An agreement on the construction of this vessel was concluded between the German
Navy and the shipyard on 14 June 1938. The tanker, originally named Else, was
laid down on 1941 at the D.W. Kremer Sohn Shipyard (yard No.854) in Elmshorn,
Germany. The ship had on board 9 tanks of 50 cubic meters each: 7 of them were
intended for aviation gasoline, and two tanks for diesel fuel. Two MWM diesel
four-stroke six-cylinder engines powered two fixed-pitch three-blade propellers.
The total power of the power plant was 900 hp. The armament of the tanker was
two 20 mm anti-aircraft guns and 2 machine guns. The crew consisted of 6 officers
and 20 sailors.
The ship was received by the German fleet on 25 January
1941 under the name Else T13, and was intended for the transportation of fuel
and the refueling of military vessels. The initial location of the tanker was
Swinemuende, the first captain of the vessel was Captain Fleming. The tanker fought
on the side of fascist Germany throughout the war, was actively used to supply
aviation fuel: Oslo, Copenhagen, Szczecin, Sassnitz, Vassa, Kemi, Kirkenes, Nordenham,
Kristiansand, Trondheim, Narvik.
In May 1945, the Else was captured by British
forces in Trondheim, Norway. A tanker called Empire Tigina was included in the
British Navy. After defeating the Nazis on 20 June 1946, the tanker for reparation
was transferred (as a trophy) to the USSR.
In 1946, the ship from the Baltic
was transferred to the main base of the Black Sea Fleet - Sevastopol, intended
for the transportation of petroleum products. The tanker was called NT-3 and only
in 1948 the ship was given a new name - Istra.
In the period from 1947 to
1964, the tanker was used to transport gasoline and technical oils for ships and
vessels of the Black Sea Fleet with diesel engines. After the introduction of
aircraft-carrying ships to the fleet, Istra was used to refuel them with aviation
fuel - kerosene.
During the service, the tanker made several trips along
the Azov, Black and Mediterranean Seas with calls to the ports of Alexandria,
Split, Varna, Durres and others.
Now in service.
| Displacement (tons):|
|Range:||1200 nmi (12 knots)|
|Propulsion:||2 diesels, 900
hp, 2 shafts|