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"When the Youth was throwing us onto Kronstadt ice"

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  • "When the Youth was throwing us onto Kronstadt ice"

    Last Sunday, on the 7th of March, I took part in an "extreme" hike across the ice of the Gulf of Finland. It was organised by the guys from the "Silver Ring" and many of its participants were people from the Club for History and Fortification, which I'm always glad to promote.

    The hike was scheduled for the 70th anniversary of the Kronstadt revolt. Here's some information about this event:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kronstadt_Uprising

    The discontent had grown into full rebellion. When Kalinin reported back to Lenin and Zinoviev, their response was to isolate the island, order a press blackout, and organize special shipments of clothing, shoes, and meat into Petrograd. In an ultimatum issued on March 5, they branded the insurgents as puppets of the White Army. Lev Trotsky was sent to Petrograd to organize the armed response. He assembled as many loyal troops as he could under the command of Mikhail Tukhachevskii, and on March 7 began the bombardment of the island by the great guns of Petrograd. Over the next ten days three bloody assaults were launched against the fortress. Troops marching across the ice were slaughtered, but they gradually depleted the strength and supplies of the rebels. Though the government forces lost hundreds of dead and thousands of wounded, they numbered about 45,000 troops by March 16, when the final assault was launched. Clad in white snow capes, and bolstered by hundreds of volunteer delegates from the Tenth Party Congress then proceeding in Moscow, the troops attacked by night from three directions and forced their way into the city. Vicious fighting ensued throughout the city, and by March 18, the revolt was crushed. Many rebels escaped across the ice into Finland; many were killed in the fighting, and many who survived were executed or sent to prison camps.
    http://www.soviethistory.org/index.p...tadt&Year=1921

    We got off the bus near fort #5 and saw all forts up to #1 in reverse order.



    The ice was thick enough and there wasn't that much of "extreme" about the walk, although some cracks in the ice looked suspicious.





    Fort #6 that we saw from the distance


    Fort #5, built in the second half of the 18th century




    Machinegun bunkers built next to the fort to protect it from surprise enemy raids. They were built on all fort islands in 1941, as well as infantry shelters, rangefinder posts, etc.



    www.histours.ru

    Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

  • #2
    In some places the snow was solid enough



    But sometimes it was nearly hip-high


    Fort #4








    The guide (A. Goss) told us there was some kind of incendiary weapons testing inside several fort buildings. The temperature was so high that many bricks melted like wax!









    Everybody to to the top of the observation/rangefinder tower
    www.histours.ru

    Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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    • #3
      Just checking if these devious Finns are up to any mischief


      Remnants of some communications equipment


      View from the top of the tower




      We weren't the only ones on the ice, by the way





      Forts #5 and 6, and the Northern Power and Heating Station in the far right corner of the picture



      Angle markings


      Weird things in the barracks archway


      Rear wall of the fort


      Southern side of Fort #4. Take note of whole 3 bunkers guarding its approaches
      www.histours.ru

      Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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      • #4
        Bunker on Fort #3


        Lunch break with Finnish pea soup with sausage


        Fort #2


        An old 19th century cannon built in a stone structure. Don't remember what it was used for.


        Views of the fort




        Just for the record, it wasn't exclusively a nerd-only trip



        Inside the fort


        Rear side of the fort


        And, finally, Fort #1


        By the order of Putin, those who don't display sufficient endurance on Great Patriotic Trips are sent to GULAG right on the spot!



        Rear side of the fort


        After visiting this fort we went to Kronstadt where we spent something like half an hour and then came back to the city.
        Last edited by ShAA; 11 Mar 11, 15:06.
        www.histours.ru

        Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ShAA View Post

          By the order of Putin, those who don't sufficient endurance on Great Patriotic Trips are sent to GULAG right on the spot!
          All hail our glorious leader!


          Nice pics buddy!
          “For there is nothing more serious than a lunatic when he comes to the central point of his lunacy.”

          Max Sterner

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          • #6
            I thought I might explain the title - it's a quote from Eduard Bagritsky's "Death of a Pioneer Girl"

            When the Youth was leading us
            In a saber battle
            When the Youth was throwing us
            Onto Kronstadt ice

            Battle steeds
            Were taking us away
            And on wide squares
            We were shot to death

            But, in our feverish blood,
            We were rising up
            And defianly opened
            Our sightless eyes

            Come to life, the unity
            Of warrior and raven -
            Strengthen up, the courage
            By means of steel and lead.

            Let the cruel earth
            Soak up in blood
            For the New Youth would
            Sprout from the bones.
            www.histours.ru

            Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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            • #7
              I cannot see the pics, why?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DANNGOC View Post
                I cannot see the pics, why?
                Hmm, all of them? They are on Picasa server which is owned by Google (I think so).

                I can see the pics now.
                www.histours.ru

                Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                • #9
                  A recent map of the forts, with causeway to Kronstadt included

                  www.histours.ru

                  Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                    We weren't the only ones on the ice, by the way




                    That's the devious Finns...great pics (as usual)!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kek View Post
                      That's the devious Finns...great pics (as usual)!
                      Heh, thanks Do the Finns go ice fishing on the Gulf too- and do they get drifted into the sea on big floes so that rescue services send helicopters to pick them up? This happens here all the time, and they still do it every year

                      By the way, do you have any info about the fate of several thousand rebels who escaped to Terijoki across the ice?
                      www.histours.ru

                      Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                        Heh, thanks Do the Finns go ice fishing on the Gulf too- and do they get drifted into the sea on big floes so that rescue services send helicopters to pick them up? This happens here all the time, and they still do it every year
                        I think there was some sort of similar incident on the Gulf of Bothnia a few years ago. I think we mostly stick to drowning at our lakes while ice fishing, but I'm not an expert on this matter (at least haven't drowned yet ).

                        By the way, do you have any info about the fate of several thousand rebels who escaped to Terijoki across the ice?
                        I haven't read anything on this before, but Finnish wiki says that they were first put to internation and concentration camps (and to be clear to some people, concentration camps were common term, and was a common term with many Western nations also, before the Germans changed the meaning of them) at the Karelian Isthmus, Vyborg and Mikkeli. After a few months they were inhabited to some farms (Vyborg area and Southern Karelia (from the sources in the wiki article)). Later most of them returned to Soviet Union (maybe because of the Ryssäviha (hatred of Russians) according to the second source (a book review ) in fore mentioned wiki article) and some stayed in Finland.

                        According to the first mentioned source of the wiki article, there isn't much research on them, so little is known of them. There also should be a documentary made of them for YLE (Finnish national tv + radio broadcasting company), I'll try to see if that is in their web archive and maybe I'll return to the subject sometime later .

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kek View Post
                          I think there was some sort of similar incident on the Gulf of Bothnia a few years ago. I think we mostly stick to drowning at our lakes while ice fishing, but I'm not an expert on this matter (at least haven't drowned yet ).
                          I think the first rule would be not to drink Koskenkorva while fishing on lakes or rivers In Russia, fishing is a good excuse for alcoholics to escape their families for a weekend with their drinking buddies, but ice fishing must be alcoholism at its worst.

                          I saw the gulf when I was in Rauma for half an hour or so (well, the box was rightfully ticked though)

                          I haven't read anything on this before, but Finnish wiki says that they were first put to internation and concentration camps (and to be clear to some people, concentration camps were common term, and was a common term with many Western nations also, before the Germans changed the meaning of them) at the Karelian Isthmus, Vyborg and Mikkeli. After a few months they were inhabited to some farms (Vyborg area and Southern Karelia (from the sources in the wiki article)). Later most of them returned to Soviet Union (maybe because of the Ryssäviha (hatred of Russians) according to the second source (a book review ) in fore mentioned wiki article) and some stayed in Finland.

                          According to the first mentioned source of the wiki article, there isn't much research on them, so little is known of them. There also should be a documentary made of them for YLE (Finnish national tv + radio broadcasting company), I'll try to see if that is in their web archive and maybe I'll return to the subject sometime later .
                          Thanks for the info!
                          www.histours.ru

                          Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                          • #14
                            Those forts look like "DIY delights" and "ideal for home handyman"

                            Great pictures, by the way.

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                            • #15
                              So that's what the Norse afterlife looks like!`
                              "They're inviting us to defeat them! We must oblige them!"
                              -Baron Munchausen

                              "Ah, 'tis midsummer madness, the music is my temples, the hot blood of youth! Come, Kapellmeister, let the violas throb. My regiment leaves at dawn!"
                              -Groucho Marx

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