Allied Warships


Flotilla leader of the Minsk (Project 38) class

NavyThe Soviet Navy
TypeFlotilla leader
ClassMinsk (Project 38) 
Built byMarti Yard (Nikolayev, U.S.S.R.) / Yard 198 
Laid down15 Jan 1935 
Launched25 Jul 1938 
Commissioned27 Dec 1939 
End service30 Jul 1963 

Pacific fleet / Northern fleet.

Decommissioned on 30 July 1963 and scrapped.


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Notable events involving Baku include:

15 Jul 1942
Baku departed from Vladivostok en route to the Kola Fjord by the Northern passage.

14 Oct 1942
Baku arrived at the Kola Fjord and joins the Northern fleet.

17 Nov 1942

Convoy QP 15.

This convoy departed the Archangelsk on 17 November 1942 and arrived at Loch Ewe on 30 November 1942.

The convoy was made up the following merchant vessels; Andre Marti (Russian, 2352 GRT, built 1918), Belomorcanal (Russian, 2900 GRT, built 1936), Charles R. McCormick (American, 6027 GRT, built 1920), Dan-Y-Brin (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Empire Baffin (British, 6978 GRT, built 1941), Empire Morn (British, 7092 GRT, built 1941), Empire Snow (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Empire Tristram (British, 7167 GRT, built 1942), Esek Hopkins (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Exford (American, 4969 GRT, built 1919), Friedrich Engels (Russian, 3972 GRT, built 1930), Goolistan (British, 5851 GRT, built 1929), Hollywood (American, 5498 GRT, built 1920), Ironclad (American, 5685 GRT, built 1919), Komiles (Russian, 3962 GRT, built 1932), Kuznetz Lesov (Russian, 3974 GRT, built 1933), Lafayette (American, 5887 GRT, built 1919), Meanticut (American, 6061 GRT, built 1921), Nathaniel Greene (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Faith (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Patrick Henry (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Petrovski (Russian, 3771 GRT, built 1921), Sahale (American, 5028 GRT, built 1919), Schoharie (American, 4971 GRT, built 1919), St. Olaf (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Tblisi (Russian, 7169 GRT, built 1912), Temple Arch (British, 5138 GRT, built 1940), Virginia Dare (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), White Clover (Panamanian, 5462 GRT, built 1920), William Moultrie (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942) and

The rescue vessel (British, 1526 GRT, built 1923) is also part of the convoy.

On departed from the Kola Inlet the convoy was escorted by the AA ship Ulster Queen, destroyers Baku, Sokrushitelny, minesweepers HMS Britomart (Lt.Cdr. S.S. Stammwitz, RN), HMS Halcyon (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Hazard (Lt.(Retd.) G.C. Hocart, RNR), HMS Salamander (Lt. W.R. Muttram, RN), HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. W.L. O'Mara, RN), corvettes HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR), HMS Bluebell (Lt. G.H. Walker, RNVR), HMS Bryony (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), HMS Camellia (T/Lt. R.F.J. Maberley, RNVR).

The merchant vessels Ironclad and Meanticut soon returned to the Kola Inlet with defects.

On 19 November 1941 the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN) departed the Kola Inlet to overtake and join the convoy which they did the following day.

On 20 November 1941 the destroyers HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Orwell ( Lt.Cdr. N.H.G. Austen, DSO, RN) and escort destroyers HMS Ledbury (Lt. D.R.N. Murdoch, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN) and HMS Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN) departed Seidisfjord to join the convoy from the westward.

The Russian escort parted company with the convoy to return to the Kola Inlet, these were; Baku, Sokrushitelny. They were both damaged in the heavy weather, Baku managed to reach port with difficulty while Sokrushitelny almost broke in half. She foundered and sank on 22 November.

Due to the weather conditions the convoy got scattered.

On 23 November the staggling merchant vessels Goolistan and Kusnets Lesov were sunk by the German submarines U-625 and U-601 respectively. There were no survivors from both ships.

Also on 23 November, HMS Musketeer, HMS Orwell and the escort destroyers HMS Ledbury, HMS Middleton and HMS Oakley joined the convoy.

On 25 November, HMS Ulster Queen, HMS Icarus, HMS Bluebell and HMS Camellia arrived at Seidisfjord to fuel having parted company with the convoy the day before.

On 26 November, the Convoy Commodore with a total of nine ships set course to proceed direct to Loch Ewe. A total of seven stagglers arrived at Akureyri during the day.

Also on 26 November, HMS Faulknor, Echo, HMS Impulsive, HMS Intrepid, HMS Musketeer, HMS Orwell, HMS Ledbury and HMS Middleton arrived at Seidisfjord followed later by HMS Halcyon.

HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Burnett, DSC, RN) and HMS Impulsive departed Seidisfjord to go the the assistance of HMS Sharpshooter which had engine trouble and was still to the north-east of Iceland in position 68°05'N, 11°40'W.

On 27 November, a staggler escorted by HMS Oakley arrived at Seidisfjord. This ship later departed again escorted by HMS Icarus, HMS Intrepid, HMS Ledbury, HMS Middleton, HMS Bluebell and HMS Camellia to join the Convoy Commodore and his group of ships. On joining HMS Britomart, HMS Hazard, HMS Bergamot and HMS Bryony parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Seidisfjord to fuel. HMS Ulster Queen later also rejoined the convoy.

Also on 27 November nine more stagglers of the convoy arrived at Akureyri.

HMS Salamander and a staggler arrived at Seidisford as did HMS Forester with HMS Sharpshooter. HMS Impulsive remainded out on patrol off Seidisfjord reinforced by HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO, RN). On arriving at Seidisfjord HMS Sharpshooter collided with another ship. She departed to effect repairs at Hvalfjord later the same day arriving there on 28 November.

On 28 November HMS Impulsive and HMS Obdurate abandoned their patrol proceeding to Seidisfjord and Hvalfjord (arrived 29 November) respectively.

Also on 28 November HMS Faulknor departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow while HMS Forester, HMS Echo, HMS Musketeer, HMS Orwell, HMS Oakley, HMS Britomart and HMS Hazard departed Seidisfjord to proceed to Akureyri to pick up the stagglers there and proceed with them to Loch Ewe. Convoy QP 15M, made up of 14 merchant ships, then departed Akureyi on the 29th. They were joined off Seidisfjord by one more merchant ship and a tanker which came out escorted by HMS Impulsive, HMS Bergamot and HMS Bryony.

On 29 November, HMS Halcyon and HMS Salamander departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow where they arrived on 1 December.

On 30 November, the Commodore's section of convoy QP 15 (9 ships) arrived at Loch Ewe. HMS Ulster Queen and HMS Ledbury then proceeded to the Clyde arriving later the same day. HMS Icarus, HMS Intrepid and HMS Middleton proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving later the same day. HMS Bluebell went to the Tyne arriving on 1 December and HMS Camellia went to Cardiff also arriving on 1 December.

Also on 30 November, HMS Orwell and HMS Oakley were detached from the escort for convoy QP 15M to proceed to Scapa Flow arriving on 1 December.

On 2 December, HMS Echo was detached from the escort of convoy QP 15M to proceed to the Clyde where she arrived on 3 December.

Also on 2 December, HMS Britomart and HMS Hazard were detached from convoy QP 15M with the tanker and escorted her to Scapa Flow where they arrived on 3 December.

On 3 December, HMS Forester, HMS Impulsive and HMS Musketeer were detached from convoy QP 15M to Scapa Flow where they arrived later the same day.

Convoy QP 15M (15 ships) arrived at Loch Ewe on 3 December, HMS Bergamot and HMS Bryony then went to the Tyne arriving there on 4 December.


To provide cover for this convoy a cruiser force was deployed.

On 14 November the destroyers HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN) and HMS Obdurate departed Scapa Flow for Seidisfjord where they arrived on 17 November.

On 16 November the heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN) and destroyer HMS Forester departed Hvalfjord for Seidisdfjord where they arrived the following day.

Also on the 16th, HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO and Bar, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Seidisfjord arriving on the 18th.

On the 19th HMS London, HMS Suffolk, HMS Forester, HMS Obdurate and HMS Onslaught departed Seidisford to provide distant cover for the convoy from a position to the south-west of Bear Island.

On 23 November the destroyers were sent to Seidisfjord to refuel. They arrived at Seidisfjord on the 25th. Heavy weather had been encountered so presumably it was not possible to fuel at sea.

On 25 November HMS London and HMS Suffolk discontinued their patrol. They proceeded to Scapa Flow and Hvalfjord respectively both arriving at their destinations on the 27th. HMS Suffolk arrived at Hvalfjord with some weather damage.

Also on the 25th, HMS Onslaught departed Seidisfjord for Scapa Flow arriving on the 27th.

29 Nov 1944

Operation Acumen, the passage of convoys JW 62 and RA 62 between the U.K. and Northern Russia vice versa.

Convoy JW 62.

This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 29 November 1944 for Northern Russia.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Amasa Delano (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Andrew Turnbull (American, 7240 GRT, built 1944), August Belmont (American, 7240 GRT, built 1944), Barbara Frietchie (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), British Respect (British (tanker), 8479 GRT, built 1943), Cecil N. Bean (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Edward N. Hurley (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Empire Garrick (British (tanker), 8128 GRT, built 1942), Empire Stalwart (British, 7045 GRT, built 1943), Fort Boise (British, 7151 GRT, built 1943), Fort Highfield (British, 7129 GRT, built 1943), Fort Island (British, 7167 GRT, built 1944), Fort Massac (British, 7157 GRT, built 1943), John Gibbon (American, 7247 GRT, built 1944), Laurelwood (British (tanker), 7347 GRT, built 1929), Linn Boyd (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Longwood (British (tanker), 9463 GRT, built 1930), Luculus (British (tanker), 6546 GRT, built 1929), Nelson W. Aldrich (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Owen Wister (American, 7240 GRT, built 1944), Renald Fernald (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Robert Lowry (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Stanton H. King (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Stephen Leacock (American, 7198 GRT, built 1944), Stevenson Taylor (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), U.S.O. (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), W.R. Grace (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William H. Wilmer (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), William Tyler Page (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Woodbridge N. Ferris (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936).

The convoy had a close escort made up of the sloops HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN), HMS Lapwing (Cdr.(Retd.) E.C. Hulton, RN), HMS Lark (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN), frigates HMS Tavy (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN), HMCS Monnow (Cdr. E.G. Skinner, DSO, RCNR), HMCS Nene (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.R. Shaw, RCNR), HMCS Port Colborne (T/Lt.Cdr. C.J. Angus, RCNR), HMCS Saint John (A/Lt.Cdr. W.R. Stacey, RCNR), HMCS Stormont (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.A. Myra, RCNR), HMS Bahamas (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomson, RNR), HMS Somaliland (A/Lt.Cdr. K.B. Hopkins, DSC, RNVR), HMS Tortola (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.C.L. Payne, RNVR) and the corvettes HNoMS Eglantine, HMS Allington Castle (A/Lt.Cdr. P.A. Read, RNR), HMS Bamborough Castle (T/Lt. M.S. Work, DSC and Bar, RNR) and HNoMS Tunsberg Castle.

On 1 December 1944, the destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. I.J. Tyson, DSO, DSC, RNR), HMS Westcott (A/Lt.Cdr. E.P. Reade, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Lt. C.D.T. Williams, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Walker, RN) joined coming from the Faeroer Islands having departed there on 30 November.

Part of the convoy arrived in the Kola Inlet on 7 December 1944. Another part of the convoy was detached to Archangelsk and had parted company with the convoy around 1730B/6. To escort this part of the convoy the Russian destroyers Baku, Gremyashchiy, Razumniy, Uritsky, Dejatelnyj, Derzkij, Doblestnyj and Zivuchij as well as some patrol vessels had joined as escorts.


Convoy RA 62.

This convoy departed the Kola Inlet on 10 December 1944 for Loch Ewe.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Abner Nash (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Andrew W. Preston (American, 7247 GRT, built 1944), Benjamin Schlesinger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Collis P. Huntington (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Dolabella (British (tanker), 8142 GRT, built 1939), Donald W. Bain (American, 7200 GRT, built 1944), Eleazar Lord (American, 7247 GRT, built 1944), Elroy Alfaro (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Fort Crevecour (British, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Fort Romaine (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Yukon (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Harold L. Winslow (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Henry Adams (American, 7212 GRT, built 1944), James M. Gillis (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Sharp Williams (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joyce Kilmer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Keith Palmer (American, 7244 GRT, built 1944), Laurelwood (British (tanker), 7347 GRT, built 1929), Lawrence J. Brengle (American, 7209 GRT, built 1944), Lucullus (British (tanker), 6546 GRT, built 1929), Marathon (Norwegian, 7208 GRT, built 1930), Nicholas Biddle (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Park Benjamin (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), San Venancio (British (tanker), 8152 GRT, built 1942), Stage Door Canteen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William Pepper (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William Wheelwright (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944) and Windfred L. Smith (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936).

The convoy had the same close escort as JW 62 with the exception of the two Norwegian corvettes which remained in Northern Russia. The damaged frigate Mounsey (Lt. F.A.J. Andrew, RN) took passage in / with this convoy.

Before the convoy departed the Russian destroyers Baku, Gremyashchiy, Razumniy, Derzkij, Doblestnyj und Zivuchij conducted an A/S sweep of the Kola Inlet to drive off the concentration of German submarines in the area.

The convoy arrived at Loch Ewe on 19 December 1944.


Cover for these convoys was provided by a force made up of escort carriers HMS Campania (A/Capt. K.A. Short, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Nairana (Capt. V.N. Surtees, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bellona (Capt. C.F.W. Norris, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Caesar (Capt. G.N. Brewer, DSO, RN), HMS Cambrian (Lt.Cdr. H.T. Harrel, RN), HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN), HMS Cassandra (Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Biggs, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Onslaught (Cdr. A. Pleydell-Bouverie, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt. D.M. Vaughan-Hughes, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, RN).

Around 1745A/29, HMS Offa, HMS Onslaught, HMS Oribi, HMS Obedient and HMS Orwell departed Scapa Flow for the Faeroer Islands where they were to fuel and then join the remainder of the Force. HMS Onslow also proceeded to the Faeroer Islands to fuel but she departed Loch Ewe, also on 29 November. Her Commanding Officer had attended the convoy conference.

Around 1145A/30, HMS Campania, HMS Nairana, HMS Bellona, HMS Caesar, HMS Cambrian, HMS Caprice and HMS Cassandra departed Scapa Flow for the operation.

The cover force joined convoy JW 62 around 0800A/1 in position 63°29'N, 03°46'W and arrived in the Kola Inlet around 0100B/7 after having been detached from the convoy around 2145B/6.

The cover force departed the Kola Inlet on 10 December 1944 with convoy RA 62.

Around 0611A/11, HMS Cassandra was torpedoed and damaged by a Gnat torpedo fired by the German submarine U-365 in position 71°57'N, 32°04'E. The entire bow of the destroyer was blown off. HMS Cassandra was taken in tow (stern first) by the HMS Bahamas (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomson, RNR). Later the tow was passed over to a Soviet tug which towed her to the Kola Inlet escorted by HMS Tavy, HMS Bahamas, HMS Somaliland and HMS Tortola. They arrived on the 14th.

HMS Campania, HMS Vindex, HMS Bellona, HMS Caesar, HMS Cambrian, HMS Caprice and HMS Onslaught arrived at Scapa Flow around 1100A/18.

Around 0900A/19, HMS Onslow, HMS Obedient and HMS Orwell arrived at Scapa Flow.

Around 1000A/19, HMS Offa and HMS Oribi arrived at Liverpool.

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