Surrender of U Boats at the end of WII

Sabastapol
17th February 2011, 15:57
The Grey Wolves of Eriboll by David M Hird is an interesting and detailed account of those who chose to surrender their boats in Loch Eriboll its remoteness being well suited for the job.

pilot
18th February 2011, 20:18
Knew for many years an ex U.Boat engineer one of the lucky ones, onboard a U.Boat that surrended to the R.N. at the end of the war. He always claimed that many Germans were convinced that they would end up fighting alongside the Brits. and Americans against the Russians. Rgds.

cueball44
18th February 2011, 21:02
Why did they take them out and sink them?, did they remove all the useful equipment and non ferrous metals first?.:confused: 'cueball44'

stan mayes
18th February 2011, 21:19
A good question cueball44,
My step brother Harry served in the Royal Navy and he helped
in setting the charges in the surrenderd U boats which were taken
to sea and scuttled.
It seemed a stupid decision to me...so much valuable metal disposed of.
Prior to this he had helped to set charges in the old Dutch cruiser Sumatra
when she was sunk as a Gooseberry at Normandy..
Regards
Stan

eriskay
18th February 2011, 21:25
All they removed was the ordinance, on-board equipment went to the bottom too, which - when you think about it - was a shocking waste. The diesels installed in the U-boats were of the highest quality, efficiency and reliability and taking the numbers involved into consideration they could have lit up half the country as power generators.

The agreement between the three Allies (Russia, America, Britain) on the eventual disposition of the captured or surrendered U-boats was that they would be towed out to very deep water North-West of Malin Head and scuttled there or used as target practice. The principle was that they could not be readily salvaged and returned in service, bearing in mind that none of the Allies trusted their allies ! The last thing anyone wanted was another close-run thing such as had already happened during the War At Sea when an incredible destruction rate of vital Allied shipping was taking place daily and for the first three years it was the single biggest threat.

cueball44
18th February 2011, 21:52
Surely they could have dismantled them, there must have been stacks of stuff that could have been warehoused and used on other types of vessels, but there again if the allies wanted rid ''just to make sure'' then i suppose no one could do anything about it, what a waste. 'cueball44'

Boatman25
19th February 2011, 00:06
Surely they could have dismantled them, there must have been stacks of stuff that could have been warehoused and used on other types of vessels, but there again if the allies wanted rid ''just to make sure'' then i suppose no one could do anything about it, what a waste. 'cueball44'

Along with all the aircraft that were just dumped overboard from the aircraft carriers

eriskay
26th February 2011, 18:38
Surely they could have dismantled them, there must have been stacks of stuff that could have been warehoused and used on other types of vessels, but there again if the allies wanted rid ''just to make sure'' then i suppose no one could do anything about it, what a waste. 'cueball44'

No question - a terrible waste, particularly given the post-war shortages of everything from a needle to an anchor, rationing, etc. All that high-quality Krupp steel when a massive progamme of rebuilding was being implemented in every shipyard to make up the losses of the MN and RN over the six years. But bear in mind how long it took the 'Allies' to agree what to do with over a hundred U-boats, i.e. how to dispose of the spoils, the deep mistrust of the USSR, and I daresay vice-versa, and the only accord they could reach was permanent and irrevocable disposal.

chadburn
27th February 2011, 00:14
There was I understand an agreement about the disposal of U-Boat's mainly insisted upon by the Russian's (whether they actually stuck to the agreement with the U-Boat's they had is debatable) and there is no doubt German Steel and especially their Chrome was first class, however, we had enough scrap of our own to fill the Furnace's (BISCO scheme) to kickstart the economy back into gear. There was also an agreement that ex-military equipment would not flood the civilian market to enable the factories to start up production and keep people in employment, something's like aircraft radio's had no scrap value and were sold with the wording (to be used for spare's only) written on the receipt, this was not alway's stuck to by the purchaser who were usually Radio Hams. In so far as rationing this was because our food supplies were being diverted to feed Europe's population, bread was only on ration after the War for that very reason.

gordy
27th February 2011, 20:49
The diesels installed in the U-boats were of the highest quality, efficiency and reliability and taking the numbers involved into consideration they could have lit up half the country as power generators.

A neighbour who had Peugeot car told me the French were awarded the U boat generator engine designs as a War Prize giving them a great lead against other manufacturers. His car was an old petrol estate that he used for his decorators business and it had been 'round the clock' and was still running well, (1971). The engine had been a diesel design but used by Peugeot as a petrol job, so the bearings were very long lasting.

cueball44
27th February 2011, 21:01
There was I understand an agreement about the disposal of U-Boat's mainly insisted upon by the Russian's (whether they actually stuck to the agreement with the U-Boat's they had is debatable) and there is no doubt German Steel and especially their Chrome was first class, however, we had enough scrap of our own to fill the Furnace's (BISCO scheme) to kickstart the economy back into gear. There was also an agreement that ex-military equipment would not flood the civilian market to enable the factories to start up production and keep people in employment, something's like aircraft radio's had no scrap value and were sold with the wording (to be used for spare's only) written on the receipt, this was not alway's stuck to by the purchaser who were usually Radio Hams. In so far as rationing this was because our food supplies were being diverted to feed Europe's population, bread was only on ration after the War for that very reason.Surplus bulldozers which were used to repair airstrips, and other heavy plant machinery were sold on, i think a lot of stuff went to help the farmers. 'cueball44'

Hamish Mackintosh
28th February 2011, 01:58
Funny thing ,My first ttrip to sea was on a coaster, the "Blisworth" ,and my first four trips were running Keil to Goole with scrap iron(Metal) from the sub pens in Keil

chadburn
28th February 2011, 12:57
You are right Cueball come to think about it in regard's to Bulldozer's and Scraper's etc as they were needed urgently to clear all the bomb damage away in order for the re-construction to begin.
Hamish my Father when he left the Army in 1946 shipped load's of scrap over from France and North Africa when he started his scrap business up, he only paid for the shipping as the scrap itself was FREE!!

trotterdotpom
28th February 2011, 22:37
I believe a lot of the U Boots were scuttled in Doenitz's Operation Regenbogen just before the end of the war. Maybe some of the punters reckoned it was too late to worry about such a pointless exercise.

John T.

Tony D
28th February 2011, 23:24
My Old Uncle Hugh was called up to the RAF at the end of the War just weeks before the surrender, he spent the next few years going round Air Fields making bonfires of as he described it, perfectly good furniture,and others were setting fire to perfectly good new light aircraft,apparently this really ticked off many discharged wartime Pilots who had ideas of continuing to fly by opening flying schools courier services and such post war by buying up these aircraft,
I think the Government thinking behind this apparent wasteful vandalism was that industry needed to start up again and flooding the market with second hand exe military furniture and other goods three, piece suits chairs tables wardrobes beds ect would be counter productive.
Seems strange when for many years after the war furniture was very short on the ground even if you had the money to pay for it.
I suppose there was method in their madness.

trotterdotpom
28th February 2011, 23:30
"I think the Government thinking behind this apparent wasteful vandalism was that industry needed to start up again and flooding the market with second hand exe military furniture,three piece suits chairs tables wardrobes beds ect would be counter productive.
Seems strange when it after the war furniture was very short on the ground even if you had the money to pay for it."

After WW2 a similar exercise was conducted in Australia, Tony. They say Moreton Bay near Brisbane, is littered with aircraft, tanks, trucks and all sorts of gear, and I have heard the same argument in favour of the destruction used.

Still seems like a huge waste though.

John T.

chadburn
1st March 2011, 16:23
That was the idea (getting industry back on a work footing to provide job's for ex-Serviceman) behind the non-selling of Forces equipment even furniture. A lot of various RAF domestic equipment including bike's was sent from the mainly Canadian Bases in N. Yorkshire to an Airfield called Marston Moor Nr York where it was placed in large Hanger's for eventual disposal, one of these Hanger's had a large number of clock's in it all under the charge of a German P.O.W. who before he was shipped home made it his business to wind every one of them up and set the chimes/bell's to sound 5 minute's after each other. When I think about the type's of equipment my Father scrapped and what it is worth now!!
The same thing is happening now Base's are shutting down both here and in Germany and as most of the Military equipment was designed for a War in Europe it is being scrapped or sold "as cheap as chip's" to surplus dealer's. In the 50s/60s use to live at a place called Scorton and outside of the village there was a large Tank Depot it did not house Tank's but Army Furniture, nothing seemed to happen there and we called it "sleeply hollow" it was like something out of a Carry On Film and I am sure there was a character like Kenneth William's in charge (nothing without the correct chitty), meanwhile equipment was being smuggled out the back door at an alarming rate by other's till it all hit the fan and it quickly shut-down, sold for peanut's, now it's a venue for car boot sale's

Hugh Ferguson
1st March 2011, 18:07
The photo is of Werner Muller who had been the 2nd watch keeping officer aboard U.190 when they surrendered to the R.C.N. off of Newfoundland in May 1945.
I first met Werner when I returned from my last wartime voyage in Dec.1945.
He and many others were detained in a camp not far from my home in Newport, Mon.. They were free to walk around and that was how coincidental meetings occurred, say, walking in the surrounding country roads.
One of the crew of U.190 wrote a fascinating book about those times and, for anyone interested, I am sure they would much enjoy reading the story.
Title:- Another Place, Another Time: A U.boat officer's wartime album.
Author is Werner Hirschmann; Chatham Publishing, ISBN 1-896941-38-9.

(Werner became a friend and we still exchange correspondence after all those years.)

PJG1412
7th March 2011, 17:30
I remember around about 1950 perhaps later my Uncle buying Motor Topedo Boats and bring them up the Kingsbridge Estuary in Devon and setting light to them, and then days later retrieving the metals. They must have burned at least 3 or 4 over a course of months. What would price would they make today ?
Pete

drwhoman
21st April 2011, 02:34
I am not sure if Famous Army Stores still exist in UK having lived in Oz for close to 30yrs but I do know that the family who started that business made a killing from postwar surplus gear. They subsequently diversified into other things including Skyways that used to fly out of Liverpool in the 60s. DC3s and DC4s if I remember correctly. Being in the right place at the right time is always a big help!!

chadburn
22nd April 2011, 00:48
I am not sure if Famous Army Stores still exist in UK having lived in Oz for close to 30yrs but I do know that the family who started that business made a killing from postwar surplus gear. They subsequently diversified into other things including Skyways that used to fly out of Liverpool in the 60s. DC3s and DC4s if I remember correctly. Being in the right place at the right time is always a big help!!

Would this be "Silverman's"? if so, they are still going strong. Over the year's whilst at sea I bought a fair amount of new but surplus all Cotton ex RN No8's which were far better than white overall's.

spongebob
22nd April 2011, 07:32
These stories of war surplus goods reminds me of a yarn told by a friend who was just old enough to serve in the RNZAF at the end of the war.
He worked as a load master on a DC3 that was dedicated to flying essential equipment back from various Pacific Island bases to their NZ base which was, at the time, the Waipapakauri Air base in the far North.
During free time up in the islands they were amazed to find caches of equipment abandoned by the US Forces and one particular item, hundreds of new tyres to fit Jeeps whet their appetite especially when NZ motorists were so hungry for replacements.
They made arrangements with a friendly farmer to do an airdrop on his relatively isolated farm and next trip saw the Dakota's spare load space laden with the booty.
The drop was made as planned but the results were disastrous as the tyres bounced and bounced and did a few miles before coming to rest at all but the intended spot,
There were some winners, some complaints and a lot of bother for the aircrew from the base commander.

Bob

alex page
25th April 2011, 00:42
After the war my dad required a van for bread delivery. At a ex goverment sale he ended up buying 10 morris 8 vans .The smallest lots were 10 so he had to find 9 other people who wanted a van . I think he paid less than 100 pounds for the lot.
Alex