The last hours of life of this battleship are most fully described in BA's documentary historical chronicle. Karzhavin "The mystery of the death of the battleship" Novorossiysk ". The book presents a large amount of archival material for the investigation of the disaster, including a survey of survivors of that tragedy of sailors and officers, testimony of representatives of the High Command of the Black Sea Fleet, opinions and opinions of experts and experts of various profiles, including divers, who conducted a survey of the ship's hull and bottom of the bay The place of his death. There are also entries from the watch logs of the ships that were stationed in the Sevastopol Bay on the night of the tragedy, extracts from the current events logs of the Black Sea Fleet operational duty officer and the operative duty officer of the division for the protection of the Sevastopol Bay water area. The material collected by this researcher allows us to objectively assess the situation in the bay on the eve of the catastrophe, to recreate the dynamics of the development of dramatic events and come to the conclusion about the most probable cause of the nocturnal explosion and the conditions that made this explosion possible.
BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF THE SHIP.
The Italian battleship "Giulio Cesare" was laid in 1910, launched in 1911, enlisted in the Navy of Italy in 1913. In 1915 the ship took part in the First World War on the side France and England. With the arrival in Italy of B. Mussolini (Benito Amilсare Andrea Mussolini), the ship underwent a modernization, during which the firepower of the main caliber increased, the armor protection of the battleship increased slightly, and the power of its new powerplants allowed it to develop a speed of up to 28 knots. In 1940, Italy entered the Second World War on the side of Germany, and the battleship becomes a participant in the fighting in the Mediterranean. After the end of World War II, the Italian fleet in 1946 underwent a division between the allies of the anti-Hitler coalition as a result of reparations, and in early February 1949 the battleship Giulio Cesare was officially transferred to the Soviet side and became part of the Black Sea fleet called Novorossiysk. The technical condition of the ship transferred left much to be desired. In particular, the battleship had no bottom protection, the third bottom was absent in the bow of the ship's hull, the battleship had no demagnetizing device, which made the ship vulnerable to damage by bottom non-contact mines with a magnetic fuse. In addition, it was required to replace the Italian guns of the main caliber with the corresponding Soviet-made guns. However, despite these and other design flaws, the battleship began to carry out combat service in the Navy of the USSR.
On October 28, 1955, after conducting maneuvering tests and checking readiness for artillery fire in open waters, at 17.30 hours the battleship Novorossiysk entered the Sevastopol bay of the Main Base of the Black Sea Fleet and headed to the anchorage site on barrels No. 3. Before " Novorossiysk "the battleship" Sevastopol "was moored on these barrels. This battleship was the same age as the battleship Giulio Cesare (Novorossiysk). For the successful fulfillment of combat missions during the Great Patriotic War, Sevastopol was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. In July 1954, the command of the Black Sea Fleet decided to transfer the battleship Sevastopol to the class of training ships, and from November 1954 he was assigned a parking lot in the South Bay, anchored in barrels No. 13. The parking at anchor barrels No. 3 was secured to the battleship " Novorossiysk "and was located in the Northern bay opposite the hospital embankment.
At the approach of Novorossiysk to the anchorage, a command was given to give the left anchor and set off its anchor chain for a length of 80 meters. Battleship did not have time to extinguish the speed and slipped the bow anchor barrel to half of its body. I had to work cars back up and move back, after which the cars were stalled. Then the tugs deployed the ship in the direction of the exit from the Sevastopol Bay, and the stern towards the Neftyanaya Bay. On the bow anchor barrel, located on the right side of the ship at a distance of 20-30 meters from it, an anchor chain was built and fixed, and the stern of the ship was fixed with a cable to the stern , after which the anchor chain's slack on the port side was Selected. By 6 o'clock 30 minutes Novorossiysk was parked.
At 18 hours 47 minutes, it finally got dark, and visibility dropped to one cable (182.88 meters), but on a dark background of the horizon the battleship stood out clearly enough due to its on-duty lighting. Yes, and the moon was that night in the phase three days before the full moon, and from the cloudless starry sky, it almost like a searchlight, brightly illuminated Sevastopol Bay.  After the evening construction at 7 hours 00 minutes a small group of sailors, and some of the officers of the ship were dismissed to shore for a different period. The commander of the ship departed to the shore till morning.
In the parking lot of the battleship Novorossiysk, the silt covered the solid bottom of the Sevastopol Bay with three layers, differing in density and consistency. The clearance at the bow of the ship between the keel of the battleship and the first surface layer of the silt was 7.26 meters .
That was the situation at the place where the battleship Novorossiysk was anchored to the anchor barrels, when an explosion exploded on October 29, 1955 at 0130 hours. Despite the desperate attempts of the crew to save the ship, as well as to help from the emergency services that arrived to the site of the tragedy from neighboring ships, it was not possible to prevent the death of Novorossiysk. At 04:15, he turned over the port side of the keel up and in this position sank. The number of dead sailors and officers was more than 600 people .
On the day of the death of the battleship, the Council of Ministers of the USSR appointed a government commission to investigate the circumstances of the disaster. Three tasks were set before the commission: to determine the source of the explosion, to evaluate the actions of sailors and officers in the struggle for the survivability of the ship, to find out the reasons why the battleship turned over and sank. In the report to the USSR Council of Ministers, the commission indicated that the cause of the battleship explosion was the German bottom mine of the times of the Great Patriotic War. During the setting of the ship on the barrels, the anchor chain of the left-handed anchor of Novorossiysk touched the German mine and, therefore, triggered the mechanism of its undermining. The heroic efforts of the sailors and the duty officers of the ship were deemed adequate. At various stages of the tragedy, the top officials of the Black Sea Fleet, including the captain of the ship, arrived to Novorossiysk, but none of them managed to organize a single management of the rescue efforts. The ship's turn through the port side was possible as a result of a belated and ineptly attempted pull of the battleship in shallow water. In the report, the Governmental Commission also noted the shortcomings of the security system of the Sevastopol Bay, which did not exclude the possibility of penetration of an enemy submarine with saboteurs on board, but there were no signs of its penetration into the bay water area.
From the analysis of the materials of the investigation of the death of the battleship:
- the explosion occurred in the most vulnerable place of the ship - in the nose of its extremity under the bottom, which had no armor protection and the inner third bottom;
- on the starboard in the lower part of the bottom the ship received a hole, the edges of which are bent towards the inside of its hull; On the left side of the battleship, a longitudinal, concave dent inside of a substantial length was formed on the bottom without damaging the integrity of the metal of the hull; The nature of the damage received by the ship indicates that the explosions were underwater;