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

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mjbollinger
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Post by mjbollinger » 13 Aug 2007 16:43

Hi BP,

Afraid I can't. Neither ship is in the list of ships I'm tracking as I'm not including the Caspian in my research. My information on Kuibyshev is less completed than what you have written here. Sorry.

MB.

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 13 Aug 2007 17:41

OK, Marty. As additional info about those two missed Caspian ships - "Molot" [509 brt] was built in 1897 by Armstrong and "Kuibyshev" was Soviet-built cargo ship [1805 brt, built by Krasnoe Sormovo in 1937].

Image
Dry-cargo diesel ship "Kuibyshev"

Soviet shipyard "Krasnoe Sormovo" in Gorky on river Volga built 3 sea-going dry-cargo diesel ships of "Kuibyshev"-type in 1937 for Kaspflot (Caspian merchant fleet) - "Kuibyshev", "Azerbaidzhanets" and "Osetin" [1805 brt, length 89.1 m, 2 diesels 600 hp each, 11 knots]. "Kuibyshev" missed with lend-lease cargos on board 29.10.1943 [see above], "Osetin" exploded 24.10.1943 [21:30] in port Krasnovodsk during unloading barrels with 1914 tons of gunpowder to railway carriages [nose part, masts and cargo derricks were damaged; compartments and engine burnt; "Osetin" collided with nearby anchored steamer "Orlenok" during explosion and sank, 14 men were killed and 6 men were wounded], "Azerbaidzhanets" survived the war and was scrapped in 1970s. Also it should be noted that all three dry-cargo ships participated in Iranian landing 25.08.1941 as it was discussed already somewhere above.

Regards, BP
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 20 Aug 2007 17:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 20 Aug 2007 16:27

Interesting book by A. Platonov - "Tragedies of Gulf of Finland", EKSMO, 2005 [672 pages]
Image

Annotation: "Famous military historian professor Andrey Platonov devoted his new book to analysis of dramatic events, which took place in the second half of 1941 in Gulf of Finland. Just that time, in August, Baltic Navy lost the control over Gulf of Finland in the first day of the war, performed its tragic breakthrough from Tallinn to Kronshtadt. The breakthrough, which consequences are compared with the defeat in Tsushima battle by many researchers. Driven in their last naval base by enemy, Baltic sailors withstood destructive attacks of German aviation against Kronshtadt, performed extremelly complicated evacuation of Hango garrison and survived terrible blockade winter then"

Online variant can be found here - http://militera.lib.ru/h/platonov_av/index.html

Regards, BP

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Post by BIGpanzer » 20 Aug 2007 18:55

We've already discussed the fates of Russian/Soviet-built universal auxiliary ships [so called "landing steamers", 968 brt, 70.1 m length - the best landing ships of WWI period] of "Elpidifor"-type [laid down as "Elpidifors No. 410-429" till the end of WWI]. Some of them were used as gun-boats and mine-sweepers during WWII, others - as civil dry-cargo ships, tankers-refuelers, coal barges and ore-carriers.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... &start=165 [my post from 06 March, 2005 and below]

The photo is from http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru
Image
Gun-boat "Krasnaya Gruziya" ["Elpidifor"-type]

There are several not very clear cases. For example -

1. Ore-carrier "Gornyak" [laid down as landing ship "Elpidifor No. 424" or "Elpidifor No. 425" according to different sources, completed in 1930 by Nikolaev shipyard named for Andre Marti] from Azov State Steamship Company. The most common version of its loss is the following - ship performed run Novorossisk-Kerch, was heavily damaged by enemy bombers and ran aground 15.11.1941 off Tuzla [Kerch Strait], later the abandoned hull was shelled by enemy artillery many times, "Gornyak" was raised in 1944 by emergency rescue service of Black Sea Navy. But several sources mention that cargo steamer "Gornyak" was sunk by enemy aviation off Kerch 02.09.1942.....

2. Interesting, that ore-carrier "Metallist" [laid down as landing ship "Elpidifor No. 426" in 1917, finished by Nikolaev shipyard named for Andre Marti in 1929] from Azov State Steamship Company couldn't participate in the well-known incident with mystical steamer "Metallist" 29.09.1939 in Narva Bay, and old Azov steamer "Metallist" was still in use in 2002! [the most "long-liver" among survived the wars "Elpidifors" which were scrapped in 1950s mainly].

Regards, BP

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Post by kgvm » 21 Aug 2007 16:13

What the hell the "Gornyak" should do off Kerch in september 1942?? Germans were in possession of the whole Krim since months and were pushing into/over the Kaukasus!
I don't believe the second version.

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Klaus Günther

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Post by BIGpanzer » 21 Aug 2007 16:43

Me too [Kerch was captured by Germans for the 2nd time 20.05.1942]! I believe that the first most well-known version is very correct.
As for the second version about 1942 - for example your source :wink: [the great database, by the way, thanks a lot!!!]
http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/ship ... o=&number=

Regards, BP

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Post by BIGpanzer » 21 Aug 2007 18:19

Quite interesting fates had three "Elpidifor"s which were captured by White forces during the Russian Civil war and moved at first to Constantinople, later to Tunisia Bizerta in November 1920.

"Elpidifor No. 410" [launched in 1917 in Nikolaev] - most probably, removed from service in 1924.

"Elpidifor No. 411" [launched in 1917 in Nikolaev] - it became "Thrace" in 1921 and "Thraki" in 1927. Greek cargo steamer "Thraki" was sunk by German aviation off Porto Helli 25.04.1941.

"Elpidifor No. 412" [launched in 1917 in Nikolaev] - it became "Mikra Assia" in 1923 and "Theodora" in 1924 [tanker]. Greek tanker "Theodora" was bombed by German aviation 22.04.1941 off Antikura [Gulf of Korinth] - captain and 12 crewmembers were killed, the ship was completelly burnt out because of petrol on board.

http://www.schiffswrackliste.de/BRT%201941.htm

Regards, BP

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Post by BIGpanzer » 21 Aug 2007 23:00

Here is also not clear case with one of "Elpidifor"s.

"Elpidifor No. 419" [launched in 1922 by Nikolaev shipyard named for Andre Marti as "Aleksandr Emshanov"] and renamed as "Stakhanovets" in 1939. The ship was used as tanker/refueler and cargo ship [1940 tons] of Black Sea State Steamship Company [ChGMP] and Miramar Ship Index mentioned that it was sunk by enemy bombers in Feodosia 09.01.1942.
But all Russian sources I could find don't mention any steamer "Stakhanovets" in the list of merchant ships lost during WWII [and, probably, "Stakhanovets" survived the war in reality] - they mention diesel ship "Spartakovets" instead, which was sunk in Feodosia 09.01.1942 indeed: the ship stayed in port after unloading and was attacked by enemy bombers, 3 bombs hit the ship.
"Spartakovets" was coastal cargo schooner of relatively similar design to "Elpidifor"s ["Pioner"-type, 1890 tons; this type was already described somewhere above] of ChGMP which was built by Odessa shipyard in 1940.

Regards, BP
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 22 Aug 2007 06:39, edited 1 time in total.

mjbollinger
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Post by mjbollinger » 22 Aug 2007 03:40

Hi BP,

Here is what I have in my database on these last two ships. You are right, there is confusion. One source (Starke) even rights that STAKHANOVETS was sunk in 1942 but is listed as SPARTAKOVETS by Soviet sources (presumably in mistake.)

STAKHANOVETS
1917 Laid down as ELPIDIFOR No. 419 (Russian Navy) as landing craft
1922 Launched as ALEKSANDR EMSHANOV
1923 Completed as ALEKSANDR EMSHANOV (GChAP) as oil tanker
1924 ALEKSANDR EMSHANOV (STF-ChAGK) 01.10.24
1926 ALEKSANDR EMSHANOV (STF-ChGK)
1934 ALEKSANDR EMSHANOV (Sovtanker)
1938 STAKHANOVETS (ChGMP) -- converted to dry cargo ship
1941 STAKHANOVETS (ChABU) 01.07.41
1942 According to some sources sunk at Feodosia 09.01.42 - probably mistaken for SPATAKOVETS

SPARTAKOVETS
1940 Completed as SPARTAKOVETS (AGMP)
1941 SPARTAKOVETS (ChABU) 01.07.41
1942 Bombed and sunk at Feodosia 09.01.42 -- sometimes confused with STAKHANOVETS
1945 Raised by EPRON; possibly returned to service

I will check my sources again to see if I can find anything new.

By the way, Platonov's book is excellent.

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Post by kgvm » 22 Aug 2007 09:02

Some additional links to ships of the Baltic states:
http://www.swiss-ships.ch/schiffe/ville ... ve_021.htm (with two pictures of "Denny" as "Ville de Genève")
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/d ... orbank.jpg ("Vilk" as "Corbank")
And just in case you havn't seen it:
http://riversea.tugtalk.co.uk/memories/cards.htm (pictures changing about every 6 weeks, at the moment there are pictures of NEVASTROI 1918, POLINA OSIPENKO 1920, CHELYUSKIN 1933, SPARTAK 1909, SELENGA 1919 and SURA 1923. Even if some of these are identical to the pictures at Fesco, they are shown in higher resolution :)
Regards
Klaus Günther

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Post by BIGpanzer » 22 Aug 2007 12:36

Thanks, Klaus, for the excellent links! http://www.swiss-ships.ch I know, others - not. I will investigate them in details in near future.

Thanks, Marty!
I also believe that "Stakhanovets" [ex-"Elpidifor No. 419"] wasn't sunk in Feodosia [so Russian sources are correct] but was used as cargo steamer during the whole war and later. I found a mention that "Stakhanovets" was in use in 1944 on the Black Sea, for example.
As for "Spartakovets" [coastal cargo schooner of "Pioner"-type] - the ship was sunk by German bombers in Feodosia 09.01.1942 indeed as it was described above according to Russian sources. It is also interesting that it is often mentioned that "Spartakovets" was completed by Odessa shipyard in 1940 only whereas quite many sources describe "Pioner"-type as coastal schooners built by Sevastopol and Odessa shipyards in 1928-1935. I couldn't find any data that "Spartakovets" was raised by emergency rescue service of Black Sea Navy in 1945 but that was very possible as the schooner was sunk by German bombers in port.

There is also one interesting story/photos of one of "Elpidifor"s.
"Elpidifor No. 423" was laid down in Nikolaev in 1917 and it was launched in 1923, completed in 1929 by Odessa shipyard as carrier of manganese ore "Volgo-Don". The steamer was used by Azov State Steamship Company and according to some Soviet sources the ship was exploded in Mariupol port 08.10.1941 to prevent capture of the ship [no info about further fate]. But I found the mentions in German and Russian sources that the ship was repaired by Germans and reequipped into cable ship "Wolga-Don" in 1942-1943. Transport with 325 t of Luftwaffe cargos on board was torpedoed [stern was destroyed] by Soviet submarine L-6 during the convoy run to Sevastopol 25.11.1943 at 19:07 [45.07N, 32.08E]. Escort ships [Romanian gun-boats "Stihi" and "Dimitrescu", mine-sweeper R-205 and patrol boats UJ-2301 è UJ-2309] rescued the crew (5 men were lost), "Dimitrescu" tried to tow heavily damaged "Wolga-Don" but it sank 3 miles from the shore [26.11.1943 at 11:35].
http://www.diving-tour.com/content/imag ... pg/420.jpg [wrecks of "Wolga-Don", modern photo]
http://www.morozoff.com.ua/volgdon/volgodon.html [a lot of photos of wrecks of "Wolga-Don", depth 31 m] - hull with main deck superstructure, two fallen masts, cargos in holds [boxes, cars and air bombs].
http://aratta.ua/wolga_don.html
http://aratta.ua/photo-arhiv-volga-don.html
[also the interesting photos of wrecks!]

Regards, BP

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Post by mjbollinger » 22 Aug 2007 23:28

BP,

According to VMF records, there was a "schooner" named Stakhanovets lost in Feodosia on 09.01.42, the same day when and place where Spartakovetz was lost. I checked to see if by chance this could have been a mistaken refernece as sometimes these ships were called "road schooners". I don't think so. The other ships of the class are all listed as transports or minesweepers (for those converted).

This could also be a source of the confusion.

MB

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Post by BIGpanzer » 23 Aug 2007 08:41

Hi, Marty!
Yes, the situation with "Stakhanovets" ["Elpidifor"-type] and "Spartakovers" ["Pioner"-type] is not 100% clear yet. I think at the moment that "Spartakovets" was sunk by German aviation in Feodosia port whereas "Stakhanovets" survived the war [there are several mentions that steamer under the name "Stakhanovets" were used on Black Sea in 1944 at least] - but there are a lot of sources which confuse both ships with each other in this case or even mention both of them as lost ships during German air attack against Feodosia port.

As for schooners - "Elpidifor"s [landing ships according to the project] are mentioned as gun-boats or mine-sweepers if converted and refuelers/transports/cargo steamers if not. But it should be noted that design of "Elpidifor"s was inspired by preWWI coastal (road) steam cargo schooners [self-propelled barges] of Azov Sea, intended for local transportation of grain cargos from river estuaries and firths to sea-going cargo ships. Those steam schooners built in 1890s-1900s were unofficially called as "Elpidifor"s also during WWI and WWII when many of them were mobilized as mine-sweepers and landing ships. That is why real "Elpidifors" represented excellent landing ships - they had significant cargo capacity, very low draft [which could be decreased up to zero in nose part if cargos located in the stern part of the ship] and good manoeuvrability [all features derived from merchant steam schooners of Azov Sea].
"Pioner"s were coastal schooners (road schooners) indeed according to the Soviet project, so this is the most correct name for them together with transport/cargo diesel ship or mine-sweeper [if converted].

http://militera.lib.ru/h/mmf/03.html - only "Spartakovets" is mentioned in the list of Soviet merchant ships lost on Black/Azov Seas during WWII.

Regards, BP

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Post by mjbollinger » 23 Aug 2007 11:30

BP,

Thanks. Having looked through all of my books and files, I have now concluded that the ships sunk in Feodosia on 01.09.42 were the merchant ships Chatyr-Dag and Spartakovets along with the sail schooner Stakhanovets. The merchant ship Stakhanovets was not sunk that day and seems to have survived the war.

MB

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Post by BIGpanzer » 23 Aug 2007 11:49

"Chatyr-Dag" was the old cargo steamer [901 brt] from Azov State Steamship Company, which built in 1896 by Hawthorn Leslie in Hebburn for Russia - the ship was attacked by 10 German bombers near Feodosia 09.01.1942 during run Feodosia-Novorossisk [fortunately, "Chatyr-Dag" was empty and unloaded soldiers in Feodosia already], 3 bombs hit the ship, some crewmembers used single life-boat and others were rescued by port vessels. 17.02.1954 the steamer was raised and scrapped.

I also found one mention about the steamer named "Chatyr-Dag" - the ship participated in rescue operation [together with "Pestel"] of passengers (~3000 civilians) from heavily damaged by German bombers "Kuban", which was towed later to Sevastopol. That happened in 1941.

Regards, BP

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