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

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 09 Dec 2005 18:44

Hello, Marty!
I am also very busy at the moment, so also quite shortly :)

As for the launch delay of two ships of "Tovarisch Krasin" type (VI series). If so I don’t know exactly reasons also. I couldn’t find any info in my literature sources, so I tried to find it using Russian sites, but almost all of them mention that Baltic Shipyard finished all planned timber ships of series V-bis and VI in 1933-1936. But may be your info is more correct.

As for the import of new and used overseas ships to USSR - do you know the exact amount of imported ships in 1920s-1930s? I only found that in 1941 USSR had large merchant sea fleet - near 700 ships.
Soviets had many shipyards and produced all types of merchant ships and ice-breakers. As I found several types of Soviet transport ships of 1930s got a highest register quality from British Lloyd. Me seems Soviets could produce all ships in all amounts they needed in 1930s. Of course, in 1920s after Russian Revolution and Civil war Soviet merchant fleet suffered of the great shortage of sea ships in good condition as the majority of native and foreign-built Russian vessels were destroyed, damaged or captured as well as some shipyards*, but since the end of 1920s the Soviet shipbuilding industry increased a lot. But indeed in middle 1930s a new large warship program started and many large shipyards intensified the development of cruisers, destroyers and submarines. May be this was the reason of purchases of some amount of used and new ships abroad (from US, Germany, Spain, UK, etc.)
*in the middle of 1920s USSR had 128 sea merchant ships (167.861 t total), mainly quite old - imported or built in Russia in the end of XIX - beginning of XX century. For example, in 1917 Russia had more then 500 sea merchant ships. Since the middle 1920s main shipyards were rebuilt and began to produce new ships: cargo ships, timber ships, refrigerators, tankers, passenger liners, ice-breaking ships and ice-breakers. Many types of civil ships were possible to reequip as military transports, hospital ships or submarine bases in the case of the war. Soviet shipyards received the orders to produce the ships according to the highest world standards (Tsarist Russia had also excellent shipbuilding traditions) as many new international routes were opened to increase the economy and prestige of the first socialist state.

I also tried to find some info about “Uritsky”, probably, being sunk in 1942. The problem is that this name is mentioned in the full list of Soviet medium and large merchant ships, were lost during WWII (I gave this list here in this thread). The list (the most full list, according to Soviet sources, is from the book “Ships of the Ministry of Sea Fleet, were lost during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945”, Moscow, GPINIIMT “Sojuzmorniiproekt”, 1989) contains no mistakes (or at least I still don’t find any of mistakes during my search).

In Internet I found the mention that one of the five German submarines, supported battleship “Admiral Scheer”, torpedoed steamer “Uritsky” at Kara Sea on 24 August 1942. In principle this seems possible as “Uritsky” was steamer indeed (Soviets produced mainly diesel-propelled ships, but the first Soviet transport ships of “Tovarisch Krasin”-type were steamers because of economic reasons as in 1920s they intended to transport cheap coal from UK to USSR on the return trip) and “Uritsky” of “Tovarisch Krasin”-type was indeed used as transport ship at North Sea Route in 1941-1942 (performed Lend-Lease navigations from San-Francisco and Seattle to Archangelsk and other Soviet Arctic ports, for example participated at so called expedition EON-18 ). So it was theoretically possible. But - there is no name “Uritsky” in the list of Soviet merchant ships torpedoed or sank by German submarines in the North - http://wunderwaffe.narod.ru/Magazine/MK/2003_N2/16.htm
Very probably you are right, as one source mention that "Uritsky" (used by DGMP) was scrapped in 1958.
Probably, the deadweight of that sunk (if so) “Uritsky” was relatively small, and I really think that was not a timber ship (military transport) of “Tovarisch Krasin” type, otherwise we could find more full info about the accident. During my searches I found that another ship “Uritsky” (not timber ship!) served at Caspian Sea and participated in rescue operation, when large (3110 t) towboat (served also as HQ ship) “Udarnik” was torpedoed by He-111 and sank.

Thanks for the info about small tug “Volodarsky” (that vessel had the same name as the ship of “Tovarisch Krasin” type), it was really destroyed by German bombers near Kerch port 27.10.1942. I`ve checked my sources and found the same info!

I am waiting the info about transport icebreaking ships of “Anadyr” type :wink:

Best regards, BIGpanzer
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 17 Jun 2006 18:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 10 Dec 2005 00:01

I`ve checked the full list of Soviet merchant ships, were lost during WWII, I wrote about above and found that "Uritsky" mentioned there was mentioned because of participation in rescue operation of "Udarnik" (see my previous letter). That was another "Uritsky" (not timber ship we are discussing) and no ship under such name was lost during the war. So some sources mentioned torpedoed "Uritsky" at Kara Sea in 1942, probably, mistake.

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Soviet ship imports

Post by mjbollinger » 10 Dec 2005 01:58

BigPanzer,

I have compiled a database of every Soviet merchant ship (over 900GRT) in use anytime between 1930 and 1950, and have tracked all new builds and purchases from 1921 to 1950. Based on this, here are the #s of ships acquired by the USSR from 1921 to 1950. (The first entry in the column is 1921, the second 1922, etc.). The data only include normal commercial arrangements. Lend Lease ships, reparations, etc. are excluded (I also have that information.)

There are three sets of data...

The first are the ships produced locally within the USSR (starting 1921 and ending 1950)

0
1
0
0
0
2
4
11
14
15
14
17
12
6
3
7
0
5
3
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0


Here are the ships acquired new from yards outside the USSR

0
0
0
2
0
1
0
4
2
1
1
0
3
0
3
10
9
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
3
2
1
3
5
1


Here are the ships acquired second hand from outside the USSR

5
0
1
0
0
0
3
2
2
6
3
10
21
24
46
2
5
4
2
3
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0


I also have the data computed by GRT and the % from overseas is even larger measured this way.

What data are you looking for on the Anadyr-class ships? Will a basic chronology be enough?

Marty

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Oops

Post by mjbollinger » 10 Dec 2005 02:26

Forgot -- in addition to numbers above, add 16 second hand ships for 1929 and 7 for 1930.

Marty

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Anadyr Class

Post by mjbollinger » 10 Dec 2005 14:09

All built by Ordzhonikidze Shipyard #189 (Baltic Shipbuilding & Engineering Works). All of 3554 or 3559 GRT.

SVERDLOVSK
1930 Launched as SVERDLOVSK 11.30
1931 Completed as SVERDLOVSK (USSR)
1933 SVERDLOVSK (STF-DGK)
1935 SVERDLOVSK (DGMP) 03.35
1941 SVERDLOVSK (TF) mobilized as submarine tender
1946 SVERDLOVSK (DGMP) demobilized
1960 Deleted LRS

SMOLEKNSK
1930 Launched as SMOLENSK 12.30
1931 Completed as SMOLENSK (STF-DGK)
1935 SMOLENSK (DGMP) 03.35
1935 Traversed NSR Vladivostok to London
1941 SMOLENSK (TF) mobilized as MTB tender 08.12.41
1942 SMOLENSK (TF) submarine tender 22.11.42
1945 SMOLENSK (USSR) removed from DGMP roster
1956 PKZ-89 (TF) used as smelter 11.56
1965 Handed over for scrapping 10.02.65

SAKHALIN / KRASNOYARSK
1929 Laid down as SAKHALIN 06.29 ?
1931 Completed as SAKHALIN (STF-DGK) 06.31
1932 Ran aground off Sakhalin 08.32; released after 8 days
1932 Detained by Japan for one month 08.32
1933 Serious fire onboard during Winter in Okhotsk Sea
1935 SAKHALIN (DGMP) 03.35
1941 KRASNOYARSK (TF) mobilized as transport
1947 KRASNOYARSK (DGMP)
1958 KRASNOYARSK (MRKh) Kamchatrybprom
1968 Excluded from register
1971 Floating storage in USSR

SUCHAN
1930 Launched as SUCHAN 05.30
1931 Completed as SUCHAN (STF-DGK) 08.31
1935 SUCHAN (DGMP) 03.35
1936 Detained by Japan for three months off Sarafutsu
1938 Lost in La Perouse Strait 05.38

SEVER
1931 Completed as SEVER (STF-SGK) 09.31
1934 SEVER (SGMP) 15.03.34
1945 SEVER (SF) mobilized as depot ship
???? Not reported after 1945; no evidence of loss during war
(If you have any information on the fate of this ship I'd be very interested)

SARATOV
1931 Completed as SARATOV (USSR)
1933 SARATOV (MSDV) as submarine tender 09.33
1935 SARATOV (TF) 11.01.35
1960 Deleted LRS

KHABAROVSK
1931 Launched as KHABAROVSK 10.31
1932 Completed as KHABAROVSK (STF-DGK)
1935 KHABAROVSK (DGMP) 03.35
1938 Used as military transport to Lake Khazan 07.38
1946 KHABAROVSK (USSR) removed from DGMP roster
1949 KHABAROVSK (KChGMP)
196- Removed from service

ANADYR / VERTIKAL
1929 Laid down as ANADYR 06.29
1930 Launched as ANADYR 04.30
1932 Completed as ANADYR (STF-DGK)
1935 ANADYR (DGMP) 03.35
1935 Traversed NSR Vladivostok to Murmansk
1939 ANADYR (GUSMP)
1942 Stopped by Japan in Korea Strait 02.42
1942 Under repair in Seattle 12.03.42 to 14.06.42
1953 Major overhaul (in GDR?)
1957 ANADYR (DGMP)
1963 ANADYR (MPKh) converted to training ship
1966 VERTIKAL (MPKh)
1971 Excluded from USSR Sea Register

STALINGRAD
1930 Launched as STALINGRAD 11.30
1932 Completed as STALINGRAD (STF-DGK) 02.32
1932 STALINGRAD (GUSMP) 02.32
1932 Detained by Japan off Sakhalin for 1 month
1942 QP-7 Murmansk to Seidisfjord 12.02.42-22.02.42
1942 PQ-18 Hvalfjord to Murmansk 08.09.42-19.09.42
1942 Torpedoed by U.589 75.52N-07.55E 13.09.42

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 10 Dec 2005 16:42

Hi, Marty!
Thanks for the data! Sorry, I have no time at the moment, so I`ll reply tomorrow, probably (also about "Anadyr" ships, thanks a lot!!!)
But I have one question - according to your data (of course, I believe to your knowledgable information, but I am checking my sources also) Soviets had not very many merchant ships during preWWII period, but according to the official statistics they lost 329(380? - another sources) sea merchant ships (698.300 t total) during WWII (the amount is without small tonnage vessels and barges!). For example USA lost 1554 sea merchant ships during WWII, including 733 ships of over 1.000 gross tons. And in 1939 USSR had near 700 sea merchant ships (or 1316 over 100 tons, according to the official League of Nation data, among them were 346 diesel/motor ships. Other data - in 1937 USSR had merchant fleet with cargo capacity 1.250.000 tons). For comparison - France had 436 diesel/motor ships in 1939, Spain - 179, US - 755 (all data for ships over 100 tons, including sailing with engines), Japan - 1529!
But the native production and import in 1920s-1930s is quite far away from the number 700. Is it mean that many Soviet ships, were used during WWII, were built at tsarist Russia shipyards before 1917 and were imported also in the beginning of XX century? In 1916 Russia had the 5th world largest merchant fleet. But me seems that the majority of Soviet transport ships should be not very old, nevertheless, as they used at North, Pacific and Atlantic routes quite intensive during WWII.
Soviets received also several good cargo ships and especially liners after the fall of Republican Spain, also Germany built for USSR in 1920s-1930s several types of the ships, according to Soviet projects.

PS. Well, I calculated - USSR built 116 sea merchant ships of medium and large tonnage in 1920s-1941, according to your data. Also received 36 new imported ships and 164 second hand imported ships, also according to your data. Not so small production amount as I thought before, quite comparable with the civil ship production of other countries (UK, US, France, Germany, Spain). But still far away from ~700 sea ships, Soviets had in 1941. So the majority of Soviet vessels were imported or native, but relatively old (pre1917). As I wrote before USSR had only 128 sea merchant ships in middle 1920s, and many of them were scrapped till 1941 as obsolete, but quite a lot ships, were built in 1890s-1910s were in use during WWII. So some contradictory data generally, I would like to say. Is the amount of 700 sea ships in 1939-1941 is absolutely correct (many quite knowledgable sources give this data)? As for the losses (329 ships) - I believe to this data, it includes also some Lend-Lease ships. Also interesting, in 1950 (almost just after WWII) USSR had already 967 merchant ships (2.125.000 tons) - 3.13% from the world ships, but Soviet shipyards were just restored and repaired after WWII. What was the source of the Soviet ships - reparations?
But for example, one of the largest Soviet shipyard - Baltic, produced 311 warships and only 206 civil ships during its history (midXIX-present), so the production priority was given to warships as you can see.

As for the transport icebreaking ships of "Anadyr" type - what about the 10th ship of the series - "Krasnaya Gazeta"?

Regards, BP
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 11 Dec 2005 20:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 11 Dec 2005 00:37

Just find several minutes to answer about cargo-passenger icebreaking ships of "Anadyr" type (some info about them and photos - see my post here from 28 July 2005, 10 were built in 5 series - two ships in each). They were used very widely at Far-Eastern routes, North Sea Route (direct Arctic Ocean navigations from West to East), participated in many polar expeditions of 1930s and rescued the famous Soviet "Cheluskin" ship, which was crushed by ice in 1934. Those ships could transport several light aircrafts on the deck for arctic expeditions and had many technical novelties in their construction, which were used for the first time on Soviet ships. Generally, those ships were considered to be the best cargo-passenger icebreaking ships of 1930s.
Those ships were used as armed military transports and as ice-breakers during WWII (North Atlantic, Arctic Ocean, North Pacific).

Full displacement of "Anadyr"-type ships - 6110-6140 t

"Stalingrad" was sunk on 13 September 1942 at Greenland Sea (PQ-18 convoy from Iceland to Arkhangelsk, torpedoed by "U-589", 16 crewmembers and 5 passengers were lost and 66 men from the ship were rescued by British patrol mine-sweepers). "Stalingrad" transported 300 t of ammunition and explosives in holds, British tanks and fighters on the deck. The full-loaded ship couldn`t avoid the torpedo despite the fact that torpedo was seen 20 secunds before the explosive by the sailor, operated AA machine-gun. After strong explosive (steam-engine was destroyed, ammunition exploded also) "Stalingrad" sank in 4-5 min. Captain of "Stalingrad" A. Sakharov was saved by British mine-sweeper and he continued to serve as the pilot of PQ-18, in 1943 he was awarded British George Cross for military merits.

"Suchan" was indeed sunk in La Perouse Strait in May 1938 (another source - in 1937) because of swithching off the lighthouse at Stone of Danger island by Japanese. During 1930s it transported different cargos, food and also political prisoners to Magadan port. Sorry, Marty, we already discussed the fate of "Suchan", I forgot :wink:

PS. I found just now an interesting site - http://www.sea.infoflot.ru/ This is a new database (far away from full, but quite knowledgable, with huge amount of photos, specifications and fate of the Soviet/Russian cargo ships and passenger liners till present). As for WWII period - some info is also present, but not many. Enjoy!

For example, one WWII photo - http://www.sea.infoflot.ru/photo/1/245.jpg (best Soviet preWWII passenger liner of "Abkhazia" type - hospital ship "Abkhazia", which was sunk by 9 direct hits of heavy bombs from Ju-87s on 10 June 1942 at Sevastopol berth during unloading of ammunition and marine infantry, see also my post here from 31 May. Near one year German bombers couldn`t destroy the famous "Abkhazia", which made near 35 dangerous and desperate navigations and transported 32355 wounded men, 9500 were operated on board + 65000 civilians).
"Abkhazia" in 1930s: http://www.sea.infoflot.ru/photo/1/150.jpg http://www.sea.infoflot.ru/photo/1/76.jpg

Sorry, need to go, will continue tomorrow :)

Photo of Soviet cargo-passenger ship of "Anadyr" type (10 copies, 1929-1932)
is from http://www.sea.infoflot.ru/photo/1/9.jpg

This is "Sakhalin"
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More data

Post by mjbollinger » 12 Dec 2005 02:36

Sorry, BP -- forgot about Krasnaya Gazeta because it never served in Sovtorgflot. Here is what I have -- it is not much:

1932 Laid down as KAZAN
1933 Launched as KRASNAYA GAZETA
1936 Completed as KHRONSTADT (BF) as submarine tender
1948 KHRONSTADT (BF) converted to transport

The reason I am preparing the complex database is to address specifically the questions you ask about ship losses during WWII. Based on this database I count 821,000 GRT of capacity lost in the years 1941-1945 from all causes, including accidents. You must remember to add in the large number of ships annexed from Latvia and Estonia during 1940, as well as the large number of ships transferred as part of Lend Lease from the U.S. (114) and UK (3).

Here is my data for the total number of ships over 900GRT serving in the seagoing fleet of the USSR, by year, starting in 1930 and ending in 1950. THese data exclude ships seconded to the Navy and those in the Caspian Fleet (though I have both in my database):

116
139
162
193
215
242
283
291
298
294
290
377
215
198
230
241
325
417
398
384
384

Here is the same data, measured in GRT (000s):

308
368
443
589
656
734
855
873
906
892
898
1097
666
627
905
985
1256
1541
1467
1373
1388

Again, this is based on tracking the history from 1930 to 1950 of each of about 900 ships.

Marty

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Post by BIGpanzer » 17 Dec 2005 20:10

Hello, Marty!
Thanks a lot for the informative reply!

Just would like to post some info I know about 10 cargo-passenger icebreaking ships of "Anadyr" type in addition to your info.

About "Stalingrad" and "Suchan" I`ve already written several days ago. I found an additional info about "Suchan" that the ship participated in rescue operation of the DGMP (Far-Eastern State Steamship Company) steamer "Syasstroj" in summer 1936 (steamer "Syasstroj" with 1090 workers from fish-works on board ran into the reef). "Suchan" was really arrested as the provocation against Soviets by Japan for three months in 1936, some secret NKVD documents (ship transported them between ports) on board were eliminated by the responsible person before capturing the ship, and that saved several lives of accused persons.

What about the rest ships of the type:

"Anadyr" - the ship (together with “Suchan” and “Sever” of the same type) participated in North-East polar expedition 1932-1933. “Anadyr” made in 1935 the navigation from Soviet Far-Eastern port Vladivostok to Belgian Antwerp (not only to Soviet Murmansk) through the North Sea Route (first time in the world). GUSMP - State Administration of North Sea Route. In 1936 participated in the North navigation with two Soviet destroyers + 2 tankers + ice-breaking ship “F. Litke” from Arkhangelsk to Vladivostok (destroyers relocated from Baltic Fleet to Pacific Fleet). During WWII - military transport in Arctic and Pacific Oceans, several times was stopped for short inspections by Japanese destroyers and patrol boats (exactly in Korea Strait 02.42, also in 1944 in La Pérouse Strait). Interesting fact, I could find - during the Japanese sea inspections crewmembers often listen through ship’s dynamics (very loud!) the song “Varyag” about the famous Russian cruiser of the Russian-Japanese war (1905) period. So Japanese captains tried to finish the inspections as soon as possible :lol: . In 1943 “Anadyr” could successfully avoid the attack of German submarine in Kara Sea.

“Khabarovsk” - I wrote that it was sunk in 1945. That was mistake 8) . “Khabarovsk” only evacuated crewmembers of the cargo ship “Transbalt”, torpedoed by US submarine, from Japanese ports to Soviet Vladivostok in July 1945. After WWII “Khabarovsk” was reequipped into passenger ship and used by KChGMP (Kamchatka State Ship Company) till 1960s (Petropavlovsk-Palana, Petropavlovsk-Pakhacha routes).

“Saratov” - during WWII the ship served as the submarine tender (4th brigade of submarines, Petropavlovsk Naval Base). “Saratov” became a submarine tender of Pacific Fleet (1st brigade of submarines, consisting of 3 divisions of medium submarines) in November 1933, so it was almost never used as civil cargo-passenger ice-breaking ship, but played a significant role in establishing of Soviet submarine fleet in Pacific.
Since 20 April 1934 “Saratov” belonged to the 2nd brigade of submarines.
14 November, 1934 the new unit was created - mixed squadron of submerged run (base Nakhodka, 1.5 divisions of submarines), and “Saratov” was given to that unit for the submarine`s crews supply and training.
26 March, 1935 that unit was dismissed and new was created - mixed squadron of submerged run of 2 divisions, including the submarine tender “Saratov”.
29 April, 1935 the 3rd brigade of medium submarines was created in Pacific Fleet, including “Saratov”.
9 July, 1938 “Saratov” with the submarines of 31st division moved from Nakhodka base to Sovgavan base.
14 August, 1938 - “Saratov” was given to the 4th brigade of submarines.
During the Soviet-Japanese military conflict at Khasan Lake (1938) submarine tender “Saratov” together with several submarines of L-type moved to the North of the Pacific Ocean, because of absence of submarine naval bases there.
In December 1945 “Saratov” transported captured Japanese soldiers from Korea to Soviet Nakhodka port, also several dozens of captured Japanese cars, equipment. During that navigation an extremely strong storm 12 on Richter scale happened. Firm hull of ice-breaking ship withstood, but all cars and equipment, transported on the deck, were lost because of the great waves. Japanese prisoners survived as they were transported inside the holds.

“Smolensk” - almost the same info as yours. “Smolensk” with seven reconnaissance aircrafts R-5 and U-2, also with snowmobiles on board participated in the world famous rescue operation of the polar expedition members and crew from “Cheluskin” ice-breaking ship, destroyed by strong polar ice (1934). “Stalingrad” of the same type with two flying boats Sh-2 on board participated in that rescue operation also. Unfortunately, you didn`t mention this, but it was very important event in the ship`s “career” as me seems. During WWII - tender of torpedo boats (since 8.12.1941, Pacific Fleet), since 22.11.1942 - submarine tender. 6000 t, range 4032 miles, 132 men crew. Since November 1956 - renamed as “PKZ-89” and used as floating barracks, scrapped 10.02.1965.

“Sever” - it is quite hard to find any info about this ship, also there were several medium and large Soviet ships under such name as well as the huge amount of small ships. Also it is difficult to make a search in Internet using the name “Sever”.
I only know that “Sever” (also “Anadyr”, “Suchan” and “Smolensk” of the same type) was used by Far-East North Route before WWII. “Sever” (+ “Anadyr” and “Suchan”) participated in the special North-East Polar Expedition in 1932-1933, “Sever” and “Anadyr” stayed for the second wintering because of strong polar ices.
There is no such name in the list of Soviet transport ships losses of WWII. I believe that from 10 ships of the “Anadyr”-type only “Stalingrad” was lost during the war.
Many sources mention the submarine tender “Sever” since 1939 (Petropavlovsk Naval Base of Pacific Fleet - the same base where “Saratov” served). Another sources give the info that "Sever" was given to Pacific Fleet 07.1941. In 1945 submarine tender “Sever” (belonged to 4th brigade of submarines) participated in the war with Japan. Sailors from “Saratov” as well as from many other vessels formed the battalions of marine infantry for landing operations against Japanese positions at Kuril Islands, boatswain from “Saratov” N. Vilkov became the hero when exploded himself by grenades near the Japanese MG bunker in Shumshu Island, destroying it, and cleaned the way for attacking marines. You wrote that “Sever” could served as tender in North Fleet, not Pacific - is this not a mistake?

“Sverdlovsk” - I know only that ice-breaking cargo-passenger ship “Sverdlovsk” was used in 1930s at North Sea Route. In October 1933 the ship together with cargo ship “Lieutenant Schmidt” was stopped by strong polar ice and wintered to preserve coal for steam-engine, but month later both ships could continue navigation. Near the same time (November 1933- February 1934) and near the same place ice-breaking ship “Cheluskin” with polar expedition on board was crushed by ice and famous rescue operation of 1930s began, in which “Stalingrad” and “Smolensk” participated (see above). “Sverdlovsk” participated in rescue operation of the same type “Sakhalin” (fire onboard, see below) in 1933 in Okhotsk Sea. About service of “Sverdlovsk” as submarine tender since 1941 (Pacific Fleet, TF) I have no info.

“Sakhalin” - I wrote that the ship, was, probably, sunk during WWII. That was a mistake as “Sakhalin” participated only in the transportation of survived crewmembers of the torpedoed cargo ship “Pavlin Vinogradov” from USA hospitals back to USSR in June 1944 :oops: . “Sakhalin” served as cargo-passenger ship (up to 542 passengers) at Far East, Pacific Ocean in 1930s. 12 January, 1933 the ship made the navigation from Vladivostok to Sakhalin with passengers, including the members of Kamchatka Drama Theatre and suddenly the strong fire onboard began. Three days crewmembers and passengers fought with fire, and only 15 January two ships (including “Sverdlovsk”) began the rescue operation under strong typhoon. “Sakhalin” was “famous” also as the ship, transported political prisoners inside the holds for construction the new Magadan port since February 1932, also the ship transported NKVD inspectors and the management of “Dalstroy” (Far East Construction Engineering Company). "Sakhalin" was given to Kamchatka steamship company in 1958.
I already posted here some photo links of “Sakhalin”, so this is a repeat:
http://kolyma-info.ru/data/media/11/old_sax.jpg (Magadan port, 1932)
http://magda2004.narod.ru/Hist/hpar.jpg (Magadan port, 1932)

“Krasnaya Gazeta” - yes, the ship was reequipped as submarine tender “Kronshtadt” for Baltic Fleet. I found an info that “Kronstadt” was moved from Kronstadt naval base to Paldiski (Estonia, where the new Soviet naval base was established) in October 1939 before the Winter War. The ship belonged to the 3rd brigade of submarines (17 submarines, tenders “Kronstadt”, “Oka”). Marty, just small note: Kronstadt is the well-known name of the Soviet naval base (Baltic Fleet), not “Khronstadt” (!).

Interesting, that many ships of that type were converted into submarine tenders. The reasons were, probably, that “Anadyr”-type ships were developed as universal cargo-passenger ships with good operational range for Far-Eastern routes; they had ice-breaking hull; four convenient holds, which were possible to use for storage of torpedoes, different equipment, ammunition and supplies (all ships of that type had also big refrigerator compartment in addition to holds); also crewmembers from the submarines had good rest in the comfortable state-cabins and tween decks (equipped with bi-level berths).

Regards, BIGpanzer

PS. Tomorrow I will post the data from my sources about amount of Soviet merchant ships before WWII as well as about their exact losses during the war. I think my info is quite comparable with yours but some of my data include also small vessels (less than 900 t). I found in my library several books of 1930s with the description of types and amount of merchant ships of main maritime powers, including Great Britain, USA, USSR, France, Italy, etc.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 17 Jun 2006 11:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 18 Dec 2005 19:43

So here is my info from archive sources about the losses of Soviet merchant ship of medium and large tonnage during WWII. I have the exact data of all types (cargo ships, ice-breakers, tankers, etc.), all regions (Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, etc.) and the reasons of loss (submarine attack, bombs, artillery, mines, accidents, etc.) in all combinations. Of course, it will take a lot of time to post all info, so quite shortly:

Types of the ships: 203 cargo ships, 48 cargo-passenger ships, 17 ice-breakers, 13 tankers, 2 hydrographic vessels, 23 rescue ships + tugs, 23 other types - total 329 ships (so Soviet merchant fleet suffered a great losses during the war).
Among those 329: 251 were lost during navigations or at the harbors; 21 were exploded by crews to prevent their capture; 35 were captured or interned in German (mainly), Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Portugal ports; 22 were left in the Soviet ports because of their repair and captured.

Regions: North Atlantic & Arctic Oceans - 41 ships (119.600 t brutto), Baltic Sea - 80 ships (127.800 t brutto), Black & Azov Seas - 93 ships (170.900 t brutto), Caspian Sea - 14 ships (17.400 t brutto), Pacific & Indian Oceans - 23 ships (84.900 t brutto): so 251 ships (520.600 t brutto).
Total tonnage of 329 lost ships - 698.300 t brutto (60 captured or exploded by crews ships in Baltic Sea, 18 exploded by crews ships in Black Sea in addition to 251 lost ships, mentioned above)

Reasons: aviation attacks - 107 ships (57 in Black & Azov Sea, 39 in Baltic Sea as the examples), submarine attacks - 36 ships (22 in North Atlantic & Arctic Oceans), warships attacks - 16 ships (7 in Black Sea), mines - 41 ships (20 in Baltic Sea), coastal artillery - 10 ships (6 in Baltic Sea), several reasons (aviation + submarines, etc.) - 7 ships, storms & navigation reasons - 21 ships, other reasons & unknown reasons - 13 ships, 35 were captured or interned (see above), 22 were captured in the Soviet ports (see above), 21 were exploded by crews (see above) - 329 ships total.

Of course, this data doesn`t include many small tonnage vessels (schooners, motor boats), non-self-propelled barges, etc.


During WWII the most famous operations, in which Soviet transport ships took part in, were 1) defense of Odessa and Sevastopol (Black Sea, ships evacuated 125.000 t cargos and 350.000 wounded men and civilians in July/August 1941), 2) Stalingrad and Caucasus battles (Caspian Sea, in August-December 1942 merchant ships transported 468.000 soldiers, 1000 tanks, 200 airplanes, 8000 cannons to the front; in 1943-1944 Caspian Sea ships transported 24 millions t cargos and 21 millions t oil) and 3) North convoys, including Lend-Lease (near 500 large transport ships [80 convoys] were guided by Soviet ice-breakers only during three winter navigations in White Sea).

During 1941-1945 Soviet sea transport ships transported 100 millions t cargos and 4 millions men. During WWII near 50% of port equipment, 123 shipyards and docks were destroyed, 329 sea ships of medium/large tonnage were lost (sea above).

As for the Latvian and Estonian ships - yes, Soviets received quite many in 1940, but the majority of them were small tonnage (100 t - 700 t) ships (tugs, small motor ships, small ice-breakers). Those ships were used mainly under their previous names and quite many under the command of their previous captains in Baltic Sea and almost all were lost in 1941. For example, 16 ships from Latvian State Steamship Company and 13 ships from Estonian Steamship Company were interned in foreign ports during the first days of the war, 14 ships from Latvian State Steamship Company and 8 ships from Estonian State Steamship Company were captured in Soviet ports because they were under repair. A lot of (I have the data about all of them) were sunk in Baltic Sea in 1941 by the Germans: for example, "Gaisma" (3077 brt, 22.06.1941), "Ruhno" (498 brt, 22.06.1941), "Liisa" (990 brt, 22.06.1941), "Vieniba" (288 t, 27.06.1941), "Marta" (1414 brt, 29.06.1941), "Krimulda" (1970 t, 30.06.1941), "Imanta" (1233 brt, 01.07.1941), "Rasma" (3204 t, 05.07.1941), "Bartava" (768 brt, 10.08.1941), "Utena" (542 brt, 14.08.1941), "Kretinga" (542 brt, 15.08.1941), "Leeni" (1842 brt, 21.08.1941), "Eestirand" (4444 brt, 24.08.1941), "Kosmos" (300 t, 25.08.1941), "Vaindlo" (604 brt, 29.08.1941), "Gamma" (696 brt, 27.08.1941), "Ella" (1523 brt, 28.08.1941), "Krisjanis Valdemars" (1932 brt, 28.08.1941) and many others (I just have no time to type all of them, sorry).
One of the most hard campaign for Soviet merchant navy was evacuation of ships of Latvian, Estonian and Baltic steamship companies from Tallinn to Leningrad in August 1941 to prevent their capture by Germans. From 29 ships only 2 reached Leningrad, another 2 were heavily damaged and went aground at Gogland Island, all others were sunk by German aviation and artillery.

As for the Lend-Lease ships (USSR also bought some amount in addition to Lend-Lease)- Soviets received more than 100 cargo ships of "Liberty"-type since January 1943 + several US ice-breakers and sea tugs. Taking into consideration that many Soviet merchant ships were lost during the war and their native production was stopped for the war period as many shipyards were destroyed and captured (Black Sea) or built and repaired warships (Baltic Sea) that was significant help. Interesting, that even in 1967 when very powerful Soviet ship industry produced a lot of modern sea ships of large tonnage (every week 2-3 ships of large tonnage were launched), obsolete (but modernized) cargo ships of "Liberty" type were still in use (23 in Far-Eastern Steamship Company, 13 in Black Sea Steamship Company, 7 in Baltic Sea Steamship Company, 2 in Azov Sea Steamship Company).

I think that the amounts of 700-800 Soviet seagoing ships in 1941 and 967 Soviet seagoing ships (2.125,000 t) in 1950 are quite correct as many different knowledgable sources give this. But they count also the ships below 900 GRT.

Here is the data from Swiss reference books of 1930s (League of Nation official reports). I have also the data about different types of ships, but here is the total tonnage for all merchant ships.

Total gross tonnage of seagoing merchant ships (gross tonns; 1 t = 1016 kg, data includes also small ships over 100 t) for USSR:
1924 - 339.000
1925 - 322.000
1926 - 323.000
1927 - 309.000
1928 - 377.000
1929 - 440.000
1930 - 532.000
1931 - 604.000
1932 - 685.000
1933 - 843.000
1934 - 942.000
1935 - 1.114.000
1936 - 1.218.000
1937 - 1.258.000
1938 - 1.281.000
1939 - 1.316.000
1941 - 2.000.000

For example, British Empire had 17.984.000 t (1939), USA - 11.874.000 t (1939), Norway - 4.835.000 t (1939), France - 2.903.000 t (1939), Greece - 1.781.000 t (1939), Canada - 1.305.000 t (1939), Denmark - 1.176.000 t (1939), Belgium - 408.000 t (1939), Estonia - 200.000 t (1939), Latvia - 192.000 t (1939). The data is for all seagoing merchant vessels, including small of 100 t and upwards.

In 1928 Soviet merchant fleet transported 6.8 millions t cargos + 1.2 millions export/import cargos + 1.3 million passengers. In 1932 Soviet merchant fleet transported 15.1 millions t cargos + 1.8 millions t export/import cargos.


Seagoing merchant vessels under construction by native shipyards (including small vessels of 100 t and upwards) for USSR - data for 1920s. USSR produced much more amount of vessels in 1930s, but I have no exact data at the moment.
1926 - 54
1927 - 88
1928 - 98
1929 - 121


PS. Marty, do you have in your archive any photos of the military transports (refrigerator ships) of "Kuban"-type as well as military transports (dry cargo ships) of "Tsurupa"-type?
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 06 Jan 2006 01:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Dido
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Post by Dido » 03 Jan 2006 22:14

Hello everyone! I am looking for information on the postwar history of the following Soviet ships:
Sovietskaya Latvia
Kulu
Daghestan (1936-built)
Turkmenistan (1936-built)

Are there any post-ww2 photos of Sovietski Soyuz. Jakutia or Kriljon in the web?

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Post by BIGpanzer » 05 Jan 2006 18:57

Hello, Dido!
As for me, I have only a few info about the Soviet ships you are interested in.
1. "Daghestan" and "Turkmenistan" were Soviet-built comfortable cargo-passenger ships (were built in 1936 by Kolomna Engineering Plant "Krasnoe Sormovo", some sources mention that they were built in 1931) - 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.
They were smaller versions of famous Soviet cargo-passenger liners of 1930s of "Abkhazia" type (see my post from 31 May here with the photo, 6 were built, all were lost during WWII as hospital and transport ships).
Do you have any photos of "Daghestan" or "Turkmenistan"? I couldn't find them in Internet.

During WWII "Daghestan" 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).
"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.

Generally, Caspian Sea was of great importance during WWII. Ships from Caspian steamship company participated in evacuation of different equipment to the East, transported oil and petrol for the Soviet Army from Baku. Also ships transported soldiers and ammunition. Only in August-December 1942 merchant Caspian ships transported 408.000 men, 1000 tanks, 200 aircrafts, 8000 cannons; in 1943-1944 24 millions tons of cargos and 21 millions tons of oil were transported by Caspian ships.

2. "Kulu" - previous Dutch steamer (was built in 1917 by N.V. Nederlandsche Dok & Scheepsbouw Maats; 9568 t), was bought in 1935 for Soviet "Dalstroy" development company. The ship was used for transportation of political prisoners along the Far-Eastern routes (Vladivostok-Nagaevo or Vladivostok-Magadan, for example: March-December navigations) for Stalin's labour camps in 1936-1938. Sometimes the ship took near 12000 prisoners on board.
During WWII "Kulu" was used for transportation Lend-Lease cargos, also Soviet engineers and army/navy specialists between Soviet ports and US ports (Vladivostok-Portland in 1943, for example). In 1959 the ship was still in use (Vladivostok port), but I don't know its further fate.

3. "Sovetskaya Latvia" (Soviet built ship?) - that steamer (several sources mention it as diesel ship) also transported political prisoners in 1930s.
I found a mention that in 1945-1949 "Sovetskaya Latvia" still transported political prisoners to Magadan (served at "Dalstroy" and "Chukotstroy" development companies).
In July 1946 the ship delivered 1500 prisoners to Egvekinot (Chukotka) for developing new wolfram deposit - http://world.lib.ru/img/s//spiridonow_a ... atviya.jpg (year 1946).
On 19 December 1947 a great explosion occured in Nagaevo port (ship "General Vatutin" with 3313 t of explosions for geologic works exploded because of fire on board), but "Sovetskaya Latvia" moored not far from "General Vatutin" survived.


As for the old photos of Soviet cargo and passenger ships - it is very hard to find good photos of them in the web, even on Russian sites.
1. "Sovetsky Sojuz" ("Soviet Union") - do you mean previous German large passenger liner "Albert Ballin"/"Hansa" (was built in 1923 by Blohm&Foss, Hamburg; 26386 t, 1176 passengers)? It exploded on mine during WWII, later was raised and was given to USSR in 1945 as the war trophy. The ship was completely repaired and reequipped in GDR and Soviet Sevastopol, since 1957 it was used at Far Eastern routes as one of the most large and comfortable Soviet passenger liner (Vladivostok-Petropavlovsk route, transported up to 1424 passengers and 2280 t of cargos). The old but quite good liner was used even in 1971-1975 along the same route. It was scrapped in 1980.
Pre-WWII photo of "Hansa": http://deutsche-passagierschiffe.de/ass ... 00x409.jpg
Post-WWII photos of "Sovetsky Sojuz": http://deutsche-passagierschiffe.de/ass ... 80x157.jpg
and
http://www.sea.infoflot.ru/images/ships/series_55_1

2. "Yakutia" - do you mean old ex-British steamer, was raised by Soviet rescue team in 1938? If so, I have some info about it - it was built in 1913 (John Brown&Co, Glasgo; full tonnage 7780 t) for Russia under the name "Imperior Peter the Great". Ship was exploded on mine near Varna in 1920 and sank. British specialists came to conclusion that it was impossible to raise the ship, but Soviets with great difficulties could do this in 1938. The ship was under repair in Odessa till 1941 when it was sunk for the second time in its life to prevent the capture by Germans and Romanians and to block the harbor. Romanians raised the ship and moved it to Romania. Soviets took it back after WWII, completely repaired it in 1951-1952 and renamed as "Yakutia". The ship was given to Far-Eastern steamship company and served till 1979, when the old ship was reequipped as the hotel for sailors. In 1987 it was moved to South Korea for scrapping, but tugboat knocked old ship in Korean port Pusan. Ship sank for the third time, but was raised and scrapped soon.
Russian preWWI photo of the ship: http://www.morvesti.ru/tst/books/steam/img/108.jpg
Soviet postWWII photo of the ship: http://www.morvesti.ru/tst/books/steam/img/112.jpg

3. "Kriljon" - that was previous German passenger/van ferry vessel "Preussen" (was built in 1909 by Stettiner Oderwerke AG; full tonnage 5828 t). Since 1950 was used by USSR as the war trophy at Far-Eastern routes, in 1960s served at Japan-North Korea route (after full repair and reequipment by Soviet "Sovkitsudstroj" shipyard, could transport 491 passengers in comfortable cabins). Was removed from service between 1971-1975 as obsolete ship.

1909 year photo: http://www.faktaomfartyg.com/preussen_1909_1.jpg
1930s photo: http://www.daos-clan.de/Kiel/Preussen.jpg (German route Trelleborg-Sassnitz)

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Dido
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Post by Dido » 08 Jan 2006 15:39

Thanks BIGpanzer for the information, it was very helpful

BIGpanzer wrote:Do you have any photos of "Daghestan" or "Turkmenistan"? I couldn't find them in Internet.


No It seems that those Caspian liners were little documented.

BIGpanzer wrote:-3. "Kriljon" Was removed from service between 1971-1975 as obsolete ship.


There is a report dating from 1995 that she was still found at Vladivostok!

As for the Yakutia she surely helds the record for the longest period of time staying submerged and still returning to service.

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Post by Dido » 08 Jan 2006 15:56

BIGpanzer wrote:
3. "Sovetskaya Latvia" (Soviet built ship?) - that steamer (several sources mention it as diesel ship) also transported political prisoners in 1930s.
I found a mention that in 1945-1949 "Sovetskaya Latvia" still transported political prisoners to Magadan (served at "Dalstroy" and "Chukotstroy" development companies).
In July 1946 the ship delivered 1500 prisoners to Egvekinot (Chukotka) for developing new wolfram deposit -


Here is some information on her story:
SOVIETSKAYA LATVIA
4,138 GRT.
Built 1926 in Malmö, Sweden, as CHILDAR.
1935: Renamed AAKRE for Thoralf Holta, Porsgrunn.
1939: Sold to Apvienota Kugniecibas Akciju Sabiedriba, Riga, Latvia and renamed HERCOGS JEKABS.
1942: Seized by U.S.S.R. and renamed SOVIETSKAYA LATVIA. Used by the KGB to move prisoners to the Kolyma Gulag.

There is a couple of photos at:
http://warsailors.com/norships/sovietskaya-aakre.jpg
http://warsailors.com/norships/childar-aakre.jpg

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Post by BIGpanzer » 08 Jan 2006 16:06

Hi, Dido!
Yes, I could find a very few info about Soviet Caspian cargo-passenger ships (liners) "Daghestan" and "Turkmenistan" (only specifications and short history). As for the Black Sea liners of "Abkhazia" type (of similar design, but they were much larger) - I could find a lot of photos of them as well as detailed history of each six ship of that type. Interesting, that Soviet "Abhazia"-type liners were one of the best medium liners of 1930s and very similar Spanish passenger liners "Canarias" and "Balearias" were built by German Krupp shipyard on the basis of Soviet project.

As for "Kriljon" (ex-German "Preussen") - I found a mention that the ship was removed from service as obsolete ship in the beginning of 1970s. But, of course, it was possible that the ship could be used after that as fixed floating hostel for sailors/dock workers or port storehouse for a long time at Vladivostok port. :roll:

"Yakutia" (ex-British-built "Imperior Peter the Great") was a really unique ship - the ship stayed submerged for the long period of its career (was sunk three times!).


"Sovetskaya Latvia" - thanks for the additional info. So it was built in Sweden. As for the photos - thanks a lot. Interesting, why was ship used by USSR only since 1942 (when Latvian territory was occupied by Germans for one year already and the majority of Latvian ships were sunk by German bombers and shore artillery under the Soviet service in Baltic Sea)?
They even look quite similar to Dutch-built notorious "Dzhurma". Compare: http://www.johnjgobbell.com/images/nept ... SN0544.jpg ("Dzhurma") and your photo http://warsailors.com/norships/sovietskaya-aakre.jpg . Are you sure that this is not a mistake?
I also found one photo of "Sovetskaya Latvia" (1946) - http://world.lib.ru/img/s//spiridonow_a ... atviya.jpg (year 1946, Egvekinot settlement, wolfram deposit, Chukotka). Looks differ from your photos, how do you think :roll: :roll: ? But this seems to be the real photo of "Sovetskaya Latvia" during the unloading at Egvekinot harbor (the ship brought 1500 political prisoners for work at new wolfram deposit).
In 1945-1949 "Sovetskaya Latvia" transported political prisoners to Magadan (served at "Dalstroy" and "Chukotstroy" development companies, managed by NKVD (Ministry of Home Affairs). AFAIK NKVD was renamed to KGB (Committee for State Security) only in 1954). I also found a mention that life conditions onboard of "Sovetskaya Latvia" was much better than of "Dzhurma" (transported also criminals for work at the same labour camps). Usually it was allowed for prisoners to come out from the holds and walk along the deck any time they want. But after unsuccessful escape of several prisoners (once they jumped into the sea, tryinhg to reach Japan, and were shot by NKVD security guards) such walks were strictly prohibited.

Best regards, BIGpanzer

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