The fate of the surviving sailors from the sinking of the icebreaker

History 03/02/20 the Fate of the surviving sailors from the sinking of the icebreaker “Alexander Sibiryakov”

In August 1942, the Soviet icebreaker “Alexander Sibiryakov” entered into an unequal battle with the German cruiser “Admiral Scheer” and sank. Managed to save only the fireman. The remaining 18 crew members were captured. Before liberation, she lived only 13 of them. They are all from a German concentration camp got a special camp in Ufa.

conqueror of the Arctic

At the time, the icebreaker “Alexander Sibiryakov” was famous all over the country. How to write A. P. Krivoruchko and V. T. Roshchupkin in the book “Broken arrow Berlin wolf,” the ship was released by “Henderson and Co.” in 1909. 6 years later the ship was purchased by Russia for the implementation of winter transportation in the White sea and the delivery of military supplies from the allies during the First world war. The Russian gave the ship a new name – “Alexander Sibiryakov”, in honor of the famous researcher of Siberia.

A famous icebreaker in 1932. It was then, according to Edward Filatiev, author of “the Main mystery of gorlan-leader” for the first time in history of Arctic exploration vessel under the command of captain Vladimir Voronin and expedition leader Otto Schmidt managed in a single navigation without wintering pass the whole Northern sea route. However, the further life of “Alexander Sibiryakov” has crossed the Great Patriotic war. Her early command of the ship took on a relatively young but experienced captain Anatoly Kacharava.

“Alexander Sibiryakov” against “Admiral Scheer”

thanks Kacharava killed Soviet icebreaker heroically and without lowering of the flag. As writes S. I. Belkin, in his book “Tales of famous ships,” at the end of August, 1942, “Alexander Sibiryakov” left port Dickson, having on Board cargo intended for employees of polar stations. On 25 August, that is next day, GLAVSEVMORPUT from the Soviet icebreaker Postupsludge radiogram about his meeting with an unknown ship, which opened fire on him. As it turned out, it was about the German cruiser “Admiral Scheer”.

Firepower “Alexander Sibiryakov” was limited to only a few anti-aircraft guns and were insignificant compared to the equipment of the enemy cruiser. Knowing that the battle will be unequal, Kacharava has decided not to surrender but to defend. But the ship was soon wrecked and sank. Nevertheless, the crew continued to shoot. This fact, according to K. Badigin, author of “On the sea routes” was specified even in the report of the commander of the raider “Admiral Scheer”.

Alone on the island, the rest in captivity

A.V. Svyatoslavsky in the book “To the memory of the city and the world” says that has the luck to escape only to Stoker Pavel Vavilov. He swam to the lifeboat, where he found some fresh water, a gun, a hatchet, a jar of biscuits and matches. Noticing the island, Vavilov went to him. Along the way he picked up a live dog and fished out of the water some things. More than a month Stoker spent on the island, until it was discovered from the seaplane pilot, the future Hero of Soviet Union Ivan Cherevichny. He delivered Vavilov ship “Sacco”.

Despite all the hardships that had to be moved to Vavilov on the island of the whale, compared to the rest of the crew of “Alexander Sibiryakov” his fate doesn’t seem so harsh. 18 wounded and burnt, but the surviving sailors were taken prisoner by the Germans until the end of the war were in concentration camps. Only thirteen of them managed to celebrate victory. All of them, including captain Anatoly Kacharava, according to Ivan Mace, the author of the book “Born Yenisei”, after the liberation from enemy captivity were placed in a special camp in Ufa. Only in 1961 sailors rehabilitated, and the captain was awarded the order of the red banner.

Yulia Popova

© RuSSCA Seven

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