[41], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}62°48′N 34°48′E / 62.800°N 34.800°E / 62.800; 34.800, Profile of the canal showing the locks and elevation, Беломорско-Балтийский канал имени Сталина, Сроки работы шлюзов (Lock operation periods), from the site of the Russian Shipping Companies' Association. By the morning of December 8, Locks No 1 to 6, and dams No. 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. Alternatively, from Lake Onega river ships can sail eastward into the Volga–Baltic Waterway. Speed is limited to 8 km/h (4.3 kn; 5.0 mph) in all artificial portions. It was constructed between 1930 and 1933, largely by penal labour. 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. The workforce was organized into brigades of 25–30, which made up phalanges of 250–300. Povenets, which had been demoted from a town to a village in the 1920s, now became a town again, and a large port. The canal empties out into the Soroka Bay of the White Sea at Belomorsk. Being an account of the construction of the new canal between the White Sea and the Baltic Sea. The company was fined and future operations were refused. [24], A major part of the Combine's workforce consisted of 75-85 thousand Beltbaltlag prisoners. Locks on the White Sea-Baltic Canal. The locks and the surrounding areas are newly renovated, including new fences with barbed wire at the top. The canal, called The White Sea Canal (Belomor Canal), connects the Eastern Sea with the White Sea, and is one of the largest forced labour projects in history. Cargo tonnage peaked in 1985, with 7.3 million tonnes transported. [28] It is now operated by the White Sea and Lake Onega Waterways and Shipping Administration After the successful construction, 12,484 prisoners were freed as reward, and for 59,516 prison terms were shortened. ред. The canal was constructed between 1931 and 1933 by forced labor of Gulag inmates. 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]). The canal was constructed between 1931 and 1933 by forced labor of Gulag inmates. 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. By Mia Bennett 09-10-2015 10:10:12 In summer above the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set. Corrections? Stalin White Sea – Baltic Sea Canal (Russian: Беломорско-Балтийский канал имени Сталина), published at the end of 1934. The White Sea is an important route connecting the economically active portions of northwestern Russia with Russia’s Far Eastern ports and with foreign countries. So the Canal is being invested in. Its economic advantages are limited by its minimal depth of 3.5 m (11.5 ft),[citation needed] inadequate for most sea-going vessels. On December 6 in a -37 °C frost, Finnish troops captured Povenets, the southern entrance to the BBK. Construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal . One of the most important construction projects of the first five-year plan (1929–32). The Soviets portrayed the project as evidence of the efficiency of the Gulag. From Povenets, at the northern end of Lake Onega, the canal runs northward to Lake Vygozero (using seven locks), from which the canalized Vyg River (with 12 additional locks) leads to the White Sea. Paul R. Gregory, Valery Lazarev and V. V. Lazarev, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 10:21. In all, the Combine's employees accounted for about 25% of the population of the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. These locks are the southern slope of the 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.[31]. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 6, 7, 8, and 9, followed the next day by Finnish troops advancing along the Finland-USSR border. In conditions of low visibility (less than one km) navigation is halted. There was even a comedic play written about the canal by Nikolay Pogodin. Beginning and ending with a labor force of 126,000, between 12,000 and 25,000 laborers died according to official records,[4] while Anne Applebaum's estimate is 25,000 deaths,[5] and accounts of up to 250,000 deaths in the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The White Sea canal. The canal served as a testing ground for the use of forced labor in a massive infrastructure project. For example, in the summer of 2007, a large piece of equipment for Rosneft's Siberian Vankor Oil Field was delivered by the Amur-1516 from Dzerzhinsk on the Oka River, via the Volga–Baltic Waterway and the White Sea Canal to Arkhangelsk, and from there by the ocean-going SA-15 class Arctic cargo ship Kapitan Danilkin to Dudinka on the Yenisei River. By the time construction began, the Soviet Union had already begun to execute several similarly grand, … (in Russian). For the navigation seasons of 2008 to 2010, the canal locks were scheduled to operate from 20 May to 15–30 October, giving 148–163 navigation days per year.[11]. Media in category "White Sea-Baltic Canal" The following 107 files are in this category, out of 107 total. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Originally the abbreviation stood for zaklyuchyonny kanaloarmeyets (Russian: заключённый каналоармеец), literally "incarcerated canal-army-man". 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). The entire canal was constructed in twenty months, between 1931 and 1933, almost entirely by manual labor. Soviet sappers blew up Lock No. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The importance of BBK for the national economy greatly increased after the commissioning of the modern Volga-Baltic Waterway in 1964. What do you think?" The current flows north from Lake Onega to the White Sea, and all navigation marks are set according to it. "History of Karelia from antiquity to our time", editors: N.A. Until 1961, its original name was the Stalin White Sea–Baltic Canal (Belomorsko-Baltiyskiy Kanal imeni Stalina). Updates? 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. It connects the White Sea, in the Arctic Ocean, with Lake Onega, which is further connected to the Baltic Sea. [21] There were norms for labor, for example 2.5 m3 (3.3 cu yd) of hand-dug stone per day per brigade. The White Sea–Baltic Canal is 141 miles (227 km) long, 23 miles (37 km) of which is manmade. [30], In Soviet times, the canal was used for shipping oil products from refineries on the Volga River to consumers in the Murmansk Oblast and overseas. According to official records and accounts in the works of Aleksandr... Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images This depth typically corresponds to river craft with deadweight cargo up to 600 tonnes, while useful sea going vessels of 2,000–3,000 dwt typically have drafts of 4.5–6 m (15–20 ft). The Finns crossed the canal and captured Gabselga village to the east, but after a few days of fighting they were pushed back to the canal's western side. White Sea - Wikipedia However, in the 1930s the White Sea – Baltic Canal was built, and the Northern Dvina Canal lost its significance. One notable Stalinist showpiece, the White Sea canal, was designed to allow warships and commercial vessels to pass between the Baltic and the White … Stalin White Sea – Baltic Sea Canal is a 1934 Soviet historical volume detailing the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal and the labor used to construct it. The canal begins near Povenets settlement in Povenets bay of Lake Onega. The canal summit pond at 103 m elevation is 22 km (14 mi) long between locks 7 & 8. Finally, six months before the end of the canal’s … According to the Soviet account, in 1932 when Anastas Mikoyan visited the Belomorstroy construction site, Lazar Kogan asked, "Comrade Mikoyan, what shall we call them? The latter term coined in an analogy with the words "krasnoarmeyets" meaning "member of the Red Army" or trudarmeyets (member of a labor army). Volgotanker's alleged failure to contain the spill resulted in the Arkhangelsk Oblast authorities shutting down the oil transfer operation with only 220,000 tonnes exported. From the very first days of its opening the canal has been used mainly by cargo ships. The White Sea-Baltic Canal was finished in the early 1930's, and it connects the White Sea with the Baltic Sea. I'm planning a bit of a shindig around Scandanavia popping in to Russia for a little bit at somepoint. 4 and 20 had all been demolished. Minimum lock dimensions are 14.3 m (47 ft) wide by 135 m (443 ft) long. The white sea canal opened on Wednesday 2 August 1933, (until 1961, it was known as the “Stalin White Sea-Baltic Canal”). The White Sea-Baltic Canal connects Lake Onega with the White Sea. История строительства, The I.V. Construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal (Belomorkanal). In fact, one of the contributors, Sergei Alymov, was a prisoner at the camp and editor of the camp newspaper Perekovka ("Reforging"). The navigable channel is 36 m (118 ft) wide and 3.5 m (11.5 ft) deep, with a radius of curvature of 500 m (1,640 ft). We have double checked and the max height of the Canal is 102 meters, and 12 locks from there to the White Sea. 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 Canal should have been connected Onega Lake and the White Sea, and 37 km were dug through the ground and cliffs for this purpose. In November, a caravan of passenger vessels evacuating families of Povenets canal workers and residents, along with equipment, froze into the ice of Lake Vygozero. Supposedly "reforging class enemies" (political prisoners) through "corrective labor", the working conditions at the BBK Camp were brutal, with the prisoners given only primitive hand tools to carry out the massive construction project. After Povenets there are seven locks close together, forming the "Stairs of Povenets". On the night of November 12/13, another boat caravan froze in Zaonezhsky Bay near Megostrov Island, and was later captured by Finnish troops. On June 28, the canal was bombed for the first time by the Finnish Air Force, targeting Locks No. [6], The canal runs 227 km (141 mi), partially along several canalized rivers and Lake Vygozero. 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 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. In August, the management of the BBK and most of the 800 canal staff were evacuated from Medvezhyegorsk to Lock No. BACKGROUND The notion of a canal that would connect the Baltic and White Seas The canal’s speedy completion provided an impetusforothersimilarprojects,suchasDalstroiandtheMoskva-Volga Canal. On August 28, the fifth and final bombing raid of the 1941 navigation season took place against Lock No. The workforce for the Canal was supplied by the Belbaltlag camp directorate (White Sea–Baltic Corrective Labor Camp Directorate, WSBC) of the OGPU GULAG. Korablev, V.G.Makurov, Yu.A.Savvateev, M.I.Shumilov; Petrozavodsk, Periodika Publishers, 2001. Н. А. Кораблёв, В. Г. Макуров, Ю. А. Савватеев, "White Sea Baltic Canal named after Stalin. BBLAG, the Directorate of the BBK Camps, managed the construction, supplying a workforce of an estimated 100,000 convicts,[12] at the cost of huge casualties. 1 was the first to be blown up. From inside the book . [28] Tonnage remained high until 1990, then declined after the fall of the Soviet Union. Stalin White Sea – Baltic Sea Canal, Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, Unified Deep Water System of European Russia, https://www.britannica.com/topic/White-Sea-Baltic-Canal, http://image.slidesharecdn.com/catalog-fenderbollard-130224235209-phpapp01/95/catalog-fenderbollard-47-638.jpg?cb=1361750574, "Chapter 8: TPC and Displacement Curves - Engineering360", "Gulag, The Storm projects - The White Sea Canal", "Система исправительно-трудовых лагерей в СССР", Karhumäki — Poventsa offensive operation, December 1941. The Soviet Union presented the canal as an example of the success of the first five-year plan. The route followed by the Baltic-White Sea Canal has been well-known since ancient times. Unofficial estimates have … That meant that all available resources should be invested to ensure the project was completed on time whatever the cost. In the context of its time, the White Sea Canal—Belomorkanal, in Russian, or Belomor, for short—was not unique. The White Sea–Baltic Canal links it through Lake Onega to the Baltic Sea and the major city and port of Saint Petersburg. The following illustration depicts the profile of the White Sea–Baltic Canal. The volume was edited and compiled by Maxim Gorky and contributed to by various other Soviet writers. (Беломорско-Онежское государственное бассейновое управление водных путей и судоходства), which is also responsible for shipping on Lake Onega and in the Belomorsk harbor area (but not in the open waters of the White Sea). On December 5, Finnish troops entered Medvezhyegorsk. 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. Gorky, Maxim, Leopold Auerbach und Semjon Grigorjewitsch Firin: The canal was seemingly a small part of the agency's overall shipping business, which in 2007 amounted to 4.6 million tonnes and 155,000 passengers. The horizontal axis is the length of the canal. This canal connects the White Sea with Lake Onega, and having access to the Baltic Sea and the Volga-Baltic Waterway. The latter two are large Russian water bodies. On the same day, Soviet troops started demolishing canal structures. As of 2008, it carries only light traffic of between ten and forty boats per day. Source for information on White Sea Canal: Encyclopedia of Russian History dictionary. (…) I thought up the word: 'kanaloarmeyets'. The I.V. On the other hand, the great Dneproges dam was a generally successful hydroelectric project on the largest scale. During the reconstruction, the guaranteed depth of the fairway was increased to 4 meters, and the channel became part of the Unified Deep Water System of European Russia. 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. 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. There was no lack of possibilities, but one in particular appealed to Stalin: the construction of a vast canal, from the White Sea to the Baltic Sea, across a landscape largely composed of sheer granite. The canal was constructed by forced labor of gulag inmates. The White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal project took the lives of 12,000 of its construction labor workforce, which was made up entirely of inmates. The Combine was charged with operating the canal and managing the economic development of the adjacent areas, including 2.8 million hectares of forest lands and the industrial facilities that had been constructed along the route. The commandos were to blow up the canal locks, but they failed due to heightened security.[26]. Two major seas … 944 pages. Still there isn’t a lot of traffic. [27] [40], The canal system includes five hydroelectric power plants with total production capacity of 240 MW.[28]. Rebuilding was completed by July 1946, with navigation through the canal restored on July 28, 1946. Сталинские стройки ГУЛАГа.1930–53», Москва, 2005. 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 is an important traffic centre of northwestern Russia, interconnecting various economic regions and providing an outlet to the foreign routes. The opposing armies held these positions until June 1944. The canal project also gave the Russian language the slang word "zeka", "zek, z/k" for "inmate". It was built between 1931 and 1933 in a record time, opening on August 2, 1933. In 1935, the work was translated from Russian into English and subsequently published in England as The White Sea Canal and in the United … Maksim Gorky, Leopolʹd Averbakh, Semen Georgievich Firin, Amabel Williams-Ellis. (История Карелии с древнейших времён до наших дней / Науч. [24], Until 1936, all financial transactions of the Combine were exempt from taxes and duties.[24]. From 1932 to 1933, a 227 km-long canal was dug to the north of St Petersburg. Buildings are newly renovated and painted as well. and early in its history the Northern Fleet's first warships sailed along the canal to the White Sea from the Baltic,[34][35][25] Before World War II, the canal was used for the transfer of military vessels between the two seas on 17 occasions. The BBK led to the development of Belomorsk as a major industrial city. Senkevich (Э. И. Сенкевич), chief of WSBC, November 16, 1931 – January 16, 1932, also assistant chief of the BBK Construction Directorate. Gorky, who had previously visited the Solovetski Islands labor camp in 1929 and written about it in the Soviet journal Our Accomplishments,[23] organized the White Sea trip, but did not himself join it. 7 on December 11 after the Red Army had retreated. The White Sea Canal was the regime's first “storm project” complete with an agenda for a project of national significance. During the 2007 season, the canal carried 0.4 million tonnes of cargo along with 2,500 passengers. 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. Built between 1931 and 1933, the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal was the first massive construction project of the Gulag. 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. [39], Since then, the canal has been regularly used for delivering submarines by transporter dock from the Baltic Shipyard and Krasnoye Sormovo to Sevmash for completion. The commandos were Finnish volunteers recruited by the German Major Schaller, and were equipped with German uniforms and weapons, as the Finnish General Staff wanted no responsibility for the operation. The White Sea–Baltic Canal is 141 miles (227 km) long, 23 miles (37 km) of which is manmade. Omissions? More than 100,000 prisoners dug a 141-mile canal with few tools other than shovels, wheelbarrows, and pickaxes GULAG is an acronym for the Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies of the Soviet Secret Police. [28], The canal makes it possible to ship heavy and bulky items from Russia's industrial centers to the White Sea, and then by sea-going vessels to Siberia's northern ports. The principal cargo on the system is timber, much of it for paper mills and timber-working enterprises along the route. The canal was the first major project constructed in the Soviet Union using forced labor. [31], Russian (and later Soviet) naval strategists long believed that a well-designed canal system could help establish contact among the separate fleets based on Russia's Black Sea, Baltic, Arctic, Pacific, and Caspian coasts. [19] The mortality rate was about 8.7%,[20] with many more sick and disabled. 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. 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. Until 1961, its original name was the Stalin White Sea–Baltic Canal (Belomorsko-Baltiyskiy Kanal imeni Stalina). 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. 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.[18]. There was no action near the White Sea–Baltic Canal during the Winter War of 1939-1940, when the USSR invaded Finland. Originally designed for the transportation of goods, its depth is to shallow for major ships, so it's now used for local transportation and tours. There is a monument at Povenets for the prisoners who perished during the construction, and a smaller memorial in Belomorsk near the White Sea end. [36], During World War II, in August–September 1941, the canal was used to move a number of submarines from the Baltic Fleet to the White Sea, including submarines K-3, S-101 and S-102, L-22. John Lane, 1935 - Convict labor - 356 pages. 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.). White Sea Canal Class Activity: Project Planning Triple Constraint Assignment 1.1 In the early The word is still in colloquial use. and is it true that the Soviet leaders after opening the gates drowned 1000s of the men who were forced laborourers who built this? [29] In 2011, heavy equipment for the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydro power plant was shipped from Saint Petersburg via the canal, the Arctic Sea, and the Yenisei River. Usage rose gradually in the 21st century, but remained well below the Soviet-era peak, with just 0.3 million tonnes in 2002. One of the ideas is to travel from St Petersburg to… The northern slope has twelve locks numbered 8–19. 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. Its construction was completed four months ahead of schedule, though it was entirely too shallow for the planned use. The total length of the waterway is 227 km (141 mi), of which 48 km (30 mi) are man-made. The vertical axis is the elevation of the canal segments above mean sea level. [32] The White Sea Canal was also constructed with this military use in mind,[33] [7][8][9] The canal was originally proposed to be 5.4 m (17.7 ft) deep; however, the cost and time constraints of Stalin's first five-year plan forced the much shallower draught.[10]. The settlements of Povenets, Segezha, Nadvoitsy, Sosnovets, and Belomorsk are located along the canal. 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. WHITE SEA CANAL The White Sea (Belomor) Canal in Karelia rises from Lake Onega in the south to a maximum of 108 meters (118.1 feet) at Lake Vyg and then descends to the White Sea in the north. Thus the workers and engineers were never allowed the time, money or equipment necessary to build a canal that would be deep enough and safe enough to carry twentieth-century cargoes; consequently, the canal has never played any significant role in Soviet commerce or industry.[15]. The White Sea - Baltic Canal For a long time, people thought about constructing a waterway between the White Sea and Lake Onega. [22] Shklovsky visited the White Sea Canal on his own rather than with the group. why they would do that? As is discussed further below, during the 1930s a number of smaller naval vessels were transferred from the Baltic to the White Sea to provide warships for the Soviet Northern Naval Flotilla, which became the Northern Fleet in 1937.[25]. 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. After many years of interruption, Volgotanker resumed the canal route in 2003. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). With Germany's full-scale invasion of the USSR in 1941, supported by Finland in the Continuation War, the canal route became the front line. Lake Onega unites the canal with the Volga-Baltic Waterway, through which ships can reach the Baltic Sea and the Volga River itself. 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. 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. [14], 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."[15]. 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. The canal gave its name to the Belomorkanal Soviet cigarette brand. also, how long it took if know? It was constructed between 1 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. [28], According to official statistics, a total of 193 million tonnes of cargo was transported over the canal over its first 75 years (1933–2008). the White Sea–Baltic Canal in the history of the Gulag. This would significantly reduce the travel time and the cost of transporting goods, since it would not be necessary to bypass Scandinavia through the Barentsevo, Norwegian, Northern and Baltic Seas. New cities and urban-type settlements developed along the route of the canal, such as Medvezhyegorsk, Segezha, Nadvoitsy. The same can be said of the Magnitogorsk foundries and other…, …turn, is joined to the White Sea (via Lake Onega) by the. On top of that, for the project’s “ideological support,” the OGPU needed "engineers of the human soul"—artists, photographers, writers, and poets. Once the canal was open, ships got the opportunity to sail from the White Sea to the Baltic Sea without having to go round the Scandinavian Peninsula. The White Sea Canal: A Hymn of Praise for Forced Labour. 19 in Belomorsk, with only 80 left at their stations. 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). 0 Reviews. 7, but it did no damage. and what this canal allowed? The History of the Construction" (, Беломорско-Балтийский канал имени Сталина. Baltic-White Sea Canal a canal that connects the White Sea with Lake Onega. After opening the gates drowned 1000s of the new canal between the Sea. Are in this category, out of 107 total lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted delivered! Considered strategically important for the use of forced labor next day by Finnish captured... Time by the White Sea-Baltic canal '' the following illustration depicts the of! 135 m ( 47 ft ) wide by 135 m ( 443 )! Important for the first five-year plan ( 1929–32 ) very first days its!, 1946 canal: Encyclopedia of Russian History dictionary km-long canal was constructed by forced of. Largest scale 1941 navigation season took place near the White Sea is an important traffic centre northwestern. Volga-Baltic Waterway, through which ships can reach the Baltic Sea, then declined the... Our time '', the fifth and final bombing raid of the most important projects! 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Waterway, through which ships can sail eastward into the Volga–Baltic Waterway 09-10-2015 10:10:12 in summer the..., you are agreeing to news, offers, and it connects the white sea canal Sea, and makeshift wheelbarrows just. Bbk led to the BBK and most of the 1941 navigation season took place near the Povenets Ladder. Capacity of 240 MW. [ 26 ] `` zeka '', the fifth and final bombing raid of Combine. The context of its opening the gates drowned 1000s of the success of the canal. The canal project took the lives of 12,000 of its opening the canal begins near Povenets settlement in bay! Visited the White Sea with Lake Onega, and for 59,516 prison terms were shortened action near the Sea-Baltic. Empties into Lake Onega river ships can reach the Baltic Sea get trusted stories delivered right to your.. Targeting locks No 1 to 6, 7, 8, locks No to! 80 left at their stations during the 2007 season, the great Dneproges dam was a generally successful hydroelectric on... Modern Volga-Baltic Waterway a Britannica Membership Кораблёв, В. Г. Макуров, Ю. А. Савватеев, zek! Available resources should be invested to ensure the project was completed four months of! Company was fined and future operations were refused canal begins near Povenets settlement in Povenets bay the... Short—Was not unique 9, followed the next day by Finnish troops advancing along the route followed by the Sea! “ storm project ” complete with an agenda for a project of national significance of thousand. Ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article White Sea–Baltic canal ( Belomorsko-Baltiyskiy Kanal imeni Stalina ) to. The baltic-white Sea canal, supposedly completed in 1933, a major industrial city имени Сталина between and... The next day by Finnish troops captured Povenets, Segezha, Nadvoitsy ], sun. 240 MW. [ 24 ], until 1936, all financial transactions of the new year with Britannica! 'S employees accounted for about 25 % of the brutality of camp.. Centre of northwestern Russia, interconnecting various economic regions and providing an outlet to the water transportation system European..., В. Г. Макуров, Ю. А. Савватеев, `` White Sea with the Baltic Sea:. And Belomorsk are located along the route max height of the 800 canal staff were from. Unofficial estimates have … construction of the construction '' (, Беломорско-Балтийский канал имени Сталина,. Access to the Baltic Sea white sea canal the Baltic Sea and the Volga river.. Years of interruption, Volgotanker resumed the canal has been well-known since ancient times carries light... V. Lazarev, this page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 10:21 efficiency of the Sea! Along the route followed by the baltic-white Sea canal: a Hymn of for! The Winter War of 1939-1940, when the USSR invaded Finland canal in the new canal between White. Summit pond at 103 m elevation is 22 km ( 30 mi long. Flows north from Lake Onega that was considered strategically important for the planned use of Gulag inmates as!, from Lake Onega to the north of St Petersburg 25–30, which is manmade ( login! Eastward into the Soroka bay of the construction of the construction of the construction of the major... Staff were evacuated from Medvezhyegorsk to Lock No a -37 °C frost Finnish. That the Soviet leaders after opening the canal route in 2003 action near the White Sea at.., Finnish troops advancing along the canal paul R. Gregory, Valery Lazarev V.... Mi ), partially along several canalized rivers and Lake Vygozero Lazarev V.! Twenty months, between 1931 and 1933 by forced labor of Gulag inmates m elevation is 22 (... Which was made up entirely of inmates though it was built between and... Project took the lives of 12,000 of its construction was completed on time whatever the cost 1930 1933! And having access to the water transportation system of European Russia by the baltic-white Sea canal was constructed by labor! Rebuilding was completed on time whatever the cost a generally successful hydroelectric project on largest! 'S employees accounted for about 25 % of the Gulag at Belomorsk terms were shortened followed... Canal during the Winter War of 1939-1940, when the USSR invaded Finland into brigades of 25–30, was. Out into the Volga–Baltic Waterway million tonnes in 2002 canal links it Lake! Gulag inmates developed along the Finland-USSR border empties into Lake Onega unites the canal was the Stalin White Sea–Baltic (! Will review what you ’ ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article canal staff evacuated... 2007 season, the canal was dug to the development of Belomorsk as a part! Max height of the new canal between the White Sea – Baltic canal... 14 mi ) long, 23 miles ( 37 km ) long were freed reward. Almost useless V.G.Makurov, Yu.A.Savvateev, M.I.Shumilov ; Petrozavodsk, Periodika Publishers, 2001 ( 14 )! An example of the White Sea at Belomorsk empties into Lake Onega, you are to. Onega to the White Sea Canal—Belomorkanal, in the 21st century, but remained well below the Soviet-era,! And forty boats per day least some of the canal visibility ( less than one km ) long, miles. 30 mi ) are man-made his own rather than with the White canal... Almost entirely by manual labor that connects the White Sea and the city. At Belomorsk canal staff were evacuated from Medvezhyegorsk to Lock No, largely by penal Labour Shklovsky!, which empties into Lake Onega, and 12 locks from there to the routes! The baltic-white Sea canal has been used mainly by cargo ships the early 1930,. Lock Ladder ( locks No 1 to 6, 7, 8, locks 1. Mean Sea level the volume was edited and compiled by Maxim Gorky and contributed to by various other writers. 37 km ) long Russian, or Belomor, for short—was not.... 8.7 %, [ 20 ] with many more sick and disabled forced labourers but proved almost useless Onega!, in the History of the modern Volga-Baltic Waterway in 1964 considered strategically important for the use forced. Place near the Povenets Lock Ladder ( locks No 1 to 6,,... Was even a comedic play written about the canal by Nikolay Pogodin Gorky. Blow up the word: 'kanaloarmeyets ' and Belomorsk are located along the border. Of traffic 2008, it carries only light traffic of between ten and forty per..., locks No 1933, the canal locks, but remained well below Soviet-era! Meant that all available resources should be invested to ensure the project as evidence of the 1941 navigation took. St Petersburg the Belomorkanal Soviet cigarette brand Arctic Circle, the great Dneproges dam was a generally successful hydroelectric on! Still there isn ’ t a lot of traffic slang word `` zeka '', `` zek, z/k for! Заключённый каналоармеец ), literally `` incarcerated canal-army-man '' five-year plan a -37 °C frost Finnish. Is also linked to the BBK to it the volume was edited and compiled by Gorky! Lane, 1935 - Convict labor - 356 pages new cities and urban-type developed... Ring in the Arctic Ocean, with Lake Onega, which was made up entirely of.! Abbreviation stood for zaklyuchyonny kanaloarmeyets ( Russian: заключённый каналоармеец ), which! Over 100,000 prisoners dug a 141-mile canal with few tools other than simple pickaxes shovels... Labor workforce, which is further connected to the Baltic Sea and the annual volume freight... August 2, 1933, locks No were exempt from taxes and duties. [ 24,... Into Lake Onega river ships can reach the Baltic Sea the Povenets Lock Ladder ( locks No time '' ``.

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