The work of Radiy Shmakov, a design engineer at the St. Petersburg Maritime Bureau of Mechanical Engineering "Malakhit", is closely connected with the first Soviet nuclear submarine "Leninsky Komsomol". 67 years ago, he sent blueprints to the plant for the construction of the legendary submarine, today he helps the Russian Ministry of Defense turn it into a museum exhibit. On January 17, Radiy Anatolyevich celebrated his 90th birthday. The birthday boy shared with "SR" memories of the tragedies and triumphs of Soviet designers.
“My parents were Komsomol members to the core. They decided that if a boy is born, they will call him Steel. To be as hardened as steel. But twins were born - first my brother, 10 minutes later me. They named my brother Stal, and they urgently found me the name Radiy. Translated from Latin means "ray". Nice name, I like it. Thanks to the parents for not being called the International, for example, ”smiles Radiy Shmakov.
The family lived in Novosibirsk. “We lived poorly, but amicably. We were close with my brother. At school, I always let him cheat, ”recalls Radiy Shmakov. Steel graduated from the Novosibirsk Pedagogical Institute and became a world famous teacher; a street in Novosibirsk was even named after him. Radium entered the Leningrad Shipbuilding Institute, in 1954 he received a red diploma. By assignment, he got into the design department of SKB-143 of the Ministry of Shipbuilding. “I had no idea what they were doing. Then I found out that in 1952 SKB-143 was reoriented to the creation of the first nuclear submarine K-3 of project 627. This project was also called the “Kit” because the hull was cetacean, ”says our interlocutor.
The world's first nuclear submarine "Nautilus" was built in the USA in 1954. K-3 was created to close the gap with the Americans. Anatoly Aleksandrov became the scientific supervisor of the project, Nikolay Dollezhal became the chief energy designer, the development of steam generators was entrusted to the director and chief designer of the Baltic Shipyard Genrikh Hasanov, the head of SKB-143 Vladimir Peregudov was responsible for the ship section.
“None of them knew what the boat should be like as a whole, each represented only his part. From morning to evening, the designers counted, drew and counted again. Gradually, the approximate weight and dimensions of the nuclear power plant (main power plant) were determined - without this, Peregudov could not begin the design of the ship. True, it remained unclear how a nuclear reactor would behave on a submarine. Difficult maneuvers, rolling on the surface and squeezing the vessel at depth ... Can the reactor operate in such conditions? - writes submariner Nikolai Mormul in the book “Atomic Underwater Epic. Feats, failures, disasters ”. - All this time, Peregudov constantly traveled to the operating nuclear reactor, communicated with specialists. However, the surprises that awaited him there were in no way comparable to the impression obtained by physicists during a visit to the submarine. “I was horrified by the tightness,” recalls Academician Dollezhal. - Then someone joked that I had to be squeezed between diesel engines. I told Peregudov: "I don't understand how people can exist here." He chuckled: “Submariners are a special, hardened people. And on our boat we will raise living conditions. "
It was necessary to improve the conditions - it was planned that the submarine's autonomy would be two months. Before the construction of the lead submarine, full-size wooden compartments were made. The placement of equipment was optimized on them. Peregudov invited sailors, was interested in what conditions it would be especially convenient for them to work and live. “On diesel submarines, all the personnel's suspension bunks were located in different places - wherever it was possible to place them. Sometimes, to save space, there were fewer beds than there were people: while one was on watch, the other could have a rest, ”says Radiy Shmakov.
104 people served on K-3. The officers and warrant officers were able to be accommodated in single, double and four-bed cabins, and the sailors were placed on hanging bunks in the ship's compartments. Moreover, the wardroom was equipped with a refrigerator, and the galley was equipped with an electric meat grinder. Experienced submariners called the improved living conditions of the K-3 crew lordly excesses.
In 1954, the young designer Radiy Shmakov joined the work on the nuclear submarine. The strictest secrecy reigned. The reactor was called a crystallizer, the boat was called Peregudov's object. Not all of the department employees knew that she was equipped with a nuclear power plant. Working drawings were sent to the plant number 402 in Severodvinsk, now "Sevmash". “In order to quickly build the boat, three shifts were introduced there. And the designers worked like obsessed ones. We didn’t see anything except our own drawings, ”Radiy Shmakov recalls.
He notes that Peregoudov worked the most - a brilliant designer with a difficult biography. In 1937, Peregudov was arrested on a false denunciation. This is how Nikolai Mormul describes it: “They take him on a winter night, turning over all the papers. A soldier with his insignia torn off froze in the cell - he was taken in the summer, and he was wearing only a light tunic. Peregudov immediately takes off his leather coat, under which they sleep like brothers. The companion in misfortune of the Leningrad designer turned out to be Konstantin Rokossovsky - the future Marshal of the Soviet Union. " In March 1938, Peregudov was released with the wording "for lack of guilt."
Vladimir Peregudov became the head of SKB-143 in 1953 and immediately attracted talented designers to work. “Some of them had just left the camps by that time, having served various terms as enemies of the people. I keep thinking: how did this life not break them? And I cannot find an answer to this question, - says Radiy Shmakov. - It was a difficult time. Some reported, others were sitting. I remember - my soul hurts. "
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The head submarine of Project 658 was considered the latest in military technology. The first nuclear submarine with ballistic missiles on board was built in record time - already on October 11, 1959, the boat with tactical number K-19 was prepared for launching. True, almost immediately the sailors, who are already superstitious, tensed because of the surviving bottle of champagne, traditionally smashed against the side of the new ship.
The unbroken bottle was not taken to heart, and the submarine was launched under the solemn march. The ceremony, traditional for the fleet, almost turned into a tragedy - the ship almost went to the bottom along with a special slipway, on which it was fixed, and the launching crew had to urgently cut off the fastenings with a gas cutter.
K-19 (serial number 901), although it was called the first nuclear submarine with ballistic missiles, was built in response to the creation of similar submarines in the United States. Despite the demands to hand the ship over to the military as quickly as possible, the Americans did not manage to catch up before the Americans - the K-19 was delivered three months later than the first George Washington nuclear submarine.
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Response to American Missiles
There was no experience in the production of nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles in the USSR. Unlike the United States, where the topic of creating nuclear submarines has always been given a lot of attention, the entire design path of the K-19 had to go through trial, error and titanic efforts. Former commander of the K-19 missile control systems group (BCH-2), Captain First Rank Gleb Bogatsky once even named the exact numbers - three thousand workers per shift. The first ship with ballistic missiles was built in three shifts - 24 hours a day.
The desire to catch up and overtake the Americans inevitably affected the quality of the lead ship - when the reactor was launched, the pressure turned out to be twice as high as usual, and only by a miracle none of the crew members died and received a lethal dose of radiation. Captain of the first rank, historian of the fleet Igor Kurdin explains: the problematic nature of lead ships remains today.
The sinking of this giant ship is actually the most famous maritime disaster in history. 108 years have passed since the ship sank to the bottom of the ocean, and the mystery of its sinking still worries scientists, as if it were yesterday. One by one, new versions of what happened appear.
This is one of the most popular versions. According to her, another ship is resting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The Titanic is not the only ship; it had twin brothers, the Olympic and the Britannica. The first one is utterly similar to the "Titanic". After the first voyages, the Olympic collided with ships, which caused it to be seriously damaged.
Perhaps the owners of the company wanted to organize the wreck of the Olympic, but present it as the Titanic in order to receive fabulous insurance payments. The Olympic was quickly repaired, renamed and launched. It was planned to spoil the ship a little, but things did not go according to plan, and the ship sank, taking thousands of lives with it.
There is a version that the Titanic was sunk by a German submarine using a torpedo. In those years, relations between Germany and Great Britain were not tense, but the researchers are sure that the Germans wanted to test new weapons and sink a really large target. This version is supported by the words of one of the survivors. The woman claims that before the tragedy she saw two pillars moving parallel to the ship immediately after the collision. One of these pillars could be the wheelhouse, and the second was the bow gun of the submarine.
This theory convinces us that a fire has started in the coal hold. And even before the ship left the port. The fire lasted for several days. Interestingly, the Titanic's images in the port actually show huge soot spots, which could be evidence of a fire. One of the ship's stokers said that a flame had been burning in the sixth boiler room for five days that could not be extinguished.
The incident was hidden so as not to undermine the manufacturer's credibility. Due to the fire, the outer skin of the ship became fragile. Therefore, upon collision with an ice block, it easily burst, provoking a rapid collection of water and drowning.
According to this mystical theory, the Titanic sank due to a mysterious curse. It is believed that there was a sarcophagus on board the ship, in which a real Egyptian mummy lay. It is believed that this mummy brought misfortune to everyone who owned it, and to those who were nearby. Its owner bought the boats for himself and the mummy in the wreck. Then he realized that she was bringing him trouble, and sold it. She brought misfortune to the new owner - the ship "Empress of Ireland", which transported her, sank. But the mummy this time remained safe and sound. They did not want to buy it, so they returned it to Egypt. The ship on which she was taken home was sunk by a German submarine. This time the sarcophagus sank to the bottom.