Most of the current answers assume that you're very set on the characteristics of the planet and offer suggestions on what sort of ship and what sort of scenario would be necessary to recover what bits.
But you state:
The planet has only a very thin atmosphere, so one can assume that the space ship did not burn up in the uncontrolled fall
For the sake of this answer, I'm assuming you've decided the planet has a thin atmosphere because:
- You don't want the ship to burn up during entry.
- You want the planet to be hostile.
So first, let me address those two issues.
On point one, is the ship never intended to ever have a controlled landing on any other planet ever? Is this purely a single surface launch vehicle that then just goes between space stations in orbit?
If this ship is intended to ever land on any other planet, isn't it safe to assume that it could survive some degree of entry effects?
On point two, this is probably pretty obvious, but it's quite easy for the planet to be hostile without having a thin atmosphere. Thick atmosphere's aren't inherently breathable atmospheres.
I also want to second the recommendation of checking out Kerbal Space Program. In fact, it'd be a good way for you to simulate in a moderately realistic manner crash-landing into planets of various characteristics and seeing what kind of somewhat realistic results you might get. And the rest of this answer will based on some of my observations of the pretty realistic physics of Kerbal Space Program.
So with that said, assuming the ship would be capable of withstanding a thicker atmosphere in entry (because it's probably designed to land somewhere at some point), here are my observations of landings (and attempted landings) on planets of various characteristics.
The two factors of a body that most effect landing are their gravity and their atmosphere. Lower gravity means the planet pulls you in with less acceleration, and denser atmosphere means there's more aerodynamic drag to slow you do. So an ideal planet to have to crash land on would be one with low gravity and high atmosphere (presuming it's not so high the ship burns up).
We can also improve our chances by making the insertion angle quite shallow. Another answer addresses the angle of impact with the actual surface of the planet, but the angle of "impact" with the atmosphere can be important as well.
With too shallow of an insertion angle, the craft will essentially skid right across the atmosphere. If the ship hasn't escape the planet's sphere of influence, it will be forming a highly elliptical orbit, which if still crossing through the atmosphere, will eventually mean a disastrous landing as the ship will eventually come in with a very deep insertion angle.
A better insertion angle would be one that allows us to spend much more time in the atmosphere. The exact angle you'd want? I'm not quite sure.
If your vertical velocity is too high, everything will be destroyed. If your horizontal velocity is too high, everything will be destroyed.
On a planet with a very thin (or nonexistent) atmosphere and a non-functional ship, I'm not sure I can imagine a successful landing at all. However, with low gravity and some functional engines for some retroburning, it wouldn't be too terribly far-fetched depending on the exact scenario.
On a planet with a thicker atmosphere however, there's much more to be done to slow the ship down--particularly if it's equipped with parachutes that could be manually deployed. Without functional engines for retroburning however, a survivable landing still seems very far-fetched. With no engines whatsoever, you essentially need an atmosphere to almost completely nullify the vertical velocity (lower gravity helps but makes gravitational capture less plausible), and a very, very shallow impact angle... and a ship capable of skidding across the surface... and a little bit of luck to ensure there's no geologic features to crash into. (It is suspected that the satellite "Beagle 2" which was intended to have one of these skid-landings on Mars was destroyed when it skidded into the cliff-wall of a crater.)
It might be worth reading about how the Space Shuttle re-enters and lands back on earth. The space shuttle uses OMS to alter its orbit into the atmosphere. From here, it relies purely on RCS thrusters and control-surfaces (which is a fancy name for flaps--essentially the same as what's on any other airplane) to control itself in order to get the perfect balance of aerodynamic drag. Have to be mindful of heat, but also need to slow down. Once it reaches the lower atmosphere, it's not much more than a really expensive glider.
Once the shuttle actually touches down, a drag chute is applied to slow it down.
The space shuttle lands on a paved runway on wheeled landing gear. This seems unlikely for a crash... but presumably your ship could land in a very similar situation but simply skid across a plain and take fairly minimal damage given that it's just been in a crash... in space...
It'd also be completely believable for the engines to be completely useless but for RCS thrusters and control surfaces to still be completely functional. Control surfaces are most likely powered by electric servos and therefore powered solely. RCS thrusters generally use a different type of fuel. It's just an entirely different system altogether from the main engines.