People's Commissariat for Water Transport

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The People's Commissariat for Water Transport (Народный комиссариат водного транспорта, Narodnyy Komissariat Vodnovo Transporta), usually abbreviated Наркомводтранс ("Narkomvodtrans")[1][2] or Наркомвод ("Narkomvod")[3] and also sometimes NKVT,[4] was the Soviet Ministry for Water Transportation. It was responsible, amongst other things, for running the Soviet merchant marine fleet.[3]


Narkomvod was established on 30 January 1931,[1][2] in the middle of a re-evaluation of Soviet policy about the railways and the splitting off the People's Commissariat of Transportation and as part of an overall government reorganization. The first people's commissar for Narkomvod was Nikolay Mikhaylovich Ianson, who had formerly been a people's commissar in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.[2]

By April 1931, Narkomvod had five directorates, for operations in the Baltic, Northern, Black, Azov, and Caspian Seas. Ianson resigned on 13 March 1934, in order to become the deputy chief of Glavsevmorput. He was replaced by Nikolay Pakhomov.[5]

On April 9, 1939 the People's Commissariat was abolished and split into the People's Commissariat of River Fleet and the People's Commissariat of Sea Fleet.[6]


The head of the People's Commissariat was a People's Commissar. The following People's Commissars of Water Transport were appointed,

All of them were subsequently executed during the Great Purge.



  1. ^ a b Bollinger 2003, p. 22.
  2. ^ a b c Rees 1995, p. 39.
  3. ^ a b Armstrong 2011, p. 19.
  4. ^ "Axis History Forum". w9816. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Bollinger 2003, p. 23.
  6. ^ Награды ведомств водного транспорта СССР (in Russian). История наградной фалеристики россии. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Янсон Николай Михайлович (in Russian). ХРОНОС. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Пахомов Николай Иванович (in Russian). ХРОНОС. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Ежов Николай Иванович (in Russian). ХРОНОС. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 

Sources used[edit]

  • Armstrong, Terence (2011). The Northern Sea Route: Soviet Exploitation of the North East Passage. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521232630. 
  • Bollinger, Martin J. (2003). Stalin's Slave Ships: Kolyma, the Gulag Fleet, and the Role of the West. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275981006. 
  • Rees, E. A. (1995). "The Transport Crisis, 1931". Stalinism and Soviet Rail Transport, 1928–1941. Studies in Soviet history and society. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780312123819. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Rees, E. A. (1997). "The People's Commissariat of Water Transport". In Rees, E. A. Decision-Making in the Stalinist Command Economy, 1932–1937. Studies in Russian and East European History and Society. New York: St Martin's Press. ISBN 9780312165642.