British cemetery in Murmansk

A couple of years ago I wrote mentioning the British Cemetery in Murmansk from the WW1 days. Recently I got a request for grave photos, and received the following story from Alexandra’s Murmansk acquaintances that I’d like to share with you:

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A Sherman tank finally arrives in Murmansk

sherman-tankThis Sherman tank was on board of Thomas Donaldson transport ship on its way to Murmansk in March 1945 as part of the JW-65 convoy under the Lend-Lease program. It was hit by a German torpedo near the Kil’din Island and sank. The ship is still at the bottom of the Barents sea while some of its load was brought to the surface, including this Sherman tank delivered to the Murmansk port and put on a railroad platform today. Its final destination is one of St. Petersburg museums. For more see this b-port article.

Another abandoned settlement near the Prolivy train stop

prolivy-1Recently I’ve stumbled into yet another abandoned military settlement by the no, not quite a “station” but more of a mere train stop called Prolivy (“Straights”) near the village of Beloye More.
prolivy-2

Three or four relatively recently (in 2003 according to one local I met there) deserted 4 or 5 story buildings, plus smaller service buildings.

 

 

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Historic reconstruction festival July 2 and 3

gandvikHistoric reconstruction festival “Gandvik” is taking place on the Monastery Cape (just east off Kandalaksha) on July 2nd and 3rd starting at noon. The program includes visiting the Viking camp, single and group combat, recreation of a medieval fair, and show of historic boats.

Free admission!

A monument to the members of deer transportation batallion

The Fund of Saami Inheritance and Development has announced the collection of money to build a monument in memory of members of the deer transportation batallion.

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Russian helicopter invades Finnish air space

According to pravda.ru a helicopter of “unknown origin” penetrated the Finnish air space in the east part of the Bay of Finland to the depth of about 9km and spent around 6 min. above Finland. After two warnings from the Finns it flew back to Russia.

The incident apparently took place on Thursday, Dec. 10 2015.

Youri Gagarin museum opens in Safonovo just north of Murmansk

gagarintvkultura.ru reports that the house where Gagarin lived during his pre-cosmonaut days while serving for the northern air fleet has been moved to the closed military town of Safonovo ~25km NE from Murmansk, where it has been restored and made part of the local aviation museum exposition.

The museum can be visited “by appointment only” and a permit, said to take about a month to obtain, is required to enter Safonovo.

Museum’s tel. number is  +7(81537)64398.

Passes to border zones in the Kandalaksha and Kovdor districts

no-entryYou may want to get close to the border to see WWII and “Winter war” artifacts like the German of Finnish cemetery by Old Salla. If so, you’ll need a special permit.

(And you are welcomed to ask for my assistance in obtaining these permits.)

Here is some recent info on where to go for these permits:

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Victory Day parade in Kandalaksha

The event was subdued enough not to offend my taste. Nothing smacking of pompous Moscow-style parade.

Verman lake fortifications

[After some deliberation I’ve removed maps for the fear that their publication may encourage treasure/souvenir hunters.]

Vasily Ivanovich has kindly shared with me this 1943 1:100000 map showing German fortifications in the River Verman area, where the front along the Verman river hadn’t moved from September 1941 to September 1944. German fortifications are indicated as black circles on the second map. They are a bit west from the river because they probably represent the second layer of defence. Pink line is the modern road to Alakurtti. I’m putting this on the list of places to explore once snow melts in the woods and it dries up a bit.

This is what was left there as of 2009:

verman-fortification-1  verman-fortification-2  verman-fortification-3

(click to expand)

No special permission is needed for foreign travellers to go there.