German destroyer Z33

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This article is about the Nazi German destroyer. For the sports car also known as the "Z33", see Nissan 350Z.
Two ships close to the shore of a body of water near steep snow-covered hills. Much of the body of water is covered by sheets of ice.
Z33 under attack by Allied aircraft on 9 February 1945
Nazi Germany
Name: Z33
Commissioned: 6 February 1943
Decommissioned: Late April 1945
Soviet Union
Name: Provornyy
Commissioned: 1946
Decommissioned: 22 April 1955
Fate: Accommodation ship 1955–1960, scrapped 1962
General characteristics
Class and type: Narvik
Type: destroyer
  • 2,600 tonnes (standard)
  • 3,605 (max)
Length: 127 m (417 ft)
Beam: 12 m (39 ft)
Draught: 4.65 m (15.3 ft) metres
Installed power: 70,000 hp (52,200 kW)
Propulsion: 2 shafts, geared turbines 6 boilers
Speed: 37 12 knots (69.5 km/h; 43.2 mph)
Range: 3,650 nmi (6,760 km; 4,200 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Endurance: 2,240 nautical miles (4,150 km) at 19 knots (35 km/h)
Complement: 220 officers and men
  • 5 149 mm guns (1 × 2 & 3 × 1)
  • 4 37 mm guns (later 14)
  • 8 20 mm guns (later 18)
  • 8 533 mm torpedo tubes
  • 60 mines
  • 4 depth charge launchers

Z33 was a German Narvik-class destroyer that saw service during World War II. She was commissioned in the Kriegsmarine in February 1943 and served in Norwegian waters until March 1945. She was decommissioned from the Kriegsmarine in late April 1945 but was handed over to the Soviet Union in December that year. She subsequently served with Soviet Navy as Provornyy until April 1955 when she was converted to an accommodation ship. She was badly damaged by a fire in 1960 and scrapped in 1962.

Service history[edit]

Z33 was commissioned into the Kriegsmarine on 6 February 1943 and served in Norwegian waters from July that year. She took part in the German raid on Spitsbergen (Operation Zitronella) in September 1943 where she was damaged by a coastal battery. On 25 December 1943 she escorted the battleship Scharnhorst prior to her destruction in the Battle of the North Cape but did not take part in the battle itself. She remained in Norwegian waters during 1944 and early 1945.[1] On 17 July 1944 Z33 was strafed by Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm fighters during the Operation Mascot attack on the battleship Tirpitz but only suffered superficial damage.[2]

The destroyer departed for Germany on 5 February 1945, but ran aground in Brufjord two days later. While under tow to Trondheim she was damaged by the Allied "Black Friday" air raid on 9 February. Once repairs were completed she sailed for Swinemünde on 26 March 1945 and arrived there on 2 April. Due to Germany's shortage of fuel she saw no further combat and was decommissioned at Brunsbüttel in late April.[1]

Following the war Z33 was handed over to the Soviet Union on 2 December 1945 as part of Germany's reparations. She subsequently served with the Red Banner Baltic Fleet from 1946 as Provornyy (“Nimble”). On 30 November 1954 she was transferred to training duties. Provornyy was relegated to an accommodation ship on 22 April 1955. During 1960 she was badly damaged by a fire and sank at her moorings. She was subsequently raised and later scrapped during 1962.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Koop and Schmolke (1995), p. 114
  2. ^ Brown (2009), p. 28


  • Brown, David (2009). Hobbs, David, ed. Carrier Operations in World War II. Barnsley, Yorkshire: Frontline. ISBN 9781848320420. 
  • Koop, Gerhard & Schmolke, Klaus-Peter (1995). German Destroyers of World War II. London: Greenhill Books. ISBN 1-85367-540-7.