Friday, February 4, 2011

Northern Fleet celebrated 70th anniversary of legendary K-21 sub

On Feb 3 Northern Fleet (NF) celebrated a 70th anniversary of the flag-hoisting ceremony on the legendary submarine K-21 which currently stays in central square of Severomorsk being a branch of NF Naval Museum. 

The submarine K-21 was built in Leningrad, arrived to Northern Fleet in Oct 1941 via White Sea Canal and started combat patrols at once. During the Second World War the sub conducted 12 patrols and won 17 naval encounters. Hero of the Soviet Union Capt 2 rank Nikolai Lunin made a great contribution to the sub's battle history. Under his command K-21 carried daring attack and torpedoed German battleship Tirpitz on July 1942; those actions disrupted Germany's plans to destroy convoy PQ-17
In Oct 1942 the crew of K-21 was awarded with the Order of Wartime Red Banner for excellent accomplishment of combat mission, and the courage and bravery displayed. 

In post-war years the legendary "Katiusha" continued service as a training sub, helping submariners to acquire damage control skills. 

In 1981 NF Military Council decided to memorialize K-21 submarine in honor of submariners lost in the World War II. 

In 1983 on the eve of Northern Fleet's 50th anniversary the Red Banner submarine K-21 took her place at Courage Square in Severomorsk as a memorial and a museum. Over half a million visitors have boarded the museum sub since its opening. 

Solemn activities related to the sub's 70th anniversary were conducted on Thursday at the central square of Severomorsk. Among attendants were NF Commander Admiral Nikolai Maksimov, representatives of Severomorsk administration and Murmansk regional government, servicemen of NF surface ship squadrons and naval cadets. 

Admiral Maksimov pointed out the significance of Ê-21 museum for patriotic education of NF mariners, and congratulated veterans of the Navy and museum staff on the jubilee. 

"While visiting K-21 museum, current generation of naval servicemen and their future shift – today's schoolchildren – penetrate into heroic past, have a lesson of patriotism, feel proud of their grandfathers who won the Great Victory in the most murderous war", said the commander. 

The meeting finished with wreath-laying ceremony. NF servicemen and cadets paraded on the central square.

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