Ship No X1 (Wave 1)
The ship was an unknown type and was owned by an unknown entity.
It was one of the unofficial flotillas of fishing boats 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.
From passenger testimonies & any other available data this is a "best educated guess" of the ships movements.
- Embark: ? | Time: ?
- Depart: ? | Time: ?
- Arrive: 28/03/42 | Time: ?
- Account of Victor Witold Szabunia on this website: Victor was 18 when he finally became a soldier of the Polish Army in February 1942 under General Corp Commander Wladyslav Anders. He was assigned to the 10th Heavy Artillery Regiment communication platoon.After a few weeks of preparations, he left Uzbekistan for the Caspian Sea (Turkmenistan) to board a freight ship to Persia (Iran). The ship was very small and it was a miracle that it did not sink. They were packed in like tinned sardines. During the trip they were fed salted herrings and whole-wheat husks. Having almost no drinking water, many people drank seawater and got sick with diarrhea. Those who died were simply thrown overboard.They arrived in Pahlavi port on March 28, 1942, where many more died in hospitals after being unable to digest the healthy food eaten after so long on a starvation diet.
- This account has me somewhat confused. If it were not for the fact that Victor Szabunia is mentioned as being in the 10th Heavy Artillery Regiment I would have guessed his ship as Ship 3 the Agamali Ogly. However, according to the Ross report that unit was not listed as being on Ship 3. So it would appear that the ship Victor Szabunnia was on was not listed in the Ross report at all. No further detail appears to exist on either this military unit or this crossing. (Editors Note: The account states "it was a miracle that it did not sink", whether this was due to being overloaded or that it would have been in the middle of the Caspian when "the storm" struck is unclear.)
- Account of Alina Byrski & Iwona Rommer (nee Wojewodzki) - available here on Google Wayback. It was March 1942; "Some 2 years after our arrest; Alina and I were now sixteen. From Krasnovodsk we were put on a fishing ship to Pahlevia in Persia (now Iran). There was a terrible storm on the Caspian Sea that night; the ship was crashing through the waves and was so crowded there wasn’t room to stand. Everything went over board – the vomit, the excreta, and the dead. (A similar vessel with Poles on board sunk that night, with all souls)". (Editors Note: Was this the same ship? We don't know. It certainly sailed at almost if not, the same time. And the ship that sunk? We have no detail on that either).
- A Song For Kresy: A Story of war, of loss and a family’s survival By Helen Bitner-Glindzicz (Link To Book )- "This book is so far, the most detailed account I have seen of the Wave 1 small fishing boats and trawlers that took deportees across the Caspian. Well worth a read.