The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

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 Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

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…

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

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.

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

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.

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

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 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

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

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

German 610mm mortar

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

615 mm shell fragments of “Karl” weapon

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

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…

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

German and Romanian generals are inspecting the battery.

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Casements and underground rooms

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Memorable signs with surnames of the heroes

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Armoured doors were protecting from explosions

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The heart of the battery – power room.

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Control systems

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Navigation bridge

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Extra fire contol unit

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Strategic map of the Sevastopol water area defence

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Sevastopol used to be much smaller than today

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Here is the place where the shells were stored

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Feed mechanisms

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The mechanisms were equipped with electric and manual drives

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

On this conveyor a shell goes to an underturret room

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Inside the turret

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Propelling charge feeding tray

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Speaking device

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Charging chutes

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Rotating platforms

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Rooms for the staff

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Water tank

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Many guides for shells feeding

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Assembled ones

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Weapons taken from “Poltava” battleship

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

During the battle commands couldn’t be heard so they used visual commands.

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Barrel mass – 50 tons

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

All mechanisms are greased and can be used

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

All three barrels in each turret can fire independently being separated with individual charging chambers.

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Little museum

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

German plates dated 1941

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The Germans carefully studied the Soviet armament.

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I

Spring 2012. 70 years have gone from those days. Coming out from the casements smelling of the war you feel some dragging pain…

Location: Lyubimovka

via aquatek-filips

9 thoughts on “The 30th Turret Battery Or Fort Maxim Gorky-I”

  1. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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. 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.

  3. 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.

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