"Dont touch me"

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"Dont touch me"
"Dont touch me"


Reader, ponder these lines! The Soviet navy had famous battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. But not many have earned the memory and respect of ordinary sailors!

* * *

Several years have passed after the war, and one day, on an everyday and inconspicuous day, tugboats introduced a strange structure into the Northern Bay of Sevastopol - something like a large iron box.

The caravan followed the cruisers standing under the steam of gray masses and involuntarily attracted attention. Sailors watched from the sides of the ships, slowing things down. The gang in white canvas robes, chubby, meticulous.

- What is this, guys? It seems to be like a ship, but no stern, no bow …

- Look - anti-aircraft guns! One, two … four! Seventy-six millimeters! And a spotlight in the corner, broken … A strange vessel …

- You yourself are a "vessel"! Look!

The sides of the iron box sliding past bore black scorch marks - traces of the former fire and smoke, trusting the guide-tugs, blindly looked at the light through the broken eye sockets of the portholes …

Conversations fell silent of their own accord. And it became obvious to those who did not fight that the iron box honestly lived out its naval age. Experienced officers and foremen immediately recognized her:

- It's a floating battery! The famous "Don't touch me!"

- Legend, not a ship … Tell - you will not believe …

And right there, first on one, then on the other, and so on all the ships, the orders were given to "quietly, take off the hats." Beeps sounded lingeringly over the bay, the sailors froze on command "at attention", the officers saluted the floating battery passing by …



This time I want to tell you about the strangest warship in the Soviet Navy. It is not mentioned in any reference book on the Navy, although it is this ship that holds a unique combat record. They shot down more than all the Nazi planes - 24 in nine months (for 16 downed planes, the pilots were given the title of Hero of the Soviet Union). None of our ships have achieved more. This is the floating anti-aircraft battery No. 3 "Don't touch me."

Before the war, construction of 23 new battleships began at all major shipyards. At the Baltic plant "Soviet Union", at the plant named after A. Marty (Nikolaev) "Soviet Ukraine", in Molotovsk (Severodvinsk), at the Sevmash plant "Soviet Belarus". An experimental compartment was created in Nikolaev, which is the middle part of the citadel of future battleships, with a deck area of about 800 sq. meters. After the end of the tests for seaworthiness, accident rate and survivability, the compartment was placed at the pier of Troitskaya Balka, where it stood until the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.


The godfather of battery No. 3 was a hereditary sailor, captain of the 2nd rank Butakov Grigory Andreevich, G. А. Butakov belonged to the famous dynasty of naval officers Butakovs, leading its lineage since the time of Peter the Great, and was the grandson of Admiral Grigory Ivanovich Butakov - the hero of the First Defense of Sevastopol in 1854-1855, the founder of the tactics of combat operations of the armored fleet. It was Grigory Andreevich who came up with the idea to equip a rusty battleship compartment with pierced sides for a floating anti-aircraft battery for air defense of Sevastopol from the sea. Komflot F. S. Oktyabrsky supported the report of the captain of the 2nd rank, and the People's Commissar of the Navy N. G. Kuznetsov approved this idea.

In July 1941, on the "square" (as the compartment was called in official documents), work began on the installation of general ship systems and the installation of weapons. And on August 3, 1941, a naval flag was raised on a separate floating battery No. 3. By the order of the commander of the Black Sea Fleet of August 4, she was included in the Protection of the water area of the Main Base.


Senior Lieutenant Sergei Yakovlevich Moshensky (flagship specialist of anti-aircraft artillery of the fleet) was appointed commander of floating battery No. 3, senior political instructor Nestor Stepanovich Sereda (military commissar of the 54th anti-aircraft battery) was appointed military commissar. The crew of the floating battery was 130 people (according to other sources, 150), 50 of them were called up from the reserve, the rest were recruited from all parts and ships of the Black Sea Fleet. The battery commanders were young lieutenants, recent graduates of the Black Sea Higher Naval School.

The artillery of floating battery No. 3 was consolidated into three gun batteries:

- two 130-mm gun mounts B-13 (supplied from the arsenal), battery commander - Lieutenant Mikhail Z. Lopatko; the ammunition load of the guns included "diving" shells to combat submarines;

- four 76, 2-mm anti-aircraft guns 34-K, battery commander - Lieutenant Semyon Abramovich Khiger;

- three 37-mm 70-K anti-aircraft guns, battery commander - Lieutenant Nikolai Danshin;

- three 12, 7-mm anti-aircraft machine guns DShK.


Sailors have always been famous for the sharpness of their language, and soon the "square" jokingly began to call "Columbine". The history of the appearance of the name "Don't touch me" has two variants.

Official: the battery is named after the armored floating battery "Don't Touch Me", which was part of the Russian fleet in the second half of the 19th century. Unofficial: shortly after commissioning, a song was born on the floating battery.

“Don't touch me, damn fascist!

And if you break the silence of the sky, From my fiery embrace

You can't fly back alive!"

According to the first words of this song, the battery was called: "Don't touch me."

The Germans called the floating battery No. 3 "Carry, Lord" and "Death Square".

On August 9, the traditional naval command “Prepare the floating battery for battle and the march” (oh, what a song it was: “Tank to the tank, to the poop, waist to the waist. The tugs began to take the battery to the outer roadstead, the signal of a "happy voyage" sounded on the signal mast of the Konstantinovsky Ravelin, after passing the boom, the tugs turned towards the village of Kacha (in Soviet times, there was the 3rd anchorage point). As soon as they got to a dead anchor and released the tugs, a combat alarm sounded on the battery. From the sea side, 6 Ju-88s went to Sevastopol, the first combat fire was unsuccessful, the Junkers skillfully left the firing zone. The battery's parking space was fenced off with several rows of anti-submarine nets. The floating battery solved problems in close cooperation with the second division of the 61st artillery regiment. Communication between the command post and the battery was carried out by radio.

After the battle on August 9, the Germans appreciated the importance of the new Russian floating battery, and on August 18, 1941, they raided the battery directly. A raid of 9 Ju-88 bombers was repelled, during which 36 bombs were dropped on the battery.

On August 31, 1941, at 10:25 am, at a distance of 21 kb, the battery's signalmen spotted the submarine's periscope. The battery opened fire with 130mm guns, firing 15 rounds of "diving" shells. At 16:27 at a bearing of 300 ° at a distance of 50 kb, a large explosion was observed from the battery.

Guarding the Chersonesos airfield

In early November 1941, severe storms began on the Black Sea. The strength of the anchor was not enough to hold the floating battery in place and the waves began to beat it to the shore, which was already occupied by German troops. In addition, the accuracy of the fire of the anti-aircraft gunners of the battery in conditions of strong waves has significantly decreased. At the suggestion of NA Ostryakov, recently appointed commander of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force, it was decided to change the site of the "square". On the night of November 10-11, 1941, the sea tugs SP-13 and SP-14 transferred the battery to the Cossack Bay and ran aground to make it more stable. The command set a new task for the crew - to cover the Chersonesos airfield with anti-aircraft fire.

On the afternoon of November 29, 1941, anti-aircraft gunners of floating battery No. 3 won their first victory - a Bf-109 fighter was shot down, which fell on the shore.

On January 14, 1942, the anti-aircraft gunners of the battery chalked up another Ju-88, the plane crashed into the sea. In total, during this day, repelling the attacks of enemy aircraft, according to the commander's report, ammunition of 76 caliber was used, 2 mm - 193 rounds, 37-mm - 606 rounds, cartridges for DShK machine guns - 456 rounds.

On March 3, 1942, a He-111 was shot down by battery gunfire.

In March 1942, the battery commander S. Ya. Moshensky was awarded the next military rank of lieutenant commander, and for military merits he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. Other crew members also received awards for the downed aircraft.


On June 9, 1942, at 14:13, floating battery No. 3 was bombarded from a dive by three enemy Ju-88 aircraft in three dive approaches. During the third call, a direct hit from a 76, 2-mm projectile knocked out one plane, which dropped sharply, lost speed and fell into the sea at a distance of 110 kb. From 14.45 to 15.00, while repelling a raid on the airfield of a large group of enemy aircraft Ju-88 (up to 40 vehicles), moving from Balaklava at an altitude of 4200 meters and diving during bombing to an altitude of 1800-2500 meters, good breaks and straight lines were observed from the battery. hitting shells of caliber 76, 2 mm and 37-mm machine guns. One aircraft, which received a direct hit in the fuselage in the area of the wings, turned sharply back and fell into the sea even before the dive began. The second plane, which received two bursts of direct hits from 37-mm machine guns, fell into the sea. During the firing, 76, 2-mm shrapnel - 95 pieces, 76, 2-mm distance grenades - 235 pieces, 37-mm fragmentation-tracer grenades - 371 pieces, cartridges for DShK machine guns - 291 pieces were consumed. The battery had no losses or damage. For 76, 2mm guns, only 602 rounds were left.

On June 12, 1942, at 19:30, a Bf-109 was shot down by artillery fire from a battery, which was trying to attack an IL-2 approaching landing. The damaged enemy fighter, accompanied by two Bf-109s, headed for Belbek and later fell in the Uchkuevka area. I will dwell on this episode in more detail.

From the memoirs of Colonel Miron Efimovich Efimov, Hero of the Soviet Union.

“… The terrain is familiar to the smallest details. We have walked this route dozens of times. The road to Sevastopol goes to the left, right below are the hills and behind them the forward positions of our troops.

We noticed German tanks right away. True, they turned out to be less than expected. Maybe before there really were more of them, but now only two went to Sevastopol, shooting lazily.

I gave Turgenev a signal: “You are working on the second! Let's attack!"

We rushed down. The cannon tracks dug into the road, dug into the tanks … I brought the attack aircraft out of the attack, looked around. The tanks were on fire. In accordance with the unwritten Sevastopol tradition, we passed over the nearest sector of our forward positions. We noticed German infantrymen gathering under the mountain. They stormed. We went through the fire. Apparently, they thwarted the planned attack: the Nazis, like cockroaches, scattered along the craters and cracks …

coming out of the dive, I abruptly threw the car to the side. It was an old tried and tested technique. After all, I had just attacked and my attention was riveted to the battlefield, which means that for some time I did not have the opportunity to follow what was happening in the air behind me. Precaution saved my life! Where my stormtrooper had been a moment ago, a burst of cannon flashed. The "messers" followed us. Looking around, he noticed that there were four behind me. And for Turgenev - no less …

I threw the plane from side to side, described arcs, made zigzags. I did everything to prevent the attacking Messers from guessing my next maneuver, not pinching me in pincers … Cossack Bay, an airfield appeared, but you can't land … The Messers did not lag behind. They wanted to destroy me during the landing. What should be done?

I make a turn, below is the mirror of the bay and suddenly a salutary thought: go to the floating battery! Descend, go over it, and if the "messers" dock, the batteries will surely cut them off with fire, knock them off course, and in the meantime, maybe they will be able to land!

I went to the floating battery. Here it is, an almost square, iron box the size of a matchbox. Below, even lower! Now the battery is already the size of a book. The battery grew in size. People are already clearly visible near the guns and machine guns … The barrels of the guns are turned in my direction. A thought flashed through: "Wouldn't they be mistaken for a German?" Shook his wings …

swept over the battery. For a moment I saw the faces of people quite clearly. I noticed the smoke - a shot from one of the guns. The coast was approaching, and here was the landing strip. Going against the wind - there is no time. It is also impossible to wait until the next German long-range shell falling exactly 40 seconds later explodes at the airfield …

…. Now, remembering the past, I can say with full responsibility, testify: on that day, floating battery No. 3, the legendary “Don't touch me!”, Saved my life."

June 19, 1942 on "Don't touch me!" the next, 450th in a row, raid of German aircraft was made. Due to the lack of ammunition for the guns, the German pilots managed to break through to the battery. At 20.20 one of the bombs hit the left side of the "square", the second exploded right at the side. The crews of anti-aircraft guns and machine guns were killed or wounded, a fire broke out in the aft artillery cellar, which, however, was extinguished. The battery commander was fatally wounded, 28 crew members died. Twenty-seven sailors were wounded, who were transferred to the shore by boats. By the evening, the crew managed to commission a 37-mm machine gun and two DShK machine guns, but there was practically no ammunition for them.

On June 25, 1942, only cartridges for machine guns and several clips for 37-mm anti-aircraft guns remained on the battery of ammunition. On this day, Submarine No. 3 was destroyed by the crew of Ju-88 of Chief Lieutenant Ernst Hinrichs from the 2nd Squadron of the KG 51 "Edelweiss" squadron. For this victory, Hinrichs was immediately presented to the Knight's Cross, which he received on July 25, 1942.

By June 26, 1942, less than half of the active barrels and personnel remained on battery No. 3. The seriously wounded, including the commissar NS Sereda, were sent to Kamyshovaya Bay. And on June 27, 1942, according to the order of Rear Admiral V. Fadeev, floating battery No. 3 was disbanded. The sailors went ashore and joined the marines defending the Chersonesos airfield and the 35th coastal battery. The wounded were taken to the mainland by the ships of the Black Sea Fleet. On July 1, 1942, Sevastopol fell …

"Dont touch me"
"Dont touch me"


Mortally wounded Lieutenant-Commander Moshensky S. I was transported by boat to the shore, where he died in a medical battalion in Kamyshovaya Bay. The burial place is not known, but it can be assumed that this place is in the area of the current "Admiral's Lagoon" and the former missile unit "Cologne".

Battery Commissioner Sereda N. S. was seriously wounded. The wounded man was carried out by the surviving sailors. On the leader "Tashkent" was taken to Novorossiysk. He underwent treatment in hospitals. After the war he lived in Sevastopol, served in the Black Sea Fleet until 1954. Resigned with the rank of colonel. He passed away in 1984. Buried on Dergachi.

The killed floating batteries were buried in the sea according to naval custom.

From the notebook of the downed fascist pilot Helmut Winzel:

"Yesterday my friend Max did not return from the" square of death ". Before that, Vili, Paul and others did not return from there. We have already lost 10 aircraft in this square. terrible and merciless. What kind of people are there who shoot down our pilots with a few shots?"

From Wolfgang Dietrich's book "Edelweiss Bomber Squadron":

“At this time, I./KG51 operated together with the VIII Air Corps under the command of Oberst General Wolfram von Richthofen. It is worth mentioning one of its successes, because thousands of German soldiers could observe it from the“stands”on the heights around the Northern Bay in Sevastopol.

For weeks, a floating anti-aircraft battery with 164 guns mounted on it, anchored in the Northern Bay, directly near the large lighthouse at Cape Chersonesos, fired destructive fire. It prevented the German land, sea and air forces from conducting effective attacks on the strongholds of the fortress. Regardless of where the bombers flew from, from Tiraspol, China or Sarabuz, this floating anti-aircraft battery was a real thorn for them - and at the same time very unpleasant …"

The best reward of a warrior is the fear of the enemy, the Germans, with fright, stuck as many as 164 guns into a rectangle measuring 20x40 meters!

German air defense cruiser "Niobe", armament:

- 105 mm guns, 8 pcs.;

- 40-mm anti-aircraft guns, 25 pcs.;

- radar.

The bridge and superstructures are protected by armor, the deck is filled with a thick layer of concrete, the crew of 350 people had the ability to maneuver. Sunk on 16 July 1944 in the Finnish port of Kotka.

26 aircraft took part in the raid directly on the cruiser, the raid lasted 8 minutes, 88 bombs were dropped, two FAB-250 and two FAB-1000 hit the cruiser. The cruiser capsized and sank. The Germans managed to shoot down one A-20 (top mast).

On the floating anti-aircraft battery No. 3, 451 raids were made, 1100 bombs were dropped!

According to various sources, in 7 months of fighting, the battery shot down from 22 to 28 enemy aircraft. This is a kind of record - no ship of the USSR Navy has the best result. Three documents at once (the report of the commander of the floating battery, Lieutenant-Commander Moshensky about the battle, indicating the time and place of the plane crash, confirmation from the VNOS posts, or reports and reports from units that witnessed the downing, as well as the report of the operational officer on duty for OVR indicating the type, time and the location of the downing of the aircraft), 18 victories of the anti-aircraft gunners of the battery were confirmed:

On November 29, 1941, Bf-109 was shot down by a 37-mm crew. The plane crashed near the Chersonesos airfield.

On December 17, 1941, during a raid on the Chersonesos airfield, a 37-mm FORA shot down a Ju-88, which fell in Kamyshovaya Bay 500 m from the battery.

On December 22, 1941, during a raid on the Chersonesus airfield, a 37-mm ZA crew shot down a Ju-88, which fell near the airfield.

On December 23, 1941, during a raid on the Chersonesus airfield, a Ju-88 was shot down by the calculation of 76-mm guns. The plane crashed off the coast abeam the airfield.

On January 17, 1942, during a raid on the Chersonesos airfield at 10:24 am, a 37-mm FORE shot down a Ju-88, which fell at the location of the 35th battery.

On January 17, 1942, during a raid on the Chersonesos airfield at 13h 21m - 13h 31m, two He-111s were hit and left towards Kachi.

On April 14, 1942, during the second raid on the Chersonesus airfield by the calculation of 37-mm FOR, a Ju-88 was shot down, which fell at the location of the 92nd BACK.

On May 27, 1942, during a raid on the Chersonesus airfield, two Bf-109s were shot down by 37-mm FORE calculations. One plane crashed at Cape Chersonesos at the airfield, the second in the sea at Cape Fiolent.

On May 27, 1942, during the second raid on the Chersonesus airfield, it was shot down by the calculation of the 76-mm ZO Do-215. The plane crashed into the sea at a bearing of 220, removing 8 cables.

On June 9, 1942, three raids were made at the Chersonesos airfield at once. Three Ju-88s were shot down by 37-mm ZA crews during these raids. The planes fell: one at the coastline, one at sea, one at Cape Fiolent.

On June 12, 1942, a 37-mm ZA crew shot down a Bf-109, which fell to the edge of the Chersonesos airfield (chasing our downed fighter; the German pilot survived and described everything in his memoirs after the war).

On June 13, 1942, two raids were made on the Chersonesos airfield. At 4:50 pm, the crew of the 76-mm ZO shot down a Ju-88. The plane exploded in the air.

On June 14, 1942, the enemy made three raids on the Chersonesos airfield. Three Ju-87s were shot down by the crews of 37-mm ZA and 76-mm ZO. One fell in the area of the Chersonesos airfield, one fell into the sea and one near the lighthouse on Chersonesos. Two more Ju-87s were damaged and left in the direction of Kachi.

On June 19, 1942, during a raid on the Chersonesus airfield, a 37-mm ZA crew shot down a Ju-88. The plane fell into the sea 10 kb from the floating battery.

At least six more victories are confirmed by a single source (report of the OVR duty officer, reports of the commander of the 92nd ZAD and the commander of the IAP), but they did not find reports from the battery commander Moshensky, or a second confirmation. It should be noted that not all of Moshensky's reports have survived.

"Cold waves rise as an avalanche

Wide Black Sea.

The last sailor left Sevastopol, He leaves, arguing with waves.

And a formidable salty raging shaft

Wave after wave broke the boat.

In the misty distance, no land is visible, The ships have gone far …"


That was how they were in the summer of 1941 before being assigned to a floating battery. From left to right: Ivan Tyagniverenko, Ivan Chumak, Dmitry Sivolap, Alexander Mikheev


Viktor Ilyich Samokhvalov, foreman of the battery of 37-mm submachine guns

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