Marinesko monument

  Nab. Marinesko     more than a year ago
Among the many, many monuments honouring the heroes of WWII you'll see all over Kaliningrad, this one is possibly the most controversial. It honours a submarine commander, Alexander Ivanovich Marinesko, who in January 1945 sank the Nazi cruise liner, the MV Wilhelm Gustloff, a few hours after it had sailed from the occupied Polish city of Gdynia, carrying thousands of fleeing German civilians and wounded soldiers. The sinking of the Gustloff remains the largest maritime disaster in history, with an estimated 9,000 victims. Marinesko is reported to have been the most successful Soviet submarine commander in WWII but recognition came late in life after he fell foul of the authorities for drunkenness, was demoted and pensioned out of the navy after the war - his behaviour seen as unbecoming of a Soviet hero. He was rehabilitated late in life (he died in 1963) and was awarded the Soviet Union's highest award - Hero of the Soviet Union in 1990.


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