Soviet Navy had a main class of "Guard Ships" (The Uragan class, also split in 3 sub-groups "Project 2", "Project 4" and "Project 39").
According all the western and german point of view, they can be easily classified as "Torpedo Boats" (smaller then Destroyers, but much larger then Motor torpedo boats).
Soviet border guard ship SKR-28 "Ruby" of Northern fleet.
Border guard ship SKR-29 "Diamond" (project 43) of USSR navy.
Main Actions of Guard Ships in Baltic (all Uragan -class, also can be classified as "Torpedo Boat")
13 September 1941
One of the most important soviet naval success occurred during the enemy Operation Nordwind. A large enemy operation that involved the battleship Tirpitz and the light cruisers Emden, Köln, e Leipzig and other smaller warships: the main purpose was to distract the Soviet Navy from the German landings on Estonian islands and at the same time it was expected that Soviet Navy attempted to make flee the main warships to neutral Sweden. Actually the Soviet Navy had never such plans and they neither were aware of the large naval enemy operations (nor could have there been intention to face the Germans in open-battle, especially after the losses suffered on mines and the German air superiority). The Finnish Navy took part into this coordinated operation, involving the coastal battleship Ilmarinen: such warship struck mines laid by the Soviet Guard ships (torpedo boats) Tsiklon and Sneg and the minesweeper Tszcz-201 Zaryad, sinking with the loss of 271 lives.
It was the greatest naval loss for Finland: the impact of such sinking remarked what was already clear, in Baltic sea and Gulf of Finland there was no space for large operations of warships due the danger of mines.
11 July 1942 The torpedo boat (guard-ship) Burya was sent together the Fugas-class minesweepers Tszcz-205 Gafel and Tszcz-207 Shpil as reinforcement during the Battle of Someri Island. However these ships had no actual engagement against the enemy (Finnish-German units). The battle was a soviet defeat with the failure of the landing and a number of losses among small crafts (caused mainly by Finnish coastal artillery and gunboats), and only damage caused to the enemy was due soviet aircrafts.
Second Battle of Nerva
16 July 1944 Result: German fail their goals.
The torpedo boat (guard ship) Tucha fought with the Fugas-class minesweepers Tszcz-211 Rym and Tszcz-217 Kontr-Admiral Yurkovskiy against the German torpedo boats T-30 (large, of Elbing class), T-8 and T-10. No hits was scored on both sides but the Germans retreated after having troubles at engines and guns, even if they had a number of advantages on paper. The First Battle of Nerva ( involving soviet motor torpedo boat) has resulted in a soviet victory with sinking of a German large torpedo boat.
Main Actions of Guard Boats in Acrtic
10 September 1941
Guard ship (corvette of project 43 class) Sapfir, alongside submarine chaser MO-252, shot down a German Ju-88 bomber; crew saved.
10 August 1941
Guard ship (corvette of project 43 class) Zhemchug was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-451.
Battle of Convoy PQ-11
2 May 1942. Result: German costly victory.
The British light cruiser Edinburgh had been damaged by the German submarine U-456, and was escorted by British destroyers Forested and Foresight , the Soviet destroyers Sokrushitelnyi and Gremyashchyi and the British minesweepers Hussar, Gossamer, Niger and Harrier. German destroyers Z-7, Z-24 and Z-25 attacked the units when the Soviet destroyers have left the group replaced by the Soviet Guard Ship (corvette of Project 43 class ) Rubin. The Forested was heavily damaged and the Foresight remained alone, however the Edinburgh kept firing protected by the British minesweepers and by the Rubin too. The Z-7 was so heavily damaged that had to be self-sunk. During the action also the Z-25 was damaged and escaped together the Z-24, even if the Edinburgh received another torpedo. The Rubin fought with energy together the minesweepers and the Germans believed to have faced a larger escort of many destroyers. During the action however the Rubin accidentally rammed the Harrier, after a wrong interpretation of a request (Rubin approached too much at the Harrier) but the damage wasn't serious. However the Edinburgh was now almost split in two and was finished by the same British destroyer Foresight with a torpedo after having evacuated the crew. Full data of the Soviet point of view of the battle will probably not be avaible for years: the Rubin was a ship under NKVD control and her war diary was not shared with the Navy.
23 September 1944
Guard ship (corvette of project 43 class) Brilliant was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-957.
20 March 1945
German submarine U-997 was damaged by depth charges of Soviet (Guard ship) torpedo boat Smerch ( Uragan class) with support of some BO class submarine chasers. Damage was light, but submarine was forced to return at base.
Main Actions of Guard Ships in Black Sea (all Uragan -class, also can be classified as "Torpedo Boat")
11 May 1944
Guard ship (torpedo boat) Shtorm was torpedoed and badly damaged by German submarine U-9. She however didn't sunk and managed to return home. She was the largest soviet warship hit by a German submarine in Black Sea. After the war she was judged not worthy to be repaired and was scrapped.
Other articles:Novorussia, December 2014