Military Review

Signalers to support Operation West


As you know, on September 4, 1944, Finland emerged from the war. By that time, the front line passed from Malaya Volokovaya Bay along the isthmus of the Sredny Peninsula and further from the Bolshaya Zapadnaya Litsa Bay to Chapr and Koshkaiavr Lakes. Here, the Nazis, stopped back in 1941, for three years built a powerful defensive system, consisting of several bands and many long-term structures. When the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation was prepared in the fall of 1944, Northern the fleet (SF) set tasks: to land amphibious forces behind enemy lines, to prevent him from delivering reinforcements, to block the ports of Petsamo and Kirkenes, to ensure the safety of their communications in the Barents Sea, and to support ship fire and actions aviation offensive actions of our troops.

In accordance with these tasks, the Commander of the Federation Council, Admiral A.G. Golovko ordered the composition of the forces involved and their organization for the period of the fleet operation, which received the code name "West". He, with his marching headquarters and communications team headed by fleet communications commander Capt. 2 of rank V. V. Polozk, was located at the auxiliary command post of the Northern Fleet (TLU) located on Sredniy Peninsula. At the flagship command post (PCF) in Polyarny, the head of fleet headquarters, Rear Admiral V.I. Platonov and with him the deputy chief of communications of the fleet, Captain 3 of the rank S. Bulavintsev, who provided the communication of the commander with the landing and cover ships, as well as with submarines. In order to organize interaction, the headquarters of the Northern Defensive Region (SOR) and the headquarters of the 14 Army exchanged communication groups. 10 corrective posts were also created in the combat formations of the 14 Army and 5 similar posts in the 63 Marine Brigade.

Skid, an energetic man and quickly oriented in the environment, managed to control the connection to the TLU and to the PCF. Direct wire with Bulavintsev allowed to do it fairly quickly. By the way, there were 5 submarines in the sea blocking the approaches to Petsamo and Kirkenes. The submarine brigade commander, Hero of the Soviet Union, captain of the rank 1, I.A. Kolyshkin, and the flag-communications officer of the brigade was the captain of the 3 rank I.P. Bolonkin.

When retractable antennas appeared in service in 1943, he vigorously took up the implementation and achieved equipment with anti-aircraft periscopes with HF antennas of many submarines of the brigade, which immediately increased the secrecy of their actions. Moreover, Bolonkin together with experienced submariners I.A. Kolyshkin, N.A. Lunin, I.I. Fisanovich, G.I. Shchedrin and M.P. Avgustinovich developed a schedule for the submarine of submarines to communicate with the coast, choosing a convenient time for this, as a result of which a so-called moving schedule of such sessions appeared. Soon the organization of communications with submarines, adopted by the Federation Council, began to be introduced in other fleets, and after the war formed the basis for building a system of long-distance operational communications with the submarines.

Another group of ships, intended for artillery support of the actions of the troops and the naval assault in the operation, was a detachment of ships of the squadron of the Northern Fleet. They were commanded by the squadron chief of staff, Captain 1, rank A.M. Rumyantsev, and the captain of the 3 rank V.V. Lopatinsky, who, in the experience of battles in the Black Sea Fleet, paid special attention to organizing a clear and reliable connection of ships with corrective posts, without which artillery support for the actions of the troops on the coast could not be sufficiently effective.

A very important role in the operation was played by the Northern Defensive Area. Its commander, Major General E.T. Dubovtsev (head of communications, Lieutenant Colonel MV Babiy), managed the actions of the ground forces of the region and the landing after the landing. He deployed his command post near the VPU commander of the fleet. Air Force Commander Major General E.P. Preobrazhensky (Major N.V. Belyakov, Chief of Communications), Rear-Admiral P.P., Commander of the Landing Mikhailov (flag communicator captain-lieutenant MD Zhuravlev) and the commander of the brigade of torpedo boats captain 1 rank A.V. Kuzmin (flag communicator captain 3, rank B.A. Smirnov).

The location of the hidden command posts near the TLU fleet commander and close to the combat area provided direct observation of the operation, reliable communications, timely information on the situation and contributed to the organization of close cooperation between fleet tactical groups and the 14 Army units. Gathering before the operation, the chiefs of communications of the units and the flagship operators of the connections, Polozok and Bulavintsev conducted their detailed briefing, discussed in detail the issues of organizing the communication of the interaction and clarified the main tasks. In order to achieve surprise, it was forbidden for amphibious ships to operate during the transfer by sea, but with the commencement of disembarking for the speed of command and control of forces, negotiations were allowed to be conducted even in clear text. The organization of the communications of the hulls with ships and coastal batteries envisaged their work on separate radio directions with duplication on short and ultra-short waves. A similar briefing was also given by Major-General A.F., Chief of Communications of the 14 Army. Novinitsky, inviting Lieutenant Colonel Babiy for the report of the Chief of Communication of the Social Council of Europe Together they examined in detail the organization of communications in the attack of troops and troops.

Signalers to support Operation West

Strictly according to plan, October 7 1944, the 14 Army formations struck a powerful blow to the front edge of the enemy defense, broke through it and continued to develop the offensive. For three days of fierce fighting, Soviet troops at the front in 20 km advanced to 16 km in depth of enemy defense. And two days after the start of the offensive, in the evening of October 9, in the Pummanka Bay, on 10 of large and 8 small hunters, as well as on 12 of torpedo boats, the marines of the 63 brigade landed. Having taken 2837 paratroopers, ships and boats at night went to sea. The first detachment of three torpedo and eight boats of the MoD went under the command of the captain 3 of the rank of SD. Zyuzin, the second - out of ten big hunters - captain 3 of rank N.N. Gritsuk, the third of eight torpedo boats of Captain 2 of the rank of V.N. Alekseev. The overall leadership of these units was assigned to the captain of the 1 rank MS Klevensky, from the side of a specially equipped torpedo boat.

To divert the attention of the enemy from the main forces of the landing force, a demonstration of landing was launched at the same time in Motovka Bay. With the support of fire from the destroyers “Thundering” and “Loud”, six boats, operating in two groups, landed 22 man at Cape Pikshuev and Mogilny, which, making the maximum noise, advanced inland about 1 km. Boats after disembarking remained at the coast, putting powerful smoke screens, leading intensive artillery and machine-gun fire, and even firing a couple of torpedoes over the rocks, which created the appearance of landing large forces. Radio operators on all these ships, too, "strenuously rustled on the air," supporting the impression of a large number of landed parts.

This contributed to the secrecy of the transition of the main forces to the landing points, and although the detachments were still found almost at the target, the enemy could not significantly prevent the landing. First, three boats approached the shore and landed reconnaissance. The first detachment landed paratroopers on the shore of Malaya Volokovaya Bay in 20 minutes, and it took less than two hours to land the entire 63 brigade. By morning, the landing force reached the flank and rear of the fascists who were defending themselves on the isthmus of the Medium Peninsula.

At the same time, simultaneously with the landing of the 63 brigade, a joint reconnaissance detachment (195 man) headed by Captain I.P. was landed in the Bay of Punainen-lahti. Barchenko and Art. Lieutenant V.N. Leonov. This detachment had the task to pass through the tundra and capture or destroy enemy enemy artillery batteries standing on Cape Krestov, which covered the entrance to Petsamon Gulf-vuono. The actions of this squad were extremely important. The idea of ​​capturing enemy batteries by a landing force arose in the course of the preparation of the operation and belonged to the Chief of Staff of the CRO, Captain 1 of rank D.A. Tuzu. Therefore, an additional communication organization was developed with this detachment.

October 10 1944 Marines 12 Brigade and other units of the CPA attacked fortified enemy positions on the isthmus of the Middle Peninsula. Overcoming obstacles and strong enemy fire, they broke through the enemy defenses, overcame the mountain range of Musta-Tunturi, and met at the Tie-Järve Lake with subunits of the 63 Brigade. Then both brigades with the support of attack aircraft, operating under the cover of fighters, began to move south and soon went on the road Titovka-Petsamo. At the same time, their immediate task was completed a day earlier than scheduled, and the brigades continued to build on their success, moving towards Petsamo.

During this period of operation, communications in parts of the marines were maintained mainly by radio. Here, VHF radio stations A7-A played a big role. The unit commanders widely used them. In turn, the commander, chief of staff and operational staff of the CPA had the opportunity to conduct direct negotiations with the units, and the communications center of the CPA headquarters reliably provided communication with the headquarters of both brigades, ships, fleet headquarters and the 14 Army units.

The combined reconnaissance detachment also, on the whole, successfully coped with the combat mission. On the morning of October 12, he immediately took up an enemy anti-aircraft battery at Cape Krestovo. The first to break in was the radio operator of the detachment SM. Agafonov and the senior sailor AP Wheat Having seized one of the guns along with other fighters, they opened fire on the enemy’s adjacent coastal battery, which was also the target of their raid. However, the Germans were able to throw reinforcements from Linahamari. The position of the detachment deteriorated, ammunition especially quickly running out. Rescued radio. Captain Barchenko gave a radiogram in which he requested urgent support from aviation.

The fleet commander immediately sent attack aircraft and bombers to help paratroopers. The scouts designated their location with rockets and, with tracer bullets, designated enemy positions. During the attack of the enemy by the naval aviation, the Boston aircraft dropped 5 reconnaissance parachute containers with ammunition and food. In one of the packages were batteries for powering radio stations. By evening, the Nazis went on the defensive, and then, having lost three-quarters of the personnel, left the battery. On October 12, the fleet commander decided to land immediately at the Linahamari port. To this end, a consolidated detachment of sailors under the command of Major I.A. Timofeev, for all the preparatory work, including the development of the organization of communication, was given a few hours. Komflot, of course, ordered to organize its Polozka. It was necessary first of all to provide the commander of the assault with a link with the VPU of the fleet commander, as well as communication with the Barchenko detachment at Cape Krestovo, to link the fleet with the commanders of the torpedo boat groups - Hero of the Soviet Union Lieutenant Commander A.O. Shabalin and captain 2 rank S.G. Korshunovich, as well as with the commander of the group of boats-hunters Guards. captain 3 rank sd Zyuzin In this case, the komflot decided to transfer its TLU to the command post of the commander of the brigade of torpedo boats. And although he was also located on the Sredniy Peninsula, it required quickness from the signalmen.

Polozok and his subordinates were able to quickly develop communication documents, succinctly setting out everything they needed. Thus, the commander of the landing squad was given instructions on radio communications with the TLU of the fleet commander with the commander of the first assault landing, with the Barchenko detachment, and in case of need to establish contact with parts of the 14 Army (approaching them), a wave of interaction and common call signs were scheduled.

At 13 hours of the same day, they checked the readiness of radio communications on all boats assigned as landing craft and instructed the radio operators. At the control point of the brigade of torpedo boats involved 4 radio stations with speakers. To the new TLU commander of the fleet filed a telephone connection with the CP CP. The 18 hours were all ready, and in 21 an hour 45 minutes 12 October, taking the landing, the boats of the Shebalin group went into the sea, after 7 minutes - Korshunovich, and in 7 minutes - Zyuzin. In 22 hours 50 mines of the same day, a group of Shabalin boats broke into Linahamari harbor, and from midnight the landing of the entire landing force that made up 660 people was completed. The swiftness of the breakthrough of boats to the harbor, the speed and decisiveness of the actions, the courage of the North Sea men ensured success. At the same time the connection worked flawlessly. A big role was played by the speakers connected to radio stations on the TLU. Due to this, all the talks and instructions of the group commanders and the boats that personally contacted him were clearly audible.

With the landing, the opportunity remained to listen to the commander of the landing with the commander of the first throw. When one of the radio operators, believing that the noise prevented the fleet commander from doing business, turned off the speaker, Admiral Golovko ordered: "No, turn it on, turn it on. Let everything be heard." And really everything was audible: the shots, the work of the engines and the team of Timofeyev, the orders of Barchenko and Leonov, the negotiations of Shabalin, Korshunovich, Zyuzin and the commanders of their boats. The evolving situation and the progress of the operation in Linahamari were so clear at the TLU that no reports were required from the commanders of the groups of boats or requests from the fleet commander. In the negotiations of the commander of the landing with the commander of the first throw, it was also clear that they not only landed successfully, but also managed to gain a foothold.

The success of the landing of this landing right in the port of Linahamari accelerated the capture of Petsamo (Pechenga). And on October 15, Northern Fleet communications guides broadcast the order of the Supreme Commander on the liberation of the city, an important naval base and a powerful German defense stronghold in the High North. The chief of communications of the Federation Council, captain 2 of rank VV, was named among the distinguished. Runner and all communications service fleet.

Subsequently, several more assault detachments seized a number of German posts of communication and observation, lighthouses, etc., and also together with the troops of the Karelian Front, seized the port and city of Kirkenes. The fleet commander twice visited Linahamari. During his second visit there, he demanded from Polozka to provide in the shortest possible time the wire communication of the fleet headquarters with Pechenga, and later with Kirkenes. For this, the damaged old communication line was restored and a new submarine cable was laid. The communications battalion СОР (commander major Ivanov), a separate communications battalion (commander captain Kuznetsov) and a line maintenance repair company of the Kola district SNiS (commander engineer captain Bayushkin), quickly solved this problem. The captain of the 3 rank, I.N. Zhiguli. And since Linahamari has become the main supply port for the forces of the Karelian Front operating in this area and the forward base of the fleet, its communications center has become a supporting center in the area.

On October 21, Soviet troops reached the border with Norway, 22-s captured the village of Nickel, and 25-th with the support of a naval assault force liberated the Norwegian city of Kirkenes. October 29 1944 is considered the day of completion by the Soviet troops and the Northern Fleet of the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation. According to its results 26 sailors were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. At the same time, naval telecommunications workers made a significant contribution to the success of the entire operation. It, as well as the posting of the last convoys in the Barents Sea in 1945, were the final stages of the combat operations of the Northern Fleet in the Patriotic War. Speaking of North Sea telecom operators, it should be remembered that in the first stage of the war, their work was affected by the absence of coastal radio transmitters, mobile communications, and an extensive network of wire communications, especially in the main directions. Signal workers could not even dream then, say, of an 500 — or at least an 200-kilowatt radio station of superlong waves — to control submarines at depth. The Germans also had such stations, and the Allies had several similar transmitters. However, even with extremely limited capabilities, our signalmen coped with the tasks entrusted to them and ensured the stable control of the fleet forces in the most difficult combat conditions of the Arctic.

Kozlov, IA, Shlomin, VS Red Banner Northern Fleet. M .: Voenizdat, 1983. C. 154-215.
Grechanyuk N., Dmitriev V., Kornienko A. and others. Twice Red Banner Baltic Fleet. M .: Voenizdat, 1990. C.248-281.
Rumyantsev M. Defeat of the enemy in the Arctic (1941 — 1944). M .: Voenizdat, 1963. C. 122-143, 187-191, 236-257.
Tolstolutsky G. Ensuring the success of Operation West // Morskoi sbornik. 1991. No.11. C.29-31.
Kozlov I., Shlomin V. Red Banner Northern Fleet. M .: Voenizdat, 1983. C. 154-215.
Golovko A. G. Together with the fleet. M .: Finance and Statistics, 1984. C.224-251.
Articles from this series:
The actions of the forces of the Northern Fleet in the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation .
Liberation of Norway.
The actions of the country's air defense forces during the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation
Forgotten battles. Murmansk offensive operation .

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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 11 August 2016 07: 17
    Thank you, interesting .. usually articles about pilots, sailors, etc .. and here about the signalmen .. Healthy ..
    1. Amurets
      Amurets 11 August 2016 07: 52
      Quote: parusnik
      Thank you, interesting .. usually articles about pilots, sailors, etc .. and here about the signalmen .. Healthy ..

      Communication in battle, and not only, is a sacred affair. Especially in the North. My father and I during the Second World War served as a communications communications officer and my brother served as a radio operator for two years. Honor and glory to them, soldiers of an inconspicuous, but such a necessary specialty.
  2. Tanya
    Tanya 11 August 2016 10: 35
    Very interesting and informative article. Thank!
  3. qwert
    qwert 11 August 2016 13: 05
    And again, we see that we quickly learned during the war years. Starting with a bunch of mistakes and practically no normal communication, including wireless, in the second half of the Second World War we were no less inferior to the enemy in organization and technical equipment
  4. mroy
    mroy 11 August 2016 13: 35
    Finally about the signalmen. Thank you, I myself served in communication.
  5. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 11 August 2016 23: 12
    Good article.
  6. Colonel
    Colonel 12 August 2016 15: 09
    I can imagine what kind of mess was on the air and what the organization of radio communications cost. It’s a pity that he didn’t write a signalman, but he’s still healthy. Thank.
  7. kara61
    kara61 18 August 2016 16: 33
    The purpose of this operation was one: to establish control over the ore district. The Germans were already leaving for Norway and were vigorously squeezed out by burnt fins from all strong points.
    Because Mannerheim and the leadership of Finland, Usatyi did not touch.
    However, this happened again in the 45th in the Kuril Islands. Where the Japanese who surrendered could not understand that the Russians were not landing on the berths, they were trying hard to drown the landing party on the rocks.