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S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945


The Reichsmarine was renamed Kriegsmarine on 12.03.1935. 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 subordinated to it.


Boats "S 9" to "S 13" of the series ordered in 1933 were commissioned until december 1935. 

Boats of the 1. SFltl at Worms - Picture: Archives Förderverein

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 dilivered also in 1935.


On 10th of December 1936 the old gasoline-motor-boats "S 1" to "S 5" were decommissioned and sold to the nationalspanish government. The commander of the 1. SFllt was therewith commanding boats "S 7" to "S 13".

S-Boats of 1.SFltl in the Harbour of Worms - Pictureo: Archives Förderverein 

On 1st of Aufgust 1938 with the delilvery of boats "S 14" to "S 18" the new 2. SFltl under command of Kptlt. Rudolf Petersen was established. He got originally minesweeper "M 112" as tender until the tender "Tanga" having been planned for China was commissioned on 21st of January 1939 for the Kriegsmarine.

After delivery of the boats "S 19" to "S 23" the Kriegsmarine owned at the outbreak of the war 15 ready for action (KB = kriegsbereite) S-boats. "S 24" was only commissioned eight days oafter 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 the Kriegsmarine.

On 28th of September 1939 the Kriegsmarine ordered the Lürssen-Werft to build 24 further S-boats, "S 38" to "S 61", thereof could eight boats be commissioned in 1940 and the remaining boats in 1941.  

During the war the Kriegsmarine had be built at Fr. Lürssen-Werft, Bremen-Vegesack (134), at Joh. Schlichting-Werft, Travemünde (65), at Gusto-Werft, Schiedam/Holland (8), and at Danziger Waggonfabrik (9), in total 216 S-boats 


The losses of the S-Boat-Force were:

Killed in action 767 persons
Wounded 620 persons
Prisoner of War 322 persons
Lost 140 boats

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





Organization Pictures
War Zones Bearers of Knights Cross Losses of S-Boots Whereabouts of the S-Boats