The same can be said of the Magnitogorsk foundries and other…, …turn, is joined to the White Sea (via Lake Onega) by the. Until 1961, its original name was the Stalin White Sea–Baltic Canal (Belomorsko-Baltiyskiy Kanal imeni Stalina). The I.V. The White Sea – Baltic Sea Canal (Russian: Беломо́рско–Балти́йский кана́л, Belomorsko–Baltiyskiy Kanal, BBK), often abbreviated to White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal) is a ship canal in Russia opened on 2 August 1933. 944 pages. After the canal had been completed and opened for navigation, the Belbaltlag (White Sea-Baltic Camp) was reorganized into the White Sea-Baltic Combine (Baltiysko-Belomorsky Kombinat [BBK]), still within the NKVD system, by an order of the Council of People's Commissars of August 17, 1933. Transfer operations began 24 June 2003, but on 1 September a low-speed collision between Volgotanker's Nefterudovoz-57M and the Latvian Zoja-I during a transfer caused a crack in the Nefterudovoz's hull, with a subsequent oil spillage estimated at 45 t (44 long tons; 50 short tons), of which only 9 t (8.9 long tons; 9.9 short tons) were recovered. and what this canal allowed? On December 5, Finnish troops entered Medvezhyegorsk. The canal was constructed by forced labor of gulag inmates. , According to official statistics, a total of 193 million tonnes of cargo was transported over the canal over its first 75 years (1933–2008). It connects the White Sea, in the Arctic Ocean, with Lake Onega, which is further connected to the Baltic Sea. The route of the BBK had become the front line, separating the Finnish troops on the canal's western bank from the Soviet forces on its eastern bank. and early in its history the Northern Fleet's first warships sailed along the canal to the White Sea from the Baltic, Before World War II, the canal was used for the transfer of military vessels between the two seas on 17 occasions.  The White Sea Canal was also constructed with this military use in mind, In Russian, "inmate", "incarcerated" is заключённый (zakliuchyonnyi), usually abbreviated to "з/к" in paperwork, and pronounced as "зэка" (IPA: [zɨˈka], "zeh-KA"), which gradually transformed into "зэк" and "зек", zek (both pronounced as IPA: [ˈzɛk]). According to official records and accounts in the works of Aleksandr... Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images The white sea canal opened on Wednesday 2 August 1933, (until 1961, it was known as the “Stalin White Sea-Baltic Canal”). The entire canal was constructed in twenty months, between 1931 and 1933, almost entirely by manual labor. The canal project also gave the Russian language the slang word "zeka", "zek, z/k" for "inmate". The canal was the first major project constructed in the Soviet Union using forced labor. why they would do that? The White Sea–Baltic Canal (Russian: Беломо́рско–Балти́йский кана́л, Byelomorsko–Baltiyskiy Kanal, BBK), often abbreviated to White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal) is a ship canal in Russia opened on 2 August 1933. On June 23, 1941, the day after the German invasion, 16 Finnish commandos were ferried to the canal by two German Heinkel He 115 seaplanes from Oulujärvi. According to official records and accounts in the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, between 12,000 and 240,000 laborers died during the construction of the canal… Similarly, Aleksandr Avdeenko's account of Belomor includes conversations between OGPU chief Semyon Firin and Prince Mirsky that reveal at least some of the writers were aware of its true nature. Gorky, who had previously visited the Solovetski Islands labor camp in 1929 and written about it in the Soviet journal Our Accomplishments, organized the White Sea trip, but did not himself join it. On the other hand, the great Dneproges dam was a generally successful hydroelectric project on the largest scale. The canal was constructed between 1931 and 1933 by forced labor of Gulag inmates. The air bombings of the Povenets lock ladder succeeded in interrupting boat traffic on the canal only from June 28 to August 6, and then again from 13 to 24 August 1941. One notable Stalinist showpiece, the White Sea canal, was designed to allow warships and commercial vessels to pass between the Baltic and the White … Buildings are newly renovated and painted as well. The system, which can take ships of seagoing size, has both strategic and commercial significance, for it shortens the sea passage from St. Petersburg to Arkhangelsk by 2,500 miles (4,000 km). Construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal . Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. The White Sea Canal: A Hymn of Praise for Forced Labour. The White Sea–Baltic Canal (Russian: Беломо́рско-Балти́йский кана́л, Byelomorsko-Baltiyskiy kanal, BBK), often abbreviated to White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal) is a ship canal in Russia opened on Wednesday 2 August 1933. Locks on the White Sea-Baltic Canal. The company was fined and future operations were refused. This canal connects the White Sea with Lake Onega, and having access to the Baltic Sea and the Volga-Baltic Waterway. The latter term coined in an analogy with the words "krasnoarmeyets" meaning "member of the Red Army" or trudarmeyets (member of a labor army). The Panama Canal, which is 80 kilometers long, was built in 28 years, while the 160-kilometers-long Suez Canal was built in ten years. The Soviet Union presented the canal as an example of the success of the first five-year plan. On the night of November 12/13, another boat caravan froze in Zaonezhsky Bay near Megostrov Island, and was later captured by Finnish troops. The principal cargo on the system is timber, much of it for paper mills and timber-working enterprises along the route. After Povenets there are seven locks close together, forming the "Stairs of Povenets". White Sea Canal The White Sea-Baltic Canal is a grand Soviet construction built in 1931-1933 where prison labor of the Gulag was used for the first time. One of the most important construction projects of the first five-year plan (1929–32). A carefully prepared visit in August 1933 to the White Sea–Baltic Canal may have hidden the worst of the brutality from a group of 120 Russian writers and artists, the so-called Writers Brigade, including Maxim Gorky, Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Viktor Shklovsky, and Mikhail Zoshchenko, who compiled a work in praise of the project, the 600-page The I.V. , Marshall Berman states that "The canal was a triumph of publicity; but if half the care that went into the public relations campaign had been devoted to the work itself, there would have been far fewer victims and far more development.". The White Sea is an important traffic centre of northwestern Russia, interconnecting various economic regions and providing an outlet to the foreign routes. Genrikh Yagoda, Deputy Chairman of the OGPU, as well as Berman, Firin, Kogan, and Rappoport were awarded medals for the completion of the canal by the Politburo on July 15, 1933.. That meant that all available resources should be invested to ensure the project was completed on time whatever the cost. The following illustration depicts the profile of the White Sea–Baltic Canal. Russia's Volgotanker Company, with a fleet of suitably sized petroleum tankers and ore-bulk-oil carriers, pioneered this route starting August 1970, when Nefterudovoz-3 delivered a cargo of fuel oil to the White Sea port of Kandalaksha.. Mikoyan approved. The White Sea–Baltic Canal links it through Lake Onega to the Baltic Sea and the major city and port of Saint Petersburg. Lake Onega unites the canal with the Volga-Baltic Waterway, through which ships can reach the Baltic Sea and the Volga River itself. The White Sea–Baltic Canal connects the White Sea with the Baltic Sea. In addition, the Combine included 21 "special settlements" (spetsposyolok) with some 30 thousand residents, mostly dispossessed farm families transported to Karelia from the USSR's warmer regions. White Sea–Baltic Canal, Russian Belomorsko-baltiysky Kanal, system of rivers, lakes, and canals in northwestern Russia that connects the White Sea to Lake Onega, where it joins the Volga-Baltic Waterway (q.v.). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The northern slope has twelve locks numbered 8–19. By the morning of December 8, Locks No 1 to 6, and dams No. Deaths on the White Sea Canal, 1931-1933 According to official figures, during the construction of Belomor, the White Sea Canal, 2.24% of the prisoners in the BelBaltlag camp complex died in 1931 (1,438 persons), 2.03% died in 1932 (2,010 persons) and in 1933, due to famine in the USSR and the rapidly approaching deadline to finish the project, 10.56% of the prison workforce died (8,870 persons). In fact, one of the contributors, Sergei Alymov, was a prisoner at the camp and editor of the camp newspaper Perekovka ("Reforging"). The vertical axis is the elevation of the canal segments above mean sea level. In 1953, the locks' staff hired electricians; by 1957, the electrification of the locks of the northern slope was completed; and by 1959 all coastal and floating navigation lights were switched to electric power. The canal was constructed between 1931 and 1933 by forced labor of Gulag inmates. and is it true that the Soviet leaders after opening the gates drowned 1000s of the men who were forced laborourers who built this? Still there isn’t a lot of traffic. White Sea–Baltic Canal, system of rivers, lakes, and canals in northwestern Russia that connects the White Sea to Lake Onega, where it joins the Volga-Baltic Waterway (q.v.). Rebuilding was completed by July 1946, with navigation through the canal restored on July 28, 1946. The canal runs for 141 miles along a route that was considered strategically important for the shipment of cargo. On February 2, 1950, the RSFSR Council of Ministers issued an order for the overhaul and reconstruction of the BBK's structures, with gradual electrification of the canal's structures and machinery. The BBK led to the development of Belomorsk as a major industrial city. Unofficial estimates have … In particular, he emphasizes that politics and public relations ruined the usefulness of the canal: Stalin seems to have been so intent on creating a highly visible symbol of development that he pushed and squeezed the project in ways that only retarded the reality of development. It is likely that at least some of the visiting writers were aware of the brutality of camp life. Speed is limited to 8 km/h (4.3 kn; 5.0 mph) in all artificial portions.  Tonnage remained high until 1990, then declined after the fall of the Soviet Union. John Lane, 1935 - Convict labor - 356 pages. Beginning and ending with a labor force of 126,000, between 12,000 and 25,000 laborers died according to official records, while Anne Applebaum's estimate is 25,000 deaths, and accounts of up to 250,000 deaths in the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Paul R. Gregory, Valery Lazarev and V. V. Lazarev, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 10:21. By Mia Bennett 09-10-2015 10:10:12 In summer above the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set. The White Sea-Baltic Canal connects Lake Onega with the White Sea.  New cities and urban-type settlements developed along the route of the canal, such as Medvezhyegorsk, Segezha, Nadvoitsy. The opposing armies held these positions until June 1944. The route followed by the Baltic-White Sea Canal has been well-known since ancient times. Some undertakings were ill-considered: the Baltic–White Sea Canal, supposedly completed in 1933, employed some 200,000–300,000 forced labourers but proved almost useless. The White Sea Canal was the regime's first “storm project” complete with an agenda for a project of national significance. 7, but it did no damage. At the White Sea Canal, a special “cultural-educational” department emerged, which comprised a theatre made up of a number of prisoners, and which issued a camp newspaper called Reforging. Two major seas …  It is now operated by the White Sea and Lake Onega Waterways and Shipping Administration The Soviets portrayed the project as evidence of the efficiency of the Gulag. The route of the northern slope runs through five large lakes; Lake Matkozero between locks 8 & 9, Lake Vygozero between locks 9 & 10, Lake Palagorka between locks 10 & 11, Lake Voitskoye between locks 11 & 12 and Lake Matkozhnya between locks 13 & 14. Once in Lake Onega, ships can exit the southwest shore through the Svir River (and its two locks) to reach Lake Ladoga and then proceed down the Neva River to Saint Petersburg and the Baltic Sea. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In all, the Combine's employees accounted for about 25% of the population of the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. "Силовые машины" отгрузили вторую партию оборудования, предназначенного для восстановления Саяно-Шушенской ГЭС. The White Sea–Baltic Canal (Russian: Беломо́рско-Балти́йский кана́л, Byelomorsko-Baltiyskiy kanal, BBK), often abbreviated to White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal) is a ship canal in Russia opened on Wednesday 2 August 1933. The workforce for the Canal was supplied by the Belbaltlag camp directorate (White Sea–Baltic Corrective Labor Camp Directorate, WSBC) of the OGPU GULAG. The canal begins near Povenets settlement in Povenets bay of Lake Onega. BBLAG, the Directorate of the BBK Camps, managed the construction, supplying a workforce of an estimated 100,000 convicts, at the cost of huge casualties. Its construction was completed four months ahead of schedule, though it was entirely too shallow for the planned use. The company had plans to carry 800,000 tonnes of fuel oil over the canal during 2003, and to increase the volume to 1,500,000 t (1,476,000 long tons; 1,653,000 short tons) in 2004. Transportation of oil from the Russian part of the Barents Sea region, as of January 2005, Photos and some info from Open Society Archives, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=White_Sea–Baltic_Canal&oldid=997603356, Buildings and structures built in the Soviet Union, Articles containing Russian-language text, Articles with Russian-language sources (ru), Articles with unsourced statements from December 2008, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, P. F. Aleksandrov (П. Ф. Александров), acting chief of WSBC, January 16, 1932, full chief from March 28, 1932, to at least January 15, 1933, E.I. the White Sea–Baltic Canal in the history of the Gulag. , The canal runs 227 km (141 mi), partially along several canalized rivers and Lake Vygozero. Usage rose gradually in the 21st century, but remained well below the Soviet-era peak, with just 0.3 million tonnes in 2002. So the Canal is being invested in. Updates? https://www.britannica.com/topic/White-Sea-Baltic-Canal, Presidential Library - The White Sea-Baltic Canal Construction was Completed, Stanford University - Hoover Institution - The White Sea–Baltic Canal. In conditions of low visibility (less than one km) navigation is halted. (in Russian). As of 2008, it carries only light traffic of between ten and forty boats per day. 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