|Kriegsmarine - Whereabouts of the S-Boats|
S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945
Whereabouts of the S-Boats
Sales to Spain
The Spanish Navy employed the boats of type "S 38" until the late 60s of the 20 century under the marking Lanchas Torpederas (Torpedoboats).
"LT 31" of the Spnaish Navy (Type S 38) - Picture: Archives Prof. Dr. G. Mourente
"LT 32" at the Turnover of Command 1967 - Picture: Archives Prof. Dr. G. Mourente
All remaining Kriegsmarine S-Boats from the Northsea and the Baltic at the end of the war were concentrated at Wilhelmshaven to be distributed between the three Allied winners.
S-Boats, Destroyers, and Torpedoboats at Wiesbadenbrücke Fall 1945 - Picture: Archives B. Schindler
Members of the CWAW-Pipe-Band between S-Boats at Wiesbadenbrücke on 04.10.45 - Picture: Archives B. Schindler
Warloot of the Sovjetunion (1945)
Russia also got from Italy the boat "MS 75" having been operated by the Kriegsmarine as "S 630".
Boat "S 170" is stated in some sources as a war-loot of Russia under the indication as trialsboat "Hans Henning", however, in the KTB of SKL (war-diary of the war-at-sea-high-command) she was reprted as missing from the 3rd May 1945 together with "S 226". She was probably attacked by RAF SQN 193 north of Fehmarn on 04.05.1945 and sank 2 nm southwest of Kelds Nor L/H (Langeland /DK). Also "S 22" is stated as Russian war-loot, however, it sank at Wilhelmshaven in early April 1945 after it had been damaged by the last big bomb-attack on the city on 30.03.1945.
Warloot of Great Britain (1945)
"S 204" (warloot of UdSSR) and "S 205" coming from Rotterdam entered on 13.05.1945 (5 days after teh capitulation) Felexstowe with KAdm Breuning, Korv.Kpt Fimmen and Kaptlt. Rebensburg embarked. This is often in British publications talked of as the surrender of the boats in Felixstowe. However, the surrender of the boats took place in Rotterdam on 08.05.1945.
Warloot of the USA (1945)
S-Boats of the US-Warloot in the Tirpitz-Locks Fall 1945 - Picture: Archives Erling Skjold
The boats sold to Denmark and Norway via OMGUS sailed partly in the Royal Danish Navy until 1965, first as T-Boats (1947 bis 1951) from 1951 onwards as Glenten-Class.
Delivery from Pola to Ancona on 03.05.1945
The whereabouts of S 30, S 36, S 61, S 151, S 155, S 156 are undetermined. From newspaperreports from La Valetta/Malta of the year 1947 it follows that the boats were towed to La Valetta and sunken there by the British. For boats S 61 (mermaid) and S 156 (lettercode "K") and the boat with the lettercode "D" (S 152 or S 155) it is proven by the pictures below from La Valetta.
Avaraged Boat "S 90"
Das zur 1. S-Schul-Flottille gehörende Boot "S 90" (Lt.z.S. d.R. Gärbers) belonging to the 1. S-School-Flotilla run aground during the night to 17.02.1945 at a speed of 24 knots on the little island Hånesholmen near Bru north of Stavanger. She was salvaged and towed to Rosenberg-shipyard at Stavanger. There she was laying until the ende of war and broken up in 1947.
The avaraged "S 90" on 17. February 1945 - Picture: Archives Johan Aakre
Averaged Boats "S 116" and "S 304"
" S 116" from the 3. S-School-Fltl averaged early January 1945 in Elbe estuaries and was laying at the end of the war in Brunsbüttel. It was brought to the USA by the US Army on a merchantship, there measured out, tested, and dokumented by the USN and then sold to the Intelligence Community for use in Europe, modified in Miami, Florida, USA, ferried to Bremerhaven. It was intended to be used by the LSU/B similarly as the boats of the "Group Klose", but that never happened. It then was laying up at Lürssen-Werft until the cannibalized hulk was taken over by the Damage Control Training Group (Lehrgruppe Schiffssicherung) in Neustadt/Holstein on 13.06.1957 as training hulk for fire- and damagecontrol courses. It burned up on 15.05.1965.
The two motors of type MB 501still available at the take-over were given to Deutsches Museum, Munic.
"S 304" rammed a wreck in front of the harbour mouth of Ijmuiden on 08.05.1945. The boat ripped open the rear underwatership, propellers and ruderequipment became unuseable. It was orininally towed to Den Helder, before it was going to Wilhelmshaven on 30.06.1945, where it was cannibalized and broken up as British warloot.
Non-operational S 112
"S 112" had taken part in the coup de main of VAdm Hüffmeier on Granville am 07.02.1945 based on St. Peter Port/Guernsey and had returned to St. Peter Port after the action had been broken of. With only one engine ready it sailed to St. Lorient. The commanding officer (Lt.z.S. Nikkelowski) had a deadly accident in April. The weary boat stayed at St. Lorient and was sold by the French Navy on 27.06.1951 for breaking up.
Fast Anti-Submarine Group (Schnelle Ujagd-Gruppe) in Norway
At the end of war the old boats "S 10", "S 11", "S 13", "S 15" and "S 16" were stationed at Bergen/Norway as "Schnelle-Ujagd-Gruppe". She had been operated in coatal protection. With a inadvertantly topredofiring by "S 13" was the little passenger-steamship "Kommandøren" (543 BRT, built 1891), laid up in Bergen after a stranding, sunken.
While the other boats were delivered to the Allies "S 10" stayed in Norway and was broken up in 1950.
Wreck " S 144"
In February 1945 during examination of wrecks and wreckparts, which could hemper the lifting of a dock, which had sunk in the harbour bassin Maree on 14.06.1944 during a bomb attack against the harbour of Le Havre, by divers of the USN a S-boat was detected which was jammed between the northern end of the dock and the concrete harbour wall. The boat was salvaged and completed by parts of other wrecks in the harbour and made porvisionally ready for sea. It was towed to the Small Boats Repair Base at Plymouth to be brought from there to the USA. It was believed to "S 169", one source assumes it to have been "S 138". The boat was the only of its kin that fell into the hands of the Allies before the end of the war. It was measured out, teted, and documented and since enough operational boats came into posession of the USN after the end of the war the Chief of Naval Operations granted permission to break up the boat on 26.12.1945. The execution of the breaking up was reported in Mai 1946.
On the basis of the coat of arms on the above picture the boat could be identified as "S 144" by the Förderverein Museums-Schnellboot in June 2010.
The whereabouts of the boats which were at the Grado dockyard, S 621, S 626 und S 628 of the 24. S-Flotilla, are unclarified.
Whereabouts of the unfinished Boats
About the number of unfinished boats at the shipyards Friedrich Lürssen at Vegesack, Schlichting at Travemünde and Rasmussen at Gamle Hestehauge/Fyn there is no information to be found in the literature.
From ENIGMA-signals decoded by the British it can be concluded that three attempts to tow seven newbuildings by S-boats on 12.04., 13.04., and 14.04.1945 were performed, which were broken off due to bad weather, whereby the newbuildt boat S 316 had to be scuttled in the German Bight on 15.04.1945. On 16.04.1945 obviously a successful attempt to tow six boats which were packed with equipment to the Baltic was conducted. It is to be asssumed that they were towed to Rasmussen at Gamle Hestehauge in order to be fully equipped there. Five more unfinished boats were to be towed from Vegesack to the Baltic according to an attest of Prof. Ing. Schäfer. However, proven by decoded ENIGMA-signals only arrival of six boats at Brunsbüttel is confirmed. Lt.z.S. a.D. Kelm reports that unfinished boats were to be towed around the Skaw by S-boats. Literature reports that thereof already seven boats sank in the Northsea.
Four unfinished boats, laying at Schlichting, were according to a statement of the son of the former yardowner towed to Pötenitzer Bucht, whether and at what time they were picked up by the Kriegsmarine is not to be determined. Possibly they became war loot of the approaching Soviet Army.
But fact is that from Gamle Hestehauge eight boats were towed to the waters south of Fyn on the night 05./06.05.1945 by S-boats and that eight boats were sunk in the Lunkebugt. Thereof so far four boats in which no motors had been installed were located by Danish divers. Therefore, is must be assumed that they were Lürssen-newbuildings and no Schlichting-newbuildings, which already had been equipped with motors.
Whereabouts of Loot-Boats
The whereabouts of the French loot-boats "SA 1" - "SA 7" after 1943 is uncertain. It can be assumed that they have been destroyed or have sunk during the war activities at the coast of the Channel.
The whereabouts of several Italian loot-boats is uncertain. Many boats were use as sparepart depots and broken off. Of the boats commissioned by the Kriegsmarine the following boats have a uncertain fate:
After the 09.09.1943 also the following boats came into German ownership, their commissioning and operation for the Kriegsmarine is however not proveable:
MAS 423, MAS 430, MAS 431, MAS 437, MAS 518, MAS 424, MAS 542, MAS 550, MS 32.
After the 09.09.1943 the folowing boats came into German posession and were turned ower to Republica Sociale Italiana, 10. MAS-Flotilla, Prince Borghese:
MAS 502, MAS 504, MAS 505, MAS 531, MAS 544, MAS 556, MAS 557, MAS 558, MAS 561, MAS 562, MS 16 (SA 1), MS 34 (SA 2).
Durch the invasion of Greece in April 1941 the S-boats "T 1" and "T 2" fell into the hands of the Kriegsmarine. They were Thornycroft-55'-CMB (Coastal Motor Boat) with two Thornycroft 12 cylinder gasoline-engines with 375 PSe each and spiral propellers. They were armed with two stern-torpedotubes. Theboats were commissioned with the designators "SG 1" and "SG 2" (SG = S-boat Greece) and armed with one MG and 10 depth charges. Since 1943 the boats were operated by the Coastal Defence Flotilla (Küstenschutz-Flottille) Piraeus as "GA 08" and "GA 09". Both were sunk by bombs on 11.01.1944 at Piräus.
The British Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs) and Motor Gun Boats (MGBs) were subordinate to the Coastal Forces in several flotillas. In total seven MTBs rsp. MGBs were captured or brought in.
Thereof the following three boats were commissioned by the Kriegsmarine:
"MTB 631" of type Fairmile D (Admirality design) was a lend-lease boat for the Norwegian Navy. She ran aground off Florø on 14.03.1943 and was given up. It belonged to the 30. MTB-Squadron, stationed at Lerwick and forcing their way into Norwegian waters some times for raids. The boats were manned with Norwegian officers, petty officers and ratings. Only the radio men were English. The crew evaquated to sister boats after destruction or taking away some but not all essential documents and equipment.
On 18.03.1943 she was towed in to Bergen and brought back to sea as "S 631". She was assigned to Admiral Norwegian Westcoast. The whereabouts are uncertain.
"MGB 666" also of type Fairmile D was captured off Ijmuiden on 05.07.1944. On 08.07.1944 is was destroyed by a gasoline explosion.
"MTB 345" (Thornycroft experimental boat) was operated under Norwegian command from the Shetland Islands since March 1943 against the Norwegian coast. On 27.07.1943 she was captured after a fight with picket "V 5301 Seeteufel" off Ospa in Solund. The Crew (four Norwegians and one British) were shot by Gestapo. The boat came back to sea again in July 1943 as "SA 7" and burst to flames off the Shetland Islands in August 1943 and sank.
The following three boats were so badly damaged that they were not commissioned by the Kriegsmarine. Their whereabouts are uncertain:
"MTB 5" (BPB 60' - 25 t) was holed in a storm on 29.09.1940 and given up by her Norwegian crew in the Channel. It drifted ashore in the Seinebight.
"MTB 17" (BPB 60' - 22 t) was shot to a wreck on 21.10.1940 off Oostend by the German Navy Artillery and brought in on the 22.10.1940.
"MTB 335" (type Fairmile C) was shot to fire by the 2. SFltl during the night 10./11.09.1942 in the Northsea and brought in to Den Helder the 11.09.1942.
MTB 314 (ex USS PT 56 = Typ ELCO 77'), which had been given over from USN to RN in February 1949, was captured by the Kriegsmarine heavily damaged off Toruk on 14.09.1942. She was repaired and commissioned as fast minesweeper "RA 10". She was sunk by an Allied air raid in April 1943.
Two Sovjet lootboats assigned to the 1. SFltl in 1942 (TKA-47 from the Baltic Sea and TKA-111 stranded and salvaged off Eupatrorija) of 17,8 t displacement (length: 19,1 m, beam: 3,3 m; draft: 1,2 m) armed with 2 x 53,3 cm torpedoes and 1 x 12,7mm-MG propelled by 2 GAM 34 BSF Gasoline-Enginges each of 800 - 850 PS were faster than 50 knots but had severe corrison-problems. The crew consisted of 6 to 8 men.
Former KM-Boats in the Royal Norwegian Navy
Former KM-Boats in the Royal Denish Navy
As replacement for the Danish "Glenten"-Class Boats the advanced "Flyvefisken"-Class was developed with assistence by Lürssen-Werft also on the basis of the war-boat type "S 100".