RGS’s Expedition to Reveal the History of the Largest Victory of the Soviet Naval Aviation

Во время работы. Фото: Разведовательно-водолазная команда
За работой. Фото: Разведывательно-водолазная команда

Konstantin Bogdanov's “Underwater Exploration Team” will honor the memory of the fallen sailors and tell about the victories of Russian weapons in the Baltic. The first stage of the expedition "Voices of the Lost Ships", supported by the RGS and the Presidential Grants Fund, will begin on May 6 and last 10 days.

The team of the expedition "Voices of the Lost Ships" in the new season will tell not only about the lost ships of the Tallinn Breakout, but also about the victories of Soviet weapons. One of the goals of the expedition is to explore the German floating battery West.

“Sunk in 1943, West was one of the largest targets of the Soviet naval aviation in the Baltic during the Great Patriotic War,” says the head of the expedition Konstantin Bogdanov. “One of our main tasks is to tell about this victory, describe the details of the event, establish the names of the pilots, take photos and film videos of the floating battery to show the damage that led to its destruction. It will be interesting to show the results in a 3D model format.”


Поиски под водой проводятся только в спокойную погоду. Фото: Разведывательно-водолазная команда

Also, the May expedition will continue work on the creation of photogrammetric models of the patrol ship "Burya" and the minesweeper "Fugas".

“We have a tradition,” Konstantin Bogdanov continues. “At all the objects we have discovered, we hold a commemoration ceremony and install memorial plaques with a list of the crew. Last year, they were installed on the patrol ship ‘Burya’, but we did not have time for the minesweeper ‘Fugas’. We plan to do this by May 9.”

The tradition of installing memorial plaques on the ships that sank during the war was born in the expedition "A Bow to the Ships of the Great Victory" in 2005, when the main area of search operations was concentrated in the Black Sea. At that time, diving was actively developing, and divers, when diving to this or that object, not knowing its history, often tried to take some part of it with them as a keepsake.

“We began installing memorial plaques so that divers would realize where they were,” explains Konstantin Bogdanov. “Would learn how many people died on this ship during the war – we list them all by name. Even now, divers dive in the Black Sea, read historical plaques, clean them of growths, and it is already safe to say that our mission has achieved its goal to some extent. People understand that they visit not just a submerged ship, but a military burial. We have transferred this tradition to the Baltic. The most important thing for us is to preserve the memory of these people. When all the filming work is done, we go down and, as in a cemetery, we set up a kind of monument. For us, this has a symbolic meaning – a mass grave should have information about who is buried in it.”


Море открывает свои тайны исследователям. Фото: Разведывательно-водолазная команда

The future plans of Konstantin Bogdanov's “Underwater Exploration Team” for the season include an exploration of the transport "Vtoraya Pyatiletka", the last big participant of the Tallinn Breakout in Russian territorial waters, as well as the transport "Vyborg". The completely defenseless “Vyborg” was the only one that a Finnish submarine was able to sink at the beginning of the war.

The expedition participants will create 3D models of the lost ships, identify damage, and fill in several more unknown pages of the history of the Great Patriotic War.