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All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the Publisher in writing. Acknowledgements All the photographs in this book and their captions come from the collection ofJak P. Mallmann Showell unless specifically credited otherwise. Jak Showell would like to acknowledge the help of the U-Boot-Archiv, many of whose photographs or artifacts are reproduced here.

ISBN 13: 9781857800722

The publisher can accept no responsibility for this information becoming incorrect. So, the full titles were things like Maschinengefreiter, Matrosenobergefreiter, Bootsmannmaat, Obermaschinenmaat, etc. Unterseebootsflottille 7th U-boat Flotilla , was formed in Kiel on 25 June Unlike other naval combat formations, German U-boat flotillas were administrative bodies, designed to provide logistical and administrative support for the boats which made up the flotilla. In the case of the 7th, these boats were the latestTypeVllB craft, the result of a decade of German research and design.

Lieutenant Herbert, commander of the Baralong, ordered his men to open fire on the German survivors, killing Wegener and nine of his crew. Although prompted by similar incidents where U-boat crews gunned down Allied survivors, the summary action of Herbert prompted an escalation of cruelty on the high seas, and created a German martyr. The name of the flotilla was not the only link with the past. The brand new boats which comprised the 7th U-boat Flotilla were the result of nearly two decades of development, building on the lessons learned by the German Navy in World War 1.

On 11 November , the horror of the Great War ended with the signing of an armistice. After four years of total war, the Imperial German Navy was in disarray, and its sailors in a state of mutiny. During the war, the German U-boat arm had demonstrated the efficiency of submarine warfare, and at times had threatened the survival of the Allied Right: In the prewar years, V-boats carried life rings marked with the boat number and the name of its parent flotilla.

U-boat Fact File by Peter Sharpe | LibraryThing

The flotilla name was also worn on the sailors' cap bands. Approximately small U-boats with a crew of fewer than 40 men per craft had succeeded in sinking 5, Allied or neutral merchant ships, with a combined tonnage of over 11 million tons. While the High Seas Fleet steamed into captivity in Scapa Flow, the surviving U-boat fleet sailed into British and French ports, surrendering both men and boats. Their campaign had been relatively successful, despite growing losses as Allied anti-submarine techniques improved. The effectiveness of the U-boat campaign had also been limited by the British use of mines along the German North Sea coast, barriers consisting of armed trawlers with hyrophone sets, destroyer screens in the English Channel, and above all, the successful development of a convoy system.

In the immediate post-war years, financial constraints meant that the British were unable to apply the hard-won lessons of World War I by building a powerful anti-submarine fleet.

National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized (Record Group 242)

Instead, it was the Germans who were more ready to learn from their experiences, and to develop a new and better U-boat arm. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was allowed to build a small defensive navy, but this could not include submarines. As interned or captured submariners returned home to a post-war Germany, they brought their expertise with them; men like Oberleutnant-zur-See ObltzS Karl Donitz, captured after his UB was sunk in the Mediterranean in October These men were now in charge of developing the German Reichsmarine, and to them a navy without a submarine arm was unthinkable.

In Admiral Behnke, Commander-in-Chief of the Reichsmarine, authorised the start of a secret project. In several shipyards across Germany work began on the design and construction of a new fleet of U-boats.

German U-Boats in Argentina 1945 - U-977

Using the cover of the Krupp armaments company, a design team of 30 marine engineers worked on the project, in conjunction 7 Above: The commissioning ceremony of V, held on 6August During this prewar period the boats carried their numbers on the side of their conning towers and on brass plaques attached to the U-boat's bow. Although all of these looked fairly similar to the Type VIlA from the outside, there were a few major internal variations, especially in the propulsion systems. The flotilla became an experimental command to find the limits of the technology and to discover which firm produced the best components for this promising submarine class.

In addition, a bogus company, known as Ingenieurskantoor voor Scheepsbouw IvS was set up in Holland, with its registered offices in the Hague. This was a front for the Reichsmarine, which used IvS to build U-boats for it. By , naval funds were being secretly directed into IvS accounts and, as the designers completed their plans, the first prototype boats were commissioned. Three prototypes were developed, for a 2S0-ton, a SOO-ton and a ton boat. Three prototypes of the small boats vessikos and three of the medium craft vetehinens were built by the IvS in Finland during the late s.

To cover this work, IvS sought and was awarded genuine submarine-building contracts. The first from Turkey called for the production of two boats, but talks with the Spanish government led to an even better opportunity to build boats for the Spanish Navy, while developing the company's own prototypes in Spanish shipyards.

This deal also allowed the company to 'draw on' the expertise of serving Reichsmarine officers, and permitted the establishment of an Ausbildung Training office within the German Navy, charged with assisting the training of Spanish crews. For the next decade, Finland,Turkey and Spain provided the cover for what was to become a fully- fledged German naval construction programme.

In a new cover firm was established. The IngenieurbOro fOr Wirtschaft und Technik GmbH lgewit based in Berlin allowed the construction of boats in German yards, albeit ostensibly for the use of foreign c1ients. This gave German shipbuilders vital experience in the construction of modern submarines, and all stages of construction were secretly supervised by Reichsmarine engineers, and acaucus of 'retired' U-boat officers. Similar expertise was gained by the Navy itself, as a 'Torpedo and Radio' school was created, to train naval cadets in the theoretical techniques of U-boat warfare, while engineering cadets were trained in diesel propulsion systems.

U-boat Fact File 1935-1945

A specialist U-boat school was established at Kiel in , and its official title of 'Anti-Submarine Warfare School' fooled nobody. Within two years, it would be transformed into a fully-fledged training facility, producing hundreds of U-boat crewmen, from commanders to machinists. By this stage, Adolf Hitler was in power, and acornerstone of his policy was the reversal of the 'shame' of the Versailles agreement.

The march towards war began.

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He demanded. Under its terms, Germany was allowed to maintain a fleet approximately 35 per cent of the size of the Royal Navy, and even more importantly, the Germans were allowed to develop a U-boat arm, although its size was limited to 45 per cent of the British submarine fleet. Diplomatic options were also put in place to increase this arm to match the British submarine fleet by mutual agreement, if concessions were made regarding the size of the German surface fleet.