Operation Battle of Jibrieni

The 'Battle of Jibrieni' was an attack by a Soviet submarine on an Axis convoy and its Romanian escorts off the coast of the Romanian village of Jibrieni (now Prymorske in Ukraine) (17 December 1941).

On 17 December 1941, the Soviet 'M' class submarine M-59 carried out an attack on an Axis convoy of three transport vessels off the coastal town of Jibrieni. The convoy comprised the Hungarian cargo ships Kassa and Kolozsvár and the Bulgarian cargo ship Tzar Ferdinand, which were escorted by a Romanian naval force comprising the destroyers Regele Ferdinand and Regina Maria, the gunboats Stihi and Ghiculescu, and the torpedo boats Sborul and Smeul. The two torpedoes launched by the Soviet submarine missed both the bow and stern of one of the Romanian destroyers. Accelerating to 25 kt, Regele Ferdinand quickly reached the position from which the torpedoes had been launched and dropped three salvoes of depth charges. Between the second and third salvoes, fuel and bubbles rose to the surface, and Regele Ferdinand subsequently circled the area and dropped four more depth charges, whose detonations were followed by the appearance of more fuel as well as pieces of wood. Regele Ferdinand reported that she had sunk the submarine, and this was confirmed by the Romanian naval command.

It is worth noting, however, that modern Russian sources claim that M-59 was probably lost several weeks earlier after entering minefields to the east of Constanța late in October or early in November. Soviet archival documents state that the submarine did not have enough fuel to operate beyond 8 December on its final patrol, thus making impossible for the submarine to be involved in the engagement on 17 December. The probable reason of M-59's loss was defensive minefields to the east of Constanța, the field responsible being that laid by the Romanian minelayers Amiral Murgescu, Dacia and Regele Carol I.