At home among strangers. On the old floating suitcases
The story is worth it to start the events of May 1944, but we will go back a little, in the 1940-th.
By August 1940, it became clear that the case of the British Empire things worse. Expeditionary Force in France was defeated, the Germans have at their disposal an excellent base on the Atlantic coast, than, of course, took advantage.
There were unharmed two great bogey British Navy “Tirpitz” and “Bismarck,” but not even their presence threatened Britain. It should be noted that at the time, Britain was its supplies from the colonies and dominions by sea. And Germany, represented by submarine forces Doenitz could pull the plug thoroughly British.
In August 1940 the US ambassador to Britain Joseph Kennedy said in Washington that the British blockade of the island was “inevitable.” Churchill did not cease to put pressure on the Roosevelt, recalling that in the case of the fall of England, the British colonial possessions will be in the hands of the enemy, who would in this case represent a direct threat to America.
US while kept neutral, but Roosevelt managed to find a loophole in the law and to help Britain. In September 1940, it was signed a historic deal on the exchange of British bases in the Atlantic on warships.
The deal was Freaky. In exchange for vehicles Americans wanted to get a free 99-year lease air and naval bases belonging to Britain. And we got it.
Base on the island of Newfoundland, Antigua, Bahamas, British Guyana, on the islands of Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad moved to the United States.
Instead, States gave Britain 50 destroyers. 43 of them have joined the ranks of the Royal Navy of Great Britain, 7 were given to the Navy of Canada.
What were these ships?
It is clear that new and emerging British ships did not shine. Congress agreed with Roosevelt that the country has too many outdated weapons with which to leave. And in addition to the British ships began to receive arms and light weapons, and ammunition. But back to the destroyers.
These were the three types of ships, “Caldwell”, “Weeks” and “Clemson”. Built in the beginning of the century under the conditions of the First World War. Yes, they are all out of date, and destroyers could be called only in terms of raising their cost.
Armed with 102-mm guns, one 76 mm anti-aircraft guns and torpedo tubes, a serious danger for surface ships, they had no idea. However, the Americans were still able to develop a speed of 35 knots, and it can reset the depth charges.
British “finalized” the destroyers, leaving a 102-mm gun, a 76-millimeter anti-aircraft and adding four “Oerlikon” machine. In the middle part of the body left one triple tube torpedo tube. And on the vacant space behind the nose gun was mounted 24-barrel anti-submarine rocket mortars. Two of the mortars was set closer to the stern, plus the release gear.
Of the former destroyers turned out that the then called “escort destroyers,” that is, universal antisubmarine ships.
And these ships took part in the Battle of the Atlantic.
But back in 1943-th year.
After the capitulation of Italy, September 8, 1943 the Soviet Union, the US and Britain agreed to the Italian Navy section. But such a carve-up – not a quick process, and the allies offered to us through due share of the Italian Navy to transfer the temporary use of several American and British ships.
By agreement, we received one battleship, one cruiser, eight destroyers and four submarines. The Americans gave us a cruiser “Milwaukee” and other ships should receive from the British.
I have often draws attention of readers to the fact that our allies from Britain acted very peculiar. It happened at this time. Yes, submarines “sunfish”, “Ursula”, “Inbroken” and “Unison” could be attributed to modern ships were built in 1936-1941 years. A battleship “Royal Sovereign” was built in 1916.
The destroyer was even worse. To transfer it meant “exchange” the American ships. Who also at the time of the transfer were in reserve.
And on the shores of Albion was sent polutoratysyachny landing Soviet sailors to explore the redeployment of ships and make them available to the Northern Fleet. And what he saw in British docks they were not much pleased.
According to the recollections of Sergei Levchenko Gordeevich, flagship officer commanding a detachment of ships of the deck we were in disrepair, the board, the superstructure, torpedo tubes in many places covered with rust. Inspection of ships showed that none of them can not go into the sea: the torpedo tubes are not unfolded, the big guns were shooting barrels, boilers four destroyers demanded change hot water pipes, the main machine needed perezalivke bearings.
Our sailors worked 12 hours or more, the cleaning out of the holds dirt, removing rust.
Mastering destroyers moved slowly also because it lacked many of diagrams, drawings and descriptions. Soviet officers were forced yourself to understand the different nodes. The result was a steam line circuits, electrical equipment, oil and other systems, which are then reduced to the overall scheme of the ship. So general ship created the documents on which the study took place, and personnel.
In addition, the Admiralty warehouses lacked spare parts, and take ships without them, given the technical condition of the destroyers, it would be simply criminal. The English referred to the fact that the destroyers were built in the United States thirty years ago, and spare parts are not preserved.
But our sailors would not be real sailors, if not able to come up with a decent solution to the situation.
The heads of the British Admiralty was asked to pass as a destroyer of spare parts, with the same type taken. The British simply stunned by this and agreed not at once. But they agreed.
Mariners squad and named first nine destroyer – “Spare parts”. In a very short period of time it ought to lead to a decent view, in order to move forward in its Murmansk. We must assume that “in excess of” the English part with the worst possible ships.
Urgent an emergency team was formed: with each destroyer eight sailors – just 63 people. This is half the staffing destroyer of this type.
The commander of the “spare parts” has been appointed the flagship navigator squad captain 2 rank AE Shepherd, political officer – an employee of the Political Department of Captain 3rd Rank NV Matkovskiy. About the commander and deputy political commissar worth special mention. AE Shepherd. An experienced officer, an excellent navigator, he was a good ship and the commander. Under a political officer and he was Matkovskiy NV – Battle sailor with the service experience on the Black Sea Fleet, the Azov and the Volga Flotilla. Shepherds and Matkovskiy perfectly complement each other, we managed to rally the team. And when the question arose as to name a destroyer – it is not always the same teasing him, saying, “Spare parts”, – the team unanimously petitioned: “everybody.” Later the name was approved.
Statement of the time, well illustrates the problems faced by our sailors.
And the miracle happened: September 6, “Spare parts” on their own has passed along the east coast of England at Scapa Flow, and then the bay of Loch S, where formed another alliance convoy. And then I came to Murmansk and, together with the convoy, although the British begged not proceed more than 10 knots, and especially not to use mortars.
August 17 the convoy reached the sea, and on 24 August stood safely at anchor in the roads Vaenga.
In the Northern Fleet ships they got their names. The entire series of destroyers “type” Hot “was named.
“Cocky”, “activity”, “Valiant”, “worthy”, “Friendly”, “Hot”, “Burning”, “Hard” and “tenacious”.
“Burning” (picture on it, though, even “Twiggs County”)
The share of “oldies” had the most exhausting work: escorting ships in the northern seas and the fight against German submarines. And I must say that in spite of the difficult past and have a hefty life of Americans in the hands of the Soviet seamen steel weapons, steel warships, which we lacked in the Northern Fleet.
From the Anglo-Americans have formed two divisions:
Division 2 destroyers (Capt 2 rank Osadchy MD):
– the destroyer “daring”;
– Destroyer “Valiant”;
– Destroyer “Hot”;
– Destroyer “Burning”;
– Destroyer “Hard”;
– Destroyer “tenacious”.
Division 3 destroyers (Capt 2 rank Krasheninnikov EM):
– the destroyer “activities”;
– Destroyer “Decent”;
– Destroyer “everybody”;
Plus rovesniki- “Novik”:
– The Red destroyer “Valerian Kuibyshev”;
– Destroyer “Uritsky”;
– Destroyer “Karl Liebknecht”.
By the way, our little sailors “skhimichili” and “amicably” to spare dismantled. It is hard to imagine what it is worth, but the fact is: the destroyer, which even the British gave up, did not go “to parse” and was brought to what was absolutely the complete warship.
Well, we did not have time to dissipate possible so ships in the North.
One can only imagine the surprise of the British authorities, when in August 1952 the destroyer “Spare parts” on their own came to England …
I was from destroyers and win.
“Saucy” first opened the scoring, even on the way to Murmansk sinking (significantly) German submarine U-344.
“Tenacious” December 9, 1944 by artillery fire, and ram bombs sent to the bottom of (significantly) the submarine U-387 with all hands.
Acting in the squadron of the Northern Fleet, destroyers like “Hot” for the period from 10 September 1944 to May 9, 1945 completed 85 combat missions.
The ships carried 307 outlets in the sea to search for German submarines, 224 exit for posting 70 convoys, escorted with 337 transports and icebreakers. The posting period convoys destroyers were 74 collisions with enemy submarines, while only one of them managed to April 22, 1945 sinking “Onega” trucks, which went in the convoy PC-9.
The figures, behind which are daily combat work in the conditions of the Arctic. Often not even destroyers docked at the port, getting fuel, ammunition, food and water from the barge to the intermediate parking.
Before 1949, the destroyers continued to be part of the Northern Fleet, which took place on the planned combat training. The full use of the destroyers of the “Hot” has been limited due to their poor technical condition.
In the years 1949-1952 all the destroyers were returned to the Royal Navy, with the exception of “activities” (formerly “Churchill”), which is January 16, 1945 was torpedoed by a German submarine “U997” and sank with almost all hands, led by the commander of the ship’s captain Konstantin Kravchenko -leytenantom Afanasyevitch in the area north of the mouth Rynda in the Barents sea.
After receiving all the ships were written off immediately and to cut the metal.
That such a fate. Not needed in America is not necessary reservists in British cast, as they say, “to back off”, the destroyers have become weapons in the hands of direct Russian sailors. And honorably fulfill all combat missions assigned to them.
Which once again confirms the postulate that war is not a technique, people are fighting.