Posted 11 ноября 2021, 07:19

Published 11 ноября 2021, 07:19

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

Изображение материала

Optimistic tragedy Shch-406: the submarine's crew fought for life till the end

11 ноября 2021, 07:19
In early June 1943, the dead body of a Red Navy man in rescue equipment was nailed to the island of Christisaari. The submariner, apparently, tried to escape with the Shch-406* sunk by the Nazis. Why was he alone?

The answer to this question, after almost eight decades, could be given by the members of the expedition "Bow to the ships of the Great Victory".

Gennady Charodeyev

On June 28, 1941, after successful tests, a brand new diesel electric submarine of the X-bis Shch-406 series officially became part of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet. and, as it is written in the documents, 98% was ready to join the battle with the enemy. Lieutenant-Commander Vladimir Maksimov was appointed its commander.

Already on July 11, the submarine moved to Tallinn, from where, by order of the command, headed for the area of the Danish island of Bornholm. The patrolling of the indicated area was unsuccessful. Most of the time, the submarine was at a depth of 20-25 m far enough from the coast, only occasionally surfacing under the periscope.

The only encounter with the enemy occurred when returning to the base, when on the night of August 2 in the Soelovyain Strait, Shch-406 spotted the German submarine U-144 right along the course. The submarines almost collided - they went to dive in time. On the morning of August 2, Shch-406 arrived safely in Kronstadt.

It so happened that on September 22, Lieutenant-Commander Maksimov voluntarily left the ship for Leningrad in order, according to him, to say goodbye to his sister, who was leaving for evacuation. Upon returning to the Shchuka, the commander was arrested. The military tribunal regarded Maksimov's act as desertion and on November 24 sentenced him to be shot...

Lieutenant Commander Yevgeny OsipovLieutenant Commander Yevgeny Osipov
Lieutenant Commander Yevgeny Osipov

The new commander of Shch-406 was appointed former chief officer Lieutenant Commander Yevgeny Osipov.

"Tell your father that he had a son, Zhenya!"

By 1942, the Baltic Fleet had achieved some success in the conduct of submarine warfare - they sank and damaged 32 Nazi transports, and thus forced the Germans to reduce the number of ships carrying iron ore and timber from Sweden to Germany.

On October 29, 1942, Sch-406 sank the Swedish transport Beng Sture with a cargo of coal for Germany in the Danzig Bay area. At the site of the sinking of the ship, eight members of the Swedish crew were raised and captured on board the Soviet submarine. They were safely delivered to Leningrad and handed over to the headquarters of the fleet. By the way, until now in the homeland of the Swedish sailors nothing is known about their further fate.

In the 1943 campaign, the Soviet command planned to achieve even greater victories. But the enemy intended to completely stop the breakthrough of Soviet submarines into the open Baltic, and blocked the Gulf of Finland with a double anti-submarine network.

According to the historian Miroslav Morozov, from the end of March to mid-May from the Porkkala-Kallboda lighthouse to the island of Naisaar, located north of the Tallinn Bay, the Germans and their Finnish allies set up powerful network barriers. This is a double net of steel cables almost 2 cm thick, which the enemy has placed from bottom to surface at a distance of more than 90 km. And in the Nashorn minefield, located to the east of the nets, the Germans put almost 7,000 new mines in the spring!

Germans plant booby-trapsGermans plant booby-traps
Germans plant booby-traps

By the summer of 1943, the command of the Soviet fleet did not yet have intelligence data on the actions of German miners in the Baltic Sea - they were expecting news from the previously released submarines Shch-303 and Shch-408. But they didn’t come back. And on the night of May 29, Shch-406 was sent for reconnaissance along the route of the missing Shch-408.

By that time, the commander of the submarine, captain of the 3rd rank, Osipov, had become a Hero of the Soviet Union, and his crew members received orders and medals for their successes in military campaigns in 1942. For two years of war, the "Shchuka" managed to force 120 lines of fascist mine traps! In the open Baltic, the already experienced crew twice sunk enemy transports, repeatedly attacked individual ships and entire convoys, keeping the enemy in constant tension.

During the military campaigns, the Shch-406 survived dozens of depth bombings, the crew repaired breakdowns under water more than once, and the submarine commander always found his way home.

The command had a great hope that this time, too, everything would be successful. Although the sailors themselves did not share the optimism of the headquarters.

The mood of the crew was indeed depressed, since the two submarines that had previously gone on a mission had not been in contact for several weeks. Even the "fearless" Osipov could not overcome a bad feeling.

“I remember that a story was even published that, leaving the Soviet boats accompanying the boat, the commander Osipov shouted into a megaphone:“ Tell my father that he had a son, Zhenya! ” Then the boat sank on the eastern Goglandsky reach and disappeared forever ...

In German archives today you can find reports - a Soviet submarine was sunk near the Nashorn minefield. This version of the destruction of Shch-406 was considered the only one for many years.

The boat was blown up by a German UMA mine

The historian Miroslav Morozov, studying the archives, discovered a fact that served as the starting point for the search by the Shch-406 Reconnaissance and Diving Team - on June 6, 1943, Finnish soldiers, examining the coast of Ristisaari Island, found the body of a Soviet submariner dressed in rescue equipment.

This is in what condition divers found "Shchuka" This is in what condition divers found "Shchuka"
This is in what condition divers found "Shchuka"

The search engines compared the dates of the sinking of the "Shchuka", studied the wind rose from the archives in order to understand where the body could drift from. It became clear that Osipov's boat had to be looked for in the strait between the islands of Gogland and Bolshoi Tyuters.

Shch-406 was indeed found in the strait - where there was a powerful Seeigel minefield. The boat lay at a depth of 60 meters ...

Inspection by divers of the Shchuka wreck showed that a mine, specially deepened to intercept Soviet submarines moving along the bottom, pierced the board of the Shch-406 submarine.


Historian and diver, a member of the search team "Bow to the ships of the Great Victory" Mikhail Ivanov, the first of the researchers who arrived at the site, saw a through hole in the "solid" hull of the submarine. It turned out that the upper conning tower hatch was open, which meant that the submariners had survived the explosion. They managed to open the aft escape hatch, but only by 20 centimeters.

The details of those tragic events became clear to the members of the expedition. Apparently, Shch-406, moving under water, began to force the Seeigel minefield. The crew heard the grinding of a minrepe (a cable for attaching a sea mine to an anchor) on the side of the boat, and the commander ordered to turn to the right. But it was too late to maneuver. The mine, pulled up by the movement of the boat, touched the hull and exploded. Water poured into the hole, the boat began to sink lower and lower...

“The ship lay down on the ground, and the submariners were killed in two or even three compartments. The central post and aft compartments remained not flooded”, - Mikhail Ivanov suggested.

According to the expert, the surviving sailors battened down the bulkheads separating the boat's compartments and prevented flooding.

“Realizing that, in principle, the Shchuka had moved not far from the base, and that, in principle, people still have a chance to swim to the zone controlled by Soviet boats, the submariners made an attempt to go outside. The people who were in the non-flooded central compartment managed to open the conning tower hatch and leave the Shchuka. But no one was able to get to the rescue zone alive, "historian Ivanov noted with regret.

There were 40 submariners on board the Sch-406. 39 people rest at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, and only one of them, whose body was found by Finnish soldiers in June 1943, is buried on land on the island of Ristisaari. The names of the Shch-406 crew members will forever remain in the annals of the war:

Captain 3rd Rank Evgeny Yakovlevich Osipov - submarine commander;

Captain 3rd Rank Antipin Grigory Pavlovich - political instructor of the submarine;

Lieutenant-Commander Boris Alekseevich Ponomarev - assistant commander of the submarine;

Senior Lieutenant Vasily Ivanovich Saplin - commander of the BC-1;

Senior Lieutenant Konstantin Arkhipovich Starkov - commander of warhead-2,3;

Engineer Lieutenant Commander Konstantin Matveyevich Maksimov - Commander of BC-5;

Senior Lieutenant Mikhail Vasiliev - senior military assistant;

Red Navy sailor Akimenko Grigory Pavlovich - radio operator;

Petty Officer 2nd Class Baranovkin Nikolai Ivanovich - commander of the helmsman squad;

Petty Officer 2nd Class Glushakov Leonid Emelyanovich - Squad Commander of the SKS;

Petty Officer 2nd Class Dubrovsky Vasily Yakovlevich - commander of the gunnery squad;

Sergeant Major of the 2nd Class Pyotr Ivanovich Diaghilev - Commander of the hold department;

Warrant officer Zimenkov Ivan Ilyich - boatswain;

Petty Officer of the 2nd class Zinenko Fedor Nikitich - the commander of the department of mechanics;

Warrant officer Ignashin Pyotr Stepanovich - foreman of the hold team;

Red Navy sailor Vladimir Petrovich Korostylev - electrician;

Red Navy sailor Kuzin Viktor Yakovlevich - hydroacoustician;

Red Navy Kulikov Leonid Andreevich - combatant;

Red Navy sailor Mikhail Semyonovich Kurgannikov - bilge apprentice;

Petty Officer 2nd Class Lapshenkov Nikolai Petrovich - commander of the navigational electricians' detachment;

Krasnoflotets Loginov Konstantin Ivanovich - apprentice electrician;

Petty Officer 2nd Class Lomakin Viktor Iosifovich - senior helmsman;

Krasnoflotets Malakhovich Vasily Ivanovich - hydroacoustician;

Red Navy sailor Marchenko Sergey Petrovich - senior mechanic;

Warrant officer Menkov Konstantin Dmitrievich - foreman of the group of minders;

Warrant officer Miroshin Dmitry Merkulovich - foreman of the torpedo group;

Petty Officer 2nd Class Fedor Vasilievich Nekrasov - torpedo squad commander;

Red Navy Nikitenko Mikhail Alekseevich - torpedo operator;

Red Navy sailor Pakhomov Tikhon Petrovich - hold;

Red Navy sailor Podustov Ivan Grigorievich - electrician;

Red Navy sailor Ivan Afanasevich Polyakov - helmsman;

Senior sailor Viktor Sadchikov - cook;

Krasnoflotets Sergeev Vasily Viktorovich - minder;

Senior sailor Smirnov Sergey Vasilievich - minder;

Red Navy Tumanov Boris Aleksandrovich - minder;

Chief Petty Officer Tyutyunov Ivan Andreevich - Petty Officer of the group of radio operators;

Petty Officer of the 2nd class Fedorov Fedor Andreevich - commander of the department of mechanics;

Petty Officer 2nd Class Fomin Pavel Alexandrovich - commander of the electricians' department;

Red Navy Fomin Ivan Ivanovich - helmsman.

Final instructions before the hike Final instructions before the hike
Final instructions before the hike

Eternal memory to the heroes!

* The name of the submarine Shchuka in English means "luce" or "common pike".

Work on the project “Immortal Division. The Last Voyage” begins in 2013: it was then that the Reconnaissance and Diving Team found the first of 10 submarines, which will be discussed in the videos of this cycle on our channel. To date, the team has discovered 16 KBF boats. Based on the study of the damage to the hulls of submarines, as well as the position of the horizontal and vertical rudders, the machine telegraph, the repeater and many other details, RVK was able to historically accurately recreate the moment when the boats were blown up and how the crews fought for survivability. This is a realistic 3d reconstruction of what happened in the Gulf of Finland 70 years ago. The project is being implemented with the support of the Institute for Internet Development within the framework of the national project "Culture".