Wandering Camera

Album 228
(Translated b
y Polina Korchagina)


As I promised today we will wisit the ice-breaker (it's also a museum) "Krasin" which stays now at the end of the Lieutenant Shmidt quay.


The ice-breaker "Svyatogor" (its previous name) was built in 1916 by the "Armstrong" company in New Castle on the instructions of Russian Trade and Industry Ministry. The project is S.O. Makarov's.

For 35 years this ice-breaker was the strongest in the world.

It was the second (after "Ermak") ice-breaker and not an ice-cutter (they existed before). In the process of its work it creeps on the ice surface and crushes it with its weigh. During the wintering such a ship won't be crashed by ices - ices will squeeze it on the surface.

At the beginning of the civil war the ice-breaker participated in the defence of Arkhangelsk from Antanta forces. At the end of 1918 "Svyatogor" was sunk to prevent English interventionists from entering the bay. In spite of this the city was occupied and the captain with the crew that took part in sinking the ship were executed by shooting.
The ice-breaker was raised from the seabed by enemy and taken to England in 1920.

In several months "Svyatogor" was hired to rescue from ices the ship "Solovei Budimirovich". Together with the ice-cutter "III Internatsional" they succeeded to rescue it. However, "Svyatogor" had to go back to England.

In 1921 after efforts of L.B.Krasin (a diplomat, a people's commissar of foreign commerce and industry in Sovet Russia and the USSR) and a ship-builder academic A.N. Krilov and also after paying the whole price of the ship, it was returned to the USSR.
After the death of L.B.Krasin in 1926 the ice-breaker was named after him.

At first it was used in the Baltic Sea, then, at the end of 1920s it began to run in the Arctic Ocean.

In 1928 "Krasin" took part in rescuing Umberto Nobile expedition. In May an Italian airship disappeared during its expedition to the North Pole. On June, 3rd a radio fan from Voznesenie-Vohma village N.R. Shmidt picked up a SOS signal and soon the place of the airship crash was found.

"Krasin" was sent to rescue the airship. The captain was K.P. Eggy. "Krasin" took a plane to the place of the crash.
Apart from it, 16 more planes and 20 ships took part in the rescue expedition. It's interesting that England and the USA refused to take part in the expedition saying that they didn't have means.

So the general Nobile was rescued by foreigners (which lost lots of people saving him), the rest of the crew was saved by "Krasin".

On the way home in spite of the fact that "Krasin" was damaged, its crew repaired wrecked "Monte-Servantes" (it had a shell-hole) and saved almost 2000 people, most of which were tourists.

In 1933 the ice-breaker went to the New Land to supply people with food. It was the first high-latitude winter voyage. The captain was Y.P.Legzdin, the head ofthe operation was M.I.Shevelev.
In the same year "Krasin" helped "Cheluskin" which got stuck in ices of Kara Sea. However, later "Cheluskin" got stuck again and "Krasin" couldn't help it (though it tried) but the crew was rescued by planes.
Then in 1937 during the search of the lost plane "Krasin" had to winter near Taimir peninsula. The wintering was very severe.
After the beginning of the World War II, in 1941 "Krasin" made its second circumnavigation. During calls in American ports the battery was installed. M.G. Markov was the captain the whole war, 300 people of the crew was awarded decorations.
In 1950s "Krasin" had thorough repairs in Germany (DDR) and Riga. It was switched to foel oil (however, as far as I understand, it still had the steam-engine ), the hull was strengthened, a superstructure was added, so the appearance of the ship visibly changed.

The ice-breaker characteristics:

length -99,8 meters, width - 21,68, tonnage- 10 200 ton, total power of three propeller shafts - 11 400 horse-powers (before repairs it was 10000 horse-powers), speed -13,6 knots, draught - about 9 meters.

In the left picture: rescuing the Nobile expedition.


Later the ice-breaker was used as a power base of Kola geological prospecting expedition of ultradeep drilling.

In 1990 the ice-breaker made its last voyage.

The museum has almost 700 displays.

The interior was partially left the same (in workrooms), and was partially changed (in museum). The latter, according to the words of the guide, is beacuse the company which owned (?) "Krasin" for some time removed the parquet and furniture, before the ship became a museum.
In 1992 the ship was declared a historical monument. However it didn't stop attempts to send it for remelting during its staying in Kronshtadt. The crew with the emergency plat(oon) gave a repulse (the ice-breaker was taken to St. Petersburg by force).

Later because of it an attempt upon L.Y.Burlak (captain)'s life was made. The captain was 78 years old at that time.

Since may 1999 the ice-breaker stays at the Lieutenant Shmidt quay.

Recently "Krasin" was given to the Kaliningrad World ocean museum, but it kind of remained in St. Petersburg as a branch of the museum.




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