THE SUBMARINE K-21In the Soviet submarine fleet involved in the sea battles of the great Patriotic war were the submarines of the type “K”, obtained from our sailors affectionate name – “Katyusha”. It was a big ship, comparable in displacement with the largest submarines of Germany, France, USA and England.


The idea of creating a strong domestic submarine, designed for operations in the ocean, far from the bases, originated from a marine engineer Michael A. rudnicki in 1934.
April 15, 1935, the project of submarine type “K”, it was originally called the CU (Cruiser rudnicki), was approved by the Council of Labor and Defense. In their tactical and technical data of the cruising boat type “K” were at the level of the latest achievements in the world of submarine shipbuilding, and a number of indicators, including speed and armament were surpassed the foreign samples. Their surface displacement at full load was 1720 tons, underwater -2100 tons, the hull had a length of about 100 m, height – 11.5 m But, despite its large size, the boat is well managed in a submerged position.
Two diesel engines type 9 vdcs with a capacity of 4200 HP allowed to develop the submarine while surfaced speed of 22 knots. In addition, the boat had an auxiliary diesel engine power 800 HP to charge batteries and small progress. The cruising range amounted to 15 thousand miles. Two rowing electric motor with a capacity of 1200 HP provided underwater speed of 10 knots. Endurance (the ability of continuous presence in the sea without resupply) reached 50 days.
The main weapon of the boat – 10 torpedo tubes (6 in the nose and 4 in the stern) with total reserves of 24 torpedoes caliber of 533 mm. They carried a very powerful charge, had high speed and long range moves. In addition to torpedoes, the boat was 20 min. boom.
Artillery armament of the boat consisted of two 45-mm semiautomatic and two modernized 100-mm guns with ammunition 400 rounds. Improving guns was increasing range on marine and coastal targets, as well as the possibility of fire and the aircraft at an elevation angle of 45°.
It is necessary to mention some other items of equipment of the submarine. So, the boat had two periscopes high aperture adapted, in particular, for a photo shoot. Shortwave radio submarine was ensured a steady two-way radio communication over long distances. Suffice it to say that during the tests was set a confident radio communication between the boats, one of which was in the Gulf of Finland and the other in the far East.
During the installation of the submarine used the most advanced for that time technological methods. When assembling the outer shell of the cruiser were widely used by electric welding. This allowed to significantly reduce weight, dramatically improve the survivability of the boat.
When designing the boats of the “K” was considered a few unusual uses. So, one of the modifications included a hangar for a reconnaissance aircraft. Sorry, to bring this project to life failed.
The newly constructed submarine cruiser K-1 and K-2 arrived at the Northern fleet in August 1940. Four boat K-3, K-21, K-22 and K-23 was intended for the Pacific fleet. In may – June 1941, they had to pass the white sea-Baltic canal from the Baltic to the North, and then North by sea to the far East. But the war has made adjustments. After the transition under extremely difficult conditions of the white sea-Baltic canal (the Germans systematically bombed the whole route) cruisers were consolidated into a single 1st division of submarines of the type “K”, which was part of the brigade of submarines of the Northern fleet.
K-1 – head in a series of submarine cruisers – was laid down in December 1936, launched in April of 1938 and in may 1940 joined the Navy.
In August 1941 under the command of M. De P., who succeeded as chief of staff of submarine brigade commander on the bridge of the submarine, K-1 went on its first war patrol. Until December 1942, she made 12 combat outputs. After that, the boat was in repair and at the end of 1943 under the command of M. N. Khomyakov came in the 13th war patrol, from which he did not come back…
K-2 arrived at the North with K-1 in the autumn of 1940. He commanded a ship of V. P. Utkin. Fighting the submarine began in August 1941, production of the mines off the coast of the enemy. In the second battle (September 1941), during which on the Board were the commander of a battalion M. I. Gadzhiev, was destroyed by the Nazi transport.
It happened on September 11, near Varde, in full view of the enemy. Due to the fact that a torpedo attack from a submerged position was impossible, M. I. Gadzhiev and V. P. Utkin decided to emerge. Giving a full stroke diesels, 2 opened fire from 100-mm guns. Artillery fire was in command of Z. M. Aranow. Seven minutes the enemy were fired 26 shells, resulting in transport with a displacement of 6 tons, caught fire and began to sink. At this time, the boat was attacked by an enemy plane, and she urgently plunged. Then the explosions of bombs, surfaced under the periscope: transport on the surface of the water was gone.
After this successful attack the Northern fleet, was born a tradition: to complete successful campaigns blank shots – at the number of sunken ships. The thought of it was filed by Z. M. Aranow. The fact that shortly before the March K-2 of its crew watched the return of the British submarine “Taygris”, one of the three English submarines stationed here in the North. Her mast was raised by two of the Nazi flag, which meant, as explained by Soviet sailors, the representative of the British naval command that the two sunk a fascist ship. We hated to raise the Nazi flag of the Soviet sailors, of course, did not, but when you return to polar shot from guns. Their example was followed by the crews of other ships.
K-3 came to the North in the autumn of 1941. He commanded a ship K. I. Malafeev. In the first battle, 3 December 1941, the boat secretly entered the Strait of Bestsound, where they found a bound for Hammerfest enemy convoy – transport escorted by three anti-submarine ships. K-3 attacked the transport chetyrekhtomnym gulp. After that, the submariners heard two explosions triggered the torpedoes. We had to leave. But the enemy ships found a boat, floated for a few seconds after a volley of torpedoes. Depth charges began to explode near the hull. Plunging, K-3 suddenly hit an underwater rock, not marked on the map, and at a depth lay on the ground. The commander of the submarine suggested that the impact and close gaps depth charges flowed fuel tanks, and rising to the surface solyar gives the enemy the location of the boat. The decision – and emerge under cover of artillery fire to try to break away from the pursuit of the enemy.
Purging tanks, 3 quickly surfaced. At her order the front were anti-submarine ships, cutting off access to the sea of the Strait. The commander ordered to give a full course, but at this moment refused the right engine, and submarine rushed to the attack under a single diesel.
Anti-submarine ship “Feffer” turned to starboard and opened up on the boat fire from 85 mm guns and two 20 mm machine guns. However, in the third minute of the gunners submarine knocked out the Nazis: on the “Feffer” has shot a column of fire and smoke and soon it disappeared under the water. The other anti-submarine ships, cool, turning, fled.
K-3 has defeated the enemy and in subsequent campaigns.
K-21 came to the North in the autumn of 1941. Commanded by A. A. Zhukov. In the first battle For-21 night put the boom out of the 11 mines in the Strait of best-Sunn. Conditions for production were very difficult – the length of the Strait was 35 cables, and the width is only 7. But the job was done right, and in the morning got blown up and sank an enemy transport.
In a few days K-21 sank two more ships of the enemy. New f hike – and surface torpedo attack sent to the bottom of another enemy vehicles with a displacement of 5 tonnes, and artillery fire – anti-submarine boat.
In February 1942, the submarine received hero of the Soviet Union N.. Lunin, under whose command were a series of brilliant attacks on enemy ships. One of them was truly legendary.
In early July 1942, the Nazi command ordered the withdrawal from Alten Fiord in the sea a squadron composed of the battleship “Tirpitz” (the newest and most powerful ship in the Nazi Navy), three heavy cruisers (including the heavy cruiser “Admiral Scheer”) and 12 destroyers to intercept and destroy allied convoy PQ-17, published in late June from Iceland to Murmansk.
PQ-17 consisted of 34 transports and 21 escorts. In addition to them, the wiring of the convoy was led by two strong ships of the far cover of the English and American navies, which included an aircraft carrier, two battleships and destroyers.
At the latitude of Bear island in escorted convoy PQ-17 was to join the fighting ships of the Soviet Northern fleet. However, after the British Admiralty became aware of the sea of the German squadron, it ordered the force commander to escort the convoy to leave it and follow to link up with groups of ships of the far cover.
As a result, the transports had to break to Murmansk independently. Endless attacks of airplanes and submarines, the Nazis destroyed many defenseless ships. The treacherous order of the British Admiralty have caused the deaths of hundreds of sailors, the loss of over 120 thousand tons of military cargo, which needed our country; including 3350 vehicles, 430 tanks, 210 aircraft.
Not to allow the German squadron to convoy PQ-17, the command of the Northern fleet sent in advance to the areas of the exits from the fiords of Northern Norway a few submarines. Among them were K-21. July 5, 1942, she was discovered by the German squadron and began maneuvering to exit the torpedo attack on “Tirpitz”.
It was a difficult operation; the enemy ships were anti-submarine zigzag, changing course. Had to attack the “Tirpitz” stern torpedo tubes, chetyrekhtomnym gulp. He heard two explosions. The boat sank, waiting for a Nazi attack escort ships. But it was not followed. “Tirpitz” with the squadron was forced to return to the fiords of Northern Norway and in the hostilities of participation is no longer accepted.
After this campaign, K-21 and again went to the torpedo attack, lay mines, landed troops. In October 1942, she was awarded the order of red banner. Fighting the way the boat is finished under the command of Z. M. Aranova.
“Your boat section of the fascist body!”
K-22 came from the Baltic to the North in the autumn of 1941. Two weeks out to sea. On Board was the brigade commander submarine captain first rank N. And. Vinogradov. Putting a few jars of mine, the boat began a search of enemy ships in the area of Hammerfest. Its artillery sank an enemy transport boat and oil barge. Later, while in a submerged position, K-22 found standing at anchor transport and attacked with torpedoes. The boat surfaced and the divers saw the second transport. Opening artillery fire, K-22 sank both, and at the same time and soon patrol boat. As reported by exploration, on one of the transports was more than 30 thousand coats intended for Rangers operating in the Murmansk area of the German mountain corps “Norway”.
– Well done! Good fight! – praised the actions of the commander of the submarine commander of the Northern fleet Vice-Admiral A. G. Golovko. Is your boat in the literal sense of the word section of the German fascist body! Essentially, it was thwarted by the onset of the housing main grouping of fascists in the polar region.
Among the many feats of To-22 – the salvation of its crew of the submarine U-421, which, with 8 enemy ships sunk in April 1942 hit a mine and drifted, losing speed, 8 miles North of Cape Nord-KAP.
The submarine K-22 was awarded guards status. In February 1943, it came in his eighth campaign in conjunction with K-3. On the fifth day of the trek K-22 has stopped responding to the signals after dark from leaking out. Searches in what have not resulted…
K-23 came to the Northern fleet from the Baltic in October 1941, went on his first military campaign. She put a few minefields in the Varanger Fiord, the entrance to Beckford, and on the outskirts of Kirkenes sank two enemy transport: one artillery, the other torpedoes. The following hikes To the-23 put to the bottom of several transport ships and a minesweeper of the enemy.
The submarine K-21
Submarine K-21:
1 – guessto; 2 – Jack; 3 – deck antenna input; 4 – bale strap; 5 – rail rack; 6 bollards; 7 spike; 8 – guard rails; 9, 10 – side scuppers; 11 – 100-mm guns; 12-45 mm semi-automatic; 13 – stand periscopes; 14 – scuppers tunnel to lift the boat; 15 – signal mast; 16-Flagstaff; 17-Vympel; 18-Minna-loading hatch; 19-scuppers; 20 – lantern Wakefield fire; 21 – lanyard; 22 – feed the flagpole; 23 – red banner naval flag; 24 – lantern gambertoglio-fire; 25 – stem; the 26 – breakwaters caps of torpedo tubes; 27 – Stanovoy anchor; 28 – nasal horizontal wheels; 29 – deck scuppers; 30 removable sheets torpedo-loading hatches; 31 – lifebuoy; 32 – fenders first shots; 33 Serena; 34 – the platform observer, signaller; 35 – and-site, 36 – lights on-Board lights; 37 spotlight; 38 – propeller shaft; 39 – bracket propeller shaft; 40 – thruster; 41 – enclosure aft horizontal rudders; 42 – aft horizontal rudders; 43 – vertical wheel; 44 – brackets-ladder; 45 – door add-ins; 46 – hermetic optical binnacle (GON); 47 – lamp of the navigation light; 48 – anti-aircraft periscope, 49 – commander’s periscope; 50 – cable suspension of the radio antenna; 51 – antenna; 52 – insulators radio antenna; 53 – fencing weapon; 54 is rotating the platform 100-mm guns; 55 – chopping Luke; 56 – ladder; 57 – emblem (star with the numeral indicating the number of won victories)

In may 1942 she went to sea in another military campaign with the commander of a battalion M. I. Hajiyev on Board. On 12 may she had received a radiogram: “Are damaged”.
That day To is 23, found and attacked an enemy convoy of two cargo ships and five anti-submarine ships. After the attack, the boat has undergone a lengthy pursuit of the enemy. Probably as this has happened, close the gaps of depth charges damaged the fuel tank, and float on the surface of the sea solyar marked the course of the ship. This prompted M. I. Hajiyev, commander of the boat by L. Potapov, and the Commissar D. M. Galkin to give the command to emerge, to engage in an artillery battle with the enemy ships
and taking advantage of a large surface speed, try to break away from persecution.
In this battle, K-23, apparently got a new injury and was forced to dive when attacked by enemy aircraft. But it still gave an oily trail of diesel fuel: Nazi anti-submarine ships and aircraft continued to shower her with depth charges. On base K-23 did not return. Lost all her heroic crew, and the commander of the division, M. I. Gadzhiyev, a famous North sea diver, who was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
Of the six submarines that fought in the North, K-22 was awarded guards status and K-21 was awarded with the order of the red banner and became the red banner. This submarine, extant, decided to put on a pedestal in the CE-miramarska as a memorial, so she always reminds the descendants about the combat deeds of heroes-submariners who fought for the Motherland not sparing his life.
No less valiantly fought the submarines and the Baltic. The outbreak of hostilities in 1944, in the closing period of the war, they have made a considerable contribution to the victory over the enemy. K-51, K-52, K-53 K-56 included in the second division brigade of submarines of KBF.
In the Baltic boats of the “K” mine tanks were converted to take the additional supply of diesel fuel, which increased endurance. Some of them instead of complanation “Mars” set sonar “Dragon”, and torpedoes are equipped with devices MO-3, which allowed to give the torpedo salvo “fan”. None of the Baltic supply-tion of the cruisers did not return from a hike, not sinking the enemy vessel.
Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet brigade of submarines of the Baltic fleet was awarded the order of red banner.
In conclusion, we recall that during the great Patriotic war, Soviet submariners destroyed 87 warships and 322 transport of the enemy. Their total tonnage amounted to almost one million tons.
E. ZHOLKOVSKY, former co-driver of the red banner submarine K-52

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