Soviet submarine K-19

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K-19, KS-19, BS-19 was one of the first two Soviet submarines of the 658, 658м, 658с class (NATO reporting name Hotel-class submarine), the first generation nuclear submarine equipped with nuclear ballistic missiles, specifically the R-13 (missile). Its keel was laid down on 17 October 1958, christened on 8 April 1959 and launched on 11 October 1959. Its naval flag was first raised on 12 July 1960, and it completed all acceptance tests on 12 November 1960. Its official commissioning took place on 30 April 1961. Due to the large number of accidents during its construction and service life, it gained an unofficial nickname "Hiroshima" among naval sailors and officers.[1] Over its service life, it ran 332,396 miles during 20,223 working hours.



  • 16 October 1957 Ordered by the Soviet Navy.[2]
  • 17 October 1958 Laid down at the naval yard in Severodvinsk as a main nuclear submarine cruiser equipped with ballistic missiles.
  • 1959 Three people die as a result of a fire which broke out during the construction of the ballast tanks.
  • 11 October 1959 Launching ceremony and christening. Champagne bottle thrown by Captain, 3rd rank V. V. Panov of the 5th Urgent Unit slides along the screws and bounces off the rubber coated hull without breaking. Many view this as a sign of bad luck.
  • January 1960 Confusion during a watch change causes the crew to bend a reactor control rod. The damage is so extensive the reactor needs to be taken apart for repairs. As a result, responsible officers are removed from their post and Captain Panov is demoted one rank.
  • 30 April 1960 Commissioned.
  • 12 July 1960 The submarine's ensign is hoisted for the first time.
  • 13 through 17 July 1960 First sea trials.
  • 12 August through 8 November 1960 Conducted several sea trials over a total course of 10,779 miles. The rubber coating on the hull is found to have mostly come off after surfacing from a submerged full power run, requiring a total repainting of the boat. During a test dive to the maximum depth of 300 m (980 ft), water leaks in the reactor compartment and causes the crew to do an emergency surfacing. The boat jumps out of the water dangerously close to its supply ship.
  • October 1960 Wooden planks removed from crates containing equipment are disposed of through the galley's waste system, clogging it. This causes flooding to the 9th compartment which subsequently fills one third full with water.
  • 12 November 1960 The boat is commissioned and Captain, 2nd rank Nikolai Vladimirovich Zateyev becomes the first commander of the submarine.
  • December 1960 First independent operation. Loss of coolant causes failure of the main circuit pump. Specialists called from Severodvinsk manage to repair it at sea in a week.
  • 1961 While loading missiles a hatch cover slams shut and kills a sailor.
  • 3 and 4 July 1961 The nuclear accident. See Nuclear accident.
  • 6 August 1961 26 members of the crew are awarded decorations for courage and valor shown while dealing with the accident.
  • 14 December 1961 Upgraded to the Hotel II (658м) variant, which upgraded the missiles to the R-21 having twice the effective range.
  • 15 November 1969 Collision with USS Gato. See Collision.
  • 24 February 1972 A fire takes the lives of 28 sailors and 2 more while on board rescue ships. See Fire.
  • 15 June through 5 November 1972 Repaired quickly and put back into service.
  • November 1972 Another fire breaks out, no casualties.
  • 25 July 1977 Reclassified as a Large Submarine.
  • 15 November 1978 Fire in compartment 6. No casualties. Extinguished by the chemical fire system.
  • 26 July 1979 Reclassified as a communications submarine and given the symbol KS-19 (КС-19).
  • 15 August 1982 Due to electrical short circuit, two sailors received burns of varying degrees. One of them, V. A. Kravchuk dies in a hospital on 20 August 1982.
  • 28 November 1985 Upgraded to the 658s (658с) variant.
  • 19 April 1990 Decommissioned.
  • March 2002 A US film studio tries to secure the boat as a set for its production, but the Russian Navy declines.
  • August 2003 The crew makes its last visit to the boat in Polyarny city after which the hull is scrapped save for the sail left for the purpose of forming a burial site for fallen crew members.

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