The 35th Battery is one of the most sacred places for most residents of Sevastopol. In June-July of 1942, this place became the last patch for the remaining 80 thousand people heroically defending their city. The place where the fateful decision to quit the defense and evacuate the officers was made. The place that has simultaneously become a kind of quintessence of national heroism and a national tragedy…
The 35th Coastal Battery is one of the most powerful coastal defense fortifications of the main base of the Black Sea Fleet. Its construction began in 1913. However, in 1915 it was stopped and was finished only in 1924-1927. It was armed with two 305-mm twin tower installations “MB-2-12”. The weight of a shell is 471 kg, the range – up to 42 km. In structure, it consisted of two gun blocks (concrete massifs in which turrets were installed). To get to one of them you should pass through the main entrance of the museum of the 35th Battery.
1. The boulder over the blasted by Nazis gun block is like a grieving over the dead soldier.
2. The main entrance of the battery.
In the postwar period, the 35th Coastal Battery was not restored, but some of its installations were used by the operating 130-mm coastal battery. Due to this fact, its appearance was preserved almost intact.
3. So today the reinforced concrete structures look like in distant 1942.
4. Having entered through the main entrance, you find yourself in one of the destroyed gun blocks. Here you can see the traces of explosions everywhere – broken concrete structures and deformed metal.
5. The first fork to the right leads to the dungeons where you should be very careful – after the explosion of the battery the ceiling collapsed and now there are large gaps in the floor. For safety reasons, not all the rooms of the museum have free access. Sometimes they are blocked with the remains of the shells found here.
6. If you go further along this corridor, you will see through the holes that two of the lower rooms are flooded and the other one is dry (they are not connected). According to the workers of the museum, until recently one of the gaps was littered with debris, and when it was cleared in 1999, the remains of fighters, weapons and documents were found there…
7. The battery consists of the communication system connecting two gun ranges, the storage of shells, an underground power unit, a ventilation room and pumping stations, a network of special rooms and posterns leading to the sea. There are also non-connected with anything underground structures. The main exposition is located in the rooms of the central part.
8. There are a lot of photos taken in these rooms during the siege of Sevastopol. For example, this photo was made in Lenin’s room in 1941.
9. And this is the portrait against a background of which the previous photo was made.
10. The next room makes one stay here for a long time. Here, during the war, seriously wounded soldiers and doctors fought for life… The hospital room of the defenders of the battery. On closer examination it’s well seen that the tiles on the floor are wiped with feet.
11. It’s difficult to cope with emotions when seeing these two natural narcissus lying on the stretcher…
12. By means of this, doctors fought for the life of the wounded.
13. Everywhere on the walls are the traces of cut off cables and communications.
14. The entrance to the wardroom. On June 30, 1942 the last meeting of the military councils of Sevastopol Defensive Region and the Coastal Army was held here. After the meeting the commander of the battery received an order to provide the cover for the evacuation and to blast all the weapons and equipment as soon as the ammunition is over.
15. A network of tunnels and communications extends from the main entrance. There are special holes in them (4 in a group) through which soldiers delivered shells to the gun turrets.
16. Some rooms are badly damaged by explosions. Some are really difficult to pass through. The vestibule of the former power station is just a pile of concrete blocks and torn metal.
17. A twisted 30-meter ladder leading down to the command post.
18. A long postern to the command post – about 450 meters of a sinister corridor.
19. Time and metal. The remains of the loops in the wardroom.
20. A left range finder restored only outwardly.
21. The vestibule earlier serving as a central power station is now a wall of grief with burning candles and fresh flowers.
22. The pictures of the defenders of Sevastopol forever remained in the 1941-1942s. Looking at their faces – sometimes funny, sometimes focused – you realize that these people had lived, enjoyed and created until the moment when their life was suddenly interrupted by cruel war…
27. A book for visitors lies at the entrance. A lot of records. “Thank you, eternal memory, eternal glory…”
29. Except for the main tower structures, there is a number of auxiliary facilities such as observation posts and bunkers.
30. Inside, they look the same as in those terrible days. Just some inscriptions on the burned by the war walls were added by vandals.
31. A rusty ladder leading from the dungeon to the tower. Staples are barely held.
32. The dungeon.
33. The same observation post but in spring.
34. Some of the few windows…
35. The panorama inside the gun block of former tower № 2.
36. The same gun block in winter.