Krasin (1917 icebreaker)

The Krasin before leaving the function test ride on the quay of the Wismar shipyard, 1959

  • Svyatogor (1917-1927)

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS)

IMO: 5196402

The Krasin (also Krasin, Russian Красин ) is a former Soviet ice-breaker, which is now a museum ship in St. Petersburg. It was named after Leonid Krasin. Until the 1950s it was the world's most powerful ship of its kind and set in this time some records. She was the first ship that reached the coast of Novaya Zemlya in the winter.

The ship was known by the rescue of survivors of the Nobile North Pole expedition and the mountains of more than 1,800 people on board in distress German passenger ship Monte Cervantes.


The Krasin was 1916-1917 according to the drawings of Vice Admiral Stepan Makarov on behalf of the Russian Navy Department at the shipyard WG Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. Ltd.. built in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, where her original name was Svyatogor. In 1919 it was confiscated during the Russian Civil War by the British, but was two years later after diplomatic efforts of the People's Commissar Leonid B. Krasin, a " comrade in arms " of Stalin, to be repurchased by the Soviet Union. In honor of this man, she was baptized in the name of Krasin. It was henceforth used as an icebreaker and rescue ship in Arctic waters and was mostly stationed in Murmansk or Arkhangelsk.

Rescue missions

In 1928 the German passenger ship Monte Cervantes came with 1,500 passengers and 325 crew members on board off Spitsbergen in distress. The ship had collided with an iceberg and sprung a leak. The Krasin, actually involved in the rescue mission of the Nobile North Pole expedition was only 80 nautical miles away, and received the distress call of the Monte Cervantes. The hole in its hull could be repaired by divers of the Krasin. The vessel was then pumped out and made ​​seaworthy again. All 1,835 people were able to be saved.

Immediately afterwards came the next rescue mission. In the spring of 1928 General Umberto Nobile was launched with the airship Italia for its second North Pole trip. On May 25, the airship had crashed on the way back near Spitzbergen, with nine members of the expedition and Nobile had been thrown on an ice floe. Although 16 ships were on their way to the expedition, was the only Krasin able to reach the 82 degrees north latitude and rescue the expedition members. This rescue mission was taken up in a radio play by Friedrich Wolf as a substance. The piece, entitled SOS ... rao rao ... Foyn - " Krasin " saves " Italia " was set to music in 1929 by the radio - hour Berlin and is the oldest completely preserved radio play in German language.

These two rescues enhanced the prestige of the Soviet Union in Europe significantly.

Further use

During the Second World War, the Krasin was used to protect troops and material transport.

In the second half of 1941 a charter to the U.S. Coast Guard was drawn for use in Greenland into consideration. To this end, the ship was ordered to Bremerton and visited there extensively. Despite a considerable need for repair, the Coast Guard came to the decision to take over the ship. On November 25, 1941, however, the Soviet Union withdrew its offer back because of their own requirements in Arkhangelsk.

In the years 1953 to 1960 Krasin has undergone an extensive modernization in Wismar. Among other things, the drive of coal was converted to oil.

By 1972, the Krasin icebreaker continued to provide service. Thereafter, it was used until 1989 in Spitsbergen as a floating power plant and as a farmhand's house.

Today it is a museum ship in the Great Neva River on the banks of Vasilievsky Island in Saint Petersburg.


1976, a new icebreaker for the former Soviet Union in Finland was built. He was also baptized Krasin and has a diesel-electric drive.