#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Scheer had sunk 16 merchant ships and 6 escort ships in 2 trips to the Atlantic. The German command was sure about the unconditional success of the raid in the Kara sea. However, it was wrong. The cruiser succeeded in attacking the port of Dixon, but, “having met stubborn resistance from the patrol ship Dezhnev and the artillery battery, the Admiral Scheer was forced to retreat’. This is a quote from the 12-volume History of World War II.
Dozens of times superior in firepower to all Dixon batteries and ships in the bay, the German battleship retreated and left without completing any of its missions. This was a very important victory for the Soviet Union. There are also Norilsk pages in it.
The August feat of Dixon’s defenders is documented not only by the day, but also by the hour. Monuments to the heroes of the North sea were erected in the village. The mass grave of the dead sailors is preserved. On the Yuzhnaya Hill, there is a monument unveiled on the 40th anniversary of the defense on August 27, 1982.
The sailors sent the wounded in the battle with the Admiral Scheer to the Norilsk combine’s hospital for follow-up treatment, although initially they were planning to send them to Naryan-Mar. The Severomors (the North Sea battle participants) were brought to Norilsk in September. All of them had been acquainted with the head physician of the combine’s hospital Vladimir Rodionov, and the therapist of this hospital, Alexander Baev.
Rodionov, together with Baev, carried out more than 30 operations on Dikson in two days. The head of the sanitary department of the plant, Sergey Smirnov, who flew out with them, took part in saving the lives of sailors.
Disability after amputation of arms and legs did not allow all the defenders to return to duty. After being discharged, several people stayed in Norilsk. Former senior mate of the Dezhnev ship’s captain Sergey Krotov worked as a dispatcher in the technical supply department. Gunner Leonid Katsman – at the Thermal Power Plant. The school head was the former commander of the anti-aircraft gun Pavel Vasenin.
One of the Severomors Nikolay Volchek worked at the Norilsk TPP the longest – until 1950.
The icebreaker Semyon Dezhnev, SKR-19, which defended Dikson, repaired its 400 holes near Norilsk – in Dudinka. Locksmiths and electric welders were sent to help the port workers from Norilsk. The steamer was ‘cured’ for two weeks, and on September 14, it left the Dudinsky port.
Earlier in the photo project History spot we talked about the tour of the Moscow Academic Theater of Satire in Norilsk.
For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.
Text: Valentina Vachaeva, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive