Rus Articles Journal

Pages of the Russian history. How our submariners made the first transition from the Black Sea to the Far East?

Received the order “to prepare boats for transition to Far East theater, to Nakhodka … The port of basing to us defined Wrangel`s bay, spare base - the Distant port where construction of necessary constructions comes to an end“, - Mikhail Beklemishev wrote down on April 1, 1903 in the diary.

He was one of creators of the first domestic submarine and the chief of balaklavsky “diving school“ - under such name the first group of underwater mine zagraditel disappeared. In this distant campaign Beklemishev coordinated interaction between submarines and steamship of Voluntary fleet “Smolensk“ with replaceable crews of submariners and freight of spare parts onboard.

It should be noted that the first submarines were not under water deafs and blind people. They already had a sonic depth finder, and acoustics could monitor noise of ship screws at distance of 20-30 kilometers. There were also radio stations capable to support a stable radio communication at distance to 2,5 thousand kilometers, including in the radiotelephone mode - on several tens miles. Of course, only at the periscopic provision of the boat, “as the antenna of near communication is brought to a periscope head“.

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In three days after obtaining the order of the Cancer and Crab submarine was left from a quay, under periscopes left a bay and headed for Bosphorus for a rendezvous with “Smolensk“. Went in the afternoon under water when darkened - emerged in cruiser situation, and from the dawn “dived“. In Bosphorus the periscope had to be lowered, moved on 15 sazhens on notation, probing depth the sonic depth finder. When by the night the movement of vessels in the passage calmed down, rose under a periscope, were checked - passed as on a thread.

It is also reserved passed the Sea of Marmara, Dardanelless, “entered the Aegean Sea, to Gibraltar - 2300 miles. Cars as it should be to sleep“, - Beklemishev in 6 wrote down. 53 mornings on April 8. “Catamarans “Hera“ and “Masha“, at last, joined an escort. Duties of intelligence agents and advice ships are assigned to them … they here go amazingly. 20 knots at them - the economic course! Full - to 45 knots! Catamarans are ahead of a caravan, on beams at “Smolensk“, reporting about oncoming vessels which in these waters there is a lot of. Often and at night are forced to ponyrivat“.

Beyond Gibraltar waited for the ocean, but “transition by Atlantic to the Cape of Good Hope of special concern does not cause in me. If only cars stayed in serviceability“.

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“04. 05. 1903 11:01. Exactly a month as we in a campaign. Now we will move to “Smolensk“, on week rest. Weather forecast this week wonderful. Let`s have a rest properly and then we will return on native “Cancer“. In the same place, by the way, and it happens to cross the equator. To Cape Town 3510 miles“.

The heat exasperated: “Though at night in the boat becomes it is easier to breathe, and around literally the whole ocean of cool water. No, with a temperature in the strong case positively it is necessary to solve something. In the winter cold before knock tooth, in the summer closeness before loss of consciousness. Engines give the mass of heat, sea waters are pleasantly cool, and we as in hell we toil“.

At the way to Madagascar a wave bent blades of screws by both boats, at “Cancer“ jammed nasal wheels on emersion. Then “my boat lost the course at all. And it is already the paragraph full. Wave height about 4 sazhens, a list reaches 30 degrees. So easily and overkil to execute. By some miracle maintains a steering feather“.

“06. 06. 1903 2:05. It is necessary to put somehow the ship against a wave … Four times the machine quartermaster of 1 article Grigory Rozhnov, having tied round a tench and clinging for a handrail, tried to reach a fodder flagstaff. Washed away it overboard in the boiling water three times and we had to pull out it back on the deck. And only for the fourth time it managed to fix a tench. And for the fourth time the wave washed away it from the deck. We dragged the hero who back absolutely already grew weak and very shivered …. Having tied the second end of a tench to a periscope, all of us could lift a tarpaulin scrap, like a jib and lead the boat to wind. Now we will not overturn, thank God“.

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During a storm when replacing of the burned-down rotor this multipood large object shook and pressed to a board of the driver Vasily Akulov: “Got to the poor creature directly on a thorax and crushed so that blood rushed at him from a mouth“ - edges pierced a lung. The ship`s doctor successfully operated the seaman, despite strong rolling. “I think when “Masha“ approaches, runs to Aden and will replace Vasily to any steamship of Dobroflot there. There are no 2800 miles not close, of course, however and the choice. And how still to evacuate the disabled person? On the foreigner passing - it is directly forbidden … All good in all this history that Vasily should not beg ashore. It has on a ship role a salary, as at the captain of the second rank on imperial fleet. Here from the special fund of disabled people founded for families of the dead and the pilots and submariners who lost health, and will receive all sum which is due to it monthly in the form of pension, to death most … Under a condition such it is unlike easier for us to risk the life“.

The engine everything is repaired: found a secluded island far from maritime routes and in its lagoon finished repair.

In the middle of August of the boat successfully reached the destination. And from the beginning russko - the Japanese war to the Far East - already by land - were thrown “Dolphin“ and some more submarines. Their presence forced Japanese to refuse sea blockade of Vladivostok.

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Mikhail Nikolaevich Beklemishev actively was engaged in underwater and mine affairs till 1910 when the general - the major retired in a rank. But also after that he taught mine business, advised ship builders.

In the Soviet Russia Beklemishev before retirement managed part of scuba diving of Special technical bureau. Twice, in 1920 and 1935, he was arrested, but both times released. The third arrest, perhaps, would not end also safely, but Mikhail Nikolaevich did not live up to a repressive wave of 1937 …