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S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945

War-Zones of the S-Boats

At the outbreak of the war on 01.09.1939 the Kriegsmarine had at its disposal 17 S-boats, 10 other boats were under construction. The 1. SFltl with boats "S 11", "S 12", "S 18", "S 19", "S 20", "S 21", "S 22", and "S 23" as well  as Begleitschiff "Tsingtau" were in the Baltic whereas the 2. SFltl operated based on Heligoland with boats "S 9", "S 10", "S 14", "S 15", "S 16", and "S 17". "S 13" was in drydock after a collision with the  survey ship "Meteor" and the other boats were in engine overhaul or in shipyard periods.

 

"S 13" after the collision with "Meteor" - Picture: Private-Archives Benjamin Flämig

Assignment of the S-boats to the different flotillas was more or less permanent. The older boats "S 18" to "S 25" were handed over to the newly established flotillas as training boats. Also were the older boats of the front-flotillas handed over to newly established flotillas which had to operate with them until they received new boats. In the Black Sea and in the Mediterranean there existed a fixed assignment, since the boats were repaired in the area and returned to their flotillas.

 

The older boats "S 10", "S 11", "S 13", "S 15", and "S 16" formed the so called "Schnelle Ujagd-Gruppe" (Fast Submarinechaser Group) which was stationed at Bergen from mid 1942 until the end of the war. "S 14" and "S 18" were used as so called fast tugboats.

Timetable Deployment of S-Boats during World War II - Illustration: Hans-Joachim Kasemir

The above illustration shows the deployments of the S-flotillas in timely and local context, the strength of the blocks is dependent on the number of flottillas deployed in the corresponding war-theaters..

The duration of the deployments of the S-flotillas in the war-theaters is as follows:

Wartheaters Deployment from- to Deployed  Flotillas
Poland Campain 30.09.39 - 25.11.39 1. + 2. SFltl
Norway (Weserübung) 08.04.40 - 05.05.40 1. + 2. SFltl
Northsea/Engl. Channel 19.05.40 - 08.05.45 1., 2,. 4., 5., 6., 8. + 9. SFltl 
Russia/Finnland (Operation Barbarossa) 18.06.41 - 23.11.41 1., 2. + 3. SFltl
Northern Norway 11.11.41 - 15.06.43 8. + 6. SFltl, partly Schnelle Ujagd-Gruppe
Western Norway 01.07.42 - 08.05.45 Schnelle Ujagd-Gruppe
Mediterrenean - Italy, Africa 14.11.41 - 31.10.43 3. + 7. SFltl
Black Sea 24.05.42 - 29.08.44 1. + 11. SFltl
Adriatic Sea 01.11.43 - 02.05.45 3., 7. + 24. SFltl
Aegean Sea 12.11.43 - 15.12.44 3. + 21. SFltl
Eastern Baltc/Finnland  07.03.44 - 08.05.45 1., 5., 6., 8., 9., 10. Sfltl, 2. + 3. S-SchulFltl
Northern Norway 10.10.44 - 08.05.45 4. SFltl + 1. S-SchulFltl

The events on the different war-theaters are to be seen under the following links.

 

 

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