Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Red Navy in WWII

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Red Navy in WWII

    Well been in my mind awhile- I would like to discuss the Soviet navy's contributions and performance in WWII both the good and bad.


    It is true that the Soviet-German war was a land conflict, but the personnel of the Soviet navy saw a LOT of action. I want us to look at 3 aspects:

    1) The fleet itself, and their naval actions. The Soviet navy was small (except for submarines) and my understanding the quality of ships was mixed. From old battleships (albeit somewhat modernised) like the Gangut class, modern ships like the Kirov cruisers and Project 7 destroyers and many subs. River and small craft were very important ie. keeping supplies moving across the Volga at Stalingrad. One of the main problems was the Soviets had 4 small fleets (Northern, Baltic, Black sea and Pacific) that could not really help or reinforce one another once the war started. They also did not have to protect much commerce (except in the Black sea) nor did they have many targets outside the Baltic or Northern sea. I understand the Baltic fleet was blockaded in Leningrad until late 44.

    2) The Soviet naval infantry-this has been brought up before but the specialised mariens and even sailors from the fleet fought as infantry in many palces from Leningrad and Sebastopol to the Kurile islands. In Leningrad many sailors fought on the front while their comrades manned the big ships (even the Aurora I think) as heavy artillery.

    3) Well another forgotten aspect is the Soviet naval aviation-no aircraft carriers (why would they need them) but land based airpower that was under operational control of the Soviet naval command and scored some successes in the Black Sea and Baltic. I believe they also used lend-lease aircraft such the A-20 Havoc.

    Here is a good place to start the memoirs of the head of the Soviet navy Admiral Kuznetsov.

    http://admiral.centro.ru/start_e.htm

  • #2
    Well little interest, ok how about a hypothetical battle with the Marat vs. Schleswig-Holstein who would win?

    Comment


    • #3
      As it was joked sometimes, "Soviet sailors are more dangerous to the enemy on the land than in the sea". The Baltic fleet was locked in Kronstadt/Leningrad harbour until late 1944 when Finland handed over minefield maps as part of the armistice agreement. But even then it didn't achieve much - several naval landings in Estonia failed (what testifies to a really bad leadership given the huge experience of such landings before), the Kurland group still continued receiving supplies and the East Prussian group got safely evacuated for the most part. The only active branch of the Baltic fleet in 1942-1944 were submarines and their performance, along with the MO-class torpedo boats, may be called moderately successful given the insane number of minefields and anti-submarine nets they had to brave just to leave the Gulf of Finland.

      The battleships were used as de-facto floating high caliber batteries, although the main caliber was used very sparingly in order not to wear down the gun barrels. The big guns fired in earnest only in the beginning of the siege, where there was nothing to lose, and during its lifting in January 1944. The Shlisselburg area was too far out of their range.

      The Aurora saw all of its guns dismantled save for the legendary one, and they were all used to defend the outskirts of Leningrad, mainly in the area between Krasnoye Selo - Pulkovo. The ship itself was sunk by German aircraft in the Oranienbaum harbour but it was salvaged in 1944 and made into a museum ship in 1948.

      In September 1941 the notorious "Plan "D" was nearly implemented by the Soviet authorities, but the highest naval officers strongly objected against scuttling the ships and Admiral Kuznetsov used a formal pretext not to relay Stalin's oral order, asking for a paper with his and Shaposhnikov's signature first. Another version says the ships were actually prepared for detonation and remained literally stuffed with explosives from early September until the German raid on Kronstadt on September 21-23. There's a theory that this was the reason why Rudel's hit on Marat's turret was so successful.
      www.histours.ru

      Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

      Comment


      • #4
        So is it fair the say the Soviet submarine fleet for example was underperforming? Even a waste of resources? Same for the Kirov class cruisers.

        I am impressed by Soviet naval aviation however-would not be surprised if they sank more shipping than the subs or ships of the Red navy.

        The K class subs, the Aurora, Kirov and the Tashkent are my favorite surface vessels. Also gotta love those gunboats with T-34 turrets.

        Here is Tashkent on trails without her weapons but it shows her elegant lines very well. Designed and built in Italy ironically enough.

        Comment


        • #5
          Marat has a broadside of 12,456 lbs; Schleswig-Holstein, 2503 lbs. Gulp!
          Business between the Italians and Soviets was very good during the 1930's, despite any ideological differences the two regimes may have had. Torpedoes, fire-control equipment, and plenty of ship designs. I too like Tashkent, and I think she performed well. I also like the Khasan class monitors, though they never had much opportunity to do much of anything.
          I'd love to see a thorough study of the Soviet navy's land-based air force in the war. It usually gets little more than a footnote. Didn't they bomb Berlin just after Barbarossa was launched? I'm probably remembering that wrong.

          Comment


          • #6
            The 1st Mine-Torpedo Regiment of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet, under the regimental commander Colonel Evgenii Nikolaevich Preobrazhenskii did indeed bomb Berlin on the night of 7 - 8 August 1941 with 13 of its DB-3 bombers. The regiment went on to become the 1st Guards Mine-Torpedo Regiment on 18 January 1942, and Colonel Preobrazhenskii became a Hero of the Soviet Union on 13 August 1941 as a result of, among other things, the Berlin raid...

            Comment


            • #7
              Apart from their role as floating artillery to support land operations, the only significant naval actions that I'm aware of are the disastrous evacuation of Tallinn in 1941, the superbly executed evacuation of Odessa, and maybe the supply of Sevastopol. Other naval actions (river flotilla actions, support of the landings near Novorossiysk and at Akkerman, the to and fro across the Kerch Strait, and the supply of Oranienbaum), would seem to be relatively small-scale affairs. Were there any other naval actions worth mentioning?
              "Freedom of thought is the only guarantee against infection of peoples by the mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorships."
              Hero of the Soviet Union, Andrei Sakharov 1968

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Slim Fan View Post
                Apart from their role as floating artillery to support land operations, the only significant naval actions that I'm aware of are the disastrous evacuation of Tallinn in 1941, the superbly executed evacuation of Odessa, and maybe the supply of Sevastopol. Other naval actions (river flotilla actions, support of the landings near Novorossiysk and at Akkerman, the to and fro across the Kerch Strait, and the supply of Oranienbaum), would seem to be relatively small-scale affairs. Were there any other naval actions worth mentioning?
                You might mention the evacuation of Hanko, which was a great success by 1941 standards, and actions of Chudskoye Lake (didn't do much good) and Ladoga Lake (quite successful) flotillas.
                www.histours.ru

                Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Soviet navy was administratively subordinated to the army in 1926, and while Stalin hinted as early as 1931 that battleships would return to Soviet building programs, the fact that no new capital ships entered service shows that the navy never emerged from its army-centric mission even after gaining administrative independence in 1937. Without a balanced fleet, and given the rapid conquest of major bases, the Soviet had little chance to use its heavy ships as anything but land-support artillery.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well I asked this already but I'll rephrase it-could the Soviets have made more use of their submarines than they did?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Gulf of Finland was cut off by an extensive system of mines for lengthy portions of the war. Apart from a near suicidal charge of boats across those lines, there wasn't much to be done about it. When the land war finally removed the obstacle for good, you see epic successes like Goya and Wilhelm Gustloff and General Steuben.
                      The progressive loss of bases in the Black Sea was a major factor limiting successes there.
                      The potential of the Soviet submarine force is usually overstated due to the large numbers of M-type subs, which might as well be regarded as midgets. I mean, they carried two torpedoes each (until the last batch with four--woohoo!).
                      Also, there appears to have been some understatement of the successes of Soviet subs. Not a huge difference, but the results were not exactly as awful as usually portrayed.
                      Soviet submariners were not blessed with top-quality designs, technology, training, command, administration, or doctrine. But they were up against the Germans, who were remarkably bad submarine hunters. A less traumatic outbreak of war might have allowed the boats to achieve some respectable results.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tiornu View Post
                        ...
                        Soviet submariners were not blessed with top-quality designs, technology, training, command, administration, or doctrine. But they were up against the Germans, who were remarkably bad submarine hunters. A less traumatic outbreak of war might have allowed the boats to achieve some respectable results.
                        Oh the irony. Maybe the Kreigsmarine needed a "Bungo Pete" from the u-bootwaffen to give them some pointers? Not that subhunting was a big deal for Germany.

                        Anyway this fellow seems to have had some success!

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Lunin

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X