As you know, on September 4, 1944, Finland withdrew from the war. By that time, the front line ran from Malaya Volokovaya Bay along the isthmus of the Sredny Peninsula and further - from Bolshaya Zapadnaya Litsa Bay to Chapr and Koshkaavr lakes. Here, stopped back in 1941, the Nazis erected a powerful defensive system in three years, consisting of several zones and many permanent structures. When the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation was prepared in the fall of 1944, the Northern Fleet (SF) was assigned the following tasks: to land amphibious assault forces in the rear of the enemy defense, prevent it from delivering reinforcements, block the ports of Petsamo and Kirkenes, ensure the safety of its communications in the Barents Sea and provide support ship fire and aviation offensive actions of our troops.
In accordance with these tasks, the Commander of the Northern Fleet, Admiral A. G. Golovko gave an order on the composition of the forces involved and their organization for the period of the fleet operation, which received the code name "West". He, with his marching headquarters and a liaison group, headed by the chief of communications of the fleet, Captain 2nd Rank V. V. At the flagship command post (FKP) in Polyarny, the chief of staff of the fleet, Rear Admiral V. I. Platonov and with him the deputy chief of communications of the fleet Captain 3rd Rank S. Bulavintsev, who ensured communication of the commander with the landing and covering ships, as well as with submarines. To organize interaction, the headquarters of the Northern Defense Region (SOR) and the headquarters of the 14th Army exchanged communication groups. 10 correction posts were also created in the combat formations of units of the 14th Army and 5 similar posts in the 63rd Marine Brigade.
Polozok, an energetic man who quickly navigated the situation, managed to control communications both at the VPU and at the FKP. The direct wire with Bulavintsev made it possible to do this quite quickly. By the way, at that time there were 5 submarines at sea, blocking the approaches to Petsamo and Kirkenes. The commander of the submarine brigade, Hero of the Soviet Union, Captain 1st Rank I. A. Kolyshkin, and the brigade's flag-signalman was Captain 3rd Rank I. P. Bolonkin.
When retractable antennas appeared in service in 1943, he energetically took up the introduction and achieved the equipment of anti-aircraft periscopes with HF antennas for many of the brigade's submarines, which immediately increased the secrecy of their actions. Moreover, Bolonkin, together with experienced submariners I. A. Kolyshkin, N. A. Lunin, I. I. Fisanovich, G. I. Shchedrin and M. P. Avgustinovich developed a schedule for submarine surfacing for communication with the shore, choosing a convenient time for this, as a result of which a so-called sliding schedule of such sessions appeared. Soon, the organization of communication with submarines, adopted at the Northern Fleet, began to be implemented in other fleets, and after the war it became the basis for building a system of long-range operational communication with submarines.
Another group of ships intended for artillery support of the actions of troops and amphibious assault in the operation was a squadron of ships of the Northern Fleet squadron. It was commanded by the chief of staff of the squadron, Captain 1st Rank A. M. Rumyantsev, and Captain 3rd Rank V. V. Lopatinsky, who, according to the experience of battles in the Black Sea Fleet, paid special attention to the organization of a clear and reliable communication of ships with correction posts, without which artillery support for the actions of troops on the coast could not be sufficiently effective.
The Northern Defense Region played a very important role in the operation. Its commander, Major General E. T. Dubovtsev (head of communications lieutenant colonel MV Babiy), controlled the actions of the ground forces of the region and the landing force after the landing. He deployed his command post near the VPU of the fleet commander. Air Force Commander Major General of Aviation E. P. Preobrazhensky (Chief of Communications Major NV Belyakov), Landing Commander Rear Admiral P. P. Mikhailov (flag signalman Lieutenant-Commander M. D. Zhuravlev) and the commander of a brigade of torpedo boats Captain 1st Rank A. V. Kuzmin (flag signalman, captain 3rd rank B. A. Smirnov).
The location of sheltered command posts near the VPU of the fleet commander and not far from the combat area ensured direct observation of the operation, reliable communications, timely information on the situation, and facilitated the organization of close interaction between tactical groups of the fleet and formations of the 14th Army. Having assembled the commanders of communications of units and flagship signalmen of the formations before the start of the operation, Polozok and Bulavintsev conducted their detailed instructions, examined in detail the issues of organizing communications of interaction and clarified the main tasks. In order to achieve surprise, it was forbidden to work on the transfer during the transition by sea to the landing ships, but with the beginning of the landing, for the efficiency of command and control of the forces, negotiations were even allowed to be conducted in plain text. The organization of the communication of the hulls with ships and coastal batteries, provided for their work in separate radio directions with duplication on short and ultrashort waves. A similar briefing was carried out by the chief of communications of the 14th Army, Major General A. F. Novinitskiy, having invited the chief of communications of the SOR, Lieutenant Colonel Babiy for the report. Together they examined in detail the organization of communications during the offensive of troops and landing.
Strictly according to plan, on October 7, 1944, the formations of the 14th Army dealt a powerful blow to the front edge of the enemy defense, broke through it and continued to develop the offensive. In three days of fierce fighting, Soviet troops on a 20 km front advanced up to 16 km into the depth of the enemy defense. And two days after the start of the offensive, on the evening of October 9, in the Pummanka Bay, the marines of the 63rd brigade landed for 10 large and 8 small hunters, as well as 12 torpedo boats. Having accepted 2837 paratroopers, the ships and boats went to sea at night. The first detachment of three torpedo and eight boats of the Ministry of Defense went under the command of Captain 3rd Rank S. D. Zyuzin, the second - out of ten big hunters - captain 3rd rank N. N. Gritsuk, the third - from eight torpedo boats of Captain 2nd Rank V. N. Alekseev. The general leadership of these detachments was entrusted to Captain 1st Rank M. S. Klevensky, from a specially equipped torpedo boat.
In order to distract the enemy's attention from the main landing forces, at the same moment in time a landing demonstration began in Motovsky Bay. With the support of fire from the destroyers "Gremyashchiy" and "Gromkiy", six boats, operating in two groups, landed 22 people each at the Pikshuyev and Mogilny capes, which, making maximum noise, moved inland for a distance of about 1 km. After disembarking, the boats remained at the coast, setting up powerful smoke screens, conducting intense artillery and machine-gun fire and even firing a couple of torpedoes over the rocks, which created the appearance of a large force landing. The radio operators on all these ships also "made a lot of noise on the air", maintaining the impression of a large number of landed units.
This contributed to the secrecy of the transition of the main forces to the landing points, and although the detachments were nevertheless found almost at the target, the enemy could not significantly interfere with the landing. First, three boats approached the shore and landed reconnaissance. The first detachment landed the paratroopers on the coast of the Malaya Volokovaya Bay in 20 minutes, and the landing of the entire 63rd brigade took less than two hours. By morning, the landing force reached the flank and rear of the fascists, who were defending on the isthmus of the Sredny Peninsula.
At the same time, simultaneously with the landing of the 63rd brigade, a joint reconnaissance detachment (195 people) headed by Captain I. P. Barchenko and Art. Lieutenant V. N. Leonov. This detachment had the task of traversing the tundra and capturing or destroying the enemy artillery batteries stationed at Cape Krestovoy, which covered the entrance to Petsamon-vuono Bay. The actions of this detachment were extremely important. The idea to seize enemy batteries by landing arose during the preparation of the operation and belonged to the Chief of Staff of the SOR, Captain 1st Rank D. A. Ace. Therefore, the organization of communication with this detachment was additionally developed.
On October 10, 1944, the Marines of the 12th Brigade and other units of the IDF attacked fortified enemy positions on the isthmus of the Sredny Peninsula. Overcoming obstacles and strong enemy fire, they broke through the enemy defenses, overcame the Musta-Tunturi mountain range and met with the units of the 63rd brigade at Lake Tie-Järve. Then both brigades, supported by attack aircraft, operating under the cover of fighters, began to move south and soon reached the Titovka-Petsamo road. At the same time, their immediate task was completed a day ahead of schedule, and the brigades continued to build on their success, moving towards Petsamo.
During this period of the operation, communications in units of the Marine Corps were maintained mainly by radio. The VHF radio stations A7-A played an important role here. Unit commanders made extensive use of them. In turn, the commander, chief of staff and operational workers of the SOR headquarters had the opportunity to conduct direct negotiations with the units, and the communications center of the SOR headquarters reliably provided communication with the headquarters of both brigades, with ships, fleet aviation headquarters and formations of the 14th Army.
The joint reconnaissance detachment also, on the whole, successfully coped with the combat mission. On the morning of October 12, he immediately occupied an enemy anti-aircraft battery at Cape Krestovoy. The first to break into there was the radio operator of the detachment S. M. Agafonov and senior sailor A. P. Wheat. Having taken possession of one of the guns together with other soldiers, they opened fire on the neighboring enemy coastal battery, which was also the target of their raid. However, the Germans were able to send reinforcements there from Linahamari. The position of the detachment worsened, ammunition ran out especially quickly. Helped out radio communication. Captain Barchenko gave a radiogram in which he requested urgent aviation support.
The fleet commander immediately sent attack aircraft and bombers to help the paratroopers. The scouts marked their location with rockets, and with fire tracer bullets - the position of the enemy. During the attack on the enemy by naval aviation, Boston aircraft dropped 5 parachute containers with ammunition and food supplies to the scouts. One of the packages contained batteries to power the radios. By evening, the Nazis went on the defensive, and then, having lost three quarters of their personnel, left the battery. On October 12, the fleet commander made a decision to immediately land an assault force at the port of Linahamari. For this, a consolidated detachment of sailors was urgently formed under the command of Major I. A. Timofeev, several hours were allotted for all the preparatory work, including the development of the organization of communications. Komflot, of course, instructed to organize her Runner. It was necessary, first of all, to provide the landing commander with communication with the VPU of the fleet commander, as well as communication with the Barchenko detachment at Cape Krestovoy, to connect the fleet commander with the commanders of groups of torpedo boats - Hero of the Soviet Union Lieutenant Commander A. O. Shabalin and captain 2nd rank S. G. Korshunovich, as well as with the commander of a group of hunting boats, Guards. captain 3rd rank S. D. Zyuzin. At the same time, the fleet commander decided to transfer its TLU to the command post of the commander of the torpedo boat brigade. And although he was also located on the Sredny Peninsula, this required promptness from the signalmen.
Polozok and his subordinates knew how to quickly develop communications documents, concisely setting out everything necessary in them. So, the commander of the airborne detachment was given instructions on the order of radio communication with the VPU of the fleet commander with the commander of the first airborne assault, with the Barchenko detachment, and in case it was necessary to establish communication with units of the 14th Army (when approaching them), outlined a wave of interaction and common call signs.
At 13 o'clock on the same day, the readiness of the radio communications equipment was checked on all boats allocated as landing craft, and the radio operators were instructed. At the control room, the brigade of torpedo boats used 4 radio stations with speakers. The new VPU of the fleet commander was provided with a telephone connection with the command post of the SOR. At 18 hours everything was prepared, and at 21 hours 45 minutes on October 12, having accepted the landing, the boats of Shebalin's group left the sea, after 7 minutes - Korshunovich, and after another 7 minutes - Zyuzin. At 2250 hours of the same day, a group of Shabalin's boats broke into the Linahamari harbor, and from midnight the landing of the entire landing force, numbering 660 people, was completed. The impetuous breakthrough of boats into the harbor, the speed and decisiveness of actions, the courage of the North Sea people ensured success. At the same time, the connection worked flawlessly. The speakers connected to the radio stations at the VPU played an important role. Thanks to this, all the negotiations and instructions of the commanders of the groups and boats who personally got in touch were clearly audible.
With the landing of the assault force, it was possible to listen to the radio exchange of the assault commander with the commander of the first throw. When one of the radio operators, believing that the noise was interfering with the fleet commander, turned off the speaker, Admiral Golovko ordered: "No, turn it on, turn it on. Let everything be heard." And everything was really heard: shots, the work of engines and Timofeev's team, orders from Barchenko and Leonov, negotiations between Shabalin, Korshunovich, Zyuzin and the commanders of their boats. The developing situation and the course of the operation in Linahamari were so clear at the VPU that no reports were required from the commanders of the groups of boats and requests from the fleet commander. From the negotiations between the landing commander and the commander of the first throw, it was also clear that they not only successfully landed, but also managed to gain a foothold.
The success of the landing of this landing directly in the port of Linahamari accelerated the capture of Petsamo (Pechenga). And on October 15, the Northern Fleet signalmen broadcast the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief to liberate the city - an important naval base and a powerful German defense stronghold in the Far North. Among those who distinguished themselves were the chief of communications of the Northern Fleet, Captain 2nd Rank V. V. The skimmer and the entire communications service of the fleet.
Subsequently, several more landing detachments captured a number of German communications and observation posts, lighthouses, etc., as well as, together with the troops of the Karelian Front, captured the port and city of Kirkenes. The fleet commander visited Linahamari twice. During his second visit there, he demanded that Polozok, as soon as possible, provide a wire connection between the fleet headquarters and Pechenga, and later with Kirkenes. For this, the damaged old communication line was restored and a new submarine cable was laid. The communications battalion of the SOR (commander Major Ivanov), a separate communications battalion (commander Captain Kuznetsov) and the line-repair communications company of the Kola region SNiS (commander, engineer-captain Bayushkin), quickly solved this problem. Captain of the 3rd rank I. N. Zhigula. And since Linahamari has become the main supply port for the troops of the Karelian Front operating in this direction and the forward base of the fleet, its communications center has become a support center in this area.
On October 21, Soviet troops reached the border with Norway, on the 22nd they captured the village of Nikel, and on the 25th, with the support of an amphibious assault, liberated the Norwegian city of Kirkenes. October 29, 1944 is considered the day of the completion of the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation by the Soviet troops and the Northern Fleet. As a result, 26 sailors were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. At the same time, naval signalmen also made a significant contribution to the success of the entire operation. She, as well as the escort of the last convoys in the Barents Sea in 1945, became the final stages of the Northern Fleet's military operations in the Patriotic War. Speaking about the North Sea signalmen, it should be remembered that at the first stage of the war, their work was affected by the lack of coastal radio transmitters, mobile communications, an extensive wire communication network, especially in the main directions. Signalers then could not even dream of, say, a 500 or at least 200 kilowatt ultra-long wave radio station to control submarines at depth. The Germans had such stations, and the Allies had several such transmitters. However, even with extremely limited capabilities, our signalmen coped with the tasks assigned to them and ensured stable control of the fleet forces in the most difficult combat conditions of the Arctic.