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

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kgvm
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Post by kgvm » 03 Aug 2007 15:00

mjbollinger wrote:
There were several other cases of recaptures as well.

First thanks for your answer to "Lozovskii". Well, it was my mistake :(, not to make clear that I'm interested to have details, if there were other cases of recaptures as well.
I hope you are willing to help me again, for you know of other cases.
Kind regards
Klaus Günther

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 03 Aug 2007 16:00

kgvm wrote:
Well, didn't know that the second "Valery Chkalov" broke in two, too :( .
But if you look at the picture ( http://ntic.msun.ru/ntic/exhibition/fes ... f141_1.jpg ) you see the ship is armed. I assume that in 1951 Sovet merchant vessels didn't carry weapons. Furthermore the picture shows the rearpart of the ship, which was lost in the incident of 1951. Therefore even with the new information I'm convinced the picture shows the ship broken in two in 1943!

I concur with you, Klaus.

kgvm wrote:
Well, I have a photo of "Irmgard", but only in a book, therefore I cannot post it for copyright reasons
But two of the sister ships of the Baltic "Luga" served with FESCO, too: "Svir" and "Volkhov" and they have pictures of them. You can see clearly the lowered deckpart in the foreship (in German called "Versaufloch", which you can translate with "drown hole")

"Irmgard", of course, I just misprinted. Do you have the photo of Pacific "Luga" [ex-USA "De Soto"]?
As for two sister ships of the Baltic "Luga" [ex-"Irmgard"] which were used by Soviets on the Pacific, Fesco gives the following info:
"Svir" [2328 brt, ex-"Ivo"] - built in Germany in 1922, was used by Soviet DGMP in 1940-1958.
http://ntic.msun.ru/ntic/exhibition/fes ... 634_1.html
"Volkhov" [2259 brt, ex-"Immo"] - built in Germany in 1923, was used by Soviet DGMP in 1940-1962.
http://ntic.msun.ru/ntic/exhibition/fes ... 178_1.html

According to http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/nglloyd.html [North German Lloyd]: "Ivo" ["Svir"] was sold to USSR in 1932 and "Immo" ["Volkhov"] was sold to USSR in 1932 also [as well as "Irmgard"/"Luga"].

As for Versaufloch - direct translation is "drown hole", of course. I am translating this as "spacing of deck superstructures" to make the term clear.

Regards, BP

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Post by BIGpanzer » 03 Aug 2007 16:56

kgvm wrote:
BIGpanzer asked about details of the capture of some ships by the Spanish nationalists.
All I have is the following:
"Lensovet" captured in the straits of Gibraltar 19.03.38
"Postyshev" captured in the straits of Gibraltar by the auxiliary cruiser "V. Puchol" 31.05.38
"Tsyurupa" captured in the Mediterranean by the cruiser "Almirante Cervera" 23.10.38
The other ships captured by the nationalists were:
"Katayama" captured in the Mediterranean by the minelayer "Vulcano" 17.10.38 (see the story posted by BIGpanzer)
"Max Hoelts" captured in the Mediterranean by the minelayer "Vulcano" 02.11.38
"Skvortsov Stepanov" captured in the Mediterranean by the cruiser "Canarias" 26.05.38
"Smidovich" captured near Bilbao by the destroyer "Velasco" 10.01.37

Thank you very much for the info! I also read somewhere that ship "Maxim Gorky" was also captured by Spanish nationalists. According to fragments from memoires of crewmembers from captured Soviet ships I could find - the conditions in Spanish prisons were very bad and investigating officers used refined tortures against Soviet civil sailors [some men were in prison near 3 years] and Spanish republican soldiers quite often. I also read that 86 cases when Spanish nationalists [sometimes with the help of Italian warships] stopped Soviet ships are known [not all ships transported military aid and all three sunk Soviet ships transported civil cargos, 66 runs with ammunition/weapons on board were made to Spanish republic] .

Despite the fact that the majority of Spanish Navy was under command of Republican Spain, republicans couldn't guarantee safety for Soviet transports under that conditions. USSR couldn't send warships to Mediterranean for escorting transports because of two main reasons: political and military (USSR had not significant amount of quite old and poor warships in Black Sea, which could be sank by more modern German and Italian navies if political situation worsen). So Soviet government stopped regular runs of transports to Spain since the middle 1937.

kgvm wrote:
To complete the losses in the Spanish civil war:
"Blagoev" torpedoed and sunk in the Aegean Sea by the Italian submarine "Settembrini" 03.09.37
"Komsomol" sunk in the western Mediterranean near Cape Palos by the cruiser "Canarias" 14.12.36
"Timiryazev" torpedoed and sunk near Tizgirt (Algeria) by the Italian destroyer "Turbine" 31.08.37

Yes, I also posted this info here somewhere above.
1. Cargo diesel ship "Komsomol" [7558 tons, Black Sea State Steamship Company (ChGMP), captain G.A. Mezentsev] was sank in the western Mediterranean by nationalist Spanish cruiser "Canarias" 14.12.1936. "Komsomol" performed run from Poti [USSR] to Ghent [Belgium] with manganese ore and food supplies for Spanish republic. The ship was sunk by artillery fire from cruiser, and captured crewmembers were returned back to USSR in ~8 months [they were in Cadiz prison] after urgent demands of Soviet government. IIRC the incident with "Komsomol" caused the strong patriotic rise in USSR and Spanish republic.
2. Cargo diesel ship "Timiryazev" [3226 tons, ChGMP, captain A.A. Rydnyuk] was torpedoed by Italian destroyer "Turbine" near Algerian coast [western Mediterranean] 30.08.1937. Lifeboat with crewmembers was towed by Algerian ship to port Dellys.
3. Cargo steamer "Blagoev" [3100 brt, ChGMP, captain D.F. Kaminsky] was torpedoed by Italian submarine "Settembrini" 01.09.1937 in the Aegean Sea south from Is. Skiros (38°36'N 25°01'E) during the run Mariupol (USSR) - Ceuta (Spain) with 4480 tons of coal tar on board. "Blagoev" sank in 30 min after torpedo explosion, crewmembers reached Is. Sarakino on lifeboat and buried fatally wounded sailor P.M. Shtepenko there.

Regards, BP
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 03 Aug 2007 17:56, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 03 Aug 2007 17:06


mjbollinger
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Post by mjbollinger » 03 Aug 2007 17:32

Hello Klaus,

I will search my database for you. Let me make sure I understand the question. Are you looking for cases of (1) ships operating under foreign flags that were (2) taken over by Soviet authorities after they came to power and which (3) had previously served in some capacity in the Russian merchant or naval fleets? Do you want me to include ships that were returned voluntarily after the Russian Civil War?

Marty

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Post by BIGpanzer » 03 Aug 2007 17:58

Marty wrote:
EMBA was one of the few Lend Lease ships returned by the Soviets after WWII. (Several others were returned during the war.) I just finished writing that section of my manuscript. An interesting story.

Marty, do you know additional info about the incident with Lend-Lease "Emba" when the ship was strafed by U.S. aircraft on 14.10.1944?
As for returning of Lend-Lease ships. I know about this problem a few info. AFAIK USSR should return those ships or pay for them according to Lend-Lease agreement. Cold war made negotiations between USSR and USA [took place in 1947 and 1960; in October 1972 all Lend-Lease debts except Soviet debt were cancelled] very complicated; Soviet government said that USA overvalued the size of Lend-Lease money compensation a lot [1.4 billions of dollars, according to agreement from 1972 - 722 milliones] and the Soviets also asked to compensate the losses of four [according to modern info - nine cases of "friendly attacks"] Soviet ships because of mistaken actions of USN submarines during WWII. As for "Liberties" - in the beginning of 1967 USSR used 23 ships in Pacific, 13 - on Black Sea, 7 - on Baltic Sea, 2 - on Azov Sea, 1 - on Barents Sea; in the beginning of 1974 USSR used 19 ships of 'Liberty"-type [including 4 on Black Sea and 3 on Azov Sea].

Regards, BP
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 03 Aug 2007 22:38, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by kgvm » 03 Aug 2007 21:00

My question was intended only to the "unfriendly takeovers".
As far as I know there was a lot of friendly exchanging of ships shortly after the civil war ( especially with the Baltic states and Finnland ), but I believe it would be to long a list to include it.
Regards
Klaus Günther

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Post by kgvm » 03 Aug 2007 21:10

BIG panzer wrote:
According to http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/nglloyd.html [North German Lloyd]: "Ivo" ["Svir"] was sold to USSR in 1932 and "Immo" ["Volkhov"] was sold to USSR in 1932 also [as well as "Irmgard"/"Luga"].


Yes, that's in line with my informations. There were two more sisterships.
One ("Arnfried") was sold in 1932, too, to Russia and became "Ladoga". But of this ship I know only a picture as German "Arnfried" (in the already mentioned book of Arnold Kludas, Die Schiffe der deutschen Afrika-Linien 1880 - 1945)
The other ("Friderun") was rebuilt with triple expansion engine in 1929 and remained in German service, until seized by the Dutch in Celebes 10.05.40. She was renamed "Meroendong" and sunk as blockship in Tandjong Priok 03.02.42

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Post by BIGpanzer » 03 Aug 2007 22:10

kgvm wrote:
One ("Arnfried") was sold in 1932, too, to Russia and became "Ladoga". But of this ship I know only a picture as German "Arnfried" (in the already mentioned book of Arnold Kludas, Die Schiffe der deutschen Afrika-Linien 1880 - 1945)

I didn't see the photo of "Arnfried"/"Ladoga" in Soviet service also. I know only that "Ladoga" was used by Far-Eastern Steamship Company [DVMP] in 1939-1945 and was given to Pacific Navy 15.09.1945.


P.S. Some info about "Skrunda" mentioned here several days ago. Cargo steamer "Skrunda" [built in UK in 1918, "Lingburg" till 1928, 2414 brt], belonged to Latvian State Steamship Company, captain S.P. Ostapenko. The ship [renamed as military transport VT-529 in summer 1941] was lost 30.08.1941 in Gulf of Finland [off Is. Gogland]. The ship participated in evecuation of Tallinn [convoy No. 3], and "Skrunda" was attacked 36 times by enemy aviation 29-30.08.1941 [144 bombs were dropped]. Five miles NW from Is. Vaindlo the ship lost motion because of direct bomb hit. Captain S. Ostapenko was wounded fout times but he had strength to organize rescue operation. All wounded men taken from "Luga" 29.08.1941 and other passengers [~ 2000 men total] were rescued by mine-sweepers, patrol boats and tugs [men were delivered to Gogland and Kronshtadt]. After that crew scuttled "Skrunda" because of impossibility to tow the ship.

Regards, BP

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Post by BIGpanzer » 04 Aug 2007 17:21

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lYQFu-JfXw
Modern video of wrecks of "Kolkhoznik" - cargo steamer from Far-Eastern State Sea Steamship Company [DGMP], 3880 brt, built in UK in 1925 as "Rockliffe", captain - G.S. Tsarev.
The ship sank 17.01.1942 in North Atlantic near peninsula New Scotland, during run Boston-Halifax with 4000 tons of cargos on board. At 01:25 am the ship got large hole because of collision with unknown underwater obstacle or torpedo explosion [less possible], "Kolkhoznik" sank in 1 hour. Frostbitten crewmembers on two life-boats reached Canadian seashore, 2 men were lost.

P.S. I have one old question - "Krasny partizan" [built in USSR in 1927, medium timber carrier of "Tovarishch Krasin"-type of Ist series, 5280 tons, ex-"Grigory Zinoviev"] has the most unknown fate among 41 sunk Soviet merchant ships in North Atlantic/Arctic Ocean during WWII. That cargo steamer [DGMP, captain A.F. Belov] was lost around 26.01.1943 to the west from Is. Medvezhy [Barents Sea]. The ship left Murmansk 24.01.1943 and went to USA via Iceland as single ship [not in convoy], the last radiomessage from the ship mentioned attack of enemy bombers near Is. Medvezhy. So the ship was either sunk during those attacks or torpedoed by U-255 operated in that area, all 51 crewmembers were lost. Does anybody have more detailed info about the ship's fate or even exact confirmation what was the reason of the ship loss?

Regards, BP

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Post by kgvm » 04 Aug 2007 18:35

According to Chronik des Seekrieges 1939 - 1945 "Krasny Partizan" was sunk by "U 255" 29.01.43
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/43-01.htm
go to 17.-29.01.43
Regards
Klaus Günther

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Post by mjbollinger » 04 Aug 2007 20:49

Klaus,

I've searched my database for ships that (1) flew the Russian flag prior to 1917, (2) were flying the flag of another country after 1917 and (3) were taken back in control by the USSR. I've excluded large numbers of ships returned by treaty or through court actions.

I can find only two matches. Both were ships taken by White Forces and operating later under the British flag. Both were seized in August 1922 by Communist forces in Georgia and returned to Soviet control. MARIYA (1893, 1340 GRT) was operating under British flag as GEORGE and sank while on its way back to Soviet control in Odessa. LUCH (1886, 1624 GRT) was operating as LADY ELINOR and returned to Soviet control operating as SHAUMYAN until hulked at Tuapse in 1934.

If the status of the pre-revolution Russian merchant fleet is of great interest,let me know. I cover the status of those ships (at least the ones over 900GRT) in one chapter of my manuscript and will gladly send that to you.

MB

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Post by mjbollinger » 04 Aug 2007 20:51

BP,

Here is what I've written in my manuscript on the loss of KRASNYI PARTIZAN:

"A more fundamental decision was made in January 1943 that virtually all of the major ships operating from Arkhangel’sk, Murmansk and Belush'ya should move to the Pacific via the Kola-to-Iceland route. In all 40 ships, representing perhaps 80% of the total Soviet fleet operating in the Northern Theater, made a dash for the Pacific via this route. Included in this order, in addition to the ships returning from the aborted Northern Sea Route convoy, were Aldan, Belomorkanal, Belorussiya, Bureya, Ilmen, Kara, Krasnoe Znamya, Krasnyi Partizan, Kuzbass, Leonid Krasin, Msta, Ob, Okhta, Osmussar, Sakko, Sheksna, Shilka, Soroka, Ufa, Uritskii, Vanzetti, Vetluga and Volga.

"Three of the ships were lost during these voyages, which is not a particularly high rate of loss. Two of the ships, Ufa and Krasnyi Partizan, were both sunk on the same day by U.255. Krasnyi Partizan had been attacked first by German aircraft near Bear Island on 26 January 1943 and reported by radio that the ship was on fire. It was not heard from again and postwar records verify that it was subsequently torpedoed by U.255 on 29 January. After breaking in two the ship sank rapidly, without survivors. That same day, and in the same area, Ufa was sighted by U.255 and sent to the bottom without survivors among the crew of 29 or 39 depending on the sources referenced."

MB

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Post by Juha Tompuri » 04 Aug 2007 21:49

BIGpanzer wrote:I continue my list....

II. Soviet ships, were abandoned in Soviet ports because of their technical condition (under repair, etc.) and were captured by German forces.

Latvian Shipping Company (LGMP) - almost all were previous Latvian ships. They had the same names in Soviet merchant navy.
-------
14 "Ilga", cargo steamer, Ladoga 09.09.1941
viewtopic.php?t=78290&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=180

Actually captured by Finnish forces at Mantsi island at lake Ladoga 22th September 1941.
Sailed during the war as transport ship Aunus.
After the war, autumn 1944, the ship was given back to the USSR.

Regards, Juha

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Post by BIGpanzer » 05 Aug 2007 00:14

kgvm wrote:
According to Chronik des Seekrieges 1939 - 1945 "Krasny Partizan" was sunk by "U 255" 29.01.43
http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/43-01.htm

Yes, thanks, kgvm, I know this. The problem was that several Russian sources about "Krasny partizan" I found mention both possible reasons - enemy bombers [26.01.1943] or U-255, so I got the impression that there are no exact confirmations about U-255 attack against "Krasny partizan". For example, all sources mention without any doubts that "Ufa" [cargo steamer, 1892 brt, North State Sea Steamship Company, captain L.I. Patrikeev] was torpedoed by U-255 in the Barents Sea to the south of Is. Medvezhy (Bear Is.) 74°N 18°E [area AB-6380], 29.01.1943. "Ufa" left Murmansk 23.01.1943 and made run to Iceland alone, 39 crewmembers were lost [including captain].

Marty wrote:
Here is what I've written in my manuscript on the loss of KRASNYI PARTIZAN:
"A more fundamental decision was made in January 1943 that virtually all of the major ships operating from Arkhangel’sk, Murmansk and Belush'ya should move to the Pacific via the Kola-to-Iceland route. In all 40 ships, representing perhaps 80% of the total Soviet fleet operating in the Northern Theater, made a dash for the Pacific via this route. Included in this order, in addition to the ships returning from the aborted Northern Sea Route convoy, were Aldan, Belomorkanal, Belorussiya, Bureya, Ilmen, Kara, Krasnoe Znamya, Krasnyi Partizan, Kuzbass, Leonid Krasin, Msta, Ob, Okhta, Osmussar, Sakko, Sheksna, Shilka, Soroka, Ufa, Uritskii, Vanzetti, Vetluga and Volga.
"Three of the ships were lost during these voyages, which is not a particularly high rate of loss. Two of the ships, Ufa and Krasnyi Partizan, were both sunk on the same day by U.255. Krasnyi Partizan had been attacked first by German aircraft near Bear Island on 26 January 1943 and reported by radio that the ship was on fire. It was not heard from again and postwar records verify that it was subsequently torpedoed by U.255 on 29 January. After breaking in two the ship sank rapidly, without survivors. That same day, and in the same area, Ufa was sighted by U.255 and sent to the bottom without survivors among the crew of 29 or 39 depending on the sources referenced."

Thanks, Marty, for the detailed info. You mention that ~80% of Soviet merchant ships operating in the Northern Theatre [ports Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Belysh'ya Guba], participated in Pacific(?!) via Kola-to-Iceland route since the beginning of 1943. Pacific or Northern Atlantic, no mistake? Also you forgot to mention port Severodvinsk which was built very quickly in the beginning of 1942. Do you know the exact amount of Soviet merchant ships operated in North Atlantic/North Sea/Greenland Sea/Norwegian Sea/Barents Sea in 1943? Some amount of Soviet merchant ships continued runs alone and in local convoys along Kara Sea and were not used in North Atlantic operations that time - to say more, as no convoys came to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk during the first 8 months of 1943, chief of North Sea Route I.D. Papanin got the order in July 1943 to manage the arctic navigation in East Arctic because the amount of ships from USA to Far-Eastern ports [Vladivostok, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, Providence bay] increased, near 45 ships with necessary cargos on board gathered in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski in autumn 1943.
Arctic navigation of 1943 was very hard because of weather conditions and German submarines in Kara Sea. 3 transports [convoy VA-8] with 2 icebreakers and 5 escorted warships reached Dikson 09.1943 but couldn't go father because of submarine activity. Convoy VA-18 [Vilkitski Strait-Dikson] consisted of 4 transports and 5 escort ships was attacked by submarines which sank 2 transports and also 2 separate transports were sank. So it was decided to leave 15 transports from another convoy in Dikson for wintering, that convoy [DB-1] performed run Dikson-Arkhangelsk in July 1944.

As for amount of transport ships operated in the Northern theatre, I found the following info: port Arkhangelsk received 53 transports in 1941, for example [during WWII Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk received 342 transports]. Port Murmansk - received 9 convoys [114 transports] 01.-05.1942, 5 convoys [53 transports] - during winter 1942/43, 4 convoys [54 transports] - during winter 1943/44, 9 convoys [158 ships] - during winter/spring 1945: 379 ships total. The most activelly used Soviet icebreaker ("Lenin") participated in guiding of 778 transports [including 343 foreign] during WWII.

As for some small differences in sources [same area/date or not] - http://wunderwaffe.narod.ru/Magazine/MK/2003_N2/16.htm [table of Soviet merchant ships and warships, sunk by German submarines in the Northern theatre during WWII] mentions that loss of "Krasny partizan" from U-255 took place 26.01.1943 to the west from Is. Medvezhy (Bear) whereas the loss of "Ufa" from U-255 happened 29.01.1943 to the south of the same island. Probably, the source confuses attack of bombers [26.01.1943 indeed] against "Krasny partizan" with the attack of U-255 [29.01.1943] against the same ship.

Regards, BP
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 05 Aug 2007 01:48, edited 3 times in total.

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