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

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 04 Jul 2006 16:55

Hi, Dido! I don't know exactly, too. But probably that happened because of strong storm 09.1942 as I've mentioned above.

All those powerful icebreakers of "I. Stalin"-class were removed from service in 1960s-1970s only, and their lifes were not easy indeed as they participated in huge amount of Arctic and North navigations, expeditions and rescue operations, also served during the whole WWII under German bombs.
As for their rigid construction - yes, they could overcome very strong polar icefields (those ships were one of the most powerful icebreakers till the time when nuclear-powered icebreakers came). Interesting, that artillery fire from Italian torpedo boats couldn't damage the hull of "A. Mikoyan" when Soviet unarmed icebreaker was unsuccessfully attacked 23 hours(!) in Aegean Sea (near Rhodes) by Italian torpedo boats and bombers during the run from Black Sea to Far-East in December 1941.
Those icebreakers had 35-42mm ice belt (13 parallel belts total) from the high quality steel along the hull (that ice belt was 6.3 m wide), also hull had double amount of frames, double bottom and 12 watertight bulkheads - each section was equipped with accumulator batteries, powerful water pomps with 50 cm pipes and sliding doors closed from the control house.
Line icebreaker "A. Mikoyan" escorted convoy as auxiliary cruiser - http://www.randewy.ru/mod/mikojan3.gif

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Soviet "Volgoles"-Class Timber/Locomotive Carriers

Post by Peteris » 05 Jul 2006 03:59

Please allow a new member to revisit an old topic - the "Volgoles"-Class Timber/Locomotive Carriers.

A magazine from January 1946, PACIFIC MARINE REVIEW, contains an article called Special Locomotive Carriers For Russia, in which is written that five timber carriers were converted in the U.S.A. for carrying 18 locomotives each, to Russia. The article, unfortunately, does not name the ships. They are unidentified as well in several accompanying photographs, one of which has also been posted here previously, identified in this forum as the Klara Tsetkin.

All of the previous postings regarding the Volgoles types mention only four ships which were converted for this service.

Was the fifth ship not converted, or is it missing from the information listed here? Or, was the fifth ship of a different class, the Vantsetti, perhaps?

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American Ice-breakers In Soviet Service

Post by Peteris » 05 Jul 2006 04:08

Does anyone know where to find information in Russia regarding the three "Winds"-Class ice-breakers used by the Soviets during and after the war?

They were U.S. Navy (Coast Guard) vessels, but in Soviet service I don't know whether they were considered military vessels, a part of the Soviet Navy, or under Glavsevmorputi or elsewhere? This is one of many things I would like to find out about them, other things being their correct Russian names, their travels, dates and places of repairs. I don't suppose any archive in Russia wopuld have their deck logs on file?

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Post by BIGpanzer » 05 Jul 2006 17:48

Hello, Peteris and welcome to our discussion!
You asked a very interesting question, I should note! :wink:

1. As for the Soviet-built large timber ships of "Volgoles"-class as locomotive carriers. According to all my sources only four ships of that class (all from Far-East State Steamship Company) were reequipped into locomotive carries during WWII: "Maxim Gorky", "Sevzaples", "Komiles" and "Clara Zetkin". Those large timber ships were optimal for locomotive transportation as they had large cargo capacity and ddn't have tweendeck. I don't think that "Vantsetti" (Soviet-built medium timber ship of "Tovarishch Krasin"-class) was reequipped into locomotive carrier as that ship had less cargo capacity and served mainly in the North during WWII not in Pacific.

Four large timber diesel ships of "Volgoles"-class were reequipped into locomotive carriers in US Portland under the supervision of Soviet engineer V.I. Neganov. Each ship could take 18 locomotives with tenders. It should be noted that such idea to transport the whole locomotives (not in parts) by sea ships was introduced by famous Russian ship constructor academician A.N. Krylov in the beginning of 1920s when Soviet Russia purchased 1750 locomotives from Germany and Sweden and transported them on the Baltic Sea. A.N. Krylov wrote the book "Transportation of locomotives" which became bestseller among ship engineers and designers.
The ships of "Volgoles"-class should be reequipped into locomotive carriers with minimal renovations in order to quick recovery in USSR into timber ships back. US engineers enhanced the hold hatches No 2, 4 for locomotive loading and strengthened the walls of those holds (8 locomotives with tenders should be transported in holds, equipped with rails), special steel frames and rails were added for transportation of additional 10 locomotives on deck. All locomotives were fixed by nine 2' steel crossbars with hemispheric rings which alllowed to transport locomotives during very stormy weather even (just imagine what could happen with the ship if at least one of 100t locomotives broke its locks inside the hold or on the deck during gale). Soviet timber ships made a lot of runs to US for locomotives during WWII without any technical problems.

http://ntic.msun.ru/ntic/exhibition/fes ... f354_1.jpg (large timber ship "Clara Zetkin" transported locomotives from USA to USSR)

2. As for US diesel icebreakers of "Wind"-class: USSR received three just built new icebreakers of that class ("Northwind"/"Severny veter" and "Southwind"/"Yuzhny veter", also "Westwind"/"North pole"/"Severny polyus").
US powerful icebreakers of "Wind"-class were much smaller than Soviet-built line icebreakers of "I. Stalin"-class (dimensions 76x19m and 106.7x23.1m correspondingly; displacement 5400 t and 11000 t, correspondingly) and had less strong hull, so they couldn't overcome thick polar ice as Soviet icebreakers did. But US icebreakers had powerful engines also (10000 hp in comparison with 10050-11400 hp of Soviet icebreakers), they were equipped with additional nose screw and their effective diesel-electric plant 38D8 allowed them to made ice navigations at full throttle without hard work of firemen (all Soviet-built icebreakers were steamers) - so they were very good for navigations in White Sea with not so thick ice fields.

They were U.S. Navy (Coast Guard) vessels, but in Soviet service I don't know whether they were considered military vessels, a part of the Soviet Navy, or under Glavsevmorputi or elsewhere?

Four icebreakers of that class were built in USA in 1944 for Coast Guard but three of them were given to USSR at once.
I know that icebreaker "Northwind"/"Severny veter" participated in North convoys in 1944-1945 along the North Sea Route, served in Russian North till 1951 as "Kapitan Belousov" - that icebreaker was civil icebreaker, but it had several guns/MGs for convoy navigations. Icebreaker "Severny veter" was returned back to USA in December 1951 (served as "Staten Island" under US flag later) at German Bremerhaven port. Since 1966 - US Coast Guard icebreaker, before - USN icebreaker.
Icebreaker "Southwind"/"Yuzhny veter" was given to USSR in 1945 (launched 15.07.1944) and later renamed as "Admiral Makarov". It was returned back to USA in 1950 and served as "Atka" under US flag later (since 1965 - US Coast Guard icebreaker, before - USN icebreaker).
Icebreaker "Westwind" was given to USSR in the beginning of 1945 (renamed as "Severny Polyus"), returned back to US in 1951 and served as US Coast Guard icebreaker "Westwind" since 1951.
Those icebreakers belonged to Central administration of North Sea Route in 1944-1945 (home ports - Murmansk, Arkhangelsk) and to Baltic State Steamship Company after WWII (also repaired in Leningrad)
All those icebreakers were scrapped in 1974-1975.

PS. I have some additional data in which convoys "Severny veter" ("Northwind") participated in 1944-1945 (actually the single US icebreaker of the "Wind"-class really participated in WWII transport operations). If you need more detailed info - just let me know :wink:

http://vmk.vif2.ru/battles/WWII/Shedrol ... /pic49.jpg (icebreaker "Severny veter"/"North wind" under Soviet flag)

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"Volgoles"-Class Timber/Locomotive Carriers

Post by Peteris » 06 Jul 2006 06:03

Thank you for all of the information regarding the Volgoles-Class Locomotive carriers, and on my other posting regarding the American ice-breakers.

I have a deadline to meet for something else, but I shall try to write more tomorrow. I would like to discuss both of these topics further.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 06 Jul 2006 15:35

As for US icebreakers of "Wind"-class. Some war episodes.
Icebreaker "Severny veter" ("Northwind" on Russian) participated in convoy run in September 1944 (convoy VD-1 consisted of transports "Revolyutsioner", "Komsomolsk", "Budenny", "Kingisepp" and icebreaker "Severny veter"). 23.09.1944 German submarine U-957 attacked transport "Revolyutsioner" (convoy flagship) westward of Vilkitski Strait (Kara Sea) but the captain of patrol boat SKR-29 "Brilliant" sent his ship to cross the torpedo move and that act of bravery prevented sinking of the transport (SKR-29 was exploded by torpedo, all crew was lost).
Icebreaker "Severny veter" (captain - Yu. Khlebnikov) guided transports with Lend-Lease cargos along the North Sea Route in 1944-1945 (made navigation from East to West in 1944, escorting transports "Revolyutsioner" and "Kingisepp"; once icebreaker was pressed by strong Arctic ice but rescued soon, repaired by plant No. 402 in Molotovsk). Also "Severny veter" together with Soviet-built arctic icebreaker "I. Stalin" (convoy AB-15) made navigation to Arkhangelsk from Central part of North Sea Route during the gale 10-11.1944 (they were escorted by 8 destroyers, 5 patrol boats and 5 mine-sweepers because of submarine danger, Germans planned to sink those very important for Arctic navigations icebreakers and indeed made several unsuccessful submarine attacks). I've just found that "Severny veter" belonged to Arkhangelsk Arctic Steamship Company, White Sea.

http://vmk.vif2.ru/battles/WWII/Shedrol ... /pic27.jpg (I couldn't find additional photos of "Severny veter" but here is the photo of Soviet-built line icebreaker "I. Stalin", guided transport ships through the polar icefields. Note that Soviet icebreakers had quite strong armament on board during WWII as they represented very important targets for German bombers and submarines. Nevertheless, Germans couldn't sink none of Arctic icebreakers)

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Post by Peteris » 07 Jul 2006 05:12

1. Concerning the Timber/Locomotive Carriers converted in the U.S.A., in the January 1946 issue of PACIFIC MARINE REVIEW, on page 24, is stated:

"In December 1943, the office of Joslyn and Ryan, Naval Architects, acting as design agents for Poole, McGonigle and Jennings in Portland, Oregon, was commissioned to convert five diesel motorships for the U.S.S.R., under auspices of the W.S.A., to carry locomotives from Portland, Oregon, to Russian ports.

The vessels were all of similiar design, built in the U.S.S.R. as lumber carriers. Their principal dimensions are as follows:
Length O.A........364' 0", Length B.P........347' 8", Breadth.........51' 6", Depth to main deck.......27' 3", Displacement.......9500 Tons at 24' draft

Inasmuch as these ships are single deck vessels they were ideal for the purpose of transporting , with the exception of being a little small."

Further in the article it mentions that no plans had been available, since those had been destroyed during the war. However, American engineers measured the ships and prepared a plan, a sketch of which is included in the article. I would be happy to scan this and send it to you if you like?

The remainder of the article is concerned only with the technical details of rebuilding the ships' hold areas, and the problems encountered with this. There are several photos, one of which is the same, already-seen aerial photo of the Klara Tsetkin. No ships are identified in the photos. Nowhere in the article is it expressly stated that all 5 ships were completed, but neither does it mention that one was not. As complete as the article seems to be with details, it seems likely that if this was the case, it would have been mentioned.

Any photos of such ships carrying locomotives would be very welcome. If you want to contact me privately, that's fine.

I am particularly interested in which of these, or any other, Soviet locomotive-carrying ships transported a group of large diesel locomotives to the U.S.S.R. in 1946. They would have been a heavier lift than steam locomotives. Also, in photos they may be difficult to identify as being locomotives, since they were not on wheels and probably were crated or shrouded against seawater spray. So far, all I've found is that the Klara Tsetkin carried the wheels for some of these diesel locomotives from Longview, Washington, supposedly bound for Vladivostok in June 1946. It is not known from the American records whether the locomotives were also on board. One source tells me that at least some of these diesel locomotives arrived in Murmansk in 1946, entirely possible during the summer Arctic shipping season if Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk were not able to accept such cargoes for some reason. But documentation to prove this is lacking. American customs and cargo records were apparently destroyed after the 1940s. Do Soviet/Russian cargo manifest records and port records still exist in any archive? Is it possible to research within the records of the companies which owned the "Volgoles"-Class Locomotive Carriers?

2. Thank you very much (!) for the information regarding the wartime travels of the Severny Veter. This is exactly the sort of information I need, including captains' names, etc. As much detail as posible. Where is all this from, a book? Is it possible for you to scan or photocopy such information for me? I need to know the sources.

The Russian names for these ice-breakers which I had encountered in my research were Severny Veter, Severny Polyus, Admiral Makharov, Kapitan Belousov, and Admiral Nakhimov. Obviously all of these couldn't be correct, but now you had added yesterday one more new name for me.

Besides any information about their travels while in Soviet service, I am very interested to find information regarding repairs to one or more of these American ice-breakers in a Leningrad shipyard (I don't know which one) between the end of the war and their return to the Americans. The most likely time period for such repair I believe to maybe have been 1947-1949, but I don't know this for certain. Do you know of any place or way for me to research this?

Are the Archangelsk Arctic Steamship Company's archives known to exist anywhere today? How about the Baltic company you mentioned, or the Far East company which employed these ice-breakers?

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Post by BIGpanzer » 07 Jul 2006 16:46

Hi, Peteris!

1. During the analysis of information about Soviet-built timber ships, which were reequipped into locomotive carriers in US Portland, I came to conclucion that you are right and the fifth ship was "Vantsetti" very probably.
So the reequipped ships into locomotive carriers were the following: four large timber diesel ships of "Volgoles"-class and one medium timber steamship of "Tovarishch Krasin"-class. So "Pacific Marine Review" wrote an incorrect info that five reequipped ships were diesel ships of the same class. As I've wrote above "Vantsetti" was equipped in USA in 1944 with very powerful cargo-derricks on 4 pillars for heavy cargos/locomotives transportation (each cargo derrick had 4 winches and could lift 50 tones) - here is the photos of steamer "Vantsetti" after reequipment:
http://ntic.msun.ru/ntic/exhibition/fes ... f144_1.jpg
http://ntic.msun.ru/ntic/exhibition/fes ... f144_2.jpg ("Vantsetti" transported railway vehicles, probably, postWWII photo).
Those ships had the following dimensions: large timber ships - 111.1 (length) x15.7 (breadth) x7.6 (draft) m, displacement 8130 t (cargo capacity 5500 t) and medium timber ships - 91.3x13.16x6.27 m, displacement 5280 t (cargo capacity 3230 t).
It should be noted that large timber ships of "Volgoles"-class could transport 18 locomotives with tenders easily (their total weight was only ~1800 t, but ships could take 5500 t), another question - that there was enough place only for 18 locomotives (8 in holds and 10 on deck). When Soviet Russia bought mailn-line locomotives in Germany and Sweden in 1920s, two steamers with larger cargo capacity were used according to Krylov's project - those steamers could take 20 locomotives.
I know nothing about the available plan of large timber ships, but I know that US engineers reequipped those ships according to advices of Soviet engineer-supervisor V.I. Neganov as well as under supervision of Soviet captains and ship mechanics. I think they provided US colleagues (the president/chief engineer of San Francisco engineering company, developed the project, was M. Harris) with some technical documentation. It will be interesting to see the sketch of those ships you've mentioned, thank you in advance.

The first reequipped ship ("Klara Tsetkin") made the first run as locomotive carrier 16.05.1944. USSR received 1981 steam locomotives in 1944-1945 and they didn't have time to play any significant role during WWII but helped to restore Soviet railroad transport just after WWII to some degree. It should be noted that not only timber ships transported those locomotives but also quite many "Liberties".
As for US diesel locomotives - I only know that USSR received 68 diesel locomotives from ALCO in 1945 (2 sank during sea transportation - probably they were sweeped away from deck during stormy weather) and 30 diesel locomotives from Baldwin in 1946 (as you, probably, know - USSR stopped to produce native diesel locomotives during WWII and started the production again in 1946 only). I suppose that "Vantsetti" could transport some of those US diesel locomotives as well as other locomotive carriers.
As for archives of Soviet Far-East State Steamship Company (DGMP), which owned "Volgoles"-class timber ships, reequipped into locomotive carriers - I never dug so deep and don't have any ideas how to contact them.


2. As for US iñebreakers of "Wind"-class in Soviet service - I found all info in Internet (including Russian sources).
Their names were: 1. "Northwind" - "Severny veter", later "Kapitan Belousov"; 2. "Southwind" - "Yuzhny veter", later "Admiral Makarov" (not Makharov); 3. "Westwind" - "Severny polyus", later, probably, "Admiral Nakhimov".
I only know that at least "Severny veter" was repaired after WWII in Leningrad (by Baltic shipyard, which built also two polar icebreakers of "I. Stalin"-class, another two were built by Nikolaev shipyard). Also "Severny veter" was repaired after damage in ice in the end of 1944 (by plant No. 402 in Molotovsk, responsible for repair of icebreakers of Central administration of North Sea Route).

PS. One very interesting and quite detailed source about "Klara Tsetkin" and "Severny veter" is this one (on Russian, unfortunately) - http://victory.mil.ru/lib/books/memo/badigin/03.html (including many references in the end of the chapter) This is the chapter from the excellent book "Na morskih dorogah" ("On the sea ways") by K. Badigin who was the captain of timber ship-locomotive carrier "Klara Tsetkin" during WWII and participated in her reequipment in Portland, also he mentioned US icebreakers of the "Wind"-class there and described relations with US administration in Portland, which were very friendly but sometimes were complicated by Americans who didn't want to help USSR and sabotaged the work. AFAIK polar captain K. Badigin became a well-known writer after WWII and wrote many interesting books including books about sea navigations as well as about medieval times (I read one of them about wars between Great Duche of Lithiania and Russian Muscovy principality in XV c. in English translation).

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Locomotives

Post by mjbollinger » 07 Jul 2006 19:13

Hi,

Sovietskaya Latvia and Felix Dzerzhinsky were also convereted to carry locomotives during WWII. These ships were operated by Dal'stroi, not DGMP.


Marty

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Post by BIGpanzer » 07 Jul 2006 19:50

Thanks, Marty! As for four timber ships of "Volgoles"-class, reequipped into locomotive carriers, many sources mention that.
As for steamers "Sovetskaya Latviya" and "Felix Dzerzhinsky" - they were operated by NKVD "Dal'stroy" indeed and transported prisoners AFAIK, I couldn't find reliable sources to prove that those ships were converted into locomotive carriers also. Of course, I believe you, but could you please provide us with the data when and where were they converted? Also I found the info that those steamers transported prisoners to labour camps during the whole WWII so when did they "have time" to transport locomotives? :roll: ..........

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Locomotive Transports

Post by mjbollinger » 08 Jul 2006 00:31

Hi BP,

My information comes from a review of original records held in the U.S. archives. I don't think this has ever been reported in print (except in my book, which gives it a quick mention). One example of a specific citation was:

War Shipping Administration, Office of the Russian Shipping Area, Memo from J.B. Hutchins, Director of Russian Area for the War Shipping Administration, to H.M. Salisbury of the Foreign Economic Administration (March 27, 1945). National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Soviet Far East Region 1942-46, Record Group 238. Box 26.

Felix Dzerzhinsky was converted in 1944, most probably in Portland. The letter authorizing the funds for the conversion was dated March 1944. Sovietskaya Latvia wasn't converted until 1945. The authorization letter mentioned the amount of $400,000 for the conversion (and other repairs).

I seem to recall a photo of one of these ships with locomotives on board. I wll check my files to see if I can find it.

To be very technical, the ships Vatslav Vorovskii and Yan Tomp had been converted to carry steam locomotives in 1921. Vatslav Vorovskii did not operate on Lend Lease missions but it was lost in April 1941 at the Columbia Bar after departing from Portland.

MB

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Locomotives: Photos

Post by mjbollinger » 08 Jul 2006 00:51

I found a photo of Felix Dzerzhinsky carrying locomotives. And photos of Kashirstroi and Dneprostroi as well.

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Photos

Post by mjbollinger » 08 Jul 2006 00:54

I will attempt to paste the photo here. (I can never seem to get this to work):
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 08 Jul 2006 02:13

Thanks for the info and excellent photo, dear Marty!
AFAIK Soviet Russia purchased and transported 500 steam locomotives from Germany and 102 steam locomotives from Sweden on the Baltic Sea in the beginning of 1920s. Two large steamers ("Maskinonge" and "Mediprenge") were reequipped into first world's locomotive carriers according to the project of Russian academician A.N. Krylov, they could take 20 72-t locomotives with tenders each. As I have no time for detailed Internet search - were those ships renamed as "Vatslav Vorovsky" and "Yan Tomp" (you've mentioned) later, or those were differ ships?
Were "Kashirstroy" and "Dneprostroy" reequipped into locomotive carriers also?

PS. Yes, I found - "Vatslav Vorovsky" (served in DGMP in 1934-1941) was indeed ex-British cargo ship "Maskinonge" (built in 1911), the ship was lost 04.1941 at the Columbia river (USA) because of navigation mistake - http://ntic.msun.ru/ntic/exhibition/fes ... f151_2.jpg

I know that Soviet military transport "Yan Tomp" was torpedoed by German torpedo boats S-102 and S-28 30.08.1942 (Black Sea, near Sochi port), 5 men were lost. But seems to be that this was another cargo steamer as it had cargo capacity only 1988 t and couldn't take 20 locomotives on board, of course.

PS2. The reequipment of those ships into locomotive carriers was performed in 1921-1922.
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 08 Jul 2006 12:46, edited 2 times in total.

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Locomotives

Post by mjbollinger » 08 Jul 2006 02:21

Three ships were used for locomotives via DERUTRA (the Soviet/German joint venture). Two (MASKINONGE and NEEBING) were leased in 1921 and acquired in 1922. MEDIPRENGE was leased but not acquired.


VATSLAV VOROVSKII
1911 Launched as MASKINONGE 09.11
1912 Completed as MASKINONGE (Sydney, Cape Breton & Montreal SS. Co., Ltd.) 03.12
1915 MASKINONGE (Maskinonge SS Co., Ltd.)
1921 Chartered as locomotive transport
1922 VATSLAV VOROVSKII (GBP) acquired by USSR 20.07.22
1925 VATSLAV VOROVSKII (STF-BGK) 01.04.25
1925 Arrived in Buenos Aires 06.25
1934 VATSLAV VOROVSKII (STF-DGK)
1935 VATSLAV VOROVSKII (DGMP) 03.35
1941 Ashore Columbia bar 03.04.41; total loss

YAN TOMP
1903 Completed as NEEBING (G. T. Marks) 08.03
1906 NEEBING (Canadian North West SS. Co., Ltd.)
1915 NEEBING (Swift SS. Co., Ltd.)
1919 NEEBING (Silverdale Steamship Co., Ltd.)
1921 Chartrered by USSR to transport locomotives
1922 NEEBING (GChAP) acquired by USSR 01.09.22
1923 YAN TOMP (GChAP)
1924 YAN TOMP (STF-ChAGK) 01.10.24
1926 YAN TOMP (STF-ChGK)
1934 YAN TOMP (ChGMP) 15.03.34
1941 YAN TOMP (ChABU) 01.07.41
1942 Sunk by German MTB S.28 43.44N-39.29E off Novorossiysk 30.08.42

I can't say for sure that KASHIRSTROI and DNEPROSTROI were converted specifically for this purpose, but it is clear they carried locomotives. See photos in next message.



MB

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