Ships sunk by Soviet aircraft in Baltic



Soviet Air Force and Soviet Naval Air Force were fundamental in the blockade of the Finnish coasts, sinking merchants that violated the block.

25 December 1939 - Finnish battleship Ilmarinen damaged with 1 KIA, 2 WIA

1 January 1940Finnish merchant Leo (1243 GRT) sunk at Turku

18 January 1940 Finnish armed icebreaker Tarmo severely damaged at Kotka, received two bombs from Pe-2 bombers with 39 KIA

Finnish troop transport Valamon Luostari sunk in Ladoga Lake

19 January 1940 Finnish merchant Kaija (398 GRT) sunk by Pe-2 bombers.

24 January 1940 Finnish merchant Notung (1278 GRT) sunk

6 February 1940 Swedish merchant Wirgo (709 GRT) sunk by Pe-2 bombers.

18 February 1940 Finnish merchant Rigel (1477 GRT), Bore III (1133 GRT) and Bore IV (1659 GRT) sunk

21 February 1940 Finnish icebreaker Voima damaged


Soviet Air Force and Soviet Naval Air Force were the key of the Soviet operations in Baltic Sea, aircraft were more successful the submarines, warships and naval mines and their attacks caused an heavy toll to the enemy.


      The beginning of the War saw all the aircraft avaible to focus their actions in support of the ground forces. The Nazi advances had to slowed with every means and aircraft as Il-2 or Pe-2 carried only few attacks in July against military ships in Gulf of Riga or sporading bombing in Finland.

6 July 1941 German pathmaker Sperrbrecher-6 damaged.

12 July 1941 German gunship SAT-3 August damaged at Domesnas Cape.

13 July 1941 German ferry Deutschland sunk (also light damages on other units, including barges) by DB-3 bomber.

20 July 1941 Finnish icebreaker Murtaja damaged.

23 July 1941 German auxiliary minesweeper R-3131 sunk by aerial-dropped mine.

26 July 1941 Finnish battleship Ilmarinen and gunboat Uusimaa damaged with 2 KIA and 14 WIA

26 July 191 German minesweeper R-169 sunk

27 July 191 German auxiliary minesweeper R-3131 sunk by aerial-dropped mine.

28 July 1941 German merchant Elbing-III (351 GRT) sunk.

8 August 1941 Finnish patrol boat VMV-17 damaged with 2 KIA and 2 WIA


      Again all the aircraft avaible had to be focused in thwart the Luftwaffe. Fighter and bombers of the Naval Air Force fully committed with the anti-aircraft weapons on the ships to defend Leningrad during the siege and leaving the offensive operation to submarines.

However aircraft were present during the Battles of Someri (a defeat) and Suho (a victory) providing a decisive help in the last one.

18 June 1942 Finnish patrol boat VMV-15 damaged

8 July 1942 During the Battle of Someri Island, Soviet aircraft contribuited to the operations inflicting damages to

Finnish gunboat Hameenmaa (1 bombs from Pe-2 with 4 KIA, 9 WIA), Turunmaa (2 KIA, 8 WIA),

and also the German minesweepers M-18 and M-37 were damaged.

16 August 1942 German minesweeper R-106 sunk by Il-2.

15 September 1942 German merchan Alkaid damaged by aerial-dropped mine..


Despite the number of ships sunk was low compared the enemy naval activity, Soviet pilots acquired experience with torpedo launchs


      Torpedo bombers in Action! 1943 was a bad year for the Soviet Baltic Fleet because submarines didnt manage to penetrate the naval mine fields. Soviet Naval Air Force managed to deploy for the first time Il-4 bombers armed with torpedos that sunk at least 6 enemy merchants and Finnish escort ship (approx. 11.311tons of merchant shipping were lost by enemy). Despite the number of ships sunk was low compared the enemy naval activity, Soviet pilots acquired experience with torpedo launchs.

24 March 1943 German merchant Bungsberg (1504 GRT) sunk by aerial-dropped mine.

14 April 1943 German netlayer Netztender-14/Simon sunk by aerial-dropped mine.

2 May 1943 Finnish gunboat Turunmaa sunk but later raised on 23 October and repaired.

27 May 1943 German auxiliary patrol boat O.Re-35 sunk by aerial-dropped mine.

6 June 1943 German merchant Heinrich von Plauenn (1746 GRT) sunk by Il-4 torpedo bomber.

23 August 1943 Finnish merchant Herakles (5103 GRT) damaged by Il-4 torpedo bomber.

2 September 1943 Swedish merchant Svea Reuter (1333 GRT) destroyed by Il-4 torpedo bomber.

13 September 1943 Finnish icebreaker Sisu damaged by aerial-dropped mine.

15 September 1943 German gunboat SAT-2 West sunk by bomber

16 September 1943 Finnish escort ship Uisko sunk by Il-4 with torpedo. 17 KIA

26 September 1943 German merchant Hildegard (1409 GRT) sunk by Il-4 torpedo bomber.

30 September 1943 German merchant Zullchow-17 (396 GRT) sunk by Il-4 torpedo bomber.

1 November 1943 German merchant Marienburg (1322 GRT) sunk by Il-4 torpedo bomber.

4 November 1943 German minesweeper M-16 sunk (later raised and repaired) while M-18, M-30, M-459 and M-460 were damaged. Finnish minelayer Lieska damaged, 2 KIA, 3 WIA, 40 mines lost.

19 November 1943 Finnish troop transport Pukkio damaged with a bomb of 12kg, 2 WIA


      Counter-offensive is began! Soviet Naval Air Force and Soviet Air Force started to enjoy air superiority over sea, sinking or damaging many military units: many victims were patrols or minesweeper or little gunboats, but also larger and important warship were sunk or destroyed as the torpedo boat T-18, the destroyer Z-39 and the auxiliary cruiser Niobe. Other warships were damaged including the heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer. A new powerful aircraft used was the bomber A-20 Boston, an American aircraft that was loved by the Soviet Naval Air Force and used with effective results. Also 13 merchants were sunk with a loss of 32.837 tons

10 January 1944 Finnish merchant Dione damaged by aerial-dropped mine.

6 February 1944 Finnish patrol boat VMV-12 sunk in Helsinki

26 February 1944 Finnish patrol boat VMV-8 sunk in Helsinki

10 April 1944 German minesweeper M-459 sunk by Pe-2 bombers, and M-413 is heavily damaged

8 May 1944 German patrol ship V-1701 Units-II sunk at Narva Bay after a Il-2 crashed on her after it was damaged by anti-aircaft fire (Soviets knew only about the loss of the aircraft). sunk at Narva Bay after a Il-2 crashed on her after it was damaged by anti-aircaft fire (Soviets knew only about the loss of the aircraft).

19 May 1944 German mineswwper M-3121 sunk by Il-2 bomber.

25 May 1944 German submarine U-276 damaged with 3 casualties.

27 May 1944 German merchant Ingeborg (895 GRT) sunk by A-20 torpedo bomber.

18 June 1944 Finnish patrol boat VMV-17 sunk at Tiurinsaari island with 6 KIA, VMV-15 damaged at Koivisto

20 June 1944 German gunboat AF-32 sunk, also R-boat escort ship Nettlebeck and minesweepers M-29, R-119 and R-120 are damaged. German mine-transport Otter sunk (lost 200 mines) and three minesweepers damaged in the same attack.

21 June 1944 German minesweeper M-538 sunk at Viipuri, then raised by Germans but lost while on tow. Finnish motor torpedo boat Tarmo sunk by Il-2 (1 KIA, 3 WIA), motor torpedo boat Tuuli damaged and gunboat Aunus damaged too (with 5 KIA, 11 WIA) all at Oritsaari island.

23 June 1944 German destroyer Z-39 badly damaged by A-20 bomber and towed to Kiel, later hit by Allied bombers. Needed repair for 8 months until 14 February 1945.

26 June 30 June 1944 Around these date, are all damaged the German minesweepers M-15, M-29, M-3112, the landing barge F-194 and the anti-aircraft barge FJ-29.

4 July 1944 During the battle for Viipuri Bay, Finnish gunboats Hameenmaa, Uusimaa, Turunmaa and patrol boats VMV-10 and VMV-11 were all damaged and forced to retreat with 13 KIA and 15 WIA. 2 Il-2, 1 Yak-9 lost, also 2 escort Spitfire lost by enemy fighters at cost of 1 Fw-190.

5 July 1944 Finnish gunboats Aunus and Viena were too damaged while defending Viipuri, and forced to retreat with 10 KIA and 13 WIA

15 July 1944 German merchant Hochsee (2245 GRT) sunk by 2 A-20 torpedo bomber.

16 July 1944 Germain anti-aircraft cruiser Niobe sunk by 4 A-20 bombers (with 7 standard bombs + 2 penetration bomb), 70 KIA, a large air formation of A-20 and Pe-2was searching the last finnish coastal battleship but found and sunk instead this anti-aircraft cruiser. Niobe was the first important enemy military warship sunk by a soviet aircraft (the destroyer Z-39 was previously heavily damaged but not sunk).

Niobe    ''

The Niobe before and after the Soviet air attack.

'' .

18 July 1944 German landing craft F-498 sunk. Around this date to the end of the month, was sunk also F-273 and patrol ship V-1707 Wiking-IV. Were damaged (many after 20 July) minesweepers M-3, M-14, M-15, M-19, M-29, M-30, M-453, M-460, M-3114, patrol ship V-1705 and landing craft F-259

19 July 1944 German gunboats MAL-17 and MAL-19 destroyed by Soviet bomber in Peipus Lake

20 July 1944 German gunboat MAL-15 destroyed by Soviet bomber in Peipus Lake. 1 KIA. In addition, German tug Ceriba sunk by aerial-dropped mine.

21 July 1944 German minesweeper M-20 sunk close to Narva and M-413 grounded and lost

25 July 1944 Finnish minesweepers Vilppula and Mercurius sunk by a single A-20 with torpedo, 5 KIA (ships berthed close to each other).

27 July 1944 German gunboat MAL-13 sunk by Soviet bomber in Peipus Lake.

August 1944 During different air attacks the German minesweepers M-14, M-443, M-3109, M-3128, M-3137, M-258, R-67 and the gunboat AF-21 and are damaged.

13 August 1944 German torpedo-recovery vessel (ex-torpedo boat) TF-11 sunk by A-20 torpedo bomber.

15 August 1944 German minesweeper R-29 sunk by Soviet aircraft in the Gulf of Finland.

30 August 1944 German gunboats MAL-18, MAL-23 and MAL-24 (1 KIA) destroyed by Soviet bomber in Peipus Lake.

1 September 1944 German minesweeper M-3144 sunk

15 September 1944 Soviet aircraft took part at the Battle of Suursari. 2 Il-2 and 1 SB were shot down, but at least a landing craft was sunk by Soviet aircraft (and not by Finnish artillery/ships). Auxiliary vessel Salzburg damaged by bomber.

16 September 1944 German submarine U-1014 damaged with 2 KIA and 3 WIA in Libau.

17 September 1944 German torpedo boat T-18 sunk by A-20 with 2 bombs and sunk (enemy believe by Il-2) with 30 KIA; the first of the three operative torpedo boats (even if one was old) sunk by Soviet aircraft, the previously sunk TF-11 was used for auxiliary duties.

21 September 1944 German minesweepers M-3153 and M-3155 sunk

22 September 1944 German transport Moero (5272 GRT) (655 soldiers aboard killed) sunk by A-20 torpedo bombers and merchants Sumatra (9280 GRT), RO-22/Westplain (4370 GRT), Ingrid Traber (1883 GRT) and Malaga (2146 GRT) are damaged by bombers. Also the German torpedo boat T-20 was damaged.

24 September 1944 German merchant Meyersledge (828 GRT) sunk by A-20 bomber.

6 October 1944 German landing craft PiLb-39 sunk by bomber in Saaremaa.

9 October 1944 German merchants Iller (3290 GRT), Inge Christophersen (1353 GRT) and Marie Seidler (438 GRT), and Elbing I (466 GRT) sunk all by Il-2 attack planes..

12 October 1944 German transport Brake (5347 GRT) damaged by A-20 bomber.

21 October 1944 German minesweeper R-151 , landing craft SF-151 , tug Jason sunk by bomber

24 October 1944 German destroyer Z-28 was badly damaged with 8 bombs hits. Had to be repaired until February 1945 and was then sunk by British bombing attack.

25 October 1944 German minesweeper M-3117 sunk

30 October 1944 German merchant Finland (5251 GRT) destroyed by A-20 bomber.

31 October 1944 German transport Bremerhaven (5335 GRT) sunk with 410 killed

1 November 1944 German transport Varte (4922 GRT) damaged by aerial-dropped mine..

6 November 1944 German merchant Schiffbek (2158 GRT) sunk on aerial-dropped mine.

11 November 1944 German patrol ship V-1802 sunk

16 November 1944 German gunboats AF-22 and AF-26 sunk

19 November 1944 German gunboat AF-18 sunk and torpedo boat T-23 damaged. Landing craft F-843 sunk after damage by bomber.

20 November 1944 German merchant Varteland damaged by aerial-dropped mine.

23 November 1944 German battleship Admiral Scheer is attacked by waves of Soviet aircraft: first 8 Pe-2 hit the ship with a bomb, then 3 A-20 fail to inflict other damage (one shot down and in air-to-air battle1 Yak-9 and 3 Me-109 are downed). A third wave of Il-2 hit the Admiral Scheer with another bomb and a fourth attack (again of Il-2) score 2 hits. One last attack of Pe-2 force the ship to escape, also the hydroplane Ar-196 of the battleship was shot down by soviet fighter. During the same attack also the German minesweeper M-15, M-204 and M-328 are damaged. These ships were the most important military ships sunk by Soviet aircraft
Admiral Scheer under attack.

25 November 1944 German tanker Memelland (6236 GRT) damaged by aerial-dropped mine.

28 November 1944 German torpedo boat T-10 damaged

29 November 1944 German merchant Max Bornhofen (1312 GRT) sunk by aerial-dropped mine.

7 December 1944 German patrol ship V-1606 Julius Fock sunk by A-20 with torpedo, 13 KIA.

14 December 1944 German merchants Otterberg (1293 GRT), Clara L.M.Russ (1600 GRT), Erika Schunemann (1177 GRT), Minna Cords (951 GRT) and Inka (443 GRT) are sunk during a raid at Libau.

20 December 1944 German landing craft SF-312 sunk by bomber.

22 December 1944 German custom ship Reporter and police-boat SW.31 sunk by Pe-2 bombers.



      The last year of war saw the effort to inflict the larger damage to the enemy fleet supporting the last German coastal operation and the evacuation of troops from besieged coastal pockets. A-20torpedo bomber played again an important part but were supported by soviet-made Pe-2 bombers (that proved less effective) and Il-2 and Il-10 attackers (that scored some success against little targets). The number of enemy military target destroyed increased, including this last year a submarine, two hydroplanes-carriers, the battleship Schlesien, an auxiliary cruiser (Orion), two torpedo boats (T-36 and T-155), and two uncompleted aircraft carriers.

14 January 1945 German merchant Mimi Horn (3944 GRT) sunk by A-20 torpedo bomber

15 January 1945 German merchants Doggerbank (257 GRT) and Ferdinand (167 GRT) sunk by A-20

24 January 1945 German submarine U-763 damaged at Koeningsberg by Soviet air raid in harbor and then scuttled by crew.

28 January 1945 German landing craft F-880 sunk

30 January 1945 German destroyer Z-25 damaged (survived, after the war given to France).

5 February 1945 German gunboat SAT-15 Polaris sunk by two bomb hits, in addition to submarine chaser UJ-307 (2 KIA), patrol ships Vs.338 Maarten and V-339 Princess Juliana and landing barge F-178 sunk during a single air raid at Pillau.

7 February 1945 German icebreaker Pollux sunk sunk on aerial-dropped mine.

9 February 1945 German landing craft F-206 sunk (both possibly drifted due weather, or wreck later bombed).

16 February 1945 German merchant Emsstorm (4517 GRT) sunk by Il-2

17 February 1945 German merchant Eifel (1429 GRT) sunk by bomber

18 February 1945 German merchants Sangha (1923 GRT) damaged by A-20 bomber, and Fangturm (1923 GRT) damaged by bombers

3 March 1945 German landing craft F-295 sunk by a bomber.

6 March 1945 German depot ship Robert Molnring sunk at Sassnizt while helping the sinking destroyer Z-28, hit by British aircraft.
On the same day at Pillau, German gunboat LAT-24 damaged by Il-2. 6 KIA, 9 WIA.

9 March 1945 German hospital-ship Meteor-II sunk by bomber. At the time of sinking, she carried soldiers as troopship (24 KIA out of 300 onboard).

11 March 1945 German merchant Borbeck (6002 GRT) sunk by A-20 torpedo bombers.

12 March 1945 German merchant Gerrit Fritzen (1761 GRT) sunk by A-20 torpedo bombers.
German merchant Storman (1459 GRT) damaged.
Submarine chaser UJ-303 and landing craft F-1065 sunk by an aircraft.

Auxiliary minesweeper R-243 sunk by Soviet or American aircraft.

18 March 1945 German minesweeper R-227 sunk by A-20 aircraft. Also the

merchant Orion (1172 GRT) (shared name of the gunboat but different ship) was sunk by A-20 and the

merchant Ellen (565 GRT) damaged by A-20

19 March 1945 German merchant Lisa Essberger (1172 GRT) damaged, also German patrol ship Gauleiter Burkel damaged by naval bomber.

22 March 1945 German merchants Frankfurt (1186 GRT) by bomber. German patrol ship Vs.326 sunk by A-20 aircraft.

German merchant Mendoza (5193 GRT) sunk by Il-2 bomber.

25 March 1945 German patrol ship DC-07 Gretel sunk. German ferry Sandkrug sunk by aircraft near Hela

26 March 1945 German merchants Bille (665 GRT), Weser (999 GRT) sunk by bombers and tanker Sassnits (694 GRT) sunk by A-20 torpedo bombers.

German minesweeper R-145 sunk by Il-2, minesweeper R-260 sunk by A-20 aircraft.
German gunboat LAT-24 Orion damaged by A-20 bomber, while an unidentified small boat also sunk.

The wreck if the tanker Sassnits burning.

26 1945 .

28 March 1945German merchant Jersbek (2804 GRT) sunk by Il-4 and A-20.

31 March 1945German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen damaged by Il-10 with rockets. 9 KIA

     Prinz Eugen under attack. Bombers missed, before Il-10 hit her.

2 April 1945 German minesweeper R-256 and submarine chaser UJ-1101 sunk

4 April 1945 German torpedo boat T-155 sunk

7 April 1945 German merchants Flensburg and Wiegend sunk, also sunk minesweeper R-69 (also reported on 10 April)

8 April 1945 The large German auxiliary ship Franken (armed but used to resupply-ship) was sunk

Hydroplanes-carriers Hans Albrecht Wedel and Boecke sunk by Il-2 bombers. Submarine chaser UJ-301 sunk

German merchants Vale (5950 GRT) and Weserstein (1923 GRT) sunk. Destroyer Z-31 damaged by Il-2.

- (  )     The Hans Albrecht Wedel on fire.
- ( ) .

Trossschiff Franken hit.
-2 .

9 April 1945 German merchants Albert Jensen (5446tons) and Mendoza (5193tons) Florida, Vale (5950 GRT) (she carried soldiers and 250 died)

and submarine chaser UJ-1101/Alemania (5193tons) sunk.

11 April 1945 German merchants Moltkefels (7862tons) ( 500 KIA) , Posen (1069tons) (300 KIA)

sunk while evacuating troops, Wiegand (5869tons), Frida (722tons) and Adria (6348tons) are

damaged. Among the escort were sunk submarine chaser UJ-1102, the training vessel TS-10 and minesweeper M-367.

12 April 1945 German tanker Frida (722 GRT) damaged by naval bomber German merchant Weserstein sunk .

13 April 1945 German merchant Karlsruhe (897 GRT) sunk by A-20 with torpedo, 970 KIA (was carrying troops).

15 April 1945 German landing craft F-596 sunk.

18 April 1945 German escort Drache sunk with two bombs, also the Robert Mueller was hit and then finished by a torpedo bomber.

16 April 1945 German merchant Cap Guir (1536 GRT) sunk by naval bomber, 756 KIA (troops) and Gotha (5445tons) damaged.

German patrol boat V-313 damaged by naval bombers.

18 April 1945 German escort ship Drache sunk with two bombs from Il-2 aircraft,

also the gunboat SAT-5 Robert Muller (technically renamed Robert Muller 6) sunk A-20 bombers.

19 April 1945 German merchant Altengamme (5897tons) sunk

20 April 1945 German icebreaker Koeningsberg (180tons) and patrol ship V-215 sunk

On unclear day of April, German auxiliary minesweeper R-224 and landing craft PiLB-43/II sunk by bombers.

24 April 1945 German merchant Huelva (1923tons) sunk by torpedo bomber

27 April 1945 German destroyer Z-31 damaged. After the war will be given to British

1 May 1945 German armed barges Wesflandern and Prinses Beatrix sunk at Bornholm

2 May 1945 German battleship Schlesien was already damaged by a British mine and was attacked by waves of

Soviet A-20 (with support of Il-2) aircraft that hit her 2 bombs.

This old veteran of the Jutland Battle during the WWI was the only battleship that was actually took hit from Soviets.

German minesweeper M-387 and patrol ship V-2001 Uranus both sunk (according other source, M-387 scuttled).

This old veteran of the WWI (had fought in Jutland Battle) was still a threat for his anti-coastal fire.

Schlesien Schlesien was the only battleship that was actually took out of action by a Soviet air raid during a naval operation
The abandoned battleship, sinking and with visible extensive damages caused by at least 2 soviet direct hits.

3 May 1945 German destroyer Z-28 damaged. After the war, given to British.

German torpedo boat T-9 damaged. Then further damaged by British aircraft and destroyed by crew.

4 May 1945 German auxiliary cruiser Orion sunk close Swinemunde after taking at least a bomb from A-20.

The unit had carried successful raids against Allied ships in other Seas, it was the last cruiser lost by enemy due Soviet air attack and the second one that sunk because of it.

German armed merchant (anti-aircraft vessel) Hummel sunk by bombers.

German auxiliary cruiser Orion sunk close Swinemunde

The Orion sinking and here after being almost submerged showing her guns on the deck.

5 May 1945 German torpedo boat T-36 sunk by Il-2 with 3 bombs hits and 63 KIA, (large fleet-torpedo boat of Elbing class) German merchant Ulrich Finistervalder (2947tons) damaged.

German merchant Ulrich Finistervalder (2947tons) damaged

6 May 1945 German motor torpedo boat S-226 scuttled after heavy damages. German landing craft PiLB-43/I sunk by aircraft.

7 May 1945 At least 6 ships and 40 fishing boats are reported sunk during an air raid on Bornholm island.

Unknown ship at Bornholm after Soviet air attack.


9 May 1945 German landing craft F-873 sunk by A-20 on Renoy River.

German merchant Liselotte Friedrich (517 GRT) sunk, 300 KIA.

German landing craft F-517 hit by torpedo bomber abandoned and scuttled by German escort the next day.

The data presented by Lupetto Solitario

WWII fleet and aviation

War is over

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