The search expedition of the Russian Geographical Society and the Northern Fleet on the Kola Peninsula, timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, has ended. From July 9 to July 20, 2020, the research team studied the western coast of the Pechenga Bay in the Murmansk region, where fighting took place during the Great Patriotic War. Experts searched for the remains of soldiers, remnants of equipment and fortifications, studied the state of war memorials and military graves, carried out the evacuation of historical weapons and military equipment.
Pechenga is a bay in the Barents Sea, located at the point where the Pechenga River flows into the sea. The bay is 17 km long, 1–2 km wide, and up to 118 m deep. The coast is rocky and steep. The localities of Pechenga and Liinakhamari are located on the shore. The area where the bay debauches into the sea is located 25 km from the Russian-Norwegian border. At the exit of the bay is the German Peninsula.
Beginning in 1941, Pechenga was used by German troops and their Finnish allies to attack Murmansk. According to the armistice agreement of September 19, 1944, which ended the Soviet-Finnish war of 1941-1944, Finland ceded the Pechenga region to the Soviet Union. The actual occupation of the territory of the region by the Red Army took place in October 1944 as a result of the Petsamo-Kirkenes Offensive. The territory ceded to the USSR was later included in the Murmansk region of the RSFSR.
The expeditionary detachment was headed by Lieutenant Colonel, Head of the Missile and Artillery Armament Service Department of the Northern Fleet, Dmitry Dulich. The detachment consisted of naval infantry brigade soldiers, a group of sappers from a separate naval engineering regiment, crews of the “Nikolai Rubtsov” landing craft of the Kola Flotilla of All-arms Forces, a consolidated group of underwater operations, and a diving boat crew from the Search and Rescue Department of the Northern Fleet. The RGS was represented by 14 search specialists from Chuvashia. A total of 35 people took part in the expedition.
During the expedition, the researchers examined the military graves in the villages of Pechenga, Trifonov Ruchey, Liinakhamari and at Cape Krestovoy. They also examined the positions of the large-caliber coastal battery of high power "Suomi", the coastal torpedo battery, the 210-mm long-range coastal battery, the defensive positions on the Capes Romanov and German, the residential and economic shelters, and firing positions of 88-mm anti-aircraft and 155-mm artillery batteries at Cape Krestovy, an abandoned Finnish lead ore mine west of the Pechenga Bay, coastal facilities in Ares-Vuono Bay.
The members of the expedition repaired a monument at a military grave to three unknown scouts on the way to the German Peninsula, and landscaped a memorial to boatmen - Heroes of the Soviet Union. Also, work was carried out to set in order the mass grave site in the village of Liinakhamari.
The researchers evacuated a tank turret near the lighthouse at the northern end of Cape Romanov, a Pak 97/38 75 mm anti-tank gun, a 47 mm casemate anti-boat gun, and two 150 mm barrels. It is planned that the evacuated objects will be restored and presented at the Naval Museum of the Northern Fleet in Murmansk.