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International Registry of Sunken Ships


For a single vessel, either naval or civilian, excluding dockside or rescue personnel.
List of 20 or so drawn from database, I am quite sure further research will change the order a little.

NameDateLives LostNotes
Wilhelm GustloffJan 30th 19455,900 to
German steamer of 25,484 tons. Torpedoed by Russian submarine S-13 about 28 n/miles NNE of Leba, Baltic. It is estimated that this number of persons may have been on board the vessel during the evacuation of German troops and personnel from Baltic ports
GoyaApr 16th 19456,200 German steamer of 5,230 tons. Torpedoed by Russian submarine L-3 off Rixhoft, Baltic. It is estimated that this number of persons may have been on board the vessel during the evacuation of German troops and personnel from Baltic ports
Junyo MaruSept 18th 19445,620Japanese steamer 5,065 tons. Torpedoed by British submarine HMS Tradewind off coast of Sumatra. Vessel carrying 2,300 Dutch, British, American and Australian POW's and 4,200 Javanese slave laborers for work on a railway in Sumatra.
Toyama MaruJune 29th 19445,400Japanese steamer 6,000 tons. Torpedoed by American submarine USS Sturgeon. Bound for Okinawa. Vessel carrying 6,000 plus members of the Japanese 44th Independent Mixed Brigade. About 600 survivors rescued by escorts
Cap ArconaMay 3rd 19455,000 to
German steamer of 27,561 tons. Attacked and sunk by British aircraft at Neustadt Bay, Baltic. Included in the number are 2,300 forced embarkees from the concentration camps
LancastriaJune 17th 19403,000 to 4,500British Troopship 16,243 tons. Sunk by German air attack off St Nazaire while engaged in troop evacuation. Site is a designated war grave. Some lists show up to 9,000 on board with up to 7,000 killed. Official British report on loss will not be released until the year 2040. So who or what was on board to warrant a 100 year closed file.....(Anyone feel like giving me a call)
Dona PazDec 20th 19874,341Philippine passenger ferry. Foundered in collision with tanker Vector about 110 miles South of Manila
KiangyaDec 3rd 19482,750 to
Chinese steamer 2,100 tons. Struck a mine off Woosung, China while fleeing the Red Chinese
Provence 11Feb 26th 19163,100French auxil' Cruiser 13,753 tons. Torpedoed by U-35 West of Kithira Island, Greece.
ThielbekMay 3rd 19452,800German steamer of 2,815 tons. Burned and sunk after British air attack at Lubeck Bay. Passengers included inmates from Neuengamme Concentration Camp. There were no survivors
General von SteubenFeb 10th 19452,700German steamer 14,666 tons. Torpedoed by a Russian submarine S-13 off Stolpe Bank, Baltic. It is estimated that this number of persons may have been on board the vessel during the evacuation of German troops and personel from Baltic ports
YamatoApr 7th 19452,500Japanese battleship 64,000 tons. Sunk by US air attack between Japan and Okinawa at N:30.43.17. E:128.04.
NeptuniaSept 18th 19412,500Italian transport 19,475 tons. Torpedoed by British submarine HMS Upholder about 58 miles off Tripoli carrying Italian military
OceaniaSept 18th 19412,500Italian transport 19,507 tons. Torpedoed by British submarine HMS Upholder near Tripoli carrying Italian military
BismarckMay 27th 19412,108+49,136 tons. 820ft x 118 x 28. C/O Lindemann. Damaged by King George V and Rodney about 600 miles west of Brest at a depth of 4,790 meters (15,700 feet). Coupe de Grace from HMS Dorsetshire (Cruiser) Has been located in 4,700m of water. Out of her total complement of 2221 men, there were 115 survivors. Later German U-Boat U-74 rescued three more sailors. The next day, the German weather ship SACHSENWALD rescued two more.
SinfraOct 19th 19432,098French steamer 4,470 tons. In German hands, sunk by aircraft attack North of Crete. Vessel carrying 2,664 prisoners on board, mostly Italian.
Ural MaruSept 27th 19442,000Japanese transport 6,374 tons. Torpedoed by USS Flasher about 150 miles West of Masinlik, Philippine Islands at N:15.40. E:117.18. Had been carrying 2,340 persons on board.
Awa MaruApril 1st 19452,000+Japanese hospital ship, 11,249 tons. Torpedoed by USS Queenfish SS-393 about 14 miles off the Chinese Mainland at N:24.40. E:119.45. Had been carrying several wounded soldiers, and 2,000 Japanese officials, diplomats, technicians, and civilians.
ScharnhorstDec 26th 19431,964German battleship 38,092 tons. Sunk by British naval action off North Cape of Norway
RigelNov 27th 19441,833Norwegian transport 3,828 tons. Sunk by aircraft from HMS Implacable North of Namsos while Southbound from Norway to Germany. Crew and 2,248 Russian prisoners were on board. Vessel was in German hands
Arisan MaruOct 24th 19441,777Japanese steamer 6,886 tons. Torpedoed by American submarine USS Snook in the South China Sea. Carrying 1,786 US prisoners from Manila to Japan.
TaihoJune 19th 19441,650Japanese aircraft carrier 29,300 tons. Torpedoed at N:12.22 E:137.04. West of Guam by USS Albacore SS-218. Burned and foundered 6 hours later
LaconiaSept 12th 19421,649British transport 19,695 tons. Torpedoed by U-156 at S:04.52. W:11.26. without realizing vessel was carrying 1,800 Italian prisoner of war. Assistance in rescue operation by U-156, 506 and 507. During these operations an American aircraft from the Ascension Islands depth charged the U-boats and the rescued causing the U-boats to submerge and protect themselves.

*Salem Express* (Red Sea) It is said that the sinking of this vessel incurred the greatest loss of life this century. As far a I can ascertain it is estimated that there were about 1,600 persons on board and about 180 lives were saved.