MTB's and Motor Launches at Finnish Gulf, May 1943

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BIGpanzer
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MTB's and Motor Launches at Finnish Gulf, May 1943

Post by BIGpanzer » 22 May 2007 16:02

Splitted from
Captured Soviet naval vessels in Finnish use?
viewtopic.php?t=120295&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=75

/Juha




About Soviet small hunters for submarines of MO-type and Finnish vessels, I have one question - several sources discuss the following reasons of loss of Finnish MTB "Raju" (MTV-7): 1) MO No.207 sank that Finnish MTB 24.05.1943; 2) "Raju" hit under-water beam and sank 16.05.1943; 3) "Raju" hit anti-boat obstacle near Kronstadt around the same time. AFAIK many Finnish sources mention the 2nd reason, but what about the possibility for reasons 1) and 3)?

Regards, BP

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Post by Juha Tompuri » 22 May 2007 18:24

BP,

Thanks for the designation info.

BIGpanzer wrote:About Soviet small hunters for submarines of MO-type
Quite non-international and rare designation you use about the type, of what for instance Jane's uses Motor Launch.
Did you invent the designation all by yourself?


BP wrote: I have one question - several sources discuss the following reasons of loss of Finnish MTB "Raju" (MTV-7): 1) MO No.207 sank that Finnish MTB 24.05.1943; 2) "Raju" hit under-water beam and sank 16.05.1943; 3) "Raju" hit anti-boat obstacle near Kronstadt around the same time. AFAIK many Finnish sources mention the 2nd reason
Many Finnish sources give the correct info.
16/5 1943
Motor torpedo boat Raju
Hit by underwater boom obstacle.
Koivisto Sound.
No losses
Not worthwhile to repair the old worn-out boat.
Last operation of the old Thornycroft boats in Gulf of Finland.
http://users.tkk.fi/~jaromaa/Navygallery/index.htm

BP wrote: but what about the possibility for reasons 1) and 3)?
= 0
...but it would be very interesting to find out more about the sources of them


Regards, Juha

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Post by BIGpanzer » 22 May 2007 19:42

Thanks for the designation info

No problem

Quite non-international and rare designation you use about the type, of what for instance Jane's uses Motor Launch.
Did you invent the designation all by yourself?

Not by myself, of course. Official Soviet designation for MO-type boats was small hunters for submarines [see above]. I will prefer to name them as patrol boats in future, but I agree with motor launch designation [but less clear indeed - as large life-boats are called often in such way]

Many Finnish sources give the correct info.

Very agree. As well as many Russian, German, Polish, etc. sources. Depends on the author. Mistakes can be found and were found already everywhere.

but it would be very interesting to find out more about the sources of them

For example, http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/ mentions both reasons can be found in literature: underwater boom obstacle [16.05.1943] and combat with Soviet MO-207 [24.05.1943]
http://www.battleships.spb.ru/KO/0196/Torped.html mentions underwater boom obstacle [16.05.1943]
J. Meister [ http://www.battleships.spb.ru also mentions his hypothesis] wrote about anti-boat obstacle at Kronshtadt harbor.

As for MO-207 - I checked my sources, it had the strong combat [together with MO-303] with enemy patrol boats/motor launches on 24.05.1943 indeed. The log-book of MO-303 gives very short info only: "23 May 1943, 23.43 - detected enemy motor-boats in the north. Battle alarm! 23.56 - decrease the distance up to 15 cables...Open fire...24 May 1943, 00.54 - returned back to the patrol line. All clear..."
The more detailed description of that combat from online sources is the following [direct translation as it is - BP]:
MO-303 [lieutenant V. Tityakov] and MO-207 [senior lieutenant N. Kaplunov] performed patrol mission between Kronstadt-Lavansaari during the night 24.05.1943, providing guard for convoy and submarine Shch-406, which should run soon. Suddenly 5 enemy motor-boats were detected, and 2 Soviet patrol motor-boats stopped their engines to remain invisible. When the distance decreased up to 20-25 cables both "MO" gave the full speed and opened fire; 45mm shell from nose gun of MO-207 hit the stern of one enemy motor-boat and it abandoned combat order. Suddenly 8 more enemy motor-boats were detected 2-3 cables from the first group. Two Soviet patrol motor-boats "MO" had the combat with the first group [5 enemy motor-boats] from the distance 50-80 m, firing with 45mm guns and MGs. Enemy motor-boats replied with strong fire - several 20mm shells hit MO-303 and its steersman tried to ram closest enemy target, nose 45mm gun of MO-303 fired 2 shells from the very close distance. That enemy motor-boat tried to disappear at smokescreen. The first group [5 motor-boats] separated and 2 "MO" attacked the 2nd enemy group [8 motor-boats].
MO-207 was damaged by several hits from 20mm shells [which also damaged 45mm gun], steersman A. Ivchenko was killed but lieutenant I. Lobanovsky [second in command] took his place. DShK gunner T. Bazhenov was wounded in the legs but he loaded cartridge belts for the 2nd DShK of gunner A. Frolov. One enemy patrol boat noticed the decrease of fire from MO-207 and tried to decrease the distance, but Soviet artillerymen could make one shot from damage 45mm gun from close distance anf hit deck-house of enemy motor-boat, which stopped. All other enemy motor-boats began to press both "MO" towards north coast where enemy coastal batteries could open fire. M)-207 was hit by additional 20mm shells - its commander N. Kaplunov was killed and second in command I. Lobanovsky was heavily wounded [lost his leg], engine compartment was damaged. MO-303 was also heavily damaged - wounded crewmembers and destroyed nose 45mm gun. Both Soviet patrol boats made the last attempt to attack and could break through the combat order of enemy motor-boats, the shell from rear gun of MO-303 could hit the fuel tank of enemy motor-boat during that attack. Independently both heavily damaged MO [almost all survived crewmembers were heavily wounded] could return back to their base - during 30 min combats with 13 enemy motor-boats one of them was sank [Finnish MTB "Raju"] and another [patrol boat] was heavily damaged"

My personal note - the info is from Soviet source [1980s] and I couldn't find any new info about that combat in modern Russian sources at the moment [they just cite old source in this particular case], so the description of combat between 2 Soviet and 13 enemy motor-boats can contain incorrectnesses. Nevertheless, the combat 24.05.1943 took place indeed and captain of MO-207 was killed in that combat for sure. Any additional info is very welcome [what kind of enemy motor-boats and how many participated in that combat with two Soviet "MO"]
http://shipandship.chat.ru/foto/k/100.jpg [MO-303]
http://militera.lib.ru/memo/russian/egorov/09.jpg [captain of MO-207 senior lieutenant N. Kaplunov, killed in combat 24.05.1943]

P.S. Sorry for a little bit off-topic :wink:

Regards, BP

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Post by Juha Tompuri » 23 May 2007 22:30

BIGpanzer wrote:P.S. Sorry for a little bit off-topic
No problem (anymore)

BP wrote:
JT wrote:Quite non-international and rare designation you use about the type, of what for instance Jane's uses Motor Launch.
Did you invent the designation all by yourself?

Not by myself, of course. Official Soviet designation for MO-type boats was small hunters for submarines [see above].
I wonder, is the official Soviet designation you mention and use, your own translation, as at the web there seems to have been not even single similar designations as the one you use.

BP wrote: I will prefer to name them as patrol boats in future, but I agree with motor launch designation [but less clear indeed - as large life-boats are called often in such way]
Yes...as you mention - are- that is today, as with the Patrol Boat designation, both modern ones.
During WWII the Motor Launch was a more common designation (for the MO- and similar types) than Patrol Boat.

BP wrote:
Many Finnish sources give the correct info.

Very agree. As well as many Russian, German, Polish, etc. sources. Depends on the author. Mistakes can be found and were found already everywhere.
Could you mention the Finnish mistakes at this date?

BP wrote:Any additional info is very welcome
There is, just checking some details about the events exactly 64 years ago..

Regards, Juha

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Post by BIGpanzer » 23 May 2007 23:49

Juha, I can't participate in AHF till the beginning of June - sorry!

Juha wrote:
No problem (anymore)

Let's see and hope :wink:

Juha wrote:
I wonder, is the official Soviet designation you mention and use, your own translation, as at the web there seems to have been not even single similar designations as the one you use.

This is my direct translation from Soviet official designation word by word - small hunter for submarines, abbreviation MO means just small hunter [Maly Ohotnik]. Of course, if you type this on Russian you will get a lot of links by Google. The closest English analogues - submarine hunter, submarine-hunting ship, submarine chaser [I think with additional word "small" will be better for understanding].

Juha wrote:
Yes...as you mention - are- that is today, as with the Patrol Boat designation, both modern ones.
During WWII the Motor Launch was a more common designation (for the MO- and similar types) than Patrol Boat.

I agree with you and I remember that you prefer the name motor launch for such types of small warships. But I need check myself every time in such case as I am used to write patrol boat - so let me do this, OK? :wink:

Juha wrote:
Could you mention the Finnish mistakes at this date?

I recommend you to read sometimes another sources in addition to Finnish for comparisons and analysis. It is important for erudition [especially, if other sources, yes, including Russian, cite and analyse Finnish sources you know in details - good examples for comparison, for example - history of blockade of Leningrad, or analysis of losses of all kinds during the Winter war]. For sure, it is possible to understand the quite correct history of WWII basing only on Finnish, or only on German, or only on Russian sources, but comparisons of detailed info is quite interesting and useful. Try to be more "international" :wink: Personally, I like Finnish sources a lot [what I have are among my favourities], but the same I can say about my favourite German, Polish and Russian sources. Interesting, that Russians are in more advantageous position for their knowledge [at least, in Moscow and St.Petersburg] - I always find there during my visits a huge amount of very detailed modern historical books/journals as well as even more amount of original and translating books of German [especially], US, Polish and Finnish authors. I can't find so many interesting and rare literature anywhere else and I always stress at military bookshops there :) [Russian books and journals especially is quite hard and expensive to order online].
About fate of MTV-7 "Raju" - seems to be no mistakes in Finnish sources. Russian sources mention both reasons - Soviet and Finnish [see above], German sources [I could find only several] mentions the loss because of anti-boat obstacle mainly for some unknown reason. By the way, the origin of Soviet-period version [very correct in general in this particular case, I need to say - as I've already found additional materials in German and Russian sources about that combat] seems to be simple: those two MO indeed sank 1 enemy MTB and damaged 2 motor-boats (motor launches :wink: ), but as Soviet combat reports didn't mention the type of enemy boat, Soviet historians tried to find it by themselves basing on limited foreign info and "Raju" was a good candidate [sank also in May 1943].

Juha wrote:
There is, just checking some details about the events exactly 64 years ago..

Thanks a lot. I found 2 research articles about the subject [on Russian], quite modern and very detailed memoires of one of those MO-commanders about that combat and old German report from 1943 - that heroic [was it not?!] combat between two Soviet MO and 10-13 German motor-boats [MTBs and patrol, amount is a little bit differ from source to source] really took place. I will try to translate the most interesting fragments from articles and memoires, but I don't have time for this now.

Regards, BP

P.S. Time is very limited and amount of necessary work is increasing a lot [by the way, congratulations, please - I became a professor 8-) :) ]. I am thinking more and more - may be to cancel my participation in AHF? :|

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Post by Juha Tompuri » 24 May 2007 21:48

JT wrote:
BIGpanzer wrote:P.S. Sorry for a little bit off-topic

No problem (anymore)
BP wrote:Let's see and hope
No problem as not off-topic (anymore)

BP wrote:
Juha wrote:I wonder, is the official Soviet designation you mention and use, your own translation, as at the web there seems to have been not even single similar designations as the one you use.

This is my direct translation from Soviet official designation word by word
That's what I thought, but why to invent the wheel again, as there are, I dare to say, better and more international WWII era terms, already in use and availlable?


BP wrote:
Juha wrote:Could you mention the Finnish mistakes at this date?

I recommend you to read sometimes another sources in addition to Finnish for comparisons and analysis.
emphasis on mine.
As the MTB Raju hit the obstacle at a mission with no direct Soviet involvement, there is very little non-Finish information about the date to be compared with.


BP wrote:By the way, the origin of Soviet-period version [very correct in general in this particular case, I need to say - as I've already found additional materials in German and Russian sources about that combat] seems to be simple: those two MO indeed sank 1 enemy MTB and damaged 2 motor-boats (motor launches :wink: ), but as Soviet combat reports didn't mention the type of enemy boat, Soviet historians tried to find it by themselves basing on limited foreign info and "Raju" was a good candidate [sank also in May 1943].
No Finnish vessels sank at that battle.
A Finnish motor launch, VMV-17 was damaged there (two KIA one WIA and two WIA on other launches)

Actually AFAIK, no Finnish Navy vessels were sunken by Soviet ship artillery during Winter and Continuation Wars.
The VMV-17 being, IIRC, the only Finnish navy vessel (seriously) damaged by Soviet ship artillery during the wars.


BIGpanzer wrote:Juha, I can't participate in AHF till the beginning of June - sorry!
BP wrote:P.S. Time is very limited and amount of necessary work is increasing a lot
Business before pleasure.


BP wrote:[by the way, congratulations, please - I became a professor 8-) :) ]. I am thinking more and more - may be to cancel my participation in AHF?
If so - congratulations.
You leaving would be a loss to the AHF.

Regards, Juha

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Post by Juha Tompuri » 25 May 2007 23:34

BIGpanzer wrote:As for MO-207 - I checked my sources, it had the strong combat [together with MO-303] with enemy patrol boats/motor launches on 24.05.1943 indeed. The log-book of MO-303 gives very short info only: "23 May 1943, 23.43 - detected enemy motor-boats in the north. Battle alarm! 23.56 - decrease the distance up to 15 cables...Open fire...24 May 1943, 00.54 - returned back to the patrol line. All clear..."
The more detailed description of that combat from online sources is the following [direct translation as it is - BP]:
MO-303 [lieutenant V. Tityakov] and MO-207 [senior lieutenant N. Kaplunov] performed patrol mission between Kronstadt-Lavansaari during the night 24.05.1943, providing guard for convoy and submarine Shch-406, which should run soon. Suddenly 5 enemy motor-boats were detected, and 2 Soviet patrol motor-boats stopped their engines to remain invisible. When the distance decreased up to 20-25 cables both "MO" gave the full speed and opened fire; 45mm shell from nose gun of MO-207 hit the stern of one enemy motor-boat and it abandoned combat order. Suddenly 8 more enemy motor-boats were detected 2-3 cables from the first group. Two Soviet patrol motor-boats "MO" had the combat with the first group [5 enemy motor-boats] from the distance 50-80 m, firing with 45mm guns and MGs. Enemy motor-boats replied with strong fire - several 20mm shells hit MO-303 and its steersman tried to ram closest enemy target, nose 45mm gun of MO-303 fired 2 shells from the very close distance. That enemy motor-boat tried to disappear at smokescreen. The first group [5 motor-boats] separated and 2 "MO" attacked the 2nd enemy group [8 motor-boats].
MO-207 was damaged by several hits from 20mm shells [which also damaged 45mm gun], steersman A. Ivchenko was killed but lieutenant I. Lobanovsky [second in command] took his place. DShK gunner T. Bazhenov was wounded in the legs but he loaded cartridge belts for the 2nd DShK of gunner A. Frolov. One enemy patrol boat noticed the decrease of fire from MO-207 and tried to decrease the distance, but Soviet artillerymen could make one shot from damage 45mm gun from close distance anf hit deck-house of enemy motor-boat, which stopped. All other enemy motor-boats began to press both "MO" towards north coast where enemy coastal batteries could open fire. M)-207 was hit by additional 20mm shells - its commander N. Kaplunov was killed and second in command I. Lobanovsky was heavily wounded [lost his leg], engine compartment was damaged. MO-303 was also heavily damaged - wounded crewmembers and destroyed nose 45mm gun. Both Soviet patrol boats made the last attempt to attack and could break through the combat order of enemy motor-boats, the shell from rear gun of MO-303 could hit the fuel tank of enemy motor-boat during that attack. Independently both heavily damaged MO [almost all survived crewmembers were heavily wounded] could return back to their base - during 30 min combats with 13 enemy motor-boats one of them was sank [Finnish MTB "Raju"] and another [patrol boat] was heavily damaged"

My personal note - the info is from Soviet source [1980s] and I couldn't find any new info about that combat in modern Russian sources at the moment [they just cite old source in this particular case], so the description of combat between 2 Soviet and 13 enemy motor-boats can contain incorrectnesses. Nevertheless, the combat 24.05.1943 took place indeed and captain of MO-207 was killed in that combat for sure. Any additional info is very welcome [what kind of enemy motor-boats and how many participated in that combat with two Soviet "MO"]
What's the origin of that source?

Combined info from Laivat puuta, miehet rautaa (Ship of wood, men of iron) by Peuranheimo Orvo – Pirhonen Jouko – Killinen Kullervo (1956) and Taisteluhälyytys (Battle Alarm) by Eino Pukkila (1961):

Finns detected ( the message was received 1945 hours Finnish time) a Soviet convoy between Lavansaari Kronstadt, Island Kotlin (Retusaari).
They decided to attack - VMV-type motor launches to East of Diamant Shallow (Banka Diomid http://water.worldcitydb.com/banka_diomid_4062604.html ) to protect the MTB's attacking at West of the Shallow. The weather was rainy and visibilty low
The Finnish force was of 5 motor launches (VMV 8, 9, 10, 11 and 17, the last one mentioned acting as flag vessel) and 5 MTB's (AFAIK Hurja class, H 1 to H 5).
MTB's started 2000 hours and the motor launces 2030 hours. Both from Koivisto (Primorsk / Bjorko).
The convoy had travelled faster than the Finnish estimate, and the (earlier startrd) MTB's only met four Soviet motor launches at south of the Diamant Shallow, resulting a firefight between them.
The Finnish VMV's at their route (from Seivästö (Ozerki) to direction Shepelevsky) detected two Soviet MO-type motor launches 2245 hours Finnish time, 4 seamiles South from Seivästö.
The Finns decided to go at full speed, in a row formation to the South side of the MO's, in order to cut off the Soviet route of withdrawal.
The plan worked and sailing from the East side from the MO's the VMV's manage to place themselves South from the MO's, and fire was opened at 2300 hours at distance of 500m.
The battle is fought sometimes at only ~50m distance.
After 10 min another of the MO's is damaged and heels. VMV 17 is also damaged (engine room, 2 KIA 1 WIA)
Later two other VMV's receive hits and three crew members of them became WIA.
Three more Soviet motor launches enter the scene from South, opening fire from distance of 2500m.
The visibility became even poorer, and the both (first group detected) Soviet MO's are reported to have been sunk after 15-30min battle (no Soviet MO's seen anymore at the area after 2330 hours)
The VMV's return to their base at 0200 hours (VMV 17 under tow by VMV 10)

Regards, Juha

P.S. I have learnt to understand that you prefer direct Russian translations to a large degree, but also the term motor-boat ( from Russian kater ? ) is not quite correct, when writing about vessels of war of sizes of, for example, MTB's and motor launches.
P.S. 2
Suomen Laivasto 1918 - 1968 (Finnish Navy...) by Meriupseeriyhdistys (Naval Officers' Association) writes about the last mission of MTB (actually a minelayer at that time ) Raju following:
The mission started 15th May-43, the MTB's had passed the Koivisto (Primorsk / Bjorko) Sound and in front of Seivästö (Ozerki) Raju hit the obstacle. It was taken under tow, but it sunk at the mouth of the Koivisto Sound.
It was raised 4th June.

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Re: MTB's and Motor Launches at Finnish Gulf, May 1943

Post by Vaeltaja » 26 Aug 2012 14:27

I wondered about this event just today. Nice to see it had already been previously discussed.

So in other words Raju sunk while being towed back to base after it was damaged from running into a underwater obstacle. No Soviet action involved. Already on 15/16.5.1943.

And the night fight at knife range on 24/25.5.1943 resulted in two badly damaged MO-boats and one damaged VMV boat. No ships lost on either side.

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