Severonickel combine evacuation at war beginning was brilliant operation

Severonickel combine evacuation at war beginning was brilliant operation

August 03, 2021

The Monchegorsk combine became the first non-ferrous metallurgy enterprise to find itself in the front-line zone.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The decision to evacuate Severonickel was made on the fourth day after the war start.

The dismantled equipment, materials and cargo of Norilskstroy accumulated in Arhangelsk were taken by the steamers Pinega, Shchors, Uzbekistan and Klara Zetkin.

As follows from the report of the NKVD to the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR at the end of 1941, for the smelting and cobalt workshops under construction, they sent all the ‘stuffing’ from the same Severonickel workshops, plus a refining workshop and a laboratory complex. A large group of evacuated workers from the combine also embarked on the Shchors steamer.

The first convoy of ships set out on the Northern Sea Route on 23 July. Due to a possible attack by German boats, it had to change the originally planned route. The caravan arrived at the port of Dikson with a week delay. Partially unloaded, Pinega moored in Dudinka on August 10, 1941.

The Shchors with cargo and 562 passengers arrived at the Dudinsky port in the morning of 13 August.

According to the recollections of the Norilsk Combine’s future director Alexey Loginov, when the time came to load the Shchors in Arhangelsk, there was nowhere for an apple to fall on the steamer. Later he wrote that the combine was very lucky with the arrival of the Monchegorsk workers. It received specialists of all profiles.

After 77 years, you can read about the feat of the ‘monchegorians’ on a memorial plaque installed on 1 Kirov street, once called Monchegorskaya.

In the previous issue of the History spot photo project, we talked about the Norilsk Expeditionary Club, organized by geologists in the 21st century, and its In the Footsteps of Polar Expeditions project.

For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.

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Text: Valentina Vachaeva, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

August 03, 2021

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