Moskva (Москва)

TypeDestroyer leader, Leningrad Class, Project 1
Weapons5x130mm B-13 guns, 2×76.2mm 34-K guns, 2x45mm 21-K AA guns, 2×4 533mm torpedo tubes, 68-115 mines, 52 depth charges
Propulsion3 shaft geared turbines, 3 boilers, 66000hp
Speed40 knots
Range2100nm @20kts
Crewstandard 250 (311 at war time); 344 during the last patrol
BuilderShipyard no. 198 (Andre Marti, Mykolaiv(Nikolaev), Ukrainian SSR)
Sink dateJune 26, 1941
Sink reasonprobably a Romanian mine from minefield S-10, shells from Regina Maria, or the coastal battery Tirpitz, or friendly torpedo fire from Shch-206
CoordinatesN44 04.033, E028 57.145

The ships based on the Project 1 (Leningrad, Kharkov and Moskva) were intended to lead flotillas of destroyers in combat, thus designated as Leaders. These ships were the largest built until then by the Soviet shipyards. Their construction was plagued by delays and design issues, due to the lack of experience of the building teams.

Moskva was laid down on October 29, 1932 at the Shipyard no. 198 (Andre Marti, Mykolaiv(Nikolaev), Ukrainian SSR). It was launched on October 30, 1934 and commissioned on October 8, 1938.

The vessel was commanded first by A.I. Zubkov (since August 10, 1938), then by V.N. Eroshenko, and finally, by captain-lieutenant A.B. Tukhov from February 1941.

Between 17 and 25 November 1938, Moskva traveled to Turkey for a diplomatic mission, attending the funerals of President Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk). On 19-23 October, the following year, Moskva made another visit to Turkey.

The beginning of Operation Barbarossa (June 22, 1941) found Moskva moored in Sevastopol, and on June 25, 1941, it was ordered to take part in the attack of the Constanta harbour.

On June 25, 1941, at 2100 hours, the fleet departed from Sevastopol. The convoy's attack group was initially led by Kharkov, followed by two destroyers. Moskva was part of the support group, together with the cruiser Voroshilov. During the departure, the group was reorganized, and the two destroyers from the attack group were replaced by Moskva.

Reaching Chersonesos Cape the two Leaders headed towards Odessa, in order to deceive the Romanian air patrols. At nightfall, the ships altered course towards Constanta, where they have arrived on June 26, at 0047 (0147 by Russian records).

Reaching the position of minefield S-9, the two destroyers deployed the mine paravanes. Being late, the ships continued to navigate at high speed, which caused damage to Kharkov's paravane. Because of Kharkov's malfunction, Moskva assumed the leading position. Navigating on a 221 degrees bearing, the two vessels reached the designated position at 0400 (0500 according to Russian logbooks) and opened fire towards the shore, using the main guns. An oil cistern and a railway car loaded with ammunition were hit by the shells.

A few minutes later, at 0412, two Romanian destroyers, Regina Maria and Marasti, which were anchored near Eforie, answered back from a distance of 14000 meters. The position of the Romanian destroyers was camouflaged by the shore line, making them difficult targets for the Russians. Pretty soon, Kharkov was hit by Romanian shells. The two Russian vessels deployed a smoke courtain and turned towards N-NE, trying to retreat and avoid the Romanian fire. This action sent them directly into the minefield S-10.

The German coastal battery Tirpitz engaged the enemy at 0422. The first salvo (at 0406) reached 10 cables too far from Moskva, the second salvo came closer, at a distance of only 5 cables from the ship, and the third salvo was undershoot by 1 cable.

Considering the gun fire more dangerous than mines, Moskva's captain increased speed to 30 knots and navigated in zig-zag. This action damaged the mine paravanes.

At 0420, according to some Russian sources, two torpedo trails were spotted heading towards Moskva, and the ship tried to evade them. This information remains inconclusive.

At 0426 a column of water raised amidships, with smoke and fire, and the ship stood still. The hull's plating was damaged between the 1st and 2nd boilers, on the port side. Broken in two pieces, the bow part, with the command castle, rolled to the port and sunk very fast, while the stern continued to float for some time, heeled to starboard, with the machine still running and the port screw rotating in the air.

The ship's commander, captain-lieutenant A.B. Tukhov, deafened by the explosion, was thrown in the water. Assuming the ship's command, the first lieutenant L.I. Privalenkov, gave the order to abandon the ship. The crew tried to lower the boats, and threw cork mattresses in the water. The aft part was heeling 40 degrees to starboard, and sunk 8-10 minutes later.

Kharkov was unable to render any help to the escaped crewmen, as the heavy fire from shore and Romanian destroyers obliged it to run away. By evening, 14 Romanian boats and German seaplanes came to the rescue, picking up some 69 men - 7 officers and 62 sailors, including the captain (A.B. Tukhov).

Tukhov was able to escape later from a concentration camp, and fought in the guerilla unit Petrel, near Odessa. He died in battle on March 5, 1942, near the village of Golovanovsk on the Bug.

The ship lies at a depth of 45 meters. The stern part is standing upright, while the bow has turned over during the sinking, so the cabin is buried in mud. The wreck offers interesting sights of huge guns and torpedo launchers, with some penetration options. The wreck is pretty well preserved, with less layers of mussels than usually seen on similar wrecks.

  • wrecks/moskva.txt
  • Last modified: 2017/06/12 23:45
  • by Admin