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.Â 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.Â 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.
Casements and underground rooms
Memorable signs with surnames of the heroes
Armoured doors were protecting from explosions
The heart of the battery – power room.
Extra fire contol unit
Strategic map of the Sevastopol water area defence
Sevastopol used to be much smaller than today
Here is the place where the shells were stored
The mechanisms were equipped with electric and manual drives
On this conveyor a shell goes to an underturret room
Inside the turret
Propelling charge feeding tray
Rooms for the staff
Many guides for shells feeding
Weapons taken from “Poltava” battleship
During the battle commands couldn’t be heard so they used visual commands.
Barrel mass – 50 tons
All mechanisms are greased and can be used
All three barrels in each turret can fire independently being separated with individual charging chambers.
German plates dated 1941
The Germans carefully studied the Soviet armament.
Spring 2012. 70 years have gone from those days. Coming out from the casements smelling of the war you feel some dragging pain…