The 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade

(1 Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa)

Ship No 4 (Wave 1)
The Zhdanov (Жданов)


The ship was a lenin class tanker and was owned by Kasptanker.

It was one of the official ships (unofficial flotillas of fishing boats were also involved) organised by Stalin in 1942 at Krasnovodsk (Russian: Красноводск) (Modern day Türkmenbaşy) to transport Polish exiles (also mistakenly called "deportees") who had been held captive in Siberia/Kazakhstan labour camps over the Caspian Sea to Pahlevi (Pahlavi) now called Banzar-e Anzali which is in modern day Northwest Iran.

Ship Movements

From passenger testimonies & any other available data this is a "best educated guess" of the ships movements.

  • Embark: ? | Time: ?
  • Depart: ? | Time: ?
  • Arrive: 29/03/42 (Ross report) | Time: ?

Extract From "The Ross Report"

According to the Ross Report, here is who was on this ship;

6th Division
Infantry Regiment

Related Accounts

  • Karta Website -  Link 1 and  Link 2 from Karta both show a ship that looks incredibly identical to the ship we know as the "Zhdanov". Both photos were apparently taken on 29 March 1942 (as the ships docked) according to their narratives. On the basis the picture looks 100% like the Zhdanov, we can conclude it is the Zhdanov. Even though 2 days earlier it had been in Pahlevi on a prior run, it is possible for it to have gone to Krasnovodsk, loaded up new passengers, turned around and sailed back to Pahlevi. (The picture above shows a caspian tanker known as the Zhdanov but we believe, based on the photo of the Zhdanov that is well publicised, that this ship is correctly identified as the Zhdanov).
  • Basic problem with the Zhdanov: It is listed as a "lenin class tanker" i.e massive and unable to dock at Pahlevi (would require steamers to disembark the passengers to mainland). Yet the boat we see in many pictures docking is called the Zhdanov. It starts to look like their are 2 Zhdanovs. were both used? Or was it the smaller cargo-passenger boat that was used and its just a massive coincidence the company of choice for the boas, Kasptanker, also owned a ship called Zhdanov? (Some researchers feel that Ship 4 could also be The Astrakhan.)