Goya had been built in Oslo, Norway in 1942 as a 5,230 ton freighter, and had belonged to the Hamburg America Line.
In 1943, she was conscripted by the Kriegsmarine as a target vessel serving a U-Boat training program, and late in 1944, this ship had lifted almost 20,000 refugees from East Prussia, making four voyages across theBaltic.
0n April 16th. 1945, Goya was filled to bursting point with both refugees and survivors from the 35th. Tank Regiment, in all totalling about 7,000 people. The ship was steaming about 50 miles north of the Hela Peninsula and the time was four minute to midnight.
The Russian submarine L3 under the command of Captain Konovalov fired two torpedoes which ran truly, hitting Goya amidships. She broke in half and was gone in about four minutes.
Some reports suggest 183 survived, and others indicate 334 were saved, but no matter which source one may use, it is estimated in excess of 6,500 died that night.