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Military mystery of Furugelma

The cannon of museum value and the secret heat and power station - what else hides the southernmost island of Russia?

Today the island of Furugelma in the Peter the Great Bay is a reserved area. There is no permanent population. In quiet weather, a small piece of land with steep rocky coasts can be bypassed by boat in just half a day. The main attraction is the huge bird markets. Only one colony of black-tailed seagulls counts here more than 50 thousand individuals. But once the loudest here were not gulls, but guns. At Fugurelme, the legendary battery No.250 was deployed.

Military mystery of Furugelma
After the Hasnan events of 1938, it became clear that a safe sea route from Vladivostok to Posyet Bay is needed - this is the only way to ensure prompt supplies of military units concentrated there. It was decided that coastal batteries would cover the ships with cargo. And in the autumn of 1938, a meeting was held in Vladivostok, in which the commanders of the Pacific Fleet and the Red Banner Far Eastern Front took part. Points were selected for five batteries. One of them, which received the number 250, was installed on the island of Furugelm, located literally next to Lake Hassan and the River Misty.

Just before the start of World War II, in 1939-1940, four 130-mm B-13-2c artillery guns were brought to the island. Since the beginning of the 13-s of the last century, B-30 series guns began to be produced at the Bolshevik plant in Leningrad (the former Obukhovskoye steel plant of the Navy Department). Ship tests showed: prototypes are malfunctioning, especially many complaints were to the rammer. We tried to eliminate the flaws, and from 1939, the company began to produce artillery mounts of the second B-13-2 series, where the rammer, rollback brake, vertical guidance mechanisms, etc. were improved. The first copies of the new series were produced with a box-shaped shield, and from the second half of 1939, the shape of the shield was changed to streamlined.

The second series guns were not perfect either, but there was no time to upgrade. It was necessary to urgently create a line of coastal defense in the Far East. Therefore, it is possible that the very first, perhaps even the prototypes of these guns, with box-shields were received on the battery No. XXUMX on Fugurelma Island. And according to one of the leading specialists in domestic artillery, Alexander Shirokorad, not even prototypes were installed on the island, but unique “hybrid” installations made during the transition from the first series to the second. Shirokorad believes that their monoblock trunks of the 250 model of the year belong to the first series, and machine tools to the second.

Four guns of the battery No. 250 of the Hasan coastal defense sector were installed on an even terrace on the southern tip of the island. To control the fire of guns directly above the battery, about fifty meters up the slope, a concrete command and observation point with narrow viewing gaps was built into the ground. From the hills of Furugelma can be seen not only the Russian coast, but also the Korean coast, and even the mountains of China. Therefore, the guns "held" a zone with a radius of 30 kilometers along the entire perimeter - from Cape Gamow and Posyet Bay to Hassan.

All four guns of the No. 250 battery have been well preserved to this day. And today they have a special historical value: after all, almost all similar weapons were dismantled from ships and from coastal batteries after the war. In 1945, the production of the B-13 guns of the third series was set up, and the artillery units of the second series were replaced everywhere with new ones. So, the guns Furugelma today is not a place on a distant island, but in the museum of the history of domestic military equipment.

In 1940, another battery was installed on the island - No. 283, with four guns of 45 mm caliber. The total strength of the garrison on the island increased to 600 people. A two-storey stone house was built for the command staff. On the first floor worked sailor's kitchen and dining room, on the second there is a library, a food warehouse and a medical unit. There, on the second floor, officers lived with their families. The house was guarded around the clock, the watch was not clocked with live ammunition. The walls of the dilapidated structure have been preserved on the island to the present day.

In addition to the installation of artillery pieces, it was necessary to solve one more task - to protect them reliably from the landing of enemy troops, which was especially important in light of the sad experience of the past. Valentina Belyaeva, the wife of Fyodor Belyaev, who commanded the battery 250 1952 from 1956 for XNUMX year, said that before the battery appeared on the island, the SNiS point of service of surveillance and communications of the Pacific Fleet was located.

In 1938, a Japanese submarine swam to the banks of Furugelm. Then there was no technical opportunity to detect it. Landed saboteurs first killed a radio operator who worked in a separate building, meters in 20 from the main building. He managed to convey the message of the attack to the headquarters, but did not have time to react to the alarm. 27 red-fleet - the whole garrison of the island - perished.

Therefore, the best military engineers of the Pacific Fleet were attracted to the construction of anti-landing fortifications at Furugelma. Where an enemy landing could land, a shallow shore was protected by machine guns from concrete. And that saboteurs could not attack the battery under cover of night, on the slope under it was built a dugout, where they installed a huge searchlight with a diameter of one and a half meters. The remains of this searchlight with the marking "Searchlight Plant. LM Kaganovich "can still be seen today. On the island of Furugelma, also used the most advanced technology for those times: here was installed the so-called "heat detector" - a strictly classified thermal direction-finding station (TPS). For her on the northern tip of the island was built a rotunda - a cylindrical casemate of concrete. With the help of TPS, the approaching enemy ship, even in dense fog, could be detected at a distance of several tens of kilometers.

In a state of combat, all fortifications were maintained for several decades - until the beginning of the 60s of the last century. Therefore, they are so well preserved and today can rightfully be considered a monument of Soviet art of fortification.

But the attention of rare tourists is more attracted by another monument - Red Army soldier Nikolai Semenovich Edinsov. At the highest point of the island is an obelisk with a red star on top. The concrete pyramid shows the years of the young fighter's life - 1917-1939. Today, no one remembers either the history of this peer of the October Revolution, nor the circumstances of his death. It only remains to assume that the Red Army soldier was killed while building the battery - after all, until August 1945, she did not participate in the hostilities.

In the last year of the Second World War the battery No. 250, the only one of all the batteries of the Vladivostok Naval Defense Area, took part in the battle battle. The range of its coastal guns reached 25 km, which made it possible to render artillery support to the land units of the Red Army advancing on the Japanese troops. The battery fired the frontier positions of the Kwantung Army in the territory of modern North Korea, on the right bank of the Tumannaya River.

This is the only time Furulgelma guns could fire at the enemy, although the battery 250 remained in a combat-ready state and in the 50-ies of the last century, when the Korean War was going on. The permanent garrison remained on the island until the beginning of the 60-ies. And even in times of peace, life here was harsh. Valentina Belyaeva describes the life of the officer's family as follows: "The most difficult thing was with meals for children. In the food rations received: canned meat and fish, dried vegetables - potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, borscht from sauerkraut in jars, tomato paste 200 gr. - did not take, did not eat, tea - a pack 50 gr., One piece of laundry soap, two pieces of toilet, cereals. In spring and autumn, twice a year, when the destroyer came, they brought fresh meat (for one day, there is nowhere to store it). It was fresh only on paper: one of these days a sailor brought me a leg of lamb with a ration, there was a purple mark on it - 1937 year. It's in 1953! "Bread on the island had to be baked on its own, and for small children a cow was kept - only so it was possible to get fresh milk.

Problems with the garrison were added and periodic tsunami, although in those years on the island, even the words of such did not know. According to Valentina Belyaeva, in the middle of 50-x a huge wave washed away 12 cannon shells and all the coal that had just been delivered for heating in winter - 180 tons.

Photo: Alexander Holianov.

At the beginning of the 60-x, the battery 250 was decided to be conserved, the personnel was taken to the mainland. Artillery guns were brought to a non-combatant state, and the trunks were greased with a solidol and scored with wooden chops. Two sailors left the guns - they lived on the island as robinsons, almost completely at the stern. Only occasionally did the boat come with food and mail for the fighters.

In 1978, the military garrison of the artillery unit was finally disbanded, the island of Furugelm was transferred to the Far Eastern State Marine Reserve. It became a closed area, which could only be reached by passes. The fortified status was saved by fortifications with tons of expensive non-ferrous metal - they were not taken apart for scrap in the nineties. And today Furugelm is a real museum of military history in the open, which tourists can now visit.
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