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RP75AOS - Onega - Russia - Alexander Shabalin

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    RP75AOS - Onega - Russia - Alexander Shabalin

    Yuri, RZ1OK will be active with special call RP75AOS from Onega, Arkhangelsk oblast, Russia, 2 - 9 May 2020, commemorating 75th years of the Victory in the Second World War and in memory of Veteran of Second World War Alexander Shabalin.
    He will operate on HF Bands.
    QSL via RZ1OK, LOTW.
    Ads for direct QSL:
    Yuri Baryshev, P.O. Box 54, Onega, Arkhangelskaya obl., 164840, Russia.

    Information about Alexander Shabalin:
    Alexander Shabalin – "Dragon of the Soviet Navy"

    History of the Russian Navy knows many worthy officers who forever left their mark on it. One of these officers is Alexandr Shabalin, a Rear Admiral of the Soviet Navy, a participant in the Soviet-Finnish War and World War II, twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, both times during one year. During the war, he was the commander of an ordinary torpedo boat TKA-12. During the years of World War II, Alexandr Shabalin sank 32 warships and enemy vessels. There were simply no such achievements in the world.

    Alexandr Osipovich Shabalin is a hereditary northerner. He was born on November 4, 1914, in a small village Yudmozero in the Onega district, Arkhangelsk region in an ordinary peasant family. Already at 17, he left his home and went to Murmansk, where he started on a fishing trawler as a cabin boy. For several years he sailed on the ships of the Murmansk trawling fleet as a sailor, studied and became a trawler navigator. In 1936, Alexandr was drafted into the military, naturally, to serve in the Navy.

    Alexandr Shabalin began his service on the Baltic Sea in a torpedo boat training squad. These were rather unusual and interesting boats. Small, painted gray, equipped with motors, filled with explosive power. Quickly enough, Shabalin became the boatswain of a torpedo boat, which helped him to study the vessel arrangement to the last screw. Just after 2 years he became a torpedo boat commander. He managed to get an officer's rank, despite such a flaw as the lack of "official" education. Shabalin will receive military education after the end of World War II.

    By the beginning of the war, torpedo boats were not listed as part of the Northern Fleet, only on August 1, 1941 were 5 boats transferred from the factory in Leningrad to Murmansk by rail. After conducting a course of combat training and a series of tests, the boats began to go to sea to conduct active combat operations. Despite the harsh climatic conditions of the Soviet Arctic and quite strong opposition from the Germans, torpedo boats of the Northern Fleet again and again made bold raids on German communications, causing significant losses to the Germans.

    Shabalin preferred to attack from the coast side, where he was least expected to be seen. More than once it happened that in a night battle the torpedo boat fired all its torpedoes and, having sunk or damaged the enemy's ships, did not leave for the open sea, but instead for the enemy shore, hiding in the shadow of high rocks. For a time, the boat would even stop its engines in order to not give its location away to the enemy with the noise and foam from the working propellers. This way, with the engines turned off and the boat hiding, they waited until the Germans got tired of looking for them and only then went home to the base undisturbed.

    In the war, severe exams awaited Shabalin one after another. According to historical sources, at one moment he landed reconnaissance groups on the guarded enemy coast, at another he went in stormy weather with a group of chaser boats to German bases in order to ensure the planting of active minefields on enemy communications.

    In the first days of October 1944, Shabalin took part in the large-scale Petsamo-Kirkenes Offensive, which was carried out by the Karelian Front units, as well as by the forces of the Northern Fleet. The purpose of this offensive was the liberation of the northwestern tip of the Kola Peninsula. In order to cut off the German chasseurs of the escape route, it was decided to land a large force in the Liinakhamari harbor, in a fairly narrow fjord. On the dark night of October 13, 1944, more than 10 torpedo boats with marines on board left the base. The lead boat was driven by Alexandr Shabalin, who by this time was already at the head of a team of brisk small marine torpedo boats. The landing operation was completed successfully.

    After the end of the World War II, Shabalin finished the Caspian Higher Naval School, and in 1955, academic courses for officers. All post-war years he was doing responsible work as part of the Soviet Navy. The war hero spent his last years in Leningrad, where he passed away in January 1982.

    The memory of the hero is preserved after his death, especially in his homeland. Alexandr Shabalin will always remain an honorary citizen of the cities of Onega and Arkhangelsk.

    RP75AOS Alexander Shabalin, Onega, Russia
    73 Al 4L5A