Romanian Military History Forum - Part of Romanian Army in the Second World War Website



  Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Details of the Soviet BKA class armored riverine cutters
Csaba Becze
Posted: September 02, 2003 10:51 am
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 76
Member No.: 54
Joined: July 23, 2003



Anybody knows some details of this Soviet small warhips ships? Displacement, length, crew, armament, etc?

Thanks in advance,

Csaba
PM
Top
Michi
Posted: September 02, 2003 12:42 pm
Quote Post


Soldat
*

Group: Members
Posts: 30
Member No.: 49
Joined: July 21, 2003



Here are some details from Mitch Williamson, a good friend from Australia!

From
SOVIET NAVY AT WAR 1941-45
by Przemyslaw Budzbon
WARSHIPS fotofax
Arms and Armour Press 1989

"Armoured Gunboat BK140"

(Snipped most data, but this is a BK-1125-III with T-34 turret & 76mm gun.)

"In the vast land areas of Russia, the rivers and lakes were the best and most reliable means of communication and defence. Utilizing positive experience in this kind of warfare gained during the Civil War, the Russians worked on the designs of river gunboats such as had been built during the days of the Imperial Russian Navy.
By 1935 they had developed two basic types of river armoured gunboats armed either with two (1124 type) or one (1125 type) 3in guns mounted in tank turrets. After the gun turret of the T-34 type medium tank became available in 1939, most of the new gunboats received it.
"By the time of the German invasion some 70 gunboats had been commissioned and 85 were under construction. They were followed by an order for 100 in August 1941 which was completed by the end of 1945. About 90 of these were lost.
"BK140 only reached the main body of the Dneiper flotilla on 12 April 1945, having been operating on the River Spree in support of the Army during the final struggle for Berlin. After the war she was transferred to the Far East and was finally sold for scrap in the late 1960s. Recovered from the breakers at Khabarovsk, she is preserved as an onshore memorial at Perm." (since 1974)

There are 4 Photos in the book as follows:
a grainy broadside of a Type 1124, with two T28 tank type turrets, Imperial War Museum Negative no.RUS693;
A photo from the prow of an 1124 with a T-34 type turret, showing another in background and wreckage of a cantilever bridge behind that; there is no negative credit; it is captioned as 2 type 1124 on the Danube near Belgrade in Oct 44; a photo of "No 63 and another 1125 type armoured motor gunboat cleared for action....these boats were known as 'river tanks'". ISM Neg No RUS 3694 which may mean the one cited above is a typo in the book; and "BK232 and her sister, under way in the Danube near Vienna in March 1945...the Germans were never able to oppose them with boats of equal fighting qualities."
This credit is "Boris Lemachko"


There is a LITTLE bit of data on operations of these boats in SOVIET NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR 1941-45, by V.I. Achkasov and N.B. Pavlovich published by Naval Institute Press in 1981. The book does not discuss operations on the Spree. The final chapter of the latter does go into considerable, possibly unreliable detail on the Soviet river and lake flotilla compositions (but not the Spree).

The Soviet Type 1124 (2-turrets) & Type 1125 (1 turret) MGBs were, if
memory serves, very effective armaments.
Supposedly designed by Sergei Gorshkov (who is postwar Russia rose to
admiral & C-in-C of the Soviet Navy), they saw a great deal of
service/action in both coastal waters and on Russian rivers. The
76mm packs a bit of a punch; later versions are said to have carried 85mm (T-34/85 turrets?) and a number of the Type 1125 models were also fitted with rocket launchers a la "Katyushas".

==============================

This is what Conway's 'All The World's Fighting Ships 1922-46' says about
the classes you name below:

Zhelenznykov class river monitors (built 1934-39)
Displacement: 263 tons
Dimensions: 157ft 6in (48.00m) length by 24ft 11in (7.60m) wide with 2ft 6in
(0.75m) draught full load.
Machinery: 2 shafts, Diesels, 300bhp speed 7.6 knots
Armament: Initial- 2 x 4in (1x2), 4 x 45mmL46 (2 x2), 4 MGs
Complement: 70

Names:
Flyagin
Levachev
Martynov> "Matinov"
Rostovtsev > "Rostovzev"
Zheleznykov>"Shelesnjakov"
Zhemchuzhin> "Shemschtuschin"
Note: Allow for bad English translations.

Built at Leninskya Kuzinica Yard at Kiev for service with the Dniepr
Flotilla. All were lost except Zheleznyakov, which has been preserved at
Kiev.

Michi can you get to Kiev from Vienna? Then you can SEE one!!!

Udarnyi class river monitors (built 1932) Displacement: 385 ton
Dimensions: 167ft 4in (51.00 m) length by 26ft 11in (8.20 m) width with a
2ft 8in (0.82 m) draught full load.
Machinery: 2 Shafts. Diesels, 1600bhp speed 13 knots. Fuel storage 20 tons.
Armament: 2 x 130mmL50, 4 x 45mmL46, 6 MGs
Complement: 70

Udarnyi> "Udarnij"
Aktivnyi
Built at the Leninskaya Kunzia Yard, Kiev. Aktivnyi served with the Amur
Flotilla and was discarded in the 1950s; Udarnyi served with the Dniepr and
Danube Flotillas and was sunk 18th September 1941 by German aircraft.

Note: the armaments were probably changed or augmented during the war years.
Sorry no details. Data written by Przemyslaw Budzbon

======================================

Many months ago there were a number of interesting posts on a certain type of Russian "Gunboat" which mounted a T-34/76 turret, and operated in both the Black Sea, and with the so-called "Dnieper Flotilla" on the Spree River in support of the Red Army's April 16,1945 attack on Berlin. (Apparently, they were also to be found on the Danube as well.) Not so long ago, I found that a Russian scale-model company called BRIGADIER had released a kit of the "Type 1125 Armored Motor-Gunboat" which I can only assume is the same beast.

From what I can make out from the photo I have of this Type 1125, it is
around 70' (feet) long, with a very extended bow-section. At least 25' (?) back from the bow is the raised pedestal mounted T-34 (type 1942) 76mm gun turret. Directly behind the tank-turret is a fully armored (and roofed) wheelhouse of about 12' long ,with what seems to be a twin 7.62 Degtyarev (DShk-38 ) cupola AA mount on it's roof. It is hard to tell, but it looks like torpedo tubes are mounted on each side of the wheelhouse as well. Now here's the unexpected armament - directly behind the wheelhouse is a Katusha rocket rack-mount which rises up high behind like an air-foil. (This is one formidable support craft! )

According to Tony Le Tissier's BERLIN - THEN AND NOW (ATB Publications), the "Dnieper Flotilla" took quite an active part in the Berlin assault. He includes a segment from the memoirs of Marshal of the Soviet Union G. Zhukov describing same :

" The 9th Rifle Corps commanded by Hero of the Soviet Union Major-General I.P. Rosly achieved the greatest success in storming Berlin on April 23. The soldiers of the Corps seized Karlshorst and part of Kopenick by a resolute storm and forced the Spree on the march. Brave actions were undertaken in forcing the Spree by the 1st River Boat Brigade of the Dnieper Flotilla, particularly by the brigade's motor-boat unit commanded by Lieutenant M.M.Kalinin. Despite strong enemy fire, Petty Officer G.Dudnik ferried several rifle companies of the 301st Rifle Division to the enemy bank. Lieutenant Kalinin, Petty Officers Dudnik, G.P. Kazakov and A.P. Pashkov; sailors N.A. Baranov,
A.Ye.Samokhvalov, M.T.Sotnikov, N.A.Filippov and V.V. Cherinov, were bestowed the title of Hero of the Soviet Union by a decree of the USSR Supreme Soviet on May 31,1945 for military valour and
heroism displayed by the seamen of the 1st Bobruisk Brigade of the Dnieper Flotilla. The flotilla itself received the Order of Ushakov, 1st Class."

The Russian 9th Corps, again supported by the Dnieper boats, also made an assault river crossing on April 24th across the Spree at Teltow Park, opposed by the Pioneer (engineer) battalion of the fast diminishing 11.SS-Pz.Grenadier Division, "NORDLAND". Losses were heavy on both sides, but some 16,000 men, and 100 guns and mortars, as well as 27 tanks and 700 trucks were soon across the Spree at the crossing point. Later, on the 26th, the Dnieper Flotilla assisted the storming of the central Berlin defense zone called the "Zitadelle", with captured barges taken from the "Osthafen" upstream - and later, on April 29th with motor-gunboats in assisting 79 Rifle Corps and the 150th Rifle Division across the heavily barricaded Moltke Bridge, in the storming of the Reichstag.

My questions are these:

The Spree is a big river - it links up with both the Oder and the Neisse east and south-east of Berlin, but is actually very far from the Dnieper, the Black Sea,
and the Danube. Not meaning to be geographically challenged,
but just how did the Soviets manage to get these 70' Armored Motor-Gunboats so far inland as Berlin?? (A very circuitous route no doubt.) From consulting the very rudimentary maps that I have handy - I can only guess that the Russians brought them in through the Baltic. My guess is through the Stettiner Haff, south into the mouth of the Oder River itself, and then further south-west into Berlin. Does anyone have a more logical route – or better yet, a documented account of the way they actually transported these boats to Berlin? (I'm ruling out the extremely complicated scenario of land transport out of hand - but it was not impossible, as the Germans proved by shipping U-boats overland from Hamburg to the Black Sea at Constanza, in Romania. )

2) Was the "Type 1125 Armored-Gunboat" actually used in Berlin? The Dnieper Flotilla very likely used smaller vessels, (perhaps captured German riverboats?), in their Berlin actions. Because I'm not very well versed in naval subjects - would these large and powerful 70' gunboats even have been able to make it upstream in what are perhaps the more shallow "canalled" areas of the Spree within Berlin's city limits?

3) Were any detachments of Soviet "Marines", e.g. from the Black Sea, or Baltic Sea Fleet that fought at Sebastopol and Stalingrad - an integral part of the "Dnieper Flotilla?" Did they, in fact, help storm Berlin?



The initial inquiry on the Type 1125 Russian armoured gunboats, possibly operating on the Spree, discussed the appearance of these vessels, with a turret from a T-34 forward of the bridge, a small armoured cupola with a machine gun forward and under the T34 turret (mounted on a barbette to raise it), another such MG on top of the bridge, a Katyusha launcher aft, and what resembled a torpedo tube on each side amidships.

The latest flyer from Squadron shop has a larger photo of the assembled
Russian model kit. This clarifies what I suspected, the things which resemble torpedo tubes are really just the side of a low deck housing above the engine room.


i.e. cross section amidships:

____/____ (this triangle, which should be shallower, is a hatch/
___| |____ skylight for the engine compartment).
| |
| |
| |
/
???????? / (Unclear as to exact shape of underwater hull)

The drawings available in Western books previously, show another machine gun cupola where the Katyusha launcher is on the model, so the Katyusha may be a new revelation on configurations of these beast (photos of which are rare in the West). The larger faster type 1124 gunboats, as I posted earlier, gave up their second t-34 turret to mount the Katyusha.

At least one of these boats, without the Katyusha, is preserved on a large concrete pillar, I think at Perm.

Apparently the Russians did indeed nickname them "river tanks".

Again, these things had "BK###" names, whereas the larger Type 1124's had "BMK###" names.

==========================================

SOWJETUNION:

Monitore:
„Udarnij“ Monitor, Sommer 1940 vom Dnjepr zur Donau
„Shelesnjakov“ Monitor, Sommer 1940 vom Dnjepr zur Donau
„Shemschtuschin“ Monitor, Sommer 1940 vom Dnjepr zur Donau
„Matinov“ Monitor, Sommer 1940 vom Dnjepr zur Donau
„Rostowzew“ Monitor, Sommer 1940 vom Dnjepr zur Donau

Kanonen-Boote:
23 Boote des 1124 bzw. 1125 Typs.
Alle waren in Ismail oder Isaccea stationier.
(ich vermute es handelt sich um die gleiche Stadt)

======================================



Hope there are some details inside.


MfG Michi
PM
Top
Csaba Becze
Posted: September 02, 2003 02:22 pm
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 76
Member No.: 54
Joined: July 23, 2003



Thanks, Michi, a lot of very interesting details. In Danube in Hungary, this ships with T-34 turrets were used also (but they had not any engagements with the Hungarian river armored gunboats)

Anybody knows the exact details this BKA ship class?

Thanks,

Csaba
PM
Top
Tiornu
Posted: September 02, 2003 04:03 pm
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 83
Member No.: 75
Joined: August 08, 2003



I've seen BKA applied to both the 1124 and 1125 type boats.

Type 1124 (97 boats completed 1936-1945)
Displacement: 52.2 tons
Dimensions: 25.3 x 4.1 x 0.9m
Machinery: 1800hp = 19.4 knots
Bunkerage: 325nm at 11.1 knots
Armament: two 76.2mm guns (2 x 1), two 12.7mm machine guns ( x ), two 7.62mm machine guns ( x ), 10 mines
Complement: 17

Type 1125 (151 boats completed 1938-1945)
Displacement: 26.5 tons
Dimensions: 22.7 x 3.5 x 0.5m
Machinery: 1770hp = 19.7 knots
Bunkerage: 250nm at 15 knots
Armament: one 76.2mm guns, two 12.7mm machine guns ( x ), one 7.62mm machine guns
Complement: 13

There was also a much larger MBKA type capable of seagoing travel.

MBKA, Pr. 161 (20 boats completed 1943-1945)
Displacement: 157.8 tons
Dimensions: 26.2 x 5.2 x 1.28m
Machinery: 2400hp = 13 knots
Bunkerage: 450nm
Armament: one 76.2mm gun, one 37mm gun, four 12.7mm machine guns (2 x 2)
Complement: 38
PM
Top
Csaba Becze
Posted: September 02, 2003 05:04 pm
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 76
Member No.: 54
Joined: July 23, 2003



Thanks, Tiornu.
PM
Top
PT Dockyard
Posted: September 04, 2003 12:43 pm
Quote Post


Soldat
*

Group: Members
Posts: 20
Member No.: 76
Joined: August 08, 2003



Here is a link for a great book that show all these cutters and more. It is all in Russian but the drawings speak for themselves

http://www.aviapress.com/viewonekit.htm?OTH-129
PMUsers Website
Top
Csaba Becze
Posted: September 04, 2003 01:40 pm
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 76
Member No.: 54
Joined: July 23, 2003



Thx PT.

Actually, I can read Russian
PM
Top
Michi
Posted: September 04, 2003 10:17 pm
Quote Post


Soldat
*

Group: Members
Posts: 30
Member No.: 49
Joined: July 21, 2003



Thanks PT,

:D that's one of the best in Russian language I have ever seen according the River- & Lake Flottilas. :D

MfG Michi
PM
Top
daveh
Posted: September 07, 2003 02:36 pm
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 53
Member No.: 10
Joined: June 18, 2003



I have seen one comment to the effect that some of these armoured gun boats were fitted with katyusha rocket launchers. was this the case? were they added to or did they replace the turrets?

were such vessels used against Romanian vessels on the Danube?
PM
Top
Kirill
Posted: September 09, 2003 03:39 am
Quote Post


Soldat
*

Group: Members
Posts: 17
Member No.: 13
Joined: June 20, 2003



Hello Csaba!

If you can read Russian take a look at http://www.sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/

You find there information about BKA and not only.
PM
Top
Cristian Craciunoiu
Posted: September 09, 2003 09:23 am
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 69
Member No.: 102
Joined: September 09, 2003



There are pictures and archieve files data with two Soviet Danube armoured boats, turrets and no rockets, destroyed in ambushed at Mile 23 by the Romanian Marine Infantry Company. They used Breda guns mounted on a floating raft and camouflaged with branches and reeds. Both were taken in automn 1941 to FERNIC Shipyards in Galatzi, repaired and refited. They were seized in 1944 back by Soviet Navy . The Navy of the Popular Republic of Romania had 6 units recieved in 1950. See Modelism International 3/96, magazine.
PM
Top
Andreas von Mach
Posted: September 09, 2003 10:17 am
Quote Post


Caporal
*

Group: Members
Posts: 138
Member No.: 84
Joined: August 19, 2003



There was an article about missle armed Soviet cutters during WW II in "Katera i Yachti" in 1980s. I will try next week.
PM
Top
Tiornu
Posted: September 09, 2003 12:24 pm
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 83
Member No.: 75
Joined: August 08, 2003



Dr Crăciunoiu, do you know the names of the two Soviet armoured boats? What names were they given in Romanian service?
PM
Top
Andreas von Mach
Posted: October 29, 2003 11:06 pm
Quote Post


Caporal
*

Group: Members
Posts: 138
Member No.: 84
Joined: August 19, 2003



PM
Top
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic Options Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 






[ Script Execution time: 0.0273 ]   [ 14 queries used ]   [ GZIP Enabled ]