Shchuka-class submarine

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Sc311.jpg
Shch-311 was a Series V-bis-2 Shchuka of the Baltic Fleet
Class overview
Operators:  Soviet Navy
In service: 1932
In commission: - 1956
Completed: 88
Lost: 35
General characteristics
Displacement: 577 tons surfaced
704 tons submerged
Length: 57.00 m
Beam: 6.20 m
Draught: 3.78 m
Propulsion: 2 shaft diesel electric, 1370 hp diesel, 800 hp electric
Speed: surface - 12.5 knots
submerged - 6.3 knots
Range: 6000 nmi at 8 knots
Test depth: 300 ft
Complement: 38
Armament: 4 × bow torpedo tubes
2 × stern torpedo tubes
(10 torpedoes)
2 × 45 mm semi-automatic guns

The Shchuka class submarines (Russian: Щука), also referred to as Shch or SC class submarines were a medium-sized class of Soviet submarines, built in large numbers and used during World War II. "Shchuka" is Russian for pike. Of this class, only two submarines (411 and 412) entered service after 1945, although they were launched before war.

Development[edit]

On January 23, 1930, the USSR Revolutionary Military Council (Revvoensoviet) adapted a proposed submarine concept that were to "execute positioning service on closed theatres". Plans were made to construct up to 200 submarines in three main versions, the later ones would be larger and with longer range than the previous versions. However, due to the outbreak of World War II, only 88 submarines were commissioned. It was still to be the second most numerous submarine class of the Soviet Navy (only the M class were more numerous with 111 built). Seven ship construction yards were involved in the program - No. 189, 190, 194 in Leningrad, No. 112 in Gorky, No. 200 in Nikolaev and No. 202 in Vladivostok.

The name of the class was taken from the individual name of the first submarine Shch-301 "Shchuka". Their numbering depended on which Soviet fleet they belonged to: the 100-series belonged to the Pacific Fleet, the 200-series to the Black Sea Fleet, the 300-series to the Baltic Fleet, and the 400-series to the Northern Fleet. There were however some special cases, i.e. the Northern Fleet submarine Shch-424 was renamed Shch-321 when she was transferred to the Baltic Fleet via the Stalin Canal (and later renamed back to Shch-424 when returning). The conning tower had brass symbols as identifiers (Щ-XXX, where the XXX is the number).

Operational service[edit]

The Shchukas saw great losses during the war. The Baltic, Black Sea and Northern fleet lost 60-70% of their submarines. However, the submarines of the Soviet Pacific fleet did not suffer any losses to the Japanese due to the tranquil nature of the theatre (war operations commenced first in the autumn of 1945 when the Japanese fleet largely was defeated). 3 submarines were however lost here to other reasons (non-battle damages and incidents).

In all, 35 Shchuka-class submarines were lost, the vast majority during World War II.

The last surviving submarines of the class in the Soviet navy were decommissioned in the mid-1950s and scrapped during the following years, but two submarines of this class (S-121 and S-123), along with two Soviet M-class submarines were supplied to People's Liberation Army Navy in June, 1954, thus becoming the foundation of the submarine force of the People's Republic of China. However, the two Shchuka-class submarines were not sold, but instead, loaned to China for training Chinese crews and were thus not given new names like the M-class submarines.

Ships of the class[edit]

Pacific Fleet[edit]

Series V formed the first 12 Schukas of the Pacific Fleet
Pacific Fleet Shchukas Shch-121, 122, 123, 124 and 125 were in Series V-bis-2
The pacific fleet had 10 Series X Shchukas: Shch-126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134 and 139
  • Shch-101
  • Shch-102
  • Shch-103 (lost 4 November 1935)
  • Shch-104
  • Shch-105
  • Shch-106
  • Shch-107
  • Shch-108
  • Shch-109
  • Shch-110
  • Shch-111
  • Shch-112
  • Shch-113
  • Shch-114
  • Shch-115
  • Shch-116
  • Shch-117 (lost 15 December 1952)
  • Shch-118
  • Shch-119
  • Shch-120
  • Shch-121
  • Shch-122
  • Shch-123
  • Shch-124
  • Shch-125
  • Shch-126
  • Shch-127
  • Shch-128
  • Shch-129
  • Shch-130
  • Shch-131
  • Shch-132
  • Shch-133
  • Shch-134
  • Shch-135
  • Shch-136
  • Shch-137
  • Shch-138 (lost 18 July 1942)
  • Shch-139

Black Sea Fleet[edit]

The Black Sea fleet's first Shchuka's, Shch-201, 202 and 203, were in Series V-bis
Shch-209 alongside the Soviet cruiser Komintern
  • Shch-201
  • Shch-202
  • Shch-203 (lost 26 August 1943)
  • Shch-204 (lost 6 December 1941)
  • Shch-205
  • Shch-206 (lost 9 July 1941)
  • Shch-207 (lost 26 August 1943)
  • Shch-208 (lost 23 August 1942)
  • Shch-209
  • Shch-210 (lost 12 March 1942)
  • Shch-211 (lost 14 November 1941)
  • Shch-212 (lost 11 December 1942)
  • Shch-213 (lost 14 October 1942; wreck found 13 September 2010)
  • Shch-214 (lost 19 June 1942)
  • Shch-215
  • Shch-216 (lost 17 February 1944; wreck found July 2013)

Baltic Fleet[edit]

Shch-310, 302, 303 and 304 of the Baltic Fleet constituted the original Series III Shchukas
The preserved conning tower of Shch-307, a member of Series V-bis-2, at Poklonnaya Gora, Moscow
  • Shch-301 (lost 28 August 1941)
  • Shch-302 (lost October 1942)
  • Shch-303
  • Shch-304 (lost November 1942)
  • Shch-305 (lost 5 November 1942)
  • Shch-306 (lost 12 November 1942)
  • Shch-307
  • Shch-308 (lost 26 October 1942)
  • Shch-309
  • Shch-310
  • Shch-311 (lost 12 October 1942)
  • Shch-315
  • Shch-317 (lost 15 July 1942)
  • Shch-318
  • Shch-319 (lost 29 September 1941)
  • Shch-320 (lost 27 October 1942)
  • Shch-322 (lost 11 October 1941)
  • Shch-323 (lost 1 May 1943)
  • Shch-324 (lost 5 November 1941)

Northern Fleet[edit]

The Northern Fleet's Shch-405, 406, 407, 408, 411 and 412 were in Series X-bis
Shch-401, a Series X Shchuka of the Northern Fleet, before the USSR's entry into the Second World War
  • Shch-401 (lost 23 April 1942)
  • Shch-402 (lost 21 September 1944)
  • Shch-403 (lost 2 October 1943)
  • Shch-404
  • Shch-405 (lost 13 July 1942)
  • Shch-406 (lost 26 May 1943)
  • Shch-407
  • Shch-408 (lost 25 May 1943)
  • Shch-411
  • Shch-413
  • Shch-414
  • Shch-421 (lost 9 April 1942)
  • Shch-422 (lost 5 July 1943)
  • Shch-424 (lost 20 October 1939)

See also[edit]

"Shchuka" is a traditional Russian/Soviet submarine name, often given to the first submarine of a new class of a new generation submarines. For instance, the first submarine of the early 20th century Som class carried the name. Also at least two other, newer Soviet/Russian submarine classes carries the name, however, the NATO reporting names differ. These are the Project 671 Shchuka (NATO: Viktor) and Project 971 Shchuka-B (Akula).