NOT ALWAYS AVERAGE As we have noted, it is no wonder the leadership of the Soviet naval forces still in the early stages of their development in the 1920-ies turned his gaze exactly on submarines. Because it is relatively cheap and quick to build tool on first sight allow to eliminate a huge backlog “of the fleet of workers and peasants” from the naval forces of the “imperialists”. Moreover, that was before my eyes the example of Germany, which nearly brought the First world to the knees the most powerful Maritime power in the world.

The struggle between the supporters of a balanced fleet, mostly old pre-revolutionary specialists “filling”, and the so-called “Young school”, represented for the most part the commanders of the Soviet generation, ended in the early 1930-ies are quite clear victory and the second planting, execution or departure into oblivion first. The winners are carefully punched the idea of “mosquito fleet” of submarines and torpedo boats, attributing to them quite extraordinary quality, such as the inability to be blocked by the “traditional” fleet. While the ability to sink all kinds of ships, from battleships and aircraft carriers to small boats, barges and trawlers.
And yet, the main tasks were attack large enemy ships in the mine-artillery positions, mine-laying, patrol, and intelligence close to their shores. In General, there is little new in comparison with the objectives of our boats the First world war. Except that their number is expected to increase to hundreds and to use in groups. The latter is known to have implemented in practice the Germans with their “wolf packs”, so the idea was in fact not bad at all. And on the Black sea completa I. K. Kozhanov proposed (and tried to implement the service) to focus on night attacks from the surface position, when the boat with its low silhouette is very difficult to detect. Also preferably “divisions”. Quite a cutting-edge look for that time when the West thought almost exclusively about the individual actions of submarines.
Unfortunately, later, some ideas of this kind carried out in practice, as the chief enemy, and many other ideas did not survive the struggle with progressive anti-submarine means, which in the 1930s were not yet able to think. But while the case for our fleet rested in “hardware”: to have a lot of boats, they ought first of all to build. And the number of submarines in the shipbuilding programs is constantly increasing. In the second five-year plans already featured 370 submarines: 100 small, 200 medium and 70 large. More than was Germany in the midst of the First world war, and more than that period had all five great naval powers combined! The reality, of course, behind such a timetable, but in 1933 – 1937, the Navy received from the industry 137 units, which infuriated the Soviet Union in the first place in the world. Italy with its plans “from Il Duce” (in many ways similar, although not as slender and innovative) to compete with the underwater shipbuilding, the Soviet Union could not, although the surface forces of the fascist state still remained more powerful. And left behind such giants as the USA, British Empire, Japan, France, and, especially, the rest of the world. And the beginning of the great Patriotic war in the ranks was available for 218 of the boats. A huge number the following on the second place “ranking” the Italians lagged behind by approximately 75 units.
With regard to the composition of these “innumerable legions”, the envisaged development of different subclasses. All the navies of the most representative and most ambitious was the large submarine capable of operating with the Navy (have they got the generic term for cruising) or separately, as far “hunters” or “Le Corsaire”. (In red Navy they are called cruising.) In fact, the squadron was the first “Decembrists” and their only drawback, from the point of view of the theorists, was insufficient surface speed. The same stumbling block that has already left its mark on virtually all Western countries, starting with Britain. By now white had to go through and our designers.
And here in the middle of 1930 there was the first “proper” pre-technical specification for fleet submarines. Of arms was supposed to have ten torpedo tubes (six of them in the nose), 102-mm gun and 37-mm antiaircraft semiautomatic and a couple of machine guns. The main thing was speed, which was supposed to be 22 – 23 knots. Moreover, it was stated that “run” this way she has at least 1000 miles. And with the economic progress in 9 – 10 knots and adoption of fuel in all tanks (including the overload) range increased to 8000 miles. No less ambitious looked and submarine features: there has been a demand to develop as much as 15 knots, though only for one attack, about half an hour. “Regular” underwater speed was 11 knots.
Submarine “P-1” (“True”) (4 series). Of the USSR, 1936
Built at the Baltic shipyard in Leningrad. Type of construction – polutorospalnye. Displacement underwater/surface 955/1690 T. Dimensions: length of 87.7 m, beam 8 m, draft 2.9 m. immersion Depth up to 60 m. Engine: two diesel engines with a capacity of 5400 HP and two electric motors with a power of 1100 HP, the speed of surface/underwater tests – 20,2/8,2 uz. Armament: six 533-mm torpedo tubes (four in the nose, two in the stern, 10 torpedoes, two 100-mm and one 45-mm gun. Crew: 55 people.
In 1936 built three units: “Pravda” (“P-1”), “Iskra” (“P-2”) and “Star” (“P-3”).
“P-1” was lost in September 1941, “P-2” and “P-3” aircraft damaged during the siege of Leningrad, excluded from the lists in 1944.

The job on a cruising submarine looked even more impressive. The range estimated in 12 thousand miles, and stocks of different kinds – for six weeks of the campaign. Weapons include all types of: and eight 533-mm devices with a second set of torpedoes, and a pair of 102-mm guns with plenty of ammunition, and 20 min. And the officers wanted more and seaplane from the hangar.
The designers were aware that all this is to accommodate a maximum of 1,500 t would be not just difficult, but very difficult. The first victim was the speed at which the calculations could not exceed on the surface of 12 knots, although the leadership required for a few nodes more. Developers are required not less than 2000 tons, although it had required considerable courage: many engineers, including project leader A. N. Asafova (still working with a diamond) were prisoners, victims of one of the first “big processes” of the 1930s-the “industrial party case”, who worked in design “sharashka”.
They worked at an accelerated pace and in just three months-a very impressive project. A large submarine was a very “slim”: the ratio of length to width was 11 – how’s the swiftest of destroyers. For maximum speed, every effort was made, in particular, powerful artillery (two long-barrelled 130 mm guns) and chiseling combined in a single add-in streamlined shape. Provided and third additional diesel, intended for charging batteries and for small economic progress. The decision, which, as we have tried to implement in different countries, but which in the end is usually refused. Refused and the us, and even in the design stage
Like the project flotsam superiors as outstanding (still on paper) characteristics and its versatility. In fact, he is satisfied as to the terms of reference for fleet submarines and for cruising.
Of course, to have one boat instead of two seemed very enticing. He just had to bring it in the metal and see what happened.
Big submarine type P, IV series
Big submarine type P, IV series
At the end of 1930, the laying of three units of 4-series with the “revolutionary newspaper” names “True”, “Star” and “spark”. And on the drawing boards of some of the drawings still other succeeded: the project is actively developed in the course of construction! The designers believed that this submarine, which will mainly be on the surface (either in the combat formations of the squadrons, either in a single krakerstva), especially large immersion depth to anything, so just 50 m working depth plus 25 m extraordinary. The sailors resisted, rightly noting that if boat length is 90 m randomly “fail” at immersion or emersion by the bow or the stern, one end can easily overcome this boundary and flow. In addition, when checking calculations for strength by an independent panel of engineers found that the results differ in a few times! Had to resolve the dispute practice and build special test compartment, which has experienced pressure. When it corresponded to 73 m of water compartment just began to crumble. Had to reinforce the structure already partially finished housing additional links.
Somehow, but “newspaper” boats to build, albeit with great delay – for two years, only in 1936. When checking the dip (without people on Board) on the same 73 m body now had no damage. However, there are a lot of other “childhood diseases” – small defects. However, practitioners and theorists have deemed the “product” fails. Ratings ranged from a gray “C” to the downright scathing: “the Boat is structurally bad.” “We have a typical case of technological ineptitude”. This was too much: a significant number of defects in a complex underwater vehicles “claims”, as we remember, was typical of all countries. Especially when “prisoners-engineers” had to start essentially from scratch. But in large series the “truth” was never launched, which was quite justified. In the struggle for greater speed on the surface had to sacrifice too much, even compared with the Soviet “firstborn”, including the supply of torpedoes, depth, range and autonomy. Attempt to have a boat with a shallow draft (for such shallow waters, as, for example, the Finnish skerries) resulted in a large volume ballast tanks, or a “flounder” would just be hard to drive under water. In the end, the buoyancy has broken all records, reaching almost 80% of the surface displacement. It is clear that filling these huge tanks and hence the process of learning, required a lot of time. I could leave the boat in a state of helpless victims in the case, when emergency care is under the water was the only way of salvation. In addition to this, the submarine was very noticeable due to extensive logging and “high rise”, giving a great silhouette. So large that the air it acted like a sail and in combination with small draught management “Newspapers” has been a challenging task.
Submarine “N-1” (“s-1”) (9-series). Of the USSR, 1936
Built at the Baltic shipyard in Leningrad. Type of construction – polutorospalnye. Displacement underwater/surface 840/1070 T. Dimensions: length of 77.7 m, width 6.4 m, draught – 4 m. the immersion Depth up to 100 m. Engine: two diesel engines with a capacity of 4000 HP and two electric motors with a power of 1100 HP, the speed of surface/underwater testing is 19.5/9,1 bonds. Armament: six 533-mm torpedo tubes (four in the nose, two aft, 12 torpedoes, one 100 mm and one 45-mm gun. Crew: 45 people
In 1936 – 1938 built three units: “N-1” And “N-2” and “N-3”. The letter in the title changed to “With” in October 1937, “C-2” was lost in April 1940 during the Soviet-Finnish war, the other two – in July 1941, when leaving our troops Libau.

As for combat operation during the war years, the specifications (and their specific faults) played a role. So all three units of the type “P” in peacetime reclassified in training. And with the beginning of the great Patriotic war has tried to use these pretentious Skorokhodov, at least for transportation purposes. But in early September 1941 the head of “Truth” to deliver ammunition, medical supplies and food to the garrison of our base on the island of Hanko, was missing. Most likely it struck a mine that Gulf of Finland was literally stuffed. The rest of the a few of these tasks urgently released. “P-2” tried to draw the artillery fire, but in the area of Narva herself fired on coastal batteries of the enemy and nearly drowned caused by enemy aircraft. Then I managed to escape unscathed, but the fate of the boat was unenviable. During the siege of Leningrad, she received damage from close ruptures of aerial bombs, then gradually fell into disrepair in the state of “conservation,” and at the beginning of 1944, it was excluded from the lists of the fleet. Later in the summer, it was followed by the last unit of the series, which never failed to make war: in July 1941 she collided with a B-2, and then first in Kronstadt and later in Leningrad has received numerous shrapnel damage bombs. And then there was one way – to be scrapped.
So, “universal pancake” came out some lumpy. But the challenge of “big boats” remained among the top priorities. Use, frankly, not very successful 4-series was at least in the fact that the designers and sailors made sure that there is no direct need to share cruising and fleet options, because in principle it is possible to create generic large submarine. It is now designated as “large submarine with a displacement over 1,000 tonnes”. The work was started, several groups of designers. In oktb-2] with friends has developed a draft project of the submarine with a displacement of 1400 tonnes with a very impressive weapons, mirroring the original version of 4-series: two “storecode” as the main caliber, eight torpedo tubes (six of them in the nose). It was supposed to achieve unprecedented surface speed of 26 knots due to the heavy-duty diesel engines, 5200 HP each.
Of course, Soviet industry at that time could neither develop nor make such engines. But the Soviet Union in the early 1930s there was already a “true friend” scorned and crushed the winners of the “Versailles” of Germany. By the Germans to have submarines were not allowed, but nobody could forbid them to supply individual components or projects. Here Malinin and set his sights on diesel engines with “pocket battleship” “Deutsch-land”, or rather, several of them lightweight counterpart. In addition to the two super motors were available and the third, 1,200 forces, intended for charging batteries and cruising speed.
Submarines S. IX bis series
Submarines S. IX bis series
More ambitious and original ideas came from the drawing boards of other designers. So a team under the leadership of K. Roborovskogo suggested dvuhkonusnyh the boat side by side pressure hulls. Almost all of the equipment and mechanisms were duplicated so that a “half boat” could continue if non-combat activities, at least the campaign. Management handed down some sort of third body, a solid cylinder between the two main surrounded by a light housing with ballast tanks. Over twice as much usable area you can actually establish very powerful engines and have extraordinary weapons, up to 16 torpedo tubes with 12 spare torpedoes. Despite the fact dvuhkonusnyj the boat was virtually unsinkable in a collision, hit or hit of shells from one side, could very well located… But “if” it is very appropriate. Even if technically possible realization of such a bold project cost “duplicated” the underwater ship would be very large, almost equal to two conventional submarines. To implement this idea only succeeded in the famous “shark” before the end of a great power.
In the meantime, the projects came out beautiful, but … not in the teeth industry. Business as usual, not only for the rapidly growing voenproma of the Soviet Union, but for more serious players, the same in England. Our designers also had to abandon the “diving cruisers” — so far, at least for a while.
But from cooperation with Germany to be abandoned made no sense. And it continued after Hitler came to power. Moreover, the firm “Deshima” (recall, one of the most important producers of “bots” in the First world) has signed a contract for the development of the project submarines for the Soviet Navy. Experienced German engineers, has long worked in the shadows (as we’ll explain) to break free, showed excellent speed. In response to our technical requirements, issued November 22, 1932, in two weeks(!) was finished two projects on the 700 and “more than 1,000” tons. Not surprising: the smaller the submarine was already built in Spain. A big (1,200 t) actually was a quite crude design. But with the pretentious data, starting with the infamous 23-knots speed on the surface and range in 12 thousand miles. Soviet Commission, which should endorse or reject the project, was literally mesmerized by the German neatness in drawings and calculations (the Germans can’t be wrong or mislead; they do everything!), gave both projects the highest rating.
However, the Germans already at the design stage very carefully “pushed away” controversial and difficult to execute tactical and technical elements in the direction of reduce. So, in accompanying documents it was noted that the notorious high speed really is not advantage, and a disadvantage. Boat at full speed will produce too much noise (themselves a powerful diesel engines, and the need for them gear). And to provide reliable long operation of the motors in these conditions is difficult and irrational. Right? In General, Yes. But then why was it necessary to take corresponding technical specification? The same applies to traditionally powerful “artillery”: the German engineers have noted that our 100-mm and 45-mm guns “too bulky” to fit the submarines. A very controversial statement: in the Kaiser’s fleet in the last war on the same boat installed a powerful 105 mm gun.
However, questions as “unparalleled” of the project, the leadership of the red Navy did not arise. The firm was contracted (already under Hitler), joined our engineers, at the same time “line their hand”, and the beginning of 1935, the submarine blueprints 9-series was ready. Initially the series was a literal “N” that does not match the anticipated title and just meant “German”. Under this designation, they built (from the end of 1934, when the drawings had not yet been approved!), under him and entered the system – the “N-1” and “N-2” in the fall of 1936, and “the stragglers” “N-3” – almost two years later.
Bow 100-mm gun mount a submarine type C. IX bis series
Bow 100-mm gun mount a submarine type C. IX bis series
The lag is actually was significant: our military industry has tried every way to get rid of the “German addiction”. Moreover, relations with the Italian and German fascists deteriorated sharply: the civil war in Spain, we and they became already apparent enemies. Therefore, the last unit of the “German” series received instead of the products from the leader, the company “MAN” of the domestic diesel engines, the refinement that took many months. As of October, 1937 changed the designation instead of the gaping “N” unit 9-series were called “C” — “the average submarine.”
It should be noted that the highest design specifications to fully implement the failed: the Germans are still a bit “cheated” and surface speed (19.5 per node, the arrears of half-knot against already reduced up to 20 knots specifications) and the range (too little, about 1.5%). Failed to withstand the design displacement. However, these small “shortfalls” with a vengeance overlap fine quality German equipment and engineering culture. So, the dive time does not exceed minutes, compared to a half or two at our “Decembrists” and “truths”. “The Germans” did well in the sea on the waves on the surface and underwater comprehensive and reliable branded batteries are actually provided and the speed, and range, and well-behaved in the critical discharge modes. Excellent passed and optovye torpedo fire: torpedoes accurately kept course, and the shot were given little bubbles of air.
However, the military fate of the German “Asok” was unenviable. The first two of them participated in the Russo-Finnish war, and “p-2” has opened the account losses, and disappeared without trace with all crew in early April 1940. Two of her “sisters” to the beginning of the great Patriotic war were repaired in the most dangerous for ships place of the Baltic at Libau (Liepaja). July 23 “With 1” standing at the factory wall dismantled machinery and systems in the approach of German troops to the city had to blow up. Part of her crew climbed aboard the last representative of a type “C-3”, which tried to break through to her. Although her engines worked, and the boat could move, but only on the surface: immersion system was not functioning. As luck would have it, there was a couple of German torpedo boats. “Eska” was shot in one and a half hours, at first without success. But nimble boats did manage to derail almost helpless submarine. Tragic was the fate of the surviving members of the crews of both boats: almost all were shot by the Nazis.
But all of this occurred in 1941. And in the 1930s the German development was very welcome. On the basis of “Germans” decided to build a large series of their own “Asok”. Redesigned the project received the designation of the series 9 bis. Changes have enough, so, the requirement to install domestic diesels instead of “Manowski” led to “remake” only the pedestal of the engines and all related systems. And the sailors insisted on a more comfortable and solid bridge closed design. (“The Germans” 9-series was installed, the bridge with sliding shields in the front, to cope with which in the fresh weather, especially at low temperatures and icing, was a real pain.) At the same time I removed the fairing the nose guns: like many British projects, like good idea failed in practice. Much attention was given to improving the manufacturability of the building. Here out of competition was electric, and, starting with “C-21”, the weld was done not only lightweight but also durable housing. “Eski” steel welded together. This helped to “weld” a fair number of medium submarines with quite decent characteristics: compared with the prototypes of the 9-series has managed to retain almost all of the tactical-technical elements (only slightly decreased cruising range.)
(Continued in the next issue of the magazine)

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