Posted 29 октября 2021,, 15:06

Published 29 октября 2021,, 15:06

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

"Unhappy" Shch-308: the crew of the submarine died without revenge on the enemy

"Unhappy" Shch-308: the crew of the submarine died without revenge on the enemy

29 октября 2021, 15:06
The reconnaissance and diving team operating as part of the expedition "Bow to the ships of the Great Victory", having scanned the bottom of the Baltic Sea near the island of Bolshoi Tyuters, found the submarine Shch-308.

Gennady Charodeyev

In the spring of 1942, the Military Council of the Baltic Fleet gave an order to the crews of submarine cruisers: at all costs to disrupt the supply of copper, timber and ore from Finland and Sweden to Germany. But how to break into the big Baltic, if the enemies every week put more and more minefields in the Gulf of Finland?

Military historians believe that German mines were the main means of fighting submarines in the Baltic Sea. By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, advanced technologies - primarily "smart" sea mines and systems for their installation - allowed the Nazis to actually lock Soviet submariners in the Gulf of Finland. Most of the losses of our submarines were caused by sea mines.

Soviet submarines managed to disrupt the plans of the Germans and beat the enemy throughout the Baltic Sea. Among them - Shch-308, which received the nickname "Salmon" during the construction. This boat and its crew, as it turns out, have a difficult fate.

Problems began before the war

The Nizhny Novgorod military-industrial complex is justly proud of what excellent and high-quality equipment the military factories provided the army and the navy. At the same time, bosses do not really like to remember unpleasant facts. At least, this is the opinion of local researchers - historians and journalists. Here's what they managed to find out about Shch-308.

In November 1932, the second diesel-electric torpedo submarine of the V-bis series of the Shch project was laid down at the Krasnoye Sormovo plant. The construction of the submarine at the enterprise No. 112, as it was then called, faced great difficulties from the very beginning. First of all, due to a shortage of workers, a low level of qualifications and general labor culture, a lack of production space. For example, it took more than a week to drag large sheets of metal from the processing area to the slipway. The boat had to be built almost by hand.

Transportation of boats to Leningrad caused significant difficulties. In the 1930s, the Volga was connected only with the Baltic and White Seas, and even then through a complex system of canals and locks, navigating along which was very difficult for the clumsy docks.

On September 20, 1934, a floating dock with a submarine "Salga" left the factory backwater on the Volga and set off to the north. For the Shch-308 team, this journey became a real disaster. The transition took 20 days instead of 16 planned. The vessel was not equipped with side lights or any electrical equipment at all. For lighting, kerosene lamps were used, and therefore there was a lot of downtime in fog and at night. The dock ran aground several times, for example, on September 30 he got stuck in the White Lake area, seriously bending the steering wheel.

Local departments of the North-Western River Shipping Company provided weak and insufficient tugs for the dock. Some of them could not move it at all, others pulled at a speed of 5 km / h. When passing the locks of the Mariinsky system, they completely harnessed the horses, which, like barge haulers, pulled the iron hulk upstream.

Passage in narrow places was accompanied by numerous accidents and collisions with oncoming ships: the dock was thundering against the barge, getting more and more dents, including on the Shch-308 hull.

On September 10, the rumpled dock arrived in Leningrad. But the adventures of "Salmon" did not end there. On October 18, electric motors were installed on it, and on the 31st, four bow and two aft torpedo tubes. At the same time, it turned out that a huge amount of work had to be done before the state acceptance of Shch-308. For example, it lacked a torpedo loading device. In Sormovo, apparently, this was deliberately "not noticed" in order to quickly send the boat to the north.

On December 16, the Salmon left Leningrad for Kronstadt. But she could not overcome this short distance - in the evening the right electric motor exploded. The damage was so serious that the sea trials, already postponed, were disrupted, and the boat remained to spend the winter in Leningrad.

As a result, the long-suffering submarine was handed over for testing only in May 1935. At the same time, a number of "finishing works", such as replacement of pumps, cable winding devices, etc., were carried out by emergency methods in the last days and even hours before delivery to the representatives of the USSR Navy.

The combat service of the "Salmon" was as unsuccessful as the construction and "delivery". Shch-308 was not so much floating as it was being repaired. She did not take part in the Finnish war, since at that time another major overhaul was underway.

After the German attack on the USSR in July-August 1941, "Salmon" made its first military campaign. However, its then commander, Alexander Markelov, for various reasons refused to attack passing German ships, citing the "insignificance" of the targets. Kind of like saving torpedoes.

Meanwhile, there were more than enough targets for attacks. The Swedish government allowed the transit of German troops to Finland through its territorial waters. However, they all calmly proceeded to their destinations right in front of the bow at Shch-308. Opportunities for attacks were missed on 24, 26, 30, 31 July and twice in early August. In the end, the command ordered Markelov to "sink any targets."

"Salmon" launched an attack on the convoy, but at the decisive moment the commander considered that the boat had been found and refused the torpedo salvo. As a result, Markelov and the submarine commissar Orlov, upon returning to the base, were placed under a tribunal, which sentenced them to be shot for cowardice and cowardice.

On August 28, Sch-308 was unlucky again. The submarine left Tallinn for Kronstadt, collided with a tug at the exit from the roadstead and received damage to the hull. Then a month later, the submarine again had an accident, running aground. For this reason, from September 1941 to February 1942, the Salmon was once again repaired, and the crew, instead of fighting, was engaged in drill training.

In July 1942, the submarine left Kronstadt, however, when approaching the island of Lavansaari, she discovered buoyancy problems, and then, due to the poor training of the crew, she also damaged the horizontal rudders. As a result, the new commander of the "Semga" Lieutenant-Commander Ivan Artamonov was removed from his post.

After another repair, the boat received a new commander, captain 3rd rank Lev Kostylev , who, by the way, had no experience in commanding boats of the "Sh" type. Nevertheless, on September 15, 1942, the "Salmon" went on another military campaign. A week later, Sch-308 took a position near the Finnish island of Ute in the Baltic Sea.

On October 20, the commander reported to the headquarters by radio: the submarine carried out four torpedo attacks - against the Finnish minelayer Ruotsinsalmi, the German hospital ship Rügen, the tanker Hydensee and the auxiliary anti-submarine ship Schiff-47. However, the submariners never hit anyone, but the submarine itself was damaged by the ramming strike of a German ship.

“After the attack of the ship, the commander of the submarine Kostylev reported to the base that the Semga was damaged, and received the go-ahead to return by a new route - through Narva Bay, the passage between the Neugrund and Namsi banks. The command believed that it was easier to pass the minefields this way, ”said historian Miroslav Morozov.

But Shch-308 and forty sailors never returned from a military campaign ...

The death of the crew was inevitable

The Russian underwater search project "Bow to the Ships of the Great Victory" was launched in 2005, and four years later it acquired international status. Its goal is to search for the lost Soviet ships and perpetuate the memory of their crews.

The search and examination of the finds were carried out using modern technologies and echo sounders. The participants in the operation were able to find the places of death of 17 submarines and more than 20 surface ships destroyed or wrecked during the Great Patriotic War and the First World War.

Before the discovery of the Shch-308 skeleton, there were several versions of its death - an enemy torpedo attack, a depth charge, loss of buoyancy from previously received damage ...

When Shch-308 was found, the researchers found out the true cause of her death: the submarine ran into a German mine while returning to the base. They even set a date - between 24 and 26 October 1942. Here the journal entries from the German observation post on the island of Bolshoi Tyuters helped. It says that during these days several explosions of deep-sea bombs from a minefield were recorded.

“When we found the boat, it was completely covered with pieces of fishing nets,” said the head of the search party, Konstantin Bogdanov . “One fisherman pointed us to the find, who said that near Bolshoy Tyuters Island, fishing vessels often lost their nets or broke trawls.”

An underwater inspection of the cabin details showed that the rudders are in the "dive" position, the rudder is in the "right to board" position. This means, experts concluded, that the boat was actively maneuvering.

The periscope was raised and turned towards Bolshoi Tyuters Island. And then the divers realized what had happened to the submarine. The boat was moving exactly along the route recommended to her, forcing the mine lines. Obviously, after lengthy maneuvers under water, Kostylev decided to clarify his location by coastal landmarks through the periscope. The submarine rose to a depth of 12 meters. The commander orientated himself around Tyuters Island, and the submarine began to dive to a depth of 30-40 meters

According to the historian Mikhail Ivanov, the method of forcing a minefield was recommended by the leadership of the Baltic Fleet - to dive under the mines (cables of the EMC anchor sea mine) and under all kinds of detonation devices that hung on these mines. But it so happened that the "Salmon" began to submerge exactly where the mines were.

The crew heard the scraping of the minesweep on the starboard side of the boat. The commander ordered to turn to the right, but it was too late. The Ka tube, a device that protects the mine from being destroyed by trawls, went off.

Almost 300 kilograms of TNT exploded over the submarine. The people on board the Shch-308, most likely, were stunned, and the boat began to "fall" down at high speed, stuck into the ground and got stuck in the silt. "

According to the expert, most of the crew were alive. But after the explosion, leaks formed in the damaged hull of Shch-308, tons of ice water poured into the boat. In a few minutes it was practically flooded. The air was also poisoned by the poisonous fumes of chlorine from the batteries. The death of the crew was terrible and inevitable ...

Commander Kostylev and 39 sailors of the submarine Shch-308 are no longer considered missing. They are buried at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, southeast of the Bolshoi Tyuters Island, where mines of the most powerful anti-submarine obstacle "Seeigel" ("Sea urchin") stood.

The President honored the memory of the dead sailors

The expedition could not begin work until the space around the place of the sinking of the Shch-308 was cleared of mines from the war. This work took the divers several months. 13 mines were destroyed near the submarine's hull.

The divers decided to raise the discovered bow gun and instruments from the Shch-308 bridge to the surface, which after restoration became exhibits of museums.

One day, Vladimir Putin went down to the boat in a bathyscaphe as a sign of preserving the memory of the deceased crew of Shch-308.

After the dive, in an interview with reporters, the President said that the search for sunken ships during the Great Patriotic War should be continued.

“We still have many of our sailors who are missing. Almost half of all submarines that died during World War II are in the Baltic. Today there is one less crew, ”the head of state said.

Vladimir Putin emphasized that "Russia never forgets its heroes."

During a dive to the bottom of the Gulf of Finland, in the presence of Putin, one of the divers set up a commemorative plaque at the site of the sinking of the Shch-308 submarine. After that, the light from all sources was dimmed, and the ceremony participants honored the memory of the dead Red Navy men with a minute of silence.

Here are the names of the crew members of the "unlucky" Shch-308:

Lev Kostylev, 3rd rank captain, submarine commander;

Alexander Kolsky, senior political instructor, deputy commander of the submarine;

Mikhail Savelyev, senior lieutenant, assistant commander of the submarine;

Dmitry Pazdnikov, engineer-captain of the 3rd rank, commander of the warhead-5;

Alexander Mikhailov, senior lieutenant, commander of the warhead-3;

Evgeny Monastyrev, senior lieutenant, backup for the commander of the BC-1;

Klavdiy Savchuk, senior lieutenant, commander of the BC-1;

Timofey Zakharov, senior military assistant;

Leonid Bespalov, midshipman, senior electrician;

Pyotr Pasynkov, midshipman, senior of the group of minders;

Ivan Fedorov, midshipman, ship's boatswain;

Ivan Kupyrev, chief foreman, foreman of a group of radio operators;

Ivan Mayorov, chief foreman, foreman of the torpedo group;

Fedor Sviridenko, chief foreman, foreman of the hold group;

Boris Shalatanov, petty officer of the 1st class, commander of the navigational electricians' department;

Alesander Barsukov, foreman of the 1st class, commander of the gunnery squad;

Vladimir Karpets, petty officer of the 1st class, gunner of the hold department;

Alexander Kalinin, sergeant major of the 2nd class, commander of the acoustics department;

Petr Chugunov, foreman of the 2nd class, commander of the helmsman squad;

Pavel Kruglov, foreman of the 2nd class, commander of the covert ship communications section;

Vladimir Besedin, foreman of the 2nd class, commander of the electricians' department;

Ivan Grishko, sergeant major of the 2nd class, commander of the department of mechanics;

Konstantin Denisov, foreman of the 2nd class, torpedo operator;

Mikhail Tarasov, senior Red Navy sailor, senior electrician;

Alexey Kudimov, senior sailor, senior mechanic;

Nikolay Kulakov, senior sailor, senior mechanic;

Ivan Galkin, senior sailor, helmsman;

Ivan Redkov, senior sailor, senior helmsman;

Gabriel Nazarov, senior sailor, cook;

Lev Troyansky, Red Navy, helmsman;

Mikhail Karavayev, Red Navy, radio operator;

Konstantin Samoglyadov, Red Navy sailor, electrician;

Ivan Shendrik, Red Navy sailor, electrician;

Vasily Gvozdev, Red Navy, minder;

Fyodor Kozin, Red Navy, minder;

Mikhatil Danilchenko, Red Navy, bilge operator;

Valentin Mustaev, Red Navy, bilge driver;

Pyotr Garanin, Red Navy, combatant.

Eternal memory to the heroes!