Overview Of U-Boats Supplied And Assisted By The "Etappendienst"

 

Established in 1896, the "Etappendienst" was the secret German Naval Supply system that operated throughout the world in support of the Kriegsmarine. The main purpose of this organization was merely to furnish logistic support to German warships in the South Atlantic, armed merchant cruisers in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. It was also responsible for procurement, loading and shipment of critically needed supplies from South America and the Far East through the use of blockade runners. In addition, it supported U-boats operating in areas through which it's blockade runners passed. To accomplish its goals, the "Etappendienst" drew on the combined resources of the Navy, the diplomatic corps, business, and industry. They established cells that operated dummy companies and bank accounts in virtually every country in the world. The extent of the organization is illustrated by the fact that as late as 1948 the "Etappendienst" cell in Japan was still functioning. Many people who did business with those dummy companies were completely unaware that they were involved in an "Etappendienst" operation. In fact, the secrecy surrounding the "Etappendienst" was almost airtight, which is why so few historians today know much about the organization. The "Etappendienst" was not involved in espionage, but the cells routinely gathered commercial and industrial intelligence that was used to analyze the enemy's economic strengths and weaknesses. The "Etappendienst" was not active in any country which was considered as being a possible enemy of Germany in war.

Although neutrality regulations prohibited merchant ships interned in neutral ports to refit warships or U-boats - with the complicity of the Spanish authorities, some ships secretly refueled and provided U-boats with provisions and repairs. These evolutions usually took place during the night, when the risk of being caught was minimal. These operations were discontinued by late 1941 and early 1942, when the commissioning of the new type "Milchkuh" U-boats rendered the use of surface vessels for U-boat supplying and refueling unnecessary. The supply "bases" in neutral Spain were initiated by Kapt. zur See Hans-Georg von Friedeburg and assisted directly by the Naval Attache in Madrid, Korv. Kapt. Kurt Meyer-Drohner in conjunction with the Spanish authorities.

The list below includes - interned German tankers and U-boats that refueled from them, blockade runners and merchant raiders that provided supplies to German U-Boats and other Axis submarines and cites also "repair only" evolutions in the Spanish ports.

U-Boat supply (U-Boat to U-Boat) and support have been previously documented in two outstanding volumes: The Milk Cows: The U-Boat Tankers at War 1941-1945 by John F. White and Suppliers Of The Grey Wolves: The Story of the German Submarine Tankers 1941-44 by Axel Urbanke. A "complete" tabulation of the supply of U-Boats via "other means", i.e., non U-Boat provider, have not been fully documented. The closest reference work available which describes these supply evolutions is Tanker und Versorger der deutschen Flotte 1900-1980 by Dieter Jung, Martin Maass, Berndt Wenzel, Arno Abendroth, Norbert. Kelling, which is somewhat lacking in total completeness.

I have also included a German Depot Ship listing. The German Depot Ships (submarine tenders / U-Tenders) were in actuality a part of the German Kriegsmarine and not directly associated with the "Etappendienst" section.

I have endeavored to list all known supply evolutions (excluding U-Boat to U-Boat), utilizing the references cited.

 

Replenishment In Spanish Ports

 

Ship name: MT Max Albrecht (Code name "ARROS [AROZ]")
Location: Ferrol (Galicia) Spain  

(3) Documented operations from this ship

 

U-30 (6th Patrol) - Outbound Wilhelmshaven, 08/06/1940, inbound Lorient, 07/07/1940; patrol duties carried out - patrolling South Western Approaches; supplied from "MT MAX ALBRECHT" on 25-26 June 1940 with 60 cbm (60 t) diesel, 2 cbm (2.0 t) oil, water and provisions.

 

U-68 (4th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 14/05/1942, inbound Lorient, 10/07/1942; patrol duties carried out: patrolling Caribbean; boat moored to Buoy 5 - supplied /repaired from "MT MAX ALBRECHT" on 16-17 May 1942 with 14,2 t (13 cbm) diesel and water.

 

U-66 (6th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 23/06/1942, inbound Lorient, 29/09/1942; patrol duties carried out: patrolling the Atlantic coast of South America, between Venezuela and Dutch Guiana (modern Suriname) ; supplied from "MT MAX ALBRECHT" on 25 September 1942 with 10 cbm (10 t) diesel and provisions - crewman Masch. Gfr. ERLICHMANN (testicular fracture) transferred to "MT MAX ALBRECHT".

 

U-105 (7th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient 07 June 1942 (El Ferrol 2 June 1942 to 28 June 1942) 30 June 1942 Lorient. While crossing the Bay of Biscay during daylight on 12 June 1942 the boat was attacked by an Australian Sunderland flying boat of RAAF Sqdn 10. On 12 June 1942, U-105 enters El Ferrol - placed in drydock and repair work begins. Drydock flooded on 19 June 1942 and U-105 moved to Berth 12 for remaining repairs and equipment - U-105 sails for Lorient on 20 June 1944.

 

U-193 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound La Pallice 12 October 1943 (El Ferrol 10 February 1944 to 20 February 1944) 24 February 1944 Lorient. On 9 Feb 1944. U-193 was damaged by aircraft in the Bay of Biscay - causing a leak in pressure hull. U-193 puts in to El Ferrol, Spain 10-20 February 1944 for repairs to pressure hull. Repairs complete on 20 February 1944 and U-193 sails for Lorient.

 

Ship name: MS Bessel (Neptune Line) (Code name "BERNARDO")
Location: Vigo Bay (Galicia) Spain  
 
(8) Documented operations from this ship

 

U-43 (4th Patrol) - Outbound Wilhelmshaven, 13/05/1940, inbound Wilhelmshaven, 22/07/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Western Approaches and Portuguese coastal waters; supplied from "MS BESSEL" on 18-19 June 1940 with 101 t diesel, 2,1 t lubricating oil, water, provisions.

 

U-29 (4th Patrol) - Outbound Wilhelmshaven, 27/05/1940, inbound Wilhelmshaven, 11/07/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Western Approaches off Bay of Biscay; supplied from "MS BESSEL" between 20-21 June 1940 with 35 t (40 cbm) diesel, 1 t lubricating oil, water and provisions.

 

U-52 (4th Patrol) - Outbound Kiel, 08/06/1940, inbound Lorient, 21/07/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Western Approaches and Bay of Biscay; supplied from "MS BESSEL" on 01-02 July 1940 with 67 cbm (56 t diesel) fuel oil, 6 t water and 2.3 t of provisions at Vigo Bay.

 

U-77 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound St. Nazaire, 11/10/1941, inbound Lorient, 13/11/1941; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in Mid Atlantic and Western Approaches; supplied from "MS BESSEL" on 08 November 1941 with 117 cbm (102 t diesel) fuel oil, 4 t (3.3 t) lubricating oil, 3.0 t drinking water and provisions at Vigo. [CO U-77 note: Everything was well prepared and quickly came on board. Unfortunately, the ship had no welding apparatus on board, by means of which under certain circumstances the Ju-compressor could have been repaired.]

 

U-96 (7th Patrol) - Outbound St. Nazaire, 27/10/1941, inbound Mediterranean sea (back to St. Nazaire on 06/12/1941 after being bombed by a British aircraft near Gibraltar); patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in Mid Atlantic and Western Approaches; supplied from "MS BESSEL" between 27-28 November 1941 with 100 cbm (100 t) diesel, 3,3 cbm (3.3 t) lubricating oil, provisions and Mediterranean nautical grid maps (Mittelmeerkarten). 

 

U-574 (1st Patrol) - Outbound Kiel, 08/11/1941, sunk on 19/12/1941 in North Atlantic near Punta Delgada, by ramming and depth charges from HMS Stork; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in Mid Atlantic and then Gibraltar area; supplied from "MS BESSEL" between 11-12(13 December?) December 1941 with 105 cbm (105 t) diesel, 1,4 cbm (1.4 t) lubricating oil, water, provisions and nautical grid maps (Karten).

 

U-575 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound St. Nazaire, 09/11/1941, inbound Mediterranean sea (back to St. Nazaire on 17/12/1941 after detecting ASW activity on approaching Gibraltar); patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in Mid Atlantic; supplied from "MS BESSEL" between 12-13 December 1941 with 8,7 cbm (8.7 t) diesel, re-supply discontinued due to U-Boat damage (returned to Brest).

 

U-434 (1st Patrol) - Outbound Kristiansand, sunk 18/12/1941 north of Madeira, Portugal, by depth charges from "HMS Blankney" and "HMS Stanley"; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in mid Atlantic; supplied from "MS BESSEL" between 14 -15 December 1941 with 97 cbm (97 t) diesel, 3 cbm (3.0 t) lubricating oil, provisions (bread and potatoes) and medical supplies.

 

Ship name: MS Thalia (Code name "GATA")
Location: Cadiz (Andalusia) Spain  

(6) Documented operations from this ship -
MS Thalia Was out of supplies at the end of November 1941.

 

U-25 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Wilhelmshaven, 13/01/1940, inbound Wilhelmshaven 19/02/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling Portuguese coastal waters and Gibraltar area; supplied from "MS THALIA" on 30 January 1940 with 33 t diesel, 2,2 t lubricating oil and water .

 

U-109 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 28/01/1941, inbound Lorient 17/08/1941; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations off Atlantic coast of Morocco, Gibraltar, Azores Islands; supplied from "MS THALIA" on 22 July 1941 with 76 t (86 cbm) diesel, 2,8 t (2.8 cbm) lubricating oil, 2.8 cbm water, 3 G7e torpedos and provisions.

 

U-331 (1st Patrol) - Outbound Kiel, 02/07/1941, inbound Lorient 19/08/1941; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in mid Atlantic south of Greenland, and between Gibraltar and Azores Islands; supplied from "MS THALIA" on 01 August 1941 with 22 cbm diesel, 4 cbm fresh water, provisions and 1 G7a torpedo and on 02 August 1941 with 34 cbm diesel at Cadiz. Fk.Ob.Gfr. SCHWARZ was transferred to "MS THALIA" for medical treatment on 01 August 1941 and for subsequent re-routing to Brest - since the beginning of this journey, he had a skin abrasion on the right shin, which developed into a larger wound.

 

U-564 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound Brest, 19/09/1941, inbound Lorient 01/11/1941; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in North Atlantic off Cape Farewell (Greenland) and west of Gibraltar; supplied from "MS THALIA" between 14-15 October 1941, and transferred to her a medical case (Mtr. Gfr. Steinert); with 118 t diesel, 3 t lubricating oil, water and various consumables.

 

U-204 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound Brest 20/09/1941, sunk 19/10/1941 off Tangiers by depth charges from HMS Mallow and HMS Rochester; patrol duties carried out: escorting the German blockade runner "MV RIO GRANDE" (heading to Japan) off Bay of Biscay, wolfpack operations west of Gibraltar and off Atlantic coast of Morocco; supplied from "MS THALIA" between 15-16 October 1941 with 105 t diesel, 3 t lubricating oil, water, provisions and 6 torpedoes at Cadiz. 2 wounded crewmen were also transferred to the "MS THALIA".

 

U-652 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 01/11/1941, inbound Messina (Sicily, Italy), 12/12/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling mid Atlantic between Greenland, US Atlantic coast and Azores, then escorting the German merchant auxiliary cruiser "KM KOMET" to Bay of Biscay, then patrolling Mediterranean sea east of Gibraltar and off Baleares islands; supplied from "MS THALIA" between 27-28 November 1941 with 88 t diesel, 1,5 t lubricating oil and nautical grid maps of the Mediterranean (Mittelmeerkarten). 

 

Ship name: SS Corrientes - Woermann Line (Code name "LIMA")  
Location: Las Palmas (Canary Islands) Spain  
 
(6) Documented operations from this ship -
SS Corrientes mission ended in July 1941

Note: Several references have cited Charlotte Schliemann [KPT. ROTHE]  (Code Name "CULEBRA") in error as the supplying vessel in place of SS Corrientes at Las Palmas.

 

U-124 (4th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 23/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 01/05/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast; supplied from "SS CORRIENTES" on 03-04 March 1941 with 34 cbm (34 t) diesel, 1 cbm (1.0 t) lubricating oil, drinking water, provisions and technical repairs .

 

U-105 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 22/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 13/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic, off Cape Verde and West African coast, then escorting the German blockade runner "MV LECH"; supplied from "SS CORRIENTES" on 04-05 March 1941 with 70 cbm (66 t) diesel, 2 cbm (2.0 t) lubricating oil and provisions.

 

U-106 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 26/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 17/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic, off Cape Verde and West African coast, then escorting the German blockade runner "MV LECH"; supplied from "SS CORRIENTES" 06 March 1941 with 50 cbm (44 t) diesel, 0,6 cbm (0.6 t) lubricating oil, provisions.  

 

U-123 (5th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 15/06/1941, inbound Lorient, 23/08/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast; supplied from "SS CORRIENTES" on 25 June 1941 with 40 cbm (40 t) diesel, 2 cbm (2.0 t) lubricating oil and provisions.

 

U-69 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 05/05/1941, inbound St. Nazaire, 08/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast down to Gulf of Guinea, and mine lying Lagos (Nigeria) and Takoradi (Ghana); supplied from "SS CORRIENTES" on 30 June - 01 July 1941 with 62 t diesel and water.

 

U-103 (4th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 01/04/1941, inbound Lorient 12/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast; supplied from "SS CORRIENTES" on 05 - 06 July 1941 with 47 t diesel, 2,3 t lubricating oil and provisions.

 

Replenishment By Merchant Raiders, Blockade Runners (Blockadebrecher)
And Surface Units In The Atlantic And Indian Oceans

 

Ship Name: Atlantis (HSK-2/ Raider C) Schiff 16 (ex GOLDENFELS - Hansa Line) -[Kapt. Bernhard Rogge] When "ATLANTIS" was scuttled, she had been at sea for 622 days (22 March 1940 to 22 November 1941) without a port call and had covered some 112,500 miles.

 

U-68 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 11/09/1941, inbound Lorient, 25/12/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Atlantic, along West and South African coasts; supplied from "ATLANTIS" on 13-14 November 1941, ca. 500 nm SW of St. Helena [pos: 24°09'S, 06°51'W] with 100 cbm diesel, lubricating oil, water and provisions (food, cigarettes, soap, towels and shorts). Cannot on-load torpedoes from "ATLANTIS" due to the torpedoes being the wrong type, G7V (U-68 will on-load torpedoes from "PYTHON" during the November -December 1941 time frame).

 

U-126 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 24/09/1941, inbound Lorient, 13/12/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Atlantic, along West Africa and Gulf of Guinea; met with "ATLANTIS" on 22 November 1941, ca. 350 nm NW of Ascension, [pos: 04°21'S, 18°33'W] with diesel. The OKM signal instruction sent to U-126 ordering this rendezvous was intercepted and deciphered by the Allied Enigma code breakers at Bletchley Park and was passed on to the Admiralty: the provisioning had to be interrupted when the British cruiser "HMS Devonshire" appeared on the horizon. U-126 was eventually able to dive and escape the attack, but "ATLANTIS" was sunk later the same day.

 

It. submarine Perla supplied from "ATLANTIS" 29 March 1941 470 miles SSE of Cape Ste. Marie (33.00 S-48.00 E), with 70 t of oil, water, food, nautical charts, liquor and cigarettes and other provisions.

 

Ship Name: Pinguin (HSK-5/ Raider F) Schiff 33 (ex KANDEFELS - Hansa Line) [Kapt. Ernst-Felix Kruder] (Ehrenfels class auxiliary cruiser) Sunk 08 May 1941 - 328 days at sea, 15 June 1940 to 08 May 1941.

 

U-A (2nd patrol) - Outbound Kiel, 6/06/1940, inbound Kiel, 30/08/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling North Atlantic off Southern coast of Iceland, and then Central and Southern Atlantic, along West African coast; supplied from "PINGUIN" (disguised as Greek "KASSOS") on 18-25 July 1940 (UA could not tie up alongside Pinguin due to rough seas which precluded normal transfer of supplies - all stores were transferred by flotation bags) with 85 cbm diesel, fresh bread, drinking water, washing water and 11 torpedoes and mail from "PINGUIN", 650 nm NW of St. Paul Rocks, in overall Square ER - "PINGUIN" then towed UA to save fuel until the latitude of Freetown was reached and the tow was cast off.

 

Ship Name: Egerland (ex North America) [Korvettenkapitan Friedrich Bahr] [Sunk 1530 hrs on 5 June 1941 by "HMS London" and "HMS Brilliant" before she could rendezvous with "ESSO-HAMBURG" on 5 June 1941 to take on torpedoes and before U-38 and U-69 could have refueled from her around 7/06/1941, ca. 330 nm N of St. Peter and Paul Rock at pos: 06°27'N, 29°21'W]. "EGERLAND" was very shortly to have been relieved on her patrol in this area by the "GEDANIA."

 

U-107 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 29/03/1941, inbound Lorient, 2/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Atlantic along West African coast; supplied from "EGERLAND" on 09-11 May 1941 with diesel, 14 torpedoes, 25 zt. of potatoes, fruit preserves, bread, water, and motor oil at 330 nm N of St. Peter and Paul Archipelago [pos: 06°27'N, 29°21'W].

 

U-38 (9th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 09/04/1941, inbound Lorient 24/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Atlantic, along and off West African coast; supplied from "EGERLAND" on 13-15 May 1941, ca. 320 nm NNW of St. Peter and Paul Rock [pos: 05°33'N, 32°03'W] with 10 torpedoes, fuel oil, lubricating oil and provisions. Transferred to "EGERLAND" was Gfr. STEINHAUER, with a chronic case of boils - ObGfr. FLEER taken on board as a replacement.

 

U-103 (4th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 01/04/1941, inbound Lorient 12/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast; supplied from "EGERLAND" on 14-16 May 1941, ca. 280 nm N of St. Peter and Paul Rock [pos: 05°33'N, 28°27'W] - from "EGERLAND" at 0240 hrs in ER 5934 - fuel oil and misc. parts. 15 May 1941 0200-0800 in ER 5898 took on 14 "E" torpedoes. 2130 hrs took on remaining oil and water supplies. Transfer complete on 16 May 1941 at 0900 hrs in ER 5898.

 

U-106 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 26/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 17/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic, off Cape Verde and West African coast, then escorting the German blockade runner "MV Lech"; supplied from "EGERLAND" on 17 May 1941, ca. 400 nm NNW of St. Peter and Paul Rock [pos: 07°21'N, 31°09'W] with diesel, lubricating oil, water, provisions and distilled water.

 

U-69 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 05/05/1941, inbound St. Nazaire, 08/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast down to Gulf of Guinea, and mine lying Lagos (Nigeria) and Takoradi (Ghana); supplied from "EGERLAND" on 19 May 1941, ca. 390 nm N of St. Peter and Paul Rock [pos: 07°21'N, 30°15'W] with diesel and provisions.

 

U-105 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 22/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 13/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling east of Brazil and west coast of Africa; supplied from "EGERLAND" on 19-21 May 1941with three torpedoes drinking water and fuel oil - also Oberfahnrich zur See (Midshipman) Gunther Feddersen, was transferred to "EGERLAND" from "U 105" on 19th May, to undergo an operation. 20 May 1941, taken aboard 3 torpedoes, fuel oil and drinking water. On 21 May 1941, taken aboard fuel oil , potable water and another 4 torpedoes, for a total of 100 cbm fuel oil , 2.4 cbm of lubricating oil, 0.6 cbm of drinking water and provisions for two weeks.

 

U-A (5th patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 03/05/1941, inbound Lorient, 20/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling Central and South Atlantic, along and off West African coast; supplied from "EGERLAND" on 28-29 May 1941 with 110 cbm diesel, 11 cbm wash water, 3.0 cbm drinking water, 5,400 liters (18 barrels) of lubricating oil and 1,360 kg of provisions. Eckermann (UA) had apparently submerged without his exhaust being properly closed so that sea water had got mixed with the lubricating oil. The mixture had to be cleaned out and 7 (5,400 liters / 18 barrels) tons of lubricating oil were supplied from "EGERLAND". This was the last U-Boat to be supplied by "EGERLAND".

 

Ship Name: Kormoran (HSK-8 / Raider G) / Schiff 41 (ex STEIERMARK - Hamburg Amerika Line) [Kapitan Theodor Detmers] (Sunk by "HMAS Sydney" 19 November 1941, who in turn was sunk by "KORMORAN" - over 70 of the crew of 400 were killed and her voyage of 352 days (03 December 1940 to 19 November 1941) had come to an end. The wreck of the "KORMORAN" was discovered in 2008 off the Western Australia coast.)

 

U-105 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 22/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 13/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic, off Cape Verde and West African coast, then escorting the German blockade runner "MV LECH"; supplied with torpedoes from "KORMORAN" (that, on turn, received spare parts from the U-boat) on 29 March - 02 April 1941, ca. 200 nm NW of St. Peter and Paul Rocks Archipelago [pos: 02°51'N, 31°09'W] with 85 cbm diesel and water. On 30 March, fuel transfer is complete and the transfer of 11 torpedoes take place. On 31 March, transfer of the 12th and 13th torpedoes completed, including diesel and drinking water and welding repairs on U-105 are completed. On 01 April 1941, fuel transfer completed at 1400 hrs. U-105 damages port hydroplane when it becomes entangled in towing connection when attempting to clear the "KORMORAN". On 02 April at 0930 hrs, towing connection is cleared from U-105 hydroplane and U-105 departs. U-105 has taken on from "KORMORAN" 13 torpedoes - (6) G7e and (7) G7a, 117 cbm of diesel, 3.5 cbm of lubricating oil, 8 cbm of fresh water and 4 weeks worth of provisions.

 

U-124 (4th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 23/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 01/05/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast; met with "KORMORAN" for resupply and equipment transfer on 15 March 1941, ca. 400 nm N of St. Peter and Paul Rocks Archipelago [07°21'N, 30°15'W] though, due to bad weather, the refitting took actually place 3 days later on 18 March 1941 [pos: 02°51'N, 33°51'W] with transfer of 350 kg of whitemetal taken from U-124 to "KORMORAN". On 17 March, transfer of one torpedo - torpedo damaged on the tail fin. Rubber boat damaged while second torpedo being lowered, therefore transfer of torpedoes postponed; a sick sailor from U-124 (Masch.Mt. WALBROL) was transferred to the "KORMORAN" and a replacement sailor (Ob.MaschMt. ACKERMANN) was transferred aboard U-124 on 18 March. On 18 March, 2.0 cbm of lubricating oil are transferred from "KORMORAN" and the damaged torpedo is repaired. Five torpedoes transferred (Time of transfer of one torpedo (from ship until stowed in U-boat): about 33 minutes.) without damage, the sixth is damaged. On 19 March 1941, provisioning of U-124 with 80 cbm of diesel and 4.0 cbm of drinking water commences and finishes at 1910 hrs - U-124 departs "KORMORAN" at 2200 hrs for the Freetown area.

 

Ship Name: Nordmark/Northmark (Westerwald, USS Dixie, USS Prairie - Dithmarschen class) - [KL Peter Grau]

 

U-65 (5th Patrol) [3 re-supply evolutions] - Outbound Lorient, 15/10/1940, inbound Lorient, 10/01/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Atlantic along West African coast; supplied from "NORDMARK" on 09-10 November 1940, ca. 360 nm NNW of St. Peter and Paul Rocks [pos: 06°27'N, 31°09'W] - fuel oil replenishment from "NORDMARK" - 106.6 t diesel., 2.6 t lubricating oil, 1.3 t general provisions, 7 t water; and again on 28-29 November 1940, in the same position - "NORDMARK" supplies 18.7 t. oil, 6.6 t. lubricating oil, 10 t. water, 1.4 t of general provisions and 6 torpedos; and again on 07 December 1940, ca. 330 nm WNW of St. Peter and Paul [pos: 01°57'N, 34°45'W] - "NORDMARK" supplies 46.3 t. fuel oil, 2.8 t. lubricating oil, 0.9 t. of general provisions and 4 t. of water. "NORDMARK" also supplies various machine repair parts to U-65 and assists in the repair of some machinery on U-65 until 09-12-1940 at 0200 hrs in FC 1251.

 

U-106 (2nd Patrol) [2 re-supply evolutions] - Outbound Lorient, 26/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 17/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic, off Cape Verde and West African coast, then escorting the German blockade runner "MV LECH"; supplied from "NORDMARK" on 30-31 March 1941, ca. 130 nm NNW of St. Peter and Paul Rocks Archipelago [pos: 02°51'N, 30°15'W] at 1055 hrs in ER 9813 took on 7 torpedoes and at 0800 took on 5 more torpedoes - at 1000 hrs U-106 took on 199.8 t. fuel oil, 2.8 t. lubricating oil, 1.4 t. of general provisions (bread, rolls, cakes and fresh meat) and 7 t. water; and again on 09 April 1941, ca. 160 nm NE of the same location [pos: 02°51'N, 27°33'W] - took on 20.8 t diesel , 1.0 t lubricating oil, 1.0 t of water and 1.0 t of provisions and 1 torpedo.

 

U-105 (2nd Patrol) [3 re-supply evolutions] - Outbound Lorient, 22/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 13/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic, off Cape Verde and West African coast, then escorting the German blockade runner "MV LECH"; refuelled from "NORDMARK" on 30 March - 01 April 1941, ca. 200 nm NW of St. Peter and Paul Rocks Archipelago [pos: 02°51'N, 31°09'W] at 1200 hrs in ER 8911 commenced to take on 13 torpedoes and on 31-03-41 at 1400 hrs in ER 8558 torpedo replenishment completed. On 01-04-41 at 0830 hrs in ER 6961 total replenishment was completed. Total of 6 G7e and 7 G7a torpedoes; 117 cubic meters of fuel oil; 3.5 cubic meters of lubricant; 8 cubic meters of fresh water and 4 weeks worth of general provisions; and again on 08-09 April 1941, ca. 170 nm N of St. Peter and Paul Rock [pos: 03°45'N, 31°09'W] with 36 cubic meters (30 t.) of fuel oil, 560 liters (0.6 t.) of lubricating oil, 2.8 cubic meters (3 t.) of fresh water, 3 weeks (1.05 t.) general provisions and newer Enigma code keys; and on 03-04 May 1941, ca. 400 nm NNW of the same location [pos: 07°21'N, 31°09'W] at 0900 in ER 5380 replenishment commences and completed at 2042 - 107 cbm (90.8 t.) of fuel oil, 1.7 cubic meters (2.0 t.) of lubricating oil, 8 cubic meters (7.0 t.) of fresh water and 5 weeks (5.5 t.) worth of general provisions and special supplies.

 

U-107 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 29/03/1941, inbound Lorient, 2/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Atlantic along West African coast; supplied from "NORDMARK" on 03-04 May 1941 with 1.9 t of fuel, 1.7 t of lubricating oil (3.5 t of lubricants in cans via rubber dinghy), 7.0 t of water and special supplies, NW of St. Peter and Paul Archipelago.

 

Italian submarines (4): Guglielmotti, Ferraris, Archimede and Perla refuelled from "NORDMARK" on 16-17 April 1941 in "Andalusien" (24.00 S-20.00 W).

Archimede on 16 April took on 123.6 t of fuel, 3.2 t of lubricating oil, fresh water and 2.0 t of provisions and .5 t of other items.

Guglielmotti was next on the night of 16-17 April, receiving 150.2 t of fuel, 6.0 t of lubricating oil, 10 t of water and 1.2 t (.3 t?) of provisions.

Ferraris, on the 17th, took on 133.2 t of fuel and 7.0 t of lubricating oil and also took on 15 t of water and 2.0 t of provisions, 675 liters of distilled water and .3 t of other items.

Perla refuelled again before noon on 23 April 1941 In "Andalusien" (26.00 S-18.00 W) with 81.5 t of fuel, 7.0 t of lubricating oil, 6.5 t of water and nearly 1.5 t of provisions, including 0.31 t of other stores.

The four subs mentioned eventually reached Bordeaux after covering approximately 13,00 sea miles.

 

Ship Name: Python [Kapitan Lueders] (While refitting U-A and U-68, on 01 December 1941, Python was intercepted and sunk by HMS Dorsetshire.)

 

U-124 (7th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 30/10/1941, inbound Lorient 29/12/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Atlantic; U-124 left from Lorient together with the supply ship "PYTHON", that had to be escorted off West Africa by U-124 and U-129, and to resupply them before they proceeded with their southward passage; the provisioning of U-124 took place on (19?)20 November 1941, ca. 670 nm WSW of Santiago, Cape Verde [pos: 10°03'N, 33°51'W] with 106 cbm fuel oil, lubricating oil, distillate fuel supplement and provisions.

 

U-129 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 21/10/1941, inbound Lorient 28/12/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Atlantic; U-129 travelled together with the supply ship "PYTHON", that had to be escorted off West Africa by U-124 and U-129, and to resupply them before they proceeded with their southward passage; the provisioning of U-129 took place on (18-19?)20 November 1941, ca. 650 nm WSW of Santiago, Cape Verde [pos: 09°09'N, 32°57'W] with fuel oil, lubricating oil and provisions.

 

U-A (6th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient 21/10/1941, inbound Lorient, 25/12/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling Central and South Atlantic; supplied from "PYTHON" between 01 December 1941, ca. 710 nm S of St. Helena [pos: 27°45'S, 04°09'W (27°53'S, 03°55'W?)] with fuel oil, lubricating oil and provisions

 

U-68 (2nd Patyrol) - Outbound Lorient, 11/09/1941, inbound Lorient, 25/12/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Atlantic, along West and South African coasts; supplied from "PYTHON" between 30 November - 01 December 1941, ca. 710 nm S of St. Helena [pos: 27°45'S, 04°09'W (27°53'S, 03°55'W?)] with 100 cbm fuel oil, 12 torpedos and provisions.

 

Ship Name: Tannenfels (DDG Hansa Line) [Kapitan Haase] (Scuttled 26(25?) August 1944 in the Gironde, France)

 

U-154 (4th Patrol)    -The blockade runner "TANNENFELS" on it's homeward journey from Asia, had picked up the commander and crew of the raider "STIER" (HSK-6 / Schiff 23) and then maintained strict radio silence to prevent her being located by radio direction finding on her way to France. For this reason it was arranged that the outbound U-154 met her, this happened in CD9755 during the afternoon on 22 Oct, 1942. The U-boat did not receive any supplies, but was given the status report of "TANNENFELS" (which included the status of survivors of the raider "STIER") which was later relayed in a radio message to the BdU from U-154, in order that "TANNENFELS" maintain radio silence on her way to Bordeaux.

 

Ship Name: Belchen (Sunk 3 June 1941 off Greenland by HMS Aurora and HMS Kenya)

 

U-111 (1st Patrol) - Outbound Wilhelmshaven, 5/05/1941, inbound Lorient, 7/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling North Atlantic, up to Southern coats of Greenland and off St. Lawrence Gulf; supplied from "BELCHEN" on 25-26 May 1941, ca. 130 nm SSW of Cape Farewell, Greenland [pos: 57°45'N, 45°24'W] with 99 cbm fuel oil, lubricating oil and provisions. A torpedo transfer from "BELCHEN" was attempted but it was not successful due to the heavy overall swell. U-111 crewmen stated that they were told that the tanker was to be recognised by the fact that three sailors without caps would be standing in the bows of the ship.

 

U-557 (1st Patrol) - Outbound Kiel, 13/05/1941, inbound Lorient, 10/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: North Atlantic, up to Southern coast of Greenland; supplied from "BELCHEN" between 2-3 June 1941, ca. 120 nm WSW of Cape Farewell [pos: 58°39'N, 47°12'W] with fuel oil, drinking water and provisions.

 

U-93 (4th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 3/05/1941, inbound St. Nazaire, 10/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling North Atlantic, up to South-eastern coast of Greenland; supplied from "BELCHEN" on 03 June 1941 ca. 120 nm WSW of Cape Farewell [pos: 58°39'N, 47°12'W] with 34 t of fuel, lubricating oil, fresh water, provisions and 26 G7a torpedoes. During this evolution, "BELCHEN" was intercepted and sunk by the British Cruisers "HMS Aurora" and "HMS Kenya".

 

Ship Name: Charlotte Schliemann  [Kapitan ROTHE (Kapitan DOHMEN?)]   - Owned by the Schliemann Shipping Company. She was bought from the Norwegian Shipping Company, A.F.Klaveness & Company in 1938. (Code Name "CULEBRA" - Sunk/scuttled using 80 kg of stored dynamite, 12 February 1944 at 0100 hrs in the Indian Ocean after torpedo attack by "HMS Relentless" and gunfire from "HMS Newcastle" - 42 survivors took to four lifeboats. Two lifeboats reached land - the first with 10 men reached Manajary, the middle of the east coast of Madagascar - and the second boat, with another twelve survivors, took four days longer, before it reached the shores of Madagascar - eleven men survived the ordeal and one died of exhaustion. Two other lifeboats with twenty men, left the scene of the sinking, but they were never seen again.)

 

U-198 (1st Patrol) - Outbound Kiel, 09/03/1943, inbound Bordeaux, 29/09/1943; patrol duties carried out: patrolling off South African coast; supplied from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" on 22-23 June 1943, ca. 550 nm S of Mauritius [pos: 29°39'S, 58°24'E]. On 22 June 1943, a strategy meeting was held on "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" with CO's of U-178, U-181, U-196, U-197 and U-198 to discuss security and provisioning sequence. On 23 June 1943 supplied with 308.5 cbm fuel oil and 10 cbm of wash water.

 

U-196 (1st Patrol) - Outbound Kiel, 13/03/1943, inbound Bordeaux, 23/10/1943; patrol duties carried out: patrolling off South and East Africa along Mozambique Channel; supplied from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" on 22-24 June 1943, ca. 550 nm S of Mauritius [pos: 29°39'S, 58°24'E] with 235 cbm fuel oil. Provisions onloaded 23-24 June 1943.

 

U-181 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Bordeaux, 23/03/1943, inbound Bordeaux, 14/10/1943; patrol duties carried out: patrolling off South Africa and eastern coast of Madagascar; supplied from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" on 23-26 June 1943, ca. 550 nm S of Mauritius [pos: 29°39'S, 58°24'E] with 280 cbm of diesel, 10 cbm of water and 60 days worth of provisions.

U-181 KTB Note: Total provisions taken for 60 days on board. When weather conditions (rough seas), the tanker can utilize no motorboat. Thus, the supply of ourselves and the four additional submarines (U-178, U-196, U-197, U-198) is somewhat delayed.
KMDT (LUTH): "Meat and vegetables are particularly scarce with the spoilage of the canned goods due to the length of the journey is to be expected in an increasing degree, so supplies will eventually become scarcer than the fuel. The tanker initially has provided us with much less food than expected. He has agreed to my idea of using more of his own supplies, but even that is not sufficient - we will sail without the necessary amount of provisions.
The merchant seaman Heinrich MULLER, from "Charlotte Schliemann" comes aboard as an ordinary seaman, to sail with us. I have requested him from the the Captain
(ROTHE) of the tanker, "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" - I requested him because Gfr. WILLIGER has been killed previously and Gfr. WILL that was disembarked was severely wounded (due to the explosion of the "new" 37mm anti-aircraft cannon 11 April 1943). The loss of the two sailors has hampered us continuously."

 

U-178 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Bordeaux, 28/03/1943, inbound Penang, 27/08/1943; patrol duties carried out: patrolling off South and East Africa; supplied from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" on 22-23 June 1943, ca. 550 nm S of Mauritius [pos: 29°39'S, 58°24'E] with 279 cbm (400 t) of fuel oil, 3.0 cbm of lubricating oil, 5.0 cbm of fresh water, 90 days worth of provisions and an additional 30 t of raw rubber (30 t had been loaded in Penang) and also received Enigma keys for June 1943 from U-510.

 

U-197 (1st Patrol) - Outbound Kiel, 03/04/1943, Sunk 20 Aug, 1943 south of Madagascar by depth charges from 2 British Catalina aircraft; patrol duties carried out: patrolling off South African coast; supplied from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" on 23 June 1943, ca. 550 nm S of Mauritius [pos: 29°39'S, 58°24'E] with 425 cbm of diesel and enough provisions to last until 10 October 1943.

 

U-177 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Kiel, 01/04/1943, inbound Bordeaux, 01/10/1943; patrol duties carried out: patrolling off South Africa and south-eastern coast of Madagascar; supplied from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" on 25-26 June 1943, ca. 550 nm S of Mauritius [pos: 29°39'S, 58°24'E] with fuel oil and water. Provision on-loading is delayed on the 25 June 1943 due to other boats being supplied - provisions finally taken aboard on the 26 June 1943.

 

U-510 (5th Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 03/11/1943, inbound Penang, 05/04/1944; patrol duties carried out: patrolling south-eastern African coast, Gulf of Aden and Laccadive Sea; supplied from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" on 27-28 January 1944, ca. 550 nm ESE of Mauritius [pos: 24°15 S, 68°00 E] along with U-178. U-510 took on fuel oil (?) from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN". U-510 also supplied Enigma keys for June 1943 to U-178.

 

U-178 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound Penang, 27/11/1943, inbound Bordeaux, 25/05/1944; patrol duties carried out: patrolling Bay of Bengal, Laccadive sea and Indian Ocean off Mauritius; supplied from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" along with U-510 on 27-28 January 1944, ca. 550 nm WSW of Mauritius [pos: 24°15 S, 68°00 E] with fuel oil, lubricating oil, water, provisions and 19 t of raw rubber and Enigma keys for June from U-510. Transferred to "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" Ma.Ob.Gfr. H. PIECKATZ due to stomach-ache and hernia and took aboard from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" Ma.Ob.Gfr. JOHANN MEYER as a replacement.

 

U-532 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound Penang, 04/01/1944, inbound Europe, then back to Penang after failing to refuel from "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" on 11 February 1944, when the tanker was forced to stop the refueling and to scuttle in order to avoid an Allied attack, ca. 900 nm E of Mauritius. Some of the "CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN" surviving crew were taken aboard U-532. Refuelled on 26 February 1944 from U-178 with 50 cbm fuel oil. Refueled from "BRAKE" On 11-12 March 1944. U-532 headed back to Penang (with crew from scuttled "BRAKE").

 

Ship Name: Lothringen (ex. Papendrecht, Empire Salvage)  [Kapitan Max Friedrichsen - Merchant Navy] - Taken over from the Dutch while under construction. Sunk 15 June 1941 in South Atlantic by the British cruiser "HMS Dunedin" and A/C from "HMS Eagle" - all of her crew of 80 were rescued. This was before she could rendezvous with U-A, U-69, U-103, and U-107, that should have refuelled from her between 18 and 19 June 1941, ca. 630 nm NNW of St. Peter and Paul, and 720 nmi WSW of Santiago, Cape Verde [pos: 10°03'N, 34°45'W].

 

Ship Name: Irene (ex. "Silvaplana", captured by "Atlantis") [Blockade Runner - Code name U 916 - Kapitan Wendt] Departed Bordeaux for Japan October 1942. Departed Kobe, Japan on 20 January 1943 for France with a cargo of rubber and tin. Scuttled on approach by "HMS Adventure" about 200 miles off Cape Finisterre on 10 April 1943 in BD 9884. 158 man crew survived and picked up by "HMS Adventure".

 

U-174 (3rd Patrol) - patrol duties carried out: patrolling Mid-Atlantic. Supplied IRENE with a "FuMB Metox" set, maps and special orders on 05 April 1943. IRENE was disguised as the "Hoegh Silver Star" or the "Rheinholt". U-174 reported that the IRENE was sufficiently supplied to remain at sea for 38 days (at 11.5 knots).

 

Ship Name: Regensburg  [Blockade Runner - Code name U 910 - Kapitan Harder] - Arrived Yokohama 07 July 1942 from Bordeaux. She departs Djakarta 06 February 1943 for Biscay port. She was scuttled on 30 March 1943 after being approached by "HMS Glasgow". 112 of the crew were lost and 6 were rescued.

 

U-161 (5th Patrol) - patrol duties carried out: patrolling Mid-Atlantic. Supplied to Regensburg on 23 Marh 1943. As recognition markings, Regensburg was to string a yard line with laundry from mizzenmast to stern during good weather, and during bad weather, fire hoses were to be hung on the mizzenmast. Regensburg was supplied by U-161 with an ice condition report, a "FuMB Metox" set, maps and two radio operators.

 

Ship Name: Pietro Orseolo  [Blockade Runner - Code name U 917 - Capitano Tarchioni] - Pietro Orseolo departs Kobe, Japan on 25 January 1943 and reaches Bordeaux on 02 April 1943 after being torpedoed by the American submarine "USS Shad". She managed to limp into Bordeaux and unload her patial cargo of rubber. She was badly damaged by bombing in port on 18 December 1943 and eventually sunk off Lorient.

 

U-161 (5th Patrol) - patrol duties carried out: patrolling Mid-Atlantic. Pietro Orseolo was supplied by U-161 with a "FuMB Metox" set on 26 March 1943.

 

Ship Name: M/V Lech(e) [Blockade Runner] Sailed from Biscay port to Brazil for a cargo of natural rubber on 08 March 1941(carried spare parts for a German Air Line). Arrived Rio de Janeiro on 07 April 1941. The Brazilian Government was asked for permission to have a U-boat escort the "Lech", but it did not give "official" permission, but would instruct it's Navy "not to see" the U-boat. U-106 was patrolling together with U-105 the central Atlantic, off Cape Verde and West African coast when, in early April, despite adverse view by Donitz, they were ordered to head South to Rio de Janeiro, and to wait for "Lech" that had to be escorted during her passage back to Europe. Seeing that "Lech" was delaying her departure, U-105 eventually resumed her regular patrol, whereas U-106 kept waiting for the German ship until 28 April 1941, when she left Rio with a valuable cargo which included 63 tons of nickel, 1,048 t of dry salted hides, 1,260 t of castor oil, 1,500 t of cottonseed cake, 5,891 kg of mica, 25 t of rock crystal, and 960 kg of coffee. Before starting the northward passage, the U-boat had to be supplied of fuel and provisions from "Lech", but this process resulted quite laborious and it didn't finish until 02 May 1941, when the two vessels started resuming their planned route. U-106 had to refit again from Egerland in order to resume her patrol off Freetown. Lech continued her passage to France, but she was eventually scuttled (after the escorting U-Boat, U-106 departed on 02 May 1941) 22 May 1941 upon approach by "HMS Edinburgh".

 

U-106 (2nd Patrol) - patrol duties carried out: patrolling Capetown area and the South Atlantic. Supplied by M/V Lech(e)  with 44 CBM of fuel, fresh water, potatoes and fresh provisions between 30 April and 02 May 1941.

 

Ship Name: Brake (ex Jurgens van den Bergh) [Kapitan Koelsbach (Koelschenbach?)] - This tanker was reported at Vigo in September 1939. During July and August 1940, she was reported to have discharged 4,500 tons of petrol at Vigo. "Brake" was reported to have sailed from Bilbao on 06 March 1941 for a French port and it is presumed to have become a supply ship from this date. Sailed from Penang on 26 February 1944 and sunk/scuttled 0n 12 March 1944 in the Indian Ocean after gunfire attack by "HMS Roebuck". Surviving crew of 196 were brought into Penang by U-168 and U-532 - U-188 returned to Bordeaux with the remaining survivors.

 

U-168 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 3/07/1943, inbound Penang, 11/11/1943; patrol duties carried out: patrolling the Arabian Sea, from Gulf of Aden to Gulf of Oman and Laccadive; supplied from "BRAKE" on 11-12 September 1943, ca. 450 nm SSE of Mauritius [pos: 27°51'S, 59°36'E] with diesel and provisions.

 

U-183 (3rd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 3/07/1943, inbound Penang, 30/10/1943; patrol duties carried out: patrolling the Indian Ocean, from East African coast to Laccadive; supplied from "BRAKE" on 10 September 1943, ca. 450 nm SSE of Mauritius [pos: 27°51'S, 59°36'E].

 

U-188 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 30/06/1943, inbound Penang, 30/10/1943; patrol duties carried out: patrolling the Arabian Sea, from Gulf of Aden to Gulf of Oman and Laccadive; supplied from "BRAKE" on 08-09 September 1943, ca. 450 nm SSE of Mauritius [pos: 27°51'S, 59°36'E] with diesel, lubricating oil and provisions.

 

U-532 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 3/07/1943, inbound Penang, 30/10/1943; patrol duties carried out: patrolling the Laccadive Sea; supplied from "BRAKE" on 08-09 September 1943, ca. 450 nm SSE of Mauritius [pos: 27°51'S, 59°36'E]. Partially supplied from "BRAKE" on 12 March 1944 before she was scuttled. Crew from "BRAKE" taken aboard U-532 and will be debarked in Penang.

 

U-533 (2nd Patrol) - Outbound Lorient, 5/07/1943, sunk 16/10/1943 in the Gulf of Oman by depth charges from a British Bisley (Blenheim) aircraft; patrol duties carried out: patrolling the Arabian Sea, from Gulf of Aden to Gulf of Oman; supplied from "BRAKE" on 11 September 1943, ca. 450 nm SSE of Mauritius [pos: 27°51'S, 59°36'E].

 

On 11 March 1944, U-168, U-188 and U-532 met up 1,000 nm SE of Mauritius [pos: 32.21S, 72.48E] for refueling from "BRAKE", before heading back from Indian Ocean to Europe. Due to bad weather, the refueling took longer than expected due to heavy weather. On the morning of the day after, only U-188 and U-532 had successfully refueled. U-168 was attempting to do the same when the group was spotted by several planes from the British escort carrier "HMS Battler". The U-boats managed to avoid the Allied attack by diving promptly, but the tanker was forced to scuttle before capture by the destroyer "HMS Roebuck", who had been called as reinforcement.

 

Depot Ships (Beischiff ) And Other Support Ships At Various Locations

 

As a matter of general interest, I have included a listing of the U-Boat support vessels (Depot Ships and U-Boat Support ships), although not directly associated with the supply organization "Etappendienst".

The first depot ship built in 1934 was the "Saar", primarily to serve Type I submarines. The next four vessels were the "Isar", "Weichsel", "Donau" and "Lech", which were mercantile conversions and the "Erwin Wassner", which was a vessel under construction. The next two vessels/pair was the "Wilhelm Bauer" and the "Waldemar Kophamel", which were built in 1938 and 1939 respectively and were diesel engined. The final unit was the "Otto Wunsche", which was launched in 1940, and had geared turbines. All of these vessels were of less than 5,000 tons but could attain at least 20 knots.

At the start of "Operation Barbarossa" in June 1941 all tenders and depot ships belonging to the training flotillas at Pillau and Gotenhafen were ordered to Horten on the Norwegian coast. In front (L-R) there is the "Waldemar Kophamel" followed by the "Nordland", "Bolkoburg", and "Heinz", all camouflaged according to the shore background.

 

Ship Name: Donau (ex. mercantile "Nicea")     Launched 19 December 1921 as "Nicea" - Was built as as a commercial steamer for Hapag-Nicea. Under its original name, in 1936 was owned by Reederei Karl Grammerstorf and it was purchased in the same year by the Kriegsmarine. During the reconstruction at the Szczecin Oderwerke, the name "Donau" (Danube) was adopted on 08 March 1937. On 29 April 1938 it's commissioning took place. "Donau" was used as a depot ship (tender) at the U-Flotilla Weddigen (1st U-Flotilla). On 15 January 1941 she was assigned to the 1st U-Boot Lehrdivision at Pillau. On 01 October 1941 she was re-assigned to the 21st U-Flotilla, and on 20th July 1944 to the 20th U-Flotilla. In January 1945, she was re-assigned to the 26th U-Flotilla. An ammunition explosion on 14 June 1945 in Flensburg capsized and sank the ship.

 

Ship Name: Erwin Wassner (ex. mercantile "Gran Canaria")  The Kriegsmarine purchased the "Gran Canaria" from the Oldenburg-Portuguese Steamship Company, Hamburg in 1938 and launched on 29 January 1938 and called the "Erwin Wassner". She was to be used as a target ship and an escort ship, She was put in service on 11 January 1939 and home ported at Kiel. The ship served the FdU / BdU, concentration camps and Commodore Doenitz and his staff as a Fuhrungsschiff (command ship). Bombed Allied A/C Kiel 24 July 1944 and sunk.

 

Ship Name: Isar (ex. mercantile "Puma") [Last CO Kptlt. Lindke] Submarine tenders of Lech class were modified steam reefers. Launched in December 1930 as the "Puma". Initially she was a fruit steamer belonging to the African Fruit Co. (Shipping company F.Laeisz), Hamburg - was purchased by the Kriegsmarine on 29 August 1938 and converted at F.Schichau in Konigsberg on 25 July 1939 and placed in service as the Ubootbegleitschiff "Isar". It was first used at the U-Flotilla Hundius (6th U-Flotilla). On 01 January 1940, she was assigned to the 2nd U-Flotilla. She then was assigned from 01 April 1941 to the 27th U-Flotilla. On 15 June 1943, the "Isar" relocated to Pillau with the 20th U-Flotilla - the "Isar" now belonged to the 20th U-Flotilla until March 1945 to then until the war ended with the 25th U-Flotilla. After the war she was awarded to Russia, and delivered there on 19 February 1946. In 1946 she got the name "Neman" ("Nyeman"?) with the Soviets.

 

Ship Name: Lech* (ex. mercantile "Panther") [Last CO Kptlt. Erich Hasse]  Submarine tenders of Lech class were modified steam reefers. Launched 07 October 1930. Purchased by the Kriegsmarine in June 1938, the fruit steamer "Panther" of the African Fruit Co. (Shipping company F.Laeisz), Hamburg, and converted to a Ubootbegleitschiff (U-Boat escort ship) at the Oderwerke in Szczecin and christened as "Lech" on 29 August 1938 and placed in service on 10 June 1939. She was initially assigned to the U-Flotilla Emsmann (5th U-Flotilla) in January 1940, and then assigned to the 1st U-Flotilla on 01 January 1940. From 01 June to 14 December 1941, she was re-attached on 15 December 1941 until September 1943 to the 24th U-Flotilla. In September 1943, she was re-assigned to the 23rd U-Flotilla. In November 1943, she was again re-assigned to the 20th U-Flotilla and in March 1945, she was re-assigned to the 25th U-Flotilla until the war ended. Lech was acquired after the war by the U.S., which it was awarded on 19 July 1946, and then issued in 1948 to Italy under the name "Mare Ligure" until 1949. She was later bought by Israeli Zim Navigation line as "Artsa" to transport immigrants to Israel until it was scrapped in 1963.

*The Lech mentioned above is not  the Blockade Runner (Blockadebrecher) "M/V Lech(e)", which was scuttled on 28 May 1941 when approached by HMS Edinburgh in the central Atlantic.

 

Ship Name: Otto Wunsche  Launched 23 May 1940 - the largest German sub tender, a further development of the Wilhelm Bauer class. Placed in service on 06 November 1943 and assigned to the 27th U-Flotilla as an escort vessel. Before the end of the war in April 1945, she was assigned to the 26th U-Flotilla. In May 1945, she was attached temporarily to the German Minesweeping Administration (DMRL). She was awarded after the war to Russia. First, she accompanied the light cruiser "Nurnberg", the target ship "Hesse" with the radio control boat flash, the destroyers "Z 33", the torpedo boats "T 33" and "T 107" in January to Libau, where these ships were handed over to Russia. "Otto Wunsche" brought the crew back to Germany, then was delivered to the Russians and named "Paisherd"("Pechora", "Pecora"?) (1946) - served until 1970's. Scrapped 1977.

 

Ship Name: Saar           As a Fleet Tender Saar (keel 19 September 1933) launched on 05 April 1934. The completed. "Saar" was the first "Uboottender". She was put into service on 01 October 1934. In 1935 she was assigned at UAS (Ubootabwehrschule), where she was used for navigational training and as a target ship. On 01 November 1935, she was then assigned to the 1st U-Flotilla (Weddigen), and on 01 November 1937 to the U-Flotilla Salzwedel (2nd U-Flotilla) on 06 October 1937 as an escort ship. She then was assigned in July 1940 to the 25th U-Flotilla. She then worked at the 27th Flotilla in 1943, the 26th Flotilla in 1944, and towards the end of the war (1945) she had been partially dismantled and used as an accommodation ship of FdU East. Her last CO was Kptlt. Erich Reinke. "Saar" was taken over by the United States on 01 September 1947 in Bremerhaven. In October 1947, "Saar" was given to France as reparations in Cherbourg. She was in the French Navy as the "Gustave Zede" (this is the name of a French engineer, which the French regard as the builder of the first real submarine) and renamed first as leader ship of an ASW in the Mediterranean, then as a submarine tender (AS) of the Mediterranean squadron until 1965, and ultimately as the lead ship of the Education Department of the French fleet. On 15 December 1970, the ship was put out of service, was discarded in 1971. She then was designated as "Baptise Q 481" , under the sl'Aeronavale and operated as a target ship until early 1976, after an active period of 42 years. and sunk by Fr. submarine "Doris'("Dolphin") as a target on 26 February 1976. The ship lies at 2149 meters depth in position 42 ° 30 N and 05 ° 24 E.

 

Ship Name: Waldemar Kophamel  Launched 15 May 1939 an put in sevice on 21 October 1940 as an escort vessel. "Waldemar Kophamel" was initially assigned to the 27th U-Flotilla in February 1941 and then she was assigned to the 24th U-Flotilla and then was re-assigned back to the 27th U-Flotilla in February 1942. "Waldemar Kophamel" also operated as a target ship in 1944 when she was assigned to the 24th U-Flotilla at Pillau. She was bombed and sunk by Allied A/C Gydnia 18 December 1944; salved 1950 and then underwent repairs from 1951 until 1955 at Neptunwerft Rostock for basic renovations and then put back into sevice as the Russian "Kuban" and joined Soviet Navy in 1955. She served as a submarine tender and later as a floating barracks and finally was scrapped in 1978.

 

Ship Name: Weichsel (ex. mercantile "Syra")    Initially launched in May 1923 as "Syra". The cargo steamer "Syra" of Hapag, Hamburg, was purchased by the Navy on 28 August 1936 and prepared at the Oderwerke, Stettin. Renamed as "Weichsel" on 07 April 1937 and entered into service as a U-Boat tender on 04 October 1937 at this time in U-Flotilla LOHS (3rd U-Flotilla), and on 26 March 1938 for U-Flotilla Weddigen (1st U-Flotilla); re-assigned to the 2nd U-Boot Lehrdivision (ULD) at Gotenhafen on 15 January 1941. Later to the 22nd U-Flotilla on 01 July 1941 at Gydnia. On 30 March 1945 sunk by bombing from Allied A/C at Wilhelmshaven. Raised in 1945 and ceded to Britain 1945-1946, as the "Royal Rupert". On 08 February 1946-1947 she sailed under the Russian flag as "Donetz" ("Donec?)".

 

Ship Name: Wilhelm Bauer [Last CO Kptlt. Heinrich Kelling]     The submarine escort vessel "Wilhelm Bauer", launched 20 December 1938, and put into service on 30 April 1940 as an escort vessel with the Agrufront. It was after the completion of the first test cruise at the Agrufront (technical training group for front submarines). From 27 July 1940 "Wilhelm Bauer" was assigned to the 27th U-Flotilla and used as a Beischiff. She also operated as a target ship in September 1944 when she was assigned to the 24th U-Flotilla at Pillau. In March 1945, "Wilhelm Bauer" was assigned to the 25 U-Flotilla. "Wilhelm Bauer" spent only a short time there. On 11 March 1945, she relocated to Travemunde and was bombed there on 08 April 1945, burned out and sunk. Salved in 1950-1951 and scrapped.

 

Ship Name: Ubena [CO Kapitan Hermann M. Forster - Kapitan Laukan]       In 1928 "Ubena" was a passenger-cargo reefer vessel of the German East Africa Line - Woermann Line. "Ubena" was purchased by the Kriegsmarine and assigned in 1939 to Kiel and then to the the 21st U-Flotilla in Pillau and as a U-Boat depot ship to the 1st U-Boot Lehrdivision at Pillau in January 1945. On 24 January 1945 (02 February 1945?) she was requisitioned (as a hospital ship - Verwundetentransport Schiff) to carry refugees and wounded troops from Pillau. She was the last ship to leave Danzig on 25 March 1945 with 4000 refugees and wounded troops. She was seized by the Allies at Travemunde in 1945. She had been used as an escort ship, a target ship, a depot ship and an accomodation ship during her Kriegsmarine career. She was taken over by the British on 17 July 1945 and employed by the MoWT as a troopship "HMT SS Empire Ken". She was scrapped in 1957.

 

Ship Name: Heinz (ex M/S Heinz Horn)   Built by F. Schickau, Elbing 1928 | 1939 to Westindische Schiffahrtskontor, Hamburg renamed Heinz and after blockade running in October 1939, the M/S Heinz Horn was bought by the Kriegsmarine to be used as a tender for the 24th Submarine Flotilla. She then received a peace-time paint scheme with silver grey upper works, a squirrel grey hull, and a black funnel., 1940 reverted to owner renamed Heinz Horn, 1946 allocated to the Netherlands renamed Betuwe, 1947 sold to DS AS Inga & DS AS Jan (Mgrs J. Eliassen), Bergen Norway renamed Livarden, 1954 sold to Crete Shipping Co., London renamed Crete Avan, 1955 sold to Leighton Shipping Co., London renamed Alderney, 1961 scrapped.

 

Ship Name: Hela Built by H.C. Stulken Werft in 1940. To fit out the fleet tender "Hela" with diesel engines - those initially intended to be installed in the "M/S Sofia" were utilized. Without her funnel, she then served as a barracks hulk. The fleet tender Hela was a German marine command vessel, serving from June 1941 until the end of the World War II as headquarters of the fleet commander (from 1943 onwards Grossadmiral Karl Donitz). In 1946 the ship was commandeered by the Soviet Union and she was wearing a light grey paint scheme. Renamed Angara, she was a part of the baltic fleet until the dissolution of the USSR. Moored in Sevastopol (Ukraine) she fell into despair. In 2007 an Italian business man bought the ship, intending to transform Angara into a yacht. As of July 2011, the ship is still in Sevastopol with no visible conversion work going on.

 

Ship Name: Cordillera Built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg in 1933 and belonging to the Hamburg America Line (HAPAG) Line. It was a combination passenger - freighter. Initially intended for Caribbean service but later acquired by the Kriegsmarine. The depot / accomodation ship (Wohnschiff) "CORDILLERA" was reported at Swinemunde during the summer 1943. Bombed and sunk 03 December 1945 at Swinemunde; 1949 raised and ceded to USSR in 1949 and renamed Rus. Disposed of in 1979.

 

Ship Name: Caribia Built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg in 1933 and belonging to the Hamburg America Line (HAPAG) Line. It was a combination passenger - freighter. Initially intended for Caribbean service but later acquired by the Kriegsmarine. The depot / accomodation ship (Wohnschiff) "Caribia" was homeported in Murwik and was ceded to Britain in 1945 and in 1946, ceded to USSR and renamed Ilich. Disposed of in 1983.

 

Ship Name: CORDILLERA Built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg in 1933 and belonging to the Hamburg America Line (HAPAG) Line. It was a combination passenger - freighter. Initially intended for Caribbean service but later acquired by the Kriegsmarine. The depot / accomodation ship (Wohnschiff) "CORDILLERA" was reported at Swinemunde during the summer 1943. Bombed and sunk 03 December 1945 at Swinemunde; 1949 raised and ceded to USSR in 1949 and renamed Russ (Ðóñü). Disposed of in 1979.

 

Notes:

Abbreviations Used --

Agrufront = U-Boat Technical Training Group

Torpedo-Klarmachschiff (Torpedo Transport Ship)

Begleitschiff = Escort Vessel

Ubootabwehrschule (UAS) Anti-submarine School

CBM - cubic metres

ULD = U-Boot Lehrdivision (Training Flotilla)

MoWT = (Br.) Ministry for War Transport

Verwundetentransport Schiff = Wounded Transport Ship

Fuhrungsschiff = Command Ship

Versorgungsschiff (Beischiff) = Depot Ship (Depotschiff)

Stutzpunkt-Tanker = Base Tanker

Walfangmutterschiff = Factory Ship

t = tons

Werkstattschiff = Repair Ship

Wohnschiff = Accomodation Ship

Zielschiff  = Target Ship

 

Other German supply ships:

Kota Pinang, Alstertor, Esso Hamburg, Friedrich Breme, Gedania, Gonzenheim, Spichern, Ermland, Altmark (Uckermark), Dithmarschen , Westerwald, Franken

Other German support ships:

Kamerun (Werkstattschiff), Huascaran (Werkstattschiff), Pelagos (Walfangmutterschiff), Karnten (Hilftross -Schiffe), Black Watch (Begleitschiff), Neumark (Werkstattschiff), Leverkusen (Torpedo-Klarmachschiff), Pelagos (Stutzpunkt-Tanker),

 

DEPOT REFERENCES

http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/HAPAG3.html#anchor670313

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/Soviet_Merchant_Marine._German_Ships_in_Soviet_Merchant_Navy_after_WWII

SCHWADTKE

Reference Sources (click on the underlined links for more info)

Tanker und Versorger der deutschen Flotte 1900 - 1980 by Dieter Jung, Martin Maass, Berndt Wenzel, Arno Abendroth, Norbert. Kelling - Motorbuch Verlag., Stuttgart. (Marz 1995) ISBN 3879437807 

The Milk Cows: The U-Boat Tankers at War 1941 - 1945 by John F. White - Pen and Sword (September 2009) ISBN 184884008X 

Herbert Ritschel, Kurzfassung Kriegstagesbuecher Deutscher U-Boote 1939-1945 - Vols. 1 thru 15 (2001-2012) by Herbert Ritschel - Self Published 

U-Boat Operations Of The Second World War Vol. I (U1-U510) & Vol. II (U511-UIT 25) by Kenneth Wynn - Chatham Publishing (1997) ISBN 1557508607 

The U-Boat: The Evolution and Technical History of German Submarines by Eberhard Rossler - Cassell (May 28, 2002) ISBN 0304361208 

The U-Boat War in the Atlantic 1939-1945 by Great Britain Ministry of Defence, Gunter Hessler (Editor) - Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Facsimile edition edition (November 1989) ISBN 0117726036 

The Secret Raiders by David Woodward - W.W. Norton & Co., New York (1955)

History Of The Second World War - The War At Sea - Vol. I, Vol. II, Vol. III Part 1, Vol. III, Part II by S. W. Roskill (Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1954-1961)

U-Boat Ace Wolfgang Luth by Jordan Vause (1990) ISBN 1-85310-271-7

The Milk Cows: The U-Boat Tankers at War 1941 - 1945 by John F. White (2009) ISBN 978-1-84884-008-9

Suppliers Of The Grey Wolves:The Story of the German Submarine Tankers 1941-44 by Axel Urbanke (2013) ISBN 978-3-941437-14-2

Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe, Band 3, U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger und Sperrbrecher by Groner, Erich, Jung Dieter - Bernhard & Graefe Verlag, Koblenz 1985, ISB 3-7637-4802-4

Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe, Band 4, Handelsschiffe I, Werkstattschiffe, Tender, Begleitschiffe, Tanker und Versorger by Groner, Erich, Jung Dieter - Bernhard & Graefe Verlag, Koblenz 1986, ISB 3-7637-4803-2

German Raiders Of World War II by August Karl Muggenthaler - (1977) ISBN 0-13-354027-8

Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet by James P. Duffy - (2001) ISBN 0-275-96685-2

US Naval Institue Proceedings - Germany's Secret Naval Supply Service - Oct. 1953 (p.1084-1090; May 1954 (p. 573)

Deutschlands Handelsschiffe 1939-1945 by Karl Heinz Schwadtke (1974)

Die Schiffe der deutschen Kriegsmarine und Luftwaffe 1939-45 by Erich Groner (1976) ISBN 3-469-00297-5

I Sommergibili Negli Oceani by Ubaldini, Ubaldino Mori, Adm. & Cocchia, Aldo (Rome - 2002) 

Hitler's U-Boat War - Volume I and Volume II by Clay Blair (1996-1998)

War In The Southern Oceans 1939-1945 by Turner, L. C. & Gordon-Cumming, H. R. & Betzler, J. E. (Capetown, SA - 1961)

Under Ten Flags by Bernhard Rogge (1957)

Anstriche und Tarnanstriche der deutchen Kriegsmarine by Dieter Jung, Arno Abendroth, and Norbert Kelling (Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Bonn, 1997) ISBN 3-7637-5964-6

Yanagi by Mark Felton (2005) ISBN 1-84415-167-0

Under Three Flags by Geoffrey Jones (1973) SBN 7183-0492-6

The Cruise Of The German Raider Atlantis by Joseph P. Slavick (2003) ISBN 1-55750-537-3

Hitler's Grey Wolves: U-Boats in the Indian Ocean by Lawrence Paterson (2006) ISBN 1-85367-615-2

Rettung uber die Ostsee by Heinz Schon (2002) ISBN 3-613-02236-2

Flucht Uber die Ostsee 1944/45 im Bild by Heinz Schon (1985) ISBN 3-613-01061-5

Deutsche U-Boote Vor Norwegen 1940-1945 by Svein Aage Knudsen (2005) ISBN 3-8132-0841-9

Schiffsschicksale Ostsee 1945 by Wolfgang Muller (2001) ISBN 3-7822-0612-6

Ultra In The Atlantic Vol. II - Edited by Jeffrey K. Bray (1994) ISBN 0-89412-236-3

Ultra In The Atlantic Vol. VI - Edited by Jeffrey K. Bray (1994) ISBN 0-89412-241-X

 

Glossary of German Military Terms

U-Boat Archive.net

Versorgung von U-Booten

Deutsches U-Boot Museum U-Boats In Spain

U-Boat.net

Axis History Forum

German Weather Forces

Survivors - A WW2 Survival Story Of The U-Boat U-188 and Charlotte Schielmann

German Naval Grid Position Calculator 

WW 2 Island Territories

Supply Ships In Spanish Ports 1939-1942

U-Boats In Spain During The Second World War

The Australian Government Department Of Defence - KTB Of "KORMORAN"

Auke Visser's German Esso Tanker's Site

U-Boat Tenders And Depot Ships

German Depot Ships Listing

World Ship Lists

Ships Of The Hamburg-America (HAPAG) Line

Soviet Merchant Marine. German Ships in Soviet Merchant Navy after WW II

 

Ken Deshaies - Newton, NH (2014)