Югославские партизанские действия на море

Yugoslav Partisan Navy in WWII

Jугословенски партизански активности на мору, други светски рат морнарице

Jugoslavenske partizanske aktivnosti na moru, drugi svjetski rat

Jугословенската партизанска флота, втората светска воjна

The Yugoslavian partisans during the WWII operated also in the Croat coasts that is well known for a series of many islands and channels. Inside such waters, partisans operating in the islands had caused some troubles at the Italian occupation forces that needed to supply its garrisons on the coast using sea routes often with mortar attacks or night assaults. With the surrender of Italians and the relocation of Tito's High Command in the island of Vis (that was free from the Axis control), it was decided to create a Partisan Navy to raid the supply lines of the German forces: their units were divided into gunboats (NB, that could reach 20 meters of length) or patrol boats (PC, smaller but more maneuverable). Both the Partisans and the German forces used a number of light boats (often ex-trawlers or fishing boats) to supply their respective land forces however the German tried to do only some (mainly failed) landing assault to the partisans garrisons while the Partisan Navy focused to fight the German supply boats with true pirate actions.

The often unprotected prey were attacked mainly during the night or at dusk (to avoid German aircraft), few warning shots were fired and were thrown threats: if the enemy surrendered, the boat was going to be towed away to Vis island. If the crew resisted, the partisan boarded the prey as a the pirates of the past centuries.

German navy tried to use their air superiority, their armed motor torpedo boat and assault crafts with special forces to stop the raids: they managed to sink or destroy some of the larger and more vulnerable partisan crafts of NB series, but they could not stop the Partisan actions.

During the conflict, Partisan boats sunk, destroyed or captured 11 military boats (including a Kriegsmarine minelayer, a tug, a minesweeper and some assault and landing craft, but also some armed boats used both for patrol and for supply duties) and damaged other 9, while 10 supply boats were sunk, destroyed or captured and other 10 damaged. (other losses were caused to the enemy by partisan ground forces or artillery/mortar attacks, including a motor torpedo boat destroyed with mortar fire in Trieste harbor in 1945)

9 Partisan NB gunboats were lost (even if only 5 by German attacks) while only 1 PC boat of medium size was lost (due accident). Other 13 PC crafts were lost but they were very small boats used as support crafts of larger units (these ones were very little unit, armed only with a single machine gun and usually manned by 3 or 4 sailors, without a cabin and often with an external engine).

In coordination with Partisan Crafts, from Vis Island operated also the Royal Navy 61st MBT flottilla, a little British naval unit of half a dozen of armed boats under the command of the Canadian Captain Thomas G. Fuller (nicknamed the Adriatic's Pirate by the British military history). British crafts destroyed, captured or sunk 13 military and supply enemy boats. Captain Fuller in his memories confirm that partisans were regularly used as guides between the channels and the island and took part at the action on his crafts, claiming that the partisans often caused the enemy surrender without a fight with blood-curling threats. That's confirmed with the capture of the biggest British prey: a schooner of 400tons full of supplies that surrendered after a Yugoslavian partisans shouted "don't shot or we will torpedo you" (even if the boat had no torpedoes) and furthercolorfulthreats.

The downside of that victory was that at Vis, Yugoslavian and British had to consume German foods (sauerkraut, goulash and ten tons of Danish butter)

 

Jugoslavenske partizanske aktivnosti na moru, drugi svjetski rat НБ12 / Yugoslavas partidistas actividades en el mar, Segunda Guerra Mundial Atividades partidarias jugoslavas no mar, Segunda Guerra Mundial; НБ13 / Jугословенската партизанска флота, втората светска воjна

 

These units were gunboats, classified as NB, and larger then the most common PC boat. That proved useful in some clashes (as during the assault at the Kornat, or during the Battle of Maun Island when NB-14 faced larger enemy warships) however this also caused a number of losses (differently from the PC class).

 

NB-1

Krava

1 x 40mm

4 x 20 mm

1 x 15mm

16 crew
(25m and 120 tons)

It was the ex German patrol ship named HZ-8

18/03/44 With NB-6, PC-2 and PC-4 capture a German assault craft of KJ type at Molat island

Sunk by Luftwaffe 20-03-44

NB-4

Jadran

1 x 47mm

3 x 20mm

1x4 x 12,7mm

2x2- 12,7mm

1 rocket launchers

22 crew

(19,7m and

64 tons)

13/1/44 capture and then destroy the Kriegsmarine light minelayer Pasman

The Pasman was the ex- Yugoslavian minelayer Mosor (of the pre-war navy) and was the largest military ship destroyed by Partisan Navy. Had a length of 30m and a weight of 142tons, was armed with a 47mm gun and could carry 20 to 34 mines. At the time of the loss the ship was still not decided if to be part of Kriegsmarine or the little Ustasha Navy and was lost before being commissioned (however at the time was in the hands of the Germans)

NB-6

Napredak

1 x 40 mm

2- 20mm

4 x 8mm

16 crew (17m and 30 tons)

9-10/12/43 capture the Ustasha boat Sv.Nikola (30 Germans, Ustashas and gendarmes KIA/POW)

18/03/44а With NB-1, PC-2 and PC-4а ааcapture a German assault craft of KJ type at Molat island

 

NB-8

Kornat

1 x 40mm

3 x 20mm

3 x 8mm

23 crew

(19,5 m and 61tons)

1-2/6/43 during the night the German motor torpedo boats tried to board the Kornat claiming to be Allied British boats. There was a battle between the crew and the Germans and to retread with high losses and with all the motor torpedo boats (S-153, S-155, S-156 and S-157) that suffered light damage. Also an enemy sailor was POW

Lost 28/07/44 because run aground and then burned by crew

NB-9

Biokovac

1 x 40mm

3 x 20mm

3 x 8mm

9 crew

(16m and 15 tons)

8-9/12/43 with PC-54 capture Ustasha boat Jadro

Sunk by friendly fire 20/02/444 by a British destroyer

NB-13

Partizan

2 x 40mm

3 x 20mm

2 x 8mm

20 crew

(20m and 24 tons)

9/10/44 With PC-2а sunkа boatа Angelina at Pag Island and capture the boat Adriana

Sunk by friendly fire 20/11/44 by Allied aircraft

NB-14

Pionir

2 x 40mm

1x2 x 20mm

2x2 x 12,7mm

22 crew (20m and 33 tons)

Ex- german unit sunk by Allied aircrafts

22-23/10/44 Took part at Battle of Maun Islandа with PC-2 and PC-24 against the Kriegsmarine submarine hunters UJ-202 and UJ-208 (ex- Italian corvettes) Light damages received, but she probably caused some light damage at the enemy.

Few days later (1 November) the UJ-202 and UJ-208 will fight again close to Pag Island but this time against the British destroyersа Wheatland and Avon Vale and both the German ships were sunk.

 

Units that didn't had success but were lost in action are:

NB-2 Koca (25m and 120tons with 14 crew) was sunk by Kriegsmarine motor torpedo boats (S-36 and S-61).

NB-5 Ivan was the ex- American submarine chaser SC-1 and was sunk by Luftwaffe 27/12/43.

NB-7 Enare II self-sunk after damage by Luftwaffe and collision damages after having hit the NB-8

NB-10 Sloga that was boarded and then sunk by German assault crafts and sunk by them

NB-11 Crvena Zvijezda (the larger boat, 24m with 180 tons and 28 crew, armed also with a 81mm gun) was sunk by a mine 1/04/45 with the death of 22 crew.

(she was the ex anti-partisan boat Anton, that was captured by PC-3 and PC-4 after an hard fight)

 

Other units were:

NB-4 Topcider was renamed УBB-4Ф and turned into an hospital ship.

NB-5а (unnamed) never fully operative due engine problems (ex-German unit sunk)

NB-12 Borac (then renamed Partizan-II) ex-fishing boat that was gifted by the Allied to compensate the losses of friendly fire but was never used in action.

NB Partizanka (without number) was an ex luxury yacht, not used even if among the weapons there were 3 ordinary 20mm guns, but also 2 multiple rocket launchers.

 

 

The patrol boats were mainly ex-civilian units armed and used as pirate ships to raid the enemy marine supply lines. They were all different and are classified together only because the similar size, weapons and crew. They proved to be effective in the Croat waters especially during boarding action.

PC-1 to PC-4 and PC-21, PC-22 and PC-24 were the most active ships.

PC-6 to PC-8 were ex-enemy captured units not much used (only the PC-6 took part at an action, PC-5 it's included between the "light craft").

Also PC-23 and PC-25 to PC-27-II saw less action and at least one used only as transport (there were two ships registered as PC-27, the second one was the most little unit of this series of Patrol boat, being only 4-crew manned but armed with a 20mm and she was the only unit lost in action (due an ammunition explosion). With only a loss during the war, these boats proved to be the best one of the Partisan Navy.

 

 

PC-1

Jandra

2 - 20mm

2 - 12mm

11 crew

3/01/44 with PC-3 attack and light damage the steamship Slavija in Vinodol channel

24-25/01/44 With PC-3 destroy armed tug Constante at Olib Island (crew surrendered without fight)

PC-2

Macola

1- 40mm

2- 20mm

10 crew

17/12/43 damaged ship some enemy sailors were KIA at Zadar's channel

27-28/02/44 With PC-3 destroy boats Marie Jose and Harealis at Pag Island. Around 120 German troops (and sailors) ferried on the boats were KIA or POW

18/03/44 With NB-1, NB-6 and PC-4 capture a German assault craft of KJ type at Molat island

9/10/44 With NB-13 sunk boat Angelina at Pag Island and capture the boat Adriana

22/07/44 With PC-6 attack and light damage passenger ship Bonn near Maslinjak

29/07/44 With PC-4 and PC-71(as support) capture armed transport Felice at Ist island

22-23/10/44 Took part at Battle of Maun Island with NB-14 and PC-24 against the Kriegsmarine submarine hunters UJ-202 and UJ-208 (ex- Italian corvettes) Light damages received

PC-3

Skampo

1 x 40mm

2 x 20mm

2x2 x 12,7mm

14 crew

10/12/43 lightly damaged a steamship at Velebit Channel

16/12/43 damaged a steamship at Velebit

3/01/44 with PC-3 attack and light damage the steamship Slavija in Vinodol channel

24-25/01/44 With PC-1 destroy armed tug Constante at Olib Island (crew surrendered without fight)

27-28/02/44 With PC-2 destroy boats Marie Jose and Harealis at Pag Island. Around 120 German troops (and sailors) ferried on the boats were KIA or POW

27/04/44 With PC-4 capture anti-partisan ship Anton after an hard fight at Olib island

PC-4

Junak

2 x 20mm

1 x 12,7mm

1 x 7,9mm

10 crew

18/03/44 With NB-1, NB-6 and PC-2 capture a German assault craft of KJ type at Molat island

27/04/44 With PC-3 capture anti-partisan ship Anton after an hard fight at Olib island

29/07/44 With PC-2 and PC-71(as support) capture armed transport Felice at Ist island

PC-6

Sumar

1 x 20mm

1-12,7mm

9 crew

Ex-German assault craft

22/07/44 With PC-2 attack and light damage passenger ship Bonn near Maslinjak

PC-21

Miran

1 x 40mm

2 x 20mm

1x2 x 12,7mm

2 x 8mm

1 mortar of 81mm

10 crew

11/11/43 With PC-22 damage armed boat in Srednji channel

6-5/04/44 With PC-22 capture armed boat San Antonio at Sestrunj

7-8/04/44 With PC-22 attack and light damage boats A-302 and A-91 in Vrgad channel

22-23/04/44 With PC-22 capture boats Giuliana and Emilia in Silba channel

PC-22

Streljko

1 x 40mm

2 x 20mm

2 x 8mm

1 mortar of 81mm

10 crew

11/11/43 With PC-21 damage armed boat in Srednji channel

28/02/44 capture armed boat Giuseppe Cesario at Molat island

6-5/04/44 With PC-21 armed boat San Antonio at Sestrunj

7-8/04/44 With PC-21 attack and light damage boats A-302 and A-91 in Vrgad channel

22-23/04/44 With PC-21 capture boats Giuliana and Emilia in Silba channel

5-6/08/44 Fought against the Kriegsmarine minesweeper R-15 and R-16 in Murter Channel possibly causing light damages and receiving some.

PC-24

Marjan

1 x 40mm

2 x 20mm

2 x 8mm

1 mortar of 81mm

16 crew

22-23/10/44 Took part at Battle of Maun Island with NB-14 and PC-2 against the Kriegsmarine submarine hunters UJ-202 and UJ-208 (ex- Italian corvettes) Light damages received

27/12/44 sunk a German assault landing boat in Sv. Petar harbour

PC-53

Zora

2 x 20mm

1x2 x 12,7mm

?

20/12/43 With PC-41, PC-42, PC-43 and British motor torpedo boat MTB-649 captured two armed ships during a coordinated action in the Battle of Cape Pelegrin

5/09/44 Was involved in Battle of Makaraska. Reported to have damaged the enemy but probably it was sunk the Kriegsmarine minesweeper R-12 that was confirmed as lost that night (officially sunk by mine)

Boat Lahor

No fixed weapons

?

The Lahor was one of the many boats used to transport weapons, ammunitions or partisans and not intended to fight. However 17/12/44 found in Molat island and her crew captured an explosive boat (of Lynse type) one of the Germans was shot and killed by his own officer because refused to sabotage or self-destroy the boat.

 


Also 18/12/43 two PC attacked two transport ship with 150 soldiers on board and inflicted casualties at Zadar channel. No data to know the identity of the PC

Another undefined PC unit captured a motor boat 8-9/01/44 at Baska (again, no clear data about the victim or the PC boat)

Joegoslavische partizanen activiteiten op zee, de Tweede Wereldoorlog - Yougoslave flotte partisane, Jugoslaviske partisan aktiviteter pa havet

Югославские партизанские действия на море - Jugoslowianskie partyzanckich dzialan na morzu, II wojna swiatowa

Jугословенски партизански активности на мору, , Други светски рат морнарице

Light armed crafts (PC-5 and then PC-41 to PC-82) were very little boats usually armed only with a gun of 8mm and with few sailors, they were mainly used as support units to larger ships and not planned for the raiding operations. Some were also ex-enemy units captured and 13 of them were lost during the war by accidents or enemy actions (mainly air attacks).

PC-41

PC-41

PC-43

Napredak

unnamed

Napred

All had only 1-8mm each

4 crew

20/12/43 These three little craft together the British motor torpedo boat MTB-649 and PC-53 captured two German armed ships during a coordinated action at Cape Pelegrin (sometimes called as the Battle of Cape Pelegrin)

PC-54

Turist

1 x 20mm

2 x 8mm

1 mortar of 45mm

?

8-9/12/43 with NB-9 capture Ustasha boat Jadro

 

PC-61

Udar

?

?

5-6/11/43 damaged German boat Sv. Franjo (enemy suffered 8 KIA, 5 WIA)

Sunk 27/12/43 by German aircrafts

PC-64

Neutralni

8mm

?

24/12/43 sunk a German landing craft that was attempting to land troops at Korcula

PC-71

Sv. Kriz

8mm

 

29/07/44 With PC-2 and PC-4 capture armed transport Felice at Ist island

(probably only as supporting craft)

The data presented by Michele Cuccia


Jugoslawischen Partisanen Flotte, Yougoslave flotte partisane, Jugoslaviske partisan aktiviteter pa havet; Attivita partigiane jugoslave in mare, Seconda Guerra Mondiale; Yugoslavas partidistas actividades en el mar, Segunda Guerra Mundial; Atividades partidarias jugoslavas no mar, Segunda Guerra Mundial; Jugoslowianskie partyzanckich dzialan na morzu, II wojna swiatowa; Joegoslavische partizanen activiteiten op zee, de Tweede Wereldoorlog;

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