- Article by Peter Kimenai
- Published on September 4th, 2021
On January 30, 1945, at 21:45 hrs. The Nazi vessel Wilhelm Gustloff was hit by a torpedo. Moments later, a second and third torpedo hit the German ship with over 10,000 people aboard of whom almost 9,000 were civilian refugees. Seventy minutes later the former Nazi cruise ship was sunk and over 9,000 persons aboard were dead. The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff is recorded in history as the greatest maritime disaster of all times. The three torpedoes were fired by the Soviet submarine S-13, under the command of Kapitan III ranga Alexander I. Marinesko. During the same mission, the S-13 sank another large German evacuation ship. On February 10, 1945, the Steuben was sunk by two torpedo hits. Nearly 4,000 persons aboard were killed in this disaster, again, most of them German refugees.