Employees of Sea Port of Saint-Petersburg commemorated heroes of Tallinn Operation 1941
On 29 August, employees of Sea Port of Saint-Petersburg JSC (SP SPb) took part in the meeting dedicated to the 78th anniversary of the Tallinn-Kronshtadt Breakthrough. It was held at the Monument to Heroic Seafarers of the Baltic Shipping Company on the Gutuyevsky island, the only memorial in Russia commemorating those events.
Apart from the employees, the meeting and the flower-laying ceremony was attended by the war veterans, descendants of the Tallinn Operation participants, students, representative of public organizations as well as executive and legislative authorities. The most important guests were two participants of the operation. One of them, Captain I Rank Vasily Dzhurdzha is 98. These days, 78 years ago, he managed to survive in cold waves of the Baltic Sea when M/V Bakhash was lost by mine.
The other veteran, Nikolai Brichuk, was onboard the Gordy destroyer severely damaged by explosion. It took him almost two days to get to Kronshtadt by a tugboat under mass attacks of the enemy air force. All the 267 bombs dropped onto his ship missed it. Nikolai Brichuk told about Soviet seafarers’ self-sacrifice through the example of the Yakov Sverdlov destroyer. During the operation, it was on port beam of the Kirov cruiser, the flagship of the major forces with Vice-Admiral V. Tributs onboard. Having noted a missile targeted at the cruiser, the Sverdlov master ordered to expose the destroyer’s side to it. Soon, the destroyer touched off a mine, broke in two and sank.
When speaking at the ceremony, Maria Inge-Vechtomova, head of the regional public organization “Tallinn Operation Memory” said: “The victory is always with us as long as we remember about it. And the memory is alive because we gather for such meetings. We expand the geography of our events and involve an increasingly high number of participants, thus preserving and strengthening the memory about our fathers’ and grandfathers’ deeds in the hearts of the future generations”.
That idea was followed by Emil Solodky, Chairman of “Portovik” (SP SPb primary trade union organization of the Water Transport Workers’ Union): “Such events ensure transition of knowledge that later form the people’s memory. That is the only way to explain our children and grandchildren that war is the worst thing worldwide”.
The event was included into the traditional March of Memory commemorating the heroes of the Tallinn-Kronshtadt Breakthrough of August 1941. The activities began on August 25 with the visit of Saint-Petersburg delegation to the Cape Yuminda in Estonia and continued on August 29 in Saint-Petersburg with a traditional firing of a cannon from the Peter and Paul Fortress followed by the meeting and flower-laying ceremony at the Monument to Heroic Seafarers and the march on the Anchor Square in Kronshtadt. The Bespokoiny destroyer hosted the event culmination.
The event was organized by non-profit partnership “Tallinn Operation Memory”, Leningrad Naval Base of the Baltic Fleet and the Admiralty Coordination Council of the General Naval Headquarters.
The Monument to Heroic Seafarers of the Baltic Shipping Company and the Leningrad Port is located in the park near the administrative building of Sea Port of Saint-Petersburg JSC on the Mezhevoi Canal, 5. Its creation was initiated by port workers and financed by Leningrad Commercial Seaport in 1989. Yan Neiman, the sculptor, is also known as the author of monuments to Peotr Bagration in the park on the Marat street, to Ivan Turgenev on the Manezhnaya square, to street sweeper on the Ostrovsky square, to Georgy Zhukov in the Victory Park.
The Tallinn-Kronshtadt Breakthrough (the Tallinn Breakthrough, the Tallinn Operation) was among the most ambitious maritime operations in the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. The Tallinn Base of the Baltic Fleet and Soviet troops involved in the defence of Tallinn were evacuated from the enemy's rear across the mine-studded Gulf of Finland under permanent fascist shellfire and airstrikes to Kronshtadt and Leningrad. During the operation held on 28-29 August 1941, 62 ships of 225 units that left Tallinn (warships, transport and auxiliary ships) were destroyed. The core of the Baltic Fleet (163 units) were saved and later took part in the defence of Leningrad. At least 15,000 people lost their lives during the operation.
Sea Port of Saint-Petersburg JSC is the largest operator, rendering services on handling of all types of dry cargoes at Big Port St. Petersburg. It operates modern multipurpose specialized terminals for handling of general and bulk cargoes and specialized terminals for ro-ro cargoes and containers. In 2018, the company handled 7.7 million tonnes of cargo.