By Jak P. Mallmann Showell, Angus Konstam
The seventh U-Boat Flotilla - 'Wegener' - used to be shaped in Kiel in June 1938 with six boats, just one of which survived operationally to the top of the battle. Early conflict motion from Kiel replaced thoroughly after the autumn of France whilst the flotilla moved to St Nazaire, the place it'll stay till 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 nearly introduced Britain to its knees. the tale of the flotilla begins with the tale of the convoy predators; during 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 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 write down complete time in 2001.
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Extra info for 7th U-Boat Flotilla: Doenitz's Atlantic Wolves
ObltzS GUnter Gretschel Operational patrols: 3 Allied vessels sunk: 2 Fate: Sunk on 9 November 1943 (no survivors) 49 SPEA RHEAD: 7TH U-BOAT FLOTILLA Reinforcements, January & February 1943 U-266 (Type VIIC) Builder: BremerVulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen Commissioned: 24 June 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 January 1943 Commander: Ob/tzS Hannes Leinemann Operational patrols: 2 Allied vessels sunk: 4 Fate: Sunk on 15 May 1943 (no survivors) U-300 (Type VIIC) Builder: Flender-Werke, Lubeck Commissioned: 7 July 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 January 1943 Commander: ObltzS Karl-Franz Heine Operational patrols: 2 Allied vessels sunk: 1 Fate: Transferred to 11th Flotilla on 1 October 1944; sunk on 22 February 1945 (41 survivors) U-3D3 (Type VIIC) Builder: Flender-Werke, Lubeck Commissioned: 7 July 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 January 1943 Commander: ObltzS Karl-Franz Heine Operational patrols: 2 Allied vessels sunk: 1 Fate: Transferred to 29th Flotilla on 1 April 1943; sunk on 21 May 1943 (28 survivors) U-265 (Type VIIO Builder: BremerVulkan-VegesackerWerft, Bremen Commissioned: 6 June 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 February 1943 Commander: ObltzS Leonhardt Auffhammer Operational patrols: 1 Allied vessels sunk: 0 Fate: Sunk on 3 February 1943 (no survivors) U-267 (Type VIIC) Builder: BremerVulkan-VegesackerWerft, Bremen Commissioned: 11 June 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 February 1943 First commander: ObltzS Otto TInschert Subsequent commander: July 1944: ObltzS Bernhardt Kneiper Operational patrols: 7 Allied vessels sunk: 0 Fate: Transferred to 33th FJotilla on 13 October 1944; scuttled on 4 May 1945 U-358 (Type VIIC) Builder: Flensburger Schiffsbau, Flensburg Commissioned: 15 August 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 February 1943 Commander: ObltzS Rolf Manke Operational patrols;- 6 Allied vessels sunk: 5 Fate: Sunk on 1 March 1944 (l survivor) U-448 (Type VIIC) Builder: F.
Two entrances led to the outer basin: an old entrance, and a new one, designed to take large cargo vessels and warships. To the west of the port, the Forme Ecluse Louis Joubert was isolated by two caissons or lock gates, and it led to the inner Bassin de Penhoet. This section of the harbour was better known as the Normandie Dock, named after the prewar French transatlantic liner SS Normandie which berthed there. Launched at St Nazaire in 1932, the 79,000-ton luxury liner made regular transatlantic trips before the fall of France, when she was impounded by the US authorities.
41 SPEA RHEAD: 7TH U-BOAT FLOTILLA THE CAMPAIGN IN AMERICAN WATERS: JANUARY TO JUNE 1942 America's entry into the war meant that the U-boats had to increase the number of ships they sank. Donitz and his staff calculated that the boats needed to sink in excess of 800,000 tons a month to continue the stranglehold on the British war effort. With the weight of the American merchant marine at the disposal of the Allies, the task had become much harder. This said, the U-boats embarked on what could only be described as a 'feeding frenzy' off the American coastline during the first six months of 1942, as the Americans only instituted a convoy system in May.