Before the commissioning of the Circum-Baikal Railway in 1905 year “Angara” together with “Baikal” committed two passages between the landing piers of Baikal and Mysovaya every day. Over the time the pier of ice breakers was transferred to Tankhoi.
After the October Revolution the ice breakers were nationalized. Pretty soon, with the beginning of the civil war and the approaching military units of the rebellious Czechoslovak Corps to Irkutsk, people had to suspend peaceful works. War front was rapidly approaching Irkutsk. It was decided to create a warship flotilla on Baikal. Its flagship became “Angara” which got armed with two 6-inch cannons and 4 machine guns.
“Angara” with a detachment of Red Guards of Listvennichny on board went cruising in the southern part of the Lake. Now a combat vessel, it applied fire to railway tunnels of the Circum-Baikal Railway and monitored all movements along the Lake and on the Lake itself. In addition, “Angara” made landings that helped to get hold of the strategically important points.
The “Titanic” of the Lake, the “Baikal” ice breaker became a real mobile headquarters and a warehouse. It had enough place for people, guns, armor, coal and many things more. The ship was poorly armed - it had just one old mortar.
White Czechs managed to create their own fleet. Its main aimpoint was the floating headquarters of the Red Guard. As we have already mentioned, “Baikal” was not able to avoid death. Taking advantage of the absence of “Angara”, the fleet of White Czechs attacked the Mysovaya pier where “Baikal” stood. The operation involved the following ships: “Feodosiy”, “Buryat” and “Sibiryak”. The first vessel with two barges under the board carried artillery and machine guns. The attack was noticed too late, and “Baikal” didn’t even have time to turn around and accept the fight. One of the first missiles hit the ice breaker in the stern and immobilized the giant. When the topside was hit, “Baikal” was set on fire. The wooden topside, the holds filled with charcoal, grease and armor - everything became the prey of the flames. The frame of this ship stayed at the bottom at the pier until its metal became required for the needs of the war front during the World War II.
After the end of military actions “Angara” has long served as a passenger vessel, then as a fishing vessel. It operated until 1962, having several crashes, getting stuck in the ice of the “Holy Sea” and even narrowly escaped sinking once. In 1963 the ship was dismissed, its fate has for a long time been in the hands of the Ministry of Defense or of the Irkutsk authorities. Finally, in 1991, the donations of the inhabitants of the city helped to turn the oldest ship of its class into a Museum which accepts visitors now. That’s the continuation of the story of the last ice breaker of Lake Baikal.