Rus Articles Journal

How in imperial fleet the secret of scuba diving was protected?

the Royal decree which appeared at the beginning of June, 1904, were appropriated to the Russia`s first fighting submarine the name “Dolphin“. The mine officer and the shipbuilder Mikhail Nikolaevich Beklemishev who in a co-authorship with the engineer Ivan Grigoryevich Bubnov and constructed the firstborn of the Russian podplav … of

Under a signature stamp of the highest privacy

became her commander

In staff documents of the submarine called torpedo boats like “Dolphin“. Very first of them before assignment of this name it was called by “torpedo boat No. 113“, and submariners were called divers.

How in imperial Russia the mode of privacy of a podplav worked, Beklemishev well wrote in the diary:

“03. 09. 1902. I expect appointment of our “Torpedo boat No. 150“ as the commander.

15. 09. 1902. I stay in perplexity. Having arrived in the morning to service, received the instruction signed the general - the admiral, about my sending out on business in the order of EIV VK (its Imperial Highness of the Grand Duke - the Edition) Georgy Aleksandrovich. With a mark - immediately. The same instruction was received by the lieutenant A. N. Cherkasov. Why to its highness “divers“? However our business - to execute orders …

19. 09. 1902. It is pleasantly surprised. In Serpukhov we were waited by the crew given to the train according to the order of VK! On arrival to the residence VK us with Anatoly instantly accepted his highness. In modestly arranged office, except Georgy Aleksandrovich`s VK, there were a famous engineer and the pilot Mr. Naidyonov, and also the mister absolutely unknown to me dressed in a civil dress and presented to us by the grand duke as Raids Mikhail Petrovich. Having acquainted us with attendees, VK of HECTARE in a rigid form demanded to sign the document right there, right on the spot: “The obligation about not disclosure of the state secret“, the defining mode of saving the classified information trusted us. Sanctions for violation of the mode of privacy well just “draconian“! It was necessary to sign the document. On the other hand and the salary of monetary pay together with side benefits for us and our families impressed not less. After a year on service of VK I can consider myself as very wealthy person. Being attached to VK of HECTARE in direct submission, we were still registered as officers of fleet, with all that it implies. Could recall us only with the consent of VK of HECTARE. And we had no other administration any more.

Surprise, our with Anatoly Nilovich, when we learned that this mister Naletov, is a designer of an underwater mine zagraditel was big! Besides, it appeared - mister Naletov already finishes construction of two sistership (from English sister and sheep - the sister and the ship) which received the amusing names “Crab“ and “Cancer“ on Nikolaevsk plant. And their descent to water is planned in two weeks. Nobody ever heard about projects of Mr. Naletov. And furthermore about construction of any underwater ships by it. And the more so as specific, as underwater mine zagraditel … In end of an audience of VK ordered to make lists of crews of the ships from known to us personally the best experts of the Russian fleet, and as he noticed at the same time, “at all not to hesitate“ by drawing up it. Poor Ivan Grigoryevich (Bubnov - the Edition) ! We with Anatoly removed at him almost all standing people. From the head there was no document signed by me. Now - that I understood how the grand duke managed to keep business in secret.

07. 10. 1902. Moving in Nikolaev took place inconspicuously that pleases as the lower ranks are always ready to otmochit any trick. However neither alcoholism, nor other misconduct in way happened absolutely. On arrival in Nikolaev crews lodged in certain barracks of local garrison, having forbidden any communication with local population. Despite unusually strict requirements, people treated it with understanding. Possibly, in memory requirements of the obligation signed by us are still fresh. Though time did not need to communicate with somebody at all. Extremely busy schedule of training provided for staff 16 - the hour working day.

17. 10. 1902. Acts (about acceptance of submarines - the Edition) are signed! The ships are handed over by builders, and are accepted by crews. I the order EIV VK HECTARE am appointed the commander of group of “torpedo boats of a special purpose“.

“With carrot or birches“



From Nikolaev of the submarine it is reserved passed into Balaklava where they were based in the closed hangars, and Beklemishev was registered as the chief of diving school. Who actually these “divers“, did not know even the local sea administration. Therefore when “Cancer“ and “Crab“ put an educational mine obstacle at an entrance to the Sevastopol bay, scandal burst: “The quantity of vytralenny mines brought the admiral Tyrtov S. P. into preizryadny amazement as he how it managed to divers to do such piece could not explain“, - Beklemishev noted. It was necessary to speak to Mikhail Nikolaevich with the admiral, but so that not to reveal the state secret.

However business did not come to an end in that. On an educational mine the torpedo boat of “Poti“ “was undermined“. Its team learned in some way about participation of “divers“ in this embarrassment, and the lower ranks of “the sunk crew“ gave up them “a grandiose fight“. Thanks to the boatswain Prishibeyev, “assumed the management of a fight and stopped shameful unorganized slaughter, thank God, did without mutilations. The honest fisticuffs organized by Prishibeyev a wall on a wall by primordial Russian rules and taken the most live in it part, terminated in a victory of our crews. Here a nonsense the sheer - and feeling from their victory the most pleasant. And even some ridiculous I feel pride“.

Meanwhile submariners trained with might and main. “Test extreme depth was passed by crews in full strength, - Beklemishev wrote down. - And 5 people had to be posted from the ships because that at immersion tested absolutely uncontrollable attack of claustrophobia. The sailor Ivlev had to be pulled out for trousers from the fighting cabin and to connect since he by all means wished “to come to light“, and did not want to listen to any arrangements. Yes, certainly, it is terrible when the boat goes down and, squeezed by pressure, drearily creaks all set as though complains of excessive freight. Yes, you experience some nervousness at each immersion, however everything quickly passes. Just it is necessary to get used to it“.

After trial runs, educational torpedo firing practice and statement passing a test was coming min. crews again: “With carrot or birches. Depending on result. Torpedo boats from Sevastopol were ahead of us, dispersing all from a waterway … the boat is filled with a smell of hot lubricating oil and... Also the crew should learn to use a latrine correctly!“ - M. N. Beklemishev noted. In general seamen mastered boats quickly and so that they put in the purpose eight torpedoes from ten.