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NMS Sublocotenent Ghiculescu was a specialized ASW gunboat of the Romanian Navy. Initially built as a French warship in late World War I, she was purchased by Romania in 1920 and fought during World War II, sinking two submarines and one motor torpedo boat. After 1 year of Soviet service, she was returned to Romania and served as a survey vessel until 2002.

Construction and specifications

Sublocotenent Ghiculescu was a gunboat of the French Friponne class. She was built at Arsenal de Brest, being launched in 1917 and commissioned by the French Navy as Mignonne in 1918. She was sold to Romania in January 1920. Like her sisters, the gunboat displaced between 344 and 443 tons, measuring 62.1 meters in length, with a beam of 7 meters and a deep-load draught of 2.9 meters. Power plant consisted of two Sulzer diesel engines powering two shafts, resulting in an output of 900 hp which gave her a top speed of 15 knots. She had a range of 3,000 nautical miles at 10 knots and 1,600 nautical miles at 15 knots. She was armed with two 100 mm naval guns and two 400 mm depth-charge throwers, her crew amounting to 50.[1][2][3][4]

Service

During World War II, her armament was increased. Her two 100 mm naval guns were supplemented by four 20 mm anti-aircraft guns.[5] She also retained her two 400 mm depth charge throwers.[6]

She escorted a total of 17 Axis convoys in the Black Sea.[7]

On 1 October 1942, the Soviet M-class submarine M-118 attacked and sank the German transport ship Salzburg, which was carrying on board 2,000 Soviet prisonsers of war. After attacking, the submarine was located by a German BV138C flying boat, and Sublocotenent Ghiculescu together with sister ship Stihi Eugen were sent to the scene. The two Romanian gunboats attacked the Soviet submarine with depth-charges, sinking her with all hands.[8][9][10]

On 18 April 1944, during the evacuation of the Crimea, the Soviet Leninets-class submarine L-6 was sunk with depth charges near Sevastopol by the Sublocotenent Ghiculescu, aided by the German submarine chaser UJ-104.[11][12]

During the night of 27 April, a convoy escorted by the Romanian gunboat Sublocotenent Ghiculescu, the German submarine hunter UJ-115, one R-boat, two KFK naval trawlers and 19 MFPs (including the Romanian PTA-404 and PTA-406) engaged the Soviet G-5-class motor torpedo boats TKA-332, TKA-343 and TKA-344, after the three attacked and damaged the German submarine hunter UJ-104. Ghiculescu opened fire with tracer rounds, enabling the entire escort group to locate the two Soviet MTBs and open fire. TKA-332 was hit and sunk.[13][14]

She was captured by Soviet forces in September 1944 and was commissioned as Angara. In October 1945, she was returned to Romania and served as a survey vessel until 2002.[15]

References

  1. ^ Е. Е. Шведе, Военные флоты 1939—1940 гг., Рипол Классик, 2013, pp. 118-119 (in Russian)
  2. ^ Frederick Thomas Jane, The World's Warships, S. Low, Marston, 1948, p. 86
  3. ^ Frederick Thomas Jane, Jane's Fighting Ships, Marston, limited, 1959, p. 287
  4. ^ Robert Gardiner, Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Naval Institute Press, 1980, p. 361
  5. ^ Janusz Piekałkiewicz, Sea War, 1939-1945, Historical Times, 1987, p. 350
  6. ^ Е. Е. Шведе, Военные флоты 1939—1940 гг., Рипол Классик, 2013, p. 119 (in Russian)
  7. ^ Jipa Rotaru, Ioan Damaschin, Glorie și dramă: Marina Regală Română, 1940-1945, Ion Cristoiu Publishing, 2000, pp. 267-274
  8. ^ Antony Preston, Warship 2001-2002, p. 79
  9. ^ Donald A Bertke, Gordon Smith, Don Kindell, World War II Sea War, Vol 7: The Allies Strike Back p. 179
  10. ^ Mikhail Monakov, Jurgen Rohwer, Stalin's Ocean-going Fleet: Soviet Naval Strategy and Shipbuilding Programs 1935-1953, p. 266
  11. ^ Jipa Rotaru, Ioan Damaschin, Glorie și dramă: Marina Regală Română, 1940-1945, Ion Cristoiu Publishing, 2000, p. 139
  12. ^ Nicolae Koslinski, Raymond Stănescu, Marina română in al doilea război mondial: 1944-1945, Făt-Frumos Publishing, 1996, p. 364
  13. ^ Jipa Rotaru, Ioan Damaschin, Glorie și dramă: Marina Regală Română, 1940-1945, Ion Cristoiu Publishing, 2000, pp. 141-142
  14. ^ Nicolae Koslinski, Raymond Stănescu, Marina română in al doilea război mondial: 1942–1944, Făt Frumos Publishing, 1997
  15. ^ Navypedia:ANGARA gunboats (1917-1918/1944)