"Submarine" S-13 "under the command of Captain 3rd rank AI Marinesco 30 January 1945 sank to the north-west of the Bay of Danzig the German ship" Wilhelm Gustloff "with a displacement of 25,484 tons, which was carrying more than 6 thousand . human. Coming up to the area of the sinking of the cruiser "Admiral Hipper", destroyers and minesweepers can no longer provide any assistance to transport. Fearing attack Soviet submarines, they hastily retreated to the west. February 9 the same boat "S-13" sank the ship "General Steuben" with a displacement of 14,660 tons. For military successes in this campaign submarine "S-13" was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. "
That's all that is said about Marinesko achievements in the "History of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941-1945." Note the words "6 thousand. Man" and "the ship". But he wrote in his opus "Sea captain" (publishing house "Soviet writer", 1984), political instructor A. Krohn: "January 30, 1945 the submarine" S-13 "under the command of Captain 3rd rank AI . Marinesco sank near Shtolpmyunde giant liner fleet fascist "Wilhelm Gustloff" with a displacement of 25,484 tons, which was carrying more than seven thousand evacuated from Danzig under the blows of the Soviet troops advancing Nazis: soldiers, officers and high-ranking representatives of the Nazi elite, torturers and executioners. On "Gustlove", which served as the exit to the sea floating base for scuba diving school, there were over three thousand trained submariners - about seventy crews for the new submarine fleet Hitler. In the same campaign Marinesco torpedoed a large military transport "General Steuben", it crossed from Konigsberg 3600 soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht. "
And now "Collegiate Dictionary" 1997:
"Marinescu Al-Yves et al. (1913-63), submariners, Captain 3rd Rank (1942), Hero of the Soviet. Union (1990, posthumously.). The Vel. Patriotic. war, commanding a submarine "S-13" (1943-45), sank in the region of the Bay of Danzig on January 30. 1945 therein. superliner "Wilhelm Gustloff" (having an on-board communication. 5 thousand. soldiers and officers, in Vol. h. approx. 1 300 divers) and 10 February. - Auxiliary. cruiser "General Steuben" (St. 3 thousand. soldiers and officers). After the war he worked in Leningrad. shipping company, then s de. "
There is a tendency - first on "Gustlove" according to the official historiography had 6 thousand people, then in 7000 Crohn's Nazis, of which more than 3 thousand sailors, and finally again in the Official Gazette - 5 thousand soldiers and officers, of which only 1300 sailors. As for "Steuben", called the steamer, the largest military transport, the auxiliary cruiser (and Crone in his opus called him and just cruiser), the auxiliary cruisers Germans called civilian ships, armed 5-7 guns.
It is not known who first launched the bike declaring Marinesko personal enemy of Hitler and of mourning after the sinking of the "Gustlova". According to Soviet sources mourning it was by the German - no. But, of course, that really no other such small unit is not destroyed at one time such a large number of German nationals. Even during the famous bombing of Dresden, where 250 thousand inhabitants, this involved several thousand pilots were killed. However, neither then nor after the sinking of the "Gustlova" mourning was not announced - the loss of the Germans did not advertise, so as not to give rise to panic among the population of Germany.
So who and how many drowned Marinesco? Several thousand people or fascists, torturers or war? The composition of the various sources of passengers' Gustlova "varies greatly. By the number of drowning - from 4 to 8 thousand. In composition, it says simply "refugees", the "refugees and war", the "refugees, war, wounded and prisoners."
The most detailed figures on passengers' Gustlova "are as follows:
918 sailors, 373 of the women's auxiliary of the navy, 162 wounded soldiers, 173 members of the crew (civilian mariners) and 4424 refugees. Total 6050 In addition to them, made to the lists on the board "Gustlova" still managed to get up to 2 million refugees. In total 876 people were saved. Killing 16 officers training division of submarine forces, 390 students, 250 female soldiers, 90 crew members and wounded soldiers. Such military damage caused sinking "Gustlova".
With regard to the drowning "Shtoybene" - then it is really (as it is written in the Soviet sources) was more than 3 thousand soldiers and officers - 2680 wounded and 100 healthy soldiers, 270 medical personnel, as well as 285 crew members and about 900 refugees. In total 659 people were saved. Some sources include the sinking of "Steuben" in the first lines of the list of the largest in the number of victims of maritime disasters. By the way, the sinking of "Gustlova" is always present in these lists - or on the first or second place in the number of those who died for the entire world history of navigation. If on the second place is called the "Gustloff", then on the first call or the sinking of "Goya" (Soviet submarine L-3 April 17, 1945) - from 5 to 7 thousand refugees, or the sinking of the ship "Cap Arcona" (British aircraft May 3, 1945), in which sank 5000 prisoners.
Now imagine how this event looked at the historical background. Germany irresistibly heading for the abyss. It is understood by even those who have recently loudly shouted "Heil Hitler!" The flames of war raging in the land of the Third Reich. Soviet tanks rumble on the roads leading to Berlin, flying fortress inspire fear on organized retreating German soldiers.
In early February 1945, in the Crimea gathered heads of governments of the Allied powers, to discuss measures to ensure the final defeat of Nazi Germany, and to outline the ways of the postwar world. At the first meeting at the Livadia Palace in Yalta, Churchill asked Stalin when the Soviet troops captured Danzig, where concentrated a number of construction and finished the German submarines? He asked to accelerate the capture of the port.
Anxiety British Prime Minister was clear. Military efforts to supply the UK and its population is largely dependent on maritime transport. However, the wolf packs of Nazi U-boats continued to commit excesses on the sea lanes. Though of course, their effectiveness was not the one in the first years of the war, when it turned out that the British ships simply powerless in the face of German U-nis. Danzig was one of the principal nests Nazi submarine pirates. There is also a German, and the highest diving school, barracks ship for which the ship "Wilhelm Gustloff" served.
But British Prime Minister late with your question. In Danzig already heard volleys of Soviet guns and "Katyusha". It began scoot enemy. "Thousands of soldiers, sailors and civilian officials boarded the" Wilhelm Gustloff ". Half liner passengers were highly skilled - the color of the Nazi submarine fleet. Strong outposts in the sea was to ensure the safety of their transition from Danzig to Kiel. The composition of the convoy entered the cruiser "Admiral Hipper", destroyers and minesweepers. " It follows from the Soviet post-war sources. In fact, peruse the vast number of refugees 9000 persons were civilians, otherwise they would be arrested as a deserter, or vice versa reduced in any team. Generally strange to assume among the 9,000 refugees the absolute absence of the military, such as one-legged veterans of the Franco-Prussian War. All submarine German elite died 42-44 years. A whole convoy consisted of one (!) Trawler.
At the end of January 1945 the Soviet submarine "S-13" under the command of Alexander Marinesco entered the Bay of Danzig. January 30 Sea storm broke out. Deck boats, antennas and periscopes quickly covered with a thick layer of ice. Commander and the Commissioner to the pain in his eyes peering into the darkness. And the silhouette of a huge ship. attacking an enemy ship, "C-13" and about twenty-three hours of January 30th: several torpedoes, one after another rush to the goal. A loud explosion - and the "Wilhelm Gustloff" is sinking.
Is located on the liner board and a survivor of Hitler officer Heinz Shen, in his book "Death" Wilhelm Gustlava "published in West Germany, it confirms that the January 30, 1945 near Danzig" Wilhelm Gustlav "was torpedoed by Soviet submarine, resulting in killing more than five thousand people. "If this case can be considered a disaster, - he writes - it certainly was the biggest disaster in the history of navigation, in comparison with which even the death of" Titanic ", faced in 1913 with an iceberg - nothing."
In "Titanic," died in 1517 people. This tragedy shocked when all of humanity. About "Wilhelm Gustlova" spared no one. Heinz Shep describes in detail the history of the ship of death: «Wilhelm Gustloff was under the command of a double - the ship, the liner was headed by Captain Friedrich Petersen's merchant fleet, but as a training division plavkazarma 2 podplava liner voglavlyalsya naval officer William Tsanom.
By the evening of January 22, 1945 ship was prepared for flight and loading passengers - thousands of emaciated, frostbitten and wounded refugees. The thermometer showed 14 degrees below zero, the circle was dominated by chaos and disorder. In fact Gotenhafn harbor was about 60 thousand refugees, and once installed ladders, thousands of people rushed to the assault. During landing, many children in the stampede occurred, they were separated from their parents.
On board the vessel up about 400 young women - the female staff member of the auxiliary organizations of the Navy at the age of 17 to 25 years. They were placed in a swimming pool on deck E. course, girls were more than happy, since the impending Soviet occupation of East Prussia, leave Gotenhafn. On the morning of January 29 another hospital train arrived in Gotenhafn, placed the wounded on the sun deck.
Now on board there were about 7-8 thousand people, but how many of them were exactly has not been established to this day. The liner was literally jam-packed, and the cabins and corridors and walkways were crowded. As an anti-aircraft defense, a couple of anti-aircraft guns installed on the upper deck. Life-saving appliances have been provided about 60% of passengers. On Tuesday, January 30, 1230 local time, came to the liner 4 tug and carried him from the dock. The weather conditions were bad - the wind force of up to 7 points, the temperature is 10 degrees below zero, the sludge (small loose ice - approx M. Volchenkova.).
I was appointed sergeant zenith calculation. At the exit, on the decks began icing, and we had to constantly clean the guns from ice. Ahead of the ship followed a minesweeper to search and destruction of mines. It was dark, and it was even colder. Below replace feelings of joy and relief came depression, t. To. Many refugees began to suffer from seasickness. But the majority considered themselves safe, firmly believing that in a few days they reached Stettin or Denmark.
My shift started at 21.00. Everything was calm and quiet. And then, somewhere in 21.10, there was an explosion. At first I thought we ran into mines. But later I found out that we porazali torpedo issued Soviet submarine S-13, commanded her to Alexander Marinesco. Thousands of people panicked. Many began to jump overboard into the icy waters of the Baltic. First, the ship heeled over to starboard, but then straightened, and at this time the liner has got another shot in the tank area. We were off the coast of Shtolpmyunde, Pomerania. Immediately filed a SOS signal and started releasing flares.
Beat the second torpedo hit the ship land on which housed a swimming pool. Almost all the girls were killed, they literally torn to pieces. I wanted to return to his cabin and take a few personal belongings, but it was impossible. Thousands of people rushed to the top of the lower decks, driven from below the water flows.
Clambering up, people are constantly scared and screaming and pushing, those who fell, were doomed, they trampled to death. No one could help the helpless - pregnant women and wounded soldiers. Crowds stormed the lifeboats, and the speech was not about the performance of the commandments of the famous "Women and children - first!". No one no one obeyed, took the upper hand, those who were physically stronger. Many boat, covered with ice, could not be lowered at all, and I watched as a number of launchable boats broke off one of the painter, and the boat falls out of all the people present in it down into the icy hell. The ship continued to sink into the water nose, roof of the tank were already under water, and the boat began to descend even more difficult.
For some time I stood on the sun deck, watching the nightmare. Some families and individuals who have had personal weapons, chose to kill himself rather than to die much more painful death in the icy water and darkness. But thousands of others continued to cling to the ship, while he continued to sink.
I thought that I did not get out. I jumped into the water and quickly began to sail in the direction that I was not sucked into the funnel. First, the cold was not felt at all, and soon I was able to cling to the crowded lifeboat Brot (along the sides of the lifeboats stretched special lifelines for this purpose - auth.). The picture, I opened, was truly awful. Children, on which they put life jackets, flip upside down and over the water they are issued only besposchno legs jerk. Circle has floated dead. The air was filled with the cries of the dying and calling for help. As I grabbed two children, they cried and called parents. I managed to raise them on board the boat, but they are saved or not, I never knew.
Then I felt his weakness - come hypothermia. I was able to cling to the life raft metal - at a distance of about 50 yards from the sinking liner. The nose is almost completely absorbed, feed up into the air and hundreds of people were still in there, screaming wildly. immersion rate increases. Then, suddenly, dead silence. Wilhelm Gustloff disappeared under the water, taking with it the lives of thousands of people. The greatest maritime disaster in history lasted about 50 minutes.
Within about 20 minutes, the most terrible moment in my life, I just floated somewhere. From time to time I was laying an icy slush. The cries around me became quieter and there were less and less. Then something happened that I consider a miracle. I saw a shadow approaching me and shouted, meeting with the last forces. I have noticed and taken aboard.
Saved me a torpedo boat T-36. The crew of the boat helped us, saved, by all available means - hot tea, massage. But many of the rescued died already on board from hypothermia and shock. Among the rescued were pregnant, and it just so happened that the members of the crew had to try yourself in the role of midwives in the night. I had three children. Boat T-36 was part of the squadron, commanded by Lieutenant Herring, and the task was to escort the heavy cruiser "Admiral Hipper". The cruiser also went from East Prussia, carrying refugees. Suddenly the boat abruptly changed course, howled machine. As I later learned, to note the following two torpedoes, one passed on the starboard side, from the other boat was able to avoid a sharp maneuver. Turning was so steep that some of the rescued, located on the upper deck, fell overboard and drowned. However, 550 people were rescued. Due to the high risk to re-attack submarine, the boat moved away from the crash site and arrived in Sashshnitts at 02.00 on 31 January. The rescued were overwhelmed on board a Danish hospital ship Prinz Olaf, who was there at anchor. Many were sent, on a stretcher, to the shore. We, sailors, housed in barracks. Lieutenant Herring was all the time on the bridge and saluted at the moment when the last saved Brot left the boat. As I later learned, it was only saved 996 people from about 8000 on board.
We, the surviving sailors, once again escaped death. Like the sailors of the Navy of Germany, we were all friends, we loved our country and believed that we do the right thing, protecting it. We did not consider themselves heroes, and our heroic death, we are just doing their duty. "Ten days later, the boat Marinesco sank another ship, ship 'General von Steuben' killed 3,500 people. Marinesko Why not give the Hero, but almost as soon as possible was dismissed from the Navy? More than he, no Soviet submariners did not. It is because of drinking? Or was it just an excuse, as were other motives?
Perhaps there was a policy of the ordinary. Let's count - a couple of volleys, in one campaign, Marinescu sent to the light, according to conservative estimates, more than 10 thousand people! The death of "Gustlova" was the largest ever maritime disaster of mankind, "Titanic" in comparison with the victorious volleys Marinesko watching overturned boat on the pond with drunken travelers. Steeper Marinesko was, perhaps, only the crews of the B-29 that tamed Japan - nuclear bombs. In general, some figures are comparable. Here and there - tens of thousands. Only, however, Marinesko done without atomic bombs, only two at a time on the planet. Marinescu and a dozen torpedoes enough.
It is likely that the destruction of "Gustlova" ashamed, because for occupied Germany prepared batch of bread, would like to arrange to his Germans, and then - the death of so many people, with part of civil, torpedoes from a small submarine. Finally - on the Marinesco. Mother he was Ukrainian, and his father served in his youth as a stoker on a warship of the Royal Romanian Navy. After some argument with the boss's father fled Russia and settled in Odessa. Alexander Marinesco younger apprentices graduated school, and then in the thirties - and Odessa Nautical School. I sailed on ships in the Black Sea. As the navigator of long voyage Marinesko was drafted into the Navy and after school asked for a submarine.
Always calm, confident, he was very persistent in skilled at achieving their goals. As commander of the ship, he never raised his voice, not shouting at subordinates. All this has created his unwavering authority, he has earned the love and respect of the sailors. In contrast to all this, it remains to add that Marinesko ousted from the Navy for drunkenness and poor discipline. Marinescu got zavskladom. It finally took to drink and began to guzzle entrusted to him the state property. He was caught and sentenced in 1949 for 3 years.
As can be seen, Alexander Marinesco - quite a controversial figure. And exploit it can be interpreted in different ways ... In spite of all the contradictions, the reward still found submariner: in 1990 he was posthumously awarded the gold star of the Hero of the Soviet Union.