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Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:20 pm
by René
Hello all,
In his book "The World's Merchant Fleets", Roger Jordan reports the loss of the tanker Sovetsakaya Neft 31-03-43 torpedoed by the U.24.
I can not find confirmation anywhere. Is it correct ?
Best regards


Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:55 pm
by Darius
Hello René,

maybe an error in this large work?

Here is a starting point with links:
https://www.historisches-marinearchiv.d ... 388&lang=1




Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:43 pm
by mjbollinger
Here's what I have in my database, for what it is worth.

1929 Completed as SOVETSKAYA NEFT (STF-ChGK) 10.29
1930 Arrived in Tuapse 03.30
1934 BAKU (Sovtanker)
1934 SOVETSKAYA NEFT (Sovtanker) 01.34
1937 Fired upon by aircraft in Spanish Civil War
1941 SOVETSKAYA NEFT (ChABU) 01.07.41
1941 Damaged by torpedo from aircraft 23.10.41
1942 Damaged by aircraft bombs in Tuapse 26.03.42 and 09.07.42 and 15.08.42
194? Aground and salvaged by EPRON
1953 SOVETSKAYA NEFT (DGMP) - relocated to Pacific region
1979 Transferred to Vladivostok fishing fleet

There is nothing about the ship being torpedoed on 31 March 1943. However, the tanker KREML was torpedoed by U.24 that day. Here is my database entry for that ship:

1931 Launched as SOYUZ VODNIKOV SSSR 01.31
1932 Completed as SOYUZ VODNIKOV SSSR (STF-ChGK) 12.32
1934 SOYUZ VODNIKOV SSSR (Sovtanker)
1938 KREML (Sovtanker)
1941 KREML (ChABU) 01.07.41
1941 Torpedoed by Romanian Delfinul and lightly damaged off Yalta
1942 Damaged during storm at Tuapse; hit by MOLOTOV 22.01.42
1942 Convoy from Batumi to Tuapse escaped air attack 01.11.42
1943 Torpedoed by U.24 and heavily damaged off Cape Koder 31.03.43
1943 Attacked by U.9 off Cape Pizunda without hit 05.05.43
1949 Supplied offshore whaling fleet near Antartica in late 1940s
1953 KREML (ChGMP)
1957 Played itself in Odess Film Studio "Coordinates are Unknown"
1964 KREML (ChMP)
1970 Converted to floating storage prior to 1970
1983 Broken up at Cartagena; arrived 10.08.83

Here is the page from the VMF report of that day showing the attack on KREML. Note that someone (not me) penciled in U.24 next to that entry.
SN-1.JPG (181.54 KiB) Viewed 6157 times


Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:54 am
by René
Hello Darius and Marty,
Thank you very much for your messages that confirm a rare mistake of this remarkable work.
Best regards


Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:11 pm
by mjbollinger
Happy to help. And, for the record, I concur that Jordan's book is a masterpiece.

One challenge Jordan faced is that the Soviet authorities intentionally hid losses in their merchant fleet from Western sources. They did not want the US to know how vulnerable they were, at least until they were able to rebuild the fleet in the 1950s and 1960s. This was one reason the Soviets did not return the dry-cargo Lend-Lease Liberty ships transferred to them during WWII, though they did return many of the older WWI-era cargo ships and the Liberty-modified tankers.

Lloyd's Register contains a number of mistakes until corrections were made in 1964. Even CIA published internal studies in the 1940s and 1950s (since declassified) that overstated significantly the size of the Soviet merchant fleet.

So, yes, it is quite understandable to forgive Jordan the occasional mistake here and there.