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The defense of the water route. 1942

Right after the start of the navigation season the attacks of the enemy air forces increased. In the morning of May 28, 1942 the Kobono-Karedzhsky port suffered a massive air force attack. In the evening the same attack was brought on the Osinovets port. Six out of the 102 enemy planes were shot down by the anti-air artillery and 13 were shot by destroyer planes. On the next day both ports were bombed again. During the navigation of 1942 the enemy air forces made 120 massive day air raids and 15 night air raids at the ports and bases of the Ladoga communication. But they failed to paralyse it. The Soviet ship artillery, the ship anti-air canon batteries and destroyer planes shot down 160 enemy planes. The exposition shows several exhibits dedicated to the pilots – Heroes of the Soviet Union – P. A. Pokryshev and A. T. Sevastyanov.

Having not achieved the desired results by air raids, the German commandment decided to gather their naval forces at Lake Ladoga and use them in order to stop transportation on the water route. Four Italian torpedo boats of the most recent construction, six mines weeping boats for mine laying and special troop carrying assault ferries named "Siebel" after their constructor were moved to Ladoga. A model of the "Siebel" type troop carrying ship is displayed in the museum exposition. The first 15 ships of this construction appeared on Ladoga in July 1942 and formed a special squadron called "the ferry fleet". Another fleet formed at the same time included six German mine planters. The main base of the joint German and Finnish forces was the Lahdenpohja port. The most important task of the group was to destroy the battleships of the Ladoga fleet.

In these circumstances the commanders of the fleet took precautions in order to strengthen the anti-assault defense. Thus, a three-weapon battery of a 100 mm caliber was installed on a small island Sukho with a lighthouse. The island was situated 37 km to the North-West from the city of Novaya Ladoga. The garnison of the island amounted to 93 seamen. The Sukho battery occupied an important place on the way of movement of ships and vessels along the water route of "The Road of Life" and protected the entrance to the Volkhov bay, to the main base of the fleet. The German commandment decided to perform a special operation with the code name of "Brasil": the plan was to land assault troops to the Sukho island instantaneously and destroy the battery, the garnison and the lighthouse.

Early in the morning of October 22, 1942 a squadron of enemy ships attacked Sukho, making use of the poor visibility in the area. The exhibits of the museum tell the story of the heroic defense of the island by the small-numbered garnison against the exceeding forces of the enemy and of the help offered to them by the ships of the Ladoga fleet and the air forces in repelling that attack. By 9:20 the assault troops had been completely cleared away from the island, and "The Road of Life" was saved.