Posted 15 ноября 2021, 10:05
Published 15 ноября 2021, 10:05
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:37
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:37
Sinking to the bottom of the Gulf of Finland, the divers realized that it was a Soviet "C-12", which went missing almost eight decades ago.
"Medium" diesel-electric torpedo submarines of the "S" or "Stalinets" type are still considered by experts to be the best combat vehicles of the Great Patriotic War. For example, these boats were the fastest - they could reach speeds of up to 19 knots, which is about 35 km per hour, and, by the way, had an impressive size - 80 meters in length! At the same time, the maneuverable characteristics of these cruisers were, as they say, the dream of submariners. Having developed full speed, in the surface position, the boat made a 180-degree turn in about three minutes. Under water - in nine minutes, which was considered almost a world record.
In addition, the boat housed three shelter compartments for the crew, which were separated by special spherical waterproof bulkheads and were designed for a pressure of 10 atmospheres. This was the first time this hull layout was used in the Soviet Navy.
The "Stalinists" were well armed. Each submarine had 16 torpedoes. On the deck were installed 100-mm B-24PL guns and a 45-mm 21-K semi-automatic cannon. According to some reports, the submariners also installed a 12.7-mm large-caliber anti-aircraft machine gun DShK on board the S-12.
In the fall of 1942, the S-12 submarine under the command of Captain 3rd Rank Vasily Turayev made the first 62-day military campaign in history. True, it was accompanied by numerous difficulties due to breakdowns, poor training of personnel, bombing from Finnish ships and aircraft following oil traces on the surface of the sea. For two months of "wandering" S-12 made nine torpedo attacks, damaging two transports - the German ship "Sabine Howaldt" and the transport "Malgache", which landed on the ground near Libava. According to archival documents, the Finns were repairing it for six months.
Starved and at the limit of human strength, the crew members of the S-12 returned to the base in Kronstadt. In a report to Moscow, the authorities said: "The boat of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet covered 4.960 miles in 1190 running hours, of which 1.774 were under water." However, it was too early to celebrate the victory. There was a war ...
How to break through steel nets
In 1943, in order to stop the breakthrough of Soviet submarines into the open Baltic, the Germans securely blocked the Gulf of Finland on the Nargen-Porkkalaud line, stuffing it with mines and deep-sea bombs. They blocked it with double anti-submarine nets.
Steel nets 2 cm thick lay at a distance of 100 meters from each other and stretched from the water surface to the very bottom. So, it was almost impossible to force or bypass such an obstacle.
According to the historian Miroslav Morozov, the command of the Baltic Fleet was looking for a solution to how the Red Navy men could break through the insurmountable frontiers. They came up with - to break the network with the help of bomber aircraft. Submarines were to follow the planes to the network fence. The task of one of them is to find a gap in the steel net and get out into the Baltic Sea. The second boat was supposed to destroy the "impassable" obstacle with torpedo shots and report the coordinates of the "manhole" to the base.
The boat that received the order to force the network was the S-12.
Of course, the smaller "Pikes" were more suitable for crossing obstacles. But the command for some reason decided to use the huge "S" - perhaps because it was confident in the success of the operation to break through the anti-submarine network. And, perhaps, because it completely trusted the experienced crew of the S-12.
By this time, the captain of the 3rd rank Alexander Bashchenko, a native of the Belarusian city of Mstislavl, was appointed commander of the S-12 submarine.
On the night of July 29, 1943, the submarine left Lavensari base to the west, towards the exit from the bay and blocking its network.
The S-12 successfully forced the Seeigel barrier, charged the battery in the area of the Vaindlo island, and after that, on the night of August 1 to 2, 1943, from the Keri island area, it transmitted to the headquarters a cipher program about its readiness to start searching for a section of the network destroyed our aviation.
The command of the submarine brigade did not receive any more messages from Baschenko.
In the morning hours of August 3, German anti-submarine ships, which were on duty along the network fence, recorded an explosion in the Nashorn minefield with a high splash of water. The Germans immediately began to bomb the blast site with depth charges. Meanwhile, debris floated up from under the water and fuel came to the surface. After 5 days, the Nazis considered the boat destroyed.
The boat lies with its bow to the east
When the Esca was finally identified, the divers of the Russian Reconnaissance and Diving Team and the Finnish Divers of the Dark got down to business.
“The first discovery made - S-12 lies with its nose to the east. This means that the boat reached the net and was coming back”, - said Mikhail Ivanov, a historian, a member of the search team “Bow to the ships of the Great Victory”.
Miroslav Morozova supported his colleague : “Today we can say with certainty that the submarine passed the 31st line of the powerful Nashorn minefield, reached the network fence, and for some time tried to force it. And finally convinced that this was impossible, the commander gave the order to "turn around home".
On the way back, the "eske" practically managed to overcome all the lines of mines. And only on the 4th or 5th line of the S-12 obstacle with the right side hooked the German anti-submarine mine UMB, installed at a depth of 30 meters. But she could not cause such serious damage to the boat, the researchers say.
Mikhail Ivanov suggested that if the S-12 lay on the ground, the crew would be alive and, possibly, would try to get out of the boat. But what happened happened: the explosion of a small mine in the area of the bow gun, apparently, entailed the detonation of the artillery cellar. The explosion was so powerful that the boat broke in half, and the bow, weighing 300 tons, turned 180 degrees and fell 13 meters from the aft hull of the S-12.
...The bodies of the dead submariners of the S-12 submarine lie on the cold Baltic bottom. They made the longest march in the history of the war.
In the conditions of besieged Leningrad, the crew was able to prepare the boat for the cruise with the most difficult and responsible task.
Commander Alexander Baschenko led the boat through the powerful German obstacle "Seeigel", and twice the submariners almost went through the minefield "Nashorn".
These people wanted to drown the enemy. They wanted to live and win.
On the last cruise, 46 crew members were on board the S-12 submarine. They died instantly. Their names are forever inscribed in the history of the Russian fleet.