Dnieper Naval Flotilla

Dnieper Naval Flotilla


First established in 1737 under the command of Vice Admiral N. A. Seniavin. It consisted of small craft and supported Russian troops during the Russo-Turkish wars of the 18th century. It remained in existence until 1789.

In March 1919, in order to assist the Red Army in battles against the Petliura forces and White Guards, several detachments of vessels were established on the Dnieper; these were combined in August 1919 into the Dnieper Naval Flotilla, which fought successfully and especially distinguished itself during the Kiev Operation of 1920. In that same year it was disbanded.

In October 1925 a detachment of ships was established at Kiev and was re-formed in June 1931 into the Dnieper Naval Flotilla, which in 1939 took part in the liberation campaign in the Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia. In June 1940 it was disbanded, and its vessels joined the Danube Naval Flotilla and the newly created Pinsk Naval Flotilla (commanded by Rear Admiral D. D. Rogachev), which included 17 monitors and gunboats, 22 armored cutters, and 19 patrol boats. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War the Pinsk Flotilla actively participated in military actions in Poles’e, near Bobruisk, Gomel’, and Kremenchug, and in the defense of Kiev. Most of the flotilla’s vessels were destroyed in these battles, and the remainder were blown up in September 1941.

After the Soviet Army had broken through to the Dnieper in September 1943 the Dnieper Naval Flotilla was reestablished (under the command of Captain V. V. Grigor’ev), and from October 1943 it was active on the Pripiat’, Berezina, Dnieper, Western Bug, Vistula, Oder, and Spree rivers, supporting the army troops with firepower, carrying out landing operations, and ensuring crossings. By 1945 the flotilla numbered about 130 craft, including six gunboats, 34 armored cutters, 16 patrol boats, four mine-laying cutters, and nine floating batteries. It was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1944 and the Order of Ushakov First Class in 1945. After the war it was disbanded.


V’iunenko, N. P., and R. N. Mordvinov. Voennye flotilii v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine. Moscow, 1957.
Loktionov, I. I. Pinskaia i Dneprovskaia flotilii v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine. Moscow, 1958.