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 top of the battle. Early struggle motion from Kiel replaced thoroughly after the autumn of France while the flotilla moved to St Nazaire, the place it is going to stay until eventually the Allied advances led its closing boats to maneuver to Norway.
Some 114 boats observed carrier with the flotilla and such a lot of them served within the North Atlantic the place their operations virtually introduced Britain to its knees. the tale of the flotilla begins with the tale of the convoy predators; in the course of the grim realities of the convoy procedure 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 ahead of turning into Curator of guns on the Royal Armouries. After a spell as a marine archaeologist he grew to become leader Curator on the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West. He moved again to England to write down complete time in 2001.
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Extra info for 7th U-Boat Flotilla: Doenitz's Atlantic Wolves
Allied aircraft launched repeated raids on the port, and the U-boat pens were the prime target. Despite being pounded by over 2,000 tons of bombs during their three years of operation, and receiving at least 18 direct hits, the U-boat pens remained in operation, although much of the surrounding town was destroyed. The first operational boats to use St Nazaire as a base were U-46, U-48 and U-96, which arrived on 28 February 1941. From then until June, most of the flotilla's boats would call St Nazaire their home port, although it lacked decent repair facilities until the U-boat pens were completed, which meant badly-damaged boats still had to return to Kiel for repair.
Although the strength of the 7th Flotilla was increased by the addition of 11 new boats during the second part of 1943, and only two boats were lost during the same period (U-274 and U-707), the U- 54 IN ACTION Reinforcements, June-August, 1943 U-647 (Type VIIC) Builder: Blohm &Voss, Hamburg Commissioned: 5 November 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 June 1943 Commander: Kptlt Willi Hertin Operational patrols: 1 Allied vessels sunk: 0 Fate: Sunk on or soon after 28 July 1943 (no survivors) U-667 (Type VIIC) Builder: Howaldtswerke Hamburg AG, Hamburg Commissioned: 21 October 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 June 1943 First commander: Kptlt Heinrich Schroeteler Subsequent commander: July 1944: Kptlt K-H.
Builder: F. Schichau GmbH, Danzig Increasingly, packs were being forced to Commissioned: 22 August 1942 disperse when their positions were Operational in flotilla: 1 May 1943 Commander: ObltzS Hennann Otto discovered by airborne radar or radar Operational patrols: 1 pickets on the edge of convoys. It was fast Allied vessels sunk: 0 becoming a different kind of war, where Fate: Sunk on 24 June 1943 (no survivors) technology was becoming increasingly U-650 (Type VIIC) important. Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg It was not until March that serious Commissioned: 26 November 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 May 1943 wolfpack attacks were attempted against First commander: ObltzS Ernst von Witzendorff convoys.