"Malyutka" returns from the oblivion: M-95 has become a mass grave for the crew

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"Malyutka" returns from the oblivion: M-95 has become a mass grave for the crew
"Malyutka" returns from the oblivion: M-95 has become a mass grave for the crew
18 October 2021, 11:12SocietyPhoto: shipspotting.com
Each time passing the islands of Gogland and Bolshoi Tyuters in the Gulf of Finland, the ships of the Baltic Fleet pay their respects to the crew of the Soviet submarine M-95*, which "banged" against German mines on June 15, 1942. Only in our days have the details of this dramatic story become known.

Gennady Charodeyev

According to the UN, the remains of about 800 submarines and surface ships belonging to Russia, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Poland and other countries rest at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. All of them died during two world wars and in stormy weather.

Work on the project “Immortal Division. The Last Campaign ”begins in 2013: it was then that the reconnaissance and diving team found the first of 10 submarines that disappeared during the Second World War, which are discussed in the videos of this cycle on our channel. 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.

On the eve of World War II, the Red Banner Baltic Fleet had 65 submarines in its composition, but only half of them were ready to fight. Among them - 9 submarines of the "M" series. The crews of the two brigades were tasked with attacking the German convoys of ships and transmitting reports to the headquarters about all movements of the enemy fleet.

In the spring of 1942, the Military Council of the Baltic Fleet, in its directive, complicated the task for the submarine: to prevent 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 it was minefields that were the main means of fighting the Germans against submarines in the Baltic Sea. By the beginning of the war, military technologies - primarily sea mines and systems for laying them - made it possible to use the limited exit of Soviet ships from the Gulf of Finland. If at the beginning of the 20th century Russia could send a huge squadron from Kronstadt to the World Ocean, then in 1941 the Germans actually locked Soviet submariners in the Gulf of Finland with multi-level obstacles of thousands of mines. Most of the losses of our submariners accounted for precisely sea mines.

Nevertheless, the smallest submarines, the 45-meter "Malyutki", were entrusted with the reconnaissance of the routes.

Military engineer P.I. Serdyuk. The series consisted of 46 boats of the "M" type, which were scattered across many naval bases in the USSR.

"Service on the "Malyutka", according to the recognition of Soviet submariners, was a grueling and dangerous business. One of the main reasons why these boats were made of this size - the ability to transport them assembled on railway platforms. "Babies" were used mainly to protect the coast. There were no special amenities for the crew - the boat went out to sea for 2-3 days. Quite often the sailors served in the conditions of heavy bumpiness - the waves every now and then ruthlessly threw the 200-ton "float", risking breaking it to pieces. But the sailors' main concern was the reliability of the submarine - one shaft, one diesel, one electric motor and weak weapons on board", - Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Vice Admiral of the Reserve Tengiz Borisov told Novye Izvestia.

Submariners who served in the war on the "Malyutki" told: the narrow space inside the submarine created incredible difficulties for the existence and work of the crew. In order for two people to disperse in the diesel compartment, one had to get on all fours, and the other had to jump over it.

However, during the war, submarines of the "M" type were called upon to perform combat missions much more difficult than those for which their technical capabilities were designed - to attack enemy ships.

"Babies" found themselves in rather difficult situations, of which quite often a number of crews managed to survive only by a miracle. In spite of everything, according to Vice Admiral Borisov, the crews of this type of submarine cruisers performed their duty with honor and dignity. An example of this is the crew of the M-95.

Participants of the 10th expedition "Bow to the ships of the Great Victory" with the help of a team of professional divers discovered the Soviet submarine M-95, which was killed in 1942, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Leonid Fyodorov, right opposite the Gogland Island at the bottom of the Gulf of Finland. For many years, no one really knew anything about the fate of the crew - the Red Navy men were considered missing.

From the archival materials of the historian Miroslav Morozov, it is known that on June 13, 1942, the Soviet M-95 submarine went on reconnaissance in the area of the island of Gogland, occupied by the Nazis. By order of the commander, she fired two torpedoes (apparently by mistake) at the German transport Siauliai, which had thrown itself on the stones during the Tallinn passage in 1941.

On the same day, the "Malyutka" returned to the base in Lavensari and, having loaded the torpedoes, again entered the position.

According to the historian Morozov, the boat sank at the northern tip of Gogland Island so as not to be noticed by enemy reconnaissance. "Malyutka" went underwater, bravely crossing the Finnish minefield "Rukayarvi" ("Sea urchin"), which blocked the exit to the Gulf of Finland. And there, early in the morning of June 15, the coastal post and a German patrol hunter practically simultaneously recorded a mine explosion at a distance of five miles from the coast.

For several days, Finnish and German pilots "ironed" the place where the deceased Soviet submarine lay on the ground. (In any case, traces of bomb explosions are clearly visible on the hull of the submarine discovered by the divers).

Later, enemy reconnaissance recorded a huge oil slick in this area of the Gulf of Finland.

During the expedition, the boat of the "Reconnaissance and Diving Team" passed exactly in the place where the course of the M-95 intersected with the lines of the minefield. On the sonar screen, the search engines saw an elongated silhouette of a Soviet submarine. Judging by its size, it is the "Malyutka" M-95 that lies at a depth of 60 meters.

The search engines found: "Malyutka" is lying on solid ground, the hull was badly damaged by fishing nets, the fence of the cabin was completely destroyed. The bow of the sub is badly crumpled, apparently from hitting the bottom. All rudders are in neutral.

Inspection of the boat gave specialists the opportunity to restore the chronicle of the tragic events.

Most likely, moving in a submerged position, the submarine touched the minrep - the cable of the EMC anchor naval mine. They were equipped with a Ka tube - special protection against destruction by trawls - devices for catching and detonating ammunition.

“The Ka tube”, - explained Miroslav Morozov, - “was a corrugated sleeve worn on a minerail. When rubbing against the body of submarine, this sleeve began to move upward, and, thus, triggered the "contactor", standing on the bottom of the anchor mine. Then - an explosion".

The submarine with its fragile hull was immediately damaged, which disabled all the devices and mechanisms of the submarine.

Участники экспедиции обсуждают очередные находки

Diver and military historian Mikhail Ivanov, who himself sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Finland and saw everything with his own eyes, expressed his version: the submarine began to dive rapidly, continuing to move forward, hitting the dense sandy ground with its nose. After that, the bow end of the "Malyutka" crumpled and rose up.

Presumably, the boat was sailing at high speed - 3-4 knots and continued to move by inertia. Sinking down, she plowed the ground, walking about 100 meters.

When the divers examined the submarine, they found that the aft escape hatch was slightly open. This led to a terrible assumption: at the time of the impact, the people were alive and were, most likely, in the aft compartments.

Then, after a terrible explosion, at a depth of 63 meters, in absolute darkness, in icy water up to their shoulders, the surviving Soviet submariners found the strength to do what the navy calls "survivability".

Аварийный люк приоткрыт

According to the instructions, the sailors changed into suits and then flooded the central compartment. Then they tried to open the aft hatch, but ... they could not. Ironically, the guardrail post, probably designed for the convenience of submariners exiting the submarine, bent from the blast wave and blocked the hatch. It nevertheless opened slightly by 20-30 cm, but it was impossible to get through this hole...

So, while performing a combat mission right under the enemy's nose, the crew of the M-95 submarine heroically died. The small submarine became a mass grave for Lieutenant-Commander Fyodorov and 19 of his comrades.

Divers of the reconnaissance and diving team installed a memorial plaque with the names of the heroes on the hull of the boat. Here they are:

Leonid Fyodorov, lieutenant-commander, ship commander;

Ilya Ryvchin, regimental commissar, military commissar of the submarine brigade of the KBF;

Sergey Kozlov, senior lieutenant, assistant commander;

Mikhail Senin, senior lieutenant engineer, commander of BC-5;

Ivan Ishmurzin, foreman of the 1st class, boatswain;

Alexander Kuzmin, foreman of the 2nd class, commander of the helmsman squad;

Ivan Vedenin, senior sailor, senior helmsman;

Ivan Petrov, senior sailor, senior helmsman;

Georgy Tsyganov, petty officer of the 1st class, commander of the navigational electricians' department;

Vladimir Gordienko, petty officer 1st class, senior torpedo operator;

Nikolai Toropov, senior sailor, senior torpedo operator;

Alexander Ponomarev, Petty Officer 2nd Class, Commander of the Acoustics Department

Alexander Kucheryavyy, Red Navy, commander of the radio operators' squad;

Yelisey Kuroptev, chief foreman, foreman of the group of minders;

Vsevolod Semichev, petty officer of the 2nd class, commander of the mechanic department;

Vasily Mitoshin, senior sailor, senior mechanic;

Alexander Rybalov, senior sailor, commander of the hold department;

Pyotr Ivanov, sailor, hold;

Georgy Ivanov, foreman of the 2nd class, senior electrician;

Nikolay Arakcheyev, senior sailor, senior electrician.

Eternal memory to the heroes!

* "Malyutka" can be translated from Russian into English as the "Little one" or "Tiny" (editor's note)

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