Raiding operations of Black Sea Fleet. Part 3

Raiding operations of Black Sea Fleet.  Part 3

Raids on communication in the western part of the Black Sea

As previously mentioned, the People's Commissar of the Navy on November 19 confirmed the need for the organization of the fighting surface ships off the west coast of the Black Sea. With all of this, he pointed out that the first foray need to plan so that the enemy's communications were disrupted for a period sufficient to train and re-start the operation. Based on this guidance, the fleet command has set November 27 squadron puzzle systematically active actions in the western part of the sea with a view to the liquidation of floating along the Romanian coast transports and ships of the enemy, the first step to raiding from November 29 to December 1. The composition of forces: cruiser "Voroshilov" favorite "Kharkiv" destroyers "savvy", "Courageous" and "Merciless".

Established in late November, the situation was favorable execution of the operation. Thanks to divert enemy aircraft in the Stalingrad area created an opportunity secretive and comparable non-threatening our ships out on the enemy rear communications. This facilitated and complex meteorological conditions.

In the evening on November 29 group 2 ships in the fleet destroyers "Ruthless" (braid-pennant commander of the 1st Battalion destroyers Captain 1st Rank Pavel Melnikov) and "Courageous" came from Batumi to Tuapse. By adopting fuel, at 0:50 on November 30 she put to sea. The 1st group of cruisers "Voroshilov" (flag Squadron Commander Vice Admiral Vladimir L.A.), a favorite of "Kharkiv" and the destroyer "Savvy" came from Batumi at 17:15 on November 29. The output of both groups provide preparatory control trawling the fairways, finding submarines, destroyers and patrol ships specific outposts patrol boats.

On the morning of November 30 the two groups merged in the sea and in a few hours followed along the west. At 12:50 on the signal flagship group 2 was separated and went to the south-west. When he reached the parallels 42 ° 20? and to define the Turkish lighthouse Kerempe, she headed to the area of Cape Kaliakra with the expectation to be there at dawn on December 1. Group 1 at 19:00 on November 30, after passing the meridian of Cape Kerempe, set course 325 °, hoping to approach the dawn of Snake Island in the east.

Moving to the area of combat supplies held secretly. On the morning of December 1st ships of the 1st group followed with the set Paravania. The lead was "savvy" (commander Captain 2nd Rank SS coo), in the wake of him — "Voroshilov" (commander Capt. 1st Rank FS Markov), end — "Kharkiv" (commander Capt. 3 — rank P. Shevchenko). At 7:35 in the fog, visibility 5 miles, right on the course was opened on. Serpentine, and at 7:47 all ships opened fire on it — more precisely, the lighthouse, which is a distance of 45 kb was excellent vary optics. In this case, it is not focused on the shooting of several calibers for one purpose when everyone as a conductor controls the flagship gunner and his teams are getting into the act or other batteries and ships, and the simultaneous firing. Just all at once began to shoot at the same target, although the plan for this distinguished only destroyer, and only with the discovery of boats or aircraft at the airport — a favorite. The distance was 40-30,5 kb, in other words thrashed at close range direct fire.

As a result, the fire control vehicles caught in the exploding shells, the goal at times locked in smoke and dust from tearing a 180-mm shells, then "savvy" generally stop shooting "Kharkiv", giving 5 volleys, also finished on time consuming, and only at 7: 58 newly started sighting. Having done two tests and received a strange takeaways, he suffered a fire on the proposed airfield, in other words, just the island. Then he took it a favorite of their own plan. The cruiser ended up consuming at 7:57, 8:00 in the destroyer. As a result, the lighthouse, which in a combat task even mentioned, let out 46,180 mm, 57,100 mm and about hundreds of 130-mm shells, with its destruction of nowhere said.

Again, that shots were fired from a distance of about 40 kb on the move at 12 knots. Approximately the same distance to the south of the island stood a minefield S-44, to which the detachment lying on course 257 °, uniformly approaching at an angle of 13 °, — the conditions under which a meeting with the mine is inevitable, even if the ships were no otter protectors . At 7:57, just a cease-fire on the cruiser "Voroshilov", an event took place, because of which upset the order of alignment in the ranks. On the left side for course angle of 45 ° in a distance of 10 kb found a periscope. The cruiser has already begun to grumble to the submarine, but it soon turned out that the whistleblowers took a pole for a periscope, and the cruiser, describing a smooth koordonat, lay on the same course, with all this, instead of building the wake of the column formed commissioned ledge to the left.

Since the ships set Paravan guardians, the main task of "Wits" was to produce mine reconnaissance ahead of the cruiser. In this case, after the cruiser by unknown for SS Vorkova reason outlined koordonat, "Savvy", increasing the speed from 12 to 16 knots, twisted a few degrees to the left, so get out evenly in the head cruiser, and soon again reduced the speed to 12 knots. At 8:04, when the destroyer, has not yet had time to get out just in my head cruiser, was on a course angle 10-15 ° to starboard at a distance of about 2 kb from the cruiser, right otter "gumption" captured minrep and a few seconds later hooked mine surfaced 10-15 m from the side.

Following the discovery of the first idea of mine SS Vorkova was the assumption that the mines are delivered not so long ago (this testimony undercut the appearance of mines) and in the vicinity of the island seaward same meeting with the least possible mine (this assumption is consistent with reality). Because the commander of "gumption", turning machines, the ship turned sharply to the left and under the nose of the cruiser, who continued to stand on, and a second time with all this only successfully crossed the line minutes, standing at intervals of 100 m, and came out of the unsafe area to the south . Apparently, the steep circulation, coupled with a low rate of speed paravanes were incorrect, width guardian has sharply decreased, resulting in the ship and "slipped" in the range of mine.

The commander of the destroyer broke all the rules under which the ships in the event of the minefield to be or to proceed with the same rate and a higher rate of stroke, admitted using otter guardian, or depart on the distance traveled in reverse, making sure that the food did not go so aside. The choice of one or the other method of maneuver that reduces the possibility of meeting with the mine, depends on the nature of tasks performed and the degree of reliability of the available resources to protect themselves from min.

In this case, acting on intuition and contrary to all the rules, SS Coo really dodged a severe threat. The subsequent undercutting mines on the same southern row (left Paravania) or on the northern range, which still had to cross (if not avoided destroyer to the South), is likely to be accompanied by a mine explosion — and on the Baltic experience of such explosions min mark for EMC small distance
from the side of a very unsafe for destroyers.

Since immediately after the undercutting of mine gave this signal whistles, hoisting the flag "J" and a semaphore, SS Curr believed that the cruiser "Voroshilov" lies in his wake, and also depart to the south of the found obstacles. But the cruiser judged differently. L.A. Vladimir's believed that the unit was on not so long ago delivered mine to the bank, and he did not know of its borders, it did not try to circumvent it. Nor did he lusted back up, because it would lead to confusion paravanes and caused the loss of time in front of the enemy, and therefore ordered the commander of the cruiser to keep going without changing course. According to the latest least as he explained his decision by the parish to the database. From which came in effect at the time the commander of the squadron, and remains lurking. Most likely, it was administered as an annotation of that time, as discussed above.

Around 8:06, "Voroshilov" crossed the wake destroyers and right around the same time, in the right paravane cruiser at a distance of 12-15 m from the side there was a large mine explosion. Throughout the ship, the lights went out, the steam boilers in the villages, the engine telegraph and telephone out of the act. After going after the explosion on the right wing of the bridge and did not find on the deck and on-board traces of destruction, the commander of the squadron immediately returned to the engine telegraph, where he was commander of the cruiser, just a messenger who ordered to reverse. Assuming this is the wrong decision commander, L.A. Vladimir's ordered to give full speed ahead, and this was done. All this happened at a time when ship crossed the southern range of the minefield S-44. Less than a minute, at 8:07 am, in the left paravane exploded second mine. Since the car cruisers still for 10-20 seconds to work in reverse, the speed of the move on the front fell to 6-8 knots. For this reason, paravanes walked closer to the board than at the time of the first explosion, and therefore the second also came closer to the ship. As a result, breaks down a lot of devices and devices that disrupted radio communication in case there was a leak. Both paravane were lost, but remained part of trawling. After a minute, at 8:08 am, the ship returned to light, and was made possible introduction of an emergency engine telegraph.

Damage purchased cruiser squadron commander forced to abandon the shelling of Sulina port. Cruiser, being between the two rows of mines, described the circulation, successfully crossed the southern range min and avoided the minefield, the western end of which there was still a 2-miles to the west of the site of detonation. In other words, the cruiser still left with the constant rate. We can say that it got the best of ship: on the same date at the crossroads of a number of northern mines "Voroshilov", who lost paravanes may be undermined by a single or 2-personnel mines. But no guarantee that the south is not another strip mines. Probably because it was necessary to try to come up with a minefield in reverse — the more so that the cruiser has expanded the passage from 100 to 300 meters but did because it did, and nothing happened.

In this situation, the commander of the squadron has a natural decision to stop the operation and return to base. The question was only at that — to go all or none. After all, the favorite, as the second force already acted on their plans. At first, when the cruiser was found leaking, the commander of the squadron found the ship's position and harsh so I decided to return to themselves as "Kharkiv".

Around 9:00, while still far from shore, about 16 miles south-east of the sign Burnas, the favorite "Kharkiv" in accordance with the acquired radio orders to end the search, and turning to the south-east, went on to join with the leader. December 2 days of the ships of the 1st group returned to the sea in their bases.

Ships second group "Merciless" and "Courageous", the day on December 1 criteria bad visibility coming up to the Romanian coast, began their precise location relative to depth, measured sonar and mechanical lot. It turned out that the ships were seaward value space, and as it turned out, the discrepancy apparently was about 4 miles to the east. About 8 hours walking the course to the west, destroyers entered the fog, visibility fell to 3-5 kb. I had to give small at first, and then the smallest move. With all of this otter conservatives raised at 5.30am when the party was still 40 miles from the coast, almost dormant because paravanes not set aside from the side of the ship.

Being unsure of their own position, the battalion commander did not want to go north to Mangalia, yet does not open saved. But at 8:04 am, when the depth sounder showed the depth of 19 m (which, judging by the map correspond to the distance to shore less than 4.5 kb), was left no choice but to turn to the right. After a minute after turning seemed to keep, and at 8:07 found silhouette transport. Soon saw the silhouette of three transports, one of which later was identified as a military ship, similar to the gunboat type «Dumitrescu». Almost immediately opened fire of the enemy shore batteries, there is a decline in the shells of 15 m from the side and straddle.

At 8:10 destroyers opened fire with the introduction of night viewfinder unit 1-H, but to "mercilessly" by mistake instead of the commanded distance 2 kb found 24 kb, and a "lively" found 12 kb, and there are first of all gave the same flight . By introducing the amendment, managing fire headed for covering the second volley, but the third, the fog did not attend. At 8:13 fire ended, because the goals disappeared. Destroyers deployed for working course and after 20 minutes again stormed transport artillery and torpedoes, but after a couple of minutes fire ended because all the targets were destroyed and disappeared into the mist. Total spent 130 mm shells — 88, 76.2 mm — 19, 37 mm — 101, and 12 torpedoes. Sunk found three enemy transports. Unfortunately, as it turned out later, were attacked coastal shallows and mountains.

The bad visibility is not permitted to set up, specifically where there were steps above. To "mercilessly" believed that everything came out near the village of Pupils in 2-miles south of Cape Shabler. The commander of a "lively" believed that the ships were in the port of Mangalia, 18 miles north of the value of space. Based on the analysis of reports at the headquarters of the squadron came to the conclusion that, based on the measured depths and like to watch the shore, which was faster than lower-than-steep, one can assume that the area is located near the village of events Kartolya, south of the cape of the same name, 5 miles north of Cape Shabler.

Since the visibility has not improved, and place the order remained undetermined, PA Melnikov refused to perform the second part of the tasks, considering that the shelling of the port of Mangalia reincarnated just unload the cellars, and the destroyers knowingly put at risk by landmines. Because detachment turned to the base. After the withdrawal of 20 miles from the coast, about 10 hours, the ships started harvesting paravanes. On a "lively" was not a paravanes or guardian trawling parts — it would not even see when they lost. To "mercilessly" even earlier saw that left otter on the circulation ran to starboard. If you try to remove the guard turned out that the trawling of messed up and impossible to lift without much loss of time. A little while ago, as it later turned out, there was an incorrect detection of a periscope, which fired. Soon took radiographs of undermining the cruiser "Voroshilov" on mine and on the orders of the favorite "Kharkiv" to return. The last radio message transmitted with the "gumption" in the name of the co
mmander of the squadron, gave reason to imagine that the cruiser has died, a L.A. Vladimir's defected to the destroyer. Taking into account to create an environment to "mercilessly" cut off the two pieces together with trawling Paravania and destroyers went to join up with the leader. December 2, "Merciless" and "Courageous" otshvartovalis in Tuapse.

We specifically so carefully discern the operation of ships in the squadron of Romanian banks. First, because it was the second similar to the start of the war. First, as we recall, had a June 26, 1941, in other words, almost 18 months back. What after all has changed since that time?

Raiding operation June 26, 1941 was designed to fire the port of Constanta. The aim of the latest operation were of the enemy along the Romanian coast, convoys at sea ports Sulina, Bugaz and Mangalia. Additionally set fire puzzle Snake Island. In general this is a small island for a long time was an attractive force for the Russian ships and aircraft. First, the war was supposed landing marines seize Snake. Fundamentally the consent of the Head of Staff was received, and July 3, 1941 BSF aircraft began bombing periodic objects on the peninsula. But earlier Snakes are often prescribed as a spare target when attacking towns in Romania. Nothing, apart from the lighthouse and radio stations in the peninsula were not, well, the plan of his capture on July 6 refused. But aviation methodically continued to bombard the Serpentine right until July 10, so swapping makarom him several tons of bombs. Information about the destruction of the lighthouse there.

Around this time, the island began to appear frequently Russian submarines, as it was for just refine your place before going in designated positions. Naturally, the Romanians finally found it — just put up 29 October 1942 minefield S-44 and was their reaction to the frequent visit to this area of Russian boats. By the way, on the same minefield published in the sea died December 2, 1942 submarine u-212. At the same time she died after 11 December — apparently, when a change in the position decided to clarify its position on the Snake.

One can imagine that in the plan of operations squadron ships hit the peninsula also because of the desire to once again determine the raids on the ports. On it went, even despite the fact that the appearance of the Serpent appeared likely would lead to the loss of stealth. Immediately on passing ships conducted astronomical observations and thus Makar knew their place. These criteria are in the sea could turn away from the minor puzzles solutions for the main purpose of the merits of the transaction. But the commander of the squadron did not.

Noticeable that the planning of operations December 1942 had significantly more perfectly, if the June 1941 Certainly, the experience has affected one and a half years of war. In fact, except for the undercount of the available data on the mine situation in the course of the first combat mission of the detachment to the south of the Snake, the biggest feature of flaws and was not. This is not even taking into account the real situation, which has become known to us after the war. In other words, the operation planned quite reasonable. And here is a great …

So Makar, the second operation in the war against the Romanian communications squadron was unsuccessful. And this is despite a number of good reasons. For example, save the stealth action forces lack the enemy in the area of strike aircraft, the availability of reliable comparable and complete disk imaging on the mine situation. The cause of failure rather benign planned operation — rather weak operational and tactical and special training officers.

But the People's Commissar of the Navy rated this hike as a whole as a positive development activity and gave the order to organize and carry out such acts each time with his personal approval and on presentation of the developed plan. We must not forget that the result of the operation at the time considered three Tipo sunk transport. By the way, for example, this operation can be shown, as we quite simply misleading.

Here is a quote from the book NG Kuznetsov "Heading for Victory":
"We have taken a lesson foray in Constanta. In November 1942, the base for the bombardment of enemy ships in Sulin was sent cruiser "Voroshilov". He performed a puzzle successfully and without loss, although the enemy resisted stronger than during a raid on Constanta. "

How many people read the memories Kuznetsova? Certainly, a few 10 s of thousands. That's about the same number believe that "Voroshilov" defeated, despite the desperate resistance of the enemy naval base Sulina and sound back home with a victory. This again indicates that teach the history of the memories are as insecure as on artistic novels.

Rating Commissar, high-quality analysis of the operation, opening all of the major mistakes made to the Military Council's Black Sea Fleet confidence to repeat the operation. But the situation has changed somewhat. In 1-x, the enemy stepped up aerial surveillance approaches to the west coast of the Black Sea. In-2, one of the conclusions of the operation was the fact that the otter conservatives do not guarantee the security of cruisers and destroyers in the case of forcing them minefields. The following operations proposed in unsafe areas of mines produce shock wiring ships for trawls.

Despite the difficulty of raiding operations to ensure trawlers, this, perhaps, would have gone — even more so that suitable neutral ships were available. But here's the combat-ready ships in the squadron almost gone, because both modern cruisers, and destroyers were a big part of the repair. Because raiding operation decided to not providing trawlers and by themselves. To do this, formed two battle groups consisting of: first T-407 (Brady pennant commander of the 1st Division Captain 3rd rank AM Ratner) and T-412, the second T-406 (Brady pennant Commander 2 — Battalion Captain 3rd rank Yanchurina VA) and T-408. But all the same squadron participated — from her isolated flagship operation destroyer "savvy", carrying the Rear Admiral V. Fadeev, who controlled all the forces of the sea.

Task was to find the order winding up and convoy near Constanta — Sulina — Bugaz. Other than that, "the purpose of the moral effect on the enemy and disrupt his communications," decided to make the shelling of the lighthouse Olinka Shagany and villages that did not have any military significance.

According to available intelligence reports, transitions enemy convoys off the western coast of the Black Sea were provided destroyers type «Naluca», patrol boats and aircraft. Romanian destroyers obviously inferior minesweeper projects 53 and 58 on the artillery armament. Because the ships were divided into two groups of two units. This allowed us to start looking for convoys once on 2-distant areas of communication: on the way to Portitskomu Girlie and sign in Burnas. In other words, where the submarines than once found and attacked the convoy of the enemy and where together in order to ensure freedom of maneuver sweeper, because in both of these areas of the mine situation was listed as appropriate.

In the event of an unexpected meeting with minesweepers stronger enemy ship (for example, the destroyer) was assumed as a support ship to use the "quick-witted." In general, the ability to timely provision of such support was listed initially confusing — very far away are spaced areas of combat supplies strike groups. But turn away from the separation of forces also did not want to, because it was available at minesweepers in store fuel allowed to create only the search for short-term (less than 4 hours), and areas of diversity allowed to increment the ability to detect the enemy. Plan provided for the use of aviation operations, first for intelligence purposes. But its role is expected
to be purely symbolic.

Out to sea initially scheduled for December 8, but adverse weather forced the operation to move the start on the evening of December 11. Percussion group came out of Poti with an interval of one hour — at 17:00 and 18:00. The destroyer "savvy" out of Poti at midnight on December 12. In both groups and transition destroyer led to its place on the Turkish beacons Inebolu and Kerempe that allowed minesweeper come in the afternoon on December 13 to the area of Snake Island in the reckoning with residuals of less than 4.5 miles [70]. With all of this first group did not come to the island at a distance of least 14 miles, and the second group came up to him at a distance of 9.5 miles. As in the morning, and during the day or the visibility was good, reaching 12-15 miles, and from time to time and 20-22 miles.

Now let's see the balance of forces. December 13, a day raid our minesweepers, destroyers were in Odessa «Marasti» and «R. Ferdinand », in Sulina — the destroyer« Smeul », in Constanta — mine layers« Dacla »and« Murgescu », and the river port Vilkovo — Monitors River Division. The other ships were in the Romanian Constanta, repair, and would not be in this day applied for fighting at sea.

The first group of ships after determining the location of the island at 9:10 Serpentine set course 341 ° — with the expectation to come to the riverside east Burnas sign. In this way, minesweepers were in the middle of a wide 25-mile passageway between minefields S-42 and S-32. At 10:49 on the left, behind the beam, the ship saw the smoke, and after 5 minutes seemed huge mast transport. Then he found a second transport, but escorts have not watched. At 11:09 trawlers turned to the left on a course of 230 ° and became noticeably closer to the convoy of the enemy. At 11:34 they found a destroyer type «Naluca», which was made with the identification signal, and right behind him perfectly distinguish between the two transport with a displacement of 9.7 tons and 6 large boats.
The meeting took place with the Romanian transport «Oituz» (2686 GRT) and the Bulgarian «Tzar Ferdinand» (1994 grt). They came at 8:15 of the Sulina in Odessa, having escorted by the destroyer «Sborul» katernogo and four German minesweepers. At 11:37, when the convoy was about 14 miles south of Burnas mark left on the nose, a distance of about 65 kb, they found "two destroyers."

Escorts obviously inferior to Russian minesweeper in combat abilities, but the commander of the group did not think so and acted indecisively, losing the advantage provided by the suddenness of the attack. First, AM Ratner sent a telegram to the "savvy" with a request to provide support for the destruction of the convoy found — which is certainly true, because my 100 with 2-mm guns trawlers sank to transport very long time.

At 11:45 T-407 opened fire on the head Transport, and a moment later the T-412 — on the destroyer. The convoy commander immediately ordered the transports to move away Ochakiv arms and destroyer minesweepers and katernogo put a smoke Zahav. In the upcoming launches, holding nearby transports, covered their smokescreens, a «Sborul» at first continued to move closer to the "destroyers", but soon went on the course and working with all this came at 11:45 in the plug. Open fire destroyer of the 66-mm gun was invalid, because the shells were falling from the undershoot. Russian ships fired no better starting a fight from a distance of 65 kb. With all of this you need to keep in mind that no minesweepers fire control devices not; everything the gunners — gun sights and range finder. A total fire was zero. In addition, the German minesweepers katernogo couple of times simulated torpedo attack, and to ensure that the Russian ships to turn away.

Under the cover of a smokescreen transport have become vorachivatsya working on the course. Evenly distance combat declining. All this time the Romanian destroyer bravely distracted fire on themselves, and boats put smokescreens. Relatively high-speed transport «Tzar Ferdinand» began to go forward and left in the direction of Zhebriyan, so that in the coming under fire was only one «Oituz». At 12.42 trawlers noticeably closer to him, because the destroyer «Sborul» soon turned to the right, a rapprochement with the "destroyers" than they diverted the fire. He also opened fire, but the accuracy on both sides remained ineffective and results has been achieved, despite the fact that the distance was reduced to 38 combat kb. All the same, at 13:26 shells falling around the destroyers were not safe, that forced him to retreat protivoartilleriyskim zigzag. Wind direction, at first south-south-east, after 13 hours was changed to the southwest. Because Romanian destroyer disappeared behind the smoke zaavesyu and our trawlers from 13:35 lost contact with him.

With our ships at 11:53 and 12:45 followed by 28 hits 100-mm shells in one of the transports. At the end of the fight it appeared the fire, but the destroyer again Tipo is not allowed to come closer to him and finish. By that time, in other words to 13:36, trawlers have already spent 70% of ammunition, because the battalion commander decided to finish the fight and gave the order to break away from the enemy.

Ha «Sborul» not beheld that our ships left alone trucks and began shelling the village Shagany, because who was on the destroyer commander of the convoy, taking advantage of the respite, at 13:45 on the radio requested assistance from the squad river monitors. At 14 hours, when our trawlers had gone on a course withdrawal, «Sborul» again turned closer to them, to distract themselves by their fire, and so allow the convoy to jump to the south, to the port of Sulina. But by the time the Russian ships at the opponent has not directed attention, and at 18:05 the convoy at full strength, with all the outposts, and with no losses or returned to Sulin.

Maybe the situation would fundamentally change places with the arrival in the area "gumption." As at 11:59 on it received a telegram asking for support, the destroyer was about 25 miles south of Snake Island. Based on the acquired radiogram, the convoy of the enemy, found near Ochakiv arms, was, apparently, in the direction of Odessa. Exclusively at 12:20 brigade commander understood the situation, then "savvy" to increment the course of up to 20 knots and set course of 30 °. But even that is exceeding the established speed travel with the supplied Paravan guardian could not assist the cause, because the place the alleged meeting with the first group of minesweepers was still about 70 miles. All the more so that the destroyer was not there: AM Ratner said the brigade commander is not that the convoy was still first fight went on working the course, and so the "savvy" heading to pre-empt the meeting point with the convoy on its way to Odessa.

After the fight, allegedly because of the almost complete consumption of ammunition, the first battle group did not leave the area and go to the shelling of the village Shagany, spending another 26 100-mm shells. The real reason for the termination of the battle is that the squad just could not cope with the convoy. Indeed, who prevented finish trucks, which already got Tipo 28 (!) Shells? But to get close to him did not give a destroyer, having armed with 66-mm cannon beginning of the XX century and also received several hits Tipo 100-mm shells. Though what transport (maybe apart from a timber truck), received more than 2-10-s 100-mm projectiles, would represent himself from the wreck and hit 2-3 from the 100-mm shells torpedo likely sank like.

The second group of minesweepers after determining the location of the island at 9:16 am Snake set course 217 °, and in this course through her hour for the first time found a spy plane of the enemy. At 11 trawlers went on a course 244 °, and then for good visibility made the five-hour unsuccessful search f
or approaches to Portitskomu Girlie. During this time, a couple of times a minesweeper approaching aircraft, for which a 3-events unfold anti-aircraft fire. With 2-aircraft radio messages transmitted in clear text in Romanian (and part of the Russian language), with the mentioned names "Mary" and "Mereshti" (the name of the Romanian destroyers).

In the process of maneuvering at speeds of 16 knots speed, trawlers, according to the balance sheet tracing paper, twice crossed the fence S-21, and once — minefield S-22, but there were mines with the deepening of 10 m, and were therefore absolutely not dangerous to surface ships. In general, it may be, minesweepers were generally clear of these obstacles: the fact that since 9:16 this group maneuvered by dead reckoning. From time to time show up on the horizon in store, but maybe the fact that the number of bank Portitskogo Girlie in fact was a haze from afar takes for the coastline. On several grounds, including the Romanian data, we can assume that the second group of trawlers maneuvered not so close to the shore, he believed, VA Yanchurin.

Making the shelling of the area lighthouse Olinka, trawlers at 16:16 on a course laid waste. Three times since 16:40 to 17:40 on December 13, also the day on December 14 over the ships appeared spy planes of the enemy. At 4:40 on December 15 the second group of trawlers returned to Poti.

As we litsezreem, the operation was without result — although at the time believed that the trawlers at least seriously damaged transport and destroyer. If you plan to take, it can be stated that the selection of the 1st destroyer as a support ship 2-groups of trawlers was missing: he really could not help the fact that the two groups at once, and even the first one. It was so obvious that at 14:24, has not received from the commander of the first group on the radio reports on the implementation of tasks, the commander of the brigade commander gave the order to "gumption" to retreat to the south-east, in other words to the Caucasian coast. The reports on the execution of tasks received from the first group of minesweepers at 14:40, and from the second group — at 16:34. While destroyer at 28 knots went to Poti, where days are safely arrived on December 14.

Selection of minesweepers as shock ships can not be called successful. The available forces allowed to send to the Romanian coast a few destroyers, but were afraid to repeat variant with undermining min otter guardians of the cruiser. Proizoydi similar to the destroyer, the effects most likely would have been even harder. You could send a destroyer minesweeper — but do not walk the same first step for all raiding trawl. Now we know that the trawlers during surgery 11-14 December 1942 safely avoid the minefields, but at the time of this guarantee no one could.

But even with such groups of percussion of minesweepers operation could be effective: the convoy found something. And then there was a variation on the preceding operation commander group was not able to hold the sea battle, artillery and showed a low proficiency. Aviation Fleet ships covered by the transition in the eastern part of the Black Sea.

Encouraged by the fact that in the end 2-past attacks on Romanian communications, as they believed the enemy suffered significant damage, and wanting to be partakers of the successes of the Red Army on the southern flank of the Soviet-German front, the Black Sea Fleet Military Council takes a decision to put another blow. For this purpose, stand out all the same minesweepers T-406 (Brady pennant commander of the 2nd Division Captain 3rd rank B, A. Yanchurina), T-407, T-412 and T-408, but maintained their now two destroyers — "Savvy" (the flag of the brigade commander and trawling barrage of Rear Admiral V. Fadeev) and "Ruthless."

As would be taken into account experience of the last operation, when the "savvy" on the physical level is not able to catch the site of the battle of one of the 2-strike groups. But in this case it did not matter, because now minesweepers had to work together in a reconnaissance-strike group. The number of support ships increment due to the finding, according to intelligence reports, 2-Romanian destroyers in Constanta and 2-gunboats in Sulina.

Let us remember yet another shortcoming of the previous raid — the absence of aerial reconnaissance. However, the first group of minesweepers could then find an enemy convoy and without air support, more precisely speaking, the convoy went straight to meet minesweeper at a time when they were just about to start the search. But everyone knew that do not rely on luck, and now the Fleet Air Arm gave the order for the three day or before going out to sea the ships produce aerial reconnaissance in the area of communications Sulina — Bugaz also ports of Constanta, Sulina, Bugaz and Odessa, and in the end, Crimean enemy airfields. In the upcoming naval aviation was to conduct tactical reconnaissance for targeting ships in convoys and drawing with them strikes also cover ships in transit.

Adverse weather conditions over a number of days did not allow the Fleet Air Arm to initiate the preparatory exploration. According to the forecast, the weather in the coming could only get worse. In other words, it became natural that no air reconnaissance or joint strikes on the convoy, no fighter cover will not. Apparently, in a truncated form operation successful could only be the case, and in view of the well-known truth that at equal damage potential loss of ships off the coast of the enemy is always higher than that of their own — to the same unreasonably risky. But the operation decided to pursue.

The easiest way would be to explain this Russian "maybe": No Intelligence — Well, maybe for yourself what-nibudt come across; bombers do not — well, so if the ships went out and brought the convoy, then for sure, for sure, and will govern themselves; fighters not — Well, if our sit on the ground, why opponent will fly. But it's not serious arguments. Some documents that explain why, in deteriorating weather forecast still decided to carry out an operation — no. But there is speculation. Apparently, its first aircraft not expected: since the beginning of the war there was at least one real example of a successful joint operation of surface ships and Air Force. Those few cases when the aircraft spotters out on the shooting contact with the ship and gave some information about the fall of their own shells, naval gunners were estimated pessimistic.

Indeed, because the whole process of adjustment, as well as observation of the firing results from the plane, he wore only a personal nature or by any means an impartial monitoring was not confirmed. Moreover, the Gunners looked down upon from time to time issued by the pilots and proofs continued to fire at the former installations sight and rear sight — as pilots, of course, is not known, but the plane started to come reports that the shells fall on purpose. And how many times were the case, that the aircraft for any reason at all in the last moment gives up tasks? So Makarov, it appears that advance the well-known non-participation of the Air Force fleet in operation is not critical, since, in practice, more of her, and did not wait. Unfortunately, the following activities in 1943-1944. almost all confirm this conclusion.

But back to the raiding operations. Four designated trawler out of Poti in 4:00 on December 26, with a small delay against schedule and destroyers leave this base in 19 hours. At 10:52 on December 26, when the reconnaissance-strike group was located 100 miles west of Poti, appeared spy plane, which is coming up in 3 hours 20 minutes led the continuous surveillance of the group. During this period of time with minesweepers dropping depth charges in the detection of the 1st or 2-periscopes, but they did not head — do not lay on the wrong course, as envisaged by the plan. At 1
4:20 the enemy plane disappeared. Believing that he would call the bombers to attack minesweepers to scout out already aware, the battalion commander at 14:35 sent a telegram to the address Air Force fleet with the request to send aircraft to cover the minesweepers — but, of course, no one came. At 14:45 VA Yanchurin informed by radio to the brigade commander to "savvy" about the attack submarine and the discovery of minesweepers enemy aircraft.

Here it should be noted that during the martial discipline of the air campaign was not respected. In total, VA Yanchurin 20 sent seven radiographs, of which 20 June were sent and received correctly and without delay, but one is not reached the addressee. How do you think what? That, first, on a reconnaissance plane. She passed at 14:45 brigade commander, took on the communications center of the fleet, but not on otrepetovali flagship destroyer. And on the "gumption", regardless of the bearing of radio watch for communication with a group of trawlers referred radiogram was not accepted. VA Yanchurinu reported that at 14:45 on the transmitted radio message receipt is not received, but he did not give orders to give it a second time. So Makarov, VG Fadeev remain in ignorance, that secrecy has already been lost, and that is likely to continue the operation foolish: the enemy at least for a while shielding all of its convoys in ports.

On the minesweepers was in store full of fuel, which allowed to produce a sufficiently long search. According to the plan they had at 17:15 on December 27, to find a place for all to the same island Snake and then perform from 18:00 to 14:00 on December 27, December 28, search for enemy communications in Sulina — Bugaz. But because of the delay in going to sea, and then because of the almost two-hour loss of time caused by the malfunction of machinery on the T-407, shock-search group, received the day on December 27, with visual observation of the lighthouse Kerempe, went to the area of Snake Island with a huge delay in darkness and in not a good visibility.

For landfall chosen tested on December 13 the way in which the first group of minesweepers departed into the sea after the battle Zhebriyanskoy bay. But in fact the discrepancy minesweepers had more than 10 miles and were significantly closer to the shore. In part, this explains the navigational armed ships, which did not differ from that time Russian-Japanese war. Visibility in the area did not exceed 1 kb, because at 0:00 on December 28, believing himself about 20 miles south-southeast of the sign Burnas, the battalion commander decided to reduce the speed of up to 8 knots and maneuver at a safe distance from the minefields set in the coastal strip our ships in 1941

VA Yanchurin his hopes that with the dawn of the visibility improves, it would come to the bank for details of where to start and then to search. But practically search began earlier than expected. At 4:00, when the trawlers going rate of 232 °, were by dead reckoning, 14 miles from the coast, right on the beam at a distance of 15-20 kb band suddenly found the highest shore. It became clear that the trawlers are somewhere between the familiar and selenium Burnas Budak, in other words, in his own minefield number 1/54, but where exactly — is unclear. So we decided to retreat to 10-11 miles out to sea to wait for better visibility.

Previously, the time still had hope for a chance encounter with an enemy convoy, soon she vanished: at 5:45 VG Fadeev on the radio ordered VA Yanchurinu show his place. There could be no doubt that the enemy, having received days of December 26, a report from a spy plane about going to West 4th our ships, not only stopped the movement of convoys, and increased surveillance at checkpoints communication services, namely, finding stations. So Makar, radio-talks, producing the day on December 28 in waters controlled by the enemy, not only confirmed the presence of Russian ships, and with sufficient accuracy to specify their location. But the brigade commander, having for 2-days due to trawlers, broke down and broke radio silence.

At 7 o'clock the battalion commander gave the order to lock the minesweeper machine to check the value by measuring the depths of space. Soon after that the band went into the thick fog. At 8:45 VA Yanchurin without any justification, in turn, broke the rules of secrecy by sending to "savvy" radiogram with a report that is swimming in the fog by dead reckoning, and so he wants to approach the shore on the calculation, make the shelling and then begin a withdrawal, as and asks directions. On this radio message was the answer: "Welcome."

Minesweepers, again risking to one of our defensive minefields, went to the bank, which is coming to disclose, then hid in the fog, and about 10 hours, when visibility quickly became better made at a distance of 36 kb and shelling cannery buildings in the area of the sign Burnas, having the starting pickup tube plant. As a result, pounding on the shore usually appeared fires were destroying several buildings. Total spent 113 100-mm rounds. Taking into account the accuracy of the navigation of ships, to say exactly at what they were shooting the tube, it's hard. And wonder what objects are destroyed on the shore — generally worthless. In the documents of the Control Commission in Romania shooting Burnas not met — or the Romanians have not seen, or at all it just hit civilians face.

Ceasing fire, trawlers at 10:20 on a course laid waste. Produced then flip pad showed that the road sweeper NIGHT MODE and in the afternoon on December 28 by accident successfully placed in the aisles between their minefields. So, search for enemy communications completed significantly ahead of schedule. In general, even earlier, the days of 26 December, it became clear that this search will bring almost a success.

By the way, we had a single incident since the war that allowed the mine-sweepers to make exploration specifically in the area of military operations of their own submarines. They are fully able to escape routes within the boundaries of the shallow band to go with the set kite trawls, because about the same method used our submarines that served the position number 42 and 43. Naturally, the plan of operation is not provided — but in fact all the controls in place in the hands of neutral forces! But the initiative most of the officers had already been strangled-existing realities of that life. All the working transition went without incident, and the day of December 30 ships returned to Poti.

Last raid on communication in the western part of the Black Sea if also been successful, it is only in the sense that all returned safely to base. The reasons for the ineffectiveness operations are not considered errors brigade and division commanders, and first winter weather conditions, so at some time in the Romanian operations decided not to hold the coast. Especially since a drum surface ships brought a wealth of problems in the area of the Taman peninsula.

Continued all parts:
Part 1. Raiding operation to fire Constanta
Part 2. Raiding operations in the ports of the Crimea, 1942
Part 3. Raids on communication in the western part of the Black Sea
Part 4. Last raiding operation

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