Tuesday, December 13, 2016

UAK Acceptance Trials of U-595

Even though the photos shown here are not of extraordinary quality, they are still extremely rare color images of the German submarine arm. The photos were taken in November 1941 or January/February 1942 aboard the U-595 in the Baltic Sea. Built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, the Type VII C U-boat was commissioned by Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Quat-Faslem on 6 November 1941. From Hamburg, the boat sailed down the Elbe and the Kaiser-Wilhelm Canal into the Baltic Sea. The route down the Elbe and through the Kaiser-Wilhelm Canal was not without danger, and the boat several times took aboard pilots to assist with navigation. Waiting for U-595 in Kiel was approximately 14 days of UAK acceptance trials. There were test crash dives and compensation of the gyro compass. Another important stage was monitoring of the boat's sound profile by the UAG-Schall in Sonderburg, Denmark. Underwater microphones captured the sounds made by the U-boat at various speeds. The object was to minimize them in order to make the boat less easy to detect when it entered service.

This photo was probably shot during crash dive tests in the Baltic Sea. Taken from U-595, it shows a second U-boat bearing the white UAK emblem on the conning tower, sailing into Kiel Fiord. The white UAK emblem was only applied, on both sides of the conning tower, during the testing phase. Following UAK acceptance on 11 December 1941, U-595 went to the Agru-Front (Hela) in the deep waters of Danzig Bay for further training. This lasted from 12 to 22 December. Then, on 23 December, the boat joined the 8. Unterseebootsflottille (8th Submarine Flotilla) in Königsberg. With this flotilla, which in February 1942 moved to Danzig, U-595 underwent deep-diving tests, measured mile runs to determine maximum speed, depth charge exercises, damage repair, day and night torpedo firing, and anti-aircraft and deck gun training. The training, which continued until 31 July 1942, also included a number of tactical training exercises. In the end there was a final noise monitoring session at Rönne off Bornholm,

This photo was taken in January/February 1942 in one of the training bases in Danzig Bay and shows Obersteuermann Georg Schwarz in front of U-595's conning tower. On it may be seen the boat's large "Frosch" (Frog) emblem which was designed and painted by 1. Wachtoffizier (First Watch Officer) Leutnant zur See Friedrich Kaiser while it was with the Agru-Front. On 14 November 1942, U-595 was bombed off Oran in the Mediterranean and was subsequently run aground and blown up by its crew. Two members of the crew were killed in the bombing attack, the rest were taken prisoner.

Source :
"U-Boot Im Focus" magazine, edition nr.4 - 2008

Monday, December 5, 2016

Four Luftwaffe Aces after Award ceremony

Four top fighter aces from Luftwaffe posing together after the small awards ceremony with Adolf Hitler at Führerhauptquartier Wolfsschanze (Wolf's lair) in Rastenburg/East Prussia, 22 September 1943. From left to right: Hauptmann Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein (receiving Eichenlaub #290 zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes as Gruppenkommandeur I.Gruppe / Nachtjagdgeschwader 100, after 54 night victories. Award date: 31 August 1943), Major Hartmann Grasser (receiving Eichenlaub #288 zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes as Gruppenkommandeur II.Gruppe / Jagdgeschwader 51 "Mölders", after 103 day victories. Award date: 31 August 1943), Hauptmann Walter Nowotny (receiving both the Eichenlaub #293 and Schwerter #37 zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes as Gruppenkommandeur I.Gruppe / Jagdgeschwader 54 "Grünherz", after 189 and 218 day victories. Award date: 4 September 1943 and 22 September 1943, all respectively), and Hauptmann Günther Rall (receiving Schwerter #34 zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub as Gruppenkommandeur III.Gruppe / Jagdgeschwader 52, after 200 day victories. Award date: 12 September 1943). The picture was taken by Walter Frentz

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