Thursday, September 17, 2015

Two VII C Boats are Frozen in the Ice

Although East and West Prussia were used to severe winters on account of their continental climate, the winter of 1941-42 broke all records for cold. In mid-January 1942 frigid Siberian air streamed through an enormous high-pressure area over Russia and into Northern Europe. Overnight, temperatures in the East- and West-Prussian Baltic ports fell to more than 20 degrees below zero. In a very short time everything became frozen in ice, including the U-Boat arm’s training base. The U-Boat flotillas in Danzig, Pillau and Gotenhafen were forced to suspend practical training on U-Boats. Kapitänleutnant (Ing.) Otto Elwert, an instructor in the 2. Unterseeboote-Lehrdivision (ULD, 2nd Submarine Training Division) in Gotenhafen, captured the 22. U-Flottille’s predicament in Gotenhafen-Oxhöft on Agfa color slide film. These two VII C boats are also frozen in the ice. As the 22. U-Flottille had only one VII C boat when the photo was taken, these may have been boats undergoing acceptance trials. The thickness of the jutting ice sheets shows that the ship was initially able to break through the ice themselves, but that the severe cold then caused the floes to freeze into a solid pack.

Source :
  "U-Boot im Focus", editon no.2 - 2007

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