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Soviet Naval Battles -Manchuria during WW2

Soviet cogitations: 285
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Feb 2010, 11:57
Resident Admiral
Post 30 Mar 2018, 11:35
If contemporary authors have just a partial knowledge of details concerning Soviet naval warfare against Japan in 1945 (link = viewtopic.php?f=149&t=54799 ) , even less is known about actions involving riverine forces in Manchuria. What’s sure is that no large riverine battle was fought like occurred in 1929 ( link = viewtopic.php?f=149&t=54749 ) and most of local Manchurian riverine forces were scuttled or captured by ground forces. However the work of the author K. B. Strelbitskiy begun to disclose some events, the following list is far from being complete both in events and details.


Unclear date – Spring of 1935
The main ship surface action occurred during the years of border conflict between Soviet Union and Japanese Empire.
A Japanese boat carrying soldiers moved between Poyarkovo and Konstantinovka islands in Amur River, with support of artillery shelling.
Soviets dispatched the guard boat Otvazhnyy, opening fire with support of border guards.
During the action, the Otvazhnyy suffered a direct hit (probably by ground artillery) with damage, and the captain wounded, however soon patrol vessels arrived in reinforcement and in the end the Japanese boat was seized and crew captured.

It is worth to remember that during these years both sides seized vessels, but these appears to be mostly river-police operations rather than naval engagements).
However many other skirmishes occurred, the most bloody on June 1937 (Kanchazu Island incident) when the Japanese shelled and sunk a Soviet gunboat with ground artillery.

Note: Details are scarce; no known Japanese or Manchurian records of the events survived the war. Japanese and Russian military literature on this naval theatre is extremely rare, limited and of recent production.

9 August 1945
Soviet gunboat BK-63 intercepted and captured a riverine ferry close Saratovka in Amur River. There were 79 prisoners
Photo of a sister-ship of 1124 class: these boats (developed from the smaller 1125, armed with only 1 76mm gun) proved successful on this area: the two turrets cleary an effective threat to force riverine forces to surrender.

On the same day, the Soviet patrol boat KM-113 intercepted another riverine ferry in Amur River. This time occurred the only direct engagement between ships with Soviet suffering from enemy fire: KM-113 received damage with 13 bullet holes. However, the ferry surrendered after the fight, with 26 prisoners.
KM-4 class was small, having crew of 10, armed with only a machine gun plus light personal weapons.

On the same day, Soviet gunboats BK-61 and BK-62 intercepted and captured another riverine ferry close Sindunya in Amur River. There were 117 prisoners.

On the same day, Soviet gunboat BK-64 captured a police-boat close Bibikov in Amur River. There were 6 prisoners.

Additionally also a dinghy was captured by still unidentified Soviet boats close Fuyuan in Amur River.

10 August 1945
Still unidentified Soviet gunboats sunk 6 police-boats and 4 cargo scows close Sahalyane in Amur River.
In addition, the steamer Shao Sin (no detail known, except power of steam engine of 200hp) alongside 20 different boats (up to 20tons each) captured.

On the same day a barge captured by still unidentified Soviet gunboat, close Manchzhoutune in Amur River.

On the same day, a tug with a barge captured by still unidentified Soviet boats close Raohe in Ussari River.

On the same day, Soviet gunboats BK-28, BK-29 and 2 patrol boats sunk the Manchurian guard-boats Shun Tsu, Shuan An and Shuan Kai, in addition to 11 fishing boats, in Lake Khanka. Previously the Manchurians scuttled two other guard-boats while a third one wrecked on rocks (unclear if on purpose or by accident).
Soviet gunboats were 1125 class: actively used in Black Sea and Baltic Sea, in such locations they had chances to score better results than larger 1124 (entirely due missed chances for the less numerous 1124 class). It is currently unclear if the sinking of enemy boats on this day occurred after a direct gunfight or by seizure and scuttling.

Between 12 and 13 August 1945
More than 50 small landing crafts (exact number not reported) captured in Lake Khanka by local Soviet patrol boats.

15 August 1945
Two still unidentified Soviet gunboats captured a police-boat in Lake Khanka.

Manchurian armored ship n°203 captured by still unidentified Soviet gunboat in Sungari River.

According some sources, the Manchurian guard-boat “Hai Yuang” captured by Soviet gunboats on this date in Sungari River: it is unclear if she was the previous unit reported or that one was a different ship, also she is reported as possibly scuttled by own crew on 10 April.

18 August 1945
Unidentified Soviet gunboats sunk 1 armed ship and 3 barges in Sungari River.
Also one passenger ship, 6 tugs, 2 dredgers and 19 barges captured.

Soviet painting portraying a general representation of the operations in Sungari. While purposely emphatic, this painting could be close to reality due the massive Soviet advantage in term of firepower and superior riverine warships over small Japanese/Manchurian police-boats.
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