By Jak P. Mallmann Showell, Angus Konstam
The seventh U-Boat Flotilla - 'Wegener' - was once shaped in Kiel in June 1938 with six boats, just one of which survived operationally to the tip of the warfare. Early conflict motion from Kiel replaced thoroughly after the autumn of France whilst the flotilla moved to St Nazaire, the place it will stay till the Allied advances led its final boats to maneuver to Norway.
Some 114 boats observed provider with the flotilla and such a lot of them served within the North Atlantic the place their operations nearly introduced Britain to its knees. the tale of the flotilla begins with the tale of the convoy predators; throughout the grim realities of the convoy process whose escorts benefited from extremely decrypting of the Kriegsmarine's codes; the bloodbath of the U-boats trying to halt the invasion of Europe; to the ultimate coda as 14 boats escaped from St. Nazaire to Norway.
Ian Westwell spent 5 years within the Royal military earlier than turning into Curator of guns on the Royal Armouries. After a spell as a marine archaeologist he turned leader Curator on the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West. He moved again to England to jot down complete time in 2001.
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Additional info for 7th U-Boat Flotilla: Doenitz's Atlantic Wolves
Building work began on the first of these 32 IN ACTION 33 5 PEA RHEAD: 7TH U-BOAT FLOTILLA Above: The gates of the small sea lock leading in and out of the non-tidal harbour at St Nazaire, with the massive U-boat bunker in the background. There were two basic types of pens: 'wet' ones and those capable of being pumped out to serve as a dry dock. The wet pens were usually wide enough to accommodate two boats side by side and can be seen on the left, while single dry dock pens are visible on the right.
Schichau GmbH, Danzig Commissioned: 21 March 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 October 1942 Commander: Fgkpt Hans-Joachim Hesse Operational patrols: 2 Allied vessels sunk: 4 Fate: Sunk on 12 February 1943 (no survivors) U-221 (Type VIIC) Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel Commissioned: 9 May 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 September 1942 Commander: ObltzS, later Kptlt, Hans-Hartwig Trojer Operational patrols: 5 Allied vessels sunk: 12 Fate: Sunk on 27 September 1943 (no survivors) U-602 (Type VIIC) Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg Commissioned: 29 December 1941 Operational in flotilla: 1 October 1942 Commander: Kptlt Philipp SchUler Operational patrols: 4 Allied vessels sunk: 1 Fate: Transferred to 29th Flotilla on 1 January 1943; sunk on or soon after 19 April 1943 (no survivors) U-410 (Type VIIC) Builder: Danziger Werft, Danzig Commissioned: 23 February 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 September 1942 Commander: Kptlt Kurt Sturm Operational patrols: 7 Allied vessels sunk: 10 Fate: Transferred to the 29th Flotilla on 1 June 1943; sunk on 11 March 1944 (no survivors) U-624 (Type VIIC) Builder.
The hump on the roof held an anti-aircraft gun. Right: Looking out from one of the pens in the U-boat bunker towards the bunkered lock. The original entrance, dominated by that huge white control tower, lies towards the right of the concrete. The lock inside the bunker is now used to house a French submarine museum. 34 IN ACTION pens in February 1941, and it was officially opened by D6nitz just four months later, on 30 June 1941. It measured almost 300 metres in length, and stretched back 130 metres, providing heavily-protected dock space for 14 boats at anyone time.
7th U-Boat Flotilla: Doenitz's Atlantic Wolves by Jak P. Mallmann Showell, Angus Konstam