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Central Naval Museum (1941-1946)


On Sunday morning of June 22, 1941 people in Leningrad were informed that Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union; this was how the country entered WWII, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. Soon the order came to take out the museum exhibits to Ulyanovsk town in the Volga region.

After the siege ended, and the Red Army began its massive advance, the Peoples’ Commissar of the Navy
N. G. Kuznetsov decreed to return all the exhibits of the Central Naval Museum from Ulyanovsk to Leningrad, to restore all the pre-war displays and form the new department ‘The Navy in the Great Patriotic War’.

At the end of May, 1945 the first batch of a thousand crates arrived by train from Ulyanovsk. By the beginning of 1946, all the items of the museum and Central Naval Library returned to Leningrad.

On July 28, 1946 before the Day of the Navy, the museum opened its doors for visitors again. Because the new department dedicated to the war was created, all the other subdivisions showing the history of the Soviet Navy had to be re-organized. The new display was arranged in 10 halls. A new department, pertaining to the after-war development of the Navy was soon to emerge.