Icebreaker "Krassin" (16 photos)
I want to tell you about the icebreaker Krassin. It was not the world's first Arctic-class icebreaker (the first was the Russian icebreaker Yermak, built in 1898), but it remained the most powerful Arctic icebreaker for several decades. Krassin has been "retired" for 32 years and now it is a museum. Most importantly, it has a very interesting history, which is worth telling.
But first a few words about Yermak: many Russian military and scientists worked on its project (including Dmitry Mendeleev, the creator of the periodic table of chemical elements), and when all calculations were completed, the Russian government announced a tender for the construction of the vessel, which was won by the British firm W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd from Newcastle upon Tyne.
The story was the same with Krassin: the project was developed in Russia (in fact, it was an improved version of Yermak), and the vessel was built in Newcastle in 1916-1917. I must say that initially the icebreaker was named Svyatogor in honor of a character of ancient Russian myths, a mighty hero of gigantic stature.
So, Svyatogor arrived in Russia and immediately began to escort ships with military cargo from Great Britain through the ice to Arkhangelsk (a port city near the White Sea in the north of the European part of Russia). Let me remind you, there was the First World War, in which Great Britain and Russia (as well as France) opposed Germany. However…
The year was 1917. In February, there was already one revolution in Russia, as a result of which the tsarist government ceased to exist, and the so-called Provisional Government replaced it. In October of the same year, it was overthrown, and the Bolsheviks have now come to power. And a civil war has begun in Russia...
Probably, at first it seemed that those army units that remained loyal to Tsar Nicholas II (or even to Provisional Government) would quickly defeat the Bolsheviks, but they turned out to be a tough nut to crack. As a result, in 1918, united, parts of the armies of different countries of the world invaded Russia, hoping to help restore tsarist power. There were many countries, and many invasion points, too. But my story is about an icebreaker that drove caravans of ships to Arkhangelsk, so let's focus on Arkhangelsk, which is my hometown))
In August 1918, a British squadron of 17 ships captured Arkhangelsk. The soldiers of the Red Army tried to prevent the passage of the British to the city and therefore... the icebreaker Svyatogor was flooded in the river. But it turned out that it was enough to close the kingstons and pump out the water in order for the ship to surface. The British coped with this without difficulty. And when the mission to liberate Russia from the Bolsheviks failed, they left, taking the icebreaker with them as a trophy. So Svyatogor became a British ship. And, probably, it could have remained so, if not for one incident.
In November 1919, a Soviet steamer was lost in ice. They could not help the ship on their own, and they had to rent the icebreaker Svyatogor from the UK. After that, the Soviet government had a reasonable idea: Why not return Svyatogor to Russia? It turned out that the tsarist government had underpaid 75,000 pounds to the builders of the ship under the contract. Negotiations and the search for money began…
The negotiations were conducted by the 1st People's Commissar of Foreign Trade of the USSR in the UK Leonid Krassin. Largely thanks to his efforts, Svyatogor returned to Russia in 1922, or, more precisely, to the USSR.
In 1926, Leonid Krassin died (his remains rest at the Kremlin Wall in Moscow), and to honor his memory, the icebreaker Svyatogor was renamed Krassin.
In 1928, the Italian Umberto Nobile organized an expedition to the North Pole on the airship "Italy" of his own design. Unfortunately, the airship crashed, part of the team died immediately, and some - including Nobile himself - ended up on the ice, hiding in a tent. Several countries have organized a search for the missing expedition (during this search, the famous Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen died). Nobile himself and his dog were rescued by Swedish pilot Einar Lundborg. And all the other surviving members of the expedition were saved by the icebreaker Krassin.
40 years later, the movie "The Red Tent" produced by Italy, Great Britain and the USSR was released. It was dedicated to the Nobile expedition and its rescue. The icebreaker Krassin was then in service, but it could not play the role of itself: a few years before the filming, it was rebuilt, and it began to look completely different than in 1928.
During World War II, Krassin conducted Allied convoys to Arkhangelsk. During these times the sailors of Krassin, which was armed with very uncomplicated guns (an icebreaker is a non-military ship), shot down two German planes.
They say Krassin also made two trips around the world. However, it was forced, and not specifically for the sake of it.
Some technical data on Krassin:
Length 99.8 m
Width 21.64 m
Height 12.61 m
Engines: steam engine with water-tube boiler, initially coal-fired, after modernization in 1957 - fuel oil
Power: 2795 kW
Propulsion: 1 fixed pitch screw with 4 removable blades. After modernization in 1957 - 3-screw
Travel speed: 9.8 knots
Where to find Krassin:
Russia, St. Petersburg, corner of the 23rd line of Vasilievsky Island and the embankment of Lieutenant Schmidt
Camera used Pentax k-r
Thank you for stopping by and reading it