Baltic Sea, 19./20. June 1944 Operation Drosselfang

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Klaus F.
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Baltic Sea, 19./20. June 1944 Operation Drosselfang

Post by Klaus F. » 14 Aug 2005 17:35

Hello together, I came to the "Axis marine forum" when I searched for information about the AA-cruiser "Niobe" in Internet. The information which I found in the forum were determined very detailed and outstandingly. I was delighted very much about that. A lot of these dates must come from Russian sources. I would like to ask for that incident: eastern Baltic Sea, June 1944 - connections between the Russian invasion to the small island Narvi, and the German navy operation "Drosselfang" that was directed towards the presumed invasion of Russian troops on Koivusaari and Piisaari?
My uncle was crew member on the German fleet torpedo boat "T 31", and came during this operation in the night of the 19./20. June in 1944 by the sinking of his boat after the attack of Russian torpedo cutters to death. Since longer time I search for details for this incident.
Perhaps somebody can help me in the forum?
Best regards,
Klaus F.

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 29 Aug 2005 20:48

Hi Klaus,

Welcome to the Forum, sorry for the late reply
The case is mentioned at couple of Finnish books. Are you still interested?
What about Niobe, do you have any more info about it than at the viewtopic.php?t=65762&highlight ?

Regards, Juha

Klaus F.
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Drosselfang

Post by Klaus F. » 31 Aug 2005 16:16

Hi Juha,
about the Niobe I have all information now, that I need.
My efforts concentrate on the landing of Russian forces
the island of Narvi on 19. /20 June 1944.
Is my supposition, the torpedo Boats (G 5 and D 3 type)
of the Baltic-fleet covered the landing on Narvi, also
attack the German T-boats T 30/T31. The German and
Finnish navy knew nothing from a Russian landing to Narvi,
the Russian navy had no idea of the German-Navy Operation
Drosselfang against the suspected landing Russian troops
on Koivusaari/Piisaari to this one. Finnish MTB’s also supposed
at Drosselfang been involved. The mystery is, from where the
many Russian torpedo cutters came so fast, which to have
attacked T 30/T 31?
Perhaps also Finnish books give the answer here?
Best regards
Klaus F.

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Rauli
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Post by Rauli » 01 Sep 2005 16:22

Hello Klaus!

You can find whole story what happened to T31 from Cajus Bekker´s Itämeri ja Suomenlahti 1944-45(Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland 1944-45). Because the author is German I´m certain that book has been published also in german.

Best regards,

Rauli

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 01 Sep 2005 21:55

Rauli when was the copyright on Bekkers book ? 1960's ? probably way out of print I suppose..........sad, materials like this need to be reprinted

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 01 Sep 2005 22:57

Erich wrote: when was the copyright on Bekkers book ? 1960's ? probably way out of print I suppose..........sad, materials like this need to be reprinted
The Finnish version 1960 and the original, Ostsee, deutches Schicksal 1944/45 1959
But I believe Klaus has read it.
The best Finnish books about this Operation I've read are the:
Laivat Puuta, Miehet Rautaa (Wooden boats, Men of Iron) by O. Peuranheimo, J. Pirhonen and K. Killinen
Meririntama ( Sea Front) by Per-Olof Ekman

Just re-reading them

Regards, Juha

Klaus F.
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Drosselfang

Post by Klaus F. » 04 Sep 2005 16:05

Hello together,
many thanks for the reply’s.
I know this book from Cajus Bekker. The first-edition (1959) of his book was different to the following Books (Section: Shipwreked german Sailors and Russian Torpedo-Cutter Crews) Bekker have not the Original-Kriegsmarine Documents of disposal. I`m lucky, by my research were all German Documents in Freiburg/Military-archives. The English and Russian Government gives the analyzed Documents back to Germany. Bekker writes often like a Novel, to be absent him the Kriegsmarine-documents. The Finnish Book Laivat Puuta, Miehet Rautaa report from a securing-operation of the 1. Finnish. MTB-Flotilla by Seiskaari, and the 2. MTB-Flotilla was by a convoy-operation on the coast. With german Navy-Units? Drosselfang? In the Book Meririntama is writing from the rescue-action of the Taisto-class boats, 3 miles north from Narvi. Nobody tells from where (what a mission) the Finnish MTB’s comes. German sources in Freiburg do not tell the co-operation from the German- and Finnish Navy in this time and this command-sector. The combat-report from T 30, (KptLt Buch) tells unequivocal from the co-operation with Finnish MTB’s. Many sources, many questions.
Regards, Klaus

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Drosselfang

Post by Juha Tompuri » 07 Sep 2005 22:09

Hi Klaus,

I'm still reading (and trying to understand) about the backgrounds at the Operation Drosselfang from Finnish point of view.
Here some short replies as a start:

Klaus F. wrote:The Finnish Book Laivat Puuta, Miehet Rautaa report from a securing-operation of the 1. Finnish. MTB-Flotilla by Seiskaari, and the 2. MTB-Flotilla was by a convoy-operation on the coast. With german Navy-Units? Drosselfang?
According to that book the 1st Finnish MTB-Flotilla was where you mentioned securing the mine laying operation Pistin 5 (pistin = bayonet, JT ) of Finnish minelayer Ruotsinsalmi at West of Tiurinsaari (saari = island, JT). The 2nd Finnish MTB-Flotilla was at convoy escort duty (evacuation convoy from Viborg Bay) with Finnish auxillary gunboat Aunus (her sistership, Viena and some German M-boats ought to have been there too, but they were trapped by Soviet aerial mining at the Pitkäpaasi archipelago.

In the Book Meririntama is writing from the rescue-action of the Taisto-class boats, 3 miles north from Narvi. Nobody tells from where (what a mission) the Finnish MTB’s comes.
The Finnish 1st MTB-Flotilla was the only user of the Taisto-class boats, (A sidenote, of the three authors of the Laivat Puuta... O. Peuranheimo was 1944 the commander of the MTB units of Finland and J. Pirhonen the commander of the 1st MTB-Flotilla.) so they came from the securing operation.
German sources in Freiburg do not tell the co-operation from the German- and Finnish Navy in this time and this command-sector. The combat-report from T 30, (KptLt Buch) tells unequivocal from the co-operation with Finnish MTB’s. Many sources, many questions.
There was a Finnish liaison officer Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant) Herlevi (an MTB officer) onboard T 30.

Regards, Juha

P.S. Klaus, what kind of info about Niobe do you have from German sources?
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Harri
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Post by Harri » 08 Sep 2005 18:27

Just a note:

There were two "O. Peuranheimo"s in the Finnish Navy. In 1944 Lt.Cmd Olavi Peuranheimo commanded "2. Vartiomoottorivenelaivue" (2.Vmv.Lv.) (2nd Motor Lauch Squadron) which belonged to "Kevyt laivasto-osasto" (Kev.LOs.)
(Light Naval Detachment). He was moved to other duties already on 19.6.1944 but I don't know where (staff duties?).

Cmd. Orvo Peuranheimo was the Commander of "Moottoritorpedoveneosasto" (Mtv.Os.) (Motor Torpedo Boat Detachment) which had two MTB Flotillas led by Lt.Cmd. J. Pirhonen (1.Mtv.Lv.) and Lt.Cmd. K. Kajatsalo (2.Mtv.Lv.):
1.Mtv.Lv.
I/1.Mtv.Lv. [Moottoritorpedovene (Mtv.) (MTB) Taisto 1 - 6]
II/1.Mtv.Lv. [Mtv. Viima 1 - 3]
2.Mtv.Lv.
I/2.Mtv.Lv. [Mtv. Jymy 1 - 4]
II/2.Mtv.Lv. [Mtv. Hurja 1 - 4]

Are the leaders (1942 - 1944) of MTB Groups (?) mentioned in any book? (Flotilla Chief probably led another group?)

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Post by Klaus F. » 11 Sep 2005 13:45

Hello Juha
many thanks for your answer and the pictures. I knew the picture of the little island of Narvi not.
The photo of T 30 is known to me however with another description.
My Niobe sources are: Schön, Baltic Sea 1945,
Gröner, the German warships 1815-1945.
Further details on the Internet: http://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/44-07.htm as well as in the Google search machine under > Flak-Kreuzer Niobe <. You know nevertheless these information all already, as I could see from the outstanding information of you in the forum.
What a pity! that I can contribute nothing new to the Niobe.
The details on the two Finnish flotillas are giving me an insight, which one, now tasks the MTB this night had. So no escort was provided for T 30 and T 31. Also the other German navy units of
Drosselfang (MFP’s and R-boats/M-boats) without a necessary MTB escort were. At the rescue of the shipwrecked sailors of T 31 were so both flotillas involved. German reports talk about some Finnish boats which saved the German sailors and other Finnish boats which put the Russian cutters to escape. Can one notice to which flotilla the rescuers belonged and who the fighting boats were?
The comradely and friendly treatment of the wounded German sailors by the Finnish MTB crews is very praised from a German side, and by the medical-personal on the hospital ship Seagull II (sea seagull) later Suuri-Musta (proximity Kuutsalo/Kotka). I also miss this report of in the Freiburg-files. Are there Finnish sources about this process? A personal-record/photo of Heikki J. Herlevi, the liaison officer on board T 30, to exist? He also was there when T 30 got and sank to a minefield.

Hi Harry,
a good and detailed list of the Finnish MTB flotillas. This matches well for my Drosselfang inquiries. Boats were the Taisto class Italian Origin, but also Russian G 5 and D 3 types could be found in the flotillas, or am I mistaken there?

Best regards to everyone

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 11 Sep 2005 18:24

Klaus F. wrote:Hi Harry,
a good and detailed list of the Finnish MTB flotillas. This matches well for my Drosselfang inquiries. Boats were the Taisto class Italian Origin, but also Russian G 5 and D 3 types could be found in the flotillas, or am I mistaken there?


Hello Klaus!

About the Finnish MTBs in use in the summer 1944:

Viima Class, captured Soviet MTBs. I think these are the Soviet boats you mean?
Viima 1 (ex TK 141)
Viima 2 (ex TK 64)
Viima 3 (ex ?)
(also known as V 1 - V 3)

Launched in 1938. Displacement 16 tons. Max speed 50 kts.
Armament: 1 - 12.7 mm HMG, torpedoes 2 - 533 mm, 4 mines

There was yet another captured Soviet MTB "Vasama" (ex TK 52) launched in 1935. It although didn't belong to "Motor Torpedo Boat Detachment" but "I Group / 2nd Motor Lauch Squadron" (I/2. Vartiomoottorivenelaivue, I/2.Vmv.Lv.) because it was considered more a fast motor gun boat in Finland. It was larger (displacement 35 tons) than other MTBs but although very fast (34 kts). Armament: 1 - 20 mm AA gun, 2 - 12.7 mm HMG and torpedoes 2 - 450 mm which could be replaced with 1 - 40 Bofors AA gun.

Jymy Class, the same Italian MTBs which operatad on Lake Ladoga in the summer and autumn 1942. Bought by the Finnish Navy in spring 1943.
Jylhä (ex MAS 526)
Jyry (ex MAS 527)
Jyske (ex MAS 528)
Jymy (ex MAS 529)
(later Jymy 1 - Jymy 4)

Launched in 1939. Displacement 22 tons. Max speed 42 kts.
Armament: 1 - 20 mm AA gun, 1 - 12.7 mm HMG, torpedoes 2 - 450 mm

Hurja Class, Italian MTBs arrived in Finland in 1943.
Hyöky, Hirmu, Hurja, Hyrsky, Häijy
(later Hurja 1 - Hurja 5)

Launched in 1941(?). Displacement 20 tons. Max speed 36 kts.
Armament: 1 - 20 mm AA gun, torpedoes 2 - 450 mm, 2 mines
Hurja 5 was destroyed in an air raid against a shipyard on 26.2.1944.

Taisto Class, Finnish made MTBs
Tarmo, Taisto, Tyrsky, Tuima, Tuisku, Tuuli
(later Taisto 1 - Taisto 6)

Launched in 1943. Displacement 22 tons. Max speed 48 kts.
Armament: 1 - 20 mm AA gun, torpedoes 2 - 450 mm
Taisto 1 was sunk on 26.6.1944 by the bombs of a Soviet aircraft

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Post by Klaus F. » 14 Sep 2005 21:34

Hello together,
a good friend found in Russian sources from the Finnish navy captured Ships.
It was:
TK 52, (D 3 class), capt. 23.10.1941, Finnish „Vasama“, back to SU: September 1944.
TK 141, (G 5 class), capt. Nov. 1941, Finnish “Vihuri”, back to SU: September 1944.
TK 64, (G 5 class), capt. Nov. 1941, Finnish “Viima”, back to SU: September 1944.
TK 51, (G 5 class), capt. 17.06.1944, Finnish “V 3”, back to SU: September 1944.
>Panzermotorboot<, Nr. 215 (Russian class 1125), Finnish “VTV 1” capt. August 1941,
Vyborg-Bay, to Lake-Onega, back to SU: September 1944.
Sorry, > Panzermotorboot< I can’t translate! I think all know what I mean.

The 1st. Finnish-MTB-Flotilla: 6 “Taisto”- class boats, and “Vihuri” and “Viima” both G 5-types,
this Flotilla saved the German sailors. My information, from different German files.
Correct or not? I don’t know! Its confused, this much different statements.
The same is with losses of torpedo-cutters (Russian-MTB’s). The German combat-report
from T 30 and T 31 declare 8 or 9 cutters to sinking, and several bad damaged. Russian
war-reports: only damaged boats, some wounded Russian sailors. The German boats to have
almost the whole ammunition consumed by the fight. Without a full-hit! Strange!
Many questions to the German navy-operation >Drosselfang< over 60 years after.
Regards, Klaus

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Post by Klaus F. » 15 Sep 2005 13:47

To Harri...
sorry, I forget > many thanks for the excellence list of Finnish MTB-Flotillas <
Best regards
Klaus

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Baltic Sea, 19./20. June 1944 Operation Drosselfang

Post by Juha Tompuri » 15 Sep 2005 23:28

Hi Klaus,

Klaus F. wrote: I would like to ask for that incident: eastern Baltic Sea, June 1944 - connections between the Russian invasion to the small island Narvi, and the German navy operation "Drosselfang" that was directed towards the presumed invasion of Russian troops on Koivusaari and Piisaari?
There well might have been a connection as both the Soviet occupy of Narvi and the "Droselfang" took place during the same night if I'm understood correctly.
The operation "Drosselfang" was launched because Finns found out about a Soviet convoy possibly on their way to the Koivisto islands you mentioned.

My uncle was crew member on the German fleet torpedo boat "T 31", and came during this operation in the night of the 19./20. June in 1944 by the sinking of his boat after the attack of Russian torpedo cutters to death. Since longer time I search for details for this incident.
My grandfather served as a NCO at the Kotka AAA command at that time T 31 left the city (Mussalo harbour) to her final cruise.

Is my supposition, the torpedo Boats (G 5 and D 3 type)
of the Baltic-fleet covered the landing on Narvi, also
attack the German T-boats T 30/T31.
That's what I think too.
Bekker and Ekman also mention Soviet Moskva-class auxilary gunboat there and the T 30 and T 31 duelling with it. Wha I tend to believe is that the Soviet MTB's were the covering force of their Narvi landing, and they had slipped (earlier?) "behind" the Finnish covering MTB's.

The German and Finnish navy knew nothing from a Russian landing to Narvi,
the Russian navy had no idea of the German-Navy Operation
Drosselfang against the suspected landing Russian troops
on Koivusaari/Piisaari to this one.
Highly possible (if I remember right it was not until 22th of June a German M-boat saw Soviets supplying Narvi garrison and some Soviet fortification work there)

Finnish MTB’s also supposed
at Drosselfang been involved. The mystery is, from where the
many Russian torpedo cutters came so fast, which to have
attacked T 30/T 31?
See an earlier "answer"

So no escort was provided for T 30 and T 31
True. only the securing 1st Finnish MTB-Flotilla off Seiskari.

At the rescue of the shipwrecked sailors of T 31 were so both flotillas involved. German reports talk about some Finnish boats which saved the German sailors and other Finnish boats which put the Russian cutters to escape. Can one notice to which flotilla the rescuers belonged and who the fighting boats were?
According to the Peuranheimo etc. The 1st Finnish MTB-Flotilla saw the German ships on their way to East being at combat with Soviet MO-boats, then 2300 o'clock they saw Soviet MTB's laying smoke screen and trying to aproach the Germann ships travelling to West. According to that book it were the Taisto (1st Flotilla) boats that at that moment forced the Soviets to withdraw. 2358 o'clock the Flotilla noticed an explosion North of Narvi.
The explosion was also noticed from Seiskari Island and they radioed a message around midnight: Torpedohit, Soviet That was a bit confusing, as it was thought that a Soviet ship had been hit. Only after nearly two hours it was understood what had happend, and both the Finnish MTB-Flotillas were sent to help. 1st Flotilla found the survivors 0200 o'clock and by 0220 o'clock 86 oil covered, slipery survivors (including the captain Peter Pirkham) were rescued (23 of them wounded). The wounded were taken to hospital ship Seagull II at Suur-Musta as you mentioned earlier.

Regards, Juha

P.S. Have you seen this source of info about Finnish navy (MTB's)? :
http://users.tkk.fi/~jaromaa/Navygallery/

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Post by RoW » 16 Sep 2005 11:51

I have detailed bilateral description of this battle on Russian from:
1)Торпедные катера серии Г-5. Борис Соломонов, Константин Кулагин. Армада. (MTB of G-5 class. Boris Solomonov, Konstantin Kulagin. Armada.)
2) I.E.Komarov"s article - http://rkkf.vif2.ru/kater.htm

For occupation of Nerva was formed intensified landing company with 3-gun battery of 45-mm guns. These forces were transported under cover of patrol-group from 2-turret armoured boats of "163" project, MO boats, OD-200 patrol-boats (ex-MTB of D-3 class), minesweepers (group under command of Capt. 1st rank E.V. Guskov) and division of MTB (14 MTBs, their names you can find here - http://www.warsailors.com/phorum/read.p ... eply_16515 , 3 sections under command of Capt.-Lieut. B.P.Uschev, Capt.-Lieut. I.S.Ivanov and Capt. 3rd rank V.I.Tihonov under common command of Capt. 2nd rank S.A.Osipov). At 23.00 19.06.44 near shallow Srednyaya, North of Guskov's patrol-boats, were detected 2 unknown ships which were classified as destroyers. Guskov on his boat MO-106 and other boats of group shortened the distance. Obviously topedo-boats T-30 and T-31 perceived it as attempt of torpedo attack (earlier torpedo-boats already had contact with 2 Soviet MTBs near Lavensaari). They completed a turn and opened defensive fire. Thanks to superiority in artillery during following skirmish T-30 and T-31 damaged MO-106 (commander of patrol-boat section M.V.Kapralov was wounded), armoured boats MBK-503 and MBK-506 without any harm for themselves. Guskov asked Osipov about support. Osipov have given an order for Uschev's section (TK-53, TK-63, TK-153) - attack enemy ships. But defensive fire from torpedo-boats again was effective - all 3 MTBs were damaged, especially seriously TK-63 which was only who fired torpedoes (miss) - she had 3 direct hits of shells, flooded engine room, damaged engines and tanks. After these events Osipov have given the same order for Tihonov's section (TK-41, TK-101, TK-103, TK-111). But again attack was reflected even without torpedo launching, TK-101 and TK-103 were damaged. Torpedo-boats withdrew, but approx. in one hour at 00.00 they appeared again. Osipov ordered to gather all MTBs which weren't seriously damaged, to place a smoke screen and attack from two directions. Smoke screen and light mist lowered accuracy of german fire, torpedo-boats lost each other. TK-37 (Sen.Lieut. Toronenko) and TK-60 (Lieut. Bushuev) fired torpedoes, T-31 had 2 torpedo hits and swiftly sank. 76 german sailors died, 6 were rescued by MO-402, 86 were rescued by finnish forces.

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