Raiders SVG are the names of large surface warships, auxiliary cruisers, or specially modified commercial vessels that, alone or with little or no escort (not a squadron), are engaged in disrupting enemy communications during the war, and are involved in transport and merchant ships.
Raiders SVG History
The beginning of the use of single ships for raiding operations dates back to the 16th century; until the beginning of the 20th century, the term “cruising” was used for such operations, and ships were accordingly called “cruisers”. Cruising developed especially after the Paris Convention of 1856, which banned the Kapelstvo (also known as Korsarstvo, privatization) and proclaimed the monopoly of the state navy to seize the enemy merchant ships and military smuggling of neutrals. Battlecruisers were subject to the provisions of the prize law developed for the captains, and the captains were even allowed to burn or sink the hijacked vessel, which was forbidden for the captains. However, the cruisers also had to take part in the hostilities, otherwise they could have been accused of covert superiority.
At the end of the XIX century, due to the aggravation of relations between Russia and England, Russia was intensively preparing for the cruising war. For this purpose, the Volunteer Fleet was established in 1878, performing commercial functions, but with teams of sailors; in case of war, its ships could be immediately armed and converted into cruising ships. For the same purpose it was supposed to use the Baltic customs cruising flotilla, which in peacetime was engaged in the prevention of smuggling.
Eight Raiders SVG of the Russian Navy operated in 1904-1905 on Japanese maritime communications. During the First World War the German fleet included 12 auxiliary cruisers intended for raiding operations.
During the Second World War, they were used by Germany. The raider hunting was very hard, but sometimes it was a success. Thus, one of the most famous raiders was the Admiral Count Shpeye, a pocket battleship paired with the Altmark supply tanker. He sank or seized the British vessels Clement (September 30, 1939), Newton Beach (October 5), Newton Beach (October 7), Huntsman (October 10), Triven (October 22), Africa Shell (November 14), Dorick Star (December 2), Tyroa (December 3), Streonshall (December 7). On 13 December, he was intercepted by British warships looking for him, and a fight took place at La Plata. The English ships (the light cruisers Ajax and Achilles and the heavy cruiser Exeter) managed to damage the raider, although it caused them more severe damage. It made the commander take cover in Montevideo. A subsequent mistake by his officers, who took one of the ships for the Rinahun, forced the German command to order the sinking of the raider.
The most successful German raider and the most productive German surface ship of the Second World War is the auxiliary cruiser “Atlantis”, which operated in the Indian and Pacific oceans, in the region of Australia and New Zealand.
In today’s wartime environment, Raiders SVG are considered unlikely to be used, as advanced surveillance equipment (satellites, unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles), aircraft and missile weapons make it possible to quickly detect and destroy them.