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Four German WWII shipwrecks found in the Baltic Sea

During the search for the wreck of the Soviet submarine M-96 in the waters of the Gulf of Finland, lost during World War II, the participants of the expedition conducted within the framework of the project “Поклон кораблям Великой Победы”, discovered the wrecks of four German vessels that were part of the 12th Flotilla of
Published: July 2, 2020 - 00:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 20:14
Four German WWII shipwrecks found in the Baltic Sea

During the search for the wreck of the Soviet submarine M-96 in the waters of the Gulf of Finland, lost during World War II, the participants of the expedition conducted within the framework of the project “Поклон кораблям Великой Победы”, discovered the wrecks of four German vessels that were part of the 12th Flotilla of Submarine Chasers.

Between 1941 and 1944 these units protected, among other things, the territory around the island of Gogland, the largest one in the Gulf of Finland. Here the Germans held the USSR Baltic Fleet in check, deploying 21,000 mines in the area of the bay and sending nearly 100 ships and aircrafts to fight and patrol the area. Such powerful means were an extremely effective element of the Leningrad blockade.

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The results of the research of the wrecks discovered near the island of Maly Tyuters, as well as the analysis of the available materials and archival documents, carried out by the scientific adviser of the expedition, historian Miroslav Morozov, made it possible to establish not only the locations of the wrecks, but also the reasons for the sinking of the German ships.

In the case of the chasers Uj-1211, lost on 7 August 1941, and UJ-1204, lost on 26 October 1941, it was widely believed that they sank after running into German drift mines.

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The wrecks were located and identified at a depth of about 70 metres, very close together. The key detail to determine the cause of the sinking was the characteristic and in both cases almost identical damage to the bows of the two vessels.

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Also the chaser Uj-1205 shared a similar fate, although for slightly different reasons. The reason for its sinking was the treacherous Baltic weather and… another German vessel. In the extremely foggy evening of December 1, 1942, Uj-1205 was rammed by the minesweeper M-29 (Minensuchboot M-29). The minesweeper, after hitting the machinery compartment, went down in the next 30-45 minutes and today rests at a depth of about 60 metres.

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In turn the Uj-1216 was sunk on 26 August 1942 near the island Suur – Tyttarsaari (Bolshoy Tjutiers), by the Soviet torpedo boat №152 (D3), under the command of the senior lieutenant Maxim Mironovich Pianov. The wreck of the torpedo boat broke into two parts and lay at the depth of 55 metres. However, both the bridge and the armament on the bow in the form of 88 mm and 20 mm guns and even the ship’s bell were preserved.

The participants of the expedition also announced that after the completion of the planned work and the compilation of complete documentation, all information concerning the found vessels will be passed on to the German side.

Source: uwex.org
Photo: Innokientij Olchowoj

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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