Soviet submarine S-13

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Russian stamp 304 S-13 1996.jpg
S-13 at Russian stamp,issued in 1996
Career (USSR) Soviet Naval Ensign
Name: S-13
Laid down: 19 October 1938
Launched: 25 April 1939
Commissioned: 31 July 1941
Decommissioned: 7 September 1954
Struck: 17 December 1956
Homeport: Kronstadt
General characteristics
Class & type: Soviet S-class submarine
Displacement: 840 long tons (853 t) surfaced
1,050 long tons (1,067 t) submerged
Length: 77.8 m (255 ft 3 in)
Beam: 6.4 m (21 ft 0 in)
Draught: 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 2 × diesels 2,000 hp (1,491 kW) each
2 × electric motors 550 hp (410 kW) each
2 × shafts
Speed: 19.5 knots (22.4 mph; 36.1 km/h) surfaced
9 knots (10 mph; 17 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 100 m (330 ft)
Complement: 50 officers and men
Armament: 6 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes (4 forward, 2 aft)
12 × torpedoes
1 × 100 mm (4 in) gun
1 × 45 mm (2 in) cannon

S-13 was a Stalinets-class submarine of the Soviet Navy. Her keel was laid down by Krasnoye Sormovo in Gorky on 19 October 1938. She was launched on 25 April 1939 and commissioned on 31 July 1941 in the Baltic Fleet, under the command of Captain Pavel Malantyenko.[1]

Service history[edit]

In the first half of September 1942, under Malantjenko's command, S-13 sank two Finnish ships, Hera and Jussi H., and a German ship Anna W, totaling 4,042 tons.

On 15 October 1942, caught on the surface while charging her batteries, S-13 was attacked by the Finnish submarine chasers VMV-13 and VMV-15. During her crash dive, the submarine hit bottom, severely damaging her rudder and destroying her steering gear. The following depth charge attack worsened the damage, but S-13 escaped and made it back to Kronstadt.

During the next three years, Malantyenko was relieved by Alexander Marinesko and S-13 was repaired and returned to sea.

Under the command of Marinesko, then 32, on 30 January 1945, at Stolpe Bank off the Pomeranian coast, S-13 sank the 25,484-ton German liner Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with civilians and military personnel, with three torpedoes. Recent estimates calculate that over 9,000 people were killed, the worst loss of life in maritime history.[2]

Soon after that, S-13 fired at the T-36, a torpedo boat that had come to the aid of the Wilhelm Gustloff. Despite being overloaded with 564 survivors from the Gustloff, the captain of T-36 was able to dodge the torpedo[citation needed].

On 10 February 1945, S-13 sank another German transport ship Steuben.[3] 3,300 civilians and military personnel from the ship died, and 300 survived.[4]

Marinesko hoped to be awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union[citation needed]. He left the navy in early 1946, embittered. He was posthumously awarded the title in 1990.

S-13 was decommissioned on 7 September 1954 and stricken on 17 December 1956.


Ships sunk by S-13[5]
Date Ship Flag Tonnage Notes
11 September 1942 Hera Finland 1379 GRT freighter (torpedo)
12 September 1942 Jussi H. Finland 2325 GRT freighter (torpedo)
18 September 1942 Anna W. Netherlands 290 GRT freighter (gunfire)
30 January 1945 Wilhelm Gustloff Nazi Germany 25484 GRT transport ship (torpedo)
10 February 1945 General Steuben Nazi Germany 14660 GRT transport ship(torpedo)
Total: 44,138 GRT

S-13 also damaged with gunfire the German fishing vessel Siegfried (563 GRT), but despite being damaged she escaped.[6]

References[edit]