View Full Version : The "official" story of K-21

06-14-2006, 01:49 AM
K-21 left base on 03.04.43, return due to malfunction of stern hydroplanes and left base again 04.04.43. It was 9th patrol of K-21. Submarine had order to lay 20 mines €œEP€ in Lopphavet, then to go Andfjorden for unrestricted actions against warships and shipping. If during 6 days no targets were found, K-21 should go to position #2 (between S¸r¸ya & Fugl¸ya). 06.04 K-21 laid her mines NO Loppa (later Soviet historians claimed two transports sank on this barrage, but it seems incorrect). 09.04 Lunin attack with 6 torpedoes "destroyer type Karl Galster" west of S¸r¸ya, heard 2 detonations (some other men heard 3 detonations) and assumed what "destroyer" sank. In reality torpedoes missed minelayer Brummer with 5 escort ships, 2 torpedoes observed by Germans and 6 depth charges dropped. Submariners don€t heard d/c explosions; probably they confused these explosions with own torpedoes detonation. Same day Lunin has received the order to penetrate into Harstad area, "if there will be favorable conditions". 12.04 commander concluded that "conditions unfavorable" because long light part of day prevented surface actions in this defended area.
At 13:00 12.04 near cape Andenes in bad visibility (fog, periodical snowfall) watchman find out masts. Submarine had plunger. At 13:50 Lunin saw in periscope one motorboat. He accounts this vessel as German antisubmarine boat and decides to surface, to destroy this motorboat by gunfire and to take some prisoners. After surfacing crew found that submarine was among "flotilla" of motorboats. At 14:09 K-21 opened gunfire. (A bit later wave has washed off Alexey Labutin. Submariners tried to save him, but couldn€t find and assumed that he died in cold water). At all 4 motorboats sank, one more damaged and from 6th boat took entire crew (7 men). And only then Lunin understood that fired not Germans but Norwegian fishermen. Causes of confused recognition were bad visibility and former experience.
(19.01.42 K-21 in Lopphavet finds out one fishermen€s boat, which dropped nets. Commander assumed, that those are "antisubmarine signal nets", and took an evasive maneuver, but near submarine begin to explode depth charges. During 2 hours 45 minutes motorboats, as commander assumed, dropped 86 depth charges. I think K-21 19.01.42 in reality met German UJ- or Vp-Boote. In KTB der Seekriegsleitung I find only one A/S attack 19.01.42: "Das fdl. Uboot im Groetsund wurde ergebnislos von eigenem Flugzeug angegriffen". Of course one aircraft can€t drop 86 depth charges. Only K-21 was in this area 19.01.42).
Returning to 12.04.1943. Command of submarine brigade hasn€t approved this attack. Soviet submariners had no reasons to attack Norwegian fishermen. One of the most items of Soviet propaganda in those times was "solidarity with the workers of all countries", and many films, books, etc pressed this idea to the minds of Soviet people.
One question remains why Lunin doesn€t released 7 fishermen? It was some situations with taken peoples to Soviet submarines from sea during WW2. No one man was ever released from submarine. I think that instructions forbade doing it in any case. Another question that NKVD acted with those people€¦
Lunin is well-known submariner in Russia due to his attack on Tirpitz 05.07.1942.
Cruiser submarine (XIV series) K-21 had displacement 1487/2102 tons (surfaced/submerged), 22/10 kts, 97,6 meters long, 10 x 21" torpedo tubes (6 bow, 4 stern) (24 torpedoes at all), 20 moored mines "EP", two 100-mm cannons and two 45-mm AA guns, crew 62. Now this submarine is preserved as memorial in Severomorsk.

06-14-2006, 06:04 AM
Interresting read!
Do you have any information about the fate of the 7 norwegian fishermen?


06-14-2006, 08:03 AM
From the vessell "Skreien" from Gryllefjord the entire crew, 7 men brougth aboard K-21 and were taken to Polarjarnyj outside Murmansk.
In Murmansk the fishermen were interogated, and were offered a)to join the russian army b) enlist as NKVD partisans. One norwegian from "Skreien", Rasmus Rydningen, aged 17 chose the latter, and was enlisted into the naval partisan group "Fleet gruop 4090" located at the Lavna camp.
The 6 others refused this and was sent to working camps in sibir, only 3 survived and returned to Norway after the war, the other 3 died of starvation and diseases in the gulag camp.

06-14-2006, 02:33 PM
Thanks for posting the story http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

It was certainly a tragic incident. It must have been very frightening for the 7 fisherman to be captured and taken into a Russian submarine.

06-14-2006, 03:46 PM
Thanks for the info. I've never heard about that incidence before. The russians really had strange ways of treating their allies. I find it even strange that they released the three surviving norwegians after the war. For the russians it must have been easier to just let them disappear.


06-14-2006, 08:05 PM
Dunno, the official stories always smell fishy to me....

But these definitions might explain a lot about "official" versions of events:

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.

MILITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate".

BRITISH DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. You feed them sheeps' brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows..

ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows.

CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

HONG KONG CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly - listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother - in - law at the bank, then execute a debt / equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the fung shiu is bad.

ENVIRONMENTALISM: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.

FEMINISM: You have two cows. They get married and adopt a veal calf.

TOTALITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

COUNTER CULTURE: Wow, dude, there's like... these two cows, man. You got to have some of this milk.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

LIBERTARIANISM: You have two cows. One has actually read the constitution, believes in it, and has some really good ideas about government. The cow runs for office, and while most people agree that the cow is the best candidate, nobody except the other cow votes for her because they think it would be "throwing their vote away."

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