Reference work entry
“Lenin” – icebreaker, ordered by the Russian Empire, was laid down in June 1916 by Armstrong Whitworth at Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) as the “St. Alexander Nevsky”. The ship was launched on 23 December 1916, and completed in June 1917. Following the February Revolution in Russia, the Russian Empire had ceased to exist, and the ship was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS “Alexander” in September 1917. She served in the North Russia campaign during the Allied intervention in Civil War in Russia, and was handed over to White Russian Forces when the British withdrew in October 1919. The ship have been taken by the Soviet Power in 1921 and named “Lenin”. In 1937 “Lenin” was trapped in ice of the Laptev Sea with a convoy of five ships and spent an enforced winter. They were rescued by the icebreaker “Krasin” in August 1938. During World War II “Lenin” took part in Russian convoys in the Arctic. In 1942 she was part of a convoy spotted at the Mona Islands in the Kara Sea by a Kriegsmarine “Arado Ar 196” during Operation “Wunderland”. German heavy cruiser “Admiral Scheer” tried to find it, but bad weather, fog, and ice saved “Lenin” from destruction. Icebreaker continued its service till 1957, when the nuclear-powered icebreaker “Lenin” was launched, then it was renamed “Vladimir Ilich Lenin”. The ship was hulked in 1968, and finally scrapped in 1977.
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