Russian steamer Karun

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Spearfish
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Russian steamer Karun

Post by Spearfish » 22 Dec 2021 17:46

In June 1937 the Russian steamer Karun was reported to have been seized off Almeria by the cruiser Almirante Cervera with a considerable quantity of war material. Can anyone provide confirmation and details?

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Ironmachine
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Re: Russian steamer Karun

Post by Ironmachine » 23 Dec 2021 09:18

That can't be true, because in June 1937 the Almirante Cervera was operating in the the Cantabrian Sea (and Almeria, in case someone doesn't know it, is located on the Mediterranean coast).

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Re: Russian steamer Karun

Post by Spearfish » 23 Dec 2021 11:51

Ironmachine, very many thanks. I had strong doubts because of the claims about the cargo.
Is there a list of merchant ships captured by the Nationalist Navy with war equipment and details of their cargo?

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Re: Russian steamer Karun

Post by Ironmachine » 23 Dec 2021 12:11

Can't help with that, I don't know if there is such a list.
What is the source of the statement about the Karun and the Almirante Cervera?

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Re: Russian steamer Karun

Post by Spearfish » 23 Dec 2021 18:44

Many thanks again Ironmachine.
The source was Paul Heaton's Spanish Civil War Blockade Runners p.69 although the author acknowledged this was a report which he had been unable to verify.

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Re: Russian steamer Kuban

Post by GregSingh » 24 Dec 2021 03:07

Karun did not come up in searches as a name of Soviet steamer. It is misspelled Kuban.

That's what DNB reported, but I don't know how accurate it is.

27-Jun-1937.jpg
Kuban.jpg
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Re: Russian steamer Karun

Post by Spearfish » 24 Dec 2021 03:37

GregSingh you have clearly identified the source of the story and the DNB source of St Jean de Luz suggests it was off the northern coast. But is that true and was the cargo that large?

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Re: Russian steamer Kuban

Post by GregSingh » 24 Dec 2021 05:57

Could be a fake news.
Anyway Nationalist''s HQ allegedly denied they spread the rumor...

26-Jun-1937.jpg

Although two weeks earlier (June 8th) allegedly Kuban and another Soviet ship were intercepted near Gibraltar and taken to Ceuta for a cargo inspection. That incident is mentioned in Soviet sources.

18-Jun-1937.jpg
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Ironmachine
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Re: Russian steamer Karun

Post by Ironmachine » 24 Dec 2021 08:37

Spearfish wrote:The source was Paul Heaton's Spanish Civil War Blockade Runners p.69 although the author acknowledged this was a report which he had been unable to verify.
It would have been as easy as checking where was the Almirante Cervera on that date. The National Navy did not have bilocation technology available, so it is imposible that the Almirante Cervera was capturing freighters near Almería while at the same time she was crusing the Cantabrian Sea.
Spearfish wrote:GregSingh you have clearly identified the source of the story and the DNB source of St Jean de Luz suggests it was off the northern coast.
The source is St Jean de Luz, but the text of the DNB clearly states that it (supposedly) happened in the Mediterranean Sea and that the captured ship was sent to Málaga.

Spearfish wrote:But is that true and was the cargo that large?
As previously mentioned, it seems it's not true as the Almirante Cervera was not where the news place her. Another significant point is that the captured weapons would have been immediately put into service with the National army, and they would not have gone unnoticed. For example, the number of T-26 tanks that reached Spain is quite well know, with some small doubts. There is no way that 44 T-26 tanks suddenly becoming available to the National forces would have left no paper trail.
GregSingh wrote:Could be a fake news.
So it seems.

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Re: Russian steamer Karun

Post by Spearfish » 24 Dec 2021 11:43

Ironmachine and GregSingh, your fake news comments are exactly what I was thinking partly because the ship was claimed captured in the Mediterranean and partly because I also was unaware of such a cornucopia of tanks for the Nationalist Army. I seem to think the Nationalist Army T-26 inventory in late 1937 or early 1938 was below the figure of 44, although I cannot lay my hands on accurate figures. This was why I was seeking informed opinion about the 'Karun'/Kuban, which I have clearly received from both of you and for which I am very grateful

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Re: Russian steamer Karun

Post by Ironmachine » 25 Dec 2021 09:24

Spearfish wrote:I seem to think the Nationalist Army T-26 inventory in late 1937 or early 1938 was below the figure of 44, although I cannot lay my hands on accurate figures.
On 28 June 1937, there were 27 T-26 tanks in the possession of the Nationals. Of them, 15 were in Sevilla, with only 3 ready for service (but one was lacking some pieces of equipment, like the gun sight), 9 that could be repaired if spares became available and 3 beyond repair; 5 were in Zaragoza, of which 2 had been repaired and could enter service though they still lacked some pieces of equipment, and 3 were too damaged to be repaired; and 7 were in Madrid, 6 ready and 1 needing small repairs. No mention of 44 brand-new T-26 available in any document I know of.
The first company of "Russian tanks" formed (paper-strenght of 12 tanks) entered combat at the Battle of Brunete in July 1937. A second company of "Russian tanks" was not formed until the beginning of 1938.

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Re: Russian steamer Karun

Post by Spearfish » 25 Dec 2021 11:32

Ironmachine, I think that confirms the German news agencies were, at best, grossly exaggerating if not telling outright lies.

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