Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

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Edward L. Hsiao
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Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 14 Jun 2019 07:09

I think maybe this topic may have been discussed before but I need a review of the accomplishments of the Soviet Pacific Navy against Japanese shipping and warships on August and September of 1945 by surface warships and submarines. Wasn't much to sink but still the Soviets sunk Japanese ships.

Edward L. Hsiao

lupodimare89
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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by lupodimare89 » 29 Jun 2019 10:36

Greetings! Actually in the latest couple of months i was ammassing some data and attempting to check them, here there is a list i have produced (somewhat provisonal) by importance-size of target:

Submarine successes:
Merchant "Taito Maru" (887 GRT); torpedoed and sunk by L-19 on 22/Aug/45. 553 or 667 killed among crew and passengers (evacuation ship)
Cable-layer "Ogasawara Maru" (1456 GRT; torpedoed and sunk by L-12 on 22/Aug/45. 375 or 641 killed among crew and passengers (evacuation ship)
unidentified/unnammed motorboat (? GRT); sunk by artillery from ShCh-126 on 21/Aug/45.

Also
Auxiliary gunboat Shinko Maru No.2; torpedoed and damaged by L-19 on L-19 on 22/Aug/45. app. 400 killed on ship.
Damage was not mortal but obviously ship not repaired by the close end of war. Interestingly, even if she was a converted ex-merchant ship, by general size it represent the largest enemy military ship hit by Soviet submarine torpedo in WW2 (followed by a German minesweeper sunk in Arctic).


Motor torpedo boats successes (NOTE: all successes achieved by "Vosper" type boats, except TK-534 that was a G-5 class):
Merchant "Kari Go" (3111 GRT) torpedoed and sunk by group TK-534, TK-562, TK-573 on 10/Aug/45
Merchant "Taishun Maru" (2857 GRT) torpedoed and sunk by group TK-566, TK-567, TK-570, TK-580 and TK-587 on 10/Aug/45
Merchant "Hozugawa Maru" (875 GRT) wrecked while avoiding a group of four TK on 12/Aug/45. Wreck torpedoed next day by TK-589
Unidentified/unnamed fishing boat (? GRT) boarded by a group of three TK on 10/Aug/45. 3 POWs. Boat left drifting to sink.

Two interesting unrecognized victories by the same Soviets occurred on 22/Aug/45 in Wonsan (Korea): a pair of Soviet motor torpedo boats intercepted and prevented the escape of two schooners: they were believed to be simple schooners, but according modern Japanese data they were actually converted as auxiliary minesweepers. Technically this should be the only "military ship on military ship" encounter in the whole campaign.

Successes during the harbor attack in Rajin on 11/Aug/45 are controversial:
TK-549 and TK-550 launched a salvo of four torpedoes with hits claimed on merchants Enpo Maru (6873 GRT), Edamitsu Maru (6872 GRT) and Tensho Maru (3035 GRT). Another wave had TK-563 claiming two further hits (one torpedo each) on Edamitsu Maru and Enpo Maru, while TK-568 finished Tensho Maru. Apparently all ships were previously damaged by Soviet air attacks and abandoned, but the degree of damage inflicted to ships by air is unclear. In the end they can be considered as shared victories with aviation.


Surface ships successes:
Merchant "Riuko Maru n°2" (2230 GRT) seized by group of Border Guards patrol boats (likely MO-4 class) on 10/Aug/45. Cargo: 2500tons of fish
Tanker "Horai Maru n°2" (834 GRT) already abandoned but recovered and seized as prize by Torpedo boat (Guard ship) "Metel" on 20/Aug/45
Unidentified/unnamed motorschooner (? GRT) shelled and sunk by Torpedo boat (Guard ship) "Metel" on 16/Aug/45
Unidentified/unnamed barge (? GRT) seized by landing ship DS-2 (ex-American ship) on 23/Aug/45
Five unidentified/unnamed barges (? GRT) seized by minesweepers T-589 and T-590 (ex-American ships) on 28/Aug/45
Sailing boat (? GRT) seized by minesweeper T-590 (ex-American ship) on 31/Aug/45
Sailing boat (? GRT) shelled and sunk by patrol boat PK-31 (MO-4 class of border guard) on 19/Aug/45
Sailing boat (? GRT) seized by auxiliary mineseeper T-155 on 24/Aug/45
A sailing boat and two barges (? GRT) seized by transport "Izmail" on 19/Aug/45
Five small landing crafts (? GRT) seized by transport “Vsevolod Sibircev” on 19/Aug/45


Soviet surface Friendly Fire incidents:
Submarine chaser BO-306 misidentified for enemy ship, shelled and damaged (6 killed, 10 wounded) by Torpedo boat (Guard ship) "Vyuga" and sister-ship submarine chaser BO-307. On 14/Aug/45
Patrol boat PK-35 accidentally grounded on 19/Aug/45 and fought Japanese ground forces inside Maoka harbor: Soviet torpedo boat (Guard ship) "Zarnitsa" misidentified her for some enemy target and inflicted two hits (6 crewmembers wounded), before PK-35 was identified and rescued by submarine chaser BO-302. On 19/Aug/45

Japanese surface actions:
During the landing of Shumshu on 18/Aug/45 , soviet barge n°1 (i am not exactly sure of class/type) suffered hit and damage from a Japanese "floating battery". 3 crewmember wia, 18 transported soldiers killed. The alleged "floating battery" then reported as "sunk".
I am not sure of the identity of this Japanese craft, it is possible there is a merging of data with the curious case of wreck of Soviet tanker Mariupol (7042 GRT) wrecked on the island in 1942, and then used by Japanese as a stationary artillery battery. Some sources indicate the batter/wreck was shelled and destroyed by "naval fire": so far there is no confirmation about the action (strongest Soviet warship in area was minelayer Okhotsk).


Japanese air raide/Kamikaze actions and Soviet AA naval fire:
Again during the landing of Shumshu on 18/Aug/45 occurred most of Japanese air activity.
3 torpedo bomber Nakajima B5N and 3 Nakajima Ki-43 fighters attacked the Soviet "Guard Ship" (by western standard can be classified as a WW-2 era frigate) "Kirov", inflicting light damages with 2 WIA.
Another torpedo bomber Nakajima B5N (pilot Araya and other 2 KIA) shot down by anti-aircraft fire from minesweeper T-525. Soviet ship wrongly claimed 2 planes shot down (a Nakajima Ki-43 fighter also attacked but survived). Japanese portrayal was quite exagerrated, claiming the shot-down torpedo bomber sunk 2 Soviet patrol ships alone before making a Kamikaze attack on a "destroyer" (there was no Soviet destroyer and no loss by air attack).

The only real "Kamikaze" attack was committed by Japanese seaplane Nakajima A6M2-N (901st Naval Air Corps; pilot Shotsuka Ryoji KIA) after indipendent decision of pilot who departed without order and on personal initiative. The plane was shot down by defensive fire from the Soviet tanker Taganrog (10448 GRT) (ex-American USNS Cedar Creek)

The final attack of 20 August 1945 probably left a Nakajima B5N torpedo bomber damaged by defensive fire from minelayer Okhotsk: on 22 August, Soviet troops seized five planes on the Shumshu, one with battle damages.

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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by OpanaPointer » 29 Jun 2019 13:36

Any ships from Operation Hulu see action with the Red Fleet?
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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by lupodimare89 » 30 Jun 2019 13:04

OpanaPointer wrote:
29 Jun 2019 13:36
Any ships from Operation Hulu see action with the Red Fleet?
Project Hula you mean? Quite a number by the way.
Most important where the bulk of LCI(L) landing crafts that played the main landing assault at Shumshu (paying an heavy price for it: with 5 ships sunk).
As i wrote in the list above DS-2 (one of them) seized a barge.
Also T-589 and T-590 were minesweepers delivered as part of the Project Hula and their disembarked parties made similar seizures on 28 and 31 Aug.

Ex-american submarine chasers were involved both in the Friendly Fire incidents (see above), and finally another minesweeper and an ex-american tanker scored an anti-aircraft success too.


The Tacoma-class frigates however did not feautured in such small actions (a reason could also be the fact that the Soviet command was quite overestimating the local Japanese power, that's why also Soviet destroyers played almost no role in the campaign).

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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by OpanaPointer » 30 Jun 2019 14:30

Yeah, the not-stream-service. [/foreheaddenting]
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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by lupodimare89 » 30 Jun 2019 18:46

Yeah, the not-stream-service.
Uh.. what? ^^
Sorry, english is not my first language

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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by OpanaPointer » 30 Jun 2019 20:13

lupodimare89 wrote:
30 Jun 2019 18:46
Yeah, the not-stream-service.
Uh.. what? ^^
Sorry, english is not my first language
Hulu is a streaming service. Hula isn't.
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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by lupodimare89 » 02 Jul 2019 09:40

Ah ok xD
Anyway, raccomanded authors to further search this is К. Б. Стрельбицкий (K.B.Strelbitskiy) who made some lists of Soviet claims over Japanese targets sunk/seized by Soviet ships and boats. On tsushima.su site/forum is also active Alexander Shirkorad who (if i recall correctly) wrote new material, and also provided in open-discussion extra info like for example the research over the effective Japanese aircrafts shot-down by Soviet naval gunfire.

I should also stress that also Soviet riverine forces in Manchuria captured/seized and in some occasion sunk small riverine crafts of the local puppet-government/Japanese forces: usually barges, motorboats and sometimes policeboats. There was no direct combat or attempt of reaction by the Manchukuo naval forces (that basically played no role).

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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 03 Jul 2019 20:18

Dear lupodimare89,

Thank you for your big contribution so far. There wasn't much Japanese shipping to sink by the Soviet subs.

Edward L. Hsiao

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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by lupodimare89 » 04 Jul 2019 20:03

Edward L. Hsiao wrote:
03 Jul 2019 20:18
Dear lupodimare89,

Thank you for your big contribution so far. There wasn't much Japanese shipping to sink by the Soviet subs.

Edward L. Hsiao
Indeed, the few ships sunk in addition to inflicting an extra death toll to the Japanese, occurred very late and had no impact on the overhall Soviet landing operations. Basically just gave the point to the Pacific Fleet submarine branch to have scored something in terms in sinking.
And it's own martyrs too: the very same L-19 was the only Soviet sub. of the fleet sunk in action during the open hostilities with Japan (went missing after the torpedo attacks, likely sunk on Jap mines barrage).

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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 18 Aug 2019 22:52

The tonnage of these Japanese ships were small but still contributes the Japanese war economy. The Soviet Navy made some use of them when some were captured.

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Re: Soviet Pacific Navy Against Japanese Shipping And Warships,1945

Post by lupodimare89 » 20 Aug 2019 17:11

Yeah, well... technically Japanese merchants left in Rajin/other North Korean harbors were pretty much already destined to be captured by Soviet troops, so in the end it's just a matter of prestige of the Naval Air Force/MTB.

As extra details, also the USA laid air-dropped mines close these harbors, and i read some Russian accounts quite skeptical of the reasons in the very late stage of the conflict. Considering these mines also sunk Soviet ships, they are suspected to be some kind nasty pre-Cold War trick to inflict some damage/avoid use of merchants. But it's also likely there was no trickery and the Americans just kept dropping mines just because they could xD



From a pure tactical reason, the most interesting success of Soviet warships here was the Anti-Aircraft effect on the (few and weak) Japanese attempted air attack. They had little chances of success of course, but the good defense prevented further Soviet losses during the landings.

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