|S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine|
S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945
The Reichsmarine was renamed Kriegsmarine on 12.06.1935. At that time she had at her disposal the S-boats " S 1" to "S 8", which were organized under the 1. Schnellboothalbflottille. Also Begleitschiff "Tsingtau" was subordinate to it.
Boats "S 9" to "S 13" of the series ordered in 1933 were commissioned until December 1935.
On 12th of June 1935 „S 9“ was commissioned and the unit was renamed into 1. Schnellbootflottille (1.SFltl). Boats "S 10" to "S 13" were delivered also in 1935.
On 10th of December 1936 the old gasoline-motor-boats "S 1" to "S 5" were decommissioned and sold to the National-Spanish government. The commander of the 1. SFllt thus was commanding boats "S 7" to "S 13".
Subordinated to the commander of the 1. SFltl were boats "S 7" to "S 14". The boats commissioned in 1937 and 1938 were also assigned to the 1. SFltl.
Between 1935 and the outbreak of WW II the 1. SFltl performed a number of propaganda-voyages in Germany and abroad.
When the 2. SFltl was formed boats "S 6" through "S 9" and "S 14" through "S 17" had to be turned over to ist. With that the 1. SFltl had only assigned to it boats "S 10" through "S 13" and "S 18". However, the following boats of the series from "S 19" were also assigned to it.
After delivery of the boats "S 19" to "S
23" the Kriegsmarine at the outbreak of the war owned 15 ready for
action (KB = kriegsbereite) S-boats. "S 24" was only
commissioned eight days after the outbreak of the war. "S 25" ,
"S 30" to "S 33" were under construction at Lürssen
but could only be taken over after the outbreak of the war. "S
30" to "S 33" had been ordered for China but were
confiscated at the outbreak of the war and continued to be constructed for
Marking of the boats
To distinguish the boats they were marked with their numbers on both sides of the bow until the outbreak of World War II (see picture below).
"S 14" und "S 15" with bownumbers an mastmarkings - Picture: Archives O. Erlandsson
Additionally the boats of both flotillas carried mastmarkings, angles or dobble-angles open upside or downside rsp. one diagonal cross or two diagonal crosses (see picture above).
In some flotillas uniform flotilla-coat-of-arms were attached to the hull under the bridgehouse. In some flotillas the boats had individual coat-of-arms or letters for differentiation of the boats of the flotilla.
To be recognizeable from the air as own units the boats for different opportunities (Polandcampain, Weserübung, Barbarossa, Cerberus) carried yellow or black rectangles and partly the swastikaflag on deck or on the bridgehouse. For operation Cerberus were in the 6. SFltl the foredeck from bow to forward edge of the bridge and the quarterdeck from stern to rear edge of the bridge painted yellow.
Black rsp. yellow deckmarkings of 1. SFltl for the Polandcampain - Picture: Walter Koch - Archives S. Jung
Deckmarkings for Weserübung - Picture: Archives Ola Erlandsson
On 28th September 1939 the
Kriegsmarine ordered Lürssen-Werft to build 24 further S-boats,
"S 38" to "S 61", thereof eight boats
commissioned in 1940 and the remaining boats in 1941.
During the war the Kriegsmarine had Fr. Lürssen-Werft, Bremen-Vegesack to build 134, Joh. Schlichting-Werft, Travemünde to build 65, Gusto-Werft, Schiedam/Holland to build 8, and Danziger Waggonfabrik to build 9, in total 216 S-boats
The losses of the S-Boat-Force were:
On 09.05.1945, the day of the German capitulation, the navy had at its disposal 91 boats in nine flotillas.
On 11.05.1945 the crews of the S-boats gathered in the Geltinger Bucht fell in a last time in "1. Garnitur blau" (full dress) for the last ceremonial colours. Then the flags were lowered, the command signals continued fluttering. The S-Boat-Force was decommissioned.
Last Muster in Geltinger Bucht - Picture: H.F. Nitsche - Kirchspielarchiv Steinberg