Northern Fleet of Russia. Ships of the Northern Fleet
Russia's Northern Fleet is considered the youngest: its age is only about 80 years. But attempts to create it were carried out repeatedly. 300 years ago, by order of Peter I, a shipyard was built in the North, and a year later ships appeared to protect merchant ships. Only half a century later, permanent formations of warships appeared in the North.
History of creation
It was in Arkhangelsk that the first northern shipyard appeared. The corresponding order of Tsar Peter I was released in 1693, and a year later the frigate “St. Paul” and the yacht “St. Peter”, together with the purchased ship “Holy Prophecy”, were defended by merchant caravans during the transition to the Baltic.
Russian harbors and the coastal strip were periodically subjected to robbery by the Swedes, so in 1740 a squadron of guard ships was formed. They watched the waters from Kara Sea to the Norwegian Sea.
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since those years, the ships, crews and times changed, the first full-fledged northern flotilla was formed only in 1933.People's Commissar of Defense of that time signed a decree on the direction of the ships of the Baltic Fleet to the Kola Bay for service with a permanent base in the city of Murmansk. The commander of the Northern Flotilla was the flagship 1st rank Zakhar Alexandrovich Zakupnev. The fleet consisted of two destroyers, two patrol ships and two submarines.
For the maintenance of the fleet, a permanent base in the North was required, and in 1933 construction began in Polar. Weather conditions did not contribute to the construction process, but this did not stop people. Two years later, the base was ready, and from the destroyer "Karl Liebknecht" was given 21 salvo in honor of the transfer of the ships of the Northern Fleet to a permanent base.
Merits of the Northern Fleet
The ships in the north had many tasks. In addition to protecting the coast and escorting merchant ships, it was necessary to conduct a study of the northern lands and waters. The government of the Soviet Union consistently noted such merits as the transfer of submarines to Novaya Zemlya island for the first time in winter or the passage along the extremely narrow and shallow Matochkin Strait between the islands of New Earth.Two destroyers first went through the northern sea route, opening the waterway to the Far East. Knowledge of their own waters and lands increased the capabilities of naval formations and the general defense capability.
Periodically held various exercises. The inhospitable North with its climate and unpredictable sea could not prevent the construction of repair military bases, airfields for aviation, coastal defense facilities and workers' settlements and cities for workers and military. In the spring of 1937, an order came from the People’s Commissar to reorganize the flotilla into the Northern Fleet.
Thanks to all this, an opportunity has appeared with less risks to develop the North, and since 1937 polar scientists have been active in the North Pole. Naval aviation actively helped them in this. The pilots learned to land planes on the ice, to fly in conditions of limited visibility and low temperatures, in the case of emergency situations the Northern Fleet entered the business, icebreakers and submarines were sent to the scientists, who in the end saved lives more than once.
In those days there were no nuclear submarines, but records were set on diesel ones.The submarine "D-1" in 1938 covered a distance of 11 thousand miles, for which it took her 120 days. Two years later, the submarine Shch-423 overcame the Northern Sea Route and passed from the base in Polar to Vladivostok.
Northern Fleet in War
The war began with Finland. The Northern Fleet took an active part in the fighting. The ports of Petsamo and Liinakhamari were seized to isolate Finland from the help of its allies.
These were difficult times for the entire Soviet people, since on June 22, 1941, the Great Patriotic War began. The Northern Fleet of Russia heroically fought and defended the borders of his country. There were constant fights with ships and submarines, protected ports and foreign ships with cargo. At any time of the day and in any weather, the North Sea were on guard.
The war gave a strong impetus to the development of weapons. New destroyers, submarines, cruisers began to arrive. In 1955, an experimental launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine was made in the White Sea, and the following year, the Northern Fleet had such a submarine, the B-67.
In our time, the fleet does not know. The ships of the Northern Fleet are striking in their strength, speed and maneuverability.The old ships that saw the dawn of the Soviet Union still serve, but along with them in the ranks are nuclear, missile and torpedo submarines, rocket ships, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships of various sizes, as well as naval aviation.
Northern Fleet Marine Corps
Any fleet incorporates marines for action on the coast, the seizure of naval bases and the storming of enemy ships. On May 5, 1943, the Marine Fleet of the Northern Fleet began, when the 61st Rifle Regiment was established on the basis of the naval rifle brigade, which later became the 61st Independent Kirkenes Red Banner Marine Regiment.
Until today, the regiment mastered the art of parachuting in the airborne division in the city of Pskov, repeatedly participated in parades in Moscow, honed the skill of disembarking from landing ships, participated in strategic exercises at sea and on land. In 1997, 876 OSShB Marine Brigade receives the prize of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy for excellent combat training, and in December next year becomes part of the constant combat readiness.
At the Zapad-99 exercises, the brigade is recognized as the best in tactics of actions and fire training, awarded the prize of the commander-in-chief of the Navy, not only the Northern Fleet participated in the exercises.Murmansk also gave the brigade the challenge cup of the governor of the Murmansk region, recognizing it as the “Best Coastal Part of the Northern Fleet”.
The fighting in Chechnya and Dagestan did not pass the marines. In the period from September 1999 to June 2000, the tactical group took part in the liquidation of gangs. For nine months, the marines showed their skills in hot battles, made landings on the heights, arranged ambushes and, in addition to awards and respect, deserved the highest commendations of command.
Last year, the training of marines was focused on actions in the Arctic zone. They continue to practice skydiving, firing artillery and small arms, in general, the Northern Fleet marines support and improve combat training.
Armament of the Northern Fleet Marine Corps
Marines use a standard set of weapons and equipment for this kind of troops. There is an ample fleet of amphibious BTR-80s and MTLB tractors, self-propelled mortars Gvozdika and Nona, and even T-80 tanks. From portable and small arms armed with mortars, ATGM, MANPADS,AK-74 assault rifles and its modifications, various types of machine guns, sniper rifles, grenades, grenade launchers, as well as general military communications and electronic warfare.
The Northern Fleet of Russia is of great importance for the country. Warships are the guarantor of the security of the North. Severomortsy protect the economic and political interests of their state, ensure the safety of navigation and trade, protect civilian ships from pirates. Maintaining the Northern Fleet and nuclear capabilities in readiness helps deter the claims of potential adversaries.