Transport ships of USSR in 1941-1945 - any info!!

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Dido
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Post by Dido » 08 Jan 2006 23:36

You are right the ship mentioned on warsailors looks like the Dzurma and not like the ship in your picture.
However here is a third pic from warsailors
http://www.warsailors.com/norships/aakre.jpg

which writes Aakre below. So it seems that the three pictures of aakre-sovietskaya latvia are of the same ship.

As for the statement that some jumped overboard to make it to Japan I find it a little too much. Japan is far out of sight from the route that those ships followed from Vladivostok to their camps and the water must be nearly freezing!

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 09 Jan 2006 00:01

Hello, Dido!
Yes, I've already found that third picture as I saw the whole link you've posted. All three photos from http://www.warsailors.com for sure represent the identical ship - Sweden/Norwegian "Childar"/"Aakre". But what about of "Sovetskaya Latvia", I don't know. I need to find some additional sources if possible. The photo of the ship I found (that was not easy :roll: ) was from one Russian site about the history of settlement Egvekinot where political prisoners started to mine new wolfram deposit since 1946. As "Sovetskaya Latvia" was the first ship came to Egvekinot harbor on 16 July 1946 - me seems the photo was of big importance for 1946 and, probably, correct. It was written that the photo was taken from Egvekinot regional museum, so it should be correct photo. But of course, some mistakes are possible also. May be two ships under the name "Sovetskaya Latvia" existed at Soviet Far East (but I don't think so), may be there are some incorect data and mistakes about the "Aakre" (it is really strange that USSR got it in 1942 not in 1940, which seems almost impossible for me), may be the photo perspective of "Sovetskaya Latvia" in Egvekinot harbor made the identification of the ship quite difficult (it is fully load for sure, it could be reconstructed, but the ship on my photo really looks smaller than of yours), it is also possible that there are some mistakes even in the photo archive of Egvekinot museum. Nobody knows.

As for the accident with the prisoners from "Sovetskaya Latvia" - it was taken from the memoirs of Soviet political prisoners, translated on German. I believe that fact really took place. During summer time the usual surface temperature of the Sea of Japan is 16-26 OC (21 OC in August near Vladivostok - I've checked the hydrological atlas :) ), also the some routes from Vladivostok were not very far from Japanese Islands as during WWII Japanese patrol boats of coastal defense often stopped Soviet ships for inspection. And you should take into consideration the hopelessness of the prisoners, they had no other way to save their lifes as they thought....

Dido, do you have any WWII photos of the Soviet military transports (ex-refrigerator ships) of "Kuban"-type as well as of the Soviet military transports (ex-dry cargo ships) of "Tsurupa"-type? Any photos from 1930s of those merchant ships are also very welcome...........I couldn't find them for a long time, I found only line drawings of those ships.

Thanks in advance, BIGpanzer

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Jumping Ship

Post by mjbollinger » 21 Jan 2006 21:04

The political prisoners would jump ship when they felt they had a reasonable chance of rescue by Japanese fishing boats.

MB

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Sovietskaya Latviya

Post by mjbollinger » 21 Jan 2006 21:09

Here is some information. Much more available in my book Stalin's Slave Ships: Kolyma, the Gulag Fleet, and the Role of the West (Praeger, 2003)

1926 Completed as CHILDAR (Wiel & Amundsens Rederi A/S) 02.26
1934 Ran aground off Columbia River Bar 04.05.34; refloated 06.05.34
1935 ÅKRE (Rederi A/S Henneseid)
1939 HECOGS JEKABS (Apvienota Kugniecibas Akciju Sabiedr)
1940 Arrested in Peru 17.10.40
1940 HECOGS JEKABS (USSR) awarded to USSR 16.12.40
1941 SOVETSKAYA LATVIYA (Dal'stroi) 17.02.41
1957 SOVETSKAYA LATVIYA (DGMP)
1966 Withdrawn from service
1969 Removed from DMP roster

MB

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 22 Jan 2006 12:33

Hello, Marty!
No news from you for a long time :wink:


MB wrote:
The political prisoners would jump ship when they felt they had a reasonable chance of rescue by Japanese fishing boats.

Of course, that's possible. I read also in the memoirs of Soviet political prisoners that sometimes they could see Japanese islands on the horizon from the board of the ship........

As for the info about "Sovetskaya Latvia" - thanks a lot. As I supposed Soviets got that ship in 1940 (after annexation of Latvia), not in 1942, of course, as Dido mentioned. Something unclear is with the photo of that ship (see above). The photo of Soviet "Sovetskaya Latvia" from Egvekinot regional museum I found in Internet differs from the photos of Sweden/Norwegian "Childar"/"Aakre" :roll:

As for the photos - I am still searching any photos of Soviet-built refrigerator ships of "Volga" ("Kuban")-type (some sources mention those ships as "Marseilles refrigerators" as they made navigations along Soviet Novorossisk-French Marseille route in 1930s), which successfully served as military transports during the Spanish civil war (transported Soviet aid to Republican forces) and during WWII (transported soldiers, ammunition and armament on the Black Sea, also Lend-Lease cargos in Atlantic and Pacific).

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Sovetskaya Latviya

Post by mjbollinger » 23 Jan 2006 01:42

BP,

The photo provided from the Egvekinot does not look like CHILDAR / AAKRE / HECOGS JECABS / SOVETSKAYA LATVIYA. I'm quite familiar with this ship. The photo is of a different ship.

SOVETSKAYA LATVIYA was taken over by the USSR following the invasion of Latvia and the formal annexation of the Latvian fleet. However, all of the Latvian ships outside of Soviet territory refused to hand themselves over and were reflagged in different nations -- all except HECOGS JECABS. The ship was held up in legal proceedings until the captain decided to sail it from South America to Vladivostok. This took some time and it wasn't until early 1941 that it actually arrived in the USSR.

I will see if I have any photos of Marseilles ships:

Volga
Neva
Kuban
Rion

MB

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Photos

Post by mjbollinger » 23 Jan 2006 01:53

I have two photos of NEVA. None of the other three ships.

NEVA
1929 Laid down as NEVA 12.29 ?
1930 Launched as NEVA 25.08.30
1931 Completed as NEVA (STF-ChGK) 11.31
1934 NEVA (ChGMP) 15.03.34
1936 First ship to bring Soviet military aid to Spain
1941 NEVA (DGMP) date estimated; sometime in 1940s
1978 Broken up in USSR in 1978 or 1982

RION
1929 Laid down as RION 01.12.29
1930 Launched as RION 02.11.30
1932 Completed as RION (STF-DGK) 07.07.32
1935 RION (DGMP) 03.35
1942 Stopped by Japan in Korea Strait 02.42
1979 Broken up in USSR

VOLGA
1929 Laid down as VOLGA 01.12.29
1930 Launched as VOLGA 25.08.30
1931 Completed as VOLGA (STF-ChGK) 10.12.31
1934 VOLGA (ChGMP) transferred as refrigerator ship 15.03.34
1936 VOLGA (DGMP)
1939 VOLGA (NKRP) Vostokribkholodflot
1942 Armed and militarized for Northern operations
1942 Operating in White Sea 10.42
1946 VOLGA (MPKh)
1968 Excluded from register; presumably scrapped

KUBAN
1929 Laid down as KUBAN 01.12.29
1930 Launched as KUBAN 02.11.30
1932 Completed as KUBAN (STF-ChGK) 05.32
1934 KUBAN (ChGMP) 15.03.34
1941 KUBAN (ChABU) 01.07.41
1941 Bombed / ran aground 17.08.41; recovered
1941 Landed troops under fire at Feodosiya 29.12.41
1942 Bombed and sunk 02.07.42 in major Novorossiysk raid
1946 Raised and returned to service
Further history unknown

I'd be very interested in any information on DAGESTAN and TURKMENISTAN. Here is all I have


DAGESTAN
1933 Launched as DAGESTAN 04.33
1936 Completed as DAGESTAN (Kaspar)
1941 BH-15 (KBF) mobilized as air defense ship 06.06.41
1941 Participated in Iranian landing 25.08.41
1941 DAGESTAN (Kaspar) demobilized 15.10.41
1953 DAGESTAN (KGMP)
1964 DAGESTAN (KMP)
196- Withdrawn from service

TURKMENISTAN
1933 Launched as TURKMENISTAN 04.33
1936 Completed as TURKMENISTAN (Kaspar)
1954 TURKMENISTAN (KGMP)
1964 TURKMENISTAN (KMP)
1970 Withdrawn from service

MB

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Dido
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Re: Photos

Post by Dido » 23 Jan 2006 08:58

mjbollinger wrote:I have two photos of NEVA.


Will it possilble to post them for all of us? The only pictures of her that I have seen were from her early years under the British flag.

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NEVA

Post by mjbollinger » 23 Jan 2006 10:07

I'm unaware this ship was ever under British flag. Can you elaborate?

Will post pictures as soon as I get a chance to scan them.

MB

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Dido
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Post by Dido » 23 Jan 2006 10:47

Neva was built in 1914 as the Essequibo for of the British Royal Mail Line. She was transferred in 1922 to the Pacific Steam Navigation Co. - a subsidiary company. In 1935 she was sold to the USSR and renamed Neva.
Now that I think of it, I have only seen pictures of her sistership, the Ebro.

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 23 Jan 2006 12:05

Dido, old ex-British "Neva" you mentioned was differ from the Soviet-built refrigerator ship "Neva" (4 ships of that type were built in 1929-1932 by Admiralty Shipyard in Leningrad, we discussed already those ships here). I am searching the photos of Soviet-built "Neva" (better of WWII period as military transport) as I could find only the drawing of the ship (see somewhere above here).

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NEVA (ex. ESSEQUIBO)

Post by mjbollinger » 23 Jan 2006 12:12

FYI,

1914 Launched as ESSEQUIBO 06.07.41
1914 Completed as ESSEQUIBO (Royal Mail Steam Packet Company)
1915 ESSEQUIBO (RN) requisitioned as hospital ship
1922 ESSEQUIBO (Pacific Stream Navigation Co.)
1930 Laid up
1935 NEVA (ChGMP) purchased by Arcos 03.35
1941 NEVA (ChF) mobilized as submarine depot at Batumi 22.06.41
1942 Attacked and heavily damaged in air raid at Tuapse 24.03.42; many killed
1942 Raised starting 07.04.42 and left for repairs in Batumi 18.04.42
1944 NEVA (ChGMP) demobilized 16.09.44
1957 NEVA (TF) as floating barracks
197- Broken up in Japan

MB

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Dido
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Post by Dido » 23 Jan 2006 14:02

Ok.
Since I mentioned it, are there any available photos of the Neva (ex-Essequibo)

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Dido
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Vologda class

Post by Dido » 24 Jan 2006 07:17

I am also looking for information on the fate of the quartet VOLOGDA, VJATKA, VLADIVOSTOK and VORONEZH.
All were built in 1930 by Cant. Riunti dell Adriatico, Monfalcone and at least VORONEZH survived the war to undertake a refit at Wismar in the mid-50's.
Any clues?

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Post by BIGpanzer » 24 Jan 2006 20:10

Hello, Marty!
I. Yes, the photo from Egvekinot regional museum shows relatively small old steamer, which looks very differ from "Aakre" or "Hercog Jekabs" (you wrote "Hecog Jekabs" - this is a misprint, probably). But it was written under the photo that this is "Sovetskaya Latvia". Very probably that this is a mistake of the Internet site where I found the photo. May be this is really Egvekinot harbor, 1946 where "Sovetskaya Latvia" delivered ~1500 political prisoners for mine works, but the photo shows for example the process of unloading of "Sovetskaya Latvia" with the help of that small old steamer (tug?). I don't know :roll:

II. As for the Soviet-built four refrigerator ships of "Neva"-type ("Marseilles refrigerators"). Yes, I also found the mention that "Neva" was the first ship to bring Soviet military aid to Spain in 1936. The ship was used as military transport in Pacific Ocean for Lend-Lease and other cargos transportation between USSR and USA during WWII as "Rion" did (the same type of ship). Both survived the war. Third ship - "Volga" was armed and used as military transport ship along the North Atlantic routes to the Soviet Murmansk (QP-PQ convoys), also survived the war. The forth ship of the type - "Kuban" was also one of the first ships to bring Soviet military aid to Spain during Spanish civil war (together with "Neva"), the ship was used in heroic landing operations near Feodosia port under heavy German bombardments in December 1941 (Black Sea).
"Kuban" transported cargos, ammunition and landing troops. Its captain was killed during the first dangerous navigation with landing troops to Feodosia, all survived 27 crew members were awarded with medals. In February 1942 "Kuban" was damaged by mine, but it was towed to the port and repaired. The ship was sunk on 2 July 1942 at Novorossiysk port by German bombers (77 German bombers attacked the port that time).
Marty wrote:
1946 Raised and returned to service
Further history unknown

My sources give the following info - "Kuban" was raised by Soviet divers in 1944 and scrapped.
By the way, what does the abbreviation ChABU mean?

III. As for the Soviet-built comfortable small cargo-passenger ships (liners) for Caspian Sea: "Daghestan" and "Turkmenistan". They were built in 1936 by Kolomna Engineering Plant "Krasnoe Sormovo" - dimensions 89 x 12.8 m; full tonnage 3558 t; 900 t cargos; 371 + 229 passengers and 54 men crew; 2 x 957 hp diesels; 13.5 knots; range 6230 miles.
I only know as I've already written above that the ship together with other ships participated in landing operation of Soviet troops (105th mountain infantry regiment, 563th artillery division) against Iran in August 1941 (Caspian Sea, Iranian port Hevi). The ship transported military cargos on Сaspian Sea during the whole WWII.
Marty wrote about "Daghestan":
1941 BH-15 (KBF) mobilized as air defense ship 06.06.41

There are some mistakes - not BH-15, but VN-15 (BH-15 are the Russian letters!!! - "VN" from "Vozdushnoe Nabludenie" = Air Observation). Soviets had 17 such air observation ships (VN-1 - VN-17, type "Chicherin") on Caspian Sea (KVF, not KBF - KVF means Caspian Military Flotilla) during WWII (all were different old reequipped in July 1941 and armed mobilized steamers - 950 - 2330 t tonnage, armament 1-4x20-45mm AA guns + 2-5 AA MGs). All were unarmed and reequipped as military transports in August-October 1941, all survived the war.
Liner "Daghestan" never served as air observation ship, VN-15 was ex-"Daghestanets" old Caspian steamer (from Dagrybtrest - Daghestan Fishing Company). "Daghestanets" was mobilized on 07.07.1941 and unarmed for transport service on 15.10.1941.

Liner "Turkmenistan" also transported military cargos (soldiers, ammunition, tanks, Lend-Lease cargos from Iranian ports) during the whole WWII (captain B.Ya. Rapoport - one of the few women-captains in the Soviet merchant navy).

Both ships survived WWII and were used at Baku-Krasnovodsk (Caspian Sea) route till 1962.

IV. Some additional info about ex-British "Essequibo" (Soviet "Neva").
Specifications - 13.300 t; 137.3 х 17.6 х 9.33 m; steam engine 5800 hp; 14.7 knots; range 3026 miles; armament in Soviet Navy - 3 х 76.2mm + 6 х 45mm + 8 MGs; crew 348 men. Liner "Essequibo" was built in Belfast.
Marty wrote:
1914 Launched as ESSEQUIBO 06.07.41
1914 Completed as ESSEQUIBO (Royal Mail Steam Packet Company)
1915 ESSEQUIBO (RN) requisitioned as hospital ship
1922 ESSEQUIBO (Pacific Stream Navigation Co.)
1930 Laid up
1935 NEVA (ChGMP) purchased by Arcos 03.35
1941 NEVA (ChF) mobilized as submarine depot at Batumi 22.06.41
1942 Attacked and heavily damaged in air raid at Tuapse 24.03.42; many killed
1942 Raised starting 07.04.42 and left for repairs in Batumi 18.04.42
1944 NEVA (ChGMP) demobilized 16.09.44


My sources give a little bit another info: the ship was not purchased by USSR in 1935, but was used by Republican Spain till summer 1937 and then could pierced through sea blockade to USSR. The ship was reequipped as special submarine depot "Neva" in 1939-1940 (Black Sea Navy, ChF), not just mobilized at Batumi in June 1941. "Neva" had all necessary equipment (machining units, welding units) on board for repair submarines. Since October 1941 "Neva" served at new Tuapse naval base (as submarine depot for submarines of "D" and "ShCh"-types). On 23-24 March 1942 several tens of German bombers and fighters attacked Tuapse naval base, the crew of "Neva" on life-boats resqued sailors from the submerged mine-layer "Nikolai Ostrovsky". "Neva" was also heavily damaged by German bombs, later repaired. I found a mention that in June 1944 "Neva" served as submarine depot for the 1st brigade of submarines (together with submarine depot "Volga", Black Sea Navy). Since 1946 - training ship, never demobilized. Since 1957 - floating barracks at Kamchatka (Pacific Ocean Navy, TF). In 1970s the ship was sold to Japan and scrapped there.

Photos:
http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/depots/pic/neva.jpg (submarine tender "Neva")
http://hurley.narod.ru/PICS/sh208_1.jpg (submarine ShCh-208 near "Neva")
http://base13.glasnet.ru/text/masky/neva.jpg ("Neva" in camouflage)
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 29 Jan 2006 22:13, edited 1 time in total.

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