7, but it did no damage. So the Canal is being invested in. Its construction was completed four months ahead of schedule, though it was entirely too shallow for the planned use. [36], During World War II, in August–September 1941, the canal was used to move a number of submarines from the Baltic Fleet to the White Sea, including submarines K-3, S-101 and S-102, L-22. Alternatively, from Lake Onega river ships can sail eastward into the Volga–Baltic Waterway. [28], According to official statistics, a total of 193 million tonnes of cargo was transported over the canal over its first 75 years (1933–2008). The canal was constructed by forced labor of gulag inmates. The horizontal axis is the length of the canal. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). On June 23, 1941, the day after the German invasion, 16 Finnish commandos were ferried to the canal by two German Heinkel He 115 seaplanes from Oulujärvi. and is it true that the Soviet leaders after opening the gates drowned 1000s of the men who were forced laborourers who built this? Two major seas … The White Sea-Baltic Canal connects Lake Onega with the White Sea. The current flows north from Lake Onega to the White Sea, and all navigation marks are set according to it. It is also linked to the water transportation system of European Russia by the White Sea–Baltic Canal, which empties into Lake Onega. Construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal (Belomorkanal). From Povenets, at the northern end of Lake Onega, the canal runs northward to Lake Vygozero (using seven locks), from which the canalized Vyg River (with 12 additional locks) leads to the White Sea. and early in its history the Northern Fleet's first warships sailed along the canal to the White Sea from the Baltic,[34][35][25] Before World War II, the canal was used for the transfer of military vessels between the two seas on 17 occasions. Thus the workers and engineers were never allowed the time, money or equipment necessary to build a canal that would be deep enough and safe enough to carry twentieth-century cargoes; consequently, the canal has never played any significant role in Soviet commerce or industry.[15]. On June 28, the canal was bombed for the first time by the Finnish Air Force, targeting Locks No. The White Sea–Baltic Canal (Russian: Беломо́рско-Балти́йский кана́л, Byelomorsko-Baltiyskiy kanal, BBK), often abbreviated to White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal) is a ship canal in Russia opened on Wednesday 2 August 1933. Lake Onega unites the canal with the Volga-Baltic Waterway, through which ships can reach the Baltic Sea and the Volga River itself. "Силовые машины" отгрузили вторую партию оборудования, предназначенного для восстановления Саяно-Шушенской ГЭС. During the 2007 season, the canal carried 0.4 million tonnes of cargo along with 2,500 passengers. The White Sea–Baltic Canal (Russian: Беломо́рско–Балти́йский кана́л, Byelomorsko–Baltiyskiy Kanal, BBK), often abbreviated to White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal) is a ship canal in Russia opened on 2 August 1933. Genrikh Yagoda, Deputy Chairman of the OGPU, as well as Berman, Firin, Kogan, and Rappoport were awarded medals for the completion of the canal by the Politburo on July 15, 1933.[18]. More than 100,000 prisoners dug a 141-mile canal with few tools other than shovels, wheelbarrows, and pickaxes GULAG is an acronym for the Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies of the Soviet Secret Police. Korablev, V.G.Makurov, Yu.A.Savvateev, M.I.Shumilov; Petrozavodsk, Periodika Publishers, 2001. [37][38] The White Sea–Baltic Canal is 141 miles (227 km) long, 23 miles (37 km) of which is manmade. Built between 1931 and 1933, the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal was the first massive construction project of the Gulag. There is a monument at Povenets for the prisoners who perished during the construction, and a smaller memorial in Belomorsk near the White Sea end. The principal cargo on the system is timber, much of it for paper mills and timber-working enterprises along the route. On August 28, the fifth and final bombing raid of the 1941 navigation season took place against Lock No. I'm planning a bit of a shindig around Scandanavia popping in to Russia for a little bit at somepoint. The volume was edited and compiled by Maxim Gorky and contributed to by various other Soviet writers. There was even a comedic play written about the canal by Nikolay Pogodin. After the canal had been completed and opened for navigation, the Belbaltlag (White Sea-Baltic Camp) was reorganized into the White Sea-Baltic Combine (Baltiysko-Belomorsky Kombinat [BBK]), still within the NKVD system, by an order of the Council of People's Commissars of August 17, 1933. In particular, he emphasizes that politics and public relations ruined the usefulness of the canal: Stalin seems to have been so intent on creating a highly visible symbol of development that he pushed and squeezed the project in ways that only retarded the reality of development. On December 5, Finnish troops entered Medvezhyegorsk. According to official records and accounts in the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, between 12,000 and 240,000 laborers died during the construction of the canal… Supposedly "reforging class enemies" (political prisoners) through "corrective labor", the working conditions at the BBK Camp were brutal, with the prisoners given only primitive hand tools to carry out the massive construction project. These locks are the southern slope of the canal. The White Sea–Baltic Canal (Russian: Беломо́рско-Балти́йский кана́л, Byelomorsko-Baltiyskiy kanal, BBK), often abbreviated to White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal) is a ship canal in Russia opened on Wednesday 2 August 1933. The White Sea canal. Н. А. Кораблёв, В. Г. Макуров, Ю. А. Савватеев, "White Sea Baltic Canal named after Stalin. Being an account of the construction of the new canal between the White Sea and the Baltic Sea. The White Sea - Baltic Canal For a long time, people thought about constructing a waterway between the White Sea and Lake Onega. As is discussed further below, during the 1930s a number of smaller naval vessels were transferred from the Baltic to the White Sea to provide warships for the Soviet Northern Naval Flotilla, which became the Northern Fleet in 1937.[25]. The canal runs for 141 miles along a route that was considered strategically important for the shipment of cargo. The company had plans to carry 800,000 tonnes of fuel oil over the canal during 2003, and to increase the volume to 1,500,000 t (1,476,000 long tons; 1,653,000 short tons) in 2004. We have double checked and the max height of the Canal is 102 meters, and 12 locks from there to the White Sea. The entire canal was constructed in twenty months, between 1931 and 1933, almost entirely by manual labor. Construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal . 4 and 20 had all been demolished. New cities and urban-type settlements developed along the route of the canal, such as Medvezhyegorsk, Segezha, Nadvoitsy. In August, the management of the BBK and most of the 800 canal staff were evacuated from Medvezhyegorsk to Lock No. [21] There were norms for labor, for example 2.5 m3 (3.3 cu yd) of hand-dug stone per day per brigade. The canal summit pond at 103 m elevation is 22 km (14 mi) long between locks 7 & 8. [41], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}62°48′N 34°48′E / 62.800°N 34.800°E / 62.800; 34.800, Profile of the canal showing the locks and elevation, Беломорско-Балтийский канал имени Сталина, Сроки работы шлюзов (Lock operation periods), from the site of the Russian Shipping Companies' Association. Minimum lock dimensions are 14.3 m (47 ft) wide by 135 m (443 ft) long. Volgotanker's alleged failure to contain the spill resulted in the Arkhangelsk Oblast authorities shutting down the oil transfer operation with only 220,000 tonnes exported. The White Sea-Baltic Canal was finished in the early 1930's, and it connects the White Sea with the Baltic Sea. The Soviets portrayed the project as evidence of the efficiency of the Gulag. In conditions of low visibility (less than one km) navigation is halted. The opposing armies held these positions until June 1944. Buildings are newly renovated and painted as well. Rebuilding was completed by July 1946, with navigation through the canal restored on July 28, 1946. Locks on the White Sea-Baltic Canal. The first massive construction project was the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal. What do you think?" Gorky, who had previously visited the Solovetski Islands labor camp in 1929 and written about it in the Soviet journal Our Accomplishments,[23] organized the White Sea trip, but did not himself join it. The Finns crossed the canal and captured Gabselga village to the east, but after a few days of fighting they were pushed back to the canal's western side. Source for information on White Sea Canal: Encyclopedia of Russian History dictionary. The following illustration depicts the profile of the White Sea–Baltic Canal. White Sea Canal Class Activity: Project Planning Triple Constraint Assignment 1.1 In the early After Finland left the war in September 1944, the damage to the canal, including the complete destruction of its southern section and the town of Povenets and damage to lighthouses and other structures, was repaired. The vertical axis is the elevation of the canal segments above mean sea level. During the reconstruction, the guaranteed depth of the fairway was increased to 4 meters, and the channel became part of the Unified Deep Water System of European Russia. Originally the abbreviation stood for zaklyuchyonny kanaloarmeyets (Russian: заключённый каналоармеец), literally "incarcerated canal-army-man". On December 6 in a -37 °C frost, Finnish troops captured Povenets, the southern entrance to the BBK. In addition to convicts and "special settlers", the Combine employed about 4500 free employees and a paramilitary security force. The BBK led to the development of Belomorsk as a major industrial city. The White Sea–Baltic Canal connects the White Sea with the Baltic Sea. This would significantly reduce the travel time and the cost of transporting goods, since it would not be necessary to bypass Scandinavia through the Barentsevo, Norwegian, Northern and Baltic Seas. The route of the northern slope runs through five large lakes; Lake Matkozero between locks 8 & 9, Lake Vygozero between locks 9 & 10, Lake Palagorka between locks 10 & 11, Lake Voitskoye between locks 11 & 12 and Lake Matkozhnya between locks 13 & 14. why they would do that? [29] In 2011, heavy equipment for the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydro power plant was shipped from Saint Petersburg via the canal, the Arctic Sea, and the Yenisei River. In November, a caravan of passenger vessels evacuating families of Povenets canal workers and residents, along with equipment, froze into the ice of Lake Vygozero. The company was fined and future operations were refused. The White Sea – Baltic Sea Canal (Russian: Беломо́рско–Балти́йский кана́л, Belomorsko–Baltiyskiy Kanal, BBK), often abbreviated to White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal) is a ship canal in Russia opened on 2 August 1933. [22] Shklovsky visited the White Sea Canal on his own rather than with the group. also, how long it took if know? [27] The commandos were to blow up the canal locks, but they failed due to heightened security.[26]. The canal empties out into the Soroka Bay of the White Sea at Belomorsk. Senkevich (Э. И. Сенкевич), chief of WSBC, November 16, 1931 – January 16, 1932, also assistant chief of the BBK Construction Directorate. Canal capacity and the annual volume of freight traffic increased several-fold. BACKGROUND The notion of a canal that would connect the Baltic and White Seas The Combine was charged with operating the canal and managing the economic development of the adjacent areas, including 2.8 million hectares of forest lands and the industrial facilities that had been constructed along the route. The total length of the waterway is 227 km (141 mi), of which 48 km (30 mi) are man-made. This canal connects the White Sea with Lake Onega, and having access to the Baltic Sea and the Volga-Baltic Waterway. The Soviet Union presented the canal as an example of the success of the first five-year plan. 7 on December 11 after the Red Army had retreated. Stalin White Sea – Baltic Sea Canal is a 1934 Soviet historical volume detailing the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal and the labor used to construct it. In addition, the Combine included 21 "special settlements" (spetsposyolok) with some 30 thousand residents, mostly dispossessed farm families transported to Karelia from the USSR's warmer regions. White Sea–Baltic Canal, Russian Belomorsko-baltiysky Kanal, system of rivers, lakes, and canals in northwestern Russia that connects the White Sea to Lake Onega, where it joins the Volga-Baltic Waterway (q.v.). Another upgrade took place in the 1970s. White Sea - Wikipedia However, in the 1930s the White Sea – Baltic Canal was built, and the Northern Dvina Canal lost its significance. On the night of November 12/13, another boat caravan froze in Zaonezhsky Bay near Megostrov Island, and was later captured by Finnish troops. [31], Russian (and later Soviet) naval strategists long believed that a well-designed canal system could help establish contact among the separate fleets based on Russia's Black Sea, Baltic, Arctic, Pacific, and Caspian coasts. A carefully prepared visit in August 1933 to the White Sea–Baltic Canal may have hidden the worst of the brutality from a group of 120 Russian writers and artists, the so-called Writers Brigade, including Maxim Gorky, Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Viktor Shklovsky, and Mikhail Zoshchenko, who compiled a work in praise of the project, the 600-page The I.V. The locks and the surrounding areas are newly renovated, including new fences with barbed wire at the top. The navigable channel is 36 m (118 ft) wide and 3.5 m (11.5 ft) deep, with a radius of curvature of 500 m (1,640 ft). The White Sea Canal was the regime's first “storm project” complete with an agenda for a project of national significance. The White Sea–Baltic Canal is 141 miles (227 km) long, 23 miles (37 km) of which is manmade. Some unfinished submarines from Leningrad's Baltic Shipyard and Gorky's Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard sailed to the new Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk. In the context of its time, the White Sea Canal—Belomorkanal, in Russian, or Belomor, for short—was not unique. It was constructed between 1 The commandos were Finnish volunteers recruited by the German Major Schaller, and were equipped with German uniforms and weapons, as the Finnish General Staff wanted no responsibility for the operation. By the morning of December 8, Locks No 1 to 6, and dams No. Maksim Gorky, Leopolʹd Averbakh, Semen Georgievich Firin, Amabel Williams-Ellis. The canal was constructed between 1931 and 1933 by forced labor of Gulag inmates. [19] The mortality rate was about 8.7%,[20] with many more sick and disabled. Transportation of oil from the Russian part of the Barents Sea region, as of January 2005, Photos and some info from Open Society Archives, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=White_Sea–Baltic_Canal&oldid=997603356, Buildings and structures built in the Soviet Union, Articles containing Russian-language text, Articles with Russian-language sources (ru), Articles with unsourced statements from December 2008, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, P. F. Aleksandrov (П. Ф. Александров), acting chief of WSBC, January 16, 1932, full chief from March 28, 1932, to at least January 15, 1933, E.I. John Lane, 1935 - Convict labor - 356 pages. [24], Until 1936, all financial transactions of the Combine were exempt from taxes and duties.[24]. Until 1961, its original name was the Stalin White Sea–Baltic Canal (Belomorsko-Baltiyskiy Kanal imeni Stalina). 1 was the first to be blown up. There was no action near the White Sea–Baltic Canal during the Winter War of 1939-1940, when the USSR invaded Finland. From the very first days of its opening the canal has been used mainly by cargo ships. In all, the Combine's employees accounted for about 25% of the population of the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Paul R. Gregory, Valery Lazarev and V. V. Lazarev, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 10:21. 1 to 7). The word is still in colloquial use. For example, in the summer of 2007, a large piece of equipment for Rosneft's Siberian Vankor Oil Field was delivered by the Amur-1516 from Dzerzhinsk on the Oka River, via the Volga–Baltic Waterway and the White Sea Canal to Arkhangelsk, and from there by the ocean-going SA-15 class Arctic cargo ship Kapitan Danilkin to Dudinka on the Yenisei River. The same can be said of the Magnitogorsk foundries and other…, …turn, is joined to the White Sea (via Lake Onega) by the. The latter term coined in an analogy with the words "krasnoarmeyets" meaning "member of the Red Army" or trudarmeyets (member of a labor army). (История Карелии с древнейших времён до наших дней / Науч. From inside the book . The History of the Construction" (, Беломорско-Балтийский канал имени Сталина. Its economic advantages are limited by its minimal depth of 3.5 m (11.5 ft),[citation needed] inadequate for most sea-going vessels. [30], In Soviet times, the canal was used for shipping oil products from refineries on the Volga River to consumers in the Murmansk Oblast and overseas. 6, 7, 8, and 9, followed the next day by Finnish troops advancing along the Finland-USSR border. White Sea Canal The White Sea-Baltic Canal is a grand Soviet construction built in 1931-1933 where prison labor of the Gulag was used for the first time. Over 100,000 prisoners dug a 141-mile canal with few tools other than simple pickaxes, shovels, and makeshift wheelbarrows in just 20 months. The White Sea–Baltic Canal (Russian: Беломо́рско-Балти́йский кана́л, Byelomorsko-Baltiyskiy kanal, BBK), often abbreviated to White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal) is a ship canal in Russia opened on Wednesday 2 August 1933. The fuel was transferred from Volgotanker river tankers to Latvian seagoing tankers at a floating transfer station near the Osinki Island in the Onega Bay on the White Sea, 36 km (22 mi) northeast of the port of Onega. The latter two are large Russian water bodies. Lock No. This depth typically corresponds to river craft with deadweight cargo up to 600 tonnes, while useful sea going vessels of 2,000–3,000 dwt typically have drafts of 4.5–6 m (15–20 ft). As of 2008, it carries only light traffic of between ten and forty boats per day. At least 12,000 workers died during the building process, according to the official records,[4] while Anne Applebaum's estimate is 25,000 deaths,[5] and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn estimated up to 250,000 deaths.[21]. It is likely that at least some of the visiting writers were aware of the brutality of camp life. [40], The canal system includes five hydroelectric power plants with total production capacity of 240 MW.[28]. Russia's Volgotanker Company, with a fleet of suitably sized petroleum tankers and ore-bulk-oil carriers, pioneered this route starting August 1970, when Nefterudovoz-3 delivered a cargo of fuel oil to the White Sea port of Kandalaksha.[31]. Omissions? Cargo tonnage peaked in 1985, with 7.3 million tonnes transported. The route of the BBK had become the front line, separating the Finnish troops on the canal's western bank from the Soviet forces on its eastern bank. [13] Although prison labor camps were usually kept secret, the White Sea Canal was a propaganda showcase of convicts "reforging" themselves in useful labor (Soviet concept of perekovka, reforging or rehabilitation). One of the most important construction projects of the first five-year plan (1929–32). It connects the White Sea, in the Arctic Ocean, with Lake Onega, which is further connected to the Baltic Sea. According to official records and accounts in the works of Aleksandr... Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images By the time construction began, the Soviet Union had already begun to execute several similarly grand, … the White Sea–Baltic Canal in the history of the Gulag. According to the Soviet account, in 1932 when Anastas Mikoyan visited the Belomorstroy construction site, Lazar Kogan asked, "Comrade Mikoyan, what shall we call them? [32] The White Sea Canal was also constructed with this military use in mind,[33] (Беломорско-Онежское государственное бассейновое управление водных путей и судоходства), which is also responsible for shipping on Lake Onega and in the Belomorsk harbor area (but not in the open waters of the White Sea). After Povenets there are seven locks close together, forming the "Stairs of Povenets". The White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal project took the lives of 12,000 of its construction labor workforce, which was made up entirely of inmates. The workforce for the Canal was supplied by the Belbaltlag camp directorate (White Sea–Baltic Corrective Labor Camp Directorate, WSBC) of the OGPU GULAG. That meant that all available resources should be invested to ensure the project was completed on time whatever the cost. The canal was the first major project constructed in the Soviet Union using forced labor. In 1935, the work was translated from Russian into English and subsequently published in England as The White Sea Canal and in the United … Once in Lake Onega, ships can exit the southwest shore through the Svir River (and its two locks) to reach Lake Ladoga and then proceed down the Neva River to Saint Petersburg and the Baltic Sea. Mikoyan approved. The White Sea Canal: A Hymn of Praise for Forced Labour. The route followed by the Baltic-White Sea Canal has been well-known since ancient times. Povenets, which had been demoted from a town to a village in the 1920s, now became a town again, and a large port. Speed is limited to 8 km/h (4.3 kn; 5.0 mph) in all artificial portions. With Germany's full-scale invasion of the USSR in 1941, supported by Finland in the Continuation War, the canal route became the front line. The Panama Canal, which is 80 kilometers long, was built in 28 years, while the 160-kilometers-long Suez Canal was built in ten years. The White Sea is an important route connecting the economically active portions of northwestern Russia with Russia’s Far Eastern ports and with foreign countries. Until 1961, its original name was the Stalin White Sea–Baltic Canal (Belomorsko-Baltiyskiy Kanal imeni Stalina). 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Of European Russia by the Finnish Air force, targeting locks No long between locks 7 &.... To our time '', `` zek, z/k '' for `` ''. The horizontal axis is the elevation of the brutality of camp life let us know if you have to... The white sea canal is timber, much of it for paper mills and timber-working enterprises along route...

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