MV Goya - German transport ship sunk by a Soviet submarine. At least 6900 died
The sinking of the Goya was one of the biggest single-incident maritime losses of life of the war, and as such one of the largest maritime losses of life in history, with just 183 survivors among 7,000 passengers and crew
In 1945, the Goya was used as both an evacuation ship and Wehrmacht troop transport, moving people from the eastern Baltic to the west. Contrary to popular belief, the Goya was not a hospital ship during Operation Hannibal.
On 16 April 1945, the Goya was sailing from the Hel Peninsula, across the Baltic Sea to western Germany, overloaded with German troops and civilians fleeing from the Red Army, including 200 men of the 25th Panzer Regiment. The list of passengers documented 6,100 people on board, but it is possible that hundreds more boarded the ship, using every space available.
As the convoy passed the Hel Peninsula at the exit of the Danzig Bay, it was sighted by the Soviet minelayer submarine L-3 which also carried torpedoes. Even though the Goya was faster than submarines, the convoy was slowed by the engine problems of the Kronenfels, which also required a 20-minute stop for repairs. At around 23:52, the commander of L-3, Captain Vladimir Konovalov, gave the order to fire.
Within seven minutes of being torpedoed, the Goya, a freighter without the safety precautions of a passenger ship, sank to a depth of approximately 76m, with the loss of possibly more than 6,000 people killed, either within the ship, or outside by drowning and hypothermia in the icy waters. The exact number can probably never be determined. The captain of another ship mentioned a figure of 7-8,000 passengers and crew in his report.
In total, only 183 people were saved from the water by M 256 and M 328.
It may be the second-worst maritime disaster by number of casualties during World War II, following the Wilhelm Gustloff