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Soviet Naval Battles - Baltic Sea during WW2 (updated 2022)

Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 05 Oct 2013, 15:41
The naval warfare on the Eastern Front during the WW2 (Great Patriotic War) was the largest conflict involving the Soviet Navy and without doubt it was the greatest naval war ever faced by a socialist or communist nation. In five years of warfare (excluding preliminary conflicts like the Winter War), the Soviet Navy endured times of sacrifice and losses, fighting against a formidable foe and writing bloody and glorious pages of naval war history poorly known in the western world.
Decades after the end of the war, destruction and confidentiality of documents make numerous details still unknown, it is only after modern-day researches of authors that a number of false myths and wrong claims (committed by all sources, post-war) receive a neutral assessment.
Contrary to the popular western belief that the naval warfare played no real part in the war, the Soviet Navy engaged in specific operations in the different areas of competence of the Fleets (Baltic, Black Sea, Northern, Pacific, and other Flotillas).
During the decade before the war, the Soviet Navy initiated large programs of expansion with a number of warships entering service (including cruisers and destroyers): such plans not completed in time, and by the time of the Nazi invasion, the shipbuilding programs stalled or diverted to wartime emergency plans.
The Soviet leadership, wisely realized how the submarine warfare was a key of strategic success and despite all classes of warships increased in numbers, submarines received a peculiar attention (with over 200 submarines in 1941!).

The Soviet Baltic Fleet was on paper the most powerful fleet of the Navy at the beginning of the conflict. Interestingly, the Kriegsmarine operated only small crafts and coastal submarines during the first operations in 1941 (the Soviet Navy feared a much larger naval presence on sea). Naval warfare was somewhat similar to the WWI and it constituted in massive operations of mine laying on both sides resulting in heavy losses to the Soviet Navy. Attempts to operate destroyers to interdict convoys in the Gulf of Riga resulted in failures due constant overestimation of enemy (resulting in excessive caution and long-rage firing).
The subsequent evacuations of Tallinn and Hanko resulted in heavy losses for the Soviet Navy, due enemy minefields, and marked the end of conventional major operations attempts. Enemy forces paid the lesson at their own price (with loss of the Finnish coastal battleship Ilmarinen).

This bloody beginning was not the end of the Soviet Baltic Fleet: when Germans realized the Soviets had no plans to evacuate the ships to neutral Sweden, Luftwaffe was tasked with the destruction with a series of assaults in Kronstadt and Leningrad. Further losses did not eliminated the threat posed by Soviet guns, and the major ships of the Fleet are credited with playing a significant role in fending of the first German assault on Leningrad in fall 1941 (it is believed to be only serious German attempt to conquer the city, the failure initiated the long siege).

In the following years, the major ships of the Fleet remained in harbor (while providing support during the Leningrad Siege), and submarines become the main offensive mean of the Navy while Axis forces extensively mined the Gulf of Finland. Soviet small crafts saw increased actions with time, both laying offensive minefields and committing motor torpedo boat raids. The offensives against German-Finnish forces in 1944 included the peak of this warfare: attempts by the Kriegsmarine to operate larger ships (Elbing class “fleet torpedo boats”) resulted in one loss due Soviet motor torpedo boats and three losses due own minefield. The Soviet Navy further refined their small crafts operations with a final raid 1945, damaging a destroyer.

NOTE: This page focus on Soviet surface actions against enemy targets and the general offensive and defensive activity of Soviet ships.
It include enemy surface action against Soviet civilian ships/boats, but does not include enemy submarine actions (represented on this page viewtopic.php?f=149&t=55253) or mines laid by enemy surface actions (the latter was predominately used in Baltic, as containment tactic by enemy).

This article is a cross work of multiple sources, including direct contacts on and with modern-day Russian authors. Significant German sources also are and Good (but including also mistakes in assessing the Soviet actions), is the Finnish site
The database Navypedia is also a good source, even if contain some mistakes or lack details and fate of vessels.
A top modern source figure for the Baltic operations is the modern Russian author Miroslav Morozov.
Personal research on this page include use of original sources fully available online: “War Diary – German Naval Staff Operations Divisions” translated in English by the US Navy (sadly not all documents survived the war).
Similar Soviet, German, Finnish and British documents are studied by Russian sources of and they constitute (being primary source) a more realistic source compared to earlier Soviet, German and western books wrote in ‘80s.




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. The submarine was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner. ShCh-324 sunk in 1941 due mine without having directly sunk a enemy ship.

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.

Battles during the GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR:

The following list doesn't include ALL the small skirmish, many of them (especially the ones without damage or casualties) are not mentioned. Only the most relevant enemy sunk by minefields laid by soviet warships are reported, many are still unclear events of difficult attribution.


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 also 100 (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 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. 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 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.
Storozhevoyi was the largest Soviet warships ever hit by German MTB.

Photo of the repaired destroyer. Despite the huge damages, the ship showed great resistance did not sunk. The ship repaired and returned in service in 1943 with a new forward turret.

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 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).

Photo of the Marti. It was the largest and most powerful soviet minelayer.

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 destroyer 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!

Loss of Smelyi represent the largest Soviet warship sunk in direct surface confrontation with Kriegsmarine and the best success scored by S-boat against a Soviet vessel.

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. The 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.
The Artem was a veteran of the Russian Civil War (and known at the time as "Azard"). During that war, she sunk the British submarine L-55 with gunfire (later recovered by Soviets).

Photo of the SAT-1 Ost, armed with a main gun of 150mm and smaller weapons.

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.

Photo of leader destroyer Leningrad in 1944

2 September 1941
Soviet MTB 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 enemy Operation Nordwind.
A large 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 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.

(photo of Tsikoln)
The soviet torpedo boats never really used for the original role due poor quality (rated as “Guard Boats” by Soviet Navy) and stability during bad weather. Still they provided the Soviet Navy with one of their most important victories as minelayers.

The Finnish designed such coastal battleships (or coastal defense ships) as other Nordic countries: smaller and stubby warships that could easily navigate and hide within the complicated mass of islands and inlets found in the Finnish Archipelago, but armed with 254mm main guns. More than enough to deal with the larger soviet cruisers of the time (Kirov and Maxim Gorkyi, in Baltic).

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.

Battleship Marat claimed three “Stuka” that day, one of them is a confirmed victory (the only full victory achieved by a Soviet battleship during the war).

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 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.
Battleship Marat suffered extensive damages during the attack, but was not completely took out of action, and remained operative as floating battery. While the loss of Marat was reasonably praised by German propaganda in truth the ship was only partially sunk. Having two (later three) operative main turrets she was actively used to shell German position in subsequent phases of Leningrad Siege (albeit stationary).

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).

This victory of cruiser Kirov was particularly important because likely prevent the loss of the ship and killed a skilled German pilot.

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.

Battleship Oktyabrsaya Revolyutsiya escaped her sister-ship fate.

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).

Photo of the minelayer.

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 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.

Photo of cruiser Leipzig before the war.

30 September 1941
Finnish motor torpedo boats Nuoli and Sisu made a daring raid in the Soviet Suursaari harbor.
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.

A rare friendly fire incident with Soviet destroyer resulting in the direct sinking of another Soviet boat.
Last edited by 1redItalian on 28 Jun 2022, 09:57, edited 98 times in total.
Reason: minor corrections
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 09 Oct 2013, 15:54

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, 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).

Photo of Uusimaa. The successful use of Finnish gunboats caused heavy losses to the motor torpedo boat, used as landing boats and vulnerable to the violent Finnish attack.
All sides dispatched reinforcement for the battle: Soviet Navy sent gunboat Kama and the enemy 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 Routsinsalmi, 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 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.

The temporary loss of the heavily armed gunboat represented the peak of Finnish MTB’s successes: Krasnoye Znamya was armed with five 130mm guns.
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 15 Oct 2013, 17:37

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.

Soviet painting of the last stand of the submarine: the submarine's crew honored for the behavior in fight.

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.

Soviet painting of the battle, with the MTB Raju claimed sunk in the engagement. Nowadays it is clear no vessel sunk during this battle but the Soviet boats escaped from the enemy superior numbers and damaged the flagship.

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.

Both SKA-172 and SKA-182 were former motor torpedo boats of D-3 class converted aspatrol boats.

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 enemy 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.

Photo of the minelayer. Her sinking was an effective revenge for the sinking of Krasnoye Znamya. The Riilahti was the largest Finnish warship sunk by Soviet MTB

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.

A boat of the slightly larger KM-4 class on the left of the photo.

6 September 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-14, TK-44, TK-76 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.

Photo of preserved Tyrsky, of Taisto-class: the most advanced (entered service in 1943) Finnish motor torpedo boats, built in Finland after Italian design.

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.
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 24 Oct 2013, 15:20

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).

Painting of MO-302 from

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).

German minesweepers of "1935" series (as M-37) could deal with enemy boats very well: Soviet Navy lost a number of MTBs against them because of their main 105mm gun.

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 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.

Painting of the battle (wrongly portray T-31 with two guns in frontal position). During one of the most important and large naval battles of Baltic, the Soviets used a number of boats and crafts of different type, making many efforts to attack the large and powerful torpedo boat (destroyer-sized) of Elbing class, resulting in the sinking of the T-31 and the failure of the German operation. It was also the first of two German attempts to operate large ships in the Bay of Vyborg.

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, Finland 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.

Photo of gunboat Turunmaa. The clash ended with a soviet success thanks the air superiority.

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).

It was the only confirmed sinking of enemy submarine with depth charges in Baltic (and according the modern evaluation, one of the two ones achieved by Soviets in the whole conflict).

Photo of the raised wreck of U-250: the sinking provided valuable information to the Soviet Navy.

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.

Photo of T-30. 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.

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).

Photo of an AF-type craft (one of the multiple MFP boats converted as gunboats). The actions off Sorve Cape resulted in a series of accidental grounding and collisions on both sides.

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.

Painting of the Soviet gunboats (like Zeya): the backbone of a number of medium size operations in Baltic and Ladoga Lake, taking part in some battles (taking place of larger destroyers, too vulnerable to mines and air attacks). Ironically the hulls built before the war in Germany: the Soviet Navy then converted them in gunboats.

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.

The project161 (also known as MBK) developed and realized during the war in besieged Leningrad, to provide larger and more armed version of projects 1125/1124 concept. This battle was their peak of success, defeating stronger and larger enemies.

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.

Modern German destroyers of 1936B class.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Post 25 Oct 2013, 14:13
Interesting, thanks.
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 25 Oct 2013, 18:31
Interesting, thanks.

Thank you for leaving a comment ^^
BTW every kind of question, curiosity for details etc... it's very welcome.
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 05 Mar 2014, 16:48

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).

Photo of a type35 torpedo boat. The submarine L-21 later avenged S-4, because the torpedo boat T-3 sunk together the sister-ship T-5 on L-21's minefield. Before her loss, S-4 collected 2 victories (both sinking).

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.

Photo of sister-ship T-366. Soviet minesweepers of MT class designed and built in Leningrad during the war.

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.

Photo of S-81. German Schnellboote of large size compared to Soviet D-3 class.

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.

Painting of the attack

Photo of destroyer Z-34. A modern and late-production destroyer, she was larger and more heavily armed than most of Allied destroyer.

Photo of TK-131. After the war it will be mass-produced (as project123K) and scored victories against the Kuomintang Navy (including a former American escort destroyer sunk) in the last phase of the Chinese Civil War. TK-131 has been preserved as a memorial.

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.

Photo of BK-204 of 1125 class.

21 April 1945
Soviet motor torpedo boats, including TK-55, (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.

Photo of the Emili Sauber: she was the only enemy merchant sunk by a Soviet MTB in Baltic Sea.

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 sunk on its own due overloading. This first group of Soviet boats carried 800 POWs in total to Ventspils.

Photo of a D-3 boat converted as sub.chaser.

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.

Photo of a BMO-class (officially project194) submarine chaser. The last day of war gifted the Soviet Navy a rare surface victory, sinking hostile vessels.

Close Libau, motor torpedo boats TK-141 (new modern Komsomolets type) 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.

Photo of TK-125 of G-5 class.

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. Interestingly the last three Soviet boats of the group were formerly part of Black Sea Fleet.

Photo of TK-333 and TK-334.

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 Soviet 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).

DISCLAIMER: Even if this work is fruit of a passionate effort, it was produced out of amateur hobby interest and may include sporadic errors (especially for some events with unclear date). Partial or full reproduction/translation, with credits to this site, is allowed for no-profit interest in other forum, sites etc.

However, it is suggested to pay attention to updates or corrections that may occur even years after the original publication
Any kind of suggestion, correction, question is welcome through private message: you are free to contact the author on forum even after years since the last update.
Soviet cogitations: 1
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 31 Mar 2015, 03:03
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 31 Mar 2015, 19:32
This is an amazing report, may I ask your sources please? I'm going to write an article about Italian MAS on Ladoga lake with the real facts explained and I'd like to give some precise sources.

Best regards

Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 19 Apr 2015, 22:09

90% of works came from. ... +German%22
The original Kriegsmarine war diaries translated in english.

Most of works has been done thanks long discussion from this forum: ... &start=645
There are 44 pages of debate, with multiple links to different sources.

Finnish users contributed providing original finnish war diaries.

Russian users contributed providing checks with "Chronicles of Great patriotic war". That's an huge russian encyclopedia.

Much more material came from
That has scores of discussions, and a number of russian authors provides direct question&answers with original documents and sources.
(the best and most famous there is Miroslav Morozov - aka "Botik Petra Velikogo".

I am italian myself, regarding the MAS actions on Ladoga Lake, i've wrote more detailed reports here on an italian site: ... topic=2421 ... topic=3839

Regarding the Lagoda Lake, the 4 main naval skirmishes that in most sites just copy very old and unproved italian (fascist) claims, in the end the MAS torpedoed or sunk nothing: Ladoga Lake isn't suited for torpedo attacks especially close the coast due shallow waters and torpedoes exploded underwater.
Additionally to the night hour of the attacks and the usual behavior of making overclaims (made by all the Navies), it resulted in the old mistakes.

In the end the MAS activity in the lake resulted in 2 own units damanged-in-action, causing only 1 Soviet gunboat lightly damaged (one wounded) in the first action.

You can also see the fate of all the Bira-class gunboats here (Italian sources claimed one sunk in action, but never occurred).

You could also find interesting the page about the Black Sea actions only by italians: ... 2413&st=40
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 02 Mar 2016, 11:21
Added at beginning of 1942 brief list of enemy ships lost by mines laid by Soviet motor torpedo boats in Gulf of Finland.
Almost impossible to identify the minelayer-boats (multiple missions, overlapping fields, etc...)
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 02 Jan 2017, 21:03
Updated with small section for victims of Soviet mines laid in Gulf of Finland during summer 1943.
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 18 Nov 2017, 11:55
Updates some minor successes scored with mines on 1941 and 1944. Few corrections.
Updated two naval actions in late 1945.
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 17 Mar 2018, 10:36
Edited the Soviet composition of forces for the Battle of Viipuri Bay and II Battle of Sorve (both in 1944).
I should also remind that the action on 6 May 1945 received a big edit, previously.
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 21 May 2018, 13:05
UPDATES: Some important one. Refined some details of Battle of Suho (1942).
Added few successful confirmed Soviet surface attacks in Ilmen Lake (September 1943) with seizure of fishing boats.
Added entry for loss of U-boat U-479 (last entry for 1944 section): discovery of wreck indicate possible Soviet mine as cause (old Marti mines or drifting).
Fixed entry for loss of U-boat U-679 (early 1945 section): discovery of wreck indicate possible Soviet mine as cause (on lines of newly laid fields by MT-class): previously believed sunk by a submarine chaser MO-4 type.
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 20 Nov 2019, 19:26
1) Inserted main WW2 intro and specific Baltic intro.
2) Added sources
3) Winter War action: most confirmed Finnish sources identify the motorboat sunk on 30/Nov/1939 as AV-114 (fixed number) and NOT as AV-45
4) Winter War action: added reported encounter with Finnish sub. Vetehinen (only by Finnish source)
5) Winter War action: added submarine encounter with self-sinking of Finnish ship Aura-II
6) Winter War action: added the only attempted gunfire-battle by Finnish action (no hits on both sides).
7) Sinking of Soviet destroyer Smelyi (27 June 1941). Fully detailed and explained. While many sources indicate the past Soviet description as mine loss, the Germans claimed a direct S-boats attack, and the Soviet ship simply missed to observe the enemy. It is de facto the largest and most powerful (and only destroyer) sunk by direct enemy surface action (MTB torpedo attack) during WW2
8 ) Friendly-fire sinking occurred during Hanko Evacuation (3 November 1941), when Soviet destroyer Slavnyi accidentally sunk MO-112
9) Strelna Raid on 5 October 1943: the only known and confirmed Soviet frogmen special operation offensive raid during WW2!
10) Correction: on 1/Aug/44 it was SKA-082 that engaged the submarine alongside SKA-103
11) Added info over the enemy POWs captured on 18/Aug/44 after the accidental sinking of three Elbing-class torpedo boats on own mines.
12) Cape Sorve Actions!: currently data allow the identification of three separate days of fights between medium and small-sized units
Battles occurred on 18, 19 and 21 November 1944, with multiple units suffering damages and grounding incidents on both sides.
13) Fate of submarine S-4 confirmed: loss by ramming from German torpedo boat T-3: discovery of wreck allow to dismiss the alternate option of similar T-33's claim.
14) Added a rare friendly-fire committed by Germans: own S-boats torpedoed and sunk by accident a German merchant on 10/April/1945
15) Re-work and updates of the clashes occurred on 26 April 1945 off Pillau: recent-years researches and works of Russian authors indicate the sinking of two ex-civilian local barges by unidentified Soviet small gunboats (research still in progress)

16) Extensive re-work of Soviet actions on Victory Day! While this was the last day of war, each German attempt to flee the harbors of the Soviet-controlled side of the Baltic (escaping to German and Sweden) was a violation of the German Instrument of Surrender multiple targets described in text (both seized or sunk!).

Anti-Air war:
Anti-air shooting down: Ju-88 on 23 Jun 1941;
recce aircraft on 23 Aug 1941 on Prangli Island;
sub-section of anti-air successes during the Tallinn Evacuation (1 Ju-88 shot down, 1 He-111 damaged)
Series of anti-air successed during the Bombings of Kronstadt Naval Base (from 16 September 1941)
Anti-air action with loss of two Soviet MTB by Finnish planes on 1 November 1941
Two full anti-air victories scored around Moshchny Island on late June/early July 1942 (including a Finnish Bristol Blenheim).
Other two unclear German air losses in early 1943

THESE INCLUDE: Peipus Lake actions (1941, 1944), Ladoga and Onega Lake Actions (1942), Ilmen Lake (1943) They will be detailed in their proper page.
Soviet cogitations: 354
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 17 Jun 2022, 22:42
1) On 22 June 1941: Added two soviet losses: trawler Shchuka and merchant Estonia by S-boats action.
2) Added more detailed description of outcome of 26 June 1941 asw action, as for potential identity of ships.
3) On 27 June 1941: correction 85 KIA
4) On minefields for 27 June 1941: couple of grammar fix (eliminated the term "will"). Added extra details (2 mines hit S-43) while S-106 sunk shortly after the first one, even if on different mines.
5) On the subsequent description of Marti's minefield a correction: "together the auxiliary minelayer Ural." (not "Uragan")
Also subsequent description of Gulf of Finland fields now have proper ships identified (destroyer Kalinin and auxiliary minelayer Ural) with additional mention to 1942 losses.
6) On 9/Sept/41, mine damage to R-58 caused by field laid by MO-4 boats
7) Added extra detail on 7/Jul/41 attack on Saukko (still attackers' identity remain unknown).
8 ) Eliminated the entry on 3/Jul/41: Vesikko did not receive damage at all during the attack.
9) Added extensive details on 21/Jul/41, including Soviet survivors escape from wreck.
10) During theBattle of Bengtskar the Soviet claim of sinking a "watchboat", no such info or loss on Finnish source. Still mentioned in case of future re-valuation (or possibility it was targeted some kind of rowboat).
11) Small fix on 27/Jul/41: two torpedo hits
12) Clarification for 5/August/41: MO-212 at the time named "PK-221"
13) 6/Aug/41 added clarification that damage on depot it's described by own German sources.
14) Reworked line on 24 August 41. The target shelled by Soviet warship isn't properly identified (and likely will never be): lack of data and confirmation made me to remove the bold/colored text, still is likely something was hit.
15) Added on 27/Jul/41 identity of the three other TK boats, also corrected name "Dite Kerner" (not "Diete Korner")
16)Evacuation of Tallinn: corrected name of schooner "Ata" (not "Atta") and added GRT. Added tonnage of "Paldinski". Added identity of VMV that captured the tugs, plus a description of sinking of "Ata" (sunk because crew returned fire and did not surrender)
17) On 13/Sept/41. Small fix "soviet naval successes" (not "success")
18) On 14/Sept/41. TK-104 was previously named TK-67 (not 65), also name of minesweeper corrected as "Luneburg"
19) On 27/Sept/41. added a line with the renamed numbers of the four TK involved in the attack (also specified that soviet literatured used the previous name)
20) NEW ENGAGEMENT: On 21/Oct/41 added (small skirmish).
21) Big overhaul of enemy losses on mines early 1942: first two previous claims (R-74 and MFP F-256) now currently re-assessed as mines from Axis fields. On the other hand, both UJ-1211 and UJ-1204 re-assigned on minefields laid by destroyer Kalinin and minelayer Ural in 2020!
22) Battle of Someri Island: added class of Soviet TKA on multiple boats engaged or lost in the battle. Correction for M-17 (she suffered 4 WIA, not KIA). Also hit on Nuoli described as light.
23) ADDITION: on 22/May/43. Another enemy plane lost around Moshchny Island, by enemy sources while attacking a convoy, but there are also two claims by Soviet fighters so seems more likely an air victory.
24) Battle of Seivasto. VMV-17 suffered only 1 KIA and 1 WIA
25) CORRECTION: mine damage on M-22 was on 15 September 1943, not August.
26) ADDITION: mine hit on 20 October 1943 Finnish minesweeping boat Muikku damaged
27) 17 July 1943: some corrections on the skirmish. No clear data actually speaking of real damage on Finnish boats, so the small line removed. MO-404 colored in red because she took some minor damage.
28) 6 September 1943: identified all classes of TKA
29) 7 September 1943: CORRECTION, Soviet barge named LTP-11 (not LPT)
30) 14 September 1943: identified class of TKA
31) 30 September 1943: removed line over damage on M-16 (no actual confirmed data)
32) 30 May 1944: inserted identity of all the four identified German minesweepers
33) 5 June 1944: according latest assessment of sinking of M-37, only TK-15, TK-45 and TK-65 share the victory (removed TK-35 and TK-55) also added their class, casualties on the German minesweeper, identified also class of TK-46, while her casualty list corrected (only 8 POW)
34) I Battle of Nerva Island: identified classes of all the different TKA composing the attack waves
35) 30 June 1944: identified classes of TKA
36) Battle fo Vyborg Bay: identified classes of TKA
37) Corrections for enemy losses on mines in August 1944: R-70 sunk on 11 August (not 10), while AF-50 is not anymore a full (bold-character) sinking victory: she was heavily damaged but beached without sinking
38) ADDITION: 1 September 1944: the mysterious loss of S-80 fully clarified only in 2021! added extensive description because she fell victom on a minefield laid by two very rare boats of the Baltic Fleat (both prototype TKA)
39) ADDITION: II Battle of Cape Sorve: Added in the middle of the text the loss of German landing craft AF-18 by Soviet planes. She sunk during the various engagement, actually from German documents there are interesting distress calls from her that describe even enemy attacking vessels but modern Russian researchers fully identify the victory as scored by planes.
40) ADDITION: Loss of German destroyers on 12 December 1944 previously not described (because caused by own field) however now it's added for its local importance and because Soviet boats captured many POWs from the wreck.
41) 18 February 1945: identified class of TKA
42) 18 March 1945: identified class of TKA
43) Important ADDITION!: Finally after some years of wait, German sources added some extra info and proper identification of two boats lost during a surface action with Soviet BKA on 16 April 1945! While details are still scarce and blurred, landing craft PiLB-554 and the assault boat StuBo-252 both reportedly hit by mines AND shelled by Soviet BKA with high casualties. It's also likely that both crafts entirely sunk by Soviet gunfire, with "mine loss" assessment being the older one in light of scarce own Soviet info.
44) CORRECTION: "Emili Sauber" actually torpedoed by TKA on 28 April 1945, while previous confirmed air damage occurred on 25 April, small fixes in last line according this new correction.
45) Important ADDITION!: While with even less details compared to the action on 16/April/1945, the attack carried by Soviet BKA on 26 April 1945 is also now fully confirmed by own German sources! Added a line that identify the group PiL group emplying the barge for the rescue/transport mission (still seems difficult more information will be revealed with lack of documents and data). Exact identity of the attacking BKA boats remains unclear even on Soviet data, however the large group of boats in the text is now properly identified in the two different classes (also identified class of TK-802).
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