The Shchuka class submarines (Russian: Щука), also referred to as ShCh or SC class submarines were a medium-sized class of Soviet submarines, built in large numbers and used during World War II. "Shchuka" is Russian for pike.
On January 23, 1930, the USSR Revolutionary Military Council
(Revvoensoviet) adapted a proposed submarine concept that were to "execute positioning service on closed theatres". Plans were made to construct up to 200 submarines in three main versions, the later ones would be larger and with longer range than the previous versions. However, due to the outbreak of WW2, only 88 submarines were commissioned. It was still to be the second most numerous submarine class of the Soviet Navy (only the M class
were more numerous with 111 built). Seven ship construction yards were involved in the program - No. 189, 190, 194 in Leningrad, No. 112 in Gorky, No. 200 in Nikolaev and No. 202 in Vladivostok.
The name of the class was taken from the individual name of the first submarine ShCh-301 "Shchuka". Their numbering depended on which Soviet fleet they belonged to: the 100-series belonged to the Pacific Fleet, the 200-series to the Black Sea Fleet, the 300-series to the Baltic Fleet, and the 400-series to the Northern Fleet. There were however some special cases, i.e. the Northern Fleet submarine ShCh-424 was renamed ShCh-321 when she was transferred to the Baltic Fleet via the Stalin Canal (and later renamed back to ShCh-424 when returning).
The conning tower had brass symbols as identifiers (Щ-XXX, where the XXX is the number).
The Shchukas saw some great losses during the war. The Baltic, Black Sea and Northern fleet lost 60-70% of their submarines. However, the submarines of the Soviet Pacific fleet did not suffer any losses to the Japanese due to the tranquil nature of the theatre (war operations commenced first in 1945 when the Japanese fleet largely was defeated). 3 submarines were however lost here to other reasons (non-battle damages and incidents).
In all, 35 Shchuka class submarines were lost, the vast majority during WW2.
The last surviving submarines of the class were decommissioned in the mid-1950s and scrapped during the following years.
Ships of the class
- ShCh-103 (lost 4 November 1935)
- ShCh-117 (lost 15 December 1952)
- ShCh-138 (lost 18 July 1942)
Black Sea Fleet
- ShCh-203 (lost 26 August 1943)
- ShCh-204 (lost 6 December 1941)
- ShCh-206 (lost 9 July 1941)
- ShCh-207 (lost 26 August 1943)
- ShCh-208 (lost 23 August 1942)
- ShCh-210 (lost 12 March 1942)
- ShCh-211 (lost 14 November 1941)
- ShCh-212 (lost 11 December 1942)
- ShCh-213 (lost 14 October 1942)
- ShCh-214 (lost 19 June 1942)
- ShCh-216 (lost 17 February 1944)
- ShCh-301 (lost 28 August 1941)
- ShCh-302 (lost October 1942)
- ShCh-304 (lost November 1942)
- ShCh-305 (lost 5 November 1942)
- ShCh-306 (lost 12 November 1942)
- ShCh-308 (lost 26 October 1942)
- ShCh-311 (lost 12 October 1942)
- ShCh-317 (lost 15 July 1942)
- ShCh-319 (lost 29 September 1941)
- ShCh-320 (lost 27 October 1942)
- ShCh-322 (lost 11 October 1941)
- ShCh-323 (lost 1 May 1943)
- ShCh-324 (lost 5 November 1941)
- ShCh-401 (lost 23 April 1942)
- ShCh-402 (lost 21 September 1944)
- ShCh-403 (lost 2 October 1943)
- ShCh-405 (lost 13 July 1942)
- ShCh-406 (lost 26 May 1943)
- ShCh-408 (lost 25 May 1943)
- ShCh-421 (lost 9 April 1942)
- ShCh-422 (lost 5 July 1943)
- ShCh-424 (lost 20 October 1939)
"Shchuka" is a traditional Russian/Soviet submarine name, often given to the first submarine of a new class of a new generation submarines. For instance, the first submarine of the early 20th century Som class
carried the name. Also at least two other, newer Soviet/Russian submarine classes carries the name, however, the NATO reporting names differ. These are the Project 671 Shchuka
) and Project 971 Shchuka-B