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Soviet WWII armored boats

RKKF warships Barco de blindados sovieticos Proyecto 1125 class foto
Soviet armored boats of 1125 project

Russian river gunboats Armati barca corazzata sovietici Progetto 1124 class
Armored boat of 1124 project with the T-34 turret, the AAMG turret and the rocket launcher

"Riverine tanks" of USSR specifications
TypeBuiltLenght, mCrewArmor, mmDisplacement, tSpeed max / econ Armament typical
Project 112499 in 1935-19452513-204-1441-4821 / 13 2 * 76,2 mm gun and DT MGs in 2 T-34 or T-28 turrets
+ 2 * AA MGs
Project 1125204 in 1936-19452310-134-827-3619 / 13 1 * 76,2 mm gun and DT MG in T-34 or T-28 turret
+ 4 * AA MGs
S-407 in 194224,6124-830 / 33,835 / 1 * 76,2 mm gun and DT MG in T-34 turret
+ 4 * AA MGs

310 armored boats produced in USSR from 1934 to 1945. These military units were used at the rivers, lakes and inner seas.
Also there were some light units of type D (of WWI era) and different units of type P (ex-Polish).

gunboat 1125 project Riverine tank of USSR Russian photo WWII specifications, information, facts
Soviet WW2 armoured boat of 1125 type WWII photo.


Most important battles involving 1125 class in Baltic Sea:

28 August 1941.
Soviet gunboats BK-213 and BK-214 raided the Finnish coast and intercepted a convoy of Finnish motorboats towing pontoons. Soviet commanders decided to not open gunfire, to not alert Finnish patrol boats, and the pair started a series of "taran" (ramming) attacks. In brief time, 4 Finnish motorboats were sunk alongside 2 pontoons, while other 2 pontoons were destroyed. Finnish sources confirm such losses (Soviets actually claimed a bit more: 10 targets sunk), and they suffered 3 killed and 4 wounded. The pontoons were empty yet this successful attack was a good result, but due the war situation similar raids were not repeated.

13 August 1944.
Soviet gunboat BK-213 took part in another successful battle: with BK-322, they clashed against a group of 4 German auxiliary minesweepers into Peipus Lake. During the fight, the Soviet armored boats managed to split the enemy: the German KM-19 managed to escape even if she was damaged with 3 wounded, however KM-08 was surrounded by the BKs. The German boat suffered direct hits from the Soviet gunfire, finally BK-213 accomplished another "taran" (ramming) attack and the KM-08 was wrecked against the shore. Of the crew of 11 Germans, 2 managed to hide themselves and were later recovered by enemy, 5 died, 4 were captured (2 of them died for wounds). BK-213 suffered little damages with 2 wounded. Germans later further destroyed the wreck of KM-08 with an air raid to prevent the recovering by Soviets.

17 April 1945.
During the night between 16 and 17 April, a Soviet group of armored boats (BK-200, BK-201, BK-202, BK-204, BK-205, BK-206, BK-212, BK-213 and BK-214) attacked a German convoy of barges and armed barges that was sailing away from Pillau. Sadly German documents of this time of war are absents: Soviets claimed to have sunk 2 armed barges and 2 other transport barges, but these victories can't be confirmed. It has been proposed that the German armed barge PiLb-554 (reported to have been sunk "due mine" that night and close that location) was actually sunk during the battle.

26 April 1945.
Three Soviet gunboats of 1125 type on mission to land troops off Pillau found 3 German armed barges barges (each 60tons, apparently ex-civilian) attempting to evacuate troops. Two barges were sunk in the subsequent action and an unclear number of prisoners was picked from water (data of the clash is unclear because occurred amid the amphibious operation, however they were not MPF type landing crafts).


Most important battles involving 1125 class in Black Sea:

18 August 1943.
In Azov Sea. The German auxiliary gunboats MAL-1 and MAL-2 intercepted in open sea the small Soviet gunboats BK-123 and BK-133 (both of 1125 class). Germans fully exploited the better range of their 88mm guns and the more stable aiming (the soviet gunboat's forward turret wasn't a stable firing gun for open sea). Both the soviet gunboats where hit and sunk without effects on Germans from Soviet fire. 4 prisoners were captured.

30 August 1943.
In Azov Sea. Soviets made a raid on the Bay of Taganrog. The small gunboats BK-311 and BK-313 landed a team and engaged with the auxiliary gunboat MAL-1: they distanced and the German gunboat engaged at longer range the small gunboat BK-312 (class 1125) and BK-122 (class 1124). As happened on 18 August, the MAL exploited her longer range of the guns and managed to sunk both the gunboats without suffer damage or losses: 7 soviet sailors were captured. Later however a group of soviet aircrafts managed to strafe the group with the same gunboat MAL-1 that joined MAL-2, MAL-3, MAL-4, MAL-9 and the auxiliary minesweepers R-30 and RA-52 escorting 5 barges: some damages were caused (unclear on which units), with 3 killed and a number of wounded. Despite earlier losses, Soviet forces successfully liberated Taganrog, BK-111 (class 1124) intercepted on sea an unnamed auxiliary motorboat carrying Germans troops attempting to escape: after a brief strafing, it was captured as prize but subsequently lost due tow breaking after bad weather, 10 Germans captured (commander killed himself, two other men jumped overboard to avoid capture but drowned). Additionally, four local collaborationists took another motorboat and sailed toward minesweeping boat KATSh-176 to defect (captured motorboat was also turned into a minesweeping boat, named KATSh-193).


Most important battles involving S-40 class:

7 November 1943.
In Black Sea, during the support for Kerch-Eltigen operations, the gunboats BK-81 and BK-323 (both of S-40 class) clashed against German armed MFP crafts. During the battle BK-323 suffered light damages but so did the German F-316, F-446 and F-578. Thanks this clash, German MFPs sunk no transport target that night.

Red fleet S40 class. 310 armored boats produced from 1934 to 1945 in USSR. These military ships were used at rivers, lakes and inner seas
Russian WWII armoured boat of S-40 type photo.
Red navy riverine armoured gunboats S40 & 1124 of RKKF photo WWII
Soviet WW2 riverine armoured boats of 1124 project and S-40 type.

Tykkivene, Kanonniere navire Kanonenboot Delovy clun Red Georgia Gruzia red navy ww2 foto warship red fleet
Russian gunboats of GVIU type (armed with two 76-mm cannons and four machineguns and armoured up to 6 mm) at Volga river.

Soviet WWII fleet

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