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> Sources on Danube Naval Actions 1944-45
Cristian Craciunoiu
Posted: September 09, 2003 11:13 am
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1.About Am.Horty - You can find a lot of details about his leadership in the books published in the Editions Payot in 1922-1932 under the title Memoires pour servir a l'histoire de la Grand Guerre ( Momirs to Serve for the History of the Great War ), especilally the volume called "In the Adriatic Sea ".
He was the youngest Rear Admiral, promoted at this rank for his bravery as the leader of the light forces, especially cruiser Novarra and destroyers. he forced several times the barrage at Otranto and engaged British and Italian squadrons.
He was the c in c of the last atack forcing the Otranto strait that los the batlleship SZENT ISTVAN under the torpedoes of Luigi Rizzo's fast boat.
2. The best Romanian sources are the books published by Nicolae Koslinski and Raymond Stanescu in 3 volumes "Marina Romana in cel de al Doilea Razboi Mondial", at Ed. Fat Frumos and Ed. Modelism in 1996, 1998 and 2000.
There was also, but in English the volume Romanian Navy in WW2 - Modelism 1996 ( out of print )
Romanian Navy Museum of Constantza published some articles on the subject.
The Modelism ( see the site ) has a CD Rom about the Romanian Danube Flotilla with pictures, songs, uniforms and some secons of moving picture.
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Andreas von Mach
Posted: September 15, 2003 03:16 pm
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DECEBAL
Low Danube Steamers reported that
NFR DECEDAL ex Bayerische Lloyd KRONPRINZ RUPPRECHT VON BAYERN
was struck a mine in August 1944 at km 616 near Calnovatzu.
Later srefloated and in 1951 again in service.
The sae data in the list of Bayerische Lloyd in "Donau - Schiffahrt " Band 5
Regensburg 1990.
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Andreas von Mach
Posted: October 23, 2003 09:15 pm
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There shoul be a Soviet document listed about 400 units

SPISOK TROFEYNYKH KORABNLEY, PLAVSREDSTV I SOORUZHENII,
ZAKHVACHENNYKH NA REKE DUNAY, I RASPREDELENNYKH PO SOEDINENIYAMI OF 22 SENTYABRYA 1944 GODA"
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Andreas von Mach
Posted: November 13, 2003 07:58 pm
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I have found that publication of the similar title was planned as issue No.6 in Lvov (Ukraina) by MARINA-POSEJDON group

S.B.Bogatyrev & K.B.Streblitskiy

POLNYY SPISOK KORABNLEY, SUDOV I PLAVSREDSTV PROTIVNIKA
ZAKHVACHENNYKH V AVGUSTE-SENTYABRE 1944 NA CHERNOM MORIE I NIZHNYM DUNAYE
(=full list of ships, vessels and floating material of enemies
seized in august-september 1944 at Black Sea and lower Danube)

It shoud have 30 pages.
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Andreas von Mach
Posted: August 22, 2006 10:14 pm
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Some data from Soviets official list of Naval Loses on Danube

30.09.1944 Tug Alba Iulia Km 956 - Km 955 mine
04.10.1944 Barge NFR 1692 Km 1090
11.10.1944 Tug Gherdap Km 959 - 1001,5km mine ; as a minesweeper lost 12 men, 3 savalged
NEW! 12.10 steamer SMAGA 955,5km mine
19.10.1944 Tug Amurgul Km 1095 - 1094 km mine ; as a minesweeper 11 men savalged
25.10.1944 Tug Dambovita Km 1084 - 1098km mine
26.10.1944 Tug Bratianu Km 1098 - 1092km 15h30m
26.10.1944 Tug Ardeal Km 1097

NEW! Tug Diac (?) towing barge Fanela sunk 1097km on mines
26.10.1944 Tank SRD 30 Km 1093 - 25.10.44 1097km FANELA No.30 mine

26.10.1944 Motor Tank Km 1066 - 1063km tank DIOKTOR KARP(?) mine 5 men lost, 2 woonded

NEW ! 26.10 steamer Smederevo 1153km mines
NEW ! 26.10 tug Bertlillo 1092m mines
NEW ! 30.10 barge Dunarea 1158km mines
NEW ! 30.10 barge Vasiliska 1158km mines

NEW ! 3.11.44 tug Drac (?) townig barges No.779, Valul and No.36 lost on mines 1050m
03.11.1944 Barge NFR no. 779 Km 1048 - 1050km mine
03.11.1944 Barge Valul Km 1046 - 1050km mine

03.11.1944 Barge NFR no. 6141 Km 1098 -niot listed -niot listed
03.11.1944 Barge DDSG 65150 Km 1066 -niot listed
03.11.1944 Tank DDSG 6535 Km 1066 -niot listed
03.11.1944 Barge NFR no. 400 Km 908 -niot listed
03.11.1944 Barge NFR no. 632 Km 892 -niot listed
03.11.1944 Tug Km 613 -niot listed
03.11.1944 Barge Km 609 -niot listed
03.11.1944 Motor tank Km 580 -niot listed
03.11.1944 barge MFTR no. 18 Km 565 -niot listed
03.11.1944 Motor barge Km 539 -niot listed
03.11.1944 Barge JRP 26515 Km 500 -niot listed

NEW! 3.11.44 barge No.38 1158km mine
NEW! 3.11.44 barge No.138 1158km mine
NEW! 3.11.44 barge Reuya 1158km mine
NEW! 4.11.44 tug Paun damaged only the following 2 barges sank
NEW! 4.11.44 barge No.611 1064 mine
NEW! 4.11.44 barge No.611 1064 mine
NEW! 10.11.44 minesweeping-barge Ato 1064 mine
NEW! 12.11.44 minesweeping-barge No,.781 1064 mine
NEW! 12.11.44 minesweeping-barge No,.6725 1064 mine
NEW! 12.11.44 minesweeping-barge T-12 1064 mine
NEW! 14.11.44 tug Jean Milot Belgrad mine lost 2 officers & 6 sailors
NEW! 14.11.44 barge CH-13 749km
NEW! 18.11.44 elevator No.4 683km mine (on tow by tug Paris)
NEW! 18.11.44 barge No.1469 689km mine dameged only
NEW! 30.11 minesweeping-barge No.934 1054km damaged only
NEW! 27.12 minesweeping cutter No.12 (Romanian navy) 665km 5 men lost
NEW! 27.12 minesweeping cutter No.14 (Romanian navy) 643km
Moreover from 10.44 to 12.44 were lost 2 barges , 1 elevator , 1 ponton , cutter S-2

NEW! 16.01.45 barge SRD-38 1232,7km mine
NEW! 14.03.45 minesweeping-barge No,18 (Romanian navy) 654 mine


PS. I have not tried to verify the Soviet data with any other source.

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Andreas von Mach
Posted: August 23, 2006 10:22 am
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QUOTE

NEW! 4.11.44 tug Paun damaged only the following 2 barges sank
NEW! 4.11.44 barge No.611 1064 mine
NEW! 4.11.44 barge No.611 1064 mine


Sorry!

The second barge should be No.624

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Andreas von Mach
Posted: August 23, 2006 11:03 am
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QUOTE
6.10.1944 Motor Tank Km 1066 - 1063km tank DIOKTOR KARP(?) mine 5 men lost, 2 woonded


She is a mototanker
Director Gh. Carp 1400hp 637.875t built 1938 Turnu Severin

the sistership

Director N. P. Stefanescu seized by Soviets , renamed Bailkal lost also 6.10.46 km 1724 mines

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Petre
Posted: May 21, 2009 07:50 pm
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A source on Danube Naval Action 1944 topic, must be the article written by the forum member Michi, in 2004. The adapted Internet text :

After Romania changed the sides in August 1944, the Ge. Danube units tried to retire to the west of Portile de Fier (The Iron Gates), on the German occupied Yugoslavian area. The military command of this operation was assumed by the senior officier remained here, Konteradmiral (Ing.) P.W.Zieb - Oberwerftstab Schwarzes Meer (Leader of The shipyards staff).
There was formed a naval group (Kampfgruppen - KG), known as KG Zieb, with the aim to bring Ge. boats, ships and troops from the Danube Delta to German occupied area.
KG Zieb was first gathered in the area of Galatzi-Braila on 25th Aug.1944. and was involved in fightings from the very next day at Piua Petri, till the end at Brza Palanka, Prahovo and Milutinovac on 7th Sep.(20th Sep.)1944.
In his componence were : 7.Landunggsflottille (Kkapit.Stelter) with 13 MFP, Landungs-Pionier-Bataillon 214 (Haupt.Schöbel) with 42 boats, 1.Küsten-Sicherungs-Flottille „Schwarzes Meer“(Kkapit.Wolters) with 2 KFK, Artillerieträger-Detachement/Minen-Räum-Gruppe „Untere Donau“ (Kapit.lt.Brouwer) with 3 Artillerieträger, also one Bewährungs-Bataillon (Haupt.Müller). Among armed ships and boats : Mil.Transporters (KT), Mine Cleaner, Desant Barges (MFP), Artilery Barges (AF), Landing Ships, 3 WorkShop Ships, Tugboats, RiverBoats.
Some details of fighting actions :
26 Aug.1944 Cernavoda : 174 vessel, 8000 people (2600 wounded soldiers (from a not evacuated hospital), 2000 women, children and civil personnal, 1200 sailors, 2000 soldiers). KG Zieb wiped out the fortified position Cernavoda; according Russian sources the Romanians had 6500 KIA and 2000 WIA. (till 29 Aug. German vessels passed unattacked). Ge. losses : 11 vessels and some 480 people KIA, some 700 WIA.
31 Aug.1944 Calafat : 194 vessels, some 4000+ male people (1600 male civilians, 2500 mil’s). KG Zieb passed the fortified position Calafat in heaviest fights and again large losses on Romanian side. Ge. losses : 22 vessels and some 400 people KIA, 500 WIA
1/2 Sep.1944 Prahovo and Brza Palanka : 172 vessels (3 Artillery Barges, 19 MFP, 15 Landing boats, 24 Assault boats...)
From 3 Sep. till 7 Sep.1944 KG Stelter (AF and MFP) tried four times to break through the Iron Gates (Eiserene Tor). All in vain. So all remaining vessels were sunk till 20 Sep.1944.
Sources :
Koschu, Adam: Kampf und Ruckfuhrung der deutschen Donau-Flottille 1938/39 – 1945.
Schneider, Gerd-Dietrich: Plattbugkreuzer. Schenk, Peter: Kampf um die Ägäis.
Whitley, Mike J.: German Coastal Forces Of WWII
+ some other additional sources
MfG Michi 16 Jan 2004


This post has been edited by Petre on September 29, 2009 10:38 am
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Petre
Posted: June 09, 2009 07:16 pm
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From
http://www.si-games.com/forums/archive/ind...t-6409-p-7.html
(discutions about naval history), where the forum-member Wahnfried wrote on Jun.2005 more details about naval group Zieb. Adapted translation :

Fighting group Zieb componence :
The 1.Coastal defence flotilla (armed Coastal Boats), The 7.Landing flottilla (13 MFP), The 214.Engineer Batallion (1800 men, landing boats) and later, even one penal batallion (Strafbatallion). Together more than 170 ships and boats with about 8000 civilians (3600 Russian auxiliary trying not to fall in in the hands of the Sov.) and still 1900 wounded from an military hospital.
The first loss was the minecleaner 194 and his crew, remained and captured in the Danube delta by Sov.
The first battle took place at the fortified position Cernavoda, more than 30 km along the Danube, with armoured pilework, artillery positions, MG nests, etc. Aboard of the KG Zieb ships there were about 200 guns 20, 37 and 88 mm caliber. Day time 2 Kümos (coastal boats) were lost, but at night they could see better the flashes of the hostile guns. The losses on German side : 11 ships, 480 KIA and 712 WIA. The Rumanians deplored 6390 dead people. The fortress was destroyed.
163 remaining ships gathered before the Danube island Turtucaja. There were heavy batteries of the Rumanians. Germans issued an ultimatum to the fortress commander. If he opens fire, it will be like Cernavoda and KAdm.Zieb will request for 200 Stukas to the Army Group South. So, the fleet passed Turtucaja without fight.
Afterwards on 27 Aug. in the harbour of Rustchuk (Russe) Zieb was able to buy fuel and food for 8000 people of his fleet. Also, this will be able to be granted to him the hard wounded in the harbour of Svistov will be transferred in hospital trains and send to Germany. In Svistov the following ships remained on Aug.28 : MFP 340, 571 and 575, Tugboat Zagyva, MotorShip Kinburn, SteamShip Marian, Ro 03, SM 173. The commanders of these ships did not want to go any more and separate try to come on the country road to Yugoslavia and from there to Germany.
The next fight was on the 28 Aug. at Turnu Magurele. The Rumanians had brought up artillery, among others 150 mm batteries. The batteries were destroyed, but the tugboats Hain and Kreutzenstein were sunk. The tugboat Vietje was send to help the arsenal ship III and for cover, MAL 913 and FAS 316. These ships remained to many back and became on Aug.30(?) victims of 4 Ro. river monitors.
Before Calafat were joined others 3 Artillery Barges (2x105, 2x37 and 8x20 mm guns) under command of KptLt.Brouwer. On Aug.31, battle at Calafat. This fortress was full of cannons and MG's and also there were river mines. Already before Calafat 2 transporters (800 GRT) were selfsunk because one could not drag fast enough the other in the strong current. In the battle 22 unities were sunk (MFP 301, 307, 589, steamboat Marisa, tugboat Mainz, several transporters and pontoons, etc.) The flagship KT110 was hard hit and floaded and was towed by two tugs, also 3 transporters were saved and towed by tugs. Later, the valuable transporter Josuah, with 2000 t of romanian brandy, was towed by tugboat Gastein. FG Zieb passed the Fortress Calafat in heaviest fightings; again generous losses on Romanian side.
After Calafat there came the news that Russian units reached the Cazane Cataracts and a breakthrough by Iron Gates become impossible.
The fleet of 172 ships (finally 215) had anchored at Prahovo. There, the wounded, the women and the children were brought of board. KAdm.Zieb flew with a Fieseler Storh airplane to Belgrade to Feldmarschal von Weichs. The Wehrmacht wanted to fight to free the Cazane Strait, but only the KG Rehe with 7 Pahthers could break through to Prahovo. Now, the civilians should be brought by train in Yugoslavia. The transport train became victim of partisans, 30 civilians death. The survivors were brought to Zajecar. The partisans attacked Zajecar by night and it came a bloody massacre. On Sep.10, the Brandenburg Regiment arrived at Prahovo, the area was cleaned and guaranteed for the transport of the members of the KG Zieb. The 215 ships were self-scuttled.
Another small KG existed in the West of Romania and temporary was called The Iron Gate group (die KG Eisernes Tor) (KptLt.Kaser), with a total of 26 unities (26 Aug.) : houseboat Nothung, river gunboat Bechelaren (300 GRT, 2x88, 3x37, 2x20 mm), patrolboat Alexandra, minecleaners 192 and Santa Rita, depot ships Oder and Weichsel, MFP 611, 612, 935..., 2 S-boats, minesweepper Tronje with 18x20 mm guns, Artillery Barges 916 and 917. On Aug. 26 in Orsova harbour one MFP was bumped and fired, 7 men caught. An infantry kommando was send, who fired at the harbour command. After the Roumanian harbour command was arrested and the fortress threatened to fire above the town, the MPF crew was released, but the damaged MFP were lost. On Orsova, same day were saved by the Bechelaren about 200 infantry which just were in the battle with Ro. armed forces.
On Aug.27, this KG drives through the Cazane Cataracts (120 km long confines after the Iron Gates), in a constant battle with Ro.troops and Yu.partisans, the firing range 50-400 m. The minesweepper Tronje sank on a mine, the ship Oder was damaged and floaded, an other boats lost. On Bazias the Ro. border-hunters barracks were shooted. After KG had drive through The Iron Gates and after the wounded was delivered in German occupied area, it was anew filled up with amunition and received the order to go back again and to keep open the Cataracts for the KG Zieb. Now the KG second time struggled by the cataracts. With landing combat patrols took and blasted mil.instalation on Bazias Aug.28 and took the city Moldova Noua. However, the first Russian troops (in strengthens to a division) reached then The Iron Gates. Now, one drive through of the Cataracts become impossible and thus The KG IronGates struggled now third time by the Cataracts. The KG Zieb came too late, could not pass the Cataracts any more.


This post has been edited by Petre on February 06, 2012 07:54 pm
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Posted: June 17, 2009 01:57 pm
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Also, from the article 'Navigation and shipbuilding on the Danube during WW2' author Herbert Winkler ("Schifffahrt und Schiffbau an der Donau im II. Weltkrieg" von Herbert Winkler, aus MARINE - Gestern, Heute -1988) an adapted text :

On 27 Mar.1941 the friendly government had fallen in Belgrade and the Germans invaded Yugoslavia. On 2 Apr.1941, the Yugoslavs moved by the motorship "Kumanovo" two towed small boats loaded with stones to Milanovac, and sank them, to close the canal Jucz. In Tekija, the motorship "Vites" also sank two small boats loaded with stones in the Iron Gates Strait. The Yugoslavs sank both tugboats themselves. Nevertheless, German pioneers could thwart this plan.
The unities of the Donau Flotille were led back from Rotterdam to Linz, and immediately send to Belgrade. On 5 Jun.1941 in Smederevo, the stored ammunition stocks of the Yugoslavian army flew in the air by sabotage, an Yugoslavian ship sank and several unities were severely damaged. Then unities of the Donau Flottille searched the Danube for mines and freed the river.
On 20 Jun.1941 the Donau Flottille lay in the Roumanian harbour Braila, and aboard Roumanian monitor "Bucovina" a discussion about the cooperation took place. On 21 Jun, 1941 the Russia campaign began and the Roumanian navigation suffered sensitive losses. Two river sweepers of the Donau Flottille got also lost by mines in Danube Delta. The ship traffic increased immensely and tugboats and small boats were brought by other areas. Already in 1940 the capacity of the Danube was not sufficient to unwind the risen oil transports from Romania. 14 small tankers were brought by Elbe to Dresden, where the superstructures were diminished and the small boats on low loader were sent on the highway to Ingolstadt and left there to river. In Regensburg were finally equipped.
The most difficult enterprise was the transport of 6 U-boats II B - type. There were carried out diesels, batteries, machines and the turrets, the boats were laid on a side and were lifted on pontoons. In the shipyard Galatz the boats were raised again and equipped for the Black Sea. From 1943 Germany had bought in Holland, Belgium and France a big number of small boats. They were transferred over Rhine - Elbe - highway - Danube to the Black Sea. Moreover, 60 small tankers were used for a bridge building in Giurgiu. For the strengthening of the ship capacity in the Black Sea and Aegean Sea, the takeover of 15 motorships and 11 motortankers was planned. These were also partially carried out and then rebuilded.
Till 1943 the ship losses remained low and there was a huge transport duties. The bigger passenger ships had been adapted to hospital ships. On 9 Apr. 1944 the British airplanes stationed in South Italy had mined the Danube from the air. In a telex from 10 Jul. 1944, General Admiral Marschall, the special authorised representative Danube, announced to Berlin : "The mine searching activity of navy and air force has fully started, up to 9 Jul. 266 mines are removed, 202 mines are brought to the detonation, 42 mines are detonated and 19 mines were found on land. The losses of the whole Danube navigation up to now: 130 ships sunk (27 tugboats), 172 ships damaged. From the sunk ships 80-90 % are able of elevation. Cargo and tank capacity is still good, a lack of tugboats becomes visible. Except the sunk and damaged ones, tugboats had to be delivered to the navy for the mine searching service."
After Romania closed the armistice with USSR, the line of communication of Bazias up to Sulina (1075 km) get out from German control. A ship association, under the command of the Konteradmiral Zieb started moving on Aug.25. Sometime it had a length of 25 km and the guidance was difficult. Zieb did not knew the Danube and also it no river maps existed for the vehicles.
On Cernavoda, first bigger battle, was more than 4000 Mil.women (Wehrmachtshelferinnen), children and wounded on the ships. The Ro.artillery sank the tugboat "Kreuzenstein" and 2 workshop ships. On Aug.27 Giurgiu and Rustschuk passage in march. On Aug.29, 700 hard wounded and 300 women with children were moved in Svistov (Bulg.) on a hospital train. Under leadership of Kapitanleutnant Brouwer were 11 tugboats, 9 MFP and 3 AF. At Calafat, 2 two small boats were sunk in battle. The group Brouwer had reached Prahovo on Aug.29/21.30 and, at night Aug.30/31 the rest of group Zieb struggled by Calafat. In the morning Aug.31, tugboat "Mainz" and two vehicles were sunk at Gruia by the Ro.artillery.
On Sep.1/10.15 the first ships reached Prahovo, where the whole convoy dropped the anchor. The group Zieb still had 2000 civilians and 1600 wounded on his ships. These were disembarked on shore and had to spend the night first under free sky in a corn field, until an evacuation was possible by train. Because the strait of Iron Gates was taken by Roumanian troops and Yugoslavian partisans, the passage was impossible. Hence, on Sep.7 all ships in Prahovo were sunk themselves. Under them there were 27 motorships and 31 MFP.
In the Kataract Strait, there were also losses, because also on Aug.26 the Roumanian troops began with fightings. On Orsova, from the Donau Flottille : the gunboat "Bechelaren", the auxiliary gunboat "Nothung", the minesweeper "Weichsel", 4 river sweepers, the patrol boat "Alexander" and two S-boats. In Tekija, the kataract tugboats "Ostmark" and "Centaur" completely burned out on fightings .
On Aug.28, the unities of the Donau Flottille, under strong fightings, managed the breakthrough to Bazias and the next day the remained forces gathered in Belgrade. They could release on Sep.15 in Milanovac the motorships "Deutschland", "Johann Wallner" and 2 small tankers. On Sep.18 a breakthrough was tried to Orsova, but at Ogradina, approx. 7 km above Orsova, there were superior forces and the ships had to withdraw again.
In a statement about the clearing of the lower Danube, The Mil.Transport Management Southeast (die WehrmachtsTransportLeitung Südost) informed on 3rd Mar.1945 to Berlin:
"The possession of the Kataract Strait was the key of the clearing of the lower Danube. Because moreover no troops were available, all ships standing below the Kataracts were lost. In the Romanian Danube sector, up to the mouth have remained : 1080 floating vehicles (157 motorships, passenger ships and harbor boats). From these ships belonged to the German navigation group 363 vehicles, (50 motorships and 12 boats) and also 6 German motorships from the Black Sea. To Rumania belonged 31 motorships, 20 passenger ships, 15 harbor boats, 427 boats and small tankers. To Bulgaria : 3 motorships, 5 personal ships, 14 boats."


This post has been edited by Petre on September 29, 2009 10:45 am
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Petre
Posted: June 19, 2009 04:31 am
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Question please :
When realy reached the Soviet Army (Portile de Fier)The Iron Gates Strait ?
What realy was the threat (opposite) in this area, for the german convoy withdraw ?
A Soviet Division, or Roumanian troops and Yugoslavian partisans ?
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Petre
Posted: January 06, 2016 07:08 pm
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Source : War Diary, German Naval Staff, Operations Division. (KTB der SKL) (USA translation) Adapted selections, only references Romania.

26 August 1944

One tug fired by Romanians km 597, one German convoy confiscated by Romanians km 576. Several vessels had an artillery engagement with Romanians km 527. Also "Ship 192" ( gun-carrier AT-912 ? ) reported artillery engagement and artillery barrages km 1030 in front of the Kataract tract and fighting activity between km 1016 and 930. Moldova and Orshova evacuated by Germans. The 1st Coastal Speed Boat Flotilla (1.Küstenschutzflottille) sailed from Braila with German women and children, 25 Aug.

The Danube is considered heavily endangered between km 496 and 1050...

27 Aug.

Konteradmiral (ing.) Zieb (Leader of Shipyards Staff / Admiral Black Sea) on board Uj-KT 110 reported by teletype 15.27 : Forced a way-through near Cernavoda with about 60 ships and army vessels. Ship losses cannot be foreseen yet. Casualties were small. Position 15 km south Silistria, position probably 20.00 : Russe-Giurgiu. Relevant questions will be decided by the Inspector Minesweeping Danube (Kpt.z.S. Lautenschlager, Inspekteur Minenräumdienst Donau), if woundeds, women and children should disembark in Russe and if all vessels will proceed further.

At 18.32 the formation was stopped by Romanian heavy battery, 71 km below Giurgiu. It is said that a 30 km long and heavy bunker line existed there. Passage will only be possible with very slow speed, due to the little water depth and as ammunition is barely sufficient. Konteradmiral (ing.) Zieb is trying to receive through truce-officers permission for a free passage to Giurgiu for woundeds, women and children.

Report 12.50 :
As Orshova was evacuated by Germans and the complete Romanian and partly Serbian Kataract line was not yet re-captured ... it will be tried to bring through the total transport from the Lower Danube to the Serbian frontier above the Timok mouth. Armed ships must leave Russe on the evening of 27 Aug. For the present 9 landing barges and 4 gun-carriers will be employed as intercepting posts to protect convoys above Giurgiu- Russe. The Commanding Admiral will also try to pass with wounded, women and children through Russe with 20 ships of the Naval Fitting-out & Repair Works.

28 Aug.

The command of the entire Danube was handed over to the Inspector Minesweeping Danube ...
According to the report ... Konteradmiral (ing.) Zieb subdued Romanian resistance below Russe and arrived in Russe with 2 Uj-KT, 18 landing barges, one coastal escort flotilla consisting of 23 ships, 54 pioneer boats, the hospital ship Bamberg, 2 work-shop vessels and 3 barges. About 2,800 lightly wounded, 300 women and children and about 800 army soldiers will disembarke here. After that the formation will continue it's voyage up stream.
To subdue the Romanian monitors above Russe, air force activity was now promised, after a first decline due to fuel shortage. A few vessels of the Donauflottille fought their way-through the Kataract area to Orshova. Further vessels will follow to assist...

29 Aug. 1944
The Group Sea Transport Braila with the steamer Grafenau, 3 landing barges, ship Marianne and 3 sailing vessels with 770 wounded from army on board joined Group „Zieb”. Both groups met Romanian monitors at km 620.

Naval Radio Station Russe was dismantled and re-fitted on board of AT-915.

The Minesweeper Group Lower Danube (Minenräumgruppe „Untere Donau“) had an engagement with two Romanian monitors at km 573, 2d Aug. of which one was shot afire while the other turned off to the west. Barges AT-913 and F-316 sunk in battle near km 629. After heavy bombardment, the group forced passage through in the afternoon near km 795. According to unconfirmed Bulgarian report, one tanker was shot afire and two tankers were beached by trailing Romanian monitors.

The Group "Iron Gates" ("Eisernes Tor") was successful in breaking through Kataract extent.
Group met artillery barrage at 18.00 on 28 Aug. near km 1072. Guard ship Tronje hit a mine during an engagement west Moldova Noua and sank. With the support of Ship 192, one AT and one minesweeper, the Group forced its way through near Bazias on 29 Aug. and arrived in Gradiste. Military and transmitting installations were destroyed by landed troops from Ship 192 in Bazias. The place was evacuated by the enemy.

Ship 192 freed a number of barges and tugs in artillery engagement between Moldova Noua and Ram and shot down one Russian plane on the night of 26 Aug. which attacked with gun fire. Supply ship Ute shot down one mine carrying plane on the night of 27 Aug. A number of Romanian guns were put out of action near km 1066 by planes from Group "Eisernes Tor". Ammunition supply was made to Ship 192 and Group "Eisernes Tor".

S-boot S-86 was damaged by mine when breaking through near Kataract extent.

Commander of Group "Eisernes Tor" reports to the inquiry of Inspector Minesweeping Danube, that the successful prospect for a break-through from the Lower Danube for an armed convoy is only then given, if the Danube road from Bazias to Turnu-Severin is cleared by infantry and tanks by simultaneous operations of naval vessels and if the bases were reached.

30 Aug. 1944

1. Position of Group „Zieb” at 23.00 near Vidin-Calafat. Must soon reach Serbian-Bulgarian frontier. Has ahead 3 Romanian monitors. These were passed today by first Group (In command kpt.lt. Brouwer from Russe). Nevertheless a meeting with these monitors is estimated as considerably risky to Group „Zieb” if they were not successful in passing them during the night time.
2. Group „Zieb” will presumably reach Prahovo (in the middle of Vidin and Turnu-Severin) on the 31 Aug. At present the Group Brouwer is stationed here. Operations of the Army will start here to clear the tract. Inspector Minesweeping Danube intends to send the Donauflottille through the Iron Gates to meet Group „Zieb”. On account of the Romanian positions in the area of the Iron Gate the further advance is still believed to be serious.

The Naval Staff :
"1. A formation of about 100 river ships is steaming up the Danube with large amounts of goods under the command of the Chief of Shipyards Staff / Admiral Black Sea, Konteradmiral (ing.) Zieb. Romanian resistance was forced at different places up to how through vigorous counteractions causing us casualties. Position of Formation „Zieb” at 23.00 on the 30 Aug. Vidin, Calafat and planned to reach Prahovo on 31 Aug.
2. Ahead of the formation were Romanian river monitors of which up to now only one was annihilated. Three were still at large which means a serious risk as they passed Vidin - Calafat on 30 Aug. Elimination is only possible if Luftwaffe searches and combats them on the Danube river or canals.
3. Attention is especially drawn to the importance of the valuable ship park for future operations and supply traffic as well as to the value of the carried goods.
4. The Naval Staff asked the Operations Staff Luftwaffe to order operation for this single task. Operation is especially important on the 31 Aug. and 1 Sept. while the deciding break-through will be forced here through the Iron Gates.

The Minesweeper Group Lower Danube consisting of 3 artillery carriers, 9 landing barges, 13 sweeper-tugs and one barge were at 21.00 on 29th, near km 881.
Formation „Zieb” was at 23.00 on 30th near Vidin-Calafat. If break-through past Romanian monitors on position further up the stream is successful during the night time, it might be possible that Formation „Zieb” reached Prahovo on 31st, where at present Group Brouwer is stationed.
Operations of the Army will start in Prahovo to clear the Kataract extent. Inspector Minesweeping Danube intends to send the Donauflottille down the river through the Iron Gates to meet Formation „Zieb”.
Report from 30th, concerning meeting of group See-Tra Braila with Formation „Zieb” was not confirmed.

31 Aug. 1944

Formation „Zieb” landed 700 wounded as well as women and children in Svistov on 29 Aug. The Formation reports early on 31 Aug. engagement with Romanians at km 736 without losses and continuation of hilly voyage.
According to report from the Inspector Minesweeping Danube, the Minesweeping Group Lower Danube received order to support the break-through of Formation „Zieb” near Calafat and to carry coal and bread ahead to the formation at once. The Formation is advancing with a speed of 5 kmh and is heating boilers with wood and coal dust. Our planes sighted the formation near km 781 at 14.00 below Vidin.
Supported by Minesweeper Group Lower Danube, the Commander General Southeast (Heeresgruppe F) ( von Weichs ) will carry out in the next days the Operation Wassernixe from Prahovo, to mop-up the Danube from the Iron Gates to Orshova.
Air Force Command Southeast (Luftflotte 4 ?) reported that operations against the monitors were not more possible, as additional fuel tanks did not arrive.

1 Sept.

The „Zieb” Force put into Prahovo. The Minesweeper Group Lower Danube also arrived in Prahovo.
So far the Rumanian monitors have not been contacted again.
According to a radiogram sent by the „Zieb” Force, passage was forced at Calafat in the course of an artillery duel on 31 Aug. between 20.52 and 21.30. 3 artillery-barges belonging to the Minesweeper Group Lower Danube joined the Force.

2 Sept. 1944

Donauflottille reports that enemy resistance near Bazias has increased considerably. Vessels trying to break through will have to expect severest gun and machine-gun fire.

Air Force Command Southeast reports the mooring of 5 small war ships on the north bank at km 630 on 1 Sept, a concentration of ships - among them 2 large vessels - at km 597, and 2 warships with large funnels, on westerly course at km 590. The island of Ada-Kaleh has been occupied by the enemy since noon 1 Sept. Our anti-aircraft gun post Gura Vaii was silenced by the Rumanians.

Commanding General Southeast has put Combat Group „Rehe” at Prahovo under the command of Generalmajor Bazing for the Operation Wassernixe as well as all anti-aircraft units located on the south bank and those on the north bank below Orshova. In addition to other units, Major Rehe has taken charge of one alarm battalion consisting of navy, army and air-force personnel.

3 Sept. 1944

The Local Defense Officer at the Iron Gate makes urgent request for commitment of warships since valuable special ships and cargoes are endangered. The Pilots who took part in the break-through of the Group "Eisernes Tor" report that 25 tug-boats are present at Kladovo, 5 towing barges and 30 tug-boats at Orshova, 3 towing barges and 6 tug-boats at Milanovac and 25 tug-boats at Dobra. Minesweeper Group Lower Danube and the „Zieb” Force are still at Prahovo, the 214th Pioneer Battalion arrived there. No reports came in about the ships of See-Tra Braila.

During the night of 2 Sept, 2 gun-carriers were involved in a gun battle near Bazias. The enemy used anti-aircraft weapons, anti-tank cannons and machine guns.

Army troops and Combat Group „Zieb” have started their advance upstream toward Prahovo. Marinegruppenkommando Süd ordered bringing through as many vessels and cargoes as possible and in case this could not be done, putting the crews in action ashore.
Air Force Command Southeast was asked to search for Group See-Tra Braila. According to declarations made by escape, internees vessels of See-Tra Braila were scuttled by their own crews.
On the forenoon of 2 Sept. the ammunition train bringing supplies to Combat Group Provoho blew up as a result of a bomb hit.
Nothing is known about Combat Group Prahovo. Konteradmiral Zieb is intending to block the Danube below Prahovo by sinking all ships unfit to continue with the journey.

Marinegruppenkommando Süd informs Naval Staff of an order to Admiral Zieb and Inspector Minesweeping Danube, according to which the breakthrough through the rapids must soon be made, thus bringing the operation, in collaboration with the Army, to a successful end. Further delay could endanger the total success.

A combined Combat Group consisting of army, air, and naval personnel cleared the Rumanian bank of the central Danube up to Moldova Noua. In the course of the combat, Ship 192 was hit by artillery fire in the bow and some water entered the ship; she cleared 4 mines. Due to damage suffered, the ship had to leave her position.

At the lower end of the rapids, the attack was started with 2 gun-carriers, 12 landing craft and 8 tugs, as well as with the army troops aboard. Almost the entire ammunition at Prahovo was given to the formation. The remaining ship not joining the formation and the freight vessels in Prahovo were scuttled. The able part of the crews, after being equipped with weapons, was put into action for the defense of the Danube near Prahovo.
The situation of the Combat Group "Rehe" is still tense. Measures for return of the wounded and the air-force female auxiliaries are being started.
At noon Inspector Minesweeping Danube went to Prahovo by plane with a pilot for the Iron Gates.

The Combat Group "Eisernes Tor" fought its way out of the Moldova Noua area with 2 gun carriers and minesweeping vessels and with about 25 tugs. Details are lacking.

The attack on the lower rapids (Operation Wassernixe) failed. The Combat Group „Stelter” returned to Prahovo after the 214th Pioneer Battalion lost almost all assault boats. Heavy shelling from both banks.

Konteradmiral Zieb reports that he scuttled the greater part of his ships, because the directive of Marinegruppenkommando Süd, instructing him to try the break-through again as German reinforcements were appraoching to free the Iron Gates, was received too late. The boats and ships still in fighting condition however are available. Konteradmiral Zieb is going to Belgrade to make his report.

8 Sept. 1944

The channel markings of the rapids were removed by the Rumanians and the Greben Canal was blocked by a scuttled towing vessel.
The water level is very low.
All naval units in Prahovo were put under command of the Combat Commander (?). The vessels of Group "Stelter" were put into action near Prahovo as floating batteries. Their ammunition stores are very low.

9 Sept. 1944

Operation Donauelfe is being continued. The infantry spearhead was near Orshova on 9 Sept. Moldova Noua has already been occupied by the Russians. No report came in from the Group Prahovo. The personel of the Group See-Tra Braila has passed Belgrad.

10 Sept. 1944

At the Iron Gates the Combat Group "Rehe" is now south of Kladovo after annihilating Russian paratroopers. The "Untere Donau" flottille has established a strong-point in Prahovo after discontinuation of its break-through attempts,
The 92nd Grenadier Brigade is advancing from Berzasca in the direction of Danube bend at Svinita. Support of the advance by the Donauflottille is no longer possible, since the water level is too low.

The Group "Eisernes Tor" took part in the Operation Donauelfe, as well as in land and river operations; small groups advanced to Svinita and confirmed that the water markings are generally in place. The towing barges and tugs in Milanovac therefore received orders from Inspector Minesweeping Danube to make a renewed breakthrough attempt up the river. No reports from the strong-point Prahovo.
Fighting is evidently going on in Moldova Noua. According to a report by the Donauflottille, half of Moldova Noua was lost to the Rumanians. The clearance vessel Weichesel was shelled by artillery off Moldova Noua at 18.00.

In connection with Operation Donauelfe 3 towing ships and 25 towed vessels were engaged in an artillery duel near Moldova Noua on their trip up the Danube. Only slight damage was suffered. The formation is anchored just below Belgrade. Rescue of other vessels only possible after Orshova and the surrounding hills are occupied by our troops.

11 Sept. 1944

Cladovo and Tekija remain encircled. Group "Stelter" carried out a new advance to cover land movements and was engaged in a heavy artillery duel with a battery on the Rumanian bank.
According to a report by the Inspector Minesweeping Danube, enemy columns equipped with various types of arms have reached Turnu Severin; an engineer column is approaching Prahovo from the east.

12 Sept. 1944

In the afternoon of 12 Sept. the Combat Group „Stelter” was shelled by the enemy between km 873 and km 882. A tug was heavily damaged. On a MFP all guns and on a gun carrier almost all guns were inactivated. 50% of the crews are either dead or wounded. The Combat Group was in action in order to cover the landing of a naval company and of a battalion of Russian fighting on the German side.

The Combat Group "Rehe" received orders to bring female assistants and wounded to Prahovo; from there they will be moved farther to the rear by transport planes. Two gun carriers were slightly damaged while giving fire support in the Moldova Noua area.
Anti-aircraft artillery will remain only in Gradiste and Moldova Noua. One tug and a barge struck mines and were damaged.

The Combat Group "Rehe" reported in the afternoon of 12 Sept. an attack by strong Russian forces from the direction of Turnu Severin supported by partisans.

13 Sept. 1944

Likewise Group "Rehe" can no longer be supplied since the Prahovo-Palanka road is under enemy fire.
At 18.25 the spearhead of the Regiment "Brandenburg" arrived in Prahovo.
Group "Stelter" reported repeated Russian surprise fire near Milutinovac; there remains ammunition for one gun only. Both four-barreled machine guns on Gun carrier AT-915 are out of commission.

14 Sept. 1944

Group "Eisernes Tor" has postponed a renewed advance towards Milanovac - part of the Operation Donauelfe - until the Army situation is clarified. Moldova Noua is again in our hands. Towing ships in Tekija are ready again after replacing the personnel which had deserted.

In the course of Operation Wassernixe, Group "Stelter" was twice heavily attacked by Russian and Rumanian surprise fire and suffered many casualties. Our ammunition is used up. Group "Stelter" together with Group „Rehe" plans to fight its way out. This Group is heavily shelled from Turnu Severin and is being opposed by strong Russian forces and partisans. Group "Rehe" has at its disposal only 3 guns and 6 mortars.
Anti-tank weapons are not available. Near Turnu Severin the enemy is making preparations probably for crossing the Danube.

15 Sept. 1944
In connection witn the Operation Donauelfe the Army has again gone over to the attack.
New buoys were laid in the channel of the Danube by Group "Eisernes Tor". The Group reached Drencova in the evening 14 Sept; 2 gun-carriers and one river minecleaning boat are ready for firing near Moldova Noua.

Group "Stelter" sent a most urgent report in the forenoon 14 Sept. and scuttled its vessels after using up all ammunition. The crews were incorporate in the Combat Group "Rehe".

The strong points on the western bank of the Danube are still being continuously shelled. Our advance on Orshova was for the present halted by strong enemy pressure south of Berzasca.

The Russians are crossing the Danube near Turnu Severin since 13 Sept.

17 Sept. 1944.

In the course of Operation Donauelfe the Army took the Kazan entrance. Fighting in the Iron Gates area is being continued; the strong point Milanovac repulsed twelve heavy attacks in which the Tito partisans suffered severe casualties.
Russian forces are still being assembled on the eastern and northern bank of the Danube.

23 Sept. 1944

The area of Ogradina and the lower Kazane approach have been subjected to heavy Russian artillery fire since the early hours 21 Sept. The enemy crossed the Danube from Kladovo ...
Russians entered Tekija on the evening of 23 Sept. Radio communication with Group „Zieb” and Tekija has been suspended since then.
On the afternoon of 25 Sept. the guardship Bechelaren was subjected to heavy enemy shelling between km 984 and km 987.

26 Sept. 1944

In the area north of Orshova our cut off units, suffering considerable losses, were able to fight their way back to our own positions located farther to the rear...
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