Monday, January 16, 2017

Type II Training Boats in the Baltic

Many training boats could look back on an interesting operational life and their activities were in no way restricted to the Baltic Sea. Our color photo illustrate several such boats. Photo above shows Type II boats approaching and tying up at the 21. U-Flottille's base in Pillau. The submarine in the foreground is U-62. Under Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Bernhard Michalowski, the Type II C sank two ships during fire patrols in the period 1 February - 30 September 1940, including the British destroyer HMS Grafton. The latter vessel was taking part in "Operation Dynamo", the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk. During the night of 29 May 1940, while attempting to rescue survivors from HMS Wakeful, which had been sunk by the German motor torpedo boat S-30 a short time before, the destroyer was torpedoed by U-62 and sank. In October 1940 U-62 became a training vessel. Note the rescue buoy on the afterdeck and the training emblem on the conning tower. Approaching in the background is U-61, another Type II C. U-61 completed eleven patrols between October 1939 and October 1940, including nine under Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Oesten. He sank five ships with a combined tonnage of 19,668 GRT. Kapitänleutnant Wolf-Harro Stiebler subsequently replaced Oesten as commander of U-61. Stiebler, who later commanded the "Milchkuh" (Milk Cow) U-461, completed two more patrols. After its days of frontline service were over, U-61 also joined the 21. U-Flottille in the Baltic. Note the emblem of Crew 37 b on the conning tower: to date none of U-61's commanders has been linked to that crew.

Source :
"U-Boot Im Focus" magazine, edition nr.6 - 2010

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