Tallinn breakthrough: the main tragedy of the Baltic fleet

History 20/02/20 Tallinn breakthrough: the main tragedy of the Baltic fleet

This is one of the tragic pages of history of the Soviet Navy, in just three days of August 1941 the Baltic fleet lost more than a third of its fleet. The result of the German attacks killed about 10 thousand red army soldiers and civilians.

did Not expect the attack, delayed the retreat

the Baltic fleet to the beginning of the great Patriotic was mainly based in Tallinn. Since the city was far from Soviet-German border, the Soviet high command did not expect in this place an active action on the part of Nazi Germany – the capital of Estonia was actually not protected, neither from land nor from the sea. However, by the beginning of July 1941 the Germans occupied the Estonian town of Tallinn, situated just a few dozen kilometres from Tallinn. Further events developed very adversely – Nazi compounds of army group “North” during the offensive, in the heart of Tallinn, the Soviet troops cut off from the main forces.

the Timely removal of the fleet from the Gulf of Finland let to the then commander of the North-West Kliment Voroshilov and Commissar of the Navy Nikolai Kuznetsov. Time has been lost, and this in the end, tragically affected the fate of the Baltic fleet. The order to evacuate the crew members did when the Germans were already being fired vessels at the port of Tallinn of his artillery.

“Operation Evacuation”

to be Evacuated to Kronstadt had over 200 warships, small tonnage ships and transports. To the final destination eventually reached only 163 of the vessel, more than 60 units of seafarers, the Germans destroyed.

breakthrough Plan ships of the Baltic fleet was developed and implemented only by the end of August 1941. Kronstadt retreated several groups of ships – units of the main body and the cover, the rearguard and the four convoy. Evacuated part of the infantry corps, participated in the Balticiscoe defensive operations, military equipment, members of the Estonian government, the gold reserves of the Republic. All this happened under continuous shelling and continuing attacks by enemy aircraft. The process was often disorganized: not respected the basic norms of loading of people and equipment hundreds of soldiers were putting the court on boats. In total on Board ships was adopted more than 40 thousand soldiers, sailors and officers of the red army, Navy and civilians.

Deadly throw

the Tallinn transition began on the morning of August 28. There were minesweepers, followed the main force. The area was mined by the Germans and bombings trawls began almost immediately. Fortunately, the coastal artillery fire of the enemy, a group of Soviet ships had not reached his goal. The evening of our ships was attacked by several Nazi torpedo boats, they managed to repel with artillery fire. However, the first day of transition has killed more than 1,000 people, four Soviet vessels were sunk by German aircraft.

the Night is on a plot of dense minefields began to undermine the minesweepers, submarines, destroyers and cargo transport – fairways not previously been adequately explored. Killed about a thousand people. At dawn the caravan Soviet ships were attacked by Finnish torpedo boats to sink the schooner and seized two tugs. So, for the first night of the transition of the Baltic fleet lost 26 ships.

on the Morning of 29 August, the Soviet ships continued to massively undermined on the minefields, and as soon as the dawn cleared up, it was filled with Nazi aircraft. These “angels of death” struck the ships of the Baltic fleet with a significant damage – as a result of continuous air raids had destroyed dozens of Soviet ships, killed thousands of evacuated military personnel and civilians. the Soviet air force operated inefficiently and are unable to resist Alianora of the Nazis.

After arriving in Kronstadt, the Baltic fleet, according to various estimates, is not counted more than 60 ships eskadrons destroyers, submarines, patrol, border and torpedo boats, minesweepers, over 40 transports and auxiliary vessels. Casualties of Tallinn transition is controversial. According to official data, the operation claimed the lives of about 10 thousand people.

Nicholas Syromyatnikov

© Russian Seven

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