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Old 2nd May 2018, 10:40
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Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

According Tehran agreement in late 1943, "Sunfish" was intended to be transferred to the Soviet Union as a result of the division of the Italian fleet. On April 10 (according to other data, March 9, 44) the submarine was registered with Soviet Navy VMF under the designation "B-1". On May 30, 1944 the sub arrived in the UK as part of the RA-59 convoy, manned by the crew the L-20 submarine. The submarine became part of the 7th independent division of the Northern Fleet submarine group .

Commander of B-1 became Hero of the Soviet Union captain 2 rank (Commander ) Israel Fisanovitch .
On June 10, the B-1 it arrived to Dundee, where, under the supervision of British specialists, performed combat training, by June 15 a new naval gun was installed on the submarine. On July 25, the submarine arrived in Lervik, from where on the evening of the same day departed to Polyarnoe though it never arrived there .

According to the original version as into the B-1 disapperance , it's believed that the submarine deviated from the recommended course (while still in the UK waters ) and became a victim of of an erroneous attack of a Liberator aircraft of the 18th British Air Force Coastal Command Group in the morning of July 27, 1944, 300 miles north of the Shetland Islands (64 ° 34 'N / 01 ° 16' W, according to other data 64 ° F N / 01 ° 16'W). The plane attacked the submarine 80 miles from the border of the corridor assigned to it for the crossing. Instead of responding to the IFF , the submarine began an emergency dive. There is also a version of the submarine sunk as result hitting a floating mine or as a result of an accident. Along with the loss of the B-1 sub 51 submariners perished.
Is anyone aware of any updates at the British Royal Navy archives on this specific event ?

There are no records showing if ever the British Navy or Russian intended to start a search after this sub, Finsanovitch himself was awarded the US Navy Cross
for his role in protecting Allied convoys and for sinking a few German ships which attacked Allied expeditionary ships on Northern approaches .
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Last edited by researcher111; 2nd May 2018 at 11:11.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 00:43
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

The involved aircraft was a Liberator (86 Sqn RAF/V) and I have some doubts about the story that the Soviet submarine dived when the aircraft approached, even if they were in a position where they weren't supposed to be.

As I am more interested in the U-boats I haven't checked the details of this case yet, but these two documents held by the National Archives should contain all known information about this incident:
Royal Navy Enquiry: ADM 1/16390 (http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C4786876)
Royal Air Force Enquiry: AIR 2/9279 (http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C2634443)
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Old 3rd May 2018, 07:18
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

The subject has appeared in the 'FRIENDLY FIRE WW2' thread which is a sticky. It is here:

http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/search...earchid=524944

... but youu will see the search has also picked up other submarine related events including another 'Friendly Fire' on a different Russian sub.
Hope this helps.

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Old 3rd May 2018, 10:23
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Bruce

Thanks very much for the feedback .The links to Britsh Admirality
and as I have expected leads to a fee created data which is not of
interest to me , as into your other link of this forum which dealt
with the subject in the past, it shows an empty page.

I note your doubts , so if the Stalinist and later on the Soviet
version is doubted by you what is then your opinion as into the
event ? I am not really subs history specialist but I am specifically
iinterested on this case and some Russian parties keep feeding me with
info.

I am attaching some rare photos from the Sevastopol Naval Archives
as well one from Northern Fleet VMF Museum in St.Petersburg

Let me know

Best Regards
Alex
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Old 3rd May 2018, 10:35
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Bruce

One addition to the previous story , Fisanovitch was a precision
man and so as submariner eventhough he originated from a very
poor Jewish family which could not afford sending him to a good
school on his earlier time. Back in the 1940 he was one of very few
Soviet submariners who was awarded a gold watch from the Fleet
Commander for outstanding results on drills ,

Prior leaving UK he expressed serious doubts on the route
and the corridors he was supposed to navigate through.
My Russian collegues could clarify on why these doubts
arisen and based on what grounds he's got suspicions.


Posting also last Sub's photo while departing UK
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Last edited by researcher111; 3rd May 2018 at 11:26.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 11:07
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Sorry about that, I can't make the link work now either although I tested it before posting. Open 'Friendly Fire' thread, select 'search within thread' and search 'submarine'.

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Old 3rd May 2018, 11:20
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

This what the US archives have to say about the incident :

In 1944 Fisanovich went to Britain to take command of the former HMS Sunfish which was lent to the Soviet Navy. This boat was renamed V-1 (В-1). While on passage to USSR, the V-1 was attacked in error by a Coastal Command Lib. Fisanovich allegedly was out of the prescribed area and dived rather than staying on the surface and sending a recognition signal. The boat was lost with all hands including the British liaison officer.

In fact, the RAF and RN both held Courts of Inquiry into the loss of B-1 and her 50 Russian and one British crew. The relevant files have been released to the National Archives - see AIR 2/9279 and ADM 1/16390. Both inquiries were clear that Captain Fisanovich was almost exactly where he was supposed to be, that he did not open fire on the aircraft and that he did not crash dive when it approached.

RAF Coastal Command were searching for a U-boat believed, from Enigma decrypts, to be outbound from Trondheim. The crew of the 86 Squadron Liberator that attacked B-1 were, however, found to have been at least eighty miles off course, well inside the 'submarine sanctuary' surrounding B-1 as she made her way north, and to have ignored unmistakable signs that the submarine was friendly.

Captain Fisanovich was cleared of all blame and the RAF aircrew was held fully responsible for the incident which was then hushed up to save diplomatic embarrassment ahead of the Yalta Conference .

Note : Fisanovitch was the 1st Soviet Submariner to receive the USN Cross out of 13 foreign recepients .
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Old 3rd May 2018, 11:29
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

In my own judgement something else not related to the RAF crew and Soviet submarine gone wrong and like in most cases pilots and dead crews are to be blamed first. I would even risk and say that Royal Navy Intel Service screwed up which is not the first time in their history then by no means why not blame the Russian first and then the RAF crew. Attached a post war post card widely distributed in Russian Federation-
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Old 3rd May 2018, 12:39
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

The search was for a possible U-boat but the Liberator was a long way off course. When the s/m was sighted other errors were made. The enquiry at the time found the Liberator crew responsible and the Russian submarine was in the correct position and her actions were not criticized.
Perhaps you have other information but I cannot see the Russians being blamed in the reports of the time. The quality of the intelligence was not the problem, the Liberator was in the wrong place and the crew were at fault.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 14:39
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Bruce

At this place I again doubt the the RAF crew were at fault becuase they were
constantly in touch with RN Ops room ,tracking stations possibly
ship based tracking Sonars too. The dispatch order came from the RN
Ops Room who on turn were fed by RN Intel . The Sub movement
was under Allied control and even the Lib may have been so far of
course I cant believe they would act like this .

According the US Archives they were fed by RN Ops with an Enigma
deciphered message as into Trondheim's position.....I doubt the RAF on
board sparky or Radar Op would independently receive ,decrypt, analyze
Enigma messages and then launch depth charges without specific orders from
RN OPS room,period.

Also before departure Israel Fisanovitch had great doubts on the British
dispatch order something he expressed it in the strongest way possible

PS :

Last edited by researcher111; 4th May 2018 at 11:28.
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