Gorbatsky Gerasim Vasilyevich

(14.05.1896 - 30.01.1977)


Geographer, candidate of geographical sciences, honorary polar explorer. His son Vitaly (1920–2005) is a famous Soviet and Russian astronomer, an honored science worker of the Russian Federation.

Born in Vilna. His father was a forest specialist.

After graduating from the gymnasium in the fall of 1915, he was enrolled as a volunteer in the howitzer division of the Tsarskoye Selo heavy cannon regiment and from the end of 1915 until the beginning of 1917 he was at the front. After passing the officer exam was made in the artillery warrant.

He was demobilized at the end of 1917 and entered the Nevelsk Secondary School as a teacher.

In the spring of 1919, Gorbatsky was drafted into the Red Army. As a commander of artillery units, he participated in the civil war in battles with the White Poles and the White Ballet.

After the end of the civil war, Gorbatsky was seconded to the Leningrad Higher Military Pedagogical School for a branch of geography. This was followed by the work of a teacher in the Western Infantry School in Smolensk, in the Smolensk Gubovpartchkol School, and from 1926 in Leningrad in the Borisoglebsko-Leningrad cavalry school. Once in Leningrad, Gorbatsky entered the Faculty of Geography of the university, which he graduated in 1929.

Since 1927, Gorbatsky began to participate in summer expeditions. In 1930 he entered the Arctic Institute, at the request of which in February 1931, was demobilized.

Conducting the main work at the Arctic Institute, Gorbatsky, in combination, taught hydrological courses at the institute and hydrographic courses at Glavsevmorput, and also lectured as a lecturer at the Leningrad Council of Lecturers.

In the spring of 1935, due to a reduction in the scope of work of the geological department of the Arctic Institute, Gorbatsky transferred to the Moscow Regional Pedagogical Institute as an assistant professor in the department of physical geography. In Moscow, Gorbatsky combined his main work with participation in editing the Great Soviet Atlas of the World, reading lectures at the Institute for Advanced Studies of Teachers, and the work of a senior researcher at Moscow State University. In 1938, the Academic Council of Moscow State University, without thesis defense, was awarded the degree of Candidate of Geographical Sciences.

With the beginning of World War II, Gorbatsky went to the front as part of the Moscow militia, where he commanded a battery. After the defeat of the Germans near Moscow, he and the Moscow Pedagogical Institute were evacuated to the Kirov region, where he stayed until 1943.

In October 1945, at the request of the Directorate, Gorbatsky again moved to the Arctic Institute, first as a senior researcher and then as head of the department of general geography. Since 1948, Leningrad University has become the place of its main activity, where he worked as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Geography.

The scientific developments of Gorbatsky were based on active expeditionary work in various regions of the Arctic and Subarctic. He was a participant, the head of geological and geographical research on the Kola Peninsula, the Kanin Peninsula, in the Vaga River Basin, Novaya Zemlya, the Lower Ob River Basin, the Northern Urals, the New Siberian Islands, the Karelian Isthmus.

He died in Leningrad , buried in the South Cemetery.

At the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, the Novaya Zemlya worked the Arctic Sea Integrated Expedition of the Polar Research Foundation and theD.Likhachev Russian Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage under the direction of P.V. Boyarsky . At 2 km south-east of Cape Carlsen in the north of the northern island, on the pebbled all-terrain terrace of 3 m above sea level, members of the International Atmosphere Association discovered beams, which, according to their assumptions, were installed in the early 1930s. expedition of the All-Union Arctic Institute. They gave this beam the name Gorbatsky Balok . Here is its description:“The beam is a wooden frame-pillar construction. Inside and outside the sheathing is lined with clapboard. The space between the skins is filled with straw. The construction of the structure is based on two powerful logs-fin from a fin. Dimensions beam 340x300 cm. On the north and south sides are doors. On the east side of the room are remnants of bunks. The board roof has a slightly rounded shape. Traces of electrical wiring are traced inside the beam. A cast-iron stove- stove , remains of iron beds, an iron kettle of a cylindrical shape, covered with green enamel, four iron barrels made of fuel with a capacity of 200 l each were found near the beam. 


Balok Gorbatsky near Cape Carlsen


The plateau between the bay of Inostrantsev and Cape Medvezhy on the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Called by the geological expedition All-Union Arctic Institute under the guidance of I.F. Pustovalov.


The plateau Gorbatsky. Helicopter view

( photo by V.V. Gorbatsky)


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