COPY No.
     
 
This book is invariably to be kept locked up when not in use and is not to be taken outside the ship or establishment for which it it issued without the express permission of the Commanding Officer
 
     
     
     
 
C.B.  4051 (17)
 
   
     
 
 
 
German E-Boat "S 38"
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interrogation of Survivors
 
 
 
     
     
     
     
 
 
     
 
February, 1941
 
 
 
 
 
     
     
     
 
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

 
 

   
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
   
     
     
     
     
 
SECRET
 
     
          This book is the property of His Majesty's Government.  
     
          It is intended for the use of the Officers generally, and may in certain cases be communicated to persons in His Majesty's Service below the rank of Commissioned Officer who may require to be acquainted with its contents in the course of their duties.    The Officers exercising this power will be held responsible that such information is imparted with due caution and reserve.  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

     
     
 
CONFIDENTIAL
 
   
 
Attention is called to the penalties attaching to any infraction of the
 
Official Secrets Acts.
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
C.B.  4051 (17)
 
     
     
 
 
 
German E-Boat "S 38"
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interrogation of Survivors
 
 
 
     
     
     
     
 
 
     
 
February, 1941
 
 
 
 
 
     
     
     
 
     
     
     
     
  NAVAL INTELLIGENCE DIVISION,  
                 ADMIRALTY.  
     
     
     

 

     
     
 
   
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
          The following report is compiled from information derived from prisoners of war.  The statements made cannot always be verified; they should therefore not be accepted as facts unless they are definitely stated to be confirmed by information from other sources.  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

     
     
 
3
 
     
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
_______
 
 
 
         
Page
I.
  Introductory Remarks  
5
II.
  Crew of "S 38"  
5
III.
 
Previous History of "S 38"
 
6
IV.
  First and last War Undertaking and Sinking of "S 38"  
6
V.
  Details of "S 38"  
7
 
(i)
  Displacement and Dimensions  
7
   
(ii)
  Hull  
8
   
(iii)
  Fuel Tanks  
8
   
(iv)
  Machinery and Speed  
8
   
(v)
  Endurance  
8
   
(vi)
  Guns  
8
   
(vii)
  Torpedoes  
8
   
(viii)
  Depth Charges  
9
   
(ix)
  Mines  
9
   
(x)
  Minesweeping gear  
9
   
(xi)
  Listening Apparatus  
9
   
(xii)
  W/T and V/S  
9
   
(xiii)
  Recognition Signals  
9
   
(xiv)
  D/F  
9
   
(xv)
  R.D/F  
10
   
(xvi)
  Searchlight  
10
   
(xvii)
  Smoke-making Apparatus  
10
   
(xviii)
  Scuttling Charges  
10
VI.
 
Other E-Boats
 
10
   
(i)
  "S 1" to "S 6"  
10
   
(ii)
  "S 7" to "S 17"  
10
   
(iii)
  "S 18"  
10
   
(iv)
  "S 19"  
10
   
(v)
  "S 20"  
11
   
(vi)
  "S 21"  
11
   
(vii)
  "S 22"  
12
   
(viii)
  "S 23"  
12
   
(ix)
  "S 24"  
13
   
(x)
  "S 25"  
14
   
(xi)
  "S 26"  
14
   
(xii)
  "S 27"  
15
   
(xiii)
  "S 28"  
15
   
(xiv)
  "S 29"  
15
   
(xv)
  "S 30"  
15
   
(xvi)
  "S 31"  
16
   
(xvii)
  "S 32" and "S 33"  
16
   
(xviii)
  "S 34"  
16
   
(xix)
  "S 35" and "S 36"  
16
   
(xx)
  "S 37"  
16
   
(xxi)
  "S 39"  
16
   
(xxii)
  "S 40" to "S 50"  
16
   
(xxiii)
  "S 51" to "S 60"  
17
   
(xxiv)
  "S 63"  
17
   
(xxv)
  "S 66"  
17
   
(xxvi)
  General Remarks  
17
VII.
  E-Boat Construction  
17
VIII.
  E-Boat Losses  
18
 
     
  (C40464)                                                                                                                              B2  
     
     

 

     
     
 
4
 
 
 
 
         
Page
IX.
  Bases  
18
 
(i)
  General Remarks  
18
   
(ii)
  Kiel  
18
   
(iii)
  Wilhelmshaven  
18
   
(iv)
  Bergen, Kristiansand and Stavanger  
18
   
(v)
  Cherbourg  
19
   
(vi)
  Boulogne  
19
   
(vii)
  Rotterdam  
19
   
(viii)
  Ostend  
19
X.
 
Depot Ships
 
19
   
(i)
  "Lüderitz"  
19
   
(ii)
  "Tsingtau"  
19
   
(iii)
  "Karl Peters"  
19
XI.
  Duties and Tactics  
20
XII.
  E-Boat Organisation  
20
       
    Appendix I  
22
    Translation of German Press account of the loss of "S 38"  
       
    Appendix II  
23
    Translation of an extract from an article in the "Völkischer Beobachter" of 1st January, 1941, signed by Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Freiherr von Mirbach on sinking of a French destroyer off Dunkirk.  
       
    Appendix III  
24
    Crew of E-Boat "S 38"  
         
 
     
     

 

 
 
 
5
 
 
 
 
INTERROGATION  OF SURVIVORS  OF "S 38" SUNK AT ABOUT 0225
 
        ON 20th NOVEMBER, 1940, IN POSITION APPROXIMATELY
 
          12 MILES E. OF SOUTHWOLD.  
_________
 
 
 
I.  INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
 
     
          During the action in which "S 38" was sunk at 0225 on Wednesday, 20th November, 1940, five men of the crew of 23 lost their lives, while all three officers and seven other men were seriously wounded.  Thus only eight men were available for immediate interrogation.  
          It was therefore thought advisable to delay the completion of this report until the more important prisoners had recovered sufficiently to be questioned.  
          "S 38" is the first E-Boat from which survivors have been captured.  
          Owing to the fact that both executive officers are likely to be repatriated under the terms of the Geneva Convention, it has not been considered advisable to subject them to a rigorous interrogation.  
     
 
II.  CREW OF "S 38"
 
     
          "S 38" carried three officers, seven Petty Officers and 13 ratings.  
          The officers were the Captain, the Flotilla doctor, and a Sub-Lieutenant under instruction as a prospective E-Boat Captain.  
          The Captain, Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Hans Detlefsen, joined the Navy in 1935, and in 1937 served in the cruiser "Köln as part of the usual training.  He was promoted Sub-Lieutenant (Leutnant zur See) on 1st April 1938, and was given command of an E-Boat of the 1st E-Boat Flotilla.  
          On 1st October, 1939, he was promoted Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See).  
          In November, 1939, Detlefsen was temporarily in command of "S 25."  
          It was stated that this officer commanded "S 24" during the Norwegian Operations, and he himself claimed to have sunk a destroyer off Dunkirk at the time of the British evacuation; he also claimed to have been present with his E-Boat when Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Freiherr von Mirbach sank another destroyer, probably a French ship.  
          Early in September, 1940, Detlefsen was placed temporarily in command of "S 28" and took this E-Boat from Kiel to Ostend and Boulogne, and thence to Cherbourg, where he was transferred to "S 21," then undergoing a refit; but it was considered necessary to send "S 21" back to Kiel for a more thorough overhaul than could be carried out at Cherbourg.  
          He was then appointed to the command of "S 38" in October, 1940.  
          Detlefsen made a better impression than most German naval officers captured during recent months and seemed well educated and polite, although a fairly staunch Nazi; the usual unquestioning faith in Hitler was noticeable and Detlefsen is not worrying about the prospects of being a prisoner of war, because he is convinced that this will only be a very temporary state; he bases this conviction on the Führer's statement that the war will be over and won by the Germans this year.  
          Detlefsen is married, has been in England before on short visits, and speaks some English.  He expressed appreciation for his treatment in England and his most sincere gratitude for the medical skill, patience, and care which has been expended on him.  He was very seriously wounded, and the surgeons stated that his recovery was a triumph for them as well as a tribute to Detlefsen's constitution.  
          The officer under instruction as a prospective E-Boat captain was Sub-Lieutenant (Leutnant zur See) Georg-Robert Ratsch.  
          He entered the Navy in April, 1937, and in 1939 served in the pocket battleship "Admiral Graf Spee" at the Battle of the River Plate.  He was subsequently interned in Montevideo but escaped and returned to Germany.  He then trained for E-Boats and was under instruction when captured.  During the action in which "S 38" was sunk Ratsch was very seriously wounded.  
     
  (C40464)                                                                                                                     C  
     
     

 

     
     
 
6
     
          He speaks both French and English quite well, is intelligent and also expressed his gratitude for the medical skill and care that had been expended on him.  
          The third officer captured was the Flotilla doctor, who was not interrogated.  He sustained burns but no serious injury in the action.  He was reported to be an ardent and rather aggressive Nazi.  
          Two of the Petty Officers, of whom "S 38" carried a total of seven, were killed and two were wounded.  
          These men were well trained and experienced, well-disciplined and of a good reliable type.  Although professed Nazi they gave the impression of being good Germans and good sailors, and of being Nazis as a result of misplaced loyalty.  
          Two of the thirteen ratings were killed and five wounded.  Most of the survivors were fairly well trained and experienced, but a few of them were comparatively ill-trained and had only recently been to sea for the first time.  
          The engine-room complement consisted of the Chief Mechanician 1st Class, the Mechanician 1st Class, three Mechanician's, 2nd Class and six stokers.  
          Most men seemed quite satisfied with the conditions of their service, and their morale was good.  There was only slight criticism of their officers, and not much interest in politics was shown.  
          N.I.D. NOTE.  With reference to the escape of members of the crew of the "Admiral Graf Spee" from interest in Montevideo, an intercepted letter from Germany to a Prisoner of War in England stated that:  
                  "Some are said to have attempted to imitate Schauenburg and Ratsch, but in vain.  How terrible isn't it."  
     
 
III.  PREVIOUS HISTORY OF "S 38"
 
     
          "S 38" was built at the Lürssen Yards, Vegesack; she was one of a series of E-Boats laid down during 1937/38, "S 32" - "S 45," and was only commissioned about the middle of October, 1940.  She was allocated to the 1st S-Flotilla, based on Kiel, and was regarded as a replacement for "S 19," which had struck a mine on 28th August, 1940, and had been towed to Calais.  
          According to prisoners, "S 38," although belonging to the 1st Flotilla, was "lent" to the 3rd Flotilla.  
          "S 38" left Kiel unaccompanied at about 1330 on Saturday, 9th November, 1940, and passed through the Kiel Canal for Borkum.  There she spent the second night of her journey.  Thence she was towed through the North Sea Canal, via Delfzijl and Groningen, into the Zuyder Zee and then to Amsterdam and through more canals to Rotterdam, arriving on Thursday, 14th November, 1940.  Prisoners said that "S 38" could not proceed at less than nine knots even when using only one engine, and that even this speed would cause too much wash; hence the necessity for being towed while in the canals.   
          At Rotterdam "S 38" carried out no patrols until Tuesday, 19th November, 1940.  
     
 
IV.  FIRST AND LAST WAR UNDERTAKING AND SINKING OF "S 38"
 
     
          The surgeon and the Chief Quartermaster joined "S 38" shortly before she left Rotterdam on her first and last war undertaking against the British.  
          It was stated that the two other E-Boats, namely "S 37" and "S 54," left with "S 38" at about 1700 on Tuesday, 19th November, 1940, and proceeded in company until about 2000 when they separated.  
          "S 37" was considered by prisoners to have been the senior E-Boat on this occasion.  
          There is evidence from other sources, however, that "S 34," "S 56" and "S 66" may have been operating in the Channel on the night in question and "S 66" may have been in communication with "S 38."  At a later stage of the undertaking "S 38" and one other E-Boat were said to have remained in contact.  
          "S 38" carried two torpedoes in her tubes and two spares, but no mines.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
7
     
          Prisoners persisted in expressing complete ignorance of any special orders, and stated that their task was to have been the usual patrol with the intention of attacking any merchantmen they might meet.  
          It was claimed that "S 38" reached her patrolling area at 2130.  The moon shone brightly, but there were strips of mist.  
          At 0158 B.S.T. on Wednesday, 20th November, 1940, H.M.S. "Campbell" and H.M.S. "Garth" sighted "S 38" at a distance of two miles in position three miles north of 54 E Buoy (approximately 12 miles east of Southwold).  
         Prisoners stated that the first indication of the presence of the British was the sight of a destroyer to starboard of "S 38."  The destroyer, indistinctly seen beyond bands of mist, seemed fairly far away, but it was quickly realised that she was actually much closer, only about 400 metres distant and was steaming straight towards them.  
          It was stated by the E-Boat's Telegraphist that a message was passed on R/T to the other E-Boat warning her of the presence of the British destroyer.  
          The Commanding Officer of "S 38" ordered his ship to be turned towards the destroyer and the starboard torpedo (No. 1 tube) to be fired, but the man at the torpedo tube was not ready and part of the safety gear was damaged; this prevented the firing of the torpedo.  "S 38" then turned to port to make off according to the tactics laid down for E-Boats after attempting or making an attack.  
          Prisoners stated that a torpedo was then fired as the E-Boat turned further to port.  There were conflicting statements as to whether this was the port or the starboard tube.  But no aim had been possible and there was no chance of the torpedo hitting the destroyer.  The Germans then saw on their port side the second destroyer, of whose presence they had been unaware.  
          Prisoners maintain that up to that moment the British had not sighted "S 38."  
          "Campbell" and "Garth" were in single line ahead.  On sighting the E-Boat "Campbell" quickly opened fire with close range weapons.  "S 38" was hit on the port side; the first salvoes wrecked the steering-gear, lighting system and engine-room telegraph, and a shell hit the fuel tank.  The bow of the boat and also the starboard torpedo tube were damaged.  
          Prisoners stated that their vessel was hit on the port side seven or eight times.   
          "S 38" attempted to escape, tried to lay a smoke screen but, owing to the damaged steering-gear, could only go round in a curve.  
          One engine was put out of action and a fire started in the fuel tank.  Some men jumped overboard immediately the fire broke out.  
          A seaman ran aft with the intention of dropping depth charges in the course of the pursuing destroyer, but a burst of machine-gun fire from the British discouraged this attempt.  The Germans threw themselves flat on the deck, taking what cover they could behind their two spare torpedoes.  According to the prisoners, H.M.S. "Campbell" passed immediately ahead of "S 38's" bow and continued to fire at a range of only 20 metres.  
          The Germans did not attempt to use their machine-gun.  
          The E-Boat was caught in the destroyer's searchlight, and the German Commanding Officer ordered the German war flag to be hauled down.  An effort was made to move the wounded aft, as the boat was sinking by the bow.  
          At 0225 "S 38," on fire and badly damaged, sank; prisoners maintain that she did not capsize, as claimed by the British.  
          The destroyers picked up 18 survivors, including the three officers.  
          Five men of the crew lost their lives.  
          All three officers and seven other members of the crew were injured; the remaining eight men were unwounded.  
     
 
V.  DETAILS OF "S 38"
 
     
  (i)  Displacement and Dimensions  
          The standard displacement of the series of E-Boats "S 32" to S 45" is thought to be 86 tons; the overall length is 106 ft. 0 in., and the beam was stated to be approximately 15 ft.  The draught was said to be about 5 ft.  
     
  (C40464)                                                                                                                         C2  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
8
     
  (ii)  Hull  
          The hull was described as consisting of 3-ply wood with steel ribs and steel upright supports forward; some light metal plating was said to be placed on the raised bow.  It was suggested that this was not very effective but might keep out a machine-gun bullet at long range.  The wood used was said to be a special kind of mahogany.  
          According to one prisoner E-Boats have double hulls, the inner hull having a much sharper curve than the outer.  
          "S 38" in contrast to earlier E-Boats, had a more pronounced protective superstructure in front of the bridge for the better protection of the Commanding Officer.  
          The hull is divided into nine watertight compartments.  The foremost compartment is empty and is intended merely as a collision head.  Then comes the Petty Officers' quarters; the fresh water tanks are here.  The next compartment contains the Captain's quarters, the W/T space, fuel tanks, storage space, and a table.  The following four compartments are given over to the engines, the aftermost of these also housing more fuel tanks.  Further aft are the crew's quarters.  
     
  (iii)  Fuel Tanks  
          Tanks were stated to be constructed of some rubber compound and to be self sealing; it was claimed that a machine-gun bullet could go in one side and out at the other side of a fuel tank without a drop of fuel being lost.  
     
  (iv)  Machinery and Speed  
          "S 38's" engines were said to be Daimler-Benz, manufactured by the Stuttgart Motor Works.  It was stated that the engines had 16 cylinders in two rows, and that there were three shafts and three propellers.  
          Her cruising speed was given at 1,000 to 1,100 revolutions, maximum cruising speed being 1,250 revolutions, and utmost speed being 1,500 revolutions, giving 36 to 37 knots.  
          An engine-room rating claimed that "S 38" had made 1,600 revolutions, but this statement was denied by the Chief Mechanician, who added that the indicator was purposely set to show revolutions in excess of actuality; the latter also remarked that an utmost speed of 41 knots alleged by a rating was an exaggeration.  
     
  (v)  Endurance  
          The "S 38's" endurance was given as 800 miles, or 36 hours with full tanks, indicating a speed of 22 knots.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  Previous information gave the endurance figure as 600 miles at 22 knots, this figure was from the maker's specification supplied to a foreign power.)  
     
  (vi)  Guns  
          Prisoners stated that "S 38" carried one 20 mm. gun mounted abaft the bridge, and three C.30 machine-guns which were not usually kept mounted, but for which there were mountings, one being forward, and one on each side abaft the mast.  
          There were said to have been on board four boxes of ammunition for the 20 mm. gun.  The cartridges were described as being 25 cms. long, painted black.  Some earlier E-Boats were stated to have only one machine-gun which could be mounted forward.  
     
  (vii)  Torpedoes  
          Confirmation was obtained that "S 38" had two torpedo tubes, and carried two torpedoes loaded in these tubes and also two spare torpedoes lashed on deck and heavily greased.  These were stated to be 51 cm. air torpedoes.  
          Torpedoes were usually fired, on orders from the Commanding Officer, by the man at the torpedo tube striking a steel knob, but could be fired electrically from the bridge.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
9
     
          Prisoners said that an air discharge was used by day and a cordite discharge by night.  
          "S 37" differed from earlier E-Boats in the fact that her torpedo tubes were covered in.  
     
  (viii)  Depth Charges  
          Prisoners stated that two depth charge dropping gear were fitted in "S 38," one on each side right aft.  
          Each of these contained three depth charges; the weight of each depth charge was given as about four Zentners (441 lbs.)  
     
  (ix)  Mines  
          It was denied that "S 38" had any mines on board, but prisoners admitted that E-Boats could carry and lay four large mines of six to eight smaller mines.  
     
  (x)  Mine-sweeping Gear  
          It was unanimously denied that "S 38" carried mine-sweeping gear.  
     
  (xi)  Listening Apparatus  
          According to prisoners no listening apparatus was carried.  
     
  (xii)  W/T and V/S  
          It was stated that, according to the usual German practice, "S 38" remained in visual touch with other E-Boats during daylight, but at night used V H/F to inter-communicate on R/T.  
          This was used sparingly, not more than once every quarter of an hour and then only for a minute at a time.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  This statement is not believed, as it is known that E-Boats often intercommunicate almost continuously.)  
          Prisoners added that E-Boats remained in W/T touch with shore stations on M/F and H/F.  Messages were coded and each boat had an enigma machine.  
          The W/T aerial was described as being horizontal.  
          Two telegraphists were carried and, when at sea, the Senior Telegraphist kept continuous watch on the W/T set, while the junior kept watch on the R/T set.  
          According to prisoners' statements "S 38" carried a "Telefunken Transceiver" with an H/F M/F range and a V H/F R/T transceiver with a range not exceeding 20 km.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  It is thought that the range exceeds 20 km.)  
          It was stated that E-Boat Morse names (i.e. V/S call signs) consisted of three letters, the first being S (presumably standing for "Schnellboot" i.e. E-Boat), the second being A or B and the third letter denotes the actual E-Boat.  
          The pendant numbers known to be used are, however, three figure groups beginning with 8 followed by the identity number of the E-boat.  
          The junior telegraphist emphatically stated that there had been no change of call signs in the 1st E-Boat Flotilla since he had been in the Flotilla (i.e. since January, 1940).  
     
  (xiii)  Recognition Signals  
          It was stated that no shapes were worn on the mast.  "S 38" carried pistols for the firing of recognition signals; cartridges used were said to be all of the same size.  It was maintained that, on entering harbour in daylight, E-Boats made no recognition signals, as usually their arrival was expected or had been announced by W/T, but at night they fired two or three white Very lights.  
          If German aircraft approached off the coast of France, E-Boats fired sometimes two, sometimes three white Very lights as a recognition signal.  It was stated that E-Boats have never used green or amber Very lights in this way.  Prisoners had seen red Very lights used by a vessel in difficulties and assumed that these were only used as a distress signal.  
     
  (xiv)  D/F  
          It was repeatedly denied that "S 38" carried D/F apparatus.  
     
  (C40464)                                                                                                                       C3  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
10
     
  (xv)  R.D/F  
          No R.D/F appears to have been fitted in "S 38" and prisoners claim never to have heard of it.  
     
  (xvi)  Searchlight  
          A searchlight was carried in "S 38."  
     
  (xvii)  Smoke-making Apparatus  
          The smoke-making apparatus was said to be operated either from the bridge or from the stern.  Prisoners did not know what chemical was used.  
     
  (xviii)  Scuttling Charges  
          A statement, which should be treated with reserve, was made to the effect that scuttling charges were placed in readiness in "S 38" near the kiel, and would be fired by means of a Bickford cord.  
     
 
VI.  OTHER E-BOATS
 
     
  (i)  "S1" to "S 6"  
          A Petty Officer stated that he had served in "S 3" in October, 1934, and that there were at that time only ten E-Boats in commission, namely "S 1" to "S 10."  
          Prisoners considered that "S 1" to "S 6" had been withdrawn from service as being worn out and obsolete; one man had heard a rumour to the effect that "S 1" had been sold to Bulgaria and was now on the Danube.  She was much smaller than the new E-Boats.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  This rumour may refer to an earlier "S 1"; it is known that "S 1" to "S 6" were transferred to Spain during the Spanish Civil War.)  
     
  (ii)  "S 7" to "S 17"  
          Another prisoner asserted that "S 7" to "S 17" were now regarded as "Reserve" boats; "S 9" was still in general use during the war against Poland, but saw no active service.  
          It is known from other sources that "S 10," "S 12," "S 13," "S 14," "S 16" and probably "S 9" were used during the Norwegian Operations in April and May.  
     
  (iii)  "S 18"  
          "S 18" is known from other sources to have been mine-laying about 11 miles off Portland on 19th/20th August, 1940.  She was said to be commanded by Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Christiansen.  
     
  (iv)  "S 19"  
 
        Prisoners who had formerly served in "S 19" said that she was in action off the Polish coast in September, 1939, under the command of Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Kurt Fimmen.
 
          "S 19" left Kiel on 3rd April, 1940, for the North Sea; she proceeded to Norway and arrived at Bergen on 8th and 9th April, 1940.  But shortly before her arrival "S 19" ran into the stern of another E-Boat.  The damage was repaired by the crew at Bergen.  
          It was stated that during April a British submarine damaged a ship in a fjord North of Bergen and "S 19" was sent to lie in wait for the submarine, which returned and renewed the attack on the damaged ship.  But "S 19" was unsuccessful in her task of intercepting the submarine.  
          It was also stated that the whole of the 1st E-Flotilla was at Bergen during most of April and May, 1940, "S 22" and "S 24" being specifically mentioned.  
          The crew of "S 19" saw the cruiser "Köln" leave Bergen on about 10th April, 1940, and stated that she was escorted by two torpedoboats.  
          Prisoners also mentioned the sinking of the cruiser "Königsberg" in Bergen harbour on 11th April, 1940.  
     
     

 

     
     
 
11
     
          During April and May some mine-laying trips were made to Fjords in the area, and the E-Boats visited Stavanger in twos and threes.  
          Prisoners said they thought that, although during the Norwegian Operations E-Boats sometimes put into Stavanger, they were not based there, but that there were some E-Boats based on Kristiansand.  
          It was stated that all the E-Boats left Bergen towards the end of May, 1940, and that, apart from a few barges and some merchant vessels, only a small Norwegian torpedoboat remained there, which the Germans used for patrolling the neighbouring fjords.  
          Fimmen was succeeded by Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Töniges, and "S 19" then spent a quiet June at Kiel.  
          At some date in July, 1940, "S 19" left Kiel for Boulogne and completed her journey without a stop in about 20 hours.  While at Boulogne the crew were housed in a hotel in a neighbouring village.  
          During part of July and August, 1940, "S 19" was also based on Cherbourg, and then the crew lived at the Hotel de la Plage, Querquerville.  She was stated to have operated in the Channel during July and August, 1940, other E-Boats concerned being "S 18," "S 20," "S 21" and "S 26."  Prisoners alluded to an undertaking of the 2nd E-Boat Flotilla during this period, on which several men lost their lives.  But none of the prisoners knew details.  
          It was denied that "S 19" had laid mines during this period, and prisoners maintained that they had not done any mine-laying since the Norwegian Operations.  
          Prisoners claimed that during this period "S 19" sank two steamers, both at night, one being a 6,000 ton ship and the other a 10,000-ton ship; both of these ships were described as having been in convoy.  It was added that "S 19" had never had the support of a German destroyer.  
          Prisoners claim that on several occasions "S 19" was attacked by aircraft and had also been attacked by destroyers, but that she had not sustained any damage.  But on the 28th August, 1940, "S 19" was said to have struck a mine in the Channel and was towed, severely damaged, into Calais by "S 22."  
          After an interval of two days the crew were sent to Kiel by train.  
          "S 19" was patched up at Boulogne, and then towed by a tug through canals to Emden and then to Kiel; a prisoner, who remained on board, said that the journey from Calais to Kiel took seven days.  
          It was stated that the E-Boat was badly damaged aft and was probably still undergoing repairs, unless it had been decided that she was beyond repair.  
     
  (v)  "S 20"  
          On 22nd August, 1940, Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Freiherr Götz von Mirbach, stated by prisoners to be in command of "S 20," was awarded the Knight Insignia of the Iron Cross, and the German High Command claimed that this officer had set an enemy merchant ship alight by gunfire, and had sunk a destroyer and three large armed merchant ships.  
          Appendix two of this report gives a translation from the German Press describing the alleged sinking of a French destroyer.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  This may refer to the French "Sirocco," believed to have been sunk off Dunkirk.)  
          From other sources it is known that "S 20" was operating in the Channel during July and August, 1940, and again on 4th September, 1940.  
     
  (vi)  "S 21"  
          A prisoner claimed to have assisted in June, 1940, in a refit of "S 21" of three weeks duration, after she had returned from patrolling in the North Sea.  
          She was said then to have resumed her North Sea patrols.  Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Klug was stated to be in command.  
          It is known from other sources, however, and confirmed by prisoners, that "S 21" was operating in the Channel in June, July and August, 1940.  
     
  (C40464)                                                                                                                         C4  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
12
     
          Another prisoner said that he joined "S 21" at Cherbourg about the 15th September, 1940; while at Cherbourg this E-Boat underwent a further extensive refit, the Commanding Officer being temporarily Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Hans Detlefsen.  
          But a more thorough overhaul was required than could be undertaken at Cherbourg, and "S 21" was therefore sent back to Kiel; the hull apparently required considerable attention.  Some prisoners regard this E-Boat as being beyond repair.  
     
  (vii)  "S 22"  
          According to prisoners "S 22" was formerly commanded by Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Kurt Fimmen.  But several months before the war Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Georg Grund was appointed to the command of "S 22" and carried out in March, 1939, a series of visits to North Sea and Baltic seaside resorts.  
          She was at Pillau during the Polish war, but saw no service.  
          In November, 1939, "S 22" returned to Kiel, where she is described as having remained inactive until April, 1940, owing to bad and cold weather.  
          In April, 1940, still under command of Grund, "S 22" went to Bergen, in company with "S 19" and "S 24," taking 20 hours for the journey, which prisoners considered a very long time for an E-Boat to be at sea.  According to a prisoner she transported 20 to 30 soldiers, in addition to her own crew.  She is said to have had her propellers damaged by a rock shortly before arriving at Bergen.  It was added that on arrival she was attacked by shore batteries and three soldiers were wounded, but that she could not return the fire because her gun would not function.  
          Two weeks were required to repair the damaged propellers, and "S 22" was described as having spent two more weeks patrolling in the Hardanger and Sogne Fiords.  
          In May, 1940, "S 22" proceeded from Bergen to Stavanger and thence, after escorting a convoy of ten fast motor ships in company with "S 23" and "S 24," she went to Cuxhaven and on to Wilhelmshaven where she was said to have spent three weeks in the naval dockyard undergoing repairs to her engines and exhaust.  
          After completion of repairs "S 22" carried out two short trips into the Channel, leaving at 2300 and returning at dawn.  It was stated that she was in company with two other E-Boats and remained more or less in touch, but carried no mines, and neither attacked nor was she attacked by enemy ships.  
          "S 22" is also known to have operated from Channel bases during June, July, and August, 1940.  
          "S 22" towed "S 19" into Calais when the latter struck a mine in the Channel on 28th August, 1940.  She was said to have gone to Cherbourg about the end of August.  The crew, as in the case of "S 19" lived at Querqueville.  
          It was stated that "S 22" remained based on Cherbourg for four to five weeks.  
          She was described as operating almost only at night and usually in company with "S 24"; but she sometimes was sent to rescue airmen who were believed to have come down in the Channel.  
          From Cherbourg "S 22" is said to have gone to Kiel at about the end of October to refit.  
          It was stated that Grund is still in command of this E-Boat.  
     
  (viii)  "S 23"  
          As no prisoners have ever served in "S 23," they had only scanty information about this E-Boat.  She took part in the Norwegian Operations and formed part of the escort, together with "S 22" and "S 24," of a fast convoy of banana motor ships from Stavanger at a date about the third week of May, 1940.  
          There is no reason to suspect that "S 23" was working in conjunction with "S 20" off Dunkirk at the time of the alleged sinking of a French destroyer during the evacuation.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
13
     
          From other sources she is known to have been mine-laying in the Channel in June, July and early in September, 1940.  Prisoners stated that she struck a mine in the Channel towards the end of the summer and sank, but that the entire complement was rescued.  The Captain was said to have been Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Georg Christiansen.  
     
  (ix)  "S 24"  
          It was stated that in March, 1940, "S 24" was commanded by Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Detlefsen.  In April she proceeded to Bergen.  As soon as she arrived in Norway, on 14th April, 1940, "S 24" attempted to attack a Norwegian mine-layer, but was unable to approach this ship, which hid in Korsfiord.  
          While at Bergen "S 24" transported men from the cruiser "Königsberg," the "Karl Peters" and from various patrol vessels.  She did reconnaissance work and, together with another E-Boat, probably "S 22," carried out the searching of Norwegian villages; on these occasions she carried eight to ten soldiers, who searched the villages for prisoners.  
          "S 24" was in Norway for six weeks and, although she was not hit during air raids, one or two members of her crew were injured and spent some weeks in hospital.  
          During a part of the stay in Norway "S 24" was the Flotilla Leader and had on board the Officer in Command of the Flotilla, Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant) Birnbacher, and the Adjutant of the Flotilla, a Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See).  
          "S 24" went to Stavanger on 12th May, 1940, with a convoy of seven steamers; they were prevented from proceeding further by the presence of hostile warships in the area.  Later "S 22" and "S 23" also arrived; the German authorities intended the E-Boats to escort a slow convoy of 28 ships, but this was not done.  Instead, the E-Boats escorted a convoy of 10 fast banana motor ships and thus returned to Germany about the third week of May, 1940.  
          While "S 24" was in the Kiel Canal near Rendsburg British aircraft laid mines in the canal and flew right over "S 24."  But the crew had not the required permission to fire on the aircraft which, they claimed, they could have riddled.  On the following day, after waiting for the Canal to be swept clear of mines, "S 24" proceeded to Kiel.  
          Towards the end of May, "S 24" was sent to Borkum, together with four or five other E-Boats, according to prisoners' statements, and remained there for about 14 days.  During this period these E-Boats were said to have made a series of excursions into the Channel as far as Calais and Dunkirk; during favourable weather they proceeded at 35 to 40 knots.  
          Prisoners stated that "S 24" sank a British destroyer on what they called the "night of the fall of Calais" between midnight and about 0200; they said that two torpedoes were fired simultaneously, of which one hit its target, and that this action occurred between Dunkirk and Calais.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  H.M.S. "Wakeful" and H.M.S."Graften" were sunk by torpedo in this area early on 29th May, 1940.)  
          At a somewhat later date "S 24" and four other E-Boats were transferred to Den Helder, where they remained one week, during which they operated in the Channel.  
          It has been confirmed from other sources that "S 24" was working in the Channel, probably mine-laying, in June and July, 1940.  An incident mentioned was the sinking of a steamer by another E-Boat on an unspecified date, probably about this period; survivors were picked up by a large steamer and "S 24" wanted to attack the latter but, for some reason unknown to prisoners, did not do so.  
          At a date shortly before the middle of July, 1940, "S 24" was said to have been sent to Kiel for repairs, after which she proceeded to Rotterdam early in August, for a short stay of three or four days before going on to Boulogne with "S 22" and four or five other E-Boats.  During the one week they were at Boulogne the E-Boats were prevented by bad weather from putting to sea.  
          Prisoners stated that "S 24" then went to Cherbourg and that the crew lived at Querqueville during the four or five weeks of this period, which would be from a date in the first half of August to a date in the first half of September, 1940.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
14
     
          It was claimed that "S 24," together with two or three other E-Boats, attacked a convoy in the Channel on a date in July or August, 1940, and sank about 33,000 tons of shipping, including a tanker.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  The German High Command communiqué of 27th July, 1940, claimed that E-Boats had sunk, off the South coast of England, four merchant ships totalling 23,000 tons, and had set on fire a merchant ship of 2,000 tons.  Admiralty information shows that the following ships were sunk off Shoreham on the night of 26th/27th July, 1940:  
 
S.S. "Broadhurst" 1,013 tons.
S.S. "London Trader"    646 tons.
S.S. "Lulonga"    821 tons.
 
  The latter ship was machine-gunned and then sunk by torpedo.  Thus the total tonnage sunk was 2,480 tons.)  
          Prisoners said that "S 24" and two other E-Boats very frequently left harbour at night, usually at 2200, to operate in the Channel, returning at 0600, but that sometimes they were sent out during the day to try to rescue airmen who had come down into the sea.  
          On one occasion during this period at Cherbourg "S 24," according to prisoners, attacked a convoy which was being assembled, but she was seen and the two torpedoes she fired missed.  The second torpedo was not fired until the running time of the first had expired.  "S 24" then turned away and proceeded for five minutes before reloading her torpedo tubes.  None of the E-Boats returned to the attack.  "S 24" was acting independently, although several E-Boats were described as being in the vicinity and are alleged to have sunk two or three steamers on this occasion; but another prisoner denied this claim.  
          The other two E-Boats were either "S 18" and "S 20" or "S 21" and "S 22."  
          From Cherbourg "S 24" was stated to have returned to Kiel for a further refit which lasted some weeks, after which she went to Ostend at a date during the second half of September, calling at Borkum on the way.  The journey took three days.  The crew was billeted in the village of De Haan near Ostend, only two men being left on watch in the E-Boat.  
          It was stated that on the day of their arrival at Ostend, during an air raid, an explosion occurred in an arsenal containing torpedoes, mines, depth charges, and other munitions.  One prisoner attributed this explosion to sabotage.  
          "S 24's" bridge was damaged, and a tarpaulin covering several E-Boats, and intended as camouflage, caught fire.  "S 30," "S 31," and two other E-Boats of the 2nd Flotilla were present and caught fire, "S 31" being put out of action.  
          "S 24," after a delay of about three days, was then sent back to Kiel, together with an E-Boat of another flotilla.  
     
  (x)  "S 25"  
          It was stated that in November, 1939, Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Detlefsen, was temporarily in command of "S 25," which had recently arrived at Kiel from the building yards at Vegesack and was not yet in commission.  She was subsequently prevented from leaving harbour for some time by ice conditions.  
          Prisoners had no further information about this E-Boat, but it is known from other sources that she took part in the Norwegian Operations, arriving in Bergen on 14th April, 1940.  
          On the 25th April the Commanding Officer of the 1st E-Boat Flotilla asked that a slip might be kept clear for her, so it is presumed that she must have been damaged, probably in an action off Ulvik at the head of Eid Fiord.  
          "S 25" is also known to have operated in the Channel during June, July, August and September, 1940.  
     
  (xi)  "S 26"  
          Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Fimmen took command of "S 26" in May, 1940, according to prisoners, when she was first commissioned.  
          In "S 26" this officer was said to have sunk a British destroyer during the evacuation of Dunkirk.  As mentioned above, H.M.S. "Wakeful" and H.M.S. "Grafton" were sunk by torpedoes thought to have been fired by E-Boats off Dunkirk, early on 29th May, 1940.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
15
     
          "S 26" is known to have laid mines in the Channel early in June, 1940.  
          A German communiqué issued on 5th July, 1940, claimed that E-Boats had sunk, during an attack on a convoy, a tanker of 12,000 tons and an armed merchant vessel of about 6,000 tons.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  The tanker "British Corporal," 7,000 tons and S.S. "Hartlepool," 5,000 tons were damaged, but not sunk by an E-Boat on 4th July, 1940.)  
          A German official statement of 9th August, 1940, claimed that E-Boats had sunk on the night 7th/8th August, 1940, 17,000 tons of shipping, consisting of an 8,000-ton tanker and two steamers of 5,000 tons and 4,000 tons respectively, as well as setting a smaller tanker on fire.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  The only ships sunk by E-Boats in the Channel on the night of 7th/8th August, 1940, were:  
 
S.S. "Hohne" 1,216 tons
S.S. "Ouse" 1,004 tons.
S.S. "Fife Coast"    367 tons.)
 
  The total sunk was thus 2,587 tons.  
          According to claims of the German High Command of 22nd August, 1940, the date on which he was awarded the Knight Insignia of the Iron Cross, Fimmen had sunk up to that date a tanker of 12,000 tons, two armed cargo ships, and a motor ship, in addition to a destroyer; he thus seems to have been credited with some of the sinkings claimed above.  
          As it is unlikely that a successful officer in command of a new E-Boat would transfer to another E-Boat, it seems probable that the alleged successes were achieved in "S 26."  
          From other sources it is known that "S 26" was again laying mines in the Channel towards the end of August, 1940.  
     
  (xii)  "S 27"  
          Prisoners knew nothing of "S 27," but it is known from other sources that she laid mines in the Channel towards the end of August.  
          Either "S 27" or "S 28" was thought now to be commanded by Klug, who formerly was in command of "S 21."  
     
  (xiii)  "S 28"  
          Only one man had any information about "S 28"; he had served in her at Vegesack for a very short time early in September, 1940, when she was commanded temporarily by Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Detlefsen.  
          It was stated that "S 28" proceeded from Vegesack to Kiel, and then went unaccompanied to Ostend and Boulogne; from the latter port she proceeded in company with four other E-Boats to Cherbourg, arriving towards the middle of September.  The journey was described as being without incident.  
          Both Detlefsen and this rating were then transferred to "S 21" at Cherbourg.  
     
  (xiv)  "S 29"  
          None of the prisoners mentioned "S 29," and when questioned no one had even heard of this E-Boat, though they assumed that she must exist.  
     
  (xv)  "S 30"  
          "S 30" is known from other sources to have been at Kiel on 22nd April, 1940, and to have been engaged in mine-laying in the Channel during June, July and August.  It was stated that "S 30" was one of the E-Boats at Ostend in September, 1940, which was set on fire when an explosion in a munitions shed caused the tarpaulin covering several E-Boats to catch fire.  A "S 30" is known to have been operating in the Channel on at least two occasions about the middle of October, 1940, she cannot have been severely damaged.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
16
     
  (xvi)  "S 31"  
          "S 31" is known from other sources to have been at Stavanger during the Norwegian Operations, and to have arrived there on 24th April, 1940.  She returned at once to Germany and anchored off Elbe I with the S.S. "Palime" in the fog, late at night on 25th April.  
          She is also known to have returned to Stavanger on 7th May, and to have left again on the following day in company with "S 13" and "S 34."  
          At several dates in June, July, August and early September "S 31" operated in the Channel.  
          This E-Boat was put out of action as a result of the fire caused by the explosion in a munitions shed at Ostend in September, 1940.  
          Her Captain was said to have been Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Todt.  
          No further news of her has been heard by prisoners since the above incident, and they regarded her as being beyond repair.  
     
  (xvii)  "S 32" and "S 33"  
          Prisoners had no information about "S 32" or "S 33," but these E-Boats are known to have been at Stavanger on 24th April, 1940, and to have returned to Germany two days later in company with the Experimental Vessel "Pelikan."  
          "S 32" was reported off Dungeness on 20th June, 1940, and "S 33" operated in the Channel at the end of August and early in September.  "S 33" is also known to have been engaged in mine-laying in the Channel in the middle of October.  
     
  (xviii)  "S 34"  
          "S 34" arrived at Stavanger on 7th May, 1940, and left again on 8th May in company with "S 13" and "S 31" to escort "Palime" and "Pelikan."  "S 34" is known to have been in the Channel during the last week in June and on several dates in July, 1940.  On the 8th July, while mine-laying in company with "S 36," the two E-Boats sighted a convoy at 0400, and "S 36" laid in wait stopped.  
          In the middle of October, 1940, "S 34" was again mine-laying in the Channel, and she may have been on the operation on the night of 19th/20th November, 1940, when "S 38" was sunk.  
     
  (xix)  "S 35" and "S 36"  
          None of the prisoners had any information about "S 35" or "S 36."  
          But it is known from other sources that these E-Boats were active in the Channel mine-laying and on patrol work in June and July, 1940.  As mentioned above, "S 36" sighted a convoy in the Channel at 0400 on 8th July, 1940, while in company with "S 34."  "S 36" laid in wait and stopped.  "S 36" was still operating on 6th August, after which nothing was known of "S 35" and "S 36," until the first week of September, 1940.  They were also known to have been mine-laying in the Channel in the middle of October, 1940.  They appear to have operated in company on a number of occasions.  
     
  (xx)  "S 37"  
          "S 37" is known to have operated in the Channel on several occasions between the last week in June and the middle of October, 1940.  
          It was stated, but not confirmed, that she was engaged in the operation on the night of 19th/20th November, 1940, when "S 38" was sunk.  
     
  (xxi)  "S 39"  
          Prisoners had no information about "S 39," but she is known from other sources to have laid mines in the Channel on 27th August, 1940.  
     
  (xxii)  "S 40" to "S 50"  
          Prisoners had never heard of any E-Boats bearing identity numbers between "S 40" and "S 50."  
          From other sources only "S 46" is known to have been commissioned; she was operating on 12th October, and towards the end of November, when she was North of Yarmouth.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
17
     
  (xxiii)  "S 51" to "S 60"  
          Two prisoners claimed to have heard of "S 54" only as being in commission and added that she was at Kiel in the middle of August, together with "S 10" and "S 13" and was said to have gone with one or two other E-Boats to Rotterdam with the depôt ship "Lüderitz" about the middle of August.  
          Other sources have established that "S 55" was mine-laying in the Channel early in September and again in October, 1940, and that on the latter date "S 56" was also mine-laying in the Channel.  
          "S 58" was stated to be a brand new E-Boat and to have been allocated to the 3rd E-Boat Flotilla.  
     
  (xxiv)  "S 65"  
          One prisoner stated that "S 65" was in commission, but he knew nothing about her beyond that alleged fact.  
     
  (xxv)  "S 66"  
          From other sources "S 66" is known to be in commission.  
     
  (xxvi)  General Remarks  
          E-Boats of which no information from any source is available are "S 29," "S 40" to "S 45," "S 47" to "S 53," "S 57" and "S 59" to "S 64."  
          Two boats are believed to have been lost during the Norwegian Operations (see C.B. 04051 (11) page 12), but not "S 9" and "S 19" as stated by prisoners captured in Norway in April, 1940.  
          According to survivors of "S 39," "S 1" to "S 5," completed in 1935/1936, "S 6" completed in 1932 and also the next series "S 7" to "S 17," completed in 1935/1936, are practically obsolete.  
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  It is known, as mentioned above, the "S 1" - "S 6" were transferred to Spain during the Spanish Civil War).  
          It was admitted that every available E-Boat, including several old ones, was used in the Norwegian Operations.  
          Of the series "S 18" to "S 25," completed in 1938/1939, only five of these E-Boats are thought to be active, as "S 19" and "S 21" may prove to be beyond repair and "S 23" has been lost.  
          Of the series "S 26" to "S 31," completed in 1935/1936, four E-Boats are known to be active, nothing is known of "S 29," and "S 31" may have been damaged beyond repair by the fire at Ostend in September.  
          Of the E-Boats of the next series, "S 32" to "S 45," due for completion in 1938/1939, eight are definitely known to have been completed, namely "S 32" to"S 39," and of these "S 38" has been lost.  
          The only identity numbers above "S 45" which are known to exist are "S 46," "S 55," "S 56," "S 58," "S 66," and prisoners said that they had heard of "S 54" and "S 63"; this adds five and possibly two more to the estimated number of E-Boats in commission.  
          If this information is correct, the total number of E-Boats known to be in service should be about 25, assuming that some further boats have been commissioned but have not yet been identified.  
          It is of interest to note that several prisoners gave approximately 45 as their estimate of active E-Boats.  
     
 
VII.  E-BOAT CONSTRUCTION
 
     
          All the prisoners maintained that E-Boats are constructed, so far as they know, by the Lürssen Yards at Vegesack.  Though several men thought that E-Boats were probably being constructed elsewhere, they could not name any definite place, except one man, who suggested Travemünde near Lübeck.  
          Building is kept very secret, and the men questioned had no idea as to how many E-Boats are being built, nor of the state of building.  No prisoner admitted having been inside the building yards.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
18
     
          It was stated by several men that building was being carried out on a very large scale, but that the special kind of mahogany for the hulls was difficult to get.  
          The steering gear was described as being manufactured by the Deutsche Werke, Kiel.  
          Prisoners added that E-Boats were very costly to build.  
     
 
VIII.  E-BOAT LOSSES
 
     
          The loss of two E-Boats during the Norwegian Operations was confirmed, and a further loss admitted was, as mentioned in Section VI of this report, "S 23," while there is a strong probability that "S 19," "S 21" and "S 31" also may have to be written off.  
          Information from other sources indicates that three other E-Boats have also been sunk.  
     
 
IX.  BASES
 
     
  (i)  General Remarks  
          Until April, 1940, E-Boats were based mainly on Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, the 1st and 3rd Flotillas on the former, and the 2nd Flotilla on the latter port.  
          After the invasion of Norway some E-Boats were also based on Bergen, Kristiansand and Stavanger, but from June onwards the only E-Boats, if any, in Norwegian waters were the oldest types, according to prisoners.  
          On the other hand, most of the available E-Boats have operated from ports on the Dutch, Belgian and French coasts since the collapse of France, including Den Helder, Rotterdam, Ostend, Dunkirk, Calais, Boulogne and Cherbourg.  
          The Captain of "S 38" said that he had frequently made the journey between Kiel and Dutch, Belgian, or French bases, and that he usually proceeded North of Holland and not through the Dutch canals.  
          It was gathered that these E-Boats moved about frequently from place to place, and never seemed to stay long anywhere.  The crews almost invariably lived ashore, sometimes in billets in neighbouring villages.  
          It was stated that, towards the end of October, or early in November, most of the E-Boats were withdrawn from other Channel bases and sent to Rotterdam and neighbouring ports.  
          It appears that E-Boats always had to return to Germany for a major refit, and only relatively minor repairs could be effected at Channel ports.  
     
  (ii)  Kiel  
          It was stated that the "Tsingtau" was formerly stationed at Kiel as a depôt ship for E-Boats, but that she had left.  E-Boats were said to have been alongside U-Boats when at Kiel; it was added that at the end of October and early November no U-Boats were seen at Kiel.  
          The usual remarks were made belittling the effect of British air raids on Kiel, and the allegations were repeated to the effect that many British bombs were found to be filled with sand.  
     
  (iii)  Wilhelmshaven  
          Wilhelmshaven was regarded as being the base of the 2nd E-Boat Flotilla.  Prisoners belonged to the 1st E-Boat Flotilla, so were unable to give any details of Wilhelmshaven.  
     
  (iv)  Bergen, Kristiansand and Stavanger  
          During the Norwegian operations E-Boats were based on Bergen, and the depôt ship "Karl Peters" was sent there for several weeks.  
          One prisoner said that there had been 15 oil tanks at Bergen, which looked like gas containers; of these five or six were destroyed by the R.A.F. in June, 1940.  
          E-Boats also operated from Kristiansand and Stavanger.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
19
     
  (v)  Cherbourg  
          While stationed at Cherbourg, where there was no depôt ship, according to prisoners, the crews of E-Boats lived ashore at the Hotel de la Plage at Querqueville, a neighbouring village.  
          It was stated that the arsenal and houses along the docks at Cherbourg were badly damaged by British air raids in July.  
     
  (vi)  Boulogne  
          As there was no depôt ship at Boulogne, the E-Boats' crews, when stationed there, were said to have lived at an hotel in a small village near Boulogne.  
     
  (vii)  Rotterdam  
          The depôt ship Lüderitz" and any E-Boats stationed at Rotterdam were said to have lain in the Leckhafen.  According to prisoners there were usually about four E-Boats in Rotterdam during the summer and autumn.  
          Prisoners claimed to have seen many troops, chiefly infantry, in Rotterdam in late September, but added that these were withdrawn later.  No special movements of ships or barges were observed.  
          It was stated that an engineering factory near the Leckhafen was set on fire shortly before 19th November, 1940.   
          The Captain of "S 38" said that he saw a destroyer, which he presumed to be Dutch, lying on her side at Rotterdam, when he was there in the middle of November, 1940.  
     
  (viii)  Ostend  
          While based on Ostend the crews of "S 38" and other E-Boats were billeted in a comfortable hotel at De Haan, on the coast, a few kilo meters north of Ostend.  
     
 
X.  DEPÔT SHIPS
 
     
  (i)  "Lüderitz"  
          The depot ship "Lüderitz" is known to be a new ship of about 3,000 tons.  Prisoners stated that she was armed with two 8.8-cm. guns and some 20 mm. A.A. guns.  She was said to have arrived at Rotterdam about the 15th August, 1940, together with "S 54" and one or two other E-Boats, and to have been moored in the Leckhafen.  According to prisoners her captain is Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant) Möbes.  
     
  (ii)  "Tsingtau"  
          Prisoners said that the "Tsingtau" had been in Danzig at the end of June, 1940, and had then returned to Kiel, but that she had left Kiel at a later date.  Neither the reason for her departure nor her present whereabouts could be given.  
          Her former Captain (Junior) Commander (Korvettenkapitän) Ruhland, was succeeded about the middle of 1938 by Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant) Hinzke, who is still in command, according to prisoners.  Other officers were said to be Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant) Wilhelm Günther and Lieutenant-Commander (Administration) (Kapitänleutnant (V) ) Wulff.  It is known, however, that the latter was relieved early in June, 1940, by Lieutenant-Commander (Administration) (Kapitänleutnant (V) ) Franke.  
     
  (iii)  "Karl Peters"  
          The depot ship "Karl Peters" was described as being very similar to "Lüderitz."  She was stated to have left Heligoland for Bergen and Kristiansand on or about 9th April, 1940, accompanied by six E-Boats.  On the way there a number of drifting mines were destroyed by machine-gun fire.  On her arrival at Bergen, on or about 15th April, 1940, she was said to have been attacked by aircraft, but was not hit.  
          While in Norway she is known to have made weather reports.  
          It was stated the "Karl Peters" returned to Kiel, accompanied by E-Boats, on or about 10th June, 1940.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
20
     
 
XI.  DUTIES AND TACTICS
 
     
          Prisoners said that the main duties of E-Boats during the Norwegian Operations had been escorting other vessels, reconnaissance in the fiords near their bases, and, to a lesser extent, the transporting of small bodies of men and some munitions.  
          During recent months, however, they have laid mines in the Channel, attacked British warships as well as merchant ships, and carried out reconnaissance patrols.  
          It was stated that E-Boats seldom work alone, but usually in pairs or in larger numbers, and that, having left harbour in company, they remain in visual touch as long as possible and then continue to pass any necessary signals on VH/F ("Ultrakurzwellen").  The actual attack on shipping is, however, an independent operation for each E-Boat, and they return to their base separately.  
          A man who had served under Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Fimmen, one of the two "star turns" among E-Boat captains, stated that this officer used to lie in wait for a convoy at night, or would shut off his engines on approaching one; he sometimes ran down between the lines of the convoy in search of the "biggest silhouette"; it was claimed that the attack would come as a complete surprise to the victims, and that the E-Boat would then make off.  
          It was stated that torpedoes were fired from about 1,000 metres.  
          It was said that an advantageous attack on a ship could be made by three E-Boats co-operating, one attacking from either side and the third from astern, as zig-zagging would not enable the victim to escape; and E-Boat would not signal to her companions the fact that she had fired one or more torpedoes.  
          Prisoners claimed that there was no danger of an E-Boat being hit by a torpedo from another E-Boat, because their torpedoes were set to run at too great a depth.  
          N.I.D. NOTE.  A number of torpedoes have, however, been reported as running on or near the surface.  
          One of a number of E-Boats on any operation was said to carry a doctor, and latterly E-Boats sometimes also carried a junior officer under instruction as a prospective E-Boat Captain.  
          Prisoners stated that their E-Boats had never been supported in their operations by destroyers.  
          It was stated that, during an attack, the Captain and the senior Petty Officer, also the officer under instruction if carried, were on the bridge, one seaman at the steering-wheel, one seaman standing by near the bridge to fetch any required charts, two signalling ratings with binoculars abaft the bridge, the torpedo artificer at the starboard torpedo tube, and the senior seaman at the port torpedo tube.  The engine-room personnel was said to be on duty in the engine-room compartment and not allowed on deck during a war undertaking.  
          Prisoners stated that in "S 38" there were no fixed watches, but that they arranged their work among themselves and that they worked very long shifts.  
          The after machine-gun was said always to be kept mounted, but the smaller machine-guns were not kept mounted and could be fired "from the railing."  Usually the A.A. gun was not kept manned.  
          The opinion was expressed that an E-Boat would be unlikely to remain away from her base on a war cruise for more than 15 to 18 hours.  
          E-Boats were said to proceed on war undertakings usually at night and to return about dawn.  
          Prisoners professed complete ignorance of any submarine leader cable.  
          They also denied the suggestions that E-Boats were ever towed to an advanced position, in order to increase their range of action.  
     
 
XII.  E-BOAT ORGANISATION
 
     
          The E-Boat organisation is commanded by a (Junior) Commander (Korvettenkapitän), who has under him a Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant), an Adjutant who is a Sub-Lieutenant (Leutnant zur See), a Flotilla Engineer with the rank of (Junior) Engineer Commander (Korvettenkapitän Ing.), three surgeons, and a few Administrative Officers.  
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
21
     
          The Commanding Officer of each E-Boat flotilla is a Lieutenant-Commander and the Captains of the E-Boats are either Lieutenants or Sub-Lieutenants.  
          It was stated that in 1934 there was only one E-Boat flotilla, commanded by Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant) Bey.  This officer now commands the Destroyer Flotillas and was promoted to Captain (Kapitan zur See) on 1st April, 1940.  
          The 2nd E-Boat Flotilla was formed on 12th August, 1938, and at first consisted of "S 6," "S 7," "S 8" and "S 9"; at the time it was based on Kiel and was intended to be transferred later to Wilhelmshaven.  
          Prisoners stated that there were now three E-Boat flotillas, the 1st being normally based on Kiel, the 2nd on Wilhelmshaven and the 3rd being formed towards the end of 1939, is still incomplete, and was now thought to be intended for Dutch and Belgian bases.  Other flotillas were contemplated, but no E-Boats were yet available.  
          In 1938 and until fairly recently the Commanding officer of the 1st Flotilla was Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant) Sturm, who was said to have been succeeded by Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant) Birnbacher.  This flotilla claimed to have sunk 200,000 tons of shipping.  
          The 2nd Flotilla was stated to have been commanded since a date in 1938 by Lieutenant-Commander (Kapitänleutnant) Rudolf Petersen.  
          Prisoners did not know the name of the Commanding Officer of the 3rd E-Boat Flotilla, who was said to be a Lieutenant-Commander.  
          The arrangement of the flotillas seems to be very fluid, and prisoners stated the E-Boats from all flotillas operate from various bases in the Channel.  No E-Boat seems to remain long in any one base.  
          Prisoners were extremely vague regarding the flotilla to which various E-Boats belonged; but from statements it seems that "S 18" to "S 29" belonged to the 1st Flotilla, while "S 30" to "S 37" were included in the 2nd Flotilla.  
          "S 38" belonged to the 1st Flotilla, and was only lent temporarily to the 3rd Flotilla.  
          If these statements are correct, some or all of the remaining known E-Boats with higher identity numbers, namely "S 39," "S 46," "S 54," "S 55," "S 56," "S 58," "S 65" and "S 66" may belong to the 3rd Flotilla.  Of these, "S 58" was definitely stated to belong to the 3rd Flotilla.  
          According to prisoners the lower identity numbers, "S 7" to "S 17," are considered obsolete; some may be used for training; others may also be in service on the Norwegian coast.  
     
     
 
______________________
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
22
     
 
APPENDIX I
 
          The following romanticised description of the loss of an E-Boat is thought to be an embellished version of the sinking of "S 38."  
     
 
TRANSLATION
 
 
of an article contained in "Deutsche Allgeneine Xeitung," dated 26th November, 1940.
 
     
 
"AN E-BOAT DID NOT RETURN
 
 
She daringly attacked three enemy destroyers.
 
 
By War Correspondent Ulrich Kurz.
 
     
  With the German Navy, 25.11.40 (PK).  
          The report of the German High Command dated 22nd November announced that, following on great successes of the Motor Torpedo Boat Arm against enemy war and merchant ships, for the first time a German E-Boat was lost during a raid on the East coast of England in an encounter with several British destroyers.  
          Two German E-Boats were carrying out one of their night operations at high speed.  It was a dark night and the sky was overcast.  Suddenly the moon breaks through.  Towards the moon the sea is illuminated for a considerable distance.  With strength of wind 5 the swell for the small boats is already fairly heavy.  Towards the other side the horizon lies dark, almost black.  From this dark corner three enemy destroyers suddenly heave into sight, our boats being silhouetted for them against the bright horizon.  The enemy at once opens fire with his far superior armament, before our E-Boats are able to make use of their weapon, which is the torpedo.  Nothing remains for the two boats to do except to turn away, in order to get into a better position for torpedo attack.  
          It is an exciting picture.  The enemy fires star shells and tries to catch the German boats in the beams of the searchlights.  The two E-Boats zig-zag, draw away from each other, lay a smoke screen and lose sight of each other.  Now each of them is left to her own devices.  The contact with the enemy breaks off.  Our boats get into touch with each other by signal and set their courses independently in order to manoeuvre the enemy into a more favourable position for a torpedo attack, taking into consideration visibility and weather conditions.  One of the boats here drew a blank and the other did not return from her last daring attack.  A lone E-boat searches the vast sea in vain for her comrade, who no longer replies to signals.  The moon has disappeared again and there is nothing more to be seen of the enemy."  
     
     
 
________________________
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 

 

     
     
 
23
     
 
APPENDIX II
 
     
          (N.I.D. NOTE.  This article may refer to the French destroyer "Sirocco" believed to have been sunk off Dunkirk during the evacuation.)  
     
 
TRANSLATION
 
 
of an extract from an article in the "Volkischer Beobachter" of 1st January, 1941, signed by Lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See) Freiherr von Mirbach.
 
     
 
"AN E-BOAT TRIP OFF DUNKIRK
 
          When darkness had blotted out the whole sky, we became aware of two fiery arcs just above the horizon to the south.  
          'That can only be Dunkirk and Calais,' I tell my men who ask me about this.  According to a reconnaissance report of our aircraft the British are preparing further evacuations for which the required destroyers are said to be lying ready.  
          As the possibility of sinking something there seems to be favourable, the Commanding Officer of the Flotilla tells off two boats, one of which is mine, to proceed as far as possible towards the harbour entrance and to attack the transport fleet.  
          We therefore separate from the other boats and make for the entrance of Dunkirk harbour.  
          Slowly we approach the French coast.  Gradually a bright fire rises above the horizon; at first we cannot ascertain the cause of this fire, but we soon realise that the burning object is on the sea.  
          As we had feared at the outset of the undertaking, the moon slowly comes out, almost round, from a bank of clouds and throws a wide silvery track on the water.  
          I cannot put on paper the oaths we used at the sight of the moon, we felt as though we were being offered up on a plate to the enemy destroyers and guardships.  
          Soon we saw in the direction of the moon several guardships which, in my opinion, must be lying off the approaches to Dunkirk.  As they are too small and not worth a torpedo, we keep out of their sight.  In a curve we gradually creep near to them and now recognise the bright fire as a burning tanker which, probably, our dive-bombers hit and which now pierces the darkness like a brilliantly flaming torch.  
          As most of the night still lies before us, we decide to lie in wait as near to the guardships as possible.  Our main attention is focused on the dark horizon to the west.  For our only danger threatens from that side, as a destroyer approaching from the dark sector can only be made out very late, whereas the small E-Boat on the moonlit stretch of water can be seen from a considerable distance.  
          We had not been lying in wait for long, when our companion, who was slightly more to the west, reported a shadow in a north-westerly direction.  I quickly turn my binoculars and in a few moments I can locate the shadow.  The news goes through the boat in a flash.  
          My feverish impatience gives way o complete calm, as action is now required.  As on innumerable occasions in peace-time I give the requisite orders and keep my eyes glued to the slowly enlarging shadow.  Now I have to judge its speed and course as accurately as possible, in order to make the correct calculations for my torpedo.  
          Without the need of arranging matters with the other E-Boat, everything works as on manoeuvres at home; for it is obvious that we are both after the shadow which turns out to be a large French destroyer of the type they call 'Torpedo-cruiser' and we intend to make it impossible for the ship to avoid the torpedoes.  
          Now the destroyer passes the burning wreck and shows us a wonderfully sharp silhouette.  At this moment it is a question of keeping a firm hold on one's nerves, in order to let the enemy come so close that the torpedoes cannot miss, because slight alterations of course, for which there is always time, quickly negative the calculations made during before firing the torpedo.  
          I notice slowly that the hunting fever is gripping me.  Another quick glance sideways at the guardships, who fortunately have not become suspicious, although they are really near enough to have been able to discover us, but they have apparently dozed off in the slight swell.  
          Sharply the order is given: 'Both tubes ready!  Tube one - fire!  Tube two - fire!'  
          Twice the boat shivers in all her timbers by the vibration caused by the discharge of the torpedoes which vanish into the water with a gurgling sound.  A glance towards the other boat shows that my companion has fired as well.  
          Hurrah!  A sky-high sheet of flame shoots out of the destroyer.  Then - another one.  Two hits!  We all shake hands with cries of triumph and from the engine-room there is a positive yell of joy.  
          Through my binoculars I see clearly how the destroyer is taking a list and a few moments later only the curve of the ship's side can still bee seen above the surface, half hidden in smoke and steam issuing from the burst boilers.  
          Over the grave of the destroyer there is a great mushroom of smoke which the wind slowly bends sideways.  
 
        Our thoughts turn for a moment to the brave seamen who have fallen by our hand, but - such is war.
 
          We have not much time, because over there the detonations have put everything on the alert.  The guardships emit black smoke, a sign that they are getting underway in order to drive us off.  
          Ashore lively Morse transmission of the signal stations is seen.  
          The long fingers of the searchlights excitedly feel over the water.  
          As we can still be cut off from Ostend, we make off at high speed; for it will soon be dawn.  
          With a vibrating din the engine revolutions increase, the bow rises out of the water and we are off; not for nothing are we called 'Schnellboote' (E-Boats)."  
     
     
     
     

 

     
     
 
24
 
     
 
APPENDIX III
 
 
 
     
 
Crew of E-Boat "S 38"
 
     
     
 
Name.
Rank.
English Equivalent.
Age.
Detlefsen, Hans Oberleutnant zur See Lieutenant 25
Ratsch, Georg-Robert Leutnant zur See Sub-Lieutenant 22
Brandt, Karl Heinz Paul Friedrich Marineoberassistenzarzt Surgeon-Lieutenant 25
Oppermann, Erich Obermaschinist Chief Mechanician, 1st Class 26
Schiwesk, Ernst Oberbootsmannsmaat Boatswain's Mate, 1st Class 26
Keiner, Otto Obermaschinenmaat Mechanician, 1st Class 25
Droll, Leopold Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class 27
Simon, Martin Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class 25
Beindorf, Heinz Matrosenhauptgefreiter Leading Seaman 22
Schutz, Walter Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman 23
Gause, Hermann Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman 21
Freund, Herwin Paul Maschinenobergefreiter Stoker, 1st Class 22
Klopsch, Erich Maschinenobergefreiter Stoker, 1st Class 21
Glieden, Reinhold Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class 20
Lottes, Erhart Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class 20
Unger, Karl Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class 20
Druschke, Werner Funkgefreiter Ordinary Telegraphist, 1st Class 20
Herz, Werner Matrose Ordinary Seaman, 2nd Class 21
 
     
 
Casualties
 
     
 
Tilimans, Steuermannsmaat Q.M., 2nd Class.  
Doels, Rudolf Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class.  
Kuehn, Albert Funkobergefreiter Telegraphist.  
Zimmermann, Rolf Maschinenobergefreiter Stoker, 1st Class.  
Stoekker, Ernst Maschinenobergefreiter Stoker, 1st Class.  
 
     
 
Officers
3
Petty Officers
7
Men
13
Total Crew
23
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  (C40464)  213   2/41  
     
     

 


 

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