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S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945

War-Zones of the S-Boats

 Black Sea 1942 to 1943


The first boats of the 1. SFltl transferred to the Black Sea were "S 26" (Kptlt. Fimmen), "S 27" (Oblt.z.S. Büchting), "S 28" (Oblt.z.S. Künzel), "S 40" (Kptlt. Schneider, K.), "S 72" (Oblt.z.S. Schneider, W.), and "S 102" (Kptlt. Töniges).

The boats were cut off above the main deck and all equipment was removed. They were towed up the Elbe to Dresden, there they were put on special vehicles and brought to Ingolstadt cross country on roads, from there they were towed on the Danube to Linz. There parts of the equipment which had been shipped there by railway were built in again. Thereafter they were towed again to Galati (Galatz), were the main engines were installed. Then the boats sailed with own power to Constanta, were the remainder of equipment was installed. 

S-Boat hauled up on the bank of Elbe-River at Dresden - Picture: Archives H. Frank

S-Boat under Transport on the Autobahn - Picture: Archives H. Frank

Passing the Stone-Bridge at Regensburg - Picture: From the heritage of Kpt.z.S. Künzel

Re-installation of the forecastle "S-102" - Picture: Archives H. Frank

Mounting the Bridge-House "S 102" at Linz - Picture: Archives H. Frank

  • Re-Instellation of the Main-Engines at Linz - Picture: Archives H. Frank

"S 26" and "S 28" in tow on the Danube - Picture: Archives Förderverein

S-Boats being towed past Budapest - Picture: Archives H. Frank

The two first boats, "S 26" and "S 28", arrived at Constanta on 24.05.1942 . On 02.06.1942 they performed their first operation, but had to return due to engine failure. On 03.06.1942 boats "S 72" and "S 102" arrived at Constanta, while "S 26" and "S 28" operated off Cape Chersones without sighting of enemies. 

On 06.06.1942 the first pair operated off Sevastopol without sighting of ship traffic. The second pair took part in a search and rescue operation for the crew of a sea reconaissance aircraft.

 On 10.06.1942 the 1. SFltl performed an operation in the northern Black Sea again without  finding worthwhile targets. On the way back "S 26" broke in fire and had to go back to Linz for repairs.

" S 26" on Fire in the Black Sea - Picture from the Heritage Kpt.z.S. Künzel

On 12.06.1942 the remainder of the flotilla transsitted to Ak Mečet at the western coast of the Crimea. From there sorties against the Soviet ship traffic were performed. In so doing "S 102", sank the steamer "Belostok" (2.048 BRT) out of a convoy. In all other operations until the end of the month the enemies could evade the torpedoes, since firing positions and wakes of the torpedoes were clearly to see because of bright marine luminescense.

On 25.06.1942 the 1. SFltl were allocated to  captured Soviet S-boats ("TKA-47" from the Baltic Sea and "TKA-111" stranded off Eupatrorija and salvaged) of 17,8 t displacement each and armed with two 53,3 cm torpedo launching rails and one 12,7 mm-MG. The boats were propelled by to GAM 34 BSF gasoline engines. They were faster than 50 knots, however, showed strong corrosion problems soon.


"TKA-45" at high Speed - Picture: Unknown

In a fight with three Soviet gunboats of type MO 24, armed with 4,5 cm guns and MGs, during the night 02./03.07.1942 "SKA 0112" and "SKA 0124" could be sunk, however, "S 40"  took a heavy hit in the port torpedo tube. The explosion of the air-cylinder caused heavy damages so that the boat had to go to the shipyard and was not available for a long time. The CO, Oblt.z.S. Schneider-Pungs (since 01.07.1942), and nine men were wounded. On "S 28" one man was killed in action. The German S-Boats picked 37 survivers of the two boats out of the water, among them Generalmajor Petr Georgevič Nowikov, formerly commander of the 109. Rifles Division and acting deputy commander at Sevastopol, and brought them to Jalta. 

The survivors of SKA 0124, front right GenMaj Nowikov - Picture: Archives A. Artemichenko

On 03.07.1942 the "fortress" Sevastopol surrendered. The flotilla transferred with four boats to Iwan Baba, the new base on the southeast side of the Crimea close to Feodosija. The objectives were escorting own traffic from and to the Crimea and sorties against the Caucasian coast.

On 28.07.1942 "S 40" transitted on own power to Galato and from there in tow to Linz for repairs.

Iwan Baba is the little rock at the end of the peninsula after which the S-boat-base was called - Picture: Google Earth

For the defence of Iwan Baba inter alia a gun of the soviet Cruiser "Chervona Ukraina" was used - Picture: Archives Atari Chen 

On 31.08.1942 Kptlt. Stuhr-Christiansen relieved the commander 1. SFltl. 

In August and early September the flotilla carried out picket- and reconnaissance voyages into the street of Kerč off  Soči and off Tuaspe, minelaying operations and attack on Soviet  ship trafic, they could report 23 sinking successes (freighters, tankers, and lighters) .

Boat Date Vessel Tonnage
S 27 01./02.09 Tugboat "Proletarji" ?
02./03.09 Tanker 4000 BRT
02./03.09 Steamer 1500 BRT
04.09 Coasterr 1500 BRT
04.09 Lighter 1200 BRT
S 28 30./31.08 Freighter "Zhan-Tomp" 1988 BRT
01./02.09 Gunboat "Oktjabr" 270 t
01./02.09 Lighter 1200 BRT
01./02.09 Steamer 1200 BRT
01./02.09 Lighter 1000 BRT
04.09 Steamer 1000 BRT
04.09 Steampfer 1000 BRT
S 72 01./02.09 Lighter No. 41 ?
01./02.09. Lighter 1000 BRT
01./02.09 Steamer 1000 BRT
01./02.09 Lighter 1200 BRT
01./02.09 Lighter 1000 BRT
04./05.09 Steamer 2000 BRT
04./05.09 Lighter 500 BRT
S 102 01./02.09. Gunboat "Rostov-Don" 270 t
02.09. Freighter 2000 BRT
02.09. Lighter 1200 BRT
02.09. Lighter 1000 BRT
02./03.09 Steamer 2000 BRT
02./03.09 Tanker 4000 BRT
05.09. Lighter 1500 BRT
05.09. Lighter 1000 BRT


On 03.09.1942  "S 49" (Kptlt. Karl Schneider-Pungs) and "S 26" (Kptlt. Kurt Fimmen), repaired at Linz, arrived at Constanta.

 On 05.09.1942 "S 27" was hit by a torpedo fired at a steamer by "S 72", which developed as circular runner torpedo, and sank. 12 men  were killed, three severely and three slightly wounded. The severely wounded flotilla doctor, MarStArzt Dr. Rolf Haenisch, died because of his wounds at the hospital at Simferol. 

From 06.09. to 07.09.1942 "S 28", "S 72", "S 102" transitted from Iwan Baba to Constanta for the big motoroverhaul, which lasted until 27.09.1942.

On 08.09.1942 "S 49" and "S 26" arrived at Iwan Baba ein.

The Italian S-boats in the harbour of Yalta had been targets of a bomb raid of the Soviet airforce on 09.09.1942, during which "MAS 571" and "MAS 573" were destroyed by direct hits, " MAS 567", "MAS 569", and "MAS 572" were severely damaged. As a consequence the Soviet ship trafic was almost unendangered, since "S 28", "S 72", and "S 102" were in the ship yard at Constanta, there were only two boats, "S 26" and "S 49", fresh from the ship yard,  available in the operations area.

On 10.09. 1942 the OBdM, Großadmiral Raeder, inspected the 1. SFltl at Iwan Baba.

BInspectopm by the OBdM, Großadmiral Raeder - Picture: Archives F.K. Künzel

During the night 14./15.09.1942 they advanced into the area off Cape Idokopas, without finding targets. The same happened during the night 18./19.09.1942 off Tuaspe

Air attacks by the Soviet airforce against Iwan Baba were without success because of the good acting air defence, so on 24. and 15.09.1942.

 "S 26" and "S 49" could sink a to steamers of 1500 BRT and of 2000 BRT during the night to the 25.09. During th e night to the 27.09.1942 "S 26" sank a steamer laying off Cape Idokopas of estimated 1000 BRT.

An attack of a Sovjet SFltl against Iwan Baba on the 28.09.1942 could be repelled by strong defensive fire. 

On 30.09.1942 both boats had to go to Constanta for engine overhaul. "S 26", "S 28", "S 49", and "S 102" transitted from Constanta to Iwan Baba and performed sorties from there against the Soviet ship traffic, until end of October, however, without noteworthy successes.

On 01.10.1942 the commander 1. SFltl had the following boats at his disposal:

Boat Commanding Officers
S 26 Kptlt. Kurt Fimmen
S 28 Oblt.z.S. Friedrich- Karl Künzel
S 49 Oblt.z.S. Hans-Joachim Stöve
S 102 Lt.z.S. Günther Lutherer

 Early October 1942 the boats carried out torpedo firing and air target exercises based on Constanta.

During the night 12./13.10.1942 the flotilla transitted back to Iwan Baba.

On 14.10.1942 the boats performed a reconnaissance advance to the Caukasian coast without sighting of enemies. On the way back to Iwan Baba the boats were attacked by three Soviet bombers without success.

Bombs are dropped into the Water - Picture: Archives F.K. Künzel

On  22.10.942 "S 72" (Oblt.z.S. Walter Schneider) came back to the flotilla from Constanta.

In the evening the flotilla left harbour in order to attack a battlegroup off Tuaspe. They sighted a cruiser and the destroyers "Krasnyj Kavkas", "Charkov", and "Bespoščadnyj", which repelled their attacks. When the enemy ships were just before entering harbour the boats fired to torpeoes each, five detonated in the harbour entrance, three went on the beach. 

When the boats were on their way back, two Soviet S-boats attacked the harbour. By the defensive fire one was sunk, the other one bumped when turning away into the 1. SFltl. In the fight the CO of "S 49" was wounded by a hit in his head what caused the flotilla to break off the fight, what let the other boat escape.

Bad weather kept the boats on 25.10.1942 in harbour. On 27.10.1942 the flotilla performed a reconnaissance operation off Tuaspe, "S 72" and "S 102" fought without result with guardboat "SKA 0105". On 31.10. no targets other than two gunboats were detected off Tuaspe. 

Because of a period of bad weather the next action could not be carried out before  the 05.11.1942, all torpedoes fired against am escorted steamship went wrong. "S 72" ported sinking of a lighter which lay close to the shore.

On 13.11. 942 "S 51" (Kptlt. Hermann Büchting), the transport on the Danube had been delayed by low water, arrived at Constanta, where she was fully equipped. She transitted on  30.11. and 01.12.1942 to Iwan Baba together with "S 28".

During the night 01./02.12.1942 the floitilla with "S 26", "S 28", "S 49", "S 51", and "S 72" conducted a reconnaissance-sortie to the Caucasian coast.

From 04.12. until 07.12.1943 the boats stayed in harbour because of the weather. When the flotila on 08.12.1943 attempted a reconnaissance-sortie with "S 28", "S 51", "S 72", and "S 102" it had to break it off after two hours because of the weather situation.

On 11.12.1942 "S 40" and "S 52"  were towed from Linz to Semlin, where they arrived at 27.12.19442. The onward transit to Braila was to be carried out until the 10.01.1943. 

During a further reconnaissance-sortie towards the Caucasian coast with  "S 28", "S 51", "S 72", and "S 102" during the night 12./13.12.1942 nothing was sighted. During the following night the flotilla were not luckier. Only during the night 17./18.12.1943 an attack could be performed against a convoy off Soči. There were many torpedofailures and misfires. Only "S 28" could sin a lighter.

A sortie with "S 28", "S 51", and "S 72" to the Caukasian coast during the  night 19./20.12.1942 was broken off because on "S 72" a fire developped in a pressured bearing what decreased the speed of the boat to 10 knots.

The reconnaissance-sorties in the nights 21./22.12. and 22./23.12. with "S 28", "S 51", and "S 102" wuere broken off due to the weather situation partly with fog.

Then bad weather made every S-boat operation impossible until 21.11.1942. First icing of the northern Black Sea hindered operations additionally. From its authorized strength of 10 boats the flotilla was far away.



On 10.01.1943 the commander of the 1. SFltl had the following boats awailable:

Boat Commanding Officer
S 26 Kptlt. Kurt Fimmen
S 28 Oblt.z.S. Friedrich-Karl Künzel
S 49 Oblt.z.S. Karl-Heinz Stolzenburg
S 51 Kptlt. Hermann Büchting
S 72 Oblt.z.S. Walter Schneider
S 102 Lt.z.S. Günther Lutherer

The first objective of the year was to perform picket operations, since the army was fearing a landing in the area of Feodosija. Until 27.01.1943 these operations were influenced by bad weather. Icing in the Strait of Kerč was further limiting the operational freedom. At this point in time only three boats of the 1. SFltl were ready for action - "S 26", "S 49", "S 51", and "S 102". The boats on approach via the Danube, "S 40" and "S 52", also had problems with the ice and were tied up at Braila.

On 04.02.1943 the expected landing of the Soviets occurred at Novorossijsk. Because of the violent defensive fire only a part of the landing troops could land and was wiped out until the 06.02.1943. A side landing at Cape Myšako succeeded and until the 09.02.1943 17.000 men could land there.

The four S-boats of the 1. SFltl were the only units the Kriegsmarine could summon up. Most of the operations were without results since no targets came in sight or the torpedoes failed. On 08.02.1943 "S 28" and "S 72" joined the flotilla coming from motoroverhaul from Constanta. On 11.02.1943 "S 49" was decommissioned at Constanta and handed over to the shiyard for repairs and fitting with a 40 mm Bofors. The crew tokk over "S 47" under command of Oblzt.z.S. Schlenzka. 

On 14.02.1943 a minelaying operation with "S 26", "S 28", S 51", and "S 102" off Myšako had to be broken off due to bad weather.

During the night 17./18.02.1943 a sortie was performed by "S 28, "S 51", and "S 102" to Cape Idokopas, a fight with Soviet gunboats developped. "S 28" reported sinking of of a lighter, which could not be confirmed.

On 20.06.1943 "S 26" and "S 47" coming from Constanta joined the flotilla.

During the night 23./24.02.1943 the 1. SFltl with "S 26", "S 28", "S 47", and "S 51" carried out a resultless torpedo attack against a Soviet submarine which had fired a torpedo into the harbour. 

During the night 24./25.03.1943 the flotilla conducted an attack against a beached Sovjet steamer with "S 26", "S 47", and "S 51". "S 51" had to return premature because of bad fuel.

During the night 26./27.02.1943 a mine operation with "S 26", "S 28", and "S 51" failed due to bad weather. 

During the night 27./28.02.1943 the 1.SFltl carried out an attack against the Sovjet supply trafic off the Caucasian coast. "S 26" sank a torpedoboat of 700 ts. "S 28", "S 47", aund "S 51" sank the gunboat "Krasnaja Gruizija" (1.100 t) and the minesweeper "Cruz" (Fugas-class, 441 t) was sunk by "S 28" and "S 51". "S 51" reported also sinking of two steamers of 1200 BRT each.

During the night 28.02. auf 01.03.1943 the 1. SFltl conducted an attack against the Soviet bride-head  at Cape Myšako.

On 01.03.1943 the 1. SFltl consisted of the boats: "S 26" (Kptlt. Kurt Fimmen), "S 28" (Oblt.z.S. Künzel), "S 47" (Oblt.z.S. Schlenzka), "S 51" (Kptlt. Büchting), "S 72" (Oblt.z.S. Schneider, W.), and "S 102" (Lt.z.S. Lutherer). At dew-weather "S 40" and "S 52" came free from the Danube-ice at Brailai. "S 42", "S 45", and "S 46" were en route to the Black Sea at Linz for reassembling. 

Boats of the 1. SFlt in the Black Sea (Picture: Archives E. Skjold)

On 08.03.1943 took Lt.z.S. Carl Silies command of "S 26". The same day "S 47" transitted to Constanta for the big motoroverhaul and fitting with a 40mm gun.

During the night Nacht 08./09.03.1943 "S 26", "S 28", "S 47", and "S 72" performed a resultless sortie to the Caucasian coast. 

During the night 12./13.0.1943 "S 26", "S 28", "S 47", and "S 72" attacked  the supply trafic off the Caucasian coast. "S 47" sunk the tanker Tanker "Moskva" (6086 BRT) off Tuaspe together with "S 26".

During the  nights 13./14.03. and 17./18.03.1943  resultless sorties of the 1. SFltl with "S 26", "S 28", "S 47", and "S 72" to the Caucasian coast were made. Thereafter no S-boat actions were possible until 27.03.1943 because of bad weather.

During the nights 28./29.03., 30./31.03., and 04./05.04.1943 teh flotilla performed resultless advances to the Caucasin coast with four to five boats. On 31.03. "S 26" transitted to Constanta for the big motoroverhaul. From 06.04. until 13.04.1943 the weather was so bad that the boats had to stay in harbour.

During the night 14./15.04.1943 in an advance of the 1. SFltl against the supply trafic at the Caucasian coast with "S 28", "S 47", "S 72", and "S 102" boats "S 28" and"S 47" sank the Soviet steamer "Sacco i Vanzetti" (818 BRT).

On 15.04.1943 "S 51" returned to Iwan Baba comming from repairs at Constanta.

Another resultless advance against the supply trafic at the Caucasian coast with "S 28", "S 47", "S 72 ", was "S 102" mad during the night 15./16.04.1943.

During the night 17./18.04.1943 the 1. SFltl with "S 28", "S 47", "S 51", "S 72", and "S 102" attacked the Soviet supply trafic of Cape Myšako with the codename "Schützenfest". On "S 28" were awaiting fights a 20mm 20mm Oerlikon installed on compartment I. The boats achieved torpedo hits on the landing piers, fought with Soviet gunboats and entered finally Anapa harbour.

S-boats in a Black Sea harbour (Picture: Archives E. Skjold)

On 21.04.1943 "S 51", "S 72", and "S 102" conducted a resultless anti-submarine operation against a submarine that had fired at the base.

On 22.04.1943 Oblt.z.S. Büchting was awarded the knight's cross (Ritterkreuz).

With exception of some few nights the boats performed advances against the Caucasian coast during each night until 30.04.1943 During the nights 23./24.04. and 24./25.04.1943 the boats fired torpedoes against the landing piers at Cape Myšako and fought with Sovjet gunboats.

On 24.04.1943 "S 26" and "S 28" returned to Iwan Baba from motoroverhaul at Constanta. 

On 01.05.1943 "S 47" transitted to Constanta for motoroverhaul while the 1. SFltl with "S 49", "S 51", and "S 102" to Kertsch (Kerč), in order to carry out reconnaissance from there to the Temrjuk-bight in the Azov Sea during the night 01./02.05.1943 together with "R 35" und "R 163" .

From the night 03./04.05.1943 until the end of the first half year again reconnaissance operatins were performed to the Caucasian coast - mostly without any special events.

On 13.05.1943 "S 42 (Kptlt. Siems), "S 45" (Oblt.z.S. Günther Lutherer), and "S 46" (Lt.z.S. Günther Weisheit) arrived at Constanta as further reinforcements for the 1. SFltl.

In the morning of the 20.05.1943 after a sortie of the 1. SFltl with "S 26", "S 49", "S 52", and "S 72" against the Soviet supply trafic at hte Caucasian coast, during which "S 72" sank a lighter (600 BRT), the boats on their way home were attacked again and again by Sovjet aircraft. "S 49" got plenty of hits above and below the waterline, to engines fell out, on "S 72" hull auxiliary engines, and the fueltanks were damaged. Both boats had to be reported aKB. 

Soviet Ground Attack Aircraft attack with Aircraft Weapon - Picture: Archives Förderverein

During the night 25./26.06.1943 "S 40", "S 42", "S 45", and "S 46" reconnoitred off the bight of Temrjuk in the Azov Sea and entered Kerč in the morning. The same in the following night. 

During the night 30.06./01.07.1943 "S 40", "S 46", "S 51", and "S 102" reconnoitred the Azov Sea.

The IV. MAS Flottille of Regia Marina (italian navy) stationed at Feodosija changed owner on 20.05.1943 and came as 11. S-Fltl into German ownership with seven boats of type MAS 500. Flotilla-commander became Kptlt. Hans-Jürgen Meyer. The flotilla was divided up into two group as followes:

1. Group

Boat ex Commanding Officer
S 503 MAS 568 Oblt.z.S. Bernhard Wülfing
S 502 MAS 567 StbObStrm. Maniel
S 505 MAS 570 ObStrm. Svoboda
S 506 MAS 574 ObStrm. Gurke

2. Group

Boat ex Commanding Officer
S 504 MAS 569 Oblt.z.S. Fritz-Hans Schay
S 501 MAS 566 StbObStrm. Wernicke
S 507 MAS 575 StObStrm. Köplin


MAS 526 - Picture: Regia Marina

They constituted only a unimportant reinforcement of the S-boat-force in the Black Sea, since the main engines were very disruptive and the boats had a very poor sea-worthiness. At the transfer of the boats "S 506" was damaged by a bomb hit.

On 21.05. and 22.05.1943 the two ready for sea boats sailed singleboats training. On 24.05.1943 all boats besides of "S 506" performed flok- and grouptraining. When entering harbour "S 507" run into a wreck and was damaged much. She had to be taken on a slip-way at Feodosija on 25.05.1943.

On 25.05. and 26.05.1943 the weather kept boats of the 11. SFltl in harbour.

On 27.05.1943 "S 501" and "S 505" performed pair-training and on 28.05.1943 they passed group-training, "S 502" was unserviceable because of a wire in the propellers, "S 501" had reduced revolutions of the engines. On 29.05.1943"S 503", "S 504", and "S 505" performed group-training.

On 30.05.1943  "S 40", "S 42", "S 45", and "S 46" of the 1. SFltl entered Iwan Baba. On paper the 1. SFltl had 12 boats available on  01.06.1943:

Boat Commanding Officer
S 26 Kptlt. Kurt Fimmen
S 28 Oblt.z.S. Friedrich-Karl Künzel
S 40 Kptlt. Ernst-August Seevers
S 42 Kptlt. Klaus-Dietrich Siems
S 45 Oblt.z.S. Helmuth Moritzen
S 46 Lt.z.S. Günter Weisheit
S 47 Lt.z.S. Gerhard Behrens
S 49 Oblt.z.S. Otto-Erich Schlenzka
S 51 Kptlt. Hermann Büchting
S 52 Oblt.z.S. Werner Kaldewey
S 72 Oblt.z.S. Walter Schneider
S 102 Lt.z.S. Günther Lutherer

During the nights 05./06.06. and 08./09.06.1943 "S 501", "S 503", and "S 505" of the 11. SFltl had an anti-submarine operation southeast of the Crimea, so had "S 501" and "S 505" on 10.06.1943.

On 07.06.1943 occured a bomb raid against the harbour of Feodosija, "S 507" was damaged by fragments.

On 11.06.1943 "S 501", "S 504," and "S 505" carried out an inspection voyage for Admiral Black Sea (Admiral Schwarzes Meer[ (ASM]).

During a picket operation of "S 501", "S 504", and "S 505" during the night 12./13.06.1943 the boats were hunted by Soviet S-boats but could escape without damages.

During the following night the 11. SFltl with "S 501" , "S 504", and "S 505" again sailed a picket line, "S 505" had to give up prematurely because of engine failure.

On 18.06.1943 "S 502", "S 504", and "S 505" sailed to Iwan Baba and back to transport personnel to the inspection by F.d.S., "S 505 " had to return early because of engine failure.

 How much the bats were susceptible for engine failures also is shown by the fact, that "S 502" was aKB until 05.07., "S 504" until 24.07., "S 505", and "S 506" until end of June and "S 507" until 25.07.1943.

The few available boats carried out picket operations and resultless anti-submarine warfare untill end of the month.

Also the second halfyear 1943 started for the 1. SFltl with reconnaissance operations and sorties against the Caucasian coast. 

The 1. SFltl with "S 26", "S 28", "S 47", and "S 52" leaid mines in the Strait of Kerč on 01.06.1943. 

During almost every night until the end of the month June the 1. SFltl performed resultless sorties or reconnaissance operations off the Caucasian coast with four to seven boats.

The 11. SFltl in July 1943 in first place carried out reconnaissance operations against the Caucasian coast and fought against the own delicate engines.

During the night  01./02.07.1943 "S 40", "S 46", "S 51", and "S 102" carried out reconnaissance in teh Azov Sea, while "S 28", "S 42", and "S 47" advanced against the Soviet supply trafic off the Caucasian coast.

During the night 03./04.07.1943 an advance against Soviet suply trafic with boats "S 28", "S 46", "S 47", and "S 102" had to be broken off because of bad weather. 

During the night 05./06.07.1943 during a frurther advance with "S 28", "S 40", "S 47", and S 51" three lighters were sunk by "S 28".

 During the night 07./08.07.1943 an attack of the 1. SFltl with "S 28", "S 40", "S 42", "S 46", "S 47", "S 72", and "S 102" in three group against a reported convoy came too late. "S 40" collided with "R 33" and was damaged seriously. Since both avarists could only proceed at a speed of seven knots, "S 102" and "S 28" sailed on ahead and "S 42" and "S 45" escorted the avarists. "S 102" (Lt.z.S. Lutherer) hit a mine in the Straits of Kerč and had in spite of an attempt of "S 28" to tow her to be given up after an hour. Eight men of the crew had been killede. 

"S 40" transferred on 26.07.1943 together with "S 42" and "S 47" from Iwan Baba to Constanta and was towed from there to Linz, were it came into the shipyard on 15.09.1943.

The remaining boats performed reconnaissance operations and advances against the Caucasian coast.

For the time from 16.07. until 15.08.1943 there is a lack of data, since no KTB is available.

Impressions of the Wreck of "S 102" near Kerč - Pictures: A. Makarow

Sailors' Graves at Iwan Baba - Picture: Archives P. v. Glasenapp

 On 26.07.1943 "S 51" and "S 26" reported the sinking of a coastal freighter and a barge off Cape Myšako, in fact they sank the Floating Battery No. 627.

During the operations in July 1943 off Tuaspe and Novorossijsk the boats of the 2. SFltl sank three coasters, one motorgunboat and one motortorpedoboat.

During the night 02./03.08.1943 the Soviet cruiser "Krasny Krim" and three destroyers fired at Iwan Baba. The S-boats "MAS 573" (Oblt.z.S. Ramboni) and "MAS 568" of the 19. MAS-flotilla bumped into this unit. "MAS 573" hit the cruiser at her stern, "MAS 568" hit the destroyer "Gniewny", which exploded and sank. The cruiser reached the harbour of Tuaspe with great difficulty but was never getting ready for sea again. 

On 10.09.1943 the Red Army landed in the city of Novorossijsk. Six days later the town had to be evacuated. 

 On 11.09.1943 Soviet ground attack aircraft attacked the boats of the 1. SFltl returning home. They dived unimpressed by the defence fire down to 10 m and fired with aircraft weapon. On "S 46" (Oblt.z.S. Weisheit) all engines became unserviceable, the torpedo in the port tube exploded and tore off the forecastle all the way to the bridge. In spite of the continued attacks "S 49" went alongside and took over the partly seriously wounded crew and two killed in ac. The boat was scutled with a torpedo.


Soviet GRound Attack Aircraft firing at the Boats - Picture: Archives Förderverein

Bad weather and bright moonlight prevented or hindered the operations of the S-boats during the next nights. The 1. and the 11. SFltl conducted picket operations again since the army feared a landing in their rear. The boats carried out search stripes south of  Anapa until the town was evacuated on 21.09.1943 in the frame of withdrawing movements. 

"S 47" coming alongside in the Black Sea still with the old bridgehouse - Picture: Archives Jürgens

During the night 27./28.09.1943 four boats of the 1. SFltl fired at ships at the mole of Anapa. To minesweepers, one motorlaunch, and one patrolboat were hit. The mole was damaged.

During the night 28./29.09.1943 the same boats sortied to Anapa again. No enemy vehicles were sighted.

The 11. SFltl was because of permanent engine problems and lack of spareparts dissolved on 30.09.1943. The personnel becoming free was withdrawn in favour of the 24. SFöltl which was to be formed in the Aegean Sea with the conquered Italian boats. "S 501", "S 506", and "S 507" were subordinated the 1. SFltl but decommissioned already on 05.10.1943 at Feodosija.  The aKB boats transitted to Nikolaev, there "S 505" was decommissioned. The other three boats were going to Linz for repairs, their wherabouts is not cleared.

"S 47" in the Black Sea after installation of the new bridgehouse - Picture: From the heritage of Kpt.z.S. Künzel

The 11. SFltl was disbanded on 20.09.1943 due to continuous engineproblems and sparepart shortness. The personnel becoming free were transferred to the 24. SFltl which was under formation in the Aegean Sea with captured Italian S-boats. "S 501", "S 506", and "S 507" were assigned to the 1. SFltl but decommissioned on 05.10.1943 in Feodosija.  The boats being not ready for action were transferred to Nikolaev, there "S 505" was decommissioned. The other four boats went to Linz for repairs.

During the night 30.09./01.10.1943 "S 28", "S 42", "S 45", and "S 49" had another operation as pickets off the Caucasian coast without sighting of enemies.

On 01.10.1943 Oblt.z.S. Günter Weisheit took command of "S 46".

During the night 02./03.10.1943 "S 28" and "S 49" operated as picket south of the Strait of Kerč.

In der Nacht 09./10.10.1943 fuhren "S 28", "S 42", "S 45", "S 51" und "S 52" wiederum Flankensicherung für ein Geleit mit Marinefährprämen und Siebelfähren von Kerč nach Sewastopol und liefen anschließend in Balaklava ein. 

 During the night 05./06.10.1943 a sortie by Soviet destroyers against the southern coast of the Crimea and the German evacuation transports occurred. "S 28", "S 42", and "S 45" attacked the unit and prevented an attack on the German ship traffic in spite of a hit on "S 45". The Luftwaffe came to help with four attack waves and eliminated all three Soviet destroyers.

During the night 06./07.10.1943 the flotilla with "S 28", "S 42", "S 51",  and "S 52" advanced against an assumed concentration of ships at the sinking position of the destroyers. Thereby it came to a fight with three gunboats, which were superior with their 4,5 cm guns. Therefore, the German S-boats drew back.

During the night 09./10.10.1943 "S 28", "S 42", "S 45", "S 51", and "S 52" again carried out flank protection for a convoy with navy ferries (Marinefährprämen = MFP) and Siebel ferries (Siebelfähren) from Kerč to Sewastopol and at the end entered Balaklava harbour. 

Until the end of the withdrawal of the Kuban bridge head which had commenced on  12.09.1943 it succeeded with all available vessels to evacuate 239.669 soldiers, 16.311 wounded, 27.456 civilians, and 115.477 t supply goods, 21.2320 cars, 27.741 horse-drawn vehicles, 74 tanks, 1.815 guns, 74.657 horses, and 6.255 cattle. The 1. SFltl, the 3. R-Fltl, and guncarriers took over the escorting.

On 27.10.1943 the 1. SFltl with "S 28", "S 42", "S 47", "S 51", and "S 52" transitted from Iwan Baba to Feodosija in order to take over mines for a planned mineoperation "Tannenberg", which however was called off so that the boats handed in the mines again at Feodosija on 29.10.1943.

On 28.10.1943 the 1. SFltl got the order to withdraw from Iwan Baba. When all facilities were destroyed and all weapon and other equipment were loaded and the boats were to leave harbour, the order was cancelled.

During the first half of November is came to some fights with Soviet units. During the night "TK-101" exploded by a direct hit, " TK-81" could escape. During the night 07./08.11.1943 the 1. SFltl sank the patrol boat "0122" with the unit commander on board out of a unit consisting of three patrol boats, four minesweepers, and four other vessels. On 11.11.1943 the 1. SFltl sank a motorgunboat by torpedo hit.

Mid  November"S 26", "S 28", "S 42", "S 45", "S 47", "S 49", "S 51", and "S 72"were ready for action at Iwan Baba. "S 40" was still in the shipyard as result of her collision with "R 33", the announced six boats as reinforcement from home were long in coming. "S 131", "S 149", and "S 148" were only launched in October or November. They became ready for action only on 01.04.1945.

On 30.11.1943 "S 28", "S 45", and "S 49" transitted to Constanta for a sipyard period. "S 28" got a Kalotte and a 40mm gun and returned not earlier than 03.03.1944 under the new commanding officer (StObStrm Peter Neumeier, from 01.03.44 Lt.z.S. (KRO) to Iwan Baba.

"S 40" had been launched already on 20.11.1943 at Linz, however, during refuelling a fire had developped in teh engineroom and the boat had to be repaired there. The transit to Constanta in tow was carried out from 01.12. to 10.12.1944. At Constanta teh boat got a kalotte and was therefore aKB until 15.02.1944 aKB. 

"S 28" in the Black Sea off Iwan Baba - Picture: Archives F.K. Künzel

On 13.11.1943 KKpt. Christiansen was awarded the oak leaves to the knight's cross (Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz).

KKpt. Georg Stuhr Cristiansen - Picture: Archives Behrens

During the second half of November the operations were directed against the Soviet bridge-head at Kerč. On 17.11.1943 it came to a fight with the Soviet S-boats "TK-76", "TK-86", and "TK-104". "TK-76" did not return to her harbour, the other to boats were damaged. On 21.11.1943 the flotilla shot two landingvessels on fire and pushed eight others off to the east so that they could not land their cargo.

 On 21.11.1943 the flotilla shelled to landingcraft in fire and pushed eight others off to the east, so that they could not carry out their landing. 

On 12.12.1943 Oblt.z.S. Künzel, commanding officer of "S 28", was awarded the knight' cross (Ritterkreuz) for more than 200 sorties.

Oblt.z.S. Karl Friedrich Künzel - Picture: Archives Künzel

In the year 1943 the 1. SFltl  had conducted: 88 operations against ship traffic along the Caucasian coast, three mining operations, 50 operations escorting own convoys, and 24 sorties against Soviet landing operations in the Strait of Kerč. In the process thereof were reported as sunk:

One torpedoboat [minensweeper], one motortorpedoboat, three motorgunboats, three landing vessels, one tanker (4.000 BRT) [gunboat], three freighters (5.700 BRT), 19 coastal freighters (8.100 BRT), and 15 barges (8.200 BRT); together estimated 29.000 BRT.

Lost were "S 102" by a mine hit in the Strait of Kerč and "S 46" by a bomb hit off Feodosija.