Soviet submarine S-13
S-13 was a Stalinets-class submarine of the Soviet Navy. Her keel was laid down by Krasnoye Sormovo in Gorky on 19 October 1938. She was launched on 25 April 1939 and commissioned on 31 July 1941 in the Baltic Fleet, under the command of Captain Pavel Malantyenko. The submarine is best known for the 1945 sinking of Wilhelm Gustloff, a German military transport ship. With a career total of 44,701 GRT sunk or damaged, she is the highest-scoring Soviet submarine in history.
S-13 portrayed on a Russian stamp, issued in 1996
|Laid down:||19 October 1938|
|Launched:||25 April 1939|
|Commissioned:||31 July 1941|
|Decommissioned:||7 September 1954|
|Struck:||17 December 1956|
|Class and type:||Soviet S-class submarine|
|Length:||77.8 m (255 ft 3 in)|
|Beam:||6.4 m (21 ft 0 in)|
|Draught:||4.4 m (14 ft 5 in)|
|Test depth:||100 m (330 ft)|
|Complement:||50 officers and men|
In the first half of September 1942, under Malantjenko's command, S-13 sank two Finnish ships, Hera and Jussi H., and a German ship Anna W, totaling 4,042 tons.
On 15 October 1942, caught on the surface while charging her batteries, S-13 was attacked by the Finnish submarine chasers VMV-13 and VMV-15. During her crash dive, the submarine hit bottom, severely damaging her rudder and destroying her steering gear. The following depth charge attack worsened the damage, but S-13 escaped and made it back to Kronstadt.
During the next three years, Malantyenko was relieved by Alexander Marinesko and S-13 was repaired and returned to sea.
Under the command of Marinesko, then 32, on 30 January 1945, at Stolpe Bank off the Pomeranian coast, S-13 sank the 25,484-ton German military transport ship Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with civilians and military personnel, with three torpedoes. Recent calculations estimate more than 9,000 people were killed, the worst loss of life in maritime history.
On 10 February 1945, S-13 sank another German military transport ship Steuben. 3,300 civilians and military personnel from the ship died, and 300 survived.
Marinesko was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union in 1990.
S-13 was decommissioned on 7 September 1954 and stricken on 17 December 1956.
|11 September 1942||Hera||1379 GRT||freighter (torpedo)|
|12 September 1942||Jussi H.||2325 GRT||freighter (torpedo)|
|18 September 1942||Anna W.||290 GRT||freighter (gunfire)|
|30 January 1945||Wilhelm Gustloff||25484 GRT||transport ship (torpedo)|
|10 February 1945||General Steuben||14660 GRT||transport ship (torpedo)|
- "Submarine of the S (Stalinec) class" at uboat.net
- "Greatest Wartime Sea Tragedy Becomes Major Film" Archived 2008-04-14 at the Wayback Machine, a Sea Classics magazine September 2007 article
- Irwin J. Kappes (2003). "Wilhelm Gustloff - The Greatest Marine Disaster in History". MilitaryHistoryOnline.com. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "Wilhelm Gustloff: World's Deadliest Sea Disasters". Unsolved History, The Discovery Channel. Season 1, Episode 14. (Original air date: March 26, 2003)
- Data sheet on the Dampfschiff General von Steuben