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British Baltic Fishery Protection Service (BBFPS)

Unit Klose (S-Boats 1948 - 1956)

The British Secret Service commenced 1948 to collect information of the Sovietunion via the Baltic coast. It hired Kpt.Lt. a.D. (LtCdr. ret.) H.H. Klose, who had gained experience about this sea area and about the attitude of Soviet naval officers during Wold War II as Commander 2. S-Boat-Training-Flotilla. 

To accomplish this task the Royal Navy made available to him the war loot "S 208". The crew was put together at his discretion. He and his handselected crew were released by the Minesweeping Organization.The boat was taken over at Gosport. It had been retrofitted at Britsh shipyards with three Napier Deltic 18-cylinder engines instead of the MB-dieslengines and therewith  optimized for higher speed and weaker motornoises during "silent voyages". With additional tanks on the upper deck it had been equipped for long range operations.

"S 208" under the White Ensign - Picture: Archives S. Hess

In April 1949 the first operation to land agents in the Baltic countries took place. Other operations followed, on 01. November 1949 two agents were landed near Windau (Ventspils) and on 12 April 1950 three agents were landed south of the lighthouse Uzava.  The fourth landing of agents followed in November or December 1950. Two agents werde landed, one agent returned and  a "Mole" was picked up.

"S 208" leaving Rønne/Bornholm - Picture: Bornholm Museum Collection Erik Pedersen

All Operations up to this point in time were based on Gosport. Flying the crew back and forth and the transit via Northsea and Baltic was considered as too awkward and thus "S 208" was stationed in the Finkenwerder Yachtclub. The crew was accommodated in a barack. 

Chart with Recconnaisssance-Targets and Landing Positions of BBFPS - Picture: Archives S. Hess

"S 208" leaving Rønne/Bornholm - Picture: Bornholm Museum Collection Erik Pedersen

The picking-up of returning agents and of "Moles" which had to leave the SU, was always carried out making use of the zodiac.  At the same time the orders were to record and to reconnoitre soviet radar- and communication-sites with equipment especially built in for this purpose. The boats were fitted with additional 12m high masts which could be erected and were equipped with antennas and american electronic support means. 

Erection of additional Antennas on "S 208" for electronic recconnaissancer - Picture: Archives S. Hess

Additional Antennas on "S 208" - Picture: Archives S. Hess

H.H. Klose with RearAdm (ret.) Wagner on the bridge of a S-boat

The fifth landing was performed in April 1951 south of the lighthouse Uzava. Four agents were landed. From 28. to 29. September 1951 the sixth landing followed. Four agents were landed and two picked up thereof one KGB-"Mole". 

The modernized zodiac was equipped with an outboarder and a radio-beakon, so that the boat could keep a larger distance to the coast.

Zodiac with Radio-Beacon and Outboarder during an Exercise - Picture: Archives S. Hess

The Compas of the Zodiac - Picture: Archives S. Hess

The seventh landing-operation took place on 20. April 1952 in a bight south of the lighthouse Uzava. The bight was laying in the radar-shadow of the soviet radarstation. Again four agents were landed and two were picked up.

Since the reconnaissance-tasks were widened the British Admiralty released the war-loot  "FPB 5230" for the BBFPS. "S 130" was brought to Lürssenwerft, where it was reconstructed for the purposes of the BBFPS. 

On 19. March 1951 the British Baltic Fishery Protection Service (BBFPS) was formed. This camouflage organization got "S 208" and also the war loot "S 130" at its disposal. The dispersal of the Minesweepingforce Cuxhaven allowed for additional 17 men for the BBFPS. The camouflage as fishery protection service allowed for regular voyages into the Baltic where German fischermen saw themselves confronted with increasing Soviet reprisals. 


"S 130" on slip at Vegesack August 1953 - Picture: Archives S. Hess

"S 130" on slip at Vegesack August 1953 - Picture: Archives: S. Hess

Crew of "S 130" in Rønne-Harbour - Picture: Archives S. Hess

"S 130" was commisioned on 14. August 1952. Commanding Officer were the Executive Officer of "S 208", Oblt.z.S. E.G. Müller. The equipping with electronic devices was performed in England. End of September the boat transitted to the Baltic Sea were it was to undertake an exercise periode before it was to be participate in the eighth landing.

"S 208" sailed to Gosport and trained the transfer of agents by gasfilled balloons in the Lyme Bay. By this transfer mode the distance of the boat to the coast could be enlarged and the transfer of the agents could be performed at any position.

A Balloon is filled with Gas for Transfer of Agents - Picture: Archives S. Hess

On the evening of 20. October 1952 "S 208" landed eight Polish agents presumably to re-enforce a Polish underground organization. They landed in the area of Stolpmünde. The ninth landing took place on 29. October 1952 with the zodiac in the area of Polangen at the coast of Lithuania.

Crew "S 130" in the Harbour of Rønne/Bornholm - Picture: Archives S. Hess

From late fall to winter "S 208" and "S 130" performed reconnaissance trips from Cape  Arkona into the Bight of Danzig and from Brüsterort to the Straits of  Irben. Five to ten miles distance between the boats made a good basis for electronic reconnaissance.

During the night of 26. to 27. May 1953 the tenth landing was carried out, this time again using the balloon. Since there were very strong winds with squalls it was a very risky situation. Therefore, the landings utilizing balloons were abandoned and the eleventh (11. September 1953) and the twelfth operation (end of March 1954) were again carried out using the zodiac. During the twelfth operation the agent "Hugo" returned to the west. 

In February 1952 the German Ministry of Internal had ordered the safety boats "S 1" through "S 3" for the newly established Bundesgrenzschutz See (Federal Borderpolice Sea). Since the planned for speed of 43 knots was in contradiction of the Potsdam Treaty which did not permit Germany to build or to operate S-boats, the construction was forbidden by the Military Security Authority (MSA) of the British Occupying Force. From spring 1953 the construction was continued for the Royal Navy.

"S 208" and "Silver Gull" in one of the locks of the Kiel Kanal

Because of several incidents it was assumed that there was a traitor in the lines of the "woodbrothers", a revolutionary organization, therefore, the landings were transferred to the coast of Lithuania after the thirteenth action (28./29. September 1954). The fourteenth landing took place on 20. November 1954 and the fifteenth on 21. April 1955 on Ösel  (Saaremaa).  During the landings on Ösel in each case one agent was landed and one was picked up. Since treason could not be excluded, this was at the same time the last commando action of Klose, who had performed all deployments himself either with "S 208" or with "Silver Gull". Three other boats had always been used for diversionary tactics. 

Boat "S 2" had been commissioned under command of H.H. Klose as "Silver Gull". Boat "S 1" was commissioned on 15.12.1955 as "Storm Gull" under E.G. Müller. Boat "S 3", "Wild Swan", was commissioned early 1955 under Oblt.z.S. D. Ehrhardt. In February during a reconnaissance operation it was taken under fire by a Russian boat. It took hits but nobody was injured. 

"Storm Gull" flying the White Ensign in the Baltic - Picture: Archives S. Hess

"Wild Swan" in Christiansø - Picture: Archives Freundeskreis Schnellboote und Korvetten

"S 208" at Rønne - Picture: Archives Förderverein Museums-Schnellboot

"S 208" at high speed in the Baltic Sea - Picture: Archives Förderverein

Early 1956 the actions of BBFPS were concluded. On 28.03.1956 all three new boats were handed over to the Bundesmarine and commissioned as "Silbermöwe" (P 6052), "Sturmmöwe" (P 6053) and "Wildschwan" (P 6054) for the "Schnellboot-Schoolsquadron". Commander of the squadron became the just promoted Korvettenkapitän H.H. Klose.

Change of Colours at Stickenhörn on 28.03.1956 - Picture: Archives S. Hess

HAnding over of the boats by Cdr Kyrle-Pope - Picture Archives S. Hess

Boats "S 130" and "S 208"  were overhauled at Fr. Lürssen-Werft and commissioned as "UW 10" on 07.03.1957 respectively as "UW 11" on 12.03.1957 for the Underwaterweapons School (MUWS).

"UW 10" (ex "S 130" and "UW 11" (ex "S 208") at Navalbase Flensburg-Mürwik - Picture: Archives Förderverein




Whereabouts of Boats S 130 and S 208   

Boot Hull-No. Commissioned Decommissioned Whereabouts
S 130   21.10.1943 09.05.1945 War loot Great Britain, RN
FPB 5130 5130 1945 1948 BBFPS - Unit Klose
FPB 5130 without 1948 1956 Federal German Navy
UW 10 UW 10

 W 49

07.03.1957 15.08.1963 MUWS, laid up MArs WHV
EF 3 EF 3, Y 840 15.03.1968 1973 Laid up at MArs WHV, BWB/BMPT-Southampton
S 208   28.09.1944 09.05.1945 War loot Great Britain
FPB 5208 5208 28.04.1946 1951 BBFPS - Unit Klose
FPB 5208 without 1951  1956 Federal German Navy
UW 11 UW 11

 W 50

12.03.1957 27.01.1964 MUWS, from 1967 target ship, used up