Zubov Nikolay Nikolaevich
(11(23).05.1885–11.11.1960)


An oceanologist, professor, doctor of geographical sciences, engineer-rear admiral, honored worker of science and technology of the RSFSR, researcher of the Arctic, one of the founders of the Soviet science of ice.
He was born in the town of Lipcani, Bessarabian province, in a military family - a cavalry officer who graduated from Elisavetgrad cavalry cadet school and officer cavalry school. He participated in the Russian-Turkish war of 1877–1878, in the First World War, had many awards, rose to the rank of general. He was buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy cemetery.
In the family, in addition to the eldest son Nicholas, there were nine more children. Due to the constant employment of the father, their upbringing completely fell on the mother’s shoulders.
Primary education the boy received in the seventh St. Petersburg gymnasium, and in 1894 he became a graduate of the First St. Petersburg Cadet Corps. Already during this period, the outstanding personal qualities of Zubov appear. In his certification notebooks for different years of study you can see such characteristics: “... outstanding abilities, with excellent memory, kind, cordial ..., with good will power. Truthful and frank ”or“ ... extremely curious and inquisitive. Hard character and strong will. Easily submits to his influence comrades. Comrade in the best sense of the word".
In 1901, Zubov entered the special classes of the privileged Naval Cadet Corps, which, due to the outbreak of the Russian-Japanese war, ended prematurely in 1904. In terms of academic success, he became the twenty-eighth of 128 graduates. Having received the title of midshipman, the 19-year-old Zubov was enlisted in the service of the watch supervisor on the outfitting squadron battleship "Eagle", and then on the destroyer "Blestjashiy". In 1905, he participated in the Battle of Tsushima, where he was seriously wounded. After a long ordeal, I reached Shanghai and was interned until the end of the war. Upon returning to Russia, he was awarded the first military awards and the rank of lieutenant.
In 1908 Zubov entered the Nikolaev Maritime Academy and two years later, after graduating from its hydrographic department, he became the navigator of the first category. During these years, specializing in hydrography, the most civil of the military sciences, Zubov at the same time paid much attention to tactics and strategies of naval combat, painfully analyzed the causes of the crushing defeat of the Russian fleet in the Tsushima battle.
In 1912 he held his first meeting with the Arctic, which determined the choice of life. Zubov was appointed navigator and senior officer on the “Bakan” messenger ship, whose tasks included the protection of fisheries in the Arctic Ocean and hydrographic observations. The leadership of the hydrographic survey was the main responsibility of Zubov. His first contribution to Arctic hydrography was the description and menstrual survey of the Mityushikha Bay on the western coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya.
The service at the “Bakan” could have continued for a long time, but in 1913, Zubov was discharged as a disease ashore — the consequences of his contusion began to be felt. Once on shore, Zubov succeeded in resigning and joined the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, taking up hydrometeorological support for seaports. During this period, he completed an internship in oceanology in Norway, at the Bergen Institute of Geophysics; returning to his homeland, for the first time he began teaching, reading a course of hydrology for the staff of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as a course of tactical navigation in officer navigational classes.
During World War I, Zubov, again called up for military service, took part in the hostilities. In October 1914, he - the commander of the destroyer "Poslushniy". A few months later he was transferred to the headquarters of the fleet commander for the post of flagship navigator officer at the headquarters of the head of the division of submarines of the Baltic Sea. In October 1915, the submarine "Cayman", on which Senior Lieutenant Zubov was then, seized the German steamer. For participation in this operation, he was presented to the Order of St. Anna 3 degrees with swords and bow. In December 1915, Zubov was promoted to captain 2 rank. At the beginning of July 1916 he was already a flagship navigator officer, now in the headquarters of the commander of the fleet of the Baltic Sea. In the new assignment, not only military merit alone played a role, but also Zubov’s successful activities in the field of the theory of naval tactics. All these years, the young officer has written and published articles on naval art, in which he focuses primarily on maneuvering in battle. At the same time, he also reads a tactical navigation course in the navigator classes of the Naval Academy. At the end of 1916, Zubov became commander of the “Powerful” squadron destroyer.
In the civil war mobilized into the army of Kolchak, he served as commander of the reserve battalion, fortunately, did not participate in battles. Captured by parts of the Red Army, he was sent to the headquarters of the Naval Forces for the post of head of the training department of naval educational institutions in Moscow.
In 1921, Zubov participated in the creation of the Floating Marine Scientific Institute (Plavmornin), the first oceanological scientific institution in Soviet Russia. Becoming his employee, he combined research and teaching activities, reading the course of naval tactics at the Military Academy of Sciences and studying the processes occurring in the waters of the Barents Sea. In the summer of 1923 on the ship "Perseus" sailed in the Barents Sea to Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya, in 1928–1929. on the same vessel explored the southern part of the Barents Sea. In 1930–1941 Zubov headed the department of oceanology created by him at the Moscow Hydrometeorological Institute. In the same period in the summer seasons, he actively participated in marine scientific expeditions. In 1930, the ship "N. Knipovich" sailed in the high latitudes of the Barents Sea, in 1932 reached Victoria Island on the same ship, where he raised the Soviet flag, and for the first time in the history of navigation, he skirted Franz Josef Land from the north, and in 1935 led the scientific part of the expedition G.А. Ushakov on the Sadko icebreaking steamer, in 1939, flew over the Kara Sea to explore the ice, marking the beginning of mandatory pre-navigation ice exploration in all the seas of the Soviet Arctic.
During World War II Zubov returned to the Navy, participated in ice transportation in the western sector of the Arctic. His merits were awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of 1 degree and the medal "For the Defense of the Soviet Arctic".

In 1944-1948 he was director of the State Oceanographic Institute, since 1948 - Professor of the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University. He died on one of the gloomy November days of 1960 and was buried in the Novodevichy cemetery.
Zubov is a world-renowned scientist. He wrote the fundamental works on ice forecasts in the Arctic seas, he laid the foundations of dynamic oceanology, developed the theory of straits.
Cape on the southern shore of the Mityushikha Bay on the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named by Northern Hydrographic Expedition, which has been conducting systematic work on Novaya Zemlya since 1924.

 

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