Narodovolets - D2
Laid down on March 5th 1927 at the Baltic plant Leningrad (St Petersburg) and launched May 19th 1929 and commissioned on October 31 1931, the Narodovolets D2 was the second submarine of six that made up the Dekabrist class and would be assigned to the Northern fleet based in Murmansk, The name Narodvolets means a member of Narodnya Volya.
On the 18th of May 1933 the D2 and sister submarine D1 made the long voyage to the North rounding North Cape Norway, before entering Murmansk.
In 1939 the submarine returned to Leningrad for repairs and upgrades, the work would take nearly two years, but she would be ready for the invasion of Russia by the Germans in 1941.
In June 1941 the submarine was detained by the Soviet Baltic fleet for further use and by the summer of 1942 she was home based in Khronstadt, along side other submarines that were newly built, by this time the Germans had already advanced up towards the River Neva, however she did participate in exercises in preparation for combat patrols.
Between September 23rd and November 7th, the Submarine would undergo a combat patrol in which she sank the Fritz Jacobus a 4,000ton coal carrier and damaged the 3,000ton coastal merchant Deutschland, after this patrol she returned to Khronstadt.
On October 1944 her next assignment was to patrol the area around the southern tip of Finland, this proved fruitless and the submarine was damaged having to return using just her screws for steering, on the 30th October 1944 she was in port at Turku, Helsinki awaiting repair.
She would go on two more war patrols and receive damage, but by the end of the war on May 7th 1945 the submarine was at sea and on the 18th May 1945 she returned to Turku Finland, during her career the submarine would be credited with 5 sinking’s as depicted on the sail of the submarine (red star with the number 5 in the middle).
After the war the submarine would continue to serve in the fleet right up until the middle of 1956 when she was decommissioned, however even after decommissioning the submarine would serve as a training vessel for damage control operations until 1976.
on August 18th 1986 General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the decree authorising the submarine to become a museum, between 1987 and 1989 she was fully restored to her world war two appearance, and in 1994 became part of the Central Naval Museum St Petersburg, she remains open to the public to this day.
Translation of deepstorm. ru and write-up courtesy of Blair Shaw
To organize a more rewarding and in depth tour on any naval museum ship or naval museum in Russia please speak to Captain 1st Rank Igor Kurdin and his associates at the Submarine Veterans club by contacting him via email at Subclub@mail.ru
Alternative website: Saint-Petersburg.com