Sunk WWII Soviet submarine found

In the autumn of 1941, a number of Russian submarines left their bases to patrol the Baltic Sea. Some of them never returned. One of them has now been found, exploded in large pieces, southeast of Öland.

The Soviet submarine S 6 on the River Neva in what was then Leningrad. Photo: Soviet Navy Photo: Sovjetiska marinen

“In the summer of 2012 it was announced in Russian internet media that Swedish civilian divers had reported a submarine find southeast of Öland,” says Commander Christian Allerman. In the autumn of this year, the submarine rescue vessel Belos localized a Soviet submarine lost during World War II in this area and took pictures of it.

There are strong indications that it is the Soviet submarine S 6, missing since September 1941, that has been found. The wreck lies in the then German Wartburg mine area, which is in international waters but in the Swedish economic zone southeast of Öland.

Exactly what happened to the submarine is not possible to say with any degree of certainty. The fact that one of the hatches is still open gives a clue, however.
“Submarines at that time usually remained on the surface in order to move quickly and/or to recharge the batteries. They submerged when they were going to attack a ship or when they were being chased.”

It appears likely that the submarine was in the surface position when it sailed straight into the minefield and was blown up by a mine. The submarine broke into two main pieces – the bow and stern sections. The bow section lies about 20 metres north of the stern section. The stern section is about 40 metres long, lying on a sandy seabed next to a torpedo-like object.

The cameras on HMS Belos have also captured images of the submarine’s canon, on which there is Russian text as well as the Soviet hammer and sickle.
Several other Soviet submarines lost during the war have been found by Swedish divers, either civilian or military. In a personal letter, Marine Inspector Jan Eriksson has now informed his Russian counterpart, Admiral Viktor Viktorovich Tjirkov, about the discovery to enable families of the crew and the Russian Navy to conduct a memorial ceremony at the site, which should be considered as a war grave.