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Soviet Naval Battles - Black Sea during WW2 (re-done)

POST REPLY
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 25 Nov 2013, 14:15
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 Black Sea Fleet was the predominant force in the Black Sea, effectively surpassing the constrained Baltic Fleet and the smaller Northern Fleet in terms of operations and strategic actions. Contrary to the popular western belief, the Romanian Navy was NOT the main opponent of the Baltic Fleet: while on paper, it possessed few destroyers and other combat ships, its capabilities extremely reduced by technical and maintenance issues in view of the German demands. The Kriegsmarine deployed in the Black Sea small combat crafts (S-boats) and submarines (U-boats of IIB class): such vessels represented the true offensive Axis naval asset, coordinated with a large flotilla of auxiliary submarine chasers, minesweeping boats (R-boats) and landing crafts (MFP and Siebel type) employed both as transports and as combat units.
Plans to increase numbers and combat capabilities of the Romanian Navy strongly reduced by German imposition to prioritize the maintenance of Kriegsmarine vessels. Another western myth of the Black Sea naval warfare focused on the Bulgarian Navy: Bulgaria was not official at war against the Soviet Union and its Navy was under complete German control, making no real action or activity apart sporadic patrol sailing without real encounters with Soviets.
The Italian contingent of small crafts (including midget submarines) played an interesting role: it suffered losses and scored far less successes than the Kriegsmarine, but the Soviet command was extremely anxious over the possibility to see larger “Regia Marina” warships sail in the Black Sea from the Mediterranean.
Despite some ineffective raids and minelaying operations in western Black Sea, the major units of the Fleet engaged in exhausting missions of delivering supplies and reinforcement (and shelling enemy ground targets). During the Siege of Odessa and the Siege of Sevastopol, the activity of the Fleet was essential to prolong the Soviet ground resistance and keeping busy (inflicting casualties) to the Axis Forces, slowing their advance toward the Volga.

During 1943, the Soviet Navy focused on the Kerch Strait area: the landing operations successfully gained a foothold on the peninsula, paving the way for the following year’s liberation of Crimea. Soviet small combatant crafts (escorting small supply convoys): engaged in countless of skirmishes with defensive Kriegsmarine patrols lines; their strategic goal achieved in securing one of the two beachheads, but also suffering heavy losses against the larger enemy boats. Participation of Soviet destroyers and cruisers stopped after the loss of three units by Luftwaffe: absence of major Soviet warships in the final enemy naval evacuation of Crimea likely prevented heavier losses to the enemy.

Differently from the Baltic and Northern Fleets, Soviet small crafts rarely committed offensive raids: interestingly, the Navy possessed only smaller G-5 motor torpedo boats with limited range (except a pair of prototypes that saw extensive use).


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=55252) or mines laid by enemy surface actions (the latter was predominately used in Baltic, as containment tactic by enemy).


Sources:
This article is a cross work of multiple sources, including direct contacts on axishistoryforum.com and tsushima.su with modern-day Russian authors. Significant German sources also are historisches-marinearchiv.de and wlb-stuttgart.de. Not very good as source (including some mistakes and outdated primary sources), is the Romanian site worldwar2.ro. Italian sources (blogs) are somewhat terrible for the same reason.
The database Navypedia is also a good source, even if contain some mistakes or lack details and fate of vessels.

Personal research on this page include use of original sources fully available online: British DEFE "Ultra" series documents, made available for reading by British government online only in recent years, including decoded German naval communications.
NOTE: The current work doesn't cover yet the reading of "Ultra" for Black Sea in 1941 - early 1942 !

Personal research on this page include use of original sources fully available online: “War Diary – German Naval Staff Operations Divisions” and the specific Black-Sea focused “War Diary of Admiral – Black Sea” 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 axishistoryforum.com and tsushima.su: they constitute (being primary source) a more realistic source compared to earlier Soviet, German and western books wrote in ‘80s.

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BLACK SEA

1941

26 June 1941
Battle of Constanta
In Black Sea, the Soviet Navy did not wait an enemy attack and the Soviet Navy sent a naval force against the main Romanian harbor.
Soviet cruiser Voroshilov sailed alongside leader destroyers Moskva and Kharkov, destroyers Soobrazitelnyi and Smyshlyonyi.
Only leader destroyers Moskva and Kharkov fired 350 shells of 130mm (35 volleys in 10 minutes) against land’s targets causing damages on train lines. Suddenly appeared the two Romanian destroyers NMS Regina Maria and NMS Marasti that started to fire against Kharkov and Moskva helped by a German coastal artillery of 280mm.
Under such combined fire Kharkov suffered damages by the German artillery; Romanian claimed to have hit the Kharkov (or the Moskva) but their gunfire’ range was too much short to effectively reach the Soviet warships. While Moskva and Kharkov moved away, suddenly the Moskva sunk on a defensive field of mines.
Kharkov joined the other ships, the only other damage of this battle was a splinter on the Voroshilov’s hull caused by the explosion of a mine against the Soobrazitelnyi‘s paravane (anti-mine shield).
Despite the loss of the Moskva, the raid had an impact on the Romanians and their four destroyers never tried again to face in battle the Soviet warships (or attacking Soviet convoys, while Soviet ships tried to carry this kind of operation at least 3 times).
This battle was the only destroyers vs destroyers engagement in Black Sea during the conflict: the Soviet side didn't reacted to the enemy fire (it seems that the two leader destroyers misidentified also the enemy destroyer's fire as coastal artillery's fire). Until today, it's generally considered that the Moskva was sunk by the mines, while the German coastal artillery was responsible of moderate damage on Kharkov and Romanian destroyers achieved nothing.
Participation of Romanian motor torpedo boats, while claimed by some Romanian sources is another mistake and they never committed attack against the Soviet units.Other theories like involvement of Soviet submarine ShCh-206 (either torpedoing Moskva in friendly-fire incident and/or being sunk by Soviet depth charges) are also completely mistaken. Commander of Moskva was POW: he later escaped and joined partisans but died in action.
Romanian propaganda claimed to have imparted a moral victory on Soviets, alluding to have made sure that Soviet main units could not operate again so close to their waters: this is actually false (following operations will kept on until 1942) while it's true the opposite because the Romanian navy never attempted again to use their destroyers against such soviet raids.
Image
Painting of the bombing
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Kharkov


7 July 1941
Soviet gunboats Krasnaya Gruziya and Krasnyy Adzharistan laid a field of mines southeast Odessa. They scored two important victories:
1 December 1941: was sunk the Romanian merchant Cavarna (3495 GRT) with a cargo of fuel.
2 December 1941: was sunk the German merchant Cordelia (1357 GRT) with a cargo of gasoline.
Both ships previously assigned to the field laid by Soviet destroyers Smyshlyonyy and Bodryy.

Next year (on 29 April 1942) German MFP F-130 struck an old soviet drifting mine, and beached with heavy damage (later recovered). Older sources claimed mine from submarine L-4, but while identity is uncertain, it wasn’t from the submarine.

Minelaying by small crafts on summer 1941:
Before leaving Danube estuary, soviet small gunboats (1125 class) laid mines.
On these mines laid sunk on 6 September 1941 the German minesweeping boats FR-5 and FR-6 (FR-5 later recovered).
After one year, on 28 August 1942, the Romanian tug Smardan sunk on one of such mine that survived minesweeping.
Another old mine at Berezan Island sunk the German lighter Zwettel on 24 September 1942 (laid by Soviet motor torpedo boats before retreat, or German airdropped).

Additionally, the German minesweeping boat FR-12 (same class of the other two) sunk on 11 October 1941, on a small field by Soviet schooner Chaika on 29 August.
Image

Photo of sister-ship FR-1. German-built riverine minesweepers.


23 July 1941
German bomber Ju-88 (Nr.3371 “9K+LM” from 4/KG-51) went missing on sea, her loss match with the claim made by Soviet merchant Novorossiysk (1351 GRT) sailing to Ochakov from Odessa, that reported an attack from three Ju-88 bombers and shooting down one. While not fully confirmed as a similar case in Arctic Sea, it could be the second instance of Soviet merchant ship shooting down an attacking plane.


13 August 1941
A Bf-109 fighter (Nr. 5896 "Schwarze 7" from II./JG.77) shot down by Soviet ships south of Ochakov. Pilot POW. As common for the early Black Sea operations in 1941, there is no clear Soviet claim by ships for this plane (while a number of false claims reported on the previous days).


20 August 1941
Romanians lost one Italian-designed SM-79 bomber. Soviet patrol boat SKA-0118 claim to have shot down a “dive bomber”, but also Soviet fighters claimed to have shot down a “Ju-88” (likely misidentification of the target).


22 August 1941
The German bomber Ju-88 (Nr.4370, I./KG51) crash landed in airport after combat damage.
Soviet cruiser Krasnyi Krym reported to have repelled enemy bombers over Odessa and it is possible the crashing is related to this defensive action. The cruiser previously attempted to bomb German ground forces but give up because poor visibility. She reached Odessa that day in company of destroyers Frunze and Dzerzhinskiy but anti-aircraft activity reported by cruiser only.
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First success for a Soviet cruiser in Black Sea.


14 September 1941
A Ju-88 bomber was shot down (Nr. 1132 9K + DD from Stab III./KG.51, crew KIA) while attacking a Soviet convoy coming out Odessa: shot-down by ship due absence of soviet fighters. A second Ju-88 bomber did not return from the attack (Nr. 1229 7A + KM from 4. (F) /Aufkl.Gr.121, crew MIA), possibly shot down, by the same ships. There is no clear Soviet report over claims against these bombers. There is a claim of a Ju-88 downed by the small Soviet patrol boat SK-117 (later renamed SKA-0117; a KM-2 class), possibly shot down a diving plane but responsibility is not confirmed because she was armed with a single machinegun.


18 September 1941
Close Odessa, Romanian motor torpedo boat NMS Viscolul and NMS Vijelia accomplished the only Romanian MTB torpedo attack of the war. Wartime Axis wrongly sources claimed sinking, while post-war describe a damage or dud hit against a “destroyer” but at real no hit achieved. Modern evaluation identify the attacked ship as merchant Anton Chekhov (2625 GRT), with torpedo passing under the hull.
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Romanian Navy possessed 3 operative MTB at the beginning of war, Vosper-design bought in 1940


22 September 1941
A Ju-88 bomber (Nr. 1214, III./KG.51) hit by anti-aircraft fire from Soviet warships protecting a transport south of Odessa and crashed while landing. 3 crewmembers wounded.
There is a lack of clear Soviet claim about this loss.
Soviet cruisers Krasnyi Kavkaz and Krasnyi Krym protected a landing operation, providing fire support and carried troops later transferred and landed by gunboat Krasnaya Gruziya, MO-4 class submarine chasers and small KM patrols. It is likely the bomber shot down by one of the two cruisers.
On the same day, during another operation, destroyer Besposhchadnyy suffered damages, but attackers were Ju-87 dive-bombers (not Ju-88).
Image

Photo of Krasnyi Kavkaz in 1942.


23 September 1941
A Ju-87 dive-bomber shot down (Nr. 5354, 6./StG.77) while attacking Soviet ships near Tendrovskaya spit southeast of Odessa. Crew escaped on parachutes and rescued by German seaplane. There is no direct Soviet claim about this loss.


16 October 1941
Soviet submarine M-35 had the first of two surface engagements on the same month. The first time after having missed a convoy of armed barges with torpedoes, was involved into a gun battle, while the enemy armed barge SF-96 shot a single shell of 88mm that missed, SF-225 fired with 20mm but the gun barrel exploded by accident and wounded 7 men.

On that same day, Soviet minesweeper T-404 Shchit (Fugas-class) laid a field of 50 mines inside Odessa harbor. Most mines later swept, but one harbor tug struck one of them on 22 April 1942 and sunk.


26 October 1941
Soviet submarine M-35 took revenge after the first clash. She attacked a similar barge convoy and during a gunfire battle of 27minutes, M-35 fired 110 shells of 45mm without taking damage and claiming 4 hits on the barge SF-35. Enemy attempted to tow away the barge but due the stormy weather, she was totally lost and sunk. Sometimes is wrongly said that SF-25 was sunk, while SF-36 suffered damges (that's incorrect). Submarine survived at war and scored two further victories with torpedoes.


24 and 25 October 1941
Soviet minesweepers T-404 Shchit and T-408 Yakor (both of Fugas class) had laid a field of mines (on the same 24 October) that cause the following losses:
On day 24 October was sunk the Romanian minesweeping boat D (German Drossel, on lease).
On day 25 October was sunk the Romanian minesweeping boat B (German Brusterort, on lease), together with the German minelayer Theresia Wallner.
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The Theresia Wallner was the only German minelayer active in Black Sea: even if she wasn't a large warship (could carry only 30 mines) , her loss was important because it forced the defensive naval minelaying operations to be carried mostly by the Romanian Navy's minelayers.

The next year, on 3 June 1942, German MFP F-145 (cargo of oil) sunk on a mine laid on 20 October 1941 by Soviet minesweeper T-405 Vzryvatel (Fugas class). Previously the loss was believed by German air-dropped mines.


Also it was successful another field laid by the two destroyers Smyshlyonyy and Bodryy. On their mines were sunk:
9 November 1941: was struck the Hungarian merchant Ungvar (961 GRT), that exploded with a cargo 141tons of gasoline barrels and 916tons of aviation bombs.
The two Romanian motor torpedo boat NMS Viforul and NMS Vijelia attempted to help the Ungvar, but they were lost (sunk on other mines of the field, or destroyed by the sudden explosion of Ungvar).
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Photo of destroyer Bodry: ship survived at war.


31 October 1941
A Ju-87 dive-bomber shot down (Nr. 5626, 9./StG.77) by submarine chaser SKA-0131 in the bay of Ak-Mechet. Both crewmember parachuted and were captured by the same boat and delivered to Sevastopol.


23 December 1941
The heavy anti-aircraft floating battery n°3 “Do not touch me!” claimed to have shot down a Ju-88 bomber.
The loss of the day actually match with unclear damages on a German bomber He-111 (“1G+1L” from 3./KG27) due AA fire.
This victory could be one of the only two confirmed assigned to the notorious “floating box” defending Sevastopol harbor. Interestingly the ship was a section built for training crew in preparation of the huge (unfinished) battleship Sovietsky Soyuz.
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 22 Dec 2013, 19:08
1942


23 February 1942
Ju-88 bombers and He-111 torpedo bombers attempted to attack the Soviet tanker Moskwa (6086 GRT), she was sailing alongside merchant Georgi Dimitrov (3689 GRT) to Sevastopol under escort of minesweeper T-404 Shchit, later reinforced by T-413. While Soviet ships made no claim, a torpedo bomber He-111 (6/KG26, likely n°4234 (1H+HP) officially reported as missing on 25 February) was lost, likely shot down by one of the two minesweepers.
Image

Photo of T-404. The German torpedo bomber lost likely during the assault


3 June1942
First clash between small units has the soviet patrol boat SKA-026 attacking a pair of motorboats without results.


9 June 1942
The only torpedo hit scored by a motor torpedo boat against a soviet major warship in Black Sea was done by the Italian assault boat MTSM-216 against the soviet destroyer Svobodnyi. The torpedo however didn't exploded and the destroyer neither noticed the attack or the Italian boat (the MTSM believed the target was the Italian-built leader destroyer Tashkent).


10 June 1942
German aircrafts attacked the merchant Abkhazia (4727 GRT) previously arrived in Sevastopol under escort of destroyer Svobodnyi and minesweepers T-408 and T-411. She sunk by a He-111 bomber: however, most of the cargo already unloaded, and the volunteers and soldiers recovered most of it from the wreckage. Destroyer Svobodnyi did not survive the attack, and sunk after direct hits from Ju-87 “Stuka”. Germans admit the loss of a bomber Ju-88 (it was either 3/KG76 serial n°3738 or 8/KG76 serial n°3833) likely shot down by the same destroyer.
Italian motor torpedo boat MAS-573 claimed to have hit the merchant, but she missed and sinking scored by German aircraft.
The Italian motor torpedo boat MAS-570 strafed with machine gun fire the main deck of the Fugas-class minesweeper T-410 Vzryv that however suffered no casualties.


13 June 1942
The first successful action of a Soviet MTB in Black Sea it's possibly among the best successes. Just after an air raid in Yalta harbor, the motor torpedo boat D-3 (first ship of the class that have the same designation, this single unit didn't got a standard "TK-number" designation) managed to sail alone close the entrance and launch the torpedoes. She hit and sunk the Italian little submarine CB-5. There were no casualties (crew was on ground). This action, followed by an air raid days later that heavily damaged other two CB units, deprived the Axis forces of 50% of their submarine potential employed during the Sevastopol blockade.
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Photo of D-3, lead boat of her class and also the only of them active in Black Sea. She was a very active unit, sometimes in mission together the SM-3 (the lead boat of a rival class that wasn't produced).
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Beautiful color-photo of a midget submarine CB on Black Sea. Such submarines lacked the needed autonomy, but they managed to score the only submarine vs submarine sinking in Black Sea when CB-4 torpedoed and sunk the soviet submarine ShCh-203 in August 1943.

On the same day, the heavy anti-aircraft floating battery n°3 “Do not touch me!” claimed to have shot down a Ju-88 bomber. The loss of the day actually match with a German bomber Ju-88 (n°6847 “1G+1L” from 3./KG27) lost due AA fire.
This could be the second confirmed victory for the notorious huge “floating box” defending Sevastopol harbor (and the only full victory due shoting down).
The Germans were quite scared of this battery, and they eventually sunk her on 25 June (but she expended all the ammunition by the 19 June).
Image

Photo of the battery, with 130mm guns visible in addition to smaller weapons.

Also on the same day, occurred a very large air-sea battle when Luftwaffe attacked cruiser Molotov, destroyer Bditelnyi and minesweepers T-404 and T-409 all escorting the merchant Georgia. Both the cruiser and destroyer carried also troops and supplies for Sevastopol. Repetitive bomber and torpedo bomber attacks targeted the largest ships, with multiple torpedoes avoided due maneuvering. Cruiser Molotov claimed a torpedo bomber shot down. Ju-88 bombers while scoring no direct hits, inflicted heavy damages due splinters to Georgia, causing leaks. T-409 rushed to help the ship, with cover of a couple of SB-2 bombers, augmented by the arrival of tug SP-2: multiple attacks of torpedo bombers He-111 failed but finally a bomber Ju-88 scored two direct hit causing the sinking of Georgia (4857 GRT). Significantly, with the ship were lost 500tons of much needed anti-aircraft ammunition. Minesweeper T-413 rushed outside the harbor, but missed to rendezvous and due miscommunication she remained outside anchoring near shore: she quickly spotted, bombed and sunk by Ju-87. Cruiser Molotov claimed a torpedo bomber shot down, this indeed match with a single loss of a He-111 torpedo bomber (II/ KG26, serial n°7251) that disappeared without trace over the sea.
Italian motor torpedo boat MTSM-210 claimed to have hit the merchant, but she missed and sinking scored by German aircraft.


18 June 1942
The two Italian motor torpedo boats MAS-571 and MAS-570 had a clash against a convoy of motorboats to Sevastopol with supplies. Despite the MAS claimed two targets badly damaged (and possibly sunk) this isn't confirmed, while on MAS-571 the commander was mortally wounded.
That night also a not identified MTSM was chased close the coast by the two soviet motor torpedo boats SM-3 and D-3: the two soviet units reported some light damages and 2 KIA and 2 WIA. They believed to have fought against coastal forces because the MTSM sailed close the coast. While it is difficult to clarify details of this battle, it quite possible the MAS actually engaged SM-3 and D-3.
During that night the Italians reported other 2 WIA (apart the loss of commander of MAS-571) but it's unclear on which units.
Also during that same night, the Italian small submarine CB-2 has a surface meeting with soviet small unarmed boats: yet they carried weapons and the sailors opened fire scoring bullet hits on the tower of the submarine that dived.


19 June 1942
A pair of Italian MAS attacked on surface the soviet submarine ShCh-214 that was leaving Sevastopol with passengers. The MAS-571 torpedoed and sunk the submarine that was sunk with crew and passengers (only 2 sailors were captured, one of them escaped, joined partisans, and survived at war). It was the only soviet submarine clearly lost on surface in Black Sea, also it was the only Soviet one sunk by MTB with torpedo during the war.
At the time of the sinking, the ShCh-214 was the best soviet submarine for achieved number of victories (six: one tanker and 5 schooners sunk).

On the same day, German motor torpedo boat S-102 torpedoed and sunk the Soviet merchant Belostok (2048 GRT).


2 July 1942
Large German air raid against Novorossiysk harbor.
At the end of the raid, the Soviet los the leader destroyer Tashkent, the destroyer Bditelnyi, the merchant Ukraina (4727GRT), the tug Chernomor.
Loss of Tashkent was particularly heavy, because she was an advanced and useful single-ship.
A single German bomber Ju-88 (from KG79 group) during the attack, while a escort fighter Bf-109 shot down surely by ground battery (the pilot landed on sea and rescued by German flying boat).
It is possible the ships anti-aircraft defense, maybe the same Tashkent (the most modern), shot down the bomber.
Soviet aircrafts were late, and they lost in dogfight 2 Yak-1, 1 MiG-3 and 1 LaGG-3 fighter. There was heavy criticism toward the Air Force local commander and he later sentenced.
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Photo of Tashkent before her sinking. She proved to be an unique ship nicknamed "Blue Beauty" for her elegant lines and the colors.

On the same day, Italian motor torpedo boats MAS-570, MAS-572, MAS-573 and MTSM-216 scored their only surface success against Soviets.
They spotted an unidentified grounded motorboat and destroyed her with gunfire after capturing 15 crewmember/passengers. While some sources claim it was patrol boat SKA-021 this appears mistaken (because patrol boat, that experienced engine failure after air attack, was fully evacuated by fellow SKA-0101). Probably the victim of Italians was one hastily requisitioned boat for evacuation.


3 July 1942
Battle of Ai-Tador
During the last phase of the evacuation of Sevastopol, the patrol boats SKA-0112 (uncommon MO-2 type) and SKA-0124 (MO-4 type) carried troops including also General Novikov. The German motor torpedo boats S-28, S-40, S-42 and S-102 attacked them during a bloody engagement at close-range. Both the soviet sunk. Germans captured 37 men between sailors and soldiers, including Novikov (he will later escape from prison and will join the partisans until he death). Germans paid a price, S-28 suffered damages with 1 KIA, but S-40 suffered heavy damage because of direct 45mm hit (3 KIA, 10 WIA), requiring 11 months of repair.
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Photo of the German S-40 pulling back after damage, taken from another German boat.

Soviet minelaying close Kerch (mines laid by patrol boats SKA-016 and SKA-046 on 22 July 1942).
On 12 December 1942 German Army Siebel class ferry sunk ( not known number because not part of Kriegsmarine).
Another survived field, laid by SKA-0165 on 29 July 1942 caused a loss the following year:
On 16 June 1943 German lighter n°1353 sunk.


1 August 1942
Soviet motor torpedo boats D-3 and SM-3 attacked a group of anchored armed MFP barges. They launched torpedoes, sinking the German MFP F-334.
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This pair of motor torpedo boats (both prototype) was very active and successful. SM-3 was a single prototype boat, alongside the similar D-3 (prototype and lead-ship of her numerous class), they were the longest-rage Soviet motor torpedo boats active in Black Sea often sailing together, despite being ironically competitors of their respective designs (SM-3 was a steel version of wooden D-3).


2 August 1942
Soviet cruiser Molotov and the leader destroyer Kharkov were on bombing mission while they suffered a night attack of both German aircrafts and Italian motor torpedo boats. During the engagement a German He-111 bomber shot down by Molotov’s anti-aircraft fire (4./KG26, serial 4816, entire crew KIA) and MAS-568 received splinter damage (commander lightly wounded), while MAS-573 could not get close as the other unit.
The Molotov was hit on the bow by a torpedo with extensive damages. For years the success was claimed by Italians as having sunk a cruiser (Red Crimea), while it’s seems also clear now that the German torpedo bombers were most likely responsible of the torpedoing. Italian claims to have inflicted damages to Kharkov with launch of depth charges at close range is completely wrong (ship suffered no damage).
Image
Cruiser Molotov.


10 August 1942
German motor torpedo boat S-102 torpedoed and sunk Soviet merchant Sevastopol (1339 GRT)


31 August 1942
German motor torpedo boats S-28 and S-102 torpedoed and sunk Soviet merchant Yan Tomp (1988 GRT)


2 September 1942
German motor torpedo boats sunk the Soviet tug Proletariy and a trawler.


23 October 1942
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-73 and SM-3 made a failed attack against the Dvuyakornaya harbor, they split and SM-3 remained alone while they were returning. German SM-3 motor torpedo boats S-26, S-28, S-49 and S-102 encountered and chased SM-3 but she opened fire causing light damages to S-49 (2 WIA, including commander badly injured).


26 October 1942
Soviet patrol boat SKA-0105 chased away the two German motor torpedo boats S-72 and S-102 causing 1 WIA (badly injuries) to the enemy.


5 November 1942
German submarine U-24 missed the Soviet auxiliary minesweeper T-492 with two torpedoes and the scored one unexploded torpedo hit (dud).
A surface engagement begun, with U-24 diving and retreating after machine guns hits on the tower.


1 December 1942
The Soviet Navy decided to attempt raids of major warships on enemy shipping lines.
However, the enemy intercepted the communications between the ships and destroyers Boikyi and Bezposhchadnyi found no real target because the enemy was on alert. They sighted in thick fog what they believed of being a small convoy but actually was just a group of rocks. The two ships fired many shells of 130mm and no less than 10 torpedoes are launched (first one and then other 6 by Bezposhchadnyi and then 3 by Boikyi). In the end, the Bezposhchadnyi claimed to have torpedoed a tanker and Boikyi claimed 2 merchants and an escort unit. No target attacked in reality and Germans even believed that Soviets fired each other among the fog.
Also the cruiser Voroshilov had to take part in the raid, but was damaged by mine and forced to sail back under escort of destroyer Soobrazitelnyi after a brief shelling against Fidonisi Island (the shelling caused only light damages).
Image

Photo of destroyer Boikyi.


13 December 1942
Battle of Fidonisi
The second attempt to intercept enemy convoy involved Soviet destroyer Soobrazitelnyi leading the Fugas-class minesweepers T-406, T-407, T-408 and T-412 avoiding interception by enemy stations. Surprise was achieved and they intercepted the convoy including Bulgarian merchant Tsar Ferdinand (1994 GRT) and Romanian merchant Oituz (2686 GRT) escorted by the Romanian torpedo boat NMS Smeul.
The Soviets however had made the mistake to split the formation and only T-408 and T-412 could face the enemy. During the engagement, T-408 claimed a hit on the leading merchant, while T-412 claimed a hit on the NMS Smeul. Enemy data confirms no hits on their ships, while NMS Smeul opened fire with her 88mm and achieved no hits.
At this point, a group of German minesweeping boats made aggressive maneuvers: R-class minesweeping boats were similar to the S-boats in appearance. The trick had success and the minesweepers distanced believing to be under attack by enemy motor torpedo boats (S-boats).
The bad coordination (with the absence in battle of Soobrazitelnyi) and the overestimation of enemy forces caused the failure.
Such kind of shyness in combat was a widespread issue for soviet destroyer’s action also in Baltic Sea and Arctic.
Image
The Soviet Fugas-class minesweepers could have sunk the Romanian torpedo boat if the attack wasn’t stopped. She was slower, less armed and less protected.


19 December 1942
Apart attempting raiding the Romanian waters in search for convoys, soviet major units were also involved in shelling ground targets. A number of attacks against enemy harbors in Crimea peninsula usually caused small military damages on some buildings due lack of precision and time. That night the Soviet Navy carried a coordinated attack with leader destroyer Kharkov and destroyer Boikyi shelling Yalta, while the old destroyer Nezamozhnik and torpedo boat Shkval shelled Fedosia. During the shelling of Fedosia, destroyer Nezamozhnik briefly opened fire against the harbor and scored a direct hit of 102mm on a small tug known just with the letter “D”: the shell completely destroyed and sunk the tug. It was a former soviet tug captured and used by the Germans.
It has also proposed that the target’s identity was the coastal defense boat Delfin-4 (notice the similarities of “D” initial), but such theory dismissed by modern authors.
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Rear-view photo of Nezamozhnik: her guns caused one of the few direct hits scored by soviet major warships during the conflict.


27 December 1942
Soviet destroyers Soobrazitelnyi and Bezposhchadnyi made the third and last attempt to intercept enemy with support of four minesweepers. Like the first raid, the enemy intercepted the ships with radio-stations and ordered all ships to sail in harbor in time. Because of these orders, German merchant Saone (2183 GRT) accidentally grounded because of a rushed maneuver to enter harbor (recovered). Soviet warships found no potential target.

On the same day, the Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-35 launched depth charges and lightly damaged the German submarine U-9. Damage inflicted on torpedo tubes made submarine fail a subsequent torpedo attack on 3 January.
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 21 Apr 2014, 16:00
1943 First Half: Spring and Summer


2 January 1943
German MFP F-162 sunk in the Kerch Strait on a mine laid by Soviet patrol boat SKA-016


24 January 1943
Soviet submarine ShCh-215 attacked an enemy convoy: after having missed the MFP (armed barges) F-125 and F-309 with torpedoes, she attacked on surface with gunfire and engaged battle. Light damage was caused on the tug Stralsund, while the towed barge L-1357 apparently suffered no extra damage (she was towed, having previously suffered damages due grounding). German also scored one hit on ShCh-215 (3 WIA).


27 February 1943
A raid of German motor torpedo boats resulted into a relevant success: S-28, S-51, S-72 and S-102 attacked soviet ships while they were supplying the shore on the bridgehead at Myshako (Soviet forces were making multiple landing and supply-missions). Giving no time to the Soviets to react, the Germans managed to torpedo and sink the tug Mius and the minesweeper T-403 Gruz (Fugas-class), while the large gunboat Krasnaya Gruziya was badly damaged and grounded: she will be later finished by German coastal artillery and aircrafts.
The fast attack gave no time for the Soviets to react, while the minesweeper was the only Fugas-class unit sunk in surface action during the war, the Krasnaya Gruziya was the largest soviet military warship to suffer such destiny without being recovered or repaired.
Image

Photo of the gunboat after the attack: she was actually (as the others of her class) a multipurpose ship being able to act as landing ship and minelayer. She was armed with 3 guns of 130mm (in addition to 76,45 and 37mm) and could carry up to 180 mines.
This ship was also the largest soviet warship ever lost by enemy surface action during the WW2 in Black Sea (no cruiser, destroyer, or other large gunboat, suffered the same fate).


13 March 1943
German motor torpedo boats S-26 and S-47 torpedoed and damaged Soviet tanker Moskwa (6086 GRT)
Image

Photo of S-26


31 March 1943
German submarine U-24 (after successfully damaging the Soviet tanker Kreml with torpedo) was attacked with depth charges by Soviet minesweepers (Fugas-class) T-406 Iskatel, T-407 Mina and T-409 Garpun, with support of a pair of seaplanes MBR-2. The submarine was damaged and forced to return at the base.
Image

Painting of minesweeper Mina


18 April 1943
A night clash between the German R-35, R-36, R-165 and S-28, S-47, S-51, S-72 and S-102 against Soviet TK-76, TK-86, SKA-044, SKA-054, SKA-084. The fight caused damages on SKA-044 and TK-76.
Often it’s claimed that SKA-054 was sunk in action but actually she was sunk on mine.
A soviet MBR-2 seaplane caused the only German damage, on R-35.
However, the Germans also sunk a pair of seiners and destroyed a pier.


20 April 1943
During a clash against a group of German German R-boats, the Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-125 accidentally collided with the patrol boat SKA-075 and got damages.


22 April 1943
The Italian motor torpedo boat MAS-566 reported to have been hit by an unexploded torpedo launched by enemy MTBs during a confused clash, involving also MAS-556, MAS-557 against Soviet TK-73 and TK-93. The events are still unclear because the Soviet motor torpedo boats reported to have attacked a barge.


23 April 1943
No less than six clashes occurred during the night between German R-boats plus motor torpedo boat S-72, against soviet motor torpedo boats and patrol boats.
During these engagements, the Soviet patrol boat SKA-084 was hit (6 WIA), and the German S-72 was hit by 45mm shell (without losses) and damaged.


25 April 1943
During a skirmish between motor torpedo boats, the German S-102 suffered machine-guns hit while also the Soviet TK-33 was damaged.


1 May 1943
Soviet destroyer Zhelezniakov and torpedo boat Shtorm bombarded Anapa (a total of 256 102-mm shells). Some shells found an airport and a single fighter Bf-109 (II./JG52 serial 19344) suffered damages (30%).


4 May 1943
German motor torpedo boat S-102 sunk Soviet schooner Ilyich with a torpedo hit (torpedo did not exploded but impact hole caused the sinking).


20 May 1943
During the night between 19 and 20 May, German motor torpedo boats S-49 and S-72 sunk the Soviet tug Pervansh and the barge n°75.
Soviet patrol boat SKA-018 opened fire but without success: Soviet aircrafts attacked in numbers, 14 MBR-2, 10 Il-2 and 6 Yak-1. 2 Il-2 and 1 Yak-1 crashed on sea during the hunt, they managed to damage both the German units, S-49 had 1 KIA and 3 WIA, S-72 had 5 WIA.


23 May 1943
Soviet submarine L-4 attacked on surface the enemy armed barges (MFP) F-307 and F-329.
8 shells of 102mm were fired and one hit was scored on F-329 causing heavy damages (4 KIA, 2 WIA).
The MFP fire caused no damage on the soviet submarine.


28 May 1943
The soviet motor torpedo boat TK-106 launched six depth charges against the German submarine U-9, causing light damages, but not enough to force the enemy to stop her mission. TK-106 actually armed with rocket-launchers in place of torpedoes (like some other boats of the G-5 class).
Image
The line means "Muscovites Artisans", probably on reference to the fundraising to build the unit.



13 June 1943
A pair of Il-2 aircrafts and a seaplane MBR-2 detected and attacked German submarine U-24.
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-12 and TK-32 with the patrol boat SKA-062 rushed to attack the submarine and lightly damaged U-24 with depth charges.


6 July 1943
The Soviet patrol boat SKA-062 while returning after a mission was attacked by the German patrol boats S-28, S-40, S-47 and S-51.
She was damaged (almost surely by S-28) suffering the commander and two other soldiers passengers KIA (the patrol boat had just recovered a team), in addition to 2 WIA. Despite these losses, she managed to fend-off the attack of the more numerous enemies, damaging S-47 at the engine and wounding the commander.
During the night, the German motor torpedo boats had previously attacked and sunk the schooner Riza (120tons).


8 July 1943
German motor torpedo boat S-40 and minesweeping boats R-33 and R-166 fought against the Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-45, TK-76, TK-85 and patrol boat SKA-056.
During the battle, a German torpedo missed the target and exploded on shore, wounding 3 Soviet soldiers.
The TK-45 was also damaged with 3 WIA, while S-40 accidentally rammed R-33 causing mutual damages and forcing the Germans to retreat.

On the same day, German motor torpedo boats made an offensive patrol but S-102 struck a mine laid by Soviet motor torpedo boats and sunk (multiple small fields laid, unclear identity of minelayer units). S-102 was a very active and successful German S-boat. She was the third and last enemy motor-torpedo boat lost by Soviet Navy action (mines) in Black Sea, after the two Romanian losses in 1941.


8 August 1943
German motor torpedo boats S-52 and S-72 sunk Soviet tug Petrash (560 tons).


11 August 1943
Five German motor torpedo boats clashed against Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-95 and TK-102.
During the battle, TK-95 sunk, while TK-102 suffered damages (6 WIA). It appears that also the patrol boat SKA-084 took part briefly but without damage: also the Germans suffered no damage or losses.

On the same day, the German submarine U-24 was lightly damaged by the Soviet patrol boat SKA-0111 that launched 23 depth charges.
Image

SKA-0111 (at left).


22 August 1943
German submarine U-24 attacked on surface with gunfire the soviet patrol boat SKA-0188 that was towing the two small landing boats DB-36 and DB-37 (both just 7tons with only 3 crewmembers). The patrol boat was forced to cut the tows and leave, while U-24 managed to reach the two boats, capturing the 6 sailors (4 of them wounded), and destroying them with explosive charges.


24 August 1943
German submarine U-23 had a gunfire clash with the soviet auxiliary patrol boat Shkval that was attacked also with hand grenades and explosive charges after that the submarine tried to ram the boat. Shkval sunk during such battle (3 KIA, 7 survivors escaped capture).


30 August 1943
German submarine U-18 clashed on surface with the Soviet patrol boat SKA-0132 suffering damages.


31 August 1943
A group of German motor torpedo boats attacked the very small Soviet minesweeping boat RTSh-128 ("K-15 M-17" type). She was armed with just a single machine gun, but the Germans failed to sink her (causing only a single hit with light damage), after having spent most of the ammunition (also two guns of 20mm and one 40mm on the German units were out-of-action due excessive use).
Image

Photo of sister-ship RTSh-126
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 25 May 2014, 16:46
1943 Second Half: Autumn and Winter
NOTE:
Almost all the clashes occurred in November and December 1943 (with few exceptions as for the ASW actions) were fought during the Kerch–Eltigen Operation. The Red Army had carried an amphibious offensive and created two bridgeheads on the Crimean peninsula.
Engagements occurred even daily but almost ever on night: sometimes units got involved in constant missions each night and sailors had barely time to sleep for days (because during day there were aerial and ground bombing).
Germans dispatched defensive patrols of armed MFPs (artillery landing barges) at north, while R-boats were dispatched more south. S-boats operated more independently.
Soviets attempted each night to deliver supplies or reinforcements, while Germans attempted to prevent it.
Despite a number of losses, the actual result of the campaign (destruction of the southern bridgehead, but preservation of the northern one: bringing at last to a Soviet strategic victory) was most affected by aerial bombings and artillery barrages on both sides, that scored an higher number of results both on Soviets and German units.


26 September 1943
German MFPs F-302 and F-315 clashed against four Soviets MO-4 patrols and other small units. The soviet patrol boat SKA-022 was heavily engaged during the battle: Soviets got no damage or losses and both F-302 and F-315 had 1 KIA each.


28 September 1943
German motor torpedo boats S-28, S-42, S-45 and S-49 claimed to have sunk with torpedoes at least 3 merchants, but actually they sunk the small minesweeping boats Nord-Vest and KATSh-155. In addition, the small motorboat n°58 and the watch cutter KM n°076 suffered damages from splinters.


29 September 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-12 and TK-33 clashed against a group of German R-boats: during the fight, TK-12 was damaged, the commander KIA and 2 other sailors WIA.


2 October 1943
Germans lost the MFP landing crafts F-302 and F-315 on Soviet mines in the Kerch Strait. While F-302 immediately sunk, German minesweeping boat RA-56 shelled the wreck of F-315 to avoid capture. Soviet motor torpedo boats laid the mines responsible for the double loss but it is impossible to identify the units engaged in minelaying (multiple boats).


5 - 6 October 1943
Soviet leader destroyer Kharkov and destroyers Besposhchadnyi and Sposobnyi operated in enemy waters when they were attacked by the German motor torpedo boats S-28, S-42 and S-45: in the previous year, German S-boats had already launched torpedoes against Soviet destroyers, but there was no real fighting. This time the torpedoed missed but a Soviet shell of 45mm from Besposhchadnyi (sometimes it’s said Sposobnyi) damaged S-45 and the Germans retreated.
However the next day, Germans carried large air attacks against the soviets ships and all of them, Kharkov, Besposhchadnyi and Sposobnyi sunk.
The loss of three main units was both a material blow but also a psychological one: Stalin was personally dissatisfied and prevented further major warships operations in Black Sea to prevent further losses. Soviet sources claimed to have shot down a number of German aircrafts but this is wrong: the only German loss was a seaplane BV-138 (1./SAGr125, serial 130110) shot down by 3 Soviet P-40 “Kittyhawk” fighters: five airmen were captured by Sposobnyi and later died alongside most of the soviet sailors.
Image
Besposhchadnyi


6 October 1943
German motor torpedo boats S-28, S-42, S-51 and S-52 were on search for soviet survivors from the sinking of Kharkov’s group: they met a group of Soviet patrol boats that were pursuing the same mission. SKA-015 strafed successfully the German group with a number of hits: S-28 suffered a direct hit of 45mm, S-52 had minor damage due splinters, S-42 had a gun out of service (unclear if by accident or by damage). Soviets suffered no damage or casualty.


22 and 24 October 1943
German submarine U-24 suffered little damage due a depth charge launched on 22 October, when was moving to attack the convoy of the auxiliary minesweeper T-505.
Two days later, she suffered a heavier attack from the Fugas-class minesweepers T-401 Tral and T-412 Arseniy Raskin and the MO-4 class patrols SKA-082, SKA-0102, SKA-0122 that launched 59 charges: the submarine got again minor damages, not enough to interrupt the mission.


3 November 1943
A confusing engagement during the night between 2 and 3 November, saw SKA-081 together the motor torpedo boat TK-43 fighting against a group of German MFPs: both F-446 and F-578 got minor damages during the action, without damage or casualties for the Soviets.


4 November 1943
Multiple night-clashes between 3 and 4 November, against German MFPs saw the soviets SKA-101 and SKA-0112 in action, and the last one was damaged with some killed and wounded.
Later, a bloody battle was fought with TK-101 attacked and sunk at close range (with 2 hits of 37mm and launch of hand grenades) by German minesweeping boats R-37, R-204 and R-216. All the three German units were also damaged during the last-stand of TK-101 and the Germans suffered 2 KIA, 1 WIA (serious) and a number of lightly wounded. It was present that night TK-81 that was damaged but managed to escape.
During the night, the same group of German R-boats possibly sunk during a separate engagement the Soviet patrol boat SKA-053 and the small minesweeping boat T-524 (converted MK boat) (both used to supply the beachhead).


7 November 1943
During the night between 6 and 7 November, there were 2 separate clashes.
German minesweeping boats R-37, R-204 and R-216 has success during a series of confusing engagements with scattered soviet units: the smaller minesweeping boat KATSh-526 was damaged, while among a group of small landing crafts, n°36 and n°65 were sunk, n°55 was damaged and n°76 (that was lost) was almost surely another victim of the three R-boats.
In the northern sector, MFPs has less success: F-316, F-446 and F-578 fought against the small gunboats BK-81 and BK-323, and all got minor damages, alongside the second soviet unit. F-335 had not took part at the fight because has been previously hit and damaged by ground artillery.
Image

The less common class of S-40 gunboats fought well against the enemy MFPs.


8 November 1943
During the night between 7 and 8 November, another clash saw the German MFPs and R-boats against the soviet patrols SKA-023, SKA-081, SKA-0122 and small gunboat BK-26. SKA-0122 sunk and SKA-081 suffered damages.


9 November 1943
Only MFPs engaged soviets units: two small landing crafts sunk alongside the minesweeping boat KATSh-173. The patrol boat SKA-0102 suffered damages.
The German MFP F-419 suffered a friendly fire direct hit during the battle, causing irreparable damages (6 KIA, 2 WIA).


10 November 1943
Once again, only MFPs engaged a convoy that was moving to re-supply the beachhead. Soviets units involved were the SKA-082, SKA-0102 and the motor torpedo boats TK-96 (armed with rockets) and TK-114. Each Soviet motor torpedo boat suffered one hit but without heavy damages.
A small Soviet landing craft accidentally capsized and was lost.
Image

Photo of SKA-0102 with visible damages: actually she's known to have not recorded damage after this fight, but it's possible that this photo has been took during the day of 9 November, after the previous night battle (the SKA could have got emergency repairs for the night's action between 9/10 November.)


11 November 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-96 and TK-114, together SKA-098, escorted another convoy of 2 pontoons, 2 barges, 2 floating barges and one SKA and two BK with also 6 small minesweeping boats, all used as transports. The convoy was attacked by 3 motor torpedo boats and 5 minesweeping boats: almost all the soviet units (including gunboat BK-433) of the convoy were reached by the German fire, even if none was lost, they suffered heavy human losses among the infantry carried on the decks. Among the escort, TK-96 (a boat armed with rocket launcher and not torpedoes) suffered 4 hits of 37mm and TK-114 suffered self-inflicted damage due an accident while launching a torpedo against the enemy.


15 November 1943
Four German R-boats attacked a mixed group of soviet units. During the clash, the small gunboat BK-306 was damaged as the patrol boat SKA-018, but also the German minesweeping boat R-207 suffered a 45mm direct hit under the waterline and was to be towed away.


17 November 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-76, TK-86 and TK-104 engaged German MFPs.
During a number of skirmishes, F-535 suffered moderate damages as all the soviet units.
However, on the way back after the mission, TK-76 sunk after striking a mine (interestingly, both TK-76 and TK-86 armed with rockets).
Image

Photo of TK-86 (note the rockets for ground bombing).


18 November 1943
German MFPs sunk the Soviet small motorboat n°35 .


20 November 1943
Soviet patrol boats SKA-031, SKA-0141 and SKA-0512 supported by a seaplane Chye-2, attacked with depth charges the German submarine U-18. The submarine got a number of serious damages and was forced to return at harbor.
It was the only confirmed case of an enemy U-boat in Black Sea to have been forced to return home with heavy damages after a Soviet depth-charging attack. Submarine was kept on repairs until 25 January 1944.
Image

Photo of SKA-0141 (here damaged). The successful attack was achieved with support of a seaplane Chye-2: an uncommon aircraft.


21 November 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-94 and TK-114 with the small gunboat BK-321 (also armed with rockets) escorted five armed motor-barges (PVO-12, PVO-20, PVO-24, PVO-25 and PVO-29) and a minesweeping boat. 3 enemy MFPs attacked and even if the m.t.b claimed one torpedo hit, this didn’t happen. During the fight the soviet motor-barge PVO-29 was badly damaged, but the Germans reported a number of wounded and damages on F-521 and F-573. Later PVO-12 and PVO-20 were destroyed by enemy coastal artillery.
Image

TK-114, later renamed TK-393, took part at two consecutive engagements without suffering damages.


23 November 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-114 was again on sea together BK-306, escorting 4 motor-barges and a landing craft. Germans sent MFPs and the F-472 suffered light damages. The soviet motor-barge PVO-27 was hit, beached and lost. The soviet motor-barge PVO-28 and the German F-594 collided (both said to have rammed the enemy) and both suffered damages (F-594 already lightly damaged in battle). Soviets suffered also light damages on BK-306 and on the small landing craft KATSh-5385. Insignificant damages also on other German MFPs.
Image

Photo of gunboat BK-306, that was later renamed BK-314. She was of 1124 class.


26 November 1943
The night between 25 and 26 November was very bitter for the Soviets.
German MFPs intercepted the motor-barges PVO-11, PVO-13, PVO-24 and PVO-26, the minesweeping boat n°81, the landing crafts n°12 and n°20. Even if the PVO were armed, there was no TKA, SKA or BK to protect them. PVO-24 was rammed and sunk. PVO-26, PVO-11 and PVO-13 suffered damages but beached (recovered) to avoid sinking. The worst blow was the human losses because the PVOs were full of troops: there were 41 KIA and 30 WIA.
On German side, the MFP F-135 was the most active in battle; she too received damage after a direct hit from mortar fire from the coast (commander KIA).
Image

Photo of PVO-11


5 December 1943
During the night between 4 and 5 December, there were at least 3 engagements.
German MFPs F-342, F-305, F-578, F-395, F-401 and F-447 attacked a soviet convoy: the small minesweeping boats RTSh-415 and RTSh-398, the pontoon n°3, the landing craft DB-5 (towed). The motor torpedo boat TK-96 and the armed motor-barges PVO-21, PVO-25, PVO-28 and PVO-29 escorted the convoy. The G-5 boat also known as “AKA-76” because was armed with rocket-launcher in place off torpedoes.
The battle was violent: RTSh-398 sunk, as well as the pontoon n°3, while RTSh-415 and PVO-28suffered damages. On their side, Germans suffered damages on F-342 that was forced to leave with 1 KIA and 8 WIA (among them one badly wounded, a lightly wounded officer was the group’s commander).
Image

PVO were classified as AA barges but they were actually multipurpose boats. Their class (project 165) was designed and built during the war and 20 of the 40 units built were actively used during the 1943 actions: 8 were lost, also due mine and storm, but proved to be useful and resistant (for example, all the units beached on 26 November, were recovered).


7 December 1943
German MFPs sunk the soviet minesweeping boat RTSh-105(“K-15 M-17” type). During the night, the patrol boats SKA-031 and SKA-0141 had been grounded due bad weather, they managed to free themselves, but could not took part at the engagement.


8 December 1943
German minesweeping boats R-196, R-208 and R-216 engaged the lonely patrol boat SKA-036: the soviet unit managed to escape undamaged, she also scored a direct hit on R-196 under the waterline. Germans had to tow away the damaged boat to avoid her sinking.


10 December 1943
Soviet crafts involved in evacuation of troops from Mithridates bridgehead. German MFPs opened fire but at long distance: despite claims of 9 targets sunk, Soviets lost only tender n°35 by coastal artillery and landing craft DB-503 by mine or coastal artillery. German MFP F-333 suffered a direct hit (2 KIA, 2 WIA) by Soviet coastal artillery.


30 December 1943
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-44 and TK-85 had 2 clashes against a same group of German MFPs: on the second engagement, both of them suffered damages.
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 24 Jun 2014, 09:59
1944

NOTE: Naval war in Black Sea ended in early summer 1944. As for the last war during 1945 in Baltic Sea, there is a lack of German official documents, due destruction or disappear.


5 March 1944
Patrol boats SKA-042 and SKA-082 clashed against German motor torpedo boats. SKA-042 suffered a direct hit with damage and 1 wounded.


7 March 1944
Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-24 left behind by a group of other motor torpedo boats and attempted to enter (by mistake) into the enemy harbor of Ak Mechet: she was quickly surrounded by a group of German MFPs and after a quick clash forced to surrender. The crew was captured but the TK-24, despite being put in tow by Germans, was sunk (probably due leaks caused by fight or self-inflicted by Soviets before the capture, to cause the loss of the boat).


5 April 1944
German submarine U-23 clashed against two Soviet patrol boats on surface: during the fight the SKA-099 was damaged.


7 April 1944
German submarine U-18 clashed against Soviet patrol boat SKA-098 that was damaged with 5 wounded.


27 April 1944
Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-332, TK-343 and TK-344 made the first true Soviet m.t.b group attack against an enemy convoy in Black Sea, during the enemy naval evacuation of Crimea. They attacked a mixed Romanian/German group and a torpedo from TK-344 hit the German submarine chaser UJ-104 suffering heavy damages.
However the attackers paid a price because TK-332 was hit and sunk by the gunfire from the convoy. Romanian gunboat NMS Sublocotenant Ghigulescu fired flares, and the rest of the convoy escort opened intense fire: the escort included German submarine chaser UJ-105, one R-boat, two KFK boats, 17 MFPs and the Romanian MFP PTA-404 and PTA-406.
Image

Photo of UJ-104 after the torpedo hit. It can be seen how the ship lost part of the stern.


5 May 1944
Skirmish between SKA-023, SKA-072 and SKA-0512 resulted in one 45mm hit scored on German motor torpedo boat S-149.
Image

SKA-023 was an uncommon ZK class


8 May 1944
A second attack by Soviet motor torpedo boats raid included TK-304 and TK-344, led by the veteran single-ship SM-3 (that was very active in 1942). They attacked the rear of a little convoy for years claimed the sinking of German barge Elbe-5 (1188 GRT), but currently this victory was discredited. According Soviet sources, the motor torpedo boats also sunk with gunfire two motorboats: sometimes these are said to be the G-3102 and Cornelis Anni. However the first unit was almost surely hit by Soviet ground artillery and scuttled by Germans, while also Cornelis Anni was possibly sunk by coastal artillery. Due the end of the war (in Black Sea) German documents were lost, so there is a lack of details. Old Soviet sources wrongly claimed that the barge was sunk by submarine ShCh-202: in the end, it is likely all fell victim of ground artillery.


9 May 1944
A convoy of German motorboats: Nadia, Inge, Sturmfogel and Hella, carrying troops away from Sevastopol stuck by bad weather and Sturmfogel sunk.
Germans also report a clash against unidentified Soviet units, suffering 4 wounded. It is possible this clash was the one reported by Soviet motor torpedo boats SM-3, TK-304 and TK-344 the previous day.


11 May 1944
Soviet torpedo boat Shtorm was torpedoed and badly damaged by German submarine U-9, but didn’t sunk. She was the most important Soviet military ship torpedoed by submarine in Black Sea, and the second-ever most important during the conflict, after the destroyer Razyaryonnyi that was torpedoed and damaged by submarine in Arctic.
Image

Photo of Shtorm: there were only 2 Soviet torpedo boats in Black Sea.

On the same day, Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-353 claimed torpedoing an enemy target. New research established she sunk the previously damaged (see attack on 27 April) German submarine chaser UJ-104. The German vessel also suffered earlier extra damages by Il-2 fighter-bombers in Sevastopol harbor on 9 May.
Image

Photo of TK-353, she finished the already crippled submarine chaser.


12 May 1944
Soviet motor torpedo boat TK-301, that was sailing together TK-354, often reported sinking the already damaged (by aircrafts) and abandoned, Romanian minelayer Romania (technically used by Germans as depot-ship and mobilized as transport for the Crimea evacuation). Modern sources (2018) discredit such claim, now fully assigned to aircrafts
Image

Photo of Romania (larger ship). From (c) Navypedia


On that same day, Soviet submarine S-33 shelled the German MFP F-130 with gunfire. Submarine had to dive because of enemy aircraft and once it surfaced, the MFP was found abandoned. It appears that the already damaged MFP was manned by skeleton-crew that abandoned the ship once shelled. The S-33 turned unique because the submarine managed to board the MFP and take trophies including a Kriegsmarine flag. Finally the submarine finished the craft and sunk her.
S-33 survived the war having sunk also a Romanian merchant, before sinking of F-130.


17 May 1944
German submarine U-9 lightly damaged after a failed attack against a Soviet convoy: the counter-attack was done by a Soviet seaplane MBR-2 alongside unidentified submarine chasers of MO-4 class.


27 May 1944
German submarine U-24 attacked with gunfire in surface the Soviet motor-schooner MSH-14 (that suffered 2 wounded), but suffered the counter-attack from Soviet coastal batteries of 76mm (German sources believed there were patrol boats). The submarine retreated having suffered 1 KIA and 2 WIA due splinters. Soviet patrol boats (MO-4 class) launched depth charges later, but without further damages inflicted.


28 June 1944
The Romanian submarine NMS Rechinul suffered light damages after depth charges launched by unidentified Soviet patrol boats (MO-4 class).
Image
Painting of a MO-4 class on escort duty. While in Black Sea no enemy submarine sunk by depth charges, German U-boats caused only limited damages to the Soviet shipping lines, abandoning many attacks due strong escort. The newly built Romanian submarines Rechinul and Marsuinul could not achieve success in 1944 for the same reason.


22 August 1944
The last motor torpedo boat action: Soviet motor torpedo boats TK-221, TK-223, TK-227 and TK-233 attacked a pair of German submarine chasers (UJ) but they evaded the torpedoes, TK-227 was badly damaged by counter-fire (3 KIA, 5 WIA).
Sadly it's unknown the identity of the German ships, because loss of documents.
It's interesting to know that the motor torpedo boats were former Allied Vosper-class that had been served in Arctic and had just been moved to Black Sea: this was the only engagement they took part in this new naval front (TK-221 already took part at battle in Arctic, on 29 April 1944).


30 August 1944
Constanta Operation
Soviet submarine chasers MO-336 (of OD-200 class) and MO-91, MO-101, MO-141 (all standard MO-4, previously classified SKA) enter Constanta harbor alongside thirty Soviet motor torpedo boats carrying troops. The Romanian Fleet made no opposition, after the switch of sides. No German boat was left floating in the harbor (many were scuttled like submarines U-18 and U-24 because damages suffered during the heavy Soviet air raid on 20 August prevented escape). However the Soviet Navy could claim an interesting prize: the four small Italian midget-submarines CB-1, CB-2 (both in not-operational status), and CB-4, CB-6 (both damaged during the same Soviet air raid on 20 August). Identity of a fifth “missing” Italian boat disclosed by recent Italian researches: CB-3 was the only boat that could sail, and scuttled by crew after a short patrol out of Constanta. Most of sources mistakenly claim the midget-submarines were “scuttled”, but there photo evidence of them being on ground by 5 September. Another widely reported mistake it is that the class was owned by the Romanian Navy: all the boats saw only a limited “de jure” transfer because of political situation but passed to the Navy of the “Italian Social Republic” pro-Germany fascist state.
Image

Rare use of OD-200 class in Black Sea. Designed as alternative design to the D-3, the motor torpedo boat ("TM-200") had only limited production, while the submarine chaser variant come in service too late to fully replace the MO-4.


5 September 1944
Seizure of Romanian Fleet
Even if the newly installed Romanian government took side with the Allies, the Soviet Navy was suspicious over the behavior of the Romanian Navy and sent order to seize all the ships. Soviet minesweepers T-404 Shchit, T-406 Iskatel, large submarine chasers BO-103, BO-105 and small submarine chaser MO-360 (OD-200 type) engaged in the seizure operation with little opposition from Romanians.
The following Romanian ships were seized and trophies and incorporated into the Soviet Navy. Destroyers NMS Regele Ferdinand (damaged by air bomb), NMS Regina Maria (onboard the squadron commander committed suicide and another officer wounded during the seizure), NMS Marasti, NMS Marasesti, torpedo boats NMS Smeul, NMS Sborul (damaged by air bomb), gunboats NMS Căpitan Dumitrescu, NMS Locotenent-Comandor Stihi Eugen, NMS Sublocotenent Ghiculescu, minelayer NMS Amiral Murgescu (damaged by air bomb), auxiliary minelayer NMS Dacia (damaged by air bomb), submarine tender NMS Constanta, submarine chasers VS-1, VS-2, VS-3 (ex-German KFK), motor torpedo boats NMS Viscolul, NMS Vedania, NMS Vantul, NMS Vijelia, NMS Viforul, NMS Vartejul, NMS Vulcanul (first boat was damaged by air bomb, all the others were out-of-duty because of technical issues), submarines NMS Marsuinul and NMS Requinul.
Image

Photo of Soviet trophy destroyer Letuchyi, former NMS Regina Maria. During the seizure, onboard the ship occurred the most violent episodes of the operation.


9 September 1944
Varna Liberation
Soviet task force included minesweeper T-404 Shchit, large submarine chaser BO-105 and smaller submarine chasers MO-379 (OD-200 type), MO-347, MO-348, MO-712 (all MO-4 type, including the veteran boat SKA-0712 with new code). Part of the Bulgarian military joined the anti-fascist revolt and there was no reported resistance at the Soviet seizure of Bulgarian ships.
Most notable Bulgarian ships seized include old torpedo boats Druzki, Khrabri, Strogi (differently from others, she was not commissioned by Soviet Navy) motor torpedo boats n°4, n°5, n°6, n°7 (ex-Dutch boats), older motor torpedo boats n°1, n°2, n°3 (German Lürssen type). Data concerning former German MFP landing crafts are unclear: many units scuttled or damaged by Germans, while others nominally transferred to Bulgarians; the Soviet Navy eventually recovered a number of them. Sources mentioning the capture of German other German ships (two submarine chasers, often claimed UJ-112, UJ-113 (or UJ-110) and minesweeping boat R-163) are wrong: Soviet Navy recovered and repaired only scuttled vessels on the sea (and captured others inland with ground troops).
The Soviet Navy also captured a rich booty of German landing craft of MFP type: F-851, F-852, F-900, F-901, F-902, F-903, F-904, F-905 and F-906, all newly built of “D” subseries nominally delivered to the Bulgarian Navy. German-manned F-848 grounded herself on 25 August intentionally south of Varna, while recovered by Soviets it cannot be considered among the seizures occurred in harbour. Among the prizes often it is mistakenly included F-571 and F-575 (actually scuttled by Germans at Swistowo, only the second one eventually recovered by Soviet Navy).
German owned (but abandoned by crew) landing crafts captured in Varna include F-325 (type “A”) and F-495 (type “C”, mistakenly believed sunk in Mediterranean), while other three German crafts, allegedly nominally transferred to the Bulgarian captured intact in Varna are F-128, F-176 (both type “A”) and F-405 (type “C”).

Burgas operation
On the same day, T-406 Iskatel and MO-4 type submarine chasers MO-72, MO-307, MO-339, MO-422 (the fourth boat formerly part of Northern Fleet) sailed to Burgas. Near Cape Emine they found the Bulgarian submarine chasers Belomorets and Chernomorets, four trawlers and several small fishing boats forcing all of them to sail back in harbor. Bulgarian sailors received message from the Fatherland Front to surrender to the Soviets and this occurred with little Bulgarian resistance, later two sailors left the ships and swam to shore but were captured by local partisans. Large submarine chaser BO-103 also sailed to Burgas with two MO-4 class submarine chasers, but Bulgarians encountered the first group of Soviet ships.
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 15 Sep 2016, 20:41
UPDATE: A couple of additional soviet victories with mines added in 1941, also some correction due new evaluation (two victories of Destroyers, moved to Gunboats' fields).
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 29 Jan 2017, 12:17
UPDATE: added losses caused by mines laid by soviet small ships in Azov Sea (1942). Multiple losses caused by the single unit SKA-0175. First and only confirmed Croat naval loss due soviet minelaying action in Black Sea. Research concluded in 2016 with help of russian author Miroslav Morozov (site tsushima.su) and direct check of Kriegsmarine war diaries.
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 03 Jun 2017, 13:08
UPDATE: added one extra mine's success in 1941 and one in 1942
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 27 May 2018, 10:35
UPDATES: Inserted some Romanian-sources based info of alleged clashes (no confirmation of Soviet data). Added 3 separate mine victories (January, August and July 1943), added 1 riverine minor success in August 1941. Refine some data of 2/Aug/42 and 6/Oct/43 (update anticipate some data for the Anti-Aircraft successes. A major updates will fully cover it in future).
Soviet cogitations: 317
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 23 Dec 2019, 14:07
LARGE REWORK UPDATE (2019)
1) Added intro
2) Added sources
3) Removed content for Danube River and Azov Sea! (by december, both will receive indivdual pages)
4) Inserted new sinking achieved with mines in 1941: minesweeping boats FR-5 and FR-6 and lighter Zwettel
5) Added a number of enemy air-losses in 1941: by 2019 in many cases it is unclear the exact identification of Soviet ships responsable for shooting down
6) Added other enemy air-losses for 1942 with more accurate Soviet claims
7) Added one surface Italian victory on 2 July 1942: unidentified Soviet motorboat
8 ) Extra mine victory on 1943 (by mine laid on 1942): lighter n°1353
9) Added interesting shelling of airfield done on 1 May 1943 (but only 1 plane damaged)
10) Added important enemy loss by Soviet mine: S-102 (on 8/July/43), a quite active s-boat.
11) Other two mine losses for the second half of 1943: F-302 and F-315 on 2/Oct/43
12) Re-wrote the last clash of 10/Dec/43
13) Updated the action of 27/Apr/44: UJ-104 was indeed torpedoed by Soviet motor torpedo boat but that wasn't the final deadly hit
14) One new skirmish added on 5/May/44: German S-boat suffered a direct hit
15) Inserted extra info for the 9/10 May/44 Soviet attacks, but events still unclear
16) On 11/May/44 the German UJ-104 received a second Soviet torpedo hit by MTB, and this time the vessel sunk. The subsequent half-claim for ship "Romania" on 12/May/44 now discredited
17) Added the operations to capture the enemy fleets at Constanta (both 30 August and 5 September) and Varna/Burgas on 9 September. Often ignored, they were de-facto considered proper seizures by units of the Soviet Fleet.
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