM degree. Earlier, the fleet commander awarded his order to 4 a man with the medal "For Diligence" and 3 a man with a medal on the Stanislav ribbon.
After this campaign, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet ordered "to start overhaul and rework the mine-laying system of the mine cracker" Crab "" due to damage to the mechanisms and many constructive flaws that create the insecurity of the combat mission of the submarines. "
This, as we see, ended the combat activity of the first in the world underwater mine layer “Crab”.
In the fall and winter of 1916, there were some changes in the officer of the minelayer. The machine conductor Y. Pusner was promoted to second lieutenant for the Admiralty and appointed by the order of the Black Sea Fleet Commander a shipboard mechanic, and the mechanical engineer midshipman P.I. Nikitin was appointed to the new submarine Orlan. The senior officer serving as lieutenant N.A. Monastyrev on September 28 was assigned to the Kashalot submarine for the same position. After swimming on it, he received command of the submarine "Skat".
During the civil war, Monastyrev served in the white fleet and shared the fate of other former officers who opposed his people: he ended up in faraway Bizerte. Here in 1921 -1924. Monastyrev produced "Bizertsky sea collection" and began to engage history Russian fleet. His service in the white fleet ended in November 1924 after recognition of the USSR by France. During the period of emigration, N.A. Monastyrev wrote a number of books and articles on the history of the Russian fleet, submarines, Arctic research and other issues.
Undoubtedly, the last submarine officer was also the last commander of the Krab submarine, captain of the 2 rank (produced in this rank in 1917), MV Parutsky, but he later also found himself in emigration.
It should be noted and the head of the submarine brigade captain 1 rank (with 1917, the rear admiral) Vyacheslav Evgenievich Klochkovsky, who served in the submarine fleet with 1907, he commanded the submarines, and then the submarine connections. Like Monastyrev, Klochkovsky served in the white fleet, and then transferred to the fleet of bourgeois Poland, where in recent years he served as the Polish naval attache in London. In 1928, he retired.
The selfless, courageous and skillful service of sailors, non-commissioned officers and conductors of the barlayer during the hardest military campaigns also contributed to the success of the Crab. Convincing evidence of this is the awarding of their crosses of St. George and medals.
CRAB IS BECOMING A REPAIR
To resolve the issue of the necessary repair of the underwater layer “Krab” by order of the head of the Underwater Brigade of the Black Sea, Captain 1 of the rank of V.Ye. Klochkovsky and under the chairmanship of 7 on September 1916, the Technical Commission was convened. The commission included: rank 2 captain L.K. Fenshaw, senior lieutenants M.V. Parutsky and Yu.L.Afanasyev, lieutenant N.A. Monastyrsky, midshipman MF Prisetsky, mechanical engineer Art. Lieutenant V.D. Brod (flagship mechanical engineer of the Underwater Brigade), mechanical engineer midshipman P.I. Nikitin, captain of the KKI S.Ya.Kiverov (flagship engineer of the Underwater Brigade).
Representatives of the Sevastopol port also participated in the commission meeting: ship engineer lieutenant colonel V.Ye. Karpov, mechanical engineer Art. Lieutenant F.M. Burkovsky and mechanical engineer Lieutenant N.G. Golovachev.
The commission came to the conclusion that the minelayer needs an overhaul due to its inherent flaws:
1) the operating time of kerosene engines is limited, since quite often you have to completely disassemble them;
2) low battery capacity leads to the restriction of submarine underwater range;
3) electrical wiring is unsatisfactory;
4) PL submersion time is long (up to 20 minutes, but not less than 12 minutes), for the reason that the large superlayer of the minelayer is slowly filled. In addition, the nasal trim tank is located unsuccessfully - above the waterline;
5) short life time of the haulier housing due to the thin plating of the displacers, which, due to damage, will fail before the plating of the strong housing.
It was suggested to eliminate these shortcomings:
1) replace the 4 kerosene engine with diesel engines of the appropriate power;
2) instead of two main high voltage electric motors, install the electric motors normally applied to the voltage PL;
3) change wiring;
4) replace the worn out battery with a new larger capacity battery due to weight savings when installing diesel engines instead of kerosene engines;
5) remake tank master tankers and replace the bow trim tank with a nasal propellant.
The Commission believed that with the timely delivery of new mechanisms, the repair of the minelayer would approximately take at least one year. At the same time, she was aware that even with such a long-term repair only some of the flaws of the mechanisms and devices would be eliminated. The main disadvantages - a small surface and underwater speed, a small underwater cruising range, as well as a long dive time - will be partially eliminated. Taking into account the need for the detacher to take part in a real war, the commission, however, considered it possible to confine only to some corrections that ensured the combat activity of the underwater one.
These corrections included:
1) replacing a worn out new battery that was being manufactured at the time;
2) repair of existing electrical wiring, and it is imperative to make the fuse boxes available for inspection;
3) replacing main motor stations with simpler and more reliable ones;
4) complete reassembly of kerosene engines with the replacement of unusable parts with new ones, with the removal of four cylinders from each nasal motor (in this case, the speed of the layer would be reduced to approximately 10 nodes); check shafts and fix thrust bearings; vacated after removing part of the cylinder to use the place to install on the submarine Sperry gyro and improve household amenities;
5) reduction of kerosene stock on 600 pounds (9,8 t), because part of the kerosene engine cylinders will be removed;
6) use of two nasal propellants instead of the nasal trimming tank removed from the submarine;
7) further development on the superstructure of scallops and an increase in the number of air valves to improve its filling;
8) elimination of defects in the manual control of the vertical wheel.
9) At the suggestion of the commission, it will take about 3 months to complete this reduced amount of repair work.
20 September 1916. An act of the Technical Commission was reported to the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, emphasizing the fact that the commission did not pay enough attention to the most important part of the underwater mine layer - the mine elevator. The commander of the Black Sea Fleet set the task to bring the mine elevator "to a state in which cases during the last operation could not be repeated."
He did not allow the removal of part of the cylinders of the kerosene engines, believing that the surface stroke was already insufficient.
When calculating the time needed for repair, the commission proceeded from the fact that the repair of mechanisms would be limited to their bulkhead and that due to the removal of 8 cylinders of nasal kerosene engines it will be possible to use the parts of the removed cylinders to replace the unsuitable parts. However, the decision of the Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, which prohibited the removal of part of the cylinders, increased the scope of work. In addition, when the motors were disassembled, it turned out that it was necessary to pierce the 13 cylinders and re-manufacture the 20 pistons.
The latter work was especially difficult for the workshops of the Sevastopol port, since the pistons were made by the factory of the Körting brothers from a special cast iron - very viscous and fine-grained. Since there was no such cast iron available, the workshops had to spend a month and a half to choose from the available grades of cast iron, cast iron of appropriate quality. And then they delayed the introduction of the barrier into the dock, which was occupied by other ships, and the "Crab" was introduced there instead of 20's October numbers only 26 November 1916 g. Subsequently, in 1917, when the Crab engines were replaced, it was reintroduced into the dock. .
Thus, the repair of the minelayer could not be completed in the previously scheduled period - December 20 1916 (start of September 19 repair). Therefore, the new mechanic engineer of the Sevastopol port scheduled the end of March for the end of March 1917, but even this period, as we shall see, was not met. Later, another event occurred which delayed the repair of the submarines: December 17, when the Crab was put into dry dock and the dock began to fill with water, without taking appropriate precautions, the minelayer went aboard and water began to flow through the hatches. This accident required additional time to repair the submarine. By the way, new storage batteries were delayed by the Tudor plant, and they were not delivered within the contract period (in September).
1 January 1917, the head of the Black Sea Submarine Brigade, Captain 1 of rank V.Ye. Klochkovsky addressed a letter to the head of the diving department of the GUK.
In this letter, he pointed out that due to an accident in the dock, repairs of the electrical part of the minelayer could be completed only in 4 a month if the batteries arrive in a timely manner. Repairing the engines of Curting presented great difficulties for the port of Sevastopol, and besides, there was no guarantee of a satisfactory quality of repair, leaving these motors on the separator impractical for the following reasons:
1) these engines are unreliable in operation;
2) repairing them in the port of Sevastopol, which does not have the means to produce such special works as, for example, cast iron piston casting, does not improve the basic qualities of the motors and, finally,
3) engines have served for several years, are worn out, and therefore their low qualities will be so deteriorated without this, that an overhaul will only be a waste of time and money.
For this reason, Klochkovsky suggested replacing Currino kerosene engines with 240 hp diesel engines installed on AG submarines. If we assume that in this case the submarine "Crab" will give 9 nodes a full turn and about 7 nodes of an economic course, then such a solution can be considered quite acceptable.
Maritime Minister Admiral I.K. Grigorovich agreed with this proposal on the report of the Chief of the Department of Labor Administration, and on January 17 1917, the chairman of the commission monitoring the ships under construction in Nikolaev was instructed to send two diesel engines of 240 l to Sevastopol for the minelayer "Crab" . with., intended for the first batch of submarines of type AG, arrived in Nikolaev for assembly. These submarines were built by order of Russia, Holland’s company in the number of 6 units (previously 5 of such submarines were bought for the Baltic Fleet). They arrived in Nikolaev from America in batches of 3 PLs each.
In January 1917, the foundations for kerosene engines were dismantled and removed from the submarine. Earlier, the main electric motors, stations and battery fans were sent to Kharkov to the plant of the Universal Electricity Company (WEC) for repair. On the barrier there was a bulkhead of torpedo tubes and air compressors. In order to eliminate the defects found during combat operation, the mine elevator was repaired.
Thus, the lower guide shoulder straps, between which the rolls rolled along the worm shaft, turned out to be insufficiently thick, so that the rolls slid off them; the squares, between which the side guide rollers moved, were placed outside, as a result of which these rollers sometimes touched the beds, etc.
By the end of October, 1917 had laid the foundation for diesel engines, as well as diesel engines themselves, except for gas exhaust pipes with valves manufactured by the workshops of the Sevastopol port, and compressed air cylinders and their pipelines. Installation on the submarine of the left main electric motor was made a little later than the target date, since the electric motor was received from Kharkov with a big delay: only at the end of July - the beginning of August 1917. The second main electric motor was not ready by that time, as well as battery fans and stations. The reasons for this delay at the VIKE plant are visible from the report of the observer at the electrical part in Kharkov from 19 June 1917.
Only 6 - 7 in November 1917 was the repair of the right main motor, both stations and one battery fan (the second fan was reworked due to a defect found at reception). To this it should be added that the Tudor plant did not fulfill its obligation, putting only half of the batteries.
Thus, the repair of the underwater mine layer "Crab" and by 1 in January 1918 was not completed.
Of course, this delay in repairing the minelayer cannot be explained only by technical reasons, apart from the political events that took place at that moment in Russia.
The February Revolution overthrew autocracy. The war continued, bringing to the people only innumerable sacrifices, deprivation and bitterness of new defeats on the fronts.
And then came the October Revolution. The Soviet government immediately proposed to all the belligerents to immediately conclude a truce and begin negotiations for peace without annexations and contributions.
In February, 1918 issued a decree of the Council of People's Commissars that the fleet "was declared dissolved and the socialist workers and peasants' Red Fleet was organized ... on a voluntary basis.
3 March 1918 was signed the Brest peace treaty. It is quite clear that under these conditions the question of completing the repair of the underwater mine layer "Crab" disappeared by itself, because it was not necessary, and even less possible, at least for the first time.
At the end of April 1918, the German troops approached Sevastopol. To save their ships from capture
Teams of destroyers, submarines and patrol ships, and then teams of battleships decided to leave for Novorossiysk. However, at the last moment, the submarine teams changed their decision and the submarines remained in Sevastopol. Outdated and repaired ships remained there. In July, 1918, the German command presented an ultimatum to the Soviet Government, demanding that 19 return the fleet to Sevastopol in July and hand over the ships "for storage" until the end of the war. Part of the ships of the Black Sea Fleet was flooded in Novorossiysk, part of it was blown up in Sevastopol. On November 9, a revolution occurred in Germany and German troops soon left Ukraine and the Crimea, and a squadron of allies came to Sevastopol (ships of Great Britain, France, Italy and Greece). Power passed into the hands of whites. But in January-March 1919, the Red Army, going on the offensive, won a number of victories. She freed Nikolaev, Kherson, Odessa, and then the whole Crimea. The White Guard troops of General Wrangel and the Entente left Sevastopol. But before leaving, they managed to take away warships and transports, destroying airplanes and other military property, and on the remaining old ships they blew up the cylinders of the vehicles, bringing these ships to total disrepair.
26 on April 1919, the English, using the Yelizaveta tugboat, removed the remaining 11 of the Russian submarines to an external raid. Having made holes in them and opened the hatches, they flooded these submarines.
The twelfth submarine - "Crab" was flooded in the North Bay. Among the submerged submarines of the submarines were: 3 submarine type "Narval", 2 submarine type "Leopard", completed building in 1917 g., Submarine "AG-21", 5 old submarine and, finally, underwater minelayer "Krab." For the flooding of this submarine on the left side, in the area of its cutting, a hole of 0,5 square. m and opened the nasal hatch.
The last volleys of the civil war died down. Soviet power passed to peaceful construction. As a result of two wars, the Black and Azov Seas became cemeteries for submerged ships. These vessels became a great value for Soviet Russia, for part of them, perhaps small, could be repaired and replenished by the military and merchant fleet of Soviet Russia, and some could be melted down for the metal so necessary for the country's reviving industry ..
At the end of 1923, an Expedition of Special Purpose Underwater Operations (EPRON) was established, which for many years to come was the main organization that conducted the lifting of sunken ships. In the middle of 20 heads, work was begun on the search and lifting of submarines flooded by the British near Sevastopol 26 on April 1919. As a result, submarines AG-21, Salmon, Sudak, Lalim, etc. were found and raised.
In 1934, during a search for submerged submarines, the metal detector gave a deviation, indicating the presence in this place of a large amount of metal. At the first survey found that this submarine. And at the beginning it was decided that this is the submarine “Gagara” (such as “Bars”) built by 1917, since assumed that another submarine in this place could not be. However, as a result of a subsequent, more thorough survey next year, it turned out that it was the underwater mine layer “Crab”. He lay at a depth of 65 m, burrowing astern deep in the ground, in a solid case on the left side there was a hole measuring 0,5 square. m; The guns and periscopes were intact. The work on lifting the barrier began in the summer of 1935. Due to the large depth of the flood for that time, it was decided to lift the submarine by stages, i.e. transferring it gradually to a lesser depth. The first attempts to lift the barrier were made in June of 1935, but it was not possible to tear the stern from the ground, and therefore they decided to first wash away the ground in the aft submarine. This work was very difficult, because The withdrawal of the entire system of ground drainage pipes to the top was very complicated, and the swell could turn the whole system into scrap. In addition, because of the great depth, divers could work on the ground only for 30 minutes. However. By October 1935, the soil erosion was completed and from 4 to 7 in October 3 carried out successive lifting, introduced the minelayer to the port and lifted it to the surface. M.P. Naletov has made the project of restoration and modernization of the layer.
But over the years, the Soviet navy in its development has gone far ahead. In its composition, dozens of new, advanced submarines of all types have appeared, including underwater minelayers of the type "L". The need to restore the "Crab" - the submarine is already outdated, of course, disappeared. Therefore, the "Crab" after lifting it from Sevastopol was scrapped.
More than 85 years have passed since the underwater mine layer "Crab" entered the first mine setting for the Bosphorus ... 62 of the year has passed since the heart of the wonderful Russian patriot and talented inventor Mikhail Petrovich Naletov stopped beating. But his name can not be forgotten.
Of the foreign powers, Germany was the first to appreciate the importance of the invention of MP Naletov, about which German specialists and seafarers learned, undoubtedly, even during the construction of the Crab in Nikolaev from their representative of the Krupp Curting factories, who often visited the Marine Ministry of Russia.
During World War I, 212 submarine minelayers were ordered and built in Germany. Each of them ranged from 12 to 18 min. Only large U-71 - U-80 underwater miners had 36 mines and U-117 - U-121 42 - 48 mines, but the last (surface) displacement was 1160 t, t. e. 2 times the displacement of the Crab submarine.
Even German submarine minelayers ordered already in the year of the end of the war, the displacement of which was not much different from that of the Crab, were inferior to the Russian expander.
In Germany, Naletova’s devices were not known and they created their own, which consisted of 6 special wells, located with a slant to the stern of the submarine at an angle of 24 degrees. In each of these wells was placed on 2 - 3 mines. The upper and lower ends of the wells were open. Under the underwater course of the barrier, water jets pushed the mines to the lower holes of the wells, which facilitated the laying of mines. Consequently, the German submarine minelayers put mines "by themselves". Because of this, they sometimes became victims of their own mines. Thus, the "UC-9", "UC-12", "UC-32", "UC-44" and "UC-42" tolls died, and the last polluter died in September 1917, i.e. after 2, after the first mine-laying of this type was put into operation.
By that time, the personnel, undoubtedly, should have already mastered the device for setting mines well. For this reason, probably, there were more dead German submarines than 5, since some of the barriers were "missing", and it is possible that some of them died on their own mines when they were set.
Thus, the first German mine-laying device turned out to be very unreliable and dangerous for the submarines themselves. Only on large underwater barriers ("UC-71" and others) this device was different.
On these submarines, mines were stored in a sturdy casing on horizontal racks, from where they were inserted into 2 special pipes ending in the aft of the barrier. In each of the pipes were only 3 mines. After setting these mines, the procedure for inserting the following mines into the pipes was repeated.
Naturally, with such a device, special tanks were required for setting mines, since the introduction of mines into pipes and their setting caused the submersion center of gravity to move and trim, which was compensated for by the intake and pumping of water. This shows that the last system for mines, adopted by some German submarine barriers, is much more complicated than the system of MP Naletov.
Unfortunately, in the Russian fleet the valuable experience of creating the first submarine layer was not used for a long time. However, as mentioned, as early as in 1907, at the Baltic Shipyard, 2 variants of an underwater minelayer with a total displacement of all 250 tons with 60 mines were developed. But none of them was carried out: it was quite clear that with such a small displacement it was impossible to supply the minelayer 60 with mines, although the plant claimed the opposite. At the same time, the experience of war and combat use of the “Krab” minelayer showed that underwater mine layers for the fleet are very necessary. Because of this, in order to obtain underwater barriers for the Baltic Fleet as soon as possible, it was decided to convert 2 from Bars submarines of the Bars submarine that are being completed to 1916. 17 June 1916. In a letter to the Chief of the Marine General Staff, the Assistant Minister of the Navy wrote: "Such alterations can take place only on the Submarine Forel and Yorsh submarines built by the Baltic Plant only because the plant undertakes to carry out this work on the Submarine Krab submarine while the Noblessner plant offers its own system, the drawings of which are far from being developed. "
Recall that even before 9 years before, the Baltic Plant undertook to install its own mine device and mines ("Schreiber's rank 2 captain's system"), rather than those proposed by MP Naletov, now that the mine device and mines are carried out on the "Crab" , they were acknowledged by the Baltiysky Zavod ... In addition, it should be emphasized that the mine device projects and mines were carried out for the underwater minelayer by the Noblessner plant without doubt not without the participation of a plant consultant, and it was the largest shipbuilder professor Ivan G. Bubnov, on the project Whose almost all submarines of the “Russian type” submarines were built (including Bars submarines).
And if, nevertheless, preference was given to the “MP Naletov system” (which, however, was not already called that way), then the value and uniqueness of MP Naletov's invention become even more obvious.
Despite the fact that the submarine "Yorsh" and "Trout" were larger than the "Crab", the Baltic plant did not manage to place the same number of mines on them that Naletov was able to place.
Of the two underwater barriers for the Baltic Fleet, only the “Ruff” was completed, and then by the end of 1917.
In connection with the need for mines to be laid at shallow depths in the southern part of the Baltic Sea at MGSH, the question arose of building small submarine minelayers that could also be built in a short time (it was assumed by September 1917). This 3 issue in February 1917 was reported to the Marine Minister, who ordered the 4 to order a small underwater mine layer. Two of them ("З-1" and "З-2") ordered the Baltic plant and two ("№-3" and "З-4") - to the Russian-Baltic plant in Revel.
These barriers were somewhat different from each other: the former had a displacement of 230 / 275 and took 20 minutes, and the latter had a displacement of 228,5 / 264 and took 16 minutes. Barriers were not completed by the end of the war.
Despite the fact that Naletov was removed from construction shortly after the launch of the Crab, his priority in creating the world's first underwater mine layer was quite obvious.
Of course, in the process of construction of the layer, both officers and employees of the Nikolaev plant made many different changes and improvements to the initial design. Thus, the captain of the 1 rank, N.N. Schreiber, in particular, proposed replacing the chain elevator with a more sophisticated screw, and its technical design was carried out by the plant designer S.P. Silverberg. Further, at the suggestion of the ship engineers, who supervised the construction of the minelayer, the main ballast tank tank was divided into two, because it was much larger than the nasal cistern, which resulted in differentials when ascending and descending the submarine; the nasal trim tank, as is well known, was removed from the bow tank of the main ballast, where it was placed; removed as unnecessary anchoring between bulkheads bounding an average tank, etc.
All this is quite natural, since the expediency of many parts of the ship was tested during its construction, and especially during operation. For example, the nasal trim tank when repairing the minelayer was going to replace the nasal compartments of the propellants, since its location above the waterline proved impractical. But this arrangement of the tanker during the construction of the minelayer was proposed by the ship engineer V.Ye. Karpov, a man who is undoubtedly technically competent and experienced. Thus, despite all the changes and improvements made to the minelayer during its construction, it should be recognized that both the mines and the mine device were made on the basis of the physical principles and technical considerations that the inventor originally laid into the project - M.P. . Flight, and the barrier "Crab" was built as a whole according to his project. Despite the shortcomings (for example, the complexity of the diving system), the Crab submersible minelayer was in all respects an original construction, not borrowed from anywhere and never implemented before.
When they say that the Crab underwater minelayer was an unsuitable submarine, they forget that although the Crab was essentially an experienced submarine, it still participated in the war and carried out a number of important combat missions in laying mines near enemy shores, and such tasks could only perform an underwater minelayer. In addition, the "Crab" - the world's first underwater layer, and could not have flaws, like any ship of a completely new type, who had no similar analogues. Recall that in the first German submarine minelayers of the UC type, very imperfect mines were installed, with the result that some of these submarines died. But the shipbuilding equipment of Germany was much higher than the shipbuilding equipment of Tsarist Russia!
In conclusion, let us give an assessment given by the inventor himself to the first in the world underwater mine layer “Crab”: “Crab”, for all its merits and novelty, as I put into its ideas, and the designs that design this idea, had ... quite natural flaws that the first copies of even great inventions (for example, the Stevens locomotive, the Wright brothers' airplane, etc.) and the submarines of that time ("Caiman", "Shark") ... "
Let us also cite the opinion of the same N.A. Monastyrev, who wrote about the "Crab": "If he had many ... flaws, it was a result of the first experience, and not the idea itself, which was perfect." We cannot but agree with this fair assessment.