Ships hit by U-boats


Soviet Steam passenger ship

Pestel´ under her former name Velikij Knyaz´ Aleksej

Type:Steam passenger ship
Tonnage1,850 tons
Completed1890 - R. & W. Hawthorn, Leslie & Co Ltd, Hebburn-on-Tyne 
OwnerĈernomorsko-Azovskoe Gosudarstvennoe Morskoe Paroqodstvo 
Date of attack19 Jun 1944Nationality:      Soviet
FateSunk by U-20 (Karl Grafen)
Position41° 03'N, 39° 42'E - Grid CL 9932
Complement66 (18 dead and 48 survivors).
RouteTrabzon, Turkey (19 Jun) - Batumi 
History Completed in August 1890 as Velikij Knyaz' Aleksej for Russian Steam Navigation & Trading Co, Odessa. 1917 requisitioned by the Russian Navy and converted to the minelayer Aleksej. 1920 renamed Pestel' by the Soviet government.

At 12.59 hours on 23 Mar 1943, U-19 (Gaude) fired a spread of three torpedoes at the escorted Pestel' off Suchumi and heard a heavy detonation and claimed a hit, but in fact she was not hit, although one torpedo was seen to pass the bow in about six metres distance. Three patrol boats made a counter attack in which SKA-095 dropped four depth charges, but without damaging the U-boat. 
Notes on event

At 20.28 hours on 19 June 1944 the unescorted Pestel´ (Master S.N. Kushnarenko) was hit by two torpedoes from U-20 and sank at 22.20 hours after breaking in two off Trabzon. The Soviets reported that the ship was sunk within the territorial waters of Turkey, while her escort (eight SKA patrol boats) waited at the boarder of these waters to meet the vessel. The survivors were picked up by the patrol boats, but the master and 17 crew members were lost. The next morning, the U-boat took a rescue buoy from the ship aboard.


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