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

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kgvm
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Post by kgvm » 07 Aug 2007 10:06

Having tried a listing of ships build or ordered for Russia in Germany/German occupied countries and countries fighting with Germany against Russia in the years since 1939.
Any correction or addition is highly appreciated (sorry, mjbollinger, almost all ships are under 900 grt :) )

1. Ordered in Germany or German occupied countries

13 steam fishing vessels:

“Josif Stalin”, steam fishing vessel, 589 grt, Norderwerft Köser & Meyer, Hamburg, # 746; completed as “V 315”, German Navy; 12.03.45 sunk near Danzig, collision, German steamship „Hendrik Fisser 7“

“?”, steam fishing vessel, 589 grt, Norderwerft Köser & Meyer, Hamburg, # 747; construction resumed as Kriegsmarine Neubau-Nr. 168 (= newbuilding-number); completed as “V 714”, German Navy; 23.08.44 + near Audierne, British cruiser “Mauritius” and destroyer “Ursa” and “Iroquois”

(yard # 748 was possibly ordered for Russia, too, no informations available)

“Severyanka” „PT 31“, steam fishing vessel, 589 grt, Norderwerft Köser & Meyer, Hamburg, # 749; 06.42 completed as German „Christian Wendig“; 1942 “V 1111”, German Navy; 1945 German “Fahrwohl”; 46 Russian „Dvina“ „RT 45“; 1946 Russian „Planeta“ „RT 45“; 13.06.66 scrapped Hamburg

“Uran”, steam fishing vessel, 589 grt, Norderwerft Köser & Meyer, Hamburg, # 750; 08.42 completed as “V 1313”, German Navy; later “V 2002”, “M 2002”; 1945 GMSA; 1947 German “Nordlicht”; 1955 German “Jakob Müller”; 1956 German “Ulm”; 15.08.60 scrapped Utrecht

„Karel“, steam fishing vessel, 647 grt, N.V. Mach. & Scheepswerf van P. Smit jr., Rotterdam, # 564; 10.42 launched, 10.43 completed as „V 2014”, German Navy; later “M 2014”; 1945 GMSA; 1947 German “Henry Everling”; 1954 German “Heinrich Kaufmann”; 02.61 scrapped Bruges

„Ekvator“, steam fishing vessel, 584 grt, N.V. Mach. & Scheepswerf van P. Smit jr., Rotterdam, # 563; 10.42 launched, 11.43 completed as „V 2013”, German Navy; 1945 GMSA; 1947 German “Bremerhaven”; 1954 German “Wilhelm Kaisen”; 2 Quarter 1961 scrapped Hamburg

“?”, steam fishing vessel, 631 grt, J. & K. Smit, Kinderdijk, # 788; 08.43 completed as „V 2015“, German Navy; 1948 German “Steinbutt”; 22.11.51 lost by mine

“?”, steam fishing vessel, 631 grt, J. & K. Smit, Kinderdijk, # 789; 1943 completed as „V 2016“, German Navy; 16.10.44 + near Hoek van Holland, British MTB

“?”, steam fishing vessel, 644 grt, N. V. Scheeps "De Klop", Sliedrecht, # 554; 1943 completed as „V 2017“, German Navy; later “M 2017”; 1945 GMSA; 1947 German “Hans Böckler”; 01.61 scrapped, Utrecht

“?”. steam fishing vessel, built by ? as yard # 283 or 239; Kriegsmarine-Neubaunummer 239 or 283; completed as “V 718”, German Navy; 08.44 scuttled, Lorient

“?”. steam fishing vessel, built by ? as yard # 240 or Kriegsmarine-Neubaunummer 240; completed as “V 719”, German Navy; later “UJ 1118”, German Navy; 06.03.45 bombed and sunk near Sassnitz

“?”, steam fishing vessel, built by ? as yard # 307 (or 720); Kriegsmarine-Neubaunummer 720 (or 307); completed as “V 720”, German Navy; 23.08.44 + near Audierne, British cruiser “Mauritius” and destroyer “Ursa” and “Iroquois”

“?”, steam fishing vessel, built by ? as yard # 308 (or Kriegsmarine-Neubaunummer 308?); completed as “V 721”, German Navy; 23.08.44 + near Audierne, British cruiser “Mauritius” and destroyer “Ursa” and “Iroquois”

(by the way, does somebody know the meaning of PT (if correct, mentioned only for "Severyanka") and RT (Russian trawler??)


16 hopperbarges:

“Volga”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 315; built 1940

“Kama”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 316; built 1940

“Oka”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 317; built 1940

“Moskva”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 318; built 1940

“Zeya”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 319; built 1940

“Bureya”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 320; built 1941

“Amgun”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 321; built 1941

“Nora”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 322; built 1941

“Olekhma”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 323; built 1941

“Selemdzha”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 324; built 1941

“Bira”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 325; built 1941

“Amga”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 326; built 1941

“Tunguska”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 327; launched 04.41; 1941 seized by Germans in Libau; German „Libau I“

“Maya”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 328; launched 05.41; completed 08.41 as German „Marga“, Navy; 1950 British „W. D. 52“; 1962 lengthed and rebuilt in British hopper dredger “W. D. Waterway”; 1978 scrapped, Great Britain

“Tchara”, hopperbarge, 935 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 329; launched 05.41; completed 08.41 as German „Theda“, Navy; 1950 British „W. D. 51“; 1960 lengthed and rebuilt in hopper dredger; 1963 British “W. D. Fairway”; 1977 scrapped, Runcorn

“Nencha”, hopperbarge, 935 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 330; launched 05.41; completed 08.41 as German „Nora“, Navy; 1941 German “Gerda”, Navy; 1950 British „W. D. 53“; 1954 lengthed; 1975 scrapped, Gadani Beach


2. Ordered in Hungary

(sources differ in the renamings, you can find every combination of Russian, Hungarian and German name!)

“Sevastopol”, motorship, 2773 grt, Ganz & Co. Ltd., Ujpest, # 1464; launched and completed in 1942 as Hungarian “Magyar Vitéz”; 1943 German “Totila”; 10.05.44 bombed and sunk near Cape Khersones
http://www.papernet.hu/?l=sdetails&i=1047&lang=eng (with some pictures)

“Simferopol”, motorship, 2760 grt, Ganz & Co. Ltd., Ujpest, # 1463; launched and completed in 1942 as Hungarian “Magyar Vitéz”; 1943 German “Teja”; 10.05.44 bombed and sunk near Sevastopol
http://www.papernet.hu/?l=sdetails&i=1046&lang=eng (with some pictures, too)

3. Ordered in Finland

“?”, tug, 335 t, AB Crichton-Vulcan, Abo, # 761; completed in 08.41 as Finnish „761 Viipuri”, Navy
http://users.tkk.fi/~jaromaa/Navygaller ... index.html

“?”, tug, 335 t, AB Crichton-Vulcan, Abo, # 762; completed in 08.41 as Finnish „762”, Navy

“?”, tug, 335 t, AB Crichton-Vulcan, Abo, # 763; completed in 1942 as Finnish „763”, Navy

“?”, tug, 335 t, AB Crichton-Vulcan, Abo, # 764; completed in 1942 as Finnish „764”, Navy

“?”, tug, 400 t, AB Crichton-Vulcan, Abo, # 765; completed in 1944 as Finnish „Narvi”, Navy

“?”, tug, 400 t, AB Crichton-Vulcan, Abo, # 766; completed in 1944 as Finnish „Jurmo”, Navy

all six vessels delivered to Russia 1944/45

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 07 Aug 2007 10:37

Excellent list, kgvm! 8-)
Probably, I have a little bit info about some ships mentioned above, I will try to find it according to your request. Yes, your list mentions only small ships [this thread is mainly about medium/large sea-going cargo-passenger ships/cargo ships/tankers].

For example, Finnish tugs No. 761-764 built for USSR and confiscated in June 1941 [performed factory acceptance tests that time] became mine-sweepers of "Viipuri"-type during WWII [used as patrol ships mainly]. Returned back to USSR after the war [11.1944] and served there as magnetic mine-sweepers EMTShch-70-73 on Baltic, rearmed and reclassidied into tugs again in 1946 and 1950, removed from service in 1960s mainly.
Their names as post-WWII civil tugs see here - http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/minesweepers/typ_viipuri.htm
http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/minesweepers/pic/viipuri.jpg [mine-sweeper "Viipuri"/EMTShch-70].

River tugs [400 tons] ordered by USSR in Finland in 1940, were used by Finland as mine-sweepers "Narvi", "Jurmo", "Luppi" during the war and were returned back to USSR in 1944, but I don't know exact details about their use and names in Soviet service since 1944.

As for abbreviation RT [PT on English is mistake because "P" in Russian alphabete corresponds to "R" in Latin alphabete. "T" - the same in both cases] - this means "Ðûáîëîâíûé Òðàóëåð"/"Rybolovny Trauler" = "Fish Trawler".
The correct name should be presented this way - fish trawler RT-45 "Dvina", for example.

Regards, BP
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 07 Aug 2007 23:58, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by mjbollinger » 07 Aug 2007 13:35

Hi BP,

I cannot add much detail to loss of Lenin (ex Simbirsk). My information is exactly the same as yours though my conclusion based on all of the evidence is that a mine was involved. Here is what I've written:

"Lenin was a small (2,713 GRT) steamer loaded with perhaps 1,250 passengers (no one is sure of the exact number) evacuating Sevastopol in the dark days of July 1941. Attempting to avoid the hazardous coastal waters, the captain and a pilot navigated the ship right through a Soviet defensive minefield. A mine exploded directly under the bridge of the ship and Lenin sank in less than seven minutes. Many of the passengers were old men, women and children, and between 600 and 900 of them went down with the ship."

I've corresponded with divers who have visited the wreck of Lenin -- I even have a photograph of the wreck in my manuscript. They say the ship (sitting upright) is filled with bones and even some bodies. Perhaps one cannot have confidence in these estimates, but the divers say they think the number of victims is closer to the 900 estimate than the 600.

MB

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Post by BIGpanzer » 07 Aug 2007 15:33

Thanks, Marty!
Attempting to avoid the hazardous coastal waters, the captain and a pilot navigated the ship right through a Soviet defensive minefield.

Not through the minefield, of course, but using sea-way [minefield was quite close to it], about possible navigational mistakes see below.

I found the following info about lost of cargo-passenger steamer "Lenin" [ex-"Simbirsk"] in July 1941 [with the photos of steamer] - http://www.tekforce.com.ua/places/lenin.php

"Simbirsk" could take 569 passengers and was used by Russian Dobroflot along Far-Eastern routes to China and Japan before WWI [for example, future Finnish field marshal Mannerheim used this ship in 1908 during his voyage from Japan to Vladivostok]. During WWI German cruiser "Emden" unsuccessfully tried to capture that Russian steamer. The ship moved to Japan during Russian Revolution/Civil war and returned back to Vladivostok 01.1923. Renamed as "Lenin" 09.1923, transferred to Black Sea in 1923 (1925?) and was used there along passenger routes between Odessa, Yalta, Sevastopol, Novorossisk, Caucasian ports, runs to Meditarranean in 1920s-1930s. "Lenin" was modernized in 1941 [two chimneys were replaced with one]. Passenger "Lenin" was quite popular ship during inter-war period and many famous Soviet persons [writers, artists, engineers, etc.] were her passengers during summer vacations.
When the war began, "Lenin" performed transport run from Odessa to Mariupol, evacuating civilians and food supply 12.07.1941.
The link mentions that "Lenin" participated as one of the last ships in evecuation of civilians from Odessa to Mariupol 24.07.1941, so for many people that was last hope to leave the city - "Lenin" was very overcrowded [probably, 4000 men (!!!) were on board according to later NKVD investigation of incident] and many men gave their last money and property to have the possibility to go aboard. One ticket was used in reality for 2-3 adults, children were not calculated. Many passengers came on board using not tickets but documents from local communist party commitee and commandants office [according to the report of responsible for shipment person, senior lieutenant Romanov], 1200 recruits came on board also, crewmembers tried to take relatives and friends on board without tickets. So all rooms [including holds and caboose] were packed with people. Also resources from Odessa state bank [unconfirmed data] were on board as well as 450 tons of nonferrous metals. So the run was extremelly difficult taking into consideration defensive mine fields and war-time changes of lighthouses regimes.
24.07.1941 [22:00] convoy [transport "Lenin", diesel ship "Voroshilov", ship "Berezina" and two lighters] started run. Near cape Lukull engine of "Voroshilov" was broken and "Lenin" towed "Voroshilov" to Sevastopol for repair, changing planned route.
27.07.1941 [19:00] "Lenin" together with transports "Gruziya" and "Voroshilov" left Sevastopol and headed for Yalta [escort - one motor patrol boat SKA-026]. Near 10.000 passengers were on board of "Lenin" and "Voroshilov", pilot of convoy was lieutenant I. Svistun just graduated from Leningrad maritime academy [so very unexperienced even for peaceful times not war times]. NKVD investigation found that navigational devices were not checked before run, chief of convoy was not appointed in Sevastopol, exact coordinates of defensive mine fields and wind conditions in the area were not discussed in details before run also. All individual rescue equipment was gathered and locked in the single room [because passengers used them as pillows].
23:33 near Cape Sarych - mine explosion took place [left side, holds No. 1 and No. 2], in 7-10 min "Lenin" sank vertically bow first. "Gruziya" rescued 300 men, "Voroshilov" - 200 men. Only 600 men were rescued [who had possibility to find safety belts or two life-boat put afloat], according to report of Yalta commandants office - only 272 passengers were rescued and 43 crewmembers from 92. Torpedo boats from Balaklava came too late for rescue operation. NKVD investigated incident in details and three versions were discussed: 1) unknown submarine - [Romanian "Delfinul" or unknown German] as some passengers saw torpedo's trace, and radioman and mechanic heard strong blow before explosion, 2) mine explosion [Soviet defensive mine field] as the most possible version - during interrogation navigator Bendersky mentioned mistakes of pilot of a ship in exact sea-way borders determination during night time, he also said that nobody paid attention to his asks to check the compass because of new two guns and 450 t of metals as cargo on board; Bendersky also reported about negligent order to put ships with different speeds into that convoy; Bendersky didn't see any torpedo's trace 3) floating mine as also very possible version [because "Voroshilov" was not damaged by any mine].
11.08.1941 Military tribunal of Black navy condemned military pilot of a ship lieutenant I. Svistun, who was shot. Lieutenant I. Svistun tried to say to tribunal that shore navigation lights were not visible in fog/night time and lighthouse was switched on only after mine explosion; he was absolved in 1992 post-mortem. Captain of "Lenin" I.S. Borisenko wasn't condemned but he was lost at sea soon, 09.11.1941.

Loss of "Lenin" was one of the most significant sea tragedy in history.

Wrecks of cargo-passenger steamer "Lenin", found at the depth 96 m [44°20'N 33°44E] - http://www.diving-tour.com/content/imag ... pg/420.jpg

Regards, BP
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 07 Aug 2007 16:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 07 Aug 2007 16:42

Good photo of "Andre Marti" [thanks to kgvm!] - http://www.photoship.co.uk/JAlbum/Old%2 ... rti-01.jpg
Cargo ship [2352 brt] built by Austin in 1918 [British "Ashwin" since 1919, Soviet "Trotsky" since 1921 and renamed as "Andre Marti" in 1929]. Survived the war and scrapped in 1960s.
Quite famous ship [captain B.M. Hirhasov] during WWII as it was attacked by 4 German bombers [dropped 12 bombs] in Barents Sea [near Kinarroden] 17.02.1943, but crew could avoid bomb hits because of manoeuvring, shot down one bomber [that was Ju88 4N + EH from 22nd group] and damaged the second one. The ship participated in Arctic convoys [once towed transport "Sukhona" because "Sukhona" damaged screw in ice] and local convoys in Northern theatre of operation.
About armament of "A. Marti" - the ship was armed in Great Britain and Arkhangelsk, had 4 MGs and 3x20mm AA guns [crew - 29 civil sailors + 8 men of armed guard].

kgvm wrote about ships, ordered by USSR in Hungary [they never were in Soviet service, see below]:
“Sevastopol”, motorship, 2773 grt, Ganz & Co. Ltd., Ujpest, # 1464; launched and completed in 1942 as Hungarian “Magyar Vitéz”; 1943 German “Totila”; 10.05.44 bombed and sunk near Cape Khersones
http://www.papernet.hu/?l=sdetails&i=1047&lang=eng (with some pictures)
“Simferopol”, motorship, 2760 grt, Ganz & Co. Ltd., Ujpest, # 1463; launched and completed in 1942 as Hungarian “Magyar Vitéz”; 1943 German “Teja”; 10.05.44 bombed and sunk near Sevastopol
http://www.papernet.hu/?l=sdetails&i=1046&lang=eng (with some pictures, too)

Both diesel ships [3600 tons each] participated in evacuation of German forces from Khersones [Crimea] - "Totila" with 3000 soldiers on board was sank by Soviet aviation [08:00] and "Teja" with 4700 soldiers on board was attacked three times and sank at 15:00. Participated Soviet aviation - 1) 8 + 13 Il-2 from 8th regiment ["Totila" got 3 hits of 100-kg bombs and escorted mine-sweeper R 209 - one hit] and 2) 4 "Boston"s + 6 Il-4 ["Teja" with mine-sweepers R 35 and R 164, and ~10 landing barges tried to go to Romania], "Teja" got 6 bomb hits during 2nd attack of 15 Pe-2 from 40th and 29th regiments, 3d attack [six "Boston"'s] caused direct hit of two 100-kg bombs and "Teja" sank.

Regards, BP

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Post by kgvm » 07 Aug 2007 17:26

Thanks, BIGpanzer.

Two additions to my list:
The steam fishing vessels yard # 307 and 308 were built by Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Mij. in Amsterdam
Yard # 239 and 240 are probably either Rotterdamsche Droogdok Mij., Rotterdam or NV Verschure & Co., Amsterdam

Regards
Klaus Günther

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Post by BIGpanzer » 07 Aug 2007 18:28

kgvm wrote:
16 hopperbarges:

“Volga”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 315; built 1940

“Kama”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 316; built 1940

“Oka”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 317; built 1940

“Moskva”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 318; built 1940

“Zeya”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 319; built 1940

“Bureya”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 320; built 1941

“Amgun”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 321; built 1941

“Nora”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 322; built 1941

“Olekhma”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 323; built 1941

“Selemdzha”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 324; built 1941

“Bira”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 325; built 1941

“Amga”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 326; built 1941

“Tunguska”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 327; launched 04.41; 1941 seized by Germans in Libau; German „Libau I“

“Maya”, hopperbarge, 947 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 328; launched 05.41; completed 08.41 as German „Marga“, Navy; 1950 British „W. D. 52“; 1962 lengthed and rebuilt in British hopper dredger “W. D. Waterway”; 1978 scrapped, Great Britain

“Tchara”, hopperbarge, 935 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 329; launched 05.41; completed 08.41 as German „Theda“, Navy; 1950 British „W. D. 51“; 1960 lengthed and rebuilt in hopper dredger; 1963 British “W. D. Fairway”; 1977 scrapped, Runcorn

“Nencha”, hopperbarge, 935 grt, Deutsche Werft, Hamburg-Finkenwerder, # 330; launched 05.41; completed 08.41 as German „Nora“, Navy; 1941 German “Gerda”, Navy; 1950 British „W. D. 53“; 1954 lengthed; 1975 scrapped, Gadani Beach


I couldn't find any evidences that "Amga" and "Tunguska" were in Soviet service [and especially that "Tunguska" was seized by Germans in Libau] - most probably, both were finished as German ships already.

The first 11 vessels [1100-1170 tons] were used shortly by Baltic technical fleet of NKVD special hydroconstruction department [which performed dredging in the Gulf of Finland] as civil hopperbarges, they were mobilized and used as gun-boats [gun-boats of "Amgun"-type] when the war began in 1941 [armament - 2-3x100-130mm + 3-4x45mm + 1-2x20-37mm + 2-4x12.7mm] by Baltic Navy and Ladoga flotilla, returned back to civil service after the war [scrapped in 1960s mainly].
"Olekma" was heavily damaged by air bomb 05.10.1941 near Nikulyasy [sank next day], "Amgun" exploded on mine 10.11.1944 off Is. Aegna.

http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/gunboats/pic/selemja.jpg [gun-boat "Selemdzha"] http://shipandship.chat.ru/foto/k/099.jpg
http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/gunboats/pic/nora.jpg [gun-boat "Nora"]
http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/gunboats/pic/oka.jpg [gun-boat "Oka"]

Regards, BP
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 08 Aug 2007 01:22, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by BIGpanzer » 07 Aug 2007 22:19

As for German-built hopper barges, mentioned above. This is not exact subject of our thread as they were not used as civil cargo ships during WWII but they were reequipped into gun-boats [because of low draft, significant carrying capacity and good technical condition] just after the war with Germany began in 1941. Despite their very active combat service for Baltic theatre of operation, only 2 from 11 were lost during the war.

So, nevertheless, I think that the info about gun-boats of "Amgun"-type during WWII will be interesting for some guys here.

"Amgun" - gun-boat of Red Banner Baltic Sea Navy (KBF) since 15.07.1941. Made run Kronshtadt-Tallinn to suport army units 08.08.1941, shelled enemy since 10.08.1941 near bay Kolgalakht. 28.08.1941 was lightly damaged by close air bomb explosions during run Tallinn-Kronshtadt. Supported army units near Leningrad since 04.09.1941. 22.06.1942 made run Leningrad-Kronshtadt, 18.09.1942 "Amgun" returned back to Leningrad. Didn't participate in active combats in 1943. 02.02.1944 made run to Is. Lavansaari for support lading troops near river Narova, supported landing troops near Rohuküla 14.02.1944. Guarded sea routes in the Gulf of Finland, 10.11.1944 exploded on mine off Is. Aegna and sank.

"Bira" - gun-boat of KBF since 14.07.1941. Made run Kronshtadt-Shlisselburg 17.07.1941 and became gun-boat of Ladoga military flotilla. 20.07.1941 supported landing troops near Is. Juksalonpja(?) and got direct hit of 152-mm shell [5 men were killed and 46 were wounded]. 25.07.1941 it supported by artillery fire the retreat of Soviet units from Is. Lunkulansaari. 26.07.1941 it should support the second landing operation to Is. Lunkulansaari, but instead of this "Bira" got afloat "Selemdzha" [during 10 h] which ran aground. 27.07.1941 took soldiers of landing troops from rafts on board, supported army units near river Vidlitsa by artillery fire. 09.08.1941 - supported defended army units at the NW coast of Ladoga. Since 30.09.1941 - guarded route Novaya Ladoga-Osinovets, escorted ships and transported soldiers and cargos. 06.10.1941 "Bira" got direct hit of air bomb to the rear, repaired soon. 24.05.1942 moved to Kobona, 28.05.1942 the ship got direct hit of air bomb to the nose part and sank at moorage, next day the hole was patched and water pumped out, "Bira" moved to Novaya Ladoga for repair. Since 15.09.1942 - guarded routes, 28.09.1942 shelled enemy units near Tozerovo. 22.10.1942 participated in combat with enemy retreated landing troops near Is. Suho, damaged [together with "Selemdzha"] landing barge and boat, already abandoned by enemy. In 1943-1944 supported army units along the Ladoga shores, guarded routes. 29.09.1944 it made run to Leningrad, accepted by KBF and guarded sea routes in the Gulf of Finland. 01.01.1945 the gun-boat performed run to Aland islands and finished the war there.

"Bureya" - gun-boat of KBF since 24.07.1941. 26.07.1941 it made run Leningrad-Shlisselburg and was accepted by Ladoga military flotilla. Since 26.09.1941 - guarded route Novaya Ladoga-Osinovets, escorted ships, transported soldiers and cargos. 17.05.1942 ran aground near bay Morie because of stormy wind and ice movements, got afloat in several days only. Performed naval training till 15.08.1942; 27-31.08.1942 - supported by artillery fire the offensive of army units in the area Lipki-Sinyavino. Then it continued to guard lake routes and supported army units in 1943-1944. 29.09.1944 "Bureya" made run to Leningrad, was accepted by KBF and guarded sea routes in Gulf of Finland. 01.01.1945 the gun-boat came to Rohuküla and 23.04.1945 - to Helsinki where finished the war.

"Volga" - gun-boat of KBF since 15.07.1941. Supported army units near Ust-Narva since 20.08.1941, participated in evacuation of soldiers from Koivisto 03.09.1941. Performed run to Hango between 27.11.-11.12. for evacuation of garrison, nose part was damaged after mine explosion. Stayed in Kronshtadt during winter time. 09.08.1942 "Volga" was damaged by close explosion of air bomb during stay at Lavansaari - 3 men were killed and 17 were wounded, several guns were damaged - nevertheless, "Volga" performed run Kronshtadt-Lavansaari ones more, stayed in Kronshtadt during winter. "Volga" didn't participate in active combats in 1943. 02.02.1944 - performed run to Lavansaari for support the landing troops at river Narova, 14.02.1944 supported landing troops off Rohuküla, 18-21.11.1944 supported attacks at peninsula Surve. 23.04.1945 the gun-boat came to Helsinki where finished the war.

To be continued......

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Post by Sonntagsforscher » 08 Aug 2007 05:04

The story of the _Klints_ has been recounted here. The story of the eight Latvian ships plying the waters of the Western Hemisphere that, unlike _Klints_, refused to "return" to the USSR, and instead, when the US entered the war, undertook dangerous duties--most of them were sunk by Axis submarines; and the story of the Hercogs Jekabs, which "returned" to Vladivostok, was renamed _Sovetskaya Latviya_, and became one of the slave ships transporting prisoners to Kolyma camps, is well recounted in Bollingers excellent _Stalin's Slave Ships_ (the name _Hercogs Jekabs_ is always misspelled because of an encoding error on someone's computer).

Now I would like information about the *other* Latvian merchant ships that had the option and either did or did not "return" to the USSR. Some in European waters did not, but there seems to be little information available. Most of those that did were captured or destroyed by the Germans in 1941. Is there a list, at least of these? Any info on what became of those that refused the Soviet option?

Sonntagsforscher

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 08 Aug 2007 06:55

Hi, Sonntagforsher!

As for ex-Latvian ships - I will try to help a little bit later. I have the full list of merchant Latvian ships before 1940 [according to old British reference book from 1939], most part of them became merchant ships of Latvian State Steamship Company (LGMP) of USSR [under the same name and part of the crew], and significant part of those ships was captured by Germans in Soviet Baltic ports in June 1941 or lost during the first year of the war. Others [need to check their amount, probably, eight, as you claimed] refused to raise Soviet flag [they undertook dangerous duries not instead but together with Soviet Latvian ships if you meant sinking by Axis forces].

Regards, BP

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Post by kgvm » 08 Aug 2007 08:47

BP, my source for the capture of "Tunguska" in Libau:
http://warsailors.com/forum/read.php?1,640,650
Generally the lists of Theodor Dorgeist are very dependable, he has used the contemporary German documents
Regards
Klaus Günther

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Post by mjbollinger » 08 Aug 2007 11:30

Hi,

Here the the Latvian ships that refused to return to USSR according to my research:

Taken under US control, sunk early in the war:
Abrava
Regent
Cilvaira
Everasama
Everlza
Everalda

Taken under US control, survived war:
Kegums
Everagra

Taken under UK control, sunk during war:
Katvaldis

Taken under UK control, survivied war:
Everoya
Miervaldis
Parnava
Elizabete (note: crew removed and replaced by British sailors)
Tobago (lost off Hebrides on way to UK)

Taken by Denmark
Vizma

The schooner Elza Kroi was taken under control of Sweden.

MB

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Post by mjbollinger » 08 Aug 2007 11:53

Sonntagsforscher,

The spelling of the ship my my manuscript submitted to Praeger (the publisher) was Hercogs Jçkabs in the original Latvian. (It has been transliterated into several different spellings by others. I prefer to stay with the original language whenever possible.)

When printed in italics, the name, along with the italicised Cyrillic writing, got completely mangled in the final printing. The material was accurate in the galley prints but ended up wrong in the published book. Very frustrating and one reason I'm looking for a different publisher for my next one.

MB

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Post by Sonntagsforscher » 08 Aug 2007 15:59

Thanks, BIGPanzer & MJBollinger! If BIGPanzer will post his list here, simply subtracting the list compiled by MJB should give us a list of the ships that became part of the Soviet fleet, with only few changes between the publication of 1939 and the Soviet takeover of 1940 to be corrected by someone who specializes in this topic.

MJB, your book is excellent,. I sympathize with the typographical problem. The ASCII-ANSI encoding for c-cedilla is used by MS's Baltic encoding for e-macron, and that must be the explanation for the buggered-up ship name. Why Cyrillic lower-case i was printed as a subscript I can't explain. _Ciltvaira_ needs a 't'. I agree with your practice of sticking with the original spelling; but as you will see from your second message, e-mail makes the same error as Praeger, so in a context such as this forum I leave the diacriticals off the Latvian words. Bill Gates needs to embrace Unicode!

Your list provides a lot of the info I need. I had read somewhere, a while back, of a few ships going to some Scandinavian countries, but had never been able to relocate that source or get any more detail.

Thanks all!

Sonntagsforscher

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Post by mjbollinger » 08 Aug 2007 17:03

Sonntagsforscher

I have the information on ships handed over to the USSR. I will send via email that portion of my manuscript.

Marty

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