The worst maritime disaster ever, Soviet submarine S-13

One of the Soviet`s S-class series IX S-13 was laid down by Krasnoye Sormovo, Gorkiy, on October 19, 1938; launched April 25, 1940 and commissioned on July 31, 1941.

During the war S-13 was stationed at the Baltic Sea .In 1942 the operational area of S-13 was to be the Gulf of Bothnia. The boat sailed from Lavansaari on September 3, and dived under the Swedish minefield at Märket on the 11th. The boat sunk its first victim, Sep` 11, Finnish SS Hera, by gunfire and second victim, Sep` 18, Finnish SS JussiH. by torpedo, both cargo ships. Continuing north the boat sunk a Dutch coster SS Anna W. on the22ed. The boat returned from Gulf of Bothnia on October 12, and crossed easily `Nashorn`. While recharging batteries during the night of October 15, some 15 n/miles west of Ruuskeri, she was surprised on the surface by the Finnish patrol vessels VMV 13 and VMV 15. Making a crash dive, she hit the bottom at a depth of 213 feet. The Finnish crafts executed depth charges attacks and apparently believed that the submarine had been destroyed. S-13 survived the attack and managed to limp back to Lavansaari on October 18.

On January 30, 1945 the Soviet Navy was envolved in the worst maritime disaster ever:
The German steamer of 25,484 tons named Wilhelem Gustloff, a passenger ship built in 1938 and named after a Nazi who was killed in Switzerland, was on course about 28 n/miles N-NE of Leba in the Baltic. It is estemated that the ship was loaded with some 7,000 to 10,000 civilian refugees and wounded soldiers-the ship was busyevacuating Nazi German troops and personnel from Baltic ports.
During the night of the 30th she was hit off the present Polish coast by 3 torpedoes from Soviet submarine S-13, Cdr. Aleksander I. Marinesko.Hundreds died instantly, and after one hour the ship sank. About 1250 survived, and around 7-8,500 died in the ice cold water. With 7000 to 10,000 immediate victims the destruction of Wilhelm Gustloff was certainly the largest naval disaster in human history.
Less than two weeks after the destruction of Wilhelm Gustloff, the same S-13 sub under Marinesko`s command sunk General von Steuben, another transport with 3000 Nazi subjects onboard of which 300 survived. This was Marinesko`s second major score in his long duel with Hitler`s Kriegsmarine.

Image Country Year Description
Moldova 95th anni' of the birth of Alexandru Marineescu (1913-1963) World War-II Soviet submarine captain of the S-13, 16.05.2008
Russia 1996 Submarine S-13, of S class
Madagascar 1998 1945 Russian submarine S-13 torpedoing the German's Wilhelm Gustloff
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