A war hero, a restaurant, a Museum: the hard fate of the icebreaker «Angara»

© Photo : Valery Panfilovtsy Icebreaker AngaraA war hero, a restaurant, a Museum: the hard fate of the icebreaker «Angara»© Photo : Valery Panfilov

Icebreaker «Angara», built in the UK in the late nineteenth century and was launched in the village of Listvyanka on lake Baikal, was carrying weapons and Marines, participated in the Russo-Japanese war, witnessed the battles between «red» and «white» was left in the lurch several times sank to the restructuring «worked» restaurant and dance floor, and nowadays became a Museum, dedicated to the development of Siberian navigation.

About the difficult fate of the legendary ship, RIA Novosti said the researcher of the Irkutsk regional Museum Raul Saidgareev.

Born in England

The Russo-Japanese war began on February 10 (January 28 old style) 1904. Exactly 11 years before this event — February 10, 1893 — Russia’s Finance Minister Sergei Witte at the meeting of the Committee of Siberian Railways has offered to arrange a ferry across lake Baikal to transport railway carriages and trains, plot the TRANS-Siberian railway between two stations of the southern coast of lake Baikal. For this purpose, Russia ordered the British company «Sir V. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co.» the construction of two icebreakers «Baikal» and «Angara».

They both the beginning of the war with Japan was launched. The first steam-powered icebreaker «Baikal», Russia has managed almost 80 thousand pounds. He had a hull high strength, double bottom, as heavy military courts, numerous watertight bulkheads provide buoyancy when getting random holes.

These two ships were to ply on the stretch between the stations Baikal and Mysovaya to connect two disparate section of the railway on the southern shore of the lake. The ferry-icebreaker «Baikal» in one voyage can carry 25 cars and a locomotive, «Angara» — 10 cars.

Transsib and Circum-Baikal railway

At the end of the nineteenth century the way from Moscow to lake Baikal could take up to three years. In terms of competition for the Eastern territory in 1891, started the construction of the TRANS-Siberian railway. It was conducted in opposite directions from Vladivostok and Chelyabinsk.

Built the TRANS-Siberian accelerated pace, but to combine the two branches did not give Baikal. To start the first track of Circum-Baikal railway (CRSs), it was necessary to break through 39 tunnels, to prevent the collapse of rocks to build 21 the gallery, to make a large number of bridges and embankments. All this under difficult climatic conditions, in the absence of required number of equipment and specialists, using picks and shovels.

In may of the same year Angara moved to «red» and became part of the Baikal detachment of ships to fight against Kolchak and kapelewski units.

«Angara» and «Baikal» could not survive the civil war. But he was lucky that during the fighting in the area of Listvyanka on the icebreaker, which was «red», shot guns are not Czechs, and Russian officers. They are consistently beaten by, so as not to damage the ship, but not give him to come closer,» says Saidgareev, Recalling memories of one of the captains of «Angara» George Lazo.

In the Soviet era icebreaker finalized until 1949 and was put into the overhaul, which lasted 11 years. But two years later, after the repair, in 1962, the ship was stopped in flight due to full depreciation of the equipment. For several years he stood at the port Baikal, from where it was towed to the Irkutsk reservoir. Icebreaker new life began only in 1988. To do this, cast adrift the ship thrice sank and thrice heroically raised.

The mastermind of the rescue of «Angara» was the Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Irkutsk regional branch of all-Russian society of protection of monuments of history and culture of Nikolai Salacki that 18 years was the mayor of Irkutsk. The community raised funds necessary for the revival of the ship.

But after the updated icebreaker stood immobilized, fate gave him a lot of surprises – the heroic giant had to work and restaurant and a dance floor, and the newspaper.

Only in 2015, the icebreaker was transferred to the Irkutsk regional Museum.

Touch the history

Today, the Museum «ice-breaker «Angara» exhibition, dedicated to the development of navigation on lake Baikal and the Siberian rivers. Among the exhibits you can see the layout is not preserved icebreaker «Baikal» and other ships that went across the lake from the XVII century.

The exhibition also presents a fragment of the interior saloon of the first class, the navigation devices, the original bell of the icebreaker «Angara», the personal belongings of the captains of the ship, donated to the Museum. It also presents the documents and materials on the history of shipping in the Irkutsk region.

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Svetozashchitnye Museum of the icebreaker «Angara» in the morning mistA war hero, a restaurant, a Museum: the hard fate of the icebreaker «Angara»© RIA Novosti / Alexey Svetozashchitnye Museum of the icebreaker «Angara» in the morning mist

One of the key in the exposition is the theme of the icebreaker-Museum. Visitors can walk on the deck «hangars» and down in the engine room, where the guide will tell about the technical equipment of the ship. For those wishing screenings of documentaries about the ships that were the glory of Russian fleet.

According to the Director of Irkutsk regional local lore Museum Sergei Stupin, «Angara» is unique not only because it is the oldest surviving in the world of icebreakers. «This ship is the pride of Russian shipping, the heroic worker and a fighter. The duty of the state to keep it in decent condition and pass on to future generations,» said Stupin.