(From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Discussions on all aspects of the USSR, from the Russian Civil War till the end of the Great Patriotic War and the war against Japan. Hosted by Art.
Posts: 583
Joined: 07 Mar 2013 01:32

(From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by lupodimare89 » 23 Nov 2022 12:34

This thread it’s a preserved version of latest updated page on the currently (hopefully not forever) closed forum “Soviet-empire”. Years ago I begun a process of reading, studying and researching entirely for hobby/amateur interest the history of naval warfare involving the Soviet Union. Years by years, my interests expanded to other conflicts (Russian and Spanish Civil Wars, Cold War conflicts etc.) often poorly described in mainstream media and sites. It doesn’t claim to be definitive or error-free, but I believe it’s valuable or interesting for people curious to see aspects of less known naval warfare (especially in English). This and my other works can be obviously used or re-posted for not-commercial purpose on other sites/forums, I've sadly seen how there is some commercial exploitation (publications of few books i am absolutely not involved at all!). Obviously these "authors" probably never checked the original sources or bothered to notice how each of these works it's not immutable and sometimes changes and corrections happens after years.

Work is essentially a cross-work produced after years of Questions&Answers with authors and readers on this forum (axishistoryforum.com), Tsushima.su and wlb-stuttgart.de. An useful source was also the Finnish site heinen.net, in addition to various Russian sites as well as Navypedia.
This work also included a good deal of personal researching on direct sources as for “War Diary – General Naval Staff Operations Divisions” translated in English by the US Navy and the DEFE Ultra files released by the UK Government.

There are likely other episodes still unknown to me, and mistakes to be corrected, however I believe this is(was) the first and most detailed chronology in English of all the Soviet naval battles-engagements-skirmishes during the war.

The page include:
1)Axis losses caused by minefield laid by Soviet ships.
2)Axis aircrafts shot down by Soviet ships (on this, it’s interesting to note that most of naval writers doesn’t bother to check the confirmed enemy air losses, for this reason we often see warships claiming unusually high number of planes shot down).
3)Axis naval losses by Soviet planes only if occurred during or immediately after a naval engagement.
4)Soviet naval losses on mines or aircrafts only if occurred during or immediately after a naval engagement, or when an enemy aircraft was also shot down.
This page do NOT include:
1)Axis losses by Soviet aircrafts, aircraft-laid mines or coastal artillery on separate actions
2)Soviet losses by aircrafts, mines or artillery if not involved in the above-mentioned cases.
3)Extremely minor skirmishes without damages or casualties on both sides and nothing relevant worth mentioning.
Submarine actions are sporadically included if described gunnery fighting or ramming incidents


30 November 1939
Finnish steamer Auvo (195 GTR) captured and seized by Soviet destroyer Grozyastchyi, with support of submarine chaser MO-111 (Finnish source wrongly said Steregushchyi). Soviet destroyer Gordyi sunk the small Finnish coast guard motorboat AV-114 at Lavansaari island (4 KIA) that was occupied by Soviet forces.

12 January 1940
Finnish submarine Vetehinen, after a mission to lay a field of mines off Juminda peninsula had a collision with a unidentified Soviet destroyer suffering minor damages. Soviet ships did not pursued the submarine, probably having failed to locate Vetehinen.

13 January 1940
Soviet submarine ShCh-324 suffered a depth-charges attack by the Finnish auxiliary patrol ship Aura-II. However, a charge detonated on the deck of the ship causing a powerful explosion and he loss of the vessel with loss of 24 sailors. It was the largest naval loss of Finland during the Winter War, also the only (indirect) success scored by a Soviet submarine on a military Finnish unit.

18 January 1940
Finnish icebreaker Tarmo attempted to attack a group of Soviet ships operating at Someri Island but due technical problems could only fire 2 shots against transport Kazakstan. The Finnish ship later chased by Soviet aircrafts, damaged with 2 bomb hits and heavy casualties (39 killed, 11 wounded). It was the only attempt by Finnish surface unit to attack Soviets.

During the WW2/Great Patriotic War/Continuation War:

22 June 1941
Soviet submarine chaser MO-238 intercepted by a group of enemy motor torpedo boats and sunk by German MTB S-44

On the same day, German motor torpedo boat S-59 torpedoed and sunk Soviet merchant Gaysma (3077 GRT) (cargo: timber), while S-31 sunk merchant Liiza (782 GRT) and the trawler Shchuka (316 GRT). S-28 stopped and seized merchant Estonia (1181 GRT).

23 June 1941
German motor torpedo boat S-44 torpedoed and sunk Soviet merchant Alf (166 GRT) and S-43 sunk the floating lighthouse Khiumadal.
On the same day, during an air raid over the harbor of Riga, a German Ju-88 bomber (8./KG1, serial number 8260) shot down by ships’ anti-aircraft fire (it is unclear which ship could claim the victory). Plane landed on belly, on ground and recovered by Soviets.

24 June 1941.
Ignoring the order to scuttle the submarine S-3 in Libau harbor, the commander tried to sail away from the city, carrying 100 people (the crew of the submarine and many workers of the harbor). The submarine sailed slowly and could not dive, and was attacked by the German MTBs S-60 and S-35 that missed the S-3 with torpedo. A gunfire battle begun and the Germans had the advantage of being small and fast targets for the submarine, with higher rate of fire of their 20mm that outmatched the slower Soviet fire of 100mm and 45mm. The two S-60 and S-35 however were reached by soviet fire (with a total of 4 WIA on S-35 ), but the damage on S-3 was heavier and was also hit with hand grenades and finally S-60 launched a depth charge directly in front of the submarine, sinking it. Most of the survivors were reportedly machine gunned in water (only 3, 9 or 20 (according different sources) POW).

26 June 1941
German submarine U-149 lightly damaged by unidentified soviet submarine chasers with depth charges. Not enough to prevent a day later the torpedoing and sinking of soviet submarine M-99. Unclear identification of attacking boats because of incomplete Soviet records: likely MO-4 class boats but on late June also guard ship Ametist (ex-Estonian torpedo boat) engaged in anti-submarine operations.

27 June 1941
German motor torpedo boats attacked a group of soviet destroyers while they were sailing to lay mines. Storozhevoyi was hit by S-31 or S-59 and damaged by a torpedo but did not sunk (85 KIA). Soviets believed the attacker was a submarine. That night also lost the soviet MTB TK-47(old name TK-163) damaged and captured by the German S-35. Soviet destroyer Stoikyi reported to have fired at MTBs the day 26 and 29, while on day 27 subjected to another attack but could not fire against the attacking MTBs.

On the mines laid by Soviet destroyers inside and close the Gulf of Riga (especially Irben Straits) can be recognized some victories:
Mines laid by destroyers Serdityi, Stoikyi and Storozhevoyi in Irben straits between 24 and 25 June sunk on night of 26/27 June the German motor torpedo boat S-43 (she suffered 2 mine explosions). On mines laid by destroyers Serdityi, Stoikyi, Storozhevoyi, Silnyi, Strashnyi, Smetlivyi and Grozyashchyi between 26 and 27 June sunk the German motor torpedo boat S-106 shortly after S-43.
Sweeping such mines will cause the loss of:
Between 10 and 11 July 1941 : Sinking of minesweeper M-201 (later raised and recovered). Minesweeper M-23 damaged and grounded, later recovered.
1 October 1941: Sinking of minesweeping boat R-205 (former Dutch boat).
19 November 1941: Heavy damaging of minesweeping boat R-203, who was then broken up (former Dutch boat).

Other heavy minelaying operations involved the soviet minelayer Marti that laid many mines, sometimes together the auxiliary minelayer Ural.
On mines laid by Marti can be recognized these successes:
1 October 1941 : sunk German submarine chaser UJ-117 close Hanko
21 November 1941: sunk German tug Fohn (303 GRT) on convoy to Tallinn.
11 June 1942: sunk German support ship MRS-11 Osnabruck close Tallinn (later recovered, but 84 KIA).

Multiple defensive fields laid by many units (including destroyer Kalinin and auxiliary minelayer Ural) inside the Gulf of Finland saw some successes in 1942.
On 9 September 1941 German minesweeping boat R-58 suffered damage due mine near Koivisto (likely laid by MO-4 class submarine chasers).

However the most lucky ship was surely the Fugas-class minesweeper T-204 Fugas.
Between 22 and 23 June 1941 she laid alone the large number of 206 mines close Libau.
German mines probably caused the sinking of the German minesweeper M-3134 (often assigned to T-204) on 1 July 1941.
These other victories are instead recognized to T-204:
German submarine chaser UJ-113 on 10/July.
German patrol ship V-309 Martin Donandt on 28/October.
German minesweeper M-1708 Aldebaran on 31/October.
German minesweeper M-1706 Gertrude on 22/November.

2 July 1941.
Finnish submarine Saukko received slight damage after depth charging of submarine chasers after a failed attempt to attack Someri harbor. Submarine dived until hit the seabed and got damage to the rudder, while part of the crew become unconscious after lack of fresh air. Unclear the attacker (soviet data for 1941 lacking, possibly small MO-4 class submarine chasers).

On the same day, Finnish submarine Vesihiisi received slight damage after depth charging of submarine chasers after a failed attempt to attack a merchant. Unclear the attacker (soviet data for 1941 lacking, possibly small MO-4 class submarine chasers).

6 July 1941
Battle of Kolka
While the Soviet destroyers Serdityi and Silnyi were laying mines; they spotted the German support-ship MRS-11/Osnabruck sailing with minesweepers M-31. The destroyers attacked the enemy; Silnyi received a direct hit of a shell of 105mm fired by the minesweeper M-31 causing moderate damage and a little fire (4 KIA, 7 WIA). Silnyi stopped the action after having fired 33 shells of 130mm. However Serdityi kept fighting, she fired 115 shells of 130mm: some sources claim that MRS-11 received light/splinter damages due near misses, but this is unconfirmed by German sources.
The first Soviet destroyer engagement fought at excessive range; this caused the enemy to escape without real damages.
Soviets believed to have engaged and damaged an auxiliary cruiser (converted merchant), but Onsabruck operated as an anti-mines ship.

On that same day, Finnish motor torpedo boats Syoksy, Vinha and Raju sunk a sailing fishing vessel with depth charges.

10 July 1941
German motor torpedo boats S-26 and S-28 attacked and finished with torpedo the already heavily damaged and abandoned (after mine hit) Soviet merchant Rasma (3204 GRT). Ship had cargo of flour and grain.

12-18 July 1941
Campaign of Gulf of Riga
While German forces started their advance to the Baltic Countries; Vice-Admiral Drodz organized an offensive of surface ships against the barges, ferries and transports that had infiltrated into the Riga Gulf.
Motor torpedo boats, aircrafts and destroyers carried a number of attacks. Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-17, TK-87, TK-73 and TK-93 attacked on day 13 July the convoy led by German gunboats SAT-3 August, LAT-21 Gretchen, LAT-23 Deutschland, the command unit Feyya escorting multiple barges and tugs. Extra cover to the convoy provided by minesweeper M-251, minesweeping boats R-28, R-29, R-168, R-169, R-170, motor torpedo boat S-58 (later augmented by S-47 and S-57). All torpedoes missed targets, but gunboat SAT-3 August damaged (struck by 60 hits of machine guns) and other minor damage inflicted to barges B-1P, B-2P and Eemlan (again by machine guns).
Air raids were more successful, sinking the landing unit Deutschland (not the LAT) and causing damages to the tugs R.18 and D.118, the barges A-279, A-291, S-289, the minesweeping boat R-169 and motor torpedo boat S-58 (1 WIA). Also the assault boat UK.126 suffered underwater damage. Human losses on ferries, tugs and transport and barges combined together were 5 KIA and 27 WIA.
Other damages (and light casualties) were inflicted by air attacks to other convoys the next days.
In the end the Soviet claimed to have sunk , destroyed or damaged 37 targets but Germans confirmed loss of 1, other 2 badly damaged and 23 with light damages (a total of 26).
During the last engagement on 18 July, the Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-123 sunk by aircrafts (claim by German minesweepers is wrong).
Soviet destroyer Strashnyi made the first and only destroyer’s torpedo attack in Baltic, launching 2 torpedoes without success, before suffering damage due mine (11KIA,7 WIA, German motor torpedo boats wrongly claim torpedo hit), while destroyer Steregushchyi claimed to have sunk 2-5 targets and damaged other 2 with gunfire. The lone action of destroyer Steregushchyi inflicted only light damages to minesweeping boat R-30 and R-31 (the latter also damaged by aircraft, 3 WIA).
The first Soviet surface offensive operation in Baltic Sea failed to inflict significant damages, likely due overestimation of enemy forces, damage inflicted and excessive firing range.

19 July 1941
Soviet minesweeper T-202 Buy (Fugas-class) damaged with direct gunfire hit the Finnish motor torpedo boat Vinha, towed away to safety by the Raju, while Syoksy launched torpedo with no effect.
There were no casualties. Finnish attacking units believed to have fought against a Soviet destroyer.

20 July 1941
Destroyers Yakov Sverdlov, Volodorskyi and minesweeper T-207 Shpil (Fugas-class) heavily engaged against German units, the Sverdlov fired against S-boats but they believed it was coastal artillery fire. Later, other soviet boats rushed to the scene including MO and TK, but the only direct contact occurred again to Yakov Sverdlov that chased the S-boats and fired against a group of R-boats. There was no report of damage on both sides.

21 July 1941
German submarine U-140 damaged by depth charges of soviet submarine chasers after having torpedoed and sunk the soviet submarine M-94. It is unknown the identity of boats that could have attacked; submarine M-98 was also attacked and provided immediate help to 2 survivors. The second submarine delivered the survivors to surface boats that likely dropped few depth charges in precaution without recording effects. Interestingly, commander of M-94 personally jumped on the semi-submerged wreck of M-94 to attempt rescue his men and later other 8 survivors managed to exit from the sunk submarine and swim to surface.

22 July 1941
German motor torpedo boats sunk the Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-71 and torpedoed the icebreaker Laichplesis (580 GTR): she sunk seven days later, after cargo (torpedoes) saved.

26 July 1941
Battle of Bengtskar
During the Soviet failed attempt to land on Bengskar the soviet submarine chaser MO-306 (previously known as PK-238) sunk by the Finnish gunboat Uusimaa (16 POW).
Other Soviet units involved in battle were MO-238, MO-311 and MO-312, and on Finnish side the gunboats Hamenmaa and patrol boat VMV-13. Soviet sources claim sinking a small “watchboat”, but there is no mention of such loss on Finnish report.
The same Finnish gunboat Uusimaa and the coastal battleship Ilmarinen lightly damaged by aircrafts with 2 KIA and 13 WIA.
The relatively powerful coastal battleship did not reached the actual gunnery battle in time, but she sailed in case of feared presence of Soviet destroyers.
MO-237 and MO-236 later bombed the island but could not change the outcome.

On the same day, Soviet motor torpedo boats attacked a group of enemy R-boats, after aircrafts sunk R-169 (11KIA, 12 WIA) and damaged R-53 and R-63, but they failed to inflict damage and briefly clashed with R-168 and R-170.

27 July 1941
German motor torpedo boats S-54, S-55 and S-57 attacked the Soviet destroyer Smelyi and S-54 scored two torpedo hits (20 KIA). Despite attempt to take her in tow, she took water and fearing a potential capture by enemy, Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-54 intentionally torpedoed and finished her off. For years, Soviet sources believed the damage caused by mine. The attack resulted in the most serious loss suffered by the Soviet Navy in terms of warship size and importance, after an enemy surface action during the entire WW2!

1 August 1941
Soviet destroyer Silnyi, opened fire against unidentified small units without effect.
During a separate fight, four Soviet motor torpedo boats attempted an attack against German anti-mine ship MRS-12 escorted by minesweepers M-3, M-4, M-8, M-7 and M-20: no damage inflicted and TK-103 suffered light damages. German motor torpedo boats attacked too: S-55, S-57, S-58 and S-59 made repetitive attacks (8 torpedoes launched) against destroyers Artem and Engels but scored no hits and soviet reaction fire caused no damage. Soviet destroyers Statnyi and Surovyi were also on sea but could not locate the enemy.

5 August 1941
Finnish submarine Vesihiisi damaged with depth charges by Soviet auxiliary minesweeper Menzhinskyi (converted trawler) and submarine chasers MO-212 (at the time named PK-221) and MO-142. Menzhinskyi was the larger soviet warship (an ex-civilian ship) confirmed to have hit with depth charges a submarine in Baltic.

6 August 1941
Soviet destroyers Surovyi and Statnyi opened fire against the German minesweeping boat R-31: the boat grounded (suffering damage) and destroyers engaged a coastal battery, scoring a direct hit on an ammunition cache (3 WIA) according the same German report.

8 August 1941
Failed attempts of Finnish MTBs and patrol boats to interdict evacuation convoys from Hanko.
Soviet patrol boats MO-211 and MO-142 opened fire but scored no hits.
On the way back to harbor, the Finnish vessels suffered attacks from Soviet aircrafts, inflicting damages to patrol boats VMV-11 and VMV-17 (2 KIA, 2 WIA) and motor torpedo boats Syoksy and Nuoli .

12 August 1941
German motor torpedo boats S-26, S-28, S-39 and S-40 sunk soviet small minesweeper T-41. During the fight, S-39 suffered damages.

16 August 1941
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-17, TK-57, TK-111 and TK-121 attacked and lightly damaged with gunfire German motorboat Melpomone with one hit, TK-121 suffered light damages too.

17 August 1941
During the Battle of Narva, the soviet large gunboat Krasnoye Znamya bombed German land forces and during this operations reportedly destroyed some pontoons used by Germans to cross the river. Full confirmation is unclear (no Kriegsmarine involvement) but appears realistic, German Ju-88 inflicted light damages to the gunboat.

19 August 1941
German motor torpedo boat S-58 torpedoed and sunk Soviet icebreaker Merikaru (178 GRT).

21 August 1941
Soviet destroyers Artem and Surovyi intercepted and attacked a small German convoy. There was an heavy gunfire battle, both the destroyers suffered light damages, Artem (2 WIA) fired 110 shells of 102mm and Surovyi fired 145 shells of 130mm in just half hour. They shelled the German gunboat SAT-1 Ost, escorting the transports Maggie and Olga, alongside six ferries and two motorboats.
During the fight, the SAT-1 Ost grounded and temporarily abandoned (1 KIA, 3 WIA) but at that point the Soviet destroyers left, overestimating the success and fearing air attacks.
The last direct combat with Soviet destroyers against enemy ships in Baltic was also the most successful, but the temporary sacrifice of the gunboat (recovered) prevented damages to the transports

23 August 1941
A German reconnaissance aircraft hit over Tallinn by cruiser Kirov and made a hard landing on Prangli Island, the crew captured. It is currently unclear the identity of the plane from Luftwaffe archives, yet the capture of crewmembers confirm the event.

24 August 1941
Soviet cruiser Kirov and the leader destroyer Leningrad made successful (even if moderate) bombing against German forces near Ygisu Cape.
Apparently during the shelling was destroyed a riverine pontoon or some other kind of craft (also reported a small ferry) used by the German Army to cross the river. Soviet indicate the leader destroyer as successful in destroying the target, but there is lack of confirmation due absence of German Army documents.

27 August 1941
Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-57 (later renamed TK-94) with TK-67, TK-93, TK-111, attacked the German motorboats Adele and Dite Kerner. Both vessels grounded and strafed druing the attack.

28 August 1941
Soviet gunboats BK-213 and BK-214 attacked close to the Finnish shore a small convoys of unarmed Finnish barges with a series of ramming attacks (to not alert enemy patrols with gunfire).
They inflicted a number of losses: 2 pontoon ferries sunk and other 2 damaged beyond repair and 4 motorboat sunk (motorboats were towing the pontoons). By chance, the pontoons did not carried troops (they were on the way back after a mission) and Finnish sources indicate only 3 KIA and 4 WIA.
Soviet gunboats reported 10 enemy target sunk/destroyed, and Finnish confirmation downplay this claim of two units.
Interestingly, BK-213 will play a significant action in Lake Peipus during 1944, scoring another fully confirmed success with ramming attack!

27-28 August 1941
Evacuation of Tallinn
(Naval engagement):
During the Naval evacuation of Tallinn, the Soviet Navy suffered terrible losses and so the people carried on transport and warships when the fleet sailed in mines barrages and was subjected to German air raid.
The total losses estimated of 8,000 to 12,000 soldier and civilians killed: the long list of ships lost include 13 military warships and 30 merchants. Other sources include up to 16 warships and 25-34 merchants, while others even 22 warships and 42 merchants: the research of these losses is beyond the scope of this text.
The Evacuation included also few enemy surface attacks: Finnish patrol boat VMV-17 (temporarily armed with torpedo-launchers) sunk the Soviet schooner Ata (199 GRT) with torpedo, while Soviet tugs I-18 and Paldiski (100tons) seized by VMV-9 and VMV-10. According Soviet sources, crewmembers of Ata repelled with light gunfire an attempt of seizure, prompting the Finnish to torpedo the schooner.
German motor torpedo boats were less successful: the attack of S-26, S-27, S-39, S-40 and S-41 repulsed by Soviet destroyers fire (including the fire of the leader destroyer Leningrad and Minsk), but without damages. Despite the huge human and material losses of the entire operation, the gunnery defense proved somewhat successful to force the S-boats to give up their attack, while Finnish boats contented to attack minor units.
Anti-aircraft fire from ships was intense, but only cruiser Kirov had weaponry accurate enough to fend off the attacking planes: however, the only confirmed loss was a single Ju-88 bomber (KGr.806, n°2505, crew survived except one killed) shot down by combined fire from leader destroyers Leningrad and Minsk (Minsk already damaged by mine). One German bomber He-111 (1./KG4, serial 3521) suffered 30% damages after being hit by anti-aircraft fire and subsequent hard landing, while other 3 He-111 suffered minor damages: it is impossible to define the ship who damaged the plane but Henkel bombers focused on transports.

2 September 1941
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-57 (later renamed TK-94), TK-67 and TK-154 attacked the minesweepers M-3 and M-20, with no damage on both sides.

On the same day, the Finnish motor torpedo boat Syoksy sunk the Soviet merchant Meero (1866 GRT).

13 September 1941.
One of the most important soviet naval successes occurred during the Axis Operation Nordwind.
A enemy operation that involved the battleship Tirpitz and the light cruisers Emden, Köln, e Leipzig and other smaller warships.
The main aim purpose was to distract the Soviet Navy from the German landings on Estonian islands and at the same time planned to intercept and Soviet warships attempting to flee to neutral Sweden (the Soviet Navy had no plans for such breakout attempt).
The Finnish Navy took part into this coordinated operation, with the coastal battleship Ilmarinen: such warship struck mines laid by the Soviet torpedo boats Tsiklon and Sneg and the minesweeper T-201 Zaryad (Fugas class), sinking with the loss of 271 KIA. It was the greatest naval loss for Finland and by category (coastal defense ship /coastal battleships acted as capital ships), the most significant warship sunk by the Soviet Navy.
The impact of such loss remarked what was already clear: in Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland there was no space for large operations of warships due the danger of mines.

14 September 1941
Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-104 (previously TK-67) sunk with torpedo the German minesweeper M-1707 Luneburg already abandoned by crew after both mine and coastal artillery hits. It was the first confirmed sinking achieved by Soviet motor torpedo boats in Baltic (even if shared).

15 September 1941
During a landing attempt, 2 German MFP landing crafts and 2 Siebel ferries briefly clashed against an unidentified Soviet boat, likely the submarine chaser MO-216. Germans claimed hits scored on the enemy (but she suffered no real damage) while MFP F-102 suffered a single splinter hit.

16 September 1941
During a preliminary air-bombing on Kronstadt a Ju-87 dive bomber was shot down (Nr. 5934, 9./StG.2, crew KIA). Likely by anti-aircraft fire from Soviet battleship Marat.

19 September 1941
During a preliminary air bombing on Kronstadt, a He-111 bomber suffered 40% damages. The group was launched bombs from high altitude aiming at ships but missing. Most likely cause of damage was fire from cruiser Kirov, with her advanced 100mm anti-aircraft guns (more effective weapon compared to the 76mm from the two soviet battleships and the even less effective ground flak).

21 September 1941
During intense Luftwaffe bombing in Kronstadt naval base, a German Ju-87 bomber (pilot: Ernst Kupfer, commander of 7th Squadron StG2) received serious damage due anti-aircraft fire just after striking and damaging the Soviet destroyer Grozyashchiy. During that same air-raid, battleship Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya damaged, destroyer Steregushchy sunk (recovered in 1944) alongside merchant S. A. Levanevskiy (2333 GRT) while cruiser Kirov actively defended herself against the “Stuka”. Soviet aircrafts were ineffective, losing 3 fighters: one LaGG-3 (pilot I.M. Umansky) was actually shot down by the anti-aircraft fire from one warship (still unidentified): a case of friendly fire shooting down by ship.
A subsequent strike of fighter-bombers caused more losses to Germans.
German fighter-bomber Bf-109 (serial n°4199, 9./JG 27, pilot Uffz. Ewald Hacker WIA) was hit by anti-aircraft fire after striking Soviet destroyer Gordyi, and a second German fighter bomber Bf-109 (serial n°3639, 9./JG 27, pilot Joachim Hinkelmann) suffered the very same fate: both planes crashed on sea and pilots recovered by German He-59 seaplanes. Gordyi suffered damages but did not sunk.
Subsequent raids on the very same day caused damages to destroyers Silnyi and Slavnyi, however anti-aircraft fire from battleship Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya damaged a German Ju-87 bomber (pilot: Ernst Kupfer, commander of 7th Squadron StG2): the pilot was manning a second plane just few hours after his first plane was damaged while attacking Grozyashchiy!

22 September 1941
During intense Luftwaffe bombing in Kronstadt naval base, German bomber Ju-88 (serial n°2153, 4th squadron KG77) damaged by anti-aircraft fire while at 4000 meters of altitude. 1 crewmember killed, while plane returned to airfield with 15% damages. Difficult to establish how plane was damaged, but was likely due fire from a ship. While some of the previously hit vessels suffered further damages, no loss occurred until “Stuka” bombers aimed at battleship Marat with specially delivered 1000kg heavy bombs: two of the most expert German pilots (Ernst-Siegfried Steen and Hans-Ulrich Rudel) attacked together and Rudel scored a direct hit, killing 326 sailors (including commander). The whole bow of battleship Marat (including the forward turret) was ripped off. Three I-16 attempted to intercept the two “Stuka”, but two of them were indeed shot-down by anti-aircraft artillery in friendly fire accident (unclear, but likely from Marat), while the third one was shot down by Bf-109 fighter (two pilots killed, one wounded). Cruiser Kirov received further damage, and one unexploded aerial bomb was even thrown manually overboard during the peak of battle.

22 September 1941
Finnish motor torpedo boat Syoksy torpedoed and sunk the Soviet auxiliary minesweeper Sergey Kirov (35 KIA, 1 POW).

23 September 1941
Soviet motor torpedo boats n°12 and n°22 attacked German patrol ships and n°12 sunk with torpedo the German patrol ship V-308 Oscar Neynaber but subsequently sunk with gunfire by V-309. It was the first full individual victory of a Soviet motor torpedo boat in Baltic (shadowed only by her immediate loss). Interestingly, both vessels were part of D-3 class and Soviet historiography do not use the “TK-“code for their initial operations.

On the same day
During intense Luftwaffe bombing in Kronstadt naval base, the Soviet cruiser Kirov suffered damage, but her anti-aircraft artillery managed to shot down the Ju-87 moments later the diving plane released the bomb (Nr. 5836, Stab III./St.G. 2, pilot Ernst-Siegfried Steen and co-pilot KIA). The plane shot-down was the same one used just used by the famous pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel to damage battleship Marat (co-pilot was the same man assigned to Rudel) and was manned by the group commander. A bomber raid also resulted in German bomber Ju-88 (serial n°4330, pilot Joachim Gunther, Stab I./KG77), suffering 20% damages due anti-aircraft fire but managed to return to airfield (1 wounded). Once again likely damaged by fire from ship but difficult to establish which one: some sources claim it was the result of a Soviet fighter attack, but others refuse this option.
Leader destroyer Minsk damaged during one of the final attacks and partially sunk (recovered in 1943).

27 September 1941
During intense Luftwaffe bombing in Kronstadt naval base, a German Ju-87 bomber (serial° 5735, pilot: Ernst Kupfer, commander of 7th Squadron StG2) was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed in a forest while flying back to airstrip. Both crewmembers suffered wounds: this was the third different “Stuka” manned by Kupfer being hit by Soviet flak while raiding Kronstadt. This time it is equally impossible to define who hit the plane, but anti-aircraft fire from ship seems more likely due higher efficiency. Note: Apparently, on Luftwaffe list the bomber is marked only as 40% damage, while other source claim full loss and victory achieved by fighter. During the raid, Hans-Ulrich Rudel on his “Stuka” hit battleship Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya but the 1000kg bomb did not explode.
All considered, air-raids from 21 to 27 September over Kronstadt successfully infected heavy losses to Soviet Baltic Sea Fleet while suffering light losses during the attacks: poor effect was done by the Soviet Air Force and the ground anti-aircraft fire, while naval anti-aircraft fire had some sporadic success (due better 100mm and 76mm guns). Soviet Navy relocated their ships to Leningrad, however Germans success was partial due the effect already achieved by Soviet naval gunnery in halting the first German ground offensive on Leningrad and subsequent (albeit reduced) activities in the following stages of the siege.

Small offensive fields of mines laid close Finnish routes between summer and fall 1941 caused some losses.
The most significant loss was German minelayer Konigin Luise sunk on 25 September 1941 by soviet mines in front of Hanko. The ship sunk on minefields laid by soviet submarine chasers of MO-4 class (of the three possible fields, the first laid by MO-206, MO-210, MO-211, MO-227 and MO-252, the second and the third ones laid by MO-206, MO-210, MO-211 and MO-232).

On 3 November 1941 Finnish minesweeping boat Siika suffered damage (2 KIA) but was later repaired.
On 28 November 1941 Finnish minelaying boat Porkkala struck a mine and sunk (all crew of 32 KIA) while carrying supplies, but later raised and repaired. Field laid by MO-200, MO-204, MO-211 and MO-227 on 10 September 1941.

27 September 1941
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-67, TK-83, TK-111, TK-164 made the only Soviet surface attack of the war against enemy cruiser, launching torpedoes against the light cruisers Emden and Leipzig. No hit scored, and TK-83 sunk by returning fire. Soviets believed to have hit light cruiser Leipzig and the claim reported by wartime propaganda (Soviet commander awarded). By the time of the attack, the four attacking boats were formally renamed TK-104, TK-24 (sunk), TK-44 and TK-161 but literature often remember their past identification numbers.

30 September 1941
Finnish motor torpedo boats Nuoli and Sisu made a daring raid against Gogland Island.
A torpedo exploded close the moored Soviet submarine L-3, inflicting light damages, while another torpedo grounded after missing the target.
Finnish sources claim the sinking of a Fugas-class minesweeper: actually motor torpedo boat Sisu launched her two torpedoes against T-215 and T-218 but missed them.
Nuoli and Sisu retreated, with Finnish sources reporting minor splinter damages (likely by combined Soviet defensive fire).
Regardless the wrong claim on minesweeper, the Finnish action was courageous but missed by chance the opportunity to sink submarine L-3 (later become the most successful Soviet submarine in WW2!).

21 October 1941
Patrol boat SK-239 (later reclassified as submarine chaser MO-307) engaged alone enemy coastal batteries and unidentified surface fast crafts (identified as S-boats) off Dago. She claimed hits on enemy boats, but suffered damage and her commander was KIA.

1 November 1941
Six Finnish Fokker D.XXI fighters attacked Soviet motor torpedo boats close Seiskari Island. TK-72 and TK-102 sunk (both D-3 class), while a single Fokker D.XXI (pilot capt. Karu, 2./Lentolaivue 30) suffered damages.

3 November 1941
During evacuation convoy from Hanko, Soviet destroyer Slavnyi misidentified the submarine chaser MO-112 (MO-2 class) for an enemy boat and sunk her with gunfire. It was the most serious direct friendly fire accident committed by a Soviet Navy’s ship against another Soviet vessel.


4 April 1942
Luftwaffe organized a heavy air-raid in Leningrad aiming at battleship Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya, cruisers Kirov and Maxim Gorky and minelayer Marti.
132 bombers participated (Ju-87, Ju-88 and He-111) covered by 59 Bf-109. Many bombs missed the targets fell on residential area killing 113 persons; cruiser Kirov suffered a direct hit with damage but the bomb penetrated the hull exploding in water. Despite claims, apparently Soviet aircrafts scored no victory while losing four I-16 fighters. Germans lost no plane during the raid, while multiple suffered different kind of damages, including a He-111 bomber (n°4837, 1G+EN, 5th squadron from KG27) that landed despite having the left engine knocked out: unclear if damage occurred by naval or ground anti-aircraft fire. A subsequent smaller raid on the following day by He-111 caused no damage to ships and only inflicted further civilian losses.

24 April 1942
Luftwaffe organized another air raid in Leningrad: multiple units suffered damage due fragments but cruiser Kirov received 3 direct hits from “Stuka” with heavy damages (86 killed and 46 wounded). Aircrafts claimed victories but none was scored apart one “Stuka” damaged by LaGG-3, at the cost of three fighters shot down. Anti-aircraft fire from ground wrongly claimed many planes shot down: in fact only two “Stuka” suffered damages, while a third Ju-87 (9h squadron StG1, pilot killed, co-pilot survived) due damages crashed while flying back on German lines: this victory was possibly achieved by 37mm anti-aircraft fire from destroyer Silnyi or anti-aircraft ground fire.

27 April 1942
Luftwaffe organized another air raid in Leningrad: the main loss was training ship Svir sunk by direct hit. Splinters added damages to multiple warships but no other direct hit scored. Once again, pilots and anti-aircraft flak from the ground claimed multiple victories. Only a single Ju-87 bomber (n°2033, 7th Squadron of StG2, pilot Bartsch and co-pilot Stematscher killed) shot down, likely by anti-aircraft fire from cruiser Maxim Gorky (2 Ju-87 claimed) or anti-aircraft ground fire.

Soviet motor torpedo boats laid multiple defensive fields of mines, especially around Bolshoi Tyuters Island.
The size of each fields was small: closeness between fields, approximation and overlapping make impossible to assign individually a victory to a specific group of units (considered collective successes).
During 1942, the following victories recognized, however in latest research (2020) they are apparently all discredited:
On 3 July 1942 damaged minesweeping boat R-74, but new researches indicate German field.
On 10 July 1942 heavily damaged landing craft MFP F-256 (heavy casualties, origin of the field is uncertain but possibly Finnish).
On 7 August 1942 sunk submarine chaser UJ-1211, new researches indicate actually an old Soviet mine from 1941. Barrage laid by destroyer Kalinin and minelayer Ural.
On 26 October 1942 sunk submarine chaser UJ-1204, new researches indicate actually an old Soviet mine from 1941. Barrage laid by destroyer Kalinin and minelayer Ural.

June 1942
No less than six different skirmishes fought between Finnish patrol boats and motor torpedo boats against soviet light crafts in June 1942: no unit damaged and there were no casualties on both sides.

29 June 1942
A couple of Finnish Bristol Blenheim bombers attacked on sea a pair of Soviet MO-4 class submarine chasers, close Peninsaari Island (near smaller island close Moshchny Island). The bomber Bristol Blenheim (serial BL-132, pilot Risto Kuusava and other two KIA) shot down after direct hit.

3 July 1942
German He-111 bomber (n°4810, A1+EX, I./KG53, pilot: Fritz Pockrandt) shot down by unidentified soviet warship close Moshchny Island, hard landing in Finnish shore, crew saved. It appears the shooting down was scored by a MO-4 class submarine chaser: it was likely MO-211, reporting multiple attacks by twin-engine bombers between 2 and 4 July.

8 - 11 July 1942
Battle of Someri Island.
During the failed Soviet attempt to land on the island, there were a number of naval actions with heavy Soviet losses.
The total report losses was unclear for years by Soviets and Finnish/Germans sources but there are modern assessments.
Soviet light forces employed as “had hoc” landing crafts, suffered heavy losses when shelled by defensive Finnish ground fire:
Motor torpedo boat TK-22 (of D-3 class) destroyed, motor torpedo boats TK-31, TK-71 and TK-121 sunk (all of G-5 class) while TK-131 (G-5 class) as TK-62 and TK-152 damaged (both D-3 class).
Submarine chasers MO-306 (not to be confused with the unit bearing the same name lost in Battle of Bengtskar) also sunk while MO-110 and MO-402 damaged.
The proper naval battle begun when Finnish gunboats Uusimaa and Hameenmaa attacked the Soviet units (already battered by the Finnish shore fire): they shelled the wreck of TK-22, and sometimes it is claimed they sunk TK-31 (but it is now confirmed as lost due ground fire). The first real victory of the two Finnish gunboats was TK-113, while TK-73 attempted and failed counter-attack with torpedo (both G-5).
Pressing on their advantage, Uusimaa and Hameenmaa quickly sunk in succession TK-123 (G-5 class) and TK-83 (older G-4 class, not to be confused with homonymic loss in 1941).
All sides dispatched reinforcement for the battle: Soviet Navy sent gunboat Kama and the Axis forces sent Finnish gunboat Turunmaa and German minesweeper M-17.
Soviet Pe-2 aircrafts gave some relief to the Soviet surface units, inflicting damages to M-17 (4 WIA), Hameenmaa (4 KIA, 9 WIA) and Turunmaa (2 KIA, 8 WIA).
Finnish aircrafts claimed the sinking of the Soviet gunboat, but this completely refused: Kama’s only activity was shelling the Finnish ground forces on the island and she suffered no damage.
It is unclear, and probably will be never explained, if Hameenmaa and Kama made a brief skirmish at long distance, before Hameenmaa retreated due lack of ammunition.
New reinforcements joined the operations: Soviet torpedo boat Burya and Fugas-class minesweepers T-205 Gafel and T-207 Shpil, balanced by Finnish minelayers Riilahti and Ruotsinsalmi, the German gunboat SAT-1 Ost, the tender Nettelbek and minesweeper M-19. Shortly later, Nettelbek suffered damage by Soviet aircraft (2 WIA).
Once again, there is no clear evidence on both sides about a possible exchange of gunfire between the opposing units.
Some German sources mistakenly identify M-18 and M-37 as the minesweepers engaged in battle.
On a separate encounter, Soviet submarine chasers MO-103 and MO-213 scored one light hit and damaged the Finnish motor torpedo boat Nuoli. The latter was on patrol duty without directly taking part at the main fight.

13 August 1942
Finnish motor torpedo boats Vinha, Raju and Nuoli briefly clashed with Soviet patrol boats (1 WIA on Finnish side).

26 August 1942.
Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-152 (D-3 class) torpedoed and sunk the German submarine chaser UJ-1216 Star XXII.

5 November 1942
Soviet submarine ShCh-305 rammed and sunk on surface by Finnish submarine Vetehinen. Apparently, it was the only submarine-on-submarine sinking achieved with ramming!
ShCh-305 previously scored no victories and Vetehinen scored one (merchant damaged on mine, victory achieved as minelayer unit).

18 November 1942
Finnish motor torpedo boats Syoksy, Vinha and Vihuri attacked the Soviet harbor of Moshchny Island, and Syoksy successfully torpedoed and sunk Soviet large gunboat Krasnoye Znamya (64 KIA).
The Soviet ship raised, repaired and returned in service in 1944, but the sinking was still the most significant surface victory scored by the Finnish Navy against a Soviet target.


20 January 1943
A German Fw-189 (serial 2138 H7+YH, pilot Paul Bray) went missing over Baltic Sea. Unclear reasons.

29 April 1943
A German Fw-190 fighter (3./JG54, serial 2592) was shot down by the KM-2 type patrol boat I-23, near Kronstadt .

20 May 1943
Finnish fighter Bf-109 (n°MT-203, pilot Lt.Ruotsila KIA) described by Finnish sources as possibly hit by anti-aircraft fire from a convoy near Moshchny Island, however Soviet sources fully credit the victory to a I-153 fighter in air combat (both pilots Olshanskiy and Karpenko claimed one victory).

22 May 1943
German MFP F-188, F-189 and F-191 attacked and sunk with gunfire the Soviet submarine ShCh-408 with at least 6 direct hits. During the fight, the submarine engaged with the 45mm guns and damaged F-188. The recent recovery and study of the wreck allowed to understand how the submarine sunk entirely by the gunfire action: past claims in the following days from Finnish minelayers are discredited. Soviet fighters dispatched to try to help the submarine, but after losses (4 shot down), there were no more attempts.

23 May 1943
Battle of Seivasto
Soviet submarine chasers MO-207 and MO-303 surrounded and attacked by a large group of Finnish units: the patrol boats VMV-8, VMV-9, VMV-10, VMV-11, VMV-17 and the motor torpedo boats Hyoky, Hirmu, Hurja, Hyrsky and Haijy (motor torpedo boats however did not directly took part at the fight). The fight was fierce and later widely reported by propaganda of both sides: Finnish claimed the sinking of two Soviet vessels but actually, none of them sunk, even if MO-207 suffered damage (2 KIA, including captain, and 3 WIA). The Soviet boats manage to break the enemy encirclement after inflicting damage to the flagship VMV-17 (1 KIA, 1 WIA), towed away by another boat. After the breakthrough, MO-207 and MO-303 retreated with help by MO-124.
For years, Soviet sources believed the battle caused the sinking of Finnish motor torpedo boat Raju, but she sunk that same month for not-battle reason (collision).
Despite the wrong claims on both sides, the outcome was a Soviet successful escape with heavier damage inflicted to the enemy.

31 May 1943
Soviet submarine chasers MO-101, MO-121, MO-122 and MO-302 fought against Finnish motor torpedo boats Hyrksy, Hirmu, Jyske and Vihuri and patrol boats VMV-8, VMV-9, VMV-10 and VMV-11. During the fight Finnish boats Jyske and Vihuri collided and suffered some damage while Hyrsky damaged by Soviet fire.

2 June 1943
Soviet submarine chasers MO-413, MO-104, MO-105, MO-302, MO-101 and patrol boats SKA-172 and SKA-182 fought against a number of Finnish VMV patrols. During the fight MO-413 encircled by VMV patrols and saved by the counter-attack of other Soviet units. One soviet sailor WIA. Finnish coastal artillery also opened fire but without success.

As happened in 1942, Soviet motor torpedo boats laid offensive mines around Bolshoi Tyuters Island (under Finnish control).
Once more, it is impossible to assign victories to individual units and considered collective victories.
On 4 August 1943 sunk the German gunboat SAT-1 Ost (89 KIA). She was the same gunboat that engaged in battle Soviet destroyers in 1941.
On 15 September 1943 damaged the German minesweeper M-22. Interestingly, she suffered mine damage also in Arctic (submarine-laid mine) but repaired and moved to Baltic.
On 20 October 1943, Finnish minesweeping boat Muikku damaged by mine off Luppi

17 July 1943
Soviet submarine chasers MO-207 and MO-302 fought against Finnish motor torpedo boats Tarmo, Taisto and Tyrsky. Both Soviet vessels suffered some damages. Subsequently, MO-404 and MO-408 engaged VMM-9, VMV-10, VMV-12, VMV-17 and MO-404 had glasses pierced. Finnish motor torpedo boat Vasema acted independently and briefly took part at both actions.

19 August 1943
Soviet submarine chasers MO-124 and MO-203 fought against Finnish boats VMV-8, VMV-9, VMV-11, VMV-17, motor torpedo boat Vasema and minesweeping boat AV-138. Both soviet vessels suffered splinter damages (2 WIA).

23 August 1943
Two Soviet motor torpedo boats attacked the Finnish minelayer Riilahti that was on anti-submarine patrol. TK-94 (a veteran unit) scored a torpedo hit and sunk the Riilahti (24 KIA, including commander). Other crewmembers saved by Finnish patrol boat VMV-1. The victory was a good success for the Soviets because Riilahti was very active as multi-role vessel alongside her sister-ship.

30 August 1943
Battle for Kronstadt channel
Soviet minesweeping boat n°605 (of KM-2 class) clashed against a group of German Army motorboats on a special mission to lay mines on the Kronstadt-Leningrad sea channel.
The Soviet small vessel sunk after a close-range fight (including launch of hand-grenades), suffering 3 KIA (including commander) and 6 saved.
Interestingly, the Soviets at the time underestimated the enemy mission and the effect of the small boat sacrifice: her own firing aimed at the water line of the enemies caused the subsequent sinking of 3 motorboats and damages at other two motorboats. The damages forced the Germans to abandon the mission and eventually scrap further attempts.

6 September 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-14, TK-44, TK-94 of G-5 class, later joined by TK-76 (of D-3 class) attacked German gunboats SAT-5 Robert Muller, SAT-15 Polaris and minesweeper M-16. Torpedoes missed the targets, but SAT-15 Polaris suffered damages due gunfire (2 WIA, including commander).

7 September 1943
Finnish motor torpedo boats Taisto, Tuima, Tuuli and Jyske accomplished a rare success in harassing raids against Soviet shipping lines to Moshchny Island. At first, they engaged MO-124 and MO-207, inflicting 4 gunfire hits with damage to the latter (1 KIA, 1 WIA), later they found and sunk with torpedoes the tug K-12 and barge LTP-11.

14 September 1943
German minesweeper M-22 sunk Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-95 (G-5 class) during a failed torpedo attack (3 POW).

5 October 1943
Strelna Raid
An uncommon Soviet operation, with unique use of special frogmen force (RON) to attack enemy targets. During the conflict, the Soviet Navy deployed frogmen almost entirely for wreck’s recovery and inspections (especially in Baltic and Volga River). This rare offensive attack employed two different squads sailing on rubber-boats with diving apparatus (for the last passage): one squad suffered the commander KIA after clash with a German ground patrol and retreated, the second squad successfully blew up two motorboats of the German Army (losses confirmed by Germans account) and retreated without casualties.

18 October 1943
A German recce plane Ju-88 (5.(F)/122, serial 430716) was shot down into the Luga Bay by Soviet patrol boat n°55 (unclear identification). Crew saved.

21 October 1943
Finnish motor torpedo boats Tuisku, Tuuli, Tarmo, Jylhä, Jymy, Jyry and Jyske made inconclusive torpedo attacks and then engaged Soviet patrol boats. No real damages inflicted nor received, but Tarmo and Jyry accidentally collided and damaged each other.

30 October 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boats engaged a group of German minesweepers, but the superior size and firepower of the enemy sunk TK-75, TK-134 and damaged TK-85 (all G-5 class).

2 November 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boats attacked a group of German minesweepers. In two rounds of battles, TK-146 and TK-106 sunk (both of D-3 class). Again, the German standard minesweepers proved to be a formidable opponent.


14 May 1944
German motor torpedo boats S-132, S-79, S-91, S-135 and S-76 attacked Soviet submarine chasers MO-122, MO-213, MO-202, MO-401 and MO-413. During the battle, MO-122 sunk (9 KIA), while S-91 suffered 2 WIA. Advantage in size and quality made for a different outcome, compared to the previous skirmishes with Finnish boats.

16 May 1944
Soviet submarine chasers MO-101 and MO-313 fought against German motor torpedo boats S-90, S-39, S-79, S-91, S-97, S-114, S-132 and S-135. Later MO-104, MO-105, MO-107 and MO-207 joined battle. MO-313 suffered 5 WIA after enemy fire, while S-132 suffered 1 WIA due accidental explosion.

26 May 1944
Soviet submarine chasers MO-302, MO-104 and MO-313 fought against German motor torpedo boats S-91, S-97, S-114, and S-135.
During the battle, MO-302 suffered damage (commander Lt.Sidorenko and 2 other sailors KIA, 11 WIA), while S-97 suffered a direct 45mm hit with heavy damages (3 KIA, 1 WIA) and S-114 suffered light damages (1 WIA).

30 May 1944
Skirmish between Soviet motor torpedo boats attacking minesweepers M-3, M-19, M-29, M-37. Germans suffered 1 WIA.
Interestingly, this is the last active participation of Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-94, an active unit.

5 June 1944
Soviet motor torpedo boats finally scored a torpedo victory in Baltic against the large German minesweepers.
An attack wave composed by TK-15, TK-45 and TK-65 of G-5 class torpedoed and sunk minesweeper M-37 (14 KIA, 11 WIA)
Soviets paid for their success with the loss of TK-46 (D-3 class) sunk by other German minesweepers (8 POW).

8 June 1944
Skirmish between German minesweepers and Soviet motor torpedo boats leave 3 WIA among the German crews. Claim of loss of two Soviet motor torpedo boat sunk is incorrect.

17 June 1944
Finnish patrol boats VMV-13, VMV-16 and motor torpedo boat Vasama (ex-Soviet boat) damaged and seized the Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-51. Vasama suffered 1 WIA, possibly by friendly fire from the VMV boats, while seizing TK-51.

20 June 1944
I Battle of Nerva Island
With the Soviet offensive on the islands of Vyborg Bay, the Kriesgmarine dispatched destroyer-sized warships for the first time since the beginning of the war in Baltic.
Elbing-class torpedo boats (or “fleet torpedo boats”) were on match to Western destroyer in terms of size and gunnery: T-30 and T-31 initiated “Operation Drosselfang”, an offensive patrol to destroy as much as possible Soviet light boats operating in the Bay.
Soviet Navy operated 14 motor torpedo boats, 10 patrol boats/submarine chasers (MO-4 class) and 4 small gunboats.
The Germans begun shelling the Soviet formation, causing light damages on submarine chaser MO-106 (captain KIA) and on small gunboats BK-503 and BK-505 (both MBK class).
Soviets counter-attacked with waves of motor torpedo boats, aiming for the larger opponents: the first attack repulsed with damages on TK-53, TK-63 (heavy damages, 3 hits) of G-5 class and TK-153 (of older G-4 class). A second attack wave also repelled with damages on TK-101 and TK-103 (both of G-5 class).
The third attack wave succeeded with the D-3 class boats: TK-37 and TK-60 split and attacked on both sides the German torpedo boat T-31 launching their torpedoes at the same time.
It is impossible to define which boat was victorious but T-31 sunk as consequence of their attack (76 KIA, 8 POW).
While pulling back, the motor torpedo boats strafed also T-30, inflicting light damages (1 KIA, 13 WIA).
The outcome of the Battle was the most significant Soviet Naval surface victory of WW2! With the loss of a relatively strong enemy warship by direct action.While wartime reports of T-30 claimed multiple attacking motor torpedo boats sunk, this was false and no Soviet vessel sunk during the battle.

30 June 1944
German scored a small revenge for T-31 loss, during a fight between German minesweepers against Soviet motor torpedo boats.
Two separate clashes caused the sinking of TK-43, TK-63, TK-161 and damages to TK-14 (all G-5 class) with no German damage or casualties.

4-5 July 1944
Battle of Vyborg Bay.
In coordination with the Red Army ground offensive, intense naval fighting occurred in the Bay of Vyborg for two consecutive days.
Soviet submarine chasers MO-512, MO-520, MO-522, MO-524 (of BMO-class), MO-101, MO-104 and motor torpedo boats TK-10, TK-16, TK-26, TK-36, TK-56, TK-166, TK-196, TK-197 (all D-3 class) fought against a mixed formation of Finnish warships including the gunboats Hamenmaa, Uusimaa and Turunmaa.
No Soviet torpedo achieved hit, and Finnish ships reported no damage by Soviet naval gunfire, while submarine chaser MO-524 and motor torpedo boats TK-10, TK-16, TK-56, TK-166, and TK-197 suffered light damages (combined losses: 1 KIA and 17 WIA).
While the surface engagement was not successful, Soviet aircrafts enjoyed air superiority and attacked in waves supported by ground 85mm and 45mm artillery installed on the captured islands.
Gunboat Hamenmaa suffered damages alongside Uusimaa (2 ground artillery hits, captain KIA), Turunmaa (two hits by Il-2 attack aircrafts) and supporting patrol boats VMV-10 and VMV-11.
After the damages and casualties (combined losses: 13 KIA, 15 WIA), the Finnish vessels retreated.
The following day, the Finnish Navy dispatched auxiliary gunboats Aunus and Viena escorted by VMV-5, VMV-14, VMV-15, VMV-16: Aunus suffered 3 hits by 100kg bombs and suffered heavy damages alongside Viena (combined losses: 10 KIA, 13 WIA) and the Finnish formation retreated to save the gunboats. German minesweeper M-15 (departed to help the damaged gunboats) suffered one aerial bomb hit with damages.

15 July 1944
German submarine U-679 had a gunfire battle against the submarine chasers MO-104 and MO-105 and motor torpedo boats TK-47 and TK-57. During the battle, a torpedo fired by TK-57 barely missed the target and the U-679 damaged by gunfire with five hits and 8 WIA. Germans mistakenly claimed to have damaged a soviet unit, but none of them suffered damage.

16 July 1944
II Battle of Nerva Island
After the defeat during the I Battle of Nerva Island, the Kriegsmarine attempted a second similar operation with the “Operation Buchenwald”.
The Elbing-class fleet torpedo boat T-30, and the smaller T-8 and T-10 engaged Soviet submarine chasers MO-112, MO-121 and patrol boat SKA-069.
Submarine chaser MO-121 suffered damages (8 WIA, two later died), and MO-112 suffered splinter light damages but the German fire achieved nothing else.
Differently from the first battle, the Soviet Navy dispatched the Soviet torpedo boat Tucha and minesweepers T-211 Rym and T-217 Kontr-Admiral Yurkovskiy as counter-offensive.
This proved to be a rare gunnery duel between (by Western rating) German and Soviet “torpedo boats” (even if Soviet Navy classified its large torpedo boats as “Guard boats”).
No hits or casualties suffered, during this encounter: German warships retreated after T-10 experienced engine failures and T-8 had gun failures.
The battle was the last German attempt to engage the Soviet Navy in the Gulf of Finland with relatively large warships.

24 July 1944
Submarine U-479 lightly damaged by unidentified Soviet submarine chasers with depth charges

30 July 1944
German submarine U-250 torpedoed and sunk Soviet submarine chaser MO-105. Shortly after this attack, other Soviet vessels begun chasing the submarine. Eventually Soviet submarine chaser MO-103 identified attacked and sunk with depth charges U-250 (6 POW, including Captain).
Interestingly, the wreck sunk in low waters and Germans made attempts (artillery shelling, depth charges) to destroy the wreck/disrupt recovery attempt, without success. On the wreck, the Soviet Navy recovered the newest models of advanced German acoustic torpedoes (GNAT).

1 August 1944
Submarine U-348 lightly damaged by patrol boats SKA-082 and SKA-103 and submarine chaser MO-108 with depth charges.

As happened in the previous years, Soviet motor torpedo boats laid offensive fields of mines, and their successes considered collective victories.
Once more, it is impossible to assign victories to individual boats, because of small size of fields and closeness.
On 11 August, sunk German minesweeping boat R-70
On 28 August, sunk German gunboats (modified MFP barges) AF-35 and heavily damaged AF-50, that beached.

Interestingly, mine warfare in August 1944 marked by the large loss of three German Elbing-class torpedo boats: T-22, T-30 and T-32, all sunk on their own mines on 18 August 1944 with large loss of lives (including 108 POW captured by Soviet motor torpedo boats and minesweeping boats). There was no clash or contact between the Soviet boats dispatched to capture the German sailors and own German/Finnish rescue missions. At first Germans even believed such loss caused by a Soviet motor torpedo boats attack, but there was no Soviet action. Losing three large vessels (in addition to the previous loss of T-31) marked the end of Kriegsmarine attempts to operate relatively large warships in the Gulf of Finland.

26 August 1944
German submarine U-745 torpedoed and sunk Soviet auxiliary minesweeper T-45
After the attack, patrol boat SKA-292 attacked with depth charges and caused light damages to submarine U-745

1 September 1944
German motor torpedo boats attempted to destroy the wreck of submarine U-250 to avoid Soviet recovering. Soviet submarine chaser MO-312 opened fire and chased away the group. On the way back, German motor torpedo boat S-80 sunk on drifting mine (5 MIA). While the mine remained unidentified for years, recent research (2021!) identified her as coming from the field laid on 22 July by Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-144 and TK-164. Interestingly the first minelaying unit was part of the rare two-class “Stalnoy” boats (experimental boats discarded for insufficient speed), while TK-164 was the unique boat of SM-4 class.
Last edited by lupodimare89 on 23 Nov 2022 12:43, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 583
Joined: 07 Mar 2013 01:32

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by lupodimare89 » 23 Nov 2022 12:35

18 November 1944
I Battle of Sorve Cape
The Soviet offensive in the Gulf of Riga brought to the first of a series of naval engagements between middle-size warships.
First clash involved Soviet MBK-type gunboats BK-503, BK-515, BK-516, BK-519 against German MFPs (converted as gunboats) AF-5, AF-9, AF-26 backed by one R-boat and six KFK patrol boats, but there was no damage on both sides. Separately, German motor torpedo boats S-65, S-68, S-69 and S-116 clashed with Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-96, TK-136, TK-166, TK-193, TK-195 and TK-196 (all D-3 type) also without great results: S-68 suffered damages by Soviet gunfire, while S-116 attacked by La-5 plane (1 KIA). Soviet planes scored better results damaging both AF-5 (4 KIA, 7 WIA) and AF-26. Eventually Soviet gunboat Bureya supported the smaller crafts while Germans received the reinforcement of minesweeper M-328 and minesweeping boats motor torpedo boats R-72, R-119, R-120, R-245. Despite involvements of two medium-sized warships, no hits scored on both sides (German claims to have sunk or at least damaged a Fugas-class minesweeper, sometimes claimed to be T-207 Shpil are completely wrong: no Fugas took part at battle and T-207 survived at war). Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-136, TK-166 and TK-193 (all D-3 class) made a feint attack to repel German away but did not launch torpedoes.
A subsequent clash occurred during the night, between opposite motor torpedo boats groups, none scored hits on enemy but there were multiple incidents of own collisions: on Soviet side (G-5 class boats), TK-801 and TK-145 suffered damages, while TK-807 grounded after collision with TK-801. On German side, S-135 collided with S-117, while S-76 collided with S-99 (both seriously damaged).

19 November 1944
II Battle of Sorve Cape
A second day of surface battles begun with participation of large German torpedo boats T-23 and T-28 that briefly fought against Soviet gunboats BK-511, BK-512, BK-513 and BK-518. This clash saw the only involvement of relatively large German warships (Elbing class), but was short and without results.
A more bloody fight begun when BK-512, BK-516 and BK-519 attacked shore targets and engaged German patrol ship V-1709 and gunboats AF-9 backed by six KFK patrols. Soviet aircrafts remained active and they sunk AF-18 off Montu. During this stage of fight, BK-516 accidentally grounded (taken in tow), Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-183 (D-3 class) and auxiliary minesweeper T-331 come to help but BK-516 suffered a direct hit at engine, while BK-519 grounded too and BK-512 suffered casualties (overall the group had 3 KIA, 6 WIA).
TK-183 made a smoke screen and auxiliary minesweeper T-331 took BK-516 in tow: the action continued with the arrival of Soviet gunboat Zeya that opened fire. Germans pressed on with arrival of minesweepers M-203 and M-460, focusing fire on BK-516 and minesweeper T-331: the tow was cut and also the minesweeper grounded, TK-183 also suffered the same fate. The battle was over when gunboat Volga recovered the wounded sailors (after briefly opening fire to enemy) and other motor torpedo boats pulled out TK-183 from rocks. Newly arrived TK-193 launched a torpedo against the minesweepers but missed.
Meanwhile, also M-460 grounded herself and despite pulling out, suffered damages at the bottom.
Germans believed to have destroyed at least a Soviet boat, but all the participants at the fight recovered after the multiple grounding incidents.

21 November 1944
III Battle of Sorve Cape
A third heavier battle around Sorve Cape once again split in different phases.
On the morning, Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-96, TK-136, TK-195, TK-197 and TK-198 attacked the German minesweeper M-328 and patrol ships V-5713 Sudetenland, V-302 Bremen.
No torpedo hit, TK-96 and TK-198 suffered light damages by enemy gunfire.
Many sources wrongly believe Soviet Bira-class gunboats (the same Volga, Bureya and Zeya) fought during the second afternoon battle but this is a mistake.
Soviets dispatched the small gunboats BK-503, BK-513, BK-515, BK-518 engaging a gunnery battle with German minesweeper M-328, M-423 (recently joined the group) and patrol ships V-5713 Sudetenland, V-302 Bremen. V-5713 Sudetenland suffered a direct 76mm hit; opening a leak on the hull and V-302 Bremen towed her away forcing the Germans to retreat. The third round of fighting ended with a local Soviet success, and a rare direct gunnery hit scored on medium-size enemy warship. BK-518 suffered 3 WIA without real damage.

27 November 1944
The recent discovery of wreck of German submarine U-479 west to Osmussari Island allow after decades to identify the cause of sinking.
Damage and location make clear she sunk on mine: it is possible (considering the place) she stuck an old 1941 mine of the defensive barrages laid by Soviet minelayers Marti and Ural. However it is likely she sunk on a drifting mine from the huge own German barrages laid in following years.

12 December 1944
While on a mission to lay a minefield off Estonian coast, the two top modern German destroyers Z-35 and Z-36 accidentally stuck a previously laid minefield. While Z-36 sunk with the whole crew, Soviet boats rescued and captured 70 men from Z-35.


4 January 1945
During the night between 4 / 5 January, Soviet submarine S-4 sunk after ramming attack done by German torpedo boat T-3, followed by a series of depth charges. Discovery of wreck in recent years allowed identifying the exact cause of loss (dismissing a similar claim done by German torpedo boat T-33 on the night between 6 / 7 January). The submarine was the only Soviet combat loss by direct enemy actions during the whole 1944/1945 Baltic submarine campaign. Interestingly, the very same torpedo boat T-3 was later victim of a Soviet submarine (sinking on mines laid by L-21 in March).

9 January 1945
The recent discovery of wreck of German submarine U-679 allow after decades to identify the cause of sinking. The sinking point match exactly with the mine field laid by Soviet minesweepers T-352, T-354, T-370, T-371 and T-372. However the damage on the hull appears too heavy for the kind of mines used, it is possible she sunk on a heavier drifting mine from the western barrage laid by T-352, T-354, T-370, T-371 and T-372, or a German own drifting mine.

18 February 1945
Many sources credited Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-158 (D-3 class) with the sinking of German merchant Tolina (1923 GTR), modern research established she sunk by Soviet aircraft.

18 March 1945
A battle between German and Soviet motor torpedo boats caused the sinking of TK-66 and damage to TK-195 (both D-3 class).

27 March 1945
A second battle between German and Soviet motor torpedo boats: S-64, S-69 and S-81 attacked the Soviet boats TK-16, TK-60, TK-136, TK-166, TK-196 and TK-200.
As happened during the earlier battle, Soviet D-3 boats suffered a disadvantage in terms of size and firepower, compared to the German boats.
S-64 sunk TK-166 with gunfire, while S-81 boarded and scuttled TK-196. From the two lost boats, Germans took 14 POW.
TK-16, TK-60, TK-136 and TK-200 suffered multiple damages and retreated. The only loss for Germans was a single sailor WIA.

10 April 1945
A rare friendly fire incident occurred when German motor torpedo boats S-225 and S-708 encountered the German merchant Neuwerk (807 GRT) carrying refugees. After failure from ship to respond at identification request, S-225 fired a torpedo sinking the ship with 1000 lives (mostly wounded soldiers).

15 April 1945
Raid in Danzig Bay
Latest losses against German S-boats made clear the large need for the Soviet Navy to engage in battle the newest motor torpedo boats of project123bis class.
Only four vessels entered in service by this stage of war: TK-131 and TK-141 sailed for a bold and rare strike for the enemy-controlled Danzig Bay during the night between 15 and 16 April.
The two Soviet boats aimed for the German destroyer Z-34, scoring one torpedo hit and inflicting heavy damages, before retreating without own damages.
The raid was a good success for the Soviets, Z-34 did not sunk and retained enough engine power to sail independently to west, but the effective damage put her out of service until the end of the war.
After the war, Z-34 assigned to the United States but she deemed unworthy for repair.
The attack represented the best Soviet surface victory against a major surface warship, alongside the full sinking of T-31 on 1944.

16 April 1945
Soviet small gunboats BK-200, BK-201, BK-202, BK-204, BK-205, BK-206, BK-212, BK-213 and BK-214 (all 1125 class) attacked a small German convoy and claimed the sinking off 2 barges and 2 other boats. Modern German sources indeed indicate that a small convoy was evacuating from Pillau area, with the landing craft PiLB-554 and the assault boat StuBo-252 both reportedly lost due mines amid a fight with Soviet crafts. There is no clear description on German side, and it is indeed possible the crafts sunk (or finished) by artillery fire: the assault boat was carrying 60 soldiers alone.

21 April 1945
Soviet motor torpedo boats, including TK-55, TK-135 (of G-5 class) and TK-141 (project123bis) attempted to attack a convoy of merchants close to Hela, but torpedoes missed. Also attacked German torpedo boat T-108, that was escorting the convoy and returned fire (no damage on both side).

26 April 1945
Many sources credited Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-131 and TK-135 for the sinking of German MFP landing craft F-248. Currently the loss re-evaluated as caused by aircrafts.

On the night between 25 and 26 April, Soviet small gunboats moved to land troops on the split off Pillau. Soviet gunboats and escort at first engaged against unidentified German MFPs: soviet gunboats BK-508 and BK-513 (both MBK type) suffered light damages after the German gunfire. Short time later (early hours of 26 April), three Soviet gunboats loaded with troops encountered three German barges (each of 60tons), attempting to flee with troops onboard. Soviet gunfire sunk two barges and prisoners taken from water. German source indicate they were part of a group of four PiLB crafts of unidentified type, part of the PiL771 group.
Exact identity of the attacking Soviet gunboats is still unclear, but they were among the group composed by BK-158, BK-159, BK-308, BK-309 ( all of 1124 class) and BK-204, BK-205, BK-213, BK-322, BK-325 (all of 1125 class).
During subsequent landing operations, Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-802 (G-5 class) accidentally grounded and lost. Some soviet sources mix-up the two different encounters (with armed MFPs and unarmed barges).

28 April 1945
German merchant Emili Sauber (2475 GTR) torpedoed and sunk by soviet motor torpedo boat TK-133 (one of the few newest project123bis).
At the time, the merchant was empty because planned to transport civilians and military personnel to west. Many sources argued she sunk instead by air attack, but latest Russian research based on German records and Ultra files, describe how indeed the merchant previously received some damage by air attack on 25 April, and was later finished three days later.

6 May 1945
Many sources credited Soviet motor torpedo boats for the loss of German landing craft PiLB-43I. Modern research credit the victory to aircrafts.

On the same day.
A group of Soviet submarine chasers including MO-590, MO-591, MO-592, MO-593 and MO-595 encountered a group of far more powerful German warships.
The German group included destroyers Z-6, Z-10, Z-14, Z-20, Z-25 and torpedo boats T-17, T-19, T-23, T-28, T-35. This casual meeting was a rare encounter between Soviet and a large group of enemy major ships. Soviet boats outgunned and outnumbered by the enemy escaped total destruction due Germans intention to retreat west with the increased risk of Allied air attacks and incoming surrender. MO-595 received fire from the torpedo boat T-28 and sunk (12 KIA, 8 POW).

9 May 1945
The official day of surrender of Nazi Germany for Soviet Union (Victory Day: it was 8 May for the Allied due time-difference).

According the Instrument of Surrender, all German forces in the Eastern Front (including the large Courland Pocket) received order to not evade capture or made hostile actions.
On the very last day of war, the Soviet Navy engaged in multiple actions of intercept, seizures and attacks against multiple boats (often overloaded with German soldiers/collaborationists) attempting to avoid the Soviet’s capture and find shelter in west. These actions included the very last naval fights occurred on the European front of WW2.
Interestingly, on the very last day of war the Soviet Baltic Fleet seized/destroyed surface vessels in numbers as never occurred earlier during the conflict.

Close Ventspils, a Convoy led by tug Rota (lead-ship, 200 passengers), Strelnieks (150 passengers, towed by Rota because own engine-troubles), two schooners and three small tugs encountered a large group of Soviet small boats. The Soviet group included MO-121, MO-122, MO-131, MO-204 (of MO-4 class), patrol boats (former D-3 motor torpedo boats) SKA-175, SKA-176, SKA-177, SKA-183, SKA-192, and the BMO-type submarine chasers MO-537, MO-540, MO-541, MO-542, MO-543, MO-545 and MO-546. Two patrol boats imitated a torpedo-attack (due their origins) while the Soviet boats attempted to capture the group, German soldiers onboard opened fire with small arms but they surrendered after Soviet own fire. Soviet boats also seized and scuttled Strelnieks, the three small tugs and the two schooners, while Rota was seized intact and the large number of prisoners were spread among the tug and the Soviet boats. Latvian sources indicate presence of Latvians on the convoy, but apparently most were German soldiers (still possibly a number of Latvian collaborationists and militias embarked).
The Soviet group split in two: MO-121, MO-122, MO-131, MO-204, SKA-183, SKA-192, MO-540, MO-545 remained on patrol and at first they encountered an immobilized tug that was scuttled (80 POWs), while another tug reportedly sunk on its own due overloading. This first group of Soviet boats carried 800 POWs in total to Ventspils.

Close Memel, the other part of the same Soviet group originally intended to return earlier to harbor, but SKA-175, SKA-176, SKA-177, MO-537, MO-541, MO-542, MO-543, and MO-546 encountered another enemy convoy. Soviet boats were short of fuel (that was the reason for their intended earlier arrival) when they encountered two tugs towing two barges and two schooners. German resistance was more violent, with anti-aircraft and small arms fire: Soviet boats SK-175 and MO-543 returned fire, damaging the enemy boats: Germans on many boats apparently refused to surrender and Soviet submarine chasers dropped depth charges close them, sinking a tug, a barge and the two schooners. Tug “S” and barge n°833 surrendered without resistance and for this reason they were spared and captured. It is possible that the captured barge was actually the PiLB-833, but it is also possible it was an ex-civilian local barge. Soviets estimated that 1000 Germans died onboard the sinking vessels of the convoy. On 10 May, the Soviet group delivered 670 POWs to Memel.

Close Libau, motor torpedo boats TK-141 (new project123bis) alongside TK-15 and TK-55 (both G-5 class) intercepted and captured a schooner (two of the 16 men onboard were declared POWs), and forced a tug to return to Libau harbor without direct seizure. Later other two motorboats returned to Libau (only a German sergeant POW). The successful action was temporarily halted by the sudden friendly fire attack by a Soviet La-5 fighter that attacked and sunk TK-141 (3 crewmembers wounded).
TK-115 and TK-125 joined the soviet group, and TK-115 approached two motorboats, capturing German soldiers onboard and leaving the boats floating on sea to sink.

Close Hel Peninsula, between 9 and 10 May, Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-145, TK-316, TK-333, and TK-354 (all G-5 class) intercepted and captured on sea a tug, and two motorboats attempting to evacuate from Hel Peninsula. The Soviet group brought the prizes to Wladyslawowo, with 103 German POWs.

Bornholm Liberation
The German commander of the garrison in Bornholm Island was ready to surrender to the western Allies but not to the Soviets and the Red Army prepared to liberate the island with a series of air raid in May 1945 (sinking among the other vessels also two auxiliary gunboats).
On 9 May, Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-37, TK-96, TK-183, TK-185, TK-188 and TK-193 departed from Kolberg to land a company of troops. On the way to the island, the group encountered a German barge and four motorboats, seizing all of them (unknown number of POWs). TK-183 renounced to sail to Bornholm and brought the prizes back to Kolberg.

While the Soviets quickly liberated the island and the German garrison surrendered, the motor torpedo boats TK-96, TK-188 and TK-193 attacked a group of German ships nearby the Island (Evacuation convoy from Libau). TK-96 first attempted to attack, followed by TK-193 that launched torpedo but scored no hits and suffered 2 WIA (one died for wounds) by return fire. The German group included command ship Rugard, motor torpedo boat S-216 and two R-boats. Soviet aircrafts attacked the German group, and inflicted casualties to S-216 (1 KIA, 13 WIA). This was the last torpedo attack in Europe and the last clash with casualties.

10 May 1945
The very last naval action in Europe occurred formally after the end of war, during afternoon of 10 May. Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-16, TK-36, TK-56, TK-136 and TK-195 (group based in Kolberg) intercepted and seized on sea a German tug towing a barge preventing their escape to Sweden (up 800 POWs).


Winter War:
29 January 1940
Six Finnish biplane bombers Fokker C.X attacked Soviet ships anchored at Saunasaari.
Auxiliary gunboat Oranienbaum and patrol ships Razvedchik and Dozornyi defended with heavy anti-aircraft fire: one Fokker C.X (serial FK-111) shot down (pilots KIA), while a second Fokker C.X (serial FK-89) heavily damaged but belly-landed in airfield. Razvedchik suffered splinter hits, while the minesweeping boat n°32 sunk and n°34 damaged, two Soviet sailors killed.

Great Patriotic War / Continuation War:

7 August 1941
Five Finnish Bristol Blenheim bombers attacked without results ships close Lahdenpohja and one of them went missing. Soviet gunboat Bureja claimed a bomber believing it was a Ju-88. The Finnish bomber Bristol Blenheim (serial BL-146, crew Moilanen, Suni and Pohja KIA) apparently got damage, separated from the group and then finished by a battery of infantry anti-aircraft machine guns.

2 September 1941
Soviet sources claim MO-4 type submarine chasers seized a motorboat.
There is no confirmed Finnish data about losses of military boats nor fishing crafts, and there are scarce details over the Soviet report. It is possible they simply recovered a previously abandoned boat during the summer retreat.

7 September 1941
Finnish forces made an amphibious operation in Rahmasaari Island, employing small boats both as landing crafts. In the following days, the Soviet Fleet led by gunboat Bira attempted to help the garrison landing reinforcement but could not destroy the Finnish force and eventually evacuated part of Soviet troops after four days of battle. On the first day of fighting, the Finnish lost the landing boats Lu-3, Hi-7 and Hi-24: Soviet submarine chaser MO-206 claimed three crafts sunk, but actually the three boats were destroyed by the Soviet troops’ concentrated defensive fire on the beach during the landing.

16 October 1941
A German Ju-88 bomber (3./KGr806, serial number 1180) shot down likely by Soviet gunboat Konstruktor. Victory shared with anti-aircraft artillery and fighters. Crew captured.

15 August 1942
Italian motor torpedo boats MAS-528 and MAS-527 attacked Soviet gunboats Nora and Selemdzha and submarine chasers MO-199, MO-202 and MO-209. Italians torpedoes missed the gunboat Selemdzha that was however lightly damaged (1 WIA) by gunfire from MAS-527 that took herself a direct hit from return fire with heavier damage. It was the only Italian attack on Ladoga with some little result: Italian sources still nowadays wrongly claim a “Bira-class” gunboat sunk despite all vessels are known and accounted-for.

25 August 1942
Soviet submarine chasers MO-206, MO-213 and MO-215 seized the Finnish small guard motorboat E-32 (2 POW, later provided intelligence).

28 August 1942
Italian motor torpedo boats MAS-528 and MAS-527 attacked the Soviet gunboat Sheksna without success. Italian sources wrongly claim the sinking of a barge.

1 September 1942
Soviet submarine chasers MO-201, MO-213 and MO-215 engaged the Italian motor torpedo boat MAS-529. During a short artillery fight, suffered a direct hit with damage but successfully escaped at high-speed. Six (and later other two) Finnish G.50 aircrafts later strafed the three soviet submarine chasers, causing light damages (6 WIA).

29 September 1942
Italian motor torpedo boats MAS-528 and MAS-529 attacked the Soviet gunboat Lachta without success (no damage on both sides).
This was the fifth and last encounter between Italians and Soviets in Ladoga Lake.

10 October 1942
The German flotilla of Siebel-class artillery ferries attempted to approach Suho Island but failed due bad weather.
The flotilla encountered two Soviet submarine chasers, sinking MO-175 (MO-2 class) with gunfire (9 POW) while MO-214 survived thanks a smoke screen. The loss represent the only Soviet vessel sunk by enemy surface action in the Lake.

22 October 1942
Battle of Suho Island
After the failed approach on 10 October, the German flotilla on the Lake accomplished a landing operation/raid against Suho Island.
Interestingly, Luftwaffe men operated the flotilla and the whole operation planned with the sole intention of motivate its existence before the incoming winter would freeze the Lake.
The flotilla included 7 infantry boats and 11 escort artillery ferries (heavy SF-11, SF-13, SF-15, SF-17, SF-21, SF-23, SF-25 and the light SF-12, SF-14, SF-22 and SF-26), the transport ferries (T-2, T-4 and T-6), a command-ferry and an hospital ferry and the Italian motor torpedo boat MAS-528, the landing party was formed by 70 soldiers. All the German ferries are part of the “Siebel-class”, and they actually used temporary tactical numbers rather than fixed identification numbers for the battle.
The first immediate Soviet naval response was the reaction of small minesweeper T-100 (ex-Finnish tug seized after Winter War) alongside submarine chaser MO-171 (MO-2 class).
Landed German troops successfully destroyed 2 artillery pieces of 100mm, but failed to destroy the third one, while the lighthouse was damaged but not fully conquered. Interestingly, there were some girls among the defenders, even if officially as part of a construction platoon.
Artillery ferry SF-22 suffered a direct hit from the survived coastal gun, and grounded: while attempting to rescue the grounded vessel SF-12, SF-13, SF-14 and SF-26 all grounded too because the Luftwaffe crewmembers did not possess proper hydro-geographic maps about the rocks.
Alerted, the Soviet Navy dispatched the gunboats Bira, Selemdzha and Nora with submarine chasers MO-198, MO-201, MO-205, MO-206, MO-214: by the time of their arrival, Germans recovered SF-14 but facing the stronger Soviet vessels and unable to save quickly the ferries, they scuttled heavy ferries SF-12, SF-13 and light ferry SF-26. Effectively, Germans lost these vessels due indirect Soviet action (their presence, with risk of seizures).
Interestingly, the Soviet Navy later recovered SF-26 (entered service as DB-51).
In clear disadvantage, the Germans retrieved the landed troops and escaped with SF-21 covering the retreat and opening fire against the survived artillery piece on the island.
The heavy artillery barge suddenly experienced leaks (unclear if by splinters or some failure) and the Germans abandoned her, partially scuttling the vessel. While Bira and Selemdzha chased the main German flotilla, the sister-ship Nora encountered the abandoned SF-21 and sunk her with short-range 76mm shelling. Soviet submarine chaser MO-214 seized the abandoned infantry boat I-6 (hull-number "J 6"): originally towed to SF-21, the Soviet vessel fond it floating and undamaged.
Aircrafts of both sides took part at the battle, but despite many claims only Soviet losses are confirmed: four Il-2 and two I-15bis biplanes.
During the chase of German Flotilla, gunboats Bira and Selemdzha suffered light damage (2 WIA on Selemdzha) and MO-198 suffered 1 WIA: the Germans escaped having suffered minor splinters on multiple units (1 KIA, 14 WIA). Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-61 and TK-81 attempted a torpedo attack but failed, while it is unknown the activity of the Italian MAS-528.
During the ground fighting on the Island, the Germans lost 22 KIA (5 counted as MIA) and 43 WIA (two died of wounds), while the Soviet garrison lost 7 KIA, 23 WIA (two died of wounds) and 6 POW. Germans paid a high price for their raid: the relatively low-profile operation, proved costly in human and material losses. The Battle of Suho currently recognized as a rare locally significant naval battle won by the Soviet Navy. . The battle marked the end of the main Axis naval operations in Ladoga Lake.

27 May 1943
German bomber He-111 (serial n°8542, 2./KG53, crew MIA) and German bomber He-111 (serial n°160423, 7./KG53, crew MIA) shot-down while attacking ships. During the raids, damages inflicted to harbor and buildings of Novaya Ladoga, while also MO-206 suffered damages. Some sources claim both were shot down by aircrafts but actually Soviet fighters failed to intercept the planes, and indeed gunboats Bira and Bureya (that recently received upgraded weapons including more effective 130mm and 37mm) made one claim each in addiction to claims by anti-aircraft ground fire.

23 June 1944
Almost the entire Ladoga Lake flotilla engaged in the successful amphibious landing at Tuloksin, with the gunboat Bira acting as flagship.
A Finnish air attack with a group composed by 11 Ju-88, 4 Blenheim and 2 Do-17 bombers attempted to attack the ships but with limited results: the landing craft DB-51 suffered damages after a bomb hit (7 WIA), while another wounded sailor occurred on gunboat Selemdzha. Interestingly, of all the Soviet crafts employed during the landing the Finnish aircrafts managed to damage the very same Siebel-craft captured by the Soviets at Suho. Soviet naval defensive fire claimed one bomber shot down, this match with the loss of Finnish Ju-88 bomber (serial JK-259, pilot Kosti Lehmus) declared as apparently crashed while diving to avoid Soviet fighters. Soviet Baltic Fleet’s commander Vice-Admiral Tributs was personally involved during the operations onboard MO-199.

24 June 1944
A subsequent Finnish air raid against the Ladoga Fleet during the amphibious landing at Tuloksin: a group of eight Curtiss Hawk fighters strafed small soviet tenders that were ferrying troops to the shore. One Curtiss Hawk fighter shot down during the attack (serial CU-562, pilot Pentti Virtalahti KIA) by machine-gun fire from the soviet landing tender n°911 (of n°19 class), while Soviet fighter aircrafts hit a second Curtiss Hawk fighter (serial CU-581, pilot Veikko Evinen DOW) that suffered heavy damages and crashed on attempted landing
All the other attacking Curtiss Hawk fighters suffered some degree of damage from the light fire of troops and machineguns: three of them required transfer for repairs. Soviet tenders suffered only light bullet damages and few soldiers onboard wounded.


4 September 1942
Finnish auxiliary gunboats Karhumäki, Ilmari and patrol boat VTV-1 engaged in combat with Soviet gunboat KL-12, later reinforced by gunboats KL-11, KL-15 and the smaller BK-22, BK-41, in two separate skirmishes. The largest and only real direct surface engagement between the opposite sides in Onega Lake resulted in no damage or casualties on both sides.

8 July 1943
Soviet gunboats KL-40, and smaller BK-12 and BK-21 attacked a Finnish tug towing a barge, but they forced to flee after Finnish artillery opened fire. Very light splinter damages inflicted on smaller gunboats.

14 September 1943
Soviet gunboat BK-12 covered motor torpedo boats TK-83 and TK-93 armed with rockets during a shelling against ground targets. Soviet sources claimed a small boat suffered direct hit and sunk, but denied by Finnish sources. Finnish batteries returned fire without scoring hits.


12 August 1941
Soviet small gunboat Embach, escorted by a couple of unidentified KM boats, clashed with German small boats (manned by Army) after having landed a scout group. There is no German account of the battle: one soviet KM watch-boat suffered light damages (1 WIA) and claimed to have sunk a German boat (not confirmed).

With the German ground advance in 1941, the Soviet Flotilla scuttled all boats (many later recovered by Germans) and operations resumed only in 1944 with the establishment of a new force.

13 June 1944.
Soviet gunboats BK-213 and BK-322 attacked a group of 4 German minesweeping boats. During the fight, KM-19 damaged by direct hit with 3 WIA and forced to escape with other two units but KM-08 was left behind and suffered multiple direct hits until BK-213 performed a ramming attack and pushed the boat on rocks. Germans suffered 5 KIA, 4 POW (two died of wounds) and 2 survivors escaped capture hiding on shore. BK-213 suffered light damage due ramming attack (2 WIA).
German aircrafts later strafed the boat to prevent Soviets recovering her. Interestingly, it is the only known proper German Kriegsmarine military craft lost by direct gunnery action from a Soviet surface combatant (excluding motor torpedo boats). BK-213 also known for a successful action against a small Finnish convoy in 1941.

23 June 1944
German gunboats MAL-14 and MAL-16 engaged three Soviet BKA small gunboats. No damage reported on both sides.

14 – 15 July 1944
German gunboat MAL-21 and ship Baltenland engaged two Soviet BKA small gunboats and two minesweeping boats.
Germans wrongly claimed one sinking (no Soviet loss), and Soviets believed to have inflicted damages (none reported).
A second skirmish the following day, with MAL-14, MAL-20 and MAL-21 against four Soviet BKA again resulted in no damage.

17 August 1944
German gunboat MAL-20 reportedly engaged Soviet artillery and unidentified gunboats, running aground while also suffering from air attack with 2 KIA, 11 WIA.
Ship freed two days later and moved to Dorpat where scuttled to avoid seizure. Soviet sources make no confirmation of engagement, on that day the Flotilla engaged in landing operations suffering losses because of Luftwaffe air attack but securing a bridgehead.
Interestingly, the Soviet air force preemptively sunk or damaged a number of MAL and other German crafts on the days before the landing operations.

26 August 1944
German gunboats MAL-14 and MAL-24 with support from ground artillery engaged five unidentified Soviet gunboats at the mouth of Embach River. Germans claims hits on enemy without own damage, but there is no direct Soviet report of this skirmish (likely without result as the previous ones).

16 – 19 September 1944
German gunboat MAL-14 and MAL-21 engaged Soviet gunboats for the last time in Peipus Lake. Claim of one sinking and one damaging does not match real losses. The next day again they claimed to have fought a group of Soviet gunboats and finally scuttled on 19 September after having expended all ammunition.
Soviets reported only a shelling operation by five BKA small gunboats on ground targets (on 18 September) and possibly the MAL engaged the group at distance.

No major fighting occurred on the Lake, because in 1942 Germans organized a local Flotilla but Soviets restrained from actions (the situation completely reverted in 1943). Details of Ilmen Lake operations are scarce but Soviet boats operated aggressively in 1943 with uncommon and successful harassing raids!

17 September 1943
Soviet motor cutter n°3 (BMK-70 type) seized a fishing schooner (3 POW including a woman).

30 September 1943
Soviet patrol boats Ya-6 and Ya-7 (both of Ya-5 type) seized two fishing schooners (4 POW).

2 October 1943
Soviet patrol boats Ya-6, Ya-7 and Ya-8 (all of Ya-5 type) seized two fishing schooners (4 POW).
Germans pressed local collaborationists to fish for their Army. This incident and the two previous cases on the lake represent a rare case of local repetitive successful raids achieved by Soviet surface units (excluding motor torpedo boats). Captured fishing schooners retained by the Soviet Navy and re-armed as auxiliary patrols. Similar successes were rare for the main Soviet fleets, resulting only in occasional victories during surface engagements.

8 October 1943
By this date, the Soviet flotilla declare destruction of the enemy forces on the lake: the final toll of claims (excluding the confirmed seizures) include 10 armed boats (likely police-boats), 16 armed schooners (likely with few weapons) and 10 schooners (cargo or fishing boats). This large amount of claims cannot be confirmed, but appears likely that at least part of it was realistic.

Posts: 1174
Joined: 03 Oct 2002 19:50
Location: Shanghai

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by mars » 24 Nov 2022 01:41

Great post, would Soviet Navy battles in the Black Sea be the next ?

Posts: 583
Joined: 07 Mar 2013 01:32

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by lupodimare89 » 24 Nov 2022 12:44

mars wrote:
24 Nov 2022 01:41
Great post, would Soviet Navy battles in the Black Sea be the next ?
Greetings and thanks! And yes, with attached also Danube + Dniepr + Azov Sea.
Then Arctic + Volga&Caspian + Far East/Manchuria
But will take me a week or more: i've all the files just "split" and needs to re-unite them and eliminate redundant text (originally there was extra text to adds explains of classes-units etc after photos i inserted; now without pics it would be of little use. ). And this must agree with my work's schedule and free time of course.
Eventually after finishing all the pre-1945 era, i will upload also some similar works in other forum's sections (especially Cold War)

Posts: 1174
Joined: 03 Oct 2002 19:50
Location: Shanghai

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by mars » 24 Nov 2022 20:30

lupodimare89 wrote:
24 Nov 2022 12:44
mars wrote:
24 Nov 2022 01:41
Great post, would Soviet Navy battles in the Black Sea be the next ?
Greetings and thanks! And yes, with attached also Danube + Dniepr + Azov Sea.
Then Arctic + Volga&Caspian + Far East/Manchuria
But will take me a week or more: i've all the files just "split" and needs to re-unite them and eliminate redundant text (originally there was extra text to adds explains of classes-units etc after photos i inserted; now without pics it would be of little use. ). And this must agree with my work's schedule and free time of course.
Eventually after finishing all the pre-1945 era, i will upload also some similar works in other forum's sections (especially Cold War)
:D :D :D

James A Pratt III
Posts: 867
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 00:08
Location: Texas

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by James A Pratt III » 02 Dec 2022 20:15

Great post! impressive research I have some more info:
27 Jun 41 Storozhevoyi most likely torpedoed by the S-31 notes from the book Schnellboat By Lawrence patterson
13 Jul 41 Deutschland possibly sunk and most of the other ships damaged by Db-3 and AR-2 aircraft of 1 MTAP BCRS Vol 1 (new)
22 jul 41 TK71 sunk S29 and S58 Schnellboat notes
27 jul 41 Smelyi Schnellbotte notes also have sunk by S-54 wiki has ships Captain sent to penal Battalion
1941-2 air attacks on Baltic fleet discussed in BCRS Vol 1 and 2
20 Jan 43 Fw-189 H7+YH unit Aufklarungstaffel (F) Ostsee see luftwaffedata.co.uk and the book on luftwaffe codes

22 Oct 42 Suho Is VVS aircraft downed by I/JG 54 BCRS Vol 3 p210 but has 3 not 4 Il-2s shot down

One hopes this is of some use.

Posts: 583
Joined: 07 Mar 2013 01:32

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by lupodimare89 » 03 Dec 2022 14:40

Thanks and it's ever welcome! In particular:
James A Pratt III wrote:
02 Dec 2022 20:15
22 jul 41 TK71 sunk S29 and S58 Schnellboat notes
This was a missing detail, in your source it's also mentioned if the very same pair also torpedoed the icebreaker or it was some other boat?

Posts: 583
Joined: 07 Mar 2013 01:32

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by lupodimare89 » 05 Dec 2022 00:10

Uff... also an errata. And it's a bit bothering that one cannot edit-back a previous message.
For the sinking of U-679 I just realized i've accidentally placed the same group of minesweepers twice, the one that laid larger mines was T-352, T-354, T-356, T-370, T-371, T-378 (some units were also part of the first group, there were different missions).

James A Pratt III
Posts: 867
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 00:08
Location: Texas

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by James A Pratt III » 05 Dec 2022 17:07

The icebreaker Laichplesis was also torpedoed and sunk by them according to my notes from Schnellbotte Glad to be of help

James A Pratt III
Posts: 867
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 00:08
Location: Texas

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by James A Pratt III » 08 Dec 2022 21:18

more from the book Schnellboote
18 mar 45 the S-61 and S-81 sank the TK-66 and damaged the TK-195
10 Apr 45 the S-708 sank the Neuwerk and only 78 of the people on board were saved in this friendly fire incident.

Posts: 583
Joined: 07 Mar 2013 01:32

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by lupodimare89 » 09 Dec 2022 13:10

Thanks for the clarification + correction, in the text i didn't wrote about the number of survivors, but i've a text stating that "only eight" could be rescued. Clearly there is a typo mistake somewhere (78 vs 8). If interested, the composition of crew+passenger should have been: 13 crew, 854 wounded, 60 railwaymen, 7 orderlies, and about 100 refugees on bord

PS: on these days i will add the page for all the black sea /azov /danube+dniepr etc

Posts: 280
Joined: 29 Sep 2005 10:38
Location: Finland

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by Juha » 09 Dec 2022 20:27

James A Pratt III wrote:
02 Dec 2022 20:15
...22 Oct 42 Suho Is VVS aircraft downed by I/JG 54 BCRS Vol 3 p210 but has 3 not 4 Il-2s shot down

One hopes this is of some use.
According to the preliminary report of the German Flotilla 20 Soviet planes were shot down during the operation. 4 by Finnish fighters, 11 by LW fighters and 5 by the Flotilla. From Finnish reports one sees that the Finnish claims were 2 x I-16s, one I-153 and one Pe-2. A later report by the Flotilla gives Flotilla’s claims as 2 x I-15, 1 x LaGG-3 and 4 x Il-2, plus one I-15 which was hit by AA and was plunging towards water, but it was still attacked by a German fighter before it fell into the lake.

James A Pratt III
Posts: 867
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 00:08
Location: Texas

Re: (From Soviet-empire): Chronology of Soviet naval battles in Baltic, Ladoga, Onega, Peipus and Ilmen during WW2

Post by James A Pratt III » 12 Dec 2022 19:50

After checking the Luftwaffe claims list by Tony wood that is online somewhere
22 Oct 42 1-IL-2 3/JG 54
2-Il-2 and 2 I-15 by 2/JG 54
1-I-153 and 1-Mig 3 by 1/JG 54

Cruiser Maxim Gorky Kirov Cruiser article Warship 2009
4 Apr 42 2 near misses
24 Apr 42 near miss 3 KIA 5 WIA
27 Apr 42 near miss damages most radios and range finders No 3 boiler room and 1 turbine

Return to “The Soviet Union at War 1917-1945”