55 years ago there was the greatest tragedy in the Russian Navy, which claimed more than 600 lives of sailors.
October 29, 1955 in North Bay Sevastopol squadron sank the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Navy battleship "Novorossiysk". Killed more than 600 sailors. Until now, the cause remains a mystery of his death. The correspondent of "joint venture" in his time in the Navy who served more than a quarter century, is familiar with the people who were eyewitnesses to the catastrophe. Their stories formed the basis of the proposed article.
The story of the ship's officer
In late October 1955 the Black Sea Fleet held large-scale exercises, in what was then the most powerful ship of the Russian Navy — battleship "Novorossiysk". Shoot all kinds of tools for educational purposes and showing who the owner is in the Black Sea area, the battleship returned to Sevastopol and anchored abreast of the naval hospital. In the evening the team went to nurture "let off steam", and remained on board about fifteen thousand sailors engaged in daily activities. That came in the upcoming, written thousands of pages of reports and briefing notes. My first naval commander and teacher, now captain of the first rank in the resignation of Mike R. Nikitenko, that night atonement officer of the watch "Novorossiysk". He described to me a tragedy like this:
— On that ill-fated night shift The watch did not see anything alarming. The situation surrounding the ship and inside it was quite regular. And then in the second half of the night under the bow of the battleship, a massive underwater explosion. Immediately faulty generator. For some reason did not work and emergency lighting. Yet the surviving sailors crew quickly took their places on a schedule alarm excitement. At the commander's bridge began receiving scattered information on the state of the ship. It was soon clear that the bow is a large hole.
The hole in the floor
About the state of emergency was reported to the headquarters of the fleet. While the command came, it was possible to align the ship pumping oil from the tanks of the 1st side to the other. But the tank (the nose of the ship) inexorably sinking into the water, and a significant part of the deck is already splashing waves. It became clear that the "Novorossiysk" doomed. In such a situation it was necessary to vigorously and without delay to act on two fronts: the evacuation of the crew and tow the battleship in shallow water, so it does not completely flooded. A closer look at four o'clock in the morning the ship was nakrenyatsya at an alarming rate. At 4 hours 15 minutes, he turned and became a mass grave for hundreds of sailors …
Later, a government commission was created to clarify the circumstances of the accident and to identify the guilty. The result of this activity was the act of investigation, which here has been kept secret for decades.
— We just said — finished Nikitenko story — that the Commission concluded, as if the death of "Novorossiysk" occurred as a result of explosion of an old German mines, which snagged anchor battleship. But I never believed in this version. After all, in order to make havoc side armor battleship in an area of ten square meters, according to the most modest estimates, it would take several hundred pounds of explosives. What are mind-blowing wars such mine could bring in Sevastopol bay?
The official version
At one time in the main headquarters of the Navy gave me the opportunity to get acquainted with this act of commission, declassified in 1992. To be honest, it made me a big disappointment. The document itself does not contain anything that could even be used to municipal or military secrets. It appears that the drafters of the act decided to classify it because of the outrageous unfounded manufactured output of the death of "Novorossiysk" as a result of explosion of an old mine. Attribute it to a random mine was profitable to all — fewer goals will fly on the results of the investigation. Because, for sure, and "written off" … However, it is fair to say that the act was analyzed and a different version of the explosion — sabotage.
Dangers of Prince Borghese
On the deck of the battleship "Novorossiisk." 1954
The fact that the "Novorossiysk" formerly known as "Giulio Cesare" and during the second world war was the flagship of the naval forces of fascist Italy. In December 1943, at the Tehran Conference "big three" agreed on the division of the Italian Navy. Most of the ships ran across the United States and the United Kingdom. Russian Union got the battleship "Giulio Cesare." However, the transfer of its Russian side was accomplished only in 1949 in the Albanian port of Vera. With all of this in the Western press in those days published a statement of Italian Rear Admiral Prince Borghese, who commanded the mix of combat divers, saboteurs, that it will not allow pets "Service of the Council of Italian flagship" and undermine it by all means .
The Government Commission recalled these expressions, but did quite reasonable conclusion that the frogmen of Prince Borghese might not be able to discreetly deliver the Sevastopol road a few hundred kilograms of explosives that could penetrate 20-centimeter armor battleship. To do so would be very handy little boat, which, of course, could not be covertly infiltrate the Russian territorial waters, and even more so in the waters of a strong and perfectly protected naval base.
Curse awnings Felice
But that still essentially exploded in the bow of the battleship "Novorossiysk" 55 years ago? Neuzh a government commission has considered only the two versions is not very convincing? This is what I once asked the 1st of the former naval captain of the first committee of professionals rank retired Nicholas Garmatenko. And got a surprise answer:
— Tired of silence and prevaricate. Certainly, even half a century back our experts were convinced of the artificiality of the official version of the death of "Novorossiysk". But it was comfortable for the Chiefs, why different world had no chance to be
heard upstairs. Rumors also on the sidelines of the commission itself strolling variety, even such exotic as the battleship hit a point of contact with some of our world "parallel" or as a curse on the whole series of these ships Marquise Felice (rumored to be a witch in the flesh), whose spouse died during the sea trials of the battleship in this series …
Indeed, the fate of 3 battleships — "Leonardo da Vinci", "contry di Cavour" and "Giulio Cesare" — there were a few almost magical coincidences that could lead one to all sorts of ideas.
Spouse awnings Felice Admiral Ray was crushed, falling from a ladder between the dock and board the battleship "Leonardo da Vinci". In the same year, the ship rolled over from an explosion under the bottom, and sank straight to the port of Toronto. A similar fate has understood "counter di Cavour" in 1940. The latest victim of the mysterious explosions fell "Giulio Cesare" ("Novorossiysk").
Another weird coincidence. Catastrophe "Novorossiysk" actually occurred in the same place where in 1916 blew up and sank the battleship "Empress Maria." Background of the disaster and in this case are not clear so far.
— If we ignore the mystique — the captain of the first rank in retirement
Garmatenko — that on the sidelines of the commission, many experts whisper expressed confidence that the death of "Novorossiysk" — all the same work of thugs Prince Borghese. And they did not have to lug hundreds of pounds of explosives on the raid of Sevastopol. According to the diabolical plan of Admiral, Russian themselves deadly cargo delivered as intended.
The fact that shortly before the transfer of the Russian battleship Italians for something significantly increased its nose. Our crew, who took "Giulio Cesare" in Faith, immediately drew attention to the freshest welds in the tank and the forefoot. If there is not incorporated explosives? But check this out in the criteria of another port did not seem likely. Well, there was still quite a clear X-ray and ultrasound equipment. The crew at your own risk brought battleship at sea. Swimming was no emergency, and the initial excitement retreated into the shadows. Later, and quite a team on the ship has changed, and means the likely pinned forgotten. Underwater saboteurs in such a situation at all, and it was not necessary to seep in Sevastopol. They could in neutral waters attached to the bow of the battleship small magnetic mine with a clockwork mechanism that could undermine the previously laid on the battleship powerful charge.
Naturally, this version is also not confirmed. But it is unlike all the other explains the strangeness of explosion 55 years ago. And although for hundreds of deaths is no longer any difference in the annals of history must be recorded not only implausible official version of the crash, and "behind the scenes", which, at least, looks more plausible.
The victims of the disaster
Total killed in the crash of 609 people, including emergency party with other ships of the squadron. Specifically, as a result of the explosion and sinking forward compartments were killed between 50 and 100 people. Other — Rollover battleship and beyond. Timely evacuation of personnel cooperated was not. Most of the sailors were left inside the body. Some of them were kept for a long time in the air bubbles compartments, but managed to save only nine people: seven out through the slit at the bottom of the stern of the neck 5 hours after the capsizing, and even 2-derived 50 hours divers. According to the memoirs of divers, buried and condemned to death sailors sang "Varyag". Only by November 1, divers finished hearing a knock.
The designated culprits disaster
The direct perpetrators of the death of a significant number of people and the battleship "Novorossiysk" Commission were named Black Sea Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Parkhomenko, acting Squadron Commander Rear Admiral Nicholas and Acting battleship commander Captain 2nd Rank Khurshudov (commanding officer Captain First Rank Kuchta was on vacation). The Commission noted that the direct responsibility for the disaster with the battleship "Novorossiysk" and especially for the death of people is also a member of the Military Council of the Black Sea Fleet, Vice-Admiral Kulakov.
But despite the ominous findings, it was limited to the fact that uncomplicated commander of the battleship floats reduced in rank and exiled to in store. There have also been removed from his post and demoted: the division commander of aqua District Rear Admiral Chee, acting Nicholas squadron commander and member of the Military Council of the fist. After 18 months, they have been restored to their ranks. Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Viktor Parkhomenko was declared a serious reprimand, and December 8, 1955 he was removed from office. No legal action against him did not hold. In 1956 he was removed from office in chief of the Soviet Navy, Admiral Kuznetsov.
Based on the report of the government commission commanded the Black Sea fleet in November 1955 the Acting Commander of the Navy Admiral Gorshkov were sent on awarding orders and medals of all the dead, along with the battleship sailors. By the awards were
117 people are also one of those who survived the explosion, sailors from other ships that came to the aid of "Novorossiysk", as divers and doctors who have distinguished themselves during rescue operations. In Sevastopol, the headquarters of the Navy, brought the right amount of awards. But the award did not take place. Only decades later it became clear that the representation of the hand of Chief of Staff of the Navy of the time was made note: "Admiral Gorshkov that is not considered likely to go out with such a proposal."
Exclusively in 1996 after repeated appeals of veterans ship, the Russian government has given appropriate instructions to the Ministry of Defense, the Federal Security Service, Prosecutor General's Office, the Russian municipal Sea historical and cultural center and other departments. Main Military Prosecutor's Office was engaged in checking of the investigation conducted in 1955. Classified lists of award to "Novorossiysk" had been kept in the Central Naval Archive. It was found that six sailors were posthumously presented to the supreme merit of the USSR — the Order of Lenin, 64 (53 of them posthumously) — the Order of the Red Banner, 10 (9
posthumously) — to the order of the Russian War, 1 st and 2 nd degree, 191 (143 posthumously) — the Order of the Red Star, the 448 sailors (391 posthumously) — a medal "For Courage", "For Military Merit", Ushakov and Nakhimov .
Since that time there was no longer the country, under the naval flag the dead "Novorossiysk", no Russian orders, all the "Novorossiysk" were awarded the Order of Courage.
The fate of the remains of the ship
In the summer of 1956 expedition of special purpose "SAS-35" has started to rise battleship blowing way. Preparing for recovery was absolutely completed by the end of April 1957. General purge began in the morning on May 4 and on the same day completed the climb. The ship drifted upward keel May 4, 1957, and May 14, it was towed to the Cossack Bay, where he turned. When lifting the ship tumbled third tower head caliber, which had to raise separately. The ship was scrapped and transferred to the plant "Zaporizhstal" to the facility.
The web site Flot.com posted another version of the death of "Novorossiysk".
It put forward in our time PhD Oleg Sergeev. The essence of it was. The battleship "Novorossiysk" was blasted with 2 charg
es, with a total TNT equivalent in the range of 1800 kg, mounted on the ground in the area of the nasal artpogrebov on the insignificance of distance from the center plane of the ship and each other. The explosions took place with a small interval of time, contributing to the creation of a cumulative effect and causing damage as a result of which the ship sank. Undermining the same was prepared and carried out with the knowledge of the Russian secret services control the country's only domestic political purposes. In 1993 he became known artists of this action: Special Forces lieutenant and two midshipmen — Support Group.
Against whom was targeted this provocation? According to Sergeyev, first against the control of the Navy. On this issue, two years after the death of "Novorossiysk", at the plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU October 29, 1957, Nikita Khrushchev said: "We have offered to invest in the fleet of more than 100 billion rubles to build an old boats and destroyers armed with conventional artillery. We had a huge fight, they took off Kuznetsova … to think, to petition for the Navy, about the defense he was unable. Must evaluate all knit. Need to build a fleet, but first build the submarine fleet, armed with missiles. "
Ten-year shipbuilding plan does not reflect the value in the long term development of a more capital-intensive and profitable for the military-industrial complex naval strategic nuclear forces, could not objectively supported the military and political control of the country, which decided the fate of Navy Commander Nikolai Kuznetsov.
The death of "Novorossiysk" marked the beginning of large-scale reduction of the Navy of the USSR. Went to scrap obsolete battleships "Sevastopol" and "October Revolution", captured cruisers "Kerch" and "Admiral Makarov", a huge amount of captured submarines, destroyers and other classes of ships built before the war.