A. Kuznetsov: Alexander Ivanovich Marinesko was born in the family of Romanian worker Ion Marinescu and Ukrainian peasant Tatyana Koval. In 1920 - 1926, he studied at the labor school number 36, graduated from six classes, after which he became a student of a sailor. Then the sailor, the army ...
The Great Patriotic War Alexander Ivanovich met, being the commander of the submarine M-96. In August 1941, the command decided to transfer the Marinesko submarine to the Caspian Sea as a training, and only the swift encirclement of Leningrad by the fascist troops prevented the implementation of this plan.
In October 1941, our hero was expelled from the candidates for party members for drunkenness and organizing gambling card games in the submarine division.
L. Gulko: Did you play yourself?
A. Kuznetsov: It is difficult to say, since there is no mention in any of the sources that Marinesko was addicted to gambling.
L. Gulko: But drunkenness ...
A. Kuznetsov: Yes. And this addiction, unfortunately, will pass through the whole life of Alexander Ivanovich.
L. Gulko: Besides, October 1941 in Leningrad ...
A. Kuznetsov: Yes, ugly. In general, as they say, there is nothing for people to do. By the way, let us add that Marinesko suffered much less in this story than the commissar of the division, who received ten years of camps with a delay in the execution of the sentence and was sent to the front.
L. Gulko: It turns out that only in August 1942 did the Marinesko boat go on a military campaign?
A. Kuznetsov: Yes. And almost immediately attacked the German heavy floating battery. According to the Marinesko observation, as a result of the attack, the ship went to the bottom - so he reported to the authorities. However, in fact, the battery still remained afloat and slowly reached its base without a tugboat, albeit with severe injuries. In short, the attack was unsuccessful.
L. Gulko: Well, unsuccessful, so unsuccessful. Anything can happen.
A. Kuznetsov: Yes, but upon returning to the base with M-96, a very unpleasant incident occurred: the boat did not properly inform its people about the approach, did not raise the naval flag at the entrance to the base, and therefore was shot at by coastal defense boats. In general, by luck, no one was hurt.
What was it? Why did such an elementary requirement of Marinesco not fulfill? What happened to him at this moment? Was he drunk? Unclear. One way or another, but the M-96, the crew and, first of all, the commander had a certain reputation.
Alexander Marinesko and Alexander Mylnikov, 1940
Then everything seemed to be getting better, because the next departure to the sea took place rather quickly, in October 1942. The boat received a very serious mission: to land on the coast of the Narva Bay a reconnaissance group that was hunting the German Enigma encryption machine. The operation ended in failure - the car was never found - but the actions of Marinesko were highly appreciated: they presented him for an award and were restored as a candidate member of the party.
In April 1943, Marinesko was appointed commander of the C-13 submarine, the same one on which he performed his main military exploits. The campaign C-13 under his command came out only in October 1944. On the very first day of the march, Marinesko discovered and attacked the German transport “Siegfried”. The attack failed, the torpedoes passed by, and he fired at him with artillery guns. Alexander Ivanovich, who saw the transport slowly sinking into the water, again reported on his sinking. In fact, the damaged German transport was hastily towed by the enemy to Danzig and had been restored by the spring of 1945.
L. Gulko: That is, at the end of 1942, in 1943, Marinesko seems to be in good standing with its commanders?
A. Kuznetsov: Yes, but in a positive overall combat performance for 1942, it is noted in a separate line that on the coast it is prone to frequent drinking.
It would seem that the career of our hero went smoothly, but it was not there. The Marinesko boat was located at the base in Finnish Hanko, while the captain and his friend set off to meet New, 1945, in the city of Turku. As it often happened with Marinesko, the fun was out of control. He spent the night at a charming Swede, the mistress of a local hotel. And all would be fine if in the morning her fiancé had not come to the lady. Offended man in a fight did not get, and complained to the authorities.
L. Gulko: And the team?
A. Kuznetsov: And the team celebrated New Year without a commander, and fought with the local Finnish population.
L. Gulko: This is normal. Yes?
A. Kuznetsov: Well, this is an incident. But the fact is that on January 2, the boat should go on a regular trip, but there is no captain.
An officer is sent for him. He knows where Marinesko finds him. And it seems that Alexander Ivanovich is starting to gather, but here the Swede with a grin says to him: “Well, what are you after this man? For the sake of your fiancé, I kicked out, and you can't even your subordinate. ” And Marinesko with the words: “You did not see me. Go, report, ”sends the officer back.
Well, how about this? How to treat the commander, who should lead 46 people in a military campaign?
L. Gulko: There is a war ...
A. Kuznetsov: In the Baltic for the Soviet fleet, which until this time was not very active, in general, everything is just beginning.
L. Gulko: You are responsible for the entire crew ...
A. Kuznetsov: Of course. Not to mention the fact that the Swede could have been sent by a Cossack. In short, a mess.
The commander of the submarine M-102, Captain-Lieutenant Peter Gladilin and the commander of the submarine M-96, Captain-Lieutenant Alexander Marinesko
And Marinesko had to stand trial, and much more serious than he would later be.
L. Gulko: And in theory this court, the tribunal, would have handed down his death penalty.
A. Kuznetsov: It is not excluded. But the fact is that by that time there were not so many submarines left in the Baltic, about 15, and it was necessary to build up an underwater war. And Admiral Tributs, the commander of the Baltic Fleet, decides to postpone the proceedings until the end of the campaign, especially since the crew very actively expressed their unwillingness to go with another commander. And sailors, as is known, are extremely superstitious people, and submariners are squared. They can be understood.
At this time (the end of January) in the port of Gotenhafen a huge ship "Wilhelm Gustloff" is being loaded. By order of the German Navy Commander Karl Dönitz, a completely unique in scale operation was carried out to evacuate from the territory of East Prussia, in which parts of the Red Army, military personnel and civilians had already entered. This operation, which went down in history as the largest evacuation of the population by sea, was called “Hannibal”. It is estimated that about two million people managed to transfer in a few months.
The Wilhelm Gustloff, a completely luxurious tourist liner, was lowered from the stocks in 1937. It was built for the German organization “Strength through Joy”, which was part of the Labor Front, the purpose of which was to create a recreation and travel system for German workers. Wilhelm Gustloff got its name in honor of the little-known Swiss Nazi killed by a Jewish medical student. They say that the ship was originally planned to be called “Adolf Hitler”, but when the incident with Gustloff occurred, the name was changed.
The liner went, as the sailors say, on cruises until mid-August 1939. The war began. "Wilhelm Gustloff" first converted into a hospital ship, and then he became a floating barracks for the school of submariners.
So, in the twentieth of January, the liner "Wilhelm Gustloff" begins to load. First of all, 918 cadets of junior groups of the 2nd submarine training division, 173 crew members, 373 women from the auxiliary marine corps, 162 seriously wounded soldiers are on board. And then ... an unknown number of refugees, mostly old people, women and children.
On the liner there were 4 captains, between whom there was no agreement as to which channel to lead the vessel and what precautions to take regarding allied submarines and aircraft. After long disputes, the external fairway was chosen.
It is worth noting that the "Wilhelm Gustloff" was accompanied by the only destroyer "Löwe". Torpedol TF-19, having received damage to the hull in a collision with a reef, was forced to return to the port.
L. Gulko: So, Marinesko, after sailing to the periscope depth, quite unexpectedly discovers a huge vessel, illuminated by bright lights.
A. Kuznetsov: “Where are the lights from?” - the question arises. The fact is that the captain of "Gustloff" received a radiogram, which referred to the convoy of minesweepers, who allegedly went to meet. And when it was already dark, it was ordered to turn on the running lights to prevent a collision. Whether the minesweepers did not go at all, or they were delayed - a mystery.
After some time, the lights turned off, but Marinesko was ready to attack. Selecting the moment, he fired three torpedoes, each of which hit the target. The fourth torpedo with the words "For Stalin" stuck. Sailors miraculously escaped the explosion on the boat. Departing from the pursuit of a German military escort, the C-13 was bombarded by over two hundred depth bombs.
Liner "Wilhelm Gustloff" in Hamburg
A few days later, a submarine under the command of Marinesko flooded another German liner, the General Steuben, with a displacement of almost 15,000 tons.
L. Gulko: They say that in connection with the death of "Gustloff" Hitler declared a three-day mourning in Germany, and Marinesko declared his personal enemy.
A. Kuznetsov: It is a myth. The death of "Gustloff" was not reported at all. There was no mourning for three days. The meeting’s report at Hitler’s headquarters, which passed shortly after the events and was devoted to naval issues, states: “In connection with the sinking of the passenger steamer Wilhelm Gustloff, a torpedo launched from a submarine on external communications north of the banks, Stolpe, Commander-in-Chief naval forces (Dönitz) states that from the very beginning it was clear that with such active shipments there must be losses. Losses are always very heavy, but, to their great fortune, they have not increased. However, he must point out that Russian submarines are capable of operating without interference in the Baltic Sea only because German planes do not oppose them there. Due to the lack of escort forces, the fleet should be limited to the direct escort of convoys ... ”And that’s all. No tantrums. Nothing.
Well, imagine that in January or even in early February 1945, Hitler’s personal enemy would be called a submariner who sank the ship with refugees, of course, you need a fantasy.
L. Gulko: Nevertheless, despite such a resounding success, the captain of the 3rd rank, Alexander Marinesko, was never awarded the Golden Star.
A. Kuznetsov: Not. The star was replaced with the Order of the Red Banner.
It is difficult to say whether Marinesko was offended, or his strength, as they say, left, or something else, but his last trip in late April - first half of May 1945 received the following certification: "I had many cases of detection of enemy transports and convoys , but as a result of improper maneuvering and indecision, he could not get close to the attack ... The actions of the submarine commander at the unsatisfactory position. The submarine commander did not seek to find and attack the enemy ... As a result of the commander’s inactive actions, the C-13 submarine did not fulfill the combat task ... ” This is the opinion of the submarine brigade commander, Captain 1st Rank Kurnikov.
Well, then, according to one version, Marinesko himself submits a report to the higher command, according to another, he is dismissed from the fleet. But what is known for sure is that, in a few months, according to Kurnikov’s report, Navy Commissar Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov orders to lower Marinesko to the rank of senior lieutenant, remove him from the command of the boat, and send him to the military council of the fleet.
In the late 40s, Marinesko finally abandoned the sea and became deputy director of the Leningrad Scientific Research Institute of Blood Transfusion. In 1949, he was sentenced to three years in prison under the article "For squandering socialist property."
L. Gulko: What happened?
A. Kuznetsov: Marinesko, as deputy director, caught his boss in embezzlement. However, the director, who is much more clever in chicanery than the rectilinear Marinesko, turned things around so that the submariner himself got into places not so distant.
In the courtyard of the institute there were several unrecorded peat briquettes. Marinesko, having received the oral consent of the director, distributed them to the staff of the institute, for which he paid.
In addition, the case featured the institute bed, which was discovered in Marinesko. Whether it was written off, or not, but there was a tag on it.
L. Gulko: That is, the distressed Marinesko was charged with the assignment of this bed.
A. Kuznetsov: Exactly. At trial, the prosecutor himself, a former front-line soldier, dropped the charges, and lay assessors wrote a dissenting opinion. Nevertheless, the case was considered by another court, and Marinesko was sent to Kolyma.
Having drank in the “zone” in fights with former policemen and criminals, in October 1951 our hero was released early. At the end of 1962, doctors discovered he had a terrible disease - cancer of the esophagus. November 25, 1963 the legendary submariner died.
L. Gulko: It should be added that in the mid-80s, the newspaper Izvestia launched a two-year war with the USSR Ministry of Defense and the leadership of the Navy. According to the edition, Marinesko is an undeservedly forgotten hero. The military held a different point of view.
A. Kuznetsov: Well, what can I say? Even the daughters of Marinesko from different marriages had different attitudes towards the father’s personality: one considered him a swindler and a swindler, the other thanked people trying to restore the good name of Alexander Ivanovich.