9 The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Posted on May 10, 2012 by team

Defence of Sevastopol in 1941-42 that lasted 250-days became one of the brightest pages of the WWII history. Defenders of the Black Sea fleet main base frustrated the plans of the German command to proceed to the Caucasus and influenced the course of the way. The 30th and 35th turret batteries played important roles in Sevastopol defence, they became the main artillery power that inflicted considerable losses of the Germans.

The 30th battery had been fighting until 27th of June 1942 when being fully blocked it was captured by the Germans. After the war the battery was restored as opposed to the 35th battery that had been abandoned for many years and only recently was turned into a museum.  The 30th battery is still listed as an acting one among the military units of the RF.
70 years ago this place was not so silent, huge 600 mm shells were bursting and many people were dying…

Each battery has 4 weapons of 305 mm calibre mounted in two rotary turrets.

The 30th battery construction was started in 1912 in an advantageous position at the mouth of the Belbek river, Lyubimovka village. However it took long to build it because the construction was once stopped for some years. The specialists were saving a single ruble and used many mechanisms and details that had remained from the heavy battleships of the Tsar fleet.

In 1933 the battery with a volley power equal to the one of a battleship was put into operation.  The turrets were turning 360 degrees around, the maximum firing range reached 30 km.

Both batteries initially were indended to be coastal ones and to fight enemy battleships. However, when in 1941 the German troops entered the Crimea the batteries became the main means of the city defence from the dry land.

In German documents the Sevastopol coastal batteries were called “forts”: “Maxim Gorky-1″ (battery 30) and “Maxim Gorky-2″ (battery 35). The 35th battery was a bit further from the place of the German attack so the brighter role in the city defence was played by the 30th battery. The Germans used to say that “Maxim Gorky-1″ was the “true masterpiece of the engineering art” and “due to its exclusive capabilities it could postpone Sevastopol taking for more than half a year”. The batteries were subject to constant bombing from the air and were being fired upon from heavy and extra heavy weapons.

The heaviest German artillery was used exactly at the time of Sevastopol invasion.

German 610mm mortar

615 mm shell fragments of “Karl” weapon

The battery was fighting till the last shell. It was fully blocked by the enemy on the 17th of June, 1942, in June 18th it fired the last shells, in June, 21st the stronghold equipment was exploded by the staff. In the encircled battery there remained about 200 men who were fighting for 9 days in the casemates and underground constructions…

German and Romanian generals are inspecting the battery.


More stories:

Click here to read next random post from English Russia

9 Responses to “The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I”

  1. bobb says:

    Incredible battery, really a nice soviet stuff. The line “still active in RF army” made me quite laugh, considering the total obsolescence of such thing. A single plane with guided bombs, or even long range missile, and the turret is fried.

    • toza says:

      Where did you find that line?

    • Babysitter says:

      This object as a whole is much more than just coastal artillery. It includes huge underground storages, communication lines and a lot of other stuff; do not forget that Sevastopol is the main base of Russian Black Sea fleet.
      So the object itself is still in active use despite the fact that part of it is obsolete and that part was actually turned into museum.

    • JZ says:

      I’m sure that if these things were still operational they’d be guarded by AA systems, and guided missiles can also be shot down by modern AA.

  2. skopeil says:

    some stuffs look pretty useful..

  3. Tutan says:

    nice flowers……

  4. Bob says:

    The translation is obviously imperfect. But by ‘active’ they mean the military complex the turrets are on is active, and that the guns were mothballed rather than rendered inoperable. In theory, the guns can be returned to service on 30 days notice if needed. But in practice they have not been considered an operational weapon system since 1997, and they have not fired so much as a blank practice round since 1958.

  5. Muzzlehatch says:

    During World War II the US Army salvaged the two after turrets from the sunken battleship Arizona and emplaced one on the south west coast of the island of Oahu (Battery Arizona) and the other on the east coast (Battery Pennsylvania). They mounted 3 355mm guns each and were completed at the end of the war, but were scrapped shortly after. The remains can be seen on GoogleEarth.

  6. Casiopeia says:

    Seems like big BÄM. But as u see it was worthless so much scrap. The Engineering was one of the best.

Leave a Reply

  • Random Post