The Decree on the establishment of the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Fleet (WPRN) was passed by the Council of People's Commissars on January 29, 1918 (February 11, new style). This decree, as well as the Decree on organization of the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army (WPRA), published on January 15 (28) of the same year, laid the foundation for the establishment of a new type of armed forces - the army and the fleet of the workers and peasants. The military specialists of the former army and fleet made a great contribution to the creation and strengthening of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and the Red Fleet. In March-April 1918, in extremely difficult conditions, the warships and auxiliary vessels of the Baltic Fleet were transferred from Reval (Tallinn) and Helsingfors (Helsinki) to Kronstadt and Petrograd during the Ice Cruise. As a result, 226 ships were rescued. During the Civil War and at the time of foreign military intervention, the seamen of the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Fleet fought at the seas, lakes, rivers and ashore, were part of armoured train crews, supported the air forces and transport operations. Among them were the renowned figures - A.N. Bakhtin, B.A. Zhemchuzhin, I.I. Vakhrameev, A.G. Zheleznyakov, B.F. Lyubimov, N.G. Markin, M.I. Martynov, V.V. Sevastyanov, V.P. Gromov, P.D. Khokhryakov, K.I. Pronsky and many others.
After the Civil War and the intervention, the fleet was in an extremely grave condition. The number of ships decreased twofold, the equipment of the ships was worn out to the utmost. The work aimed to restore the ports and the shipbuilding enterprises, to repair the ships and vessels, was commenced. The recreation of the fleet, the organization of training of its forces was supervised by talented military leaders: A.K. Vekman, M.V. Viktorov, L.M. Galler, K.I. Dushenov, Z.A. Zakupnev, A.P. Zelenoy, V.I. Zof, I.K. Kozhanov, R.A. Muklevich, A.V. Nemits, Ya. I. Ozolin, V.M. Orlov, E.S. Pantserzhansky, F.F. Raskolnikov and others. The Baltic and the Black Sea fleets were recreated. In 1932, the Pacific Fleet was set up, and in 1933 - the Northern Fleet. The shipbuilding programme adopted by the government was aimed primarily at construction of large artillery ships - battleships and heavy cruisers that were to be superior to the best foreign ships in combat characteristics. In particular, three battleships, "Soviet Union" type, and two heavy cruisers were engineered; the technical design of two aircraft carriers for the Pacific and the Northern fleets was started. At the same time, the submarine fleet was being built, and mobile forces were created. However, in October 1940, in the face of the immediate threat of attack on the part of the fascist Germany, the government resolved: to concentrate efforts on creating mobile forces and on completion of large ships having high extent of readiness. The naval forces took part in local conflicts and wars in the 1930s.
In the twenty-year period between the Civil and the Great Patriotic Wars, the Soviet Navy developed and strengthened. It had three battleships, seven cruisers, 59 leaders and destroyers, 22 patrol ships, 218 submarines, 269 torpedo and other boats, 88 minesweepers, 77 submarine hunters, auxiliary vessels, about 2500 naval aviation aircraft, over 250 coastal defence artillery batteries. Command, political and administrative/technical staff of the Navy was trained. In the first hours of the war, all fleets were timely put on a war footing, successfully repulsed the first attack of the enemy and launched active combat operations.
Painting and sculpture, the first awards of the revolutionary seamen, their weapons and uniforms, the unique documents of those years and the models of the first Soviet ships. This motley mosaic, as seen at first glance, develops into an integral orderly picture telling about the difficult birth of the Red Fleet, its legendary commanders and the first victories. The exhibition is expected to be interesting both for the older generation and young people.
The exhibition will be open from February 23 to September 1, 2018
Curator of the exhibition: Senior Researcher E.D. Sobakar
Artistic design: Chief Artist of the Central Naval Museum V.Yu. Sergeev