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Thread: The end of the u-boat war at sea

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    Default The end of the u-boat war at sea

    ON THIS DAY

    On the morning of 4 May 1945 Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz, sent a short signal transmitted on all U-boat frequencies ordering the end of attacks on Allied shipping effective 08.00 5 May. This read:

    ALL U-BOATS. ATTENTION ALL U-BOATS.

    CEASE-FIRE AT ONCE. STOP ALL HOSTILE ACTION AGAINST ALLIED SHIPPING.

    DÖNITZ.

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    Default Re: The end of the u-boat war at sea

    However not everyone obeyed that order. Commander Emil Klusmeier of U-2336 sunk two vessels on the 7th May 1945 claiming that he never received the message although he was the closest submarine to Germany at that time. It was later deemed unlikely he did not receive the message, as the airwaves were alive with chatter between submarines, who were no doubt as glad as any, if not more so, that the war was over

    The ships sunk on 7th were British ship 'Avondale Park' and the Norwegian vessel 'Sneland 1' both vessels including their escorts were sailing with their navigation lights on, as instructed by the Admiralty.

    Klusmeier had never sunk any vessels prior to 7th May and probably wanted a couple of kills on his record, apparently he was never prosecuted, at least I have not been able to find any evidence of a prosecution

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    Default Re: The end of the u-boat war at sea

    Thanks Ivan
    Od some interest perhaps for others and possibly yourself if not having this already!

    Canada commemorates last merchant ship sunk by Germany - off Fife - at end of Second World War (thecourier.co.uk)
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: The end of the u-boat war at sea

    On the evening of 7th May 1945, the unconditional surrender by Germany to the Western Allies was signed at Rheims. The same day the coastal Convoy EN-491 was making her way northward past the Firth of Forth, one mile East of May Island. As the country was celebrating well into the night the final peace in Europe, at around 22.45 hours, two massive explosions rolled in from across the sea into the Firth of Forth. The Ladies at the Methil Seaman's Mission knew the sound only too well and hurriedly prepared blankets and hot soup for any possible survivors. U-2336 had found its mark on two Merchant ships, the British Avondale Park, 2,878grt, (MOWT, Witherington & Everett) killing two crewmembers and the Norwegian Sneland-I, which sank within two minutes in position 56’ 09N 02’ 30W with the loss of seven crewmembers including a young British Merchant Seaman age sixteen. The survivors from both ships were rescued by the convoy escort naval trawlers HMS Valse and HMS Leicester City and eventually landed at Methil. The sinking’s happened three days after Admiral Karl Dönitz had given the U-boats the order to stop all enemy action and return to port. The U-boats had finished their war as they had started it nearly six years before, with an unprovoked attack on the men of the "Forgotten Fourth Service"

    The last three British Merchant Seamen killed that day were Chief Engineer George Anderson (pictured) from Co. Durham. He had served at sea throughout the war, having served in Atlantic convoys, Operation Torch in the North African Campaign and the dreaded Russian convoys. He left behind a wife and two daughters. Donkeyman William Harvey from South Shields had also served at sea throughout the war and left behind a wife. Mrs Sarah Jane Harvey had been putting the final touches to the celebration bunting in the street where they lived when she was informed of his death. Both men had been on duty in the engine-room of the Avondale Park and were believed to have died instantly. Mess-room Boy William Henry Ellis from Hull, serving on the Norwegian Sneland-I was just five days short of his 17th Birthday when killed.

    Avondale-Park-VE-Day.jpg

    Lest We Forget.
    "Across the seas where the great waves grow, there are no fields for the poppies to grow, but its a place where Seamen sleep, died for their country, for you and for peace" (Billy McGee 2011)

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    Default Re: The end of the u-boat war at sea

    Hello
    33 submarines surrendered in Loch Eribol in the far north of Scotland. They were met and boarded by Allied Naval personnel.
    8 Submarines were escorted south to Loch Alsh, flying the White Ensign of the Royal Navy
    in Loch Alsh there was a complete disarmament and the Crews and Officers were taken away. A skeleton crew remained under armed guard.
    Sir Max Horton ordered my Dad to voyage to Loch Alsh and then to Loch Foyle and Lisahlly in Northern Ireland to represent the Rescue Ship Service.
    11 Allied Warships left Loch Alsh on 13th May which included HMS HESPERUS, HMCS THETFORD MINES, USS PAINE. These ships represented the major elements from the Naval Alliances in the Battle of the Atlantic; namely Britain, Canada and the U.S.A.
    Unfortunately, for the crew of the GOODWIN( Dad's ship) they were not able to maintain the speed of the Naval Escorts, particularly as they were in their usual place at the rear of the Convoy.
    Not wanting to disappoint his crew, Dad took the GOODWIN at night through the narrow passage of Kylrea taking Depth soundings as he went. The Narrows here are just 656 yards across.
    He brought the GOODWIN through the Sound of Sleet and then southwards to Loch Foyle and Lisahally where Sir Max Horton formally took the surrender of the token force at 2pm on 14th May
    All this from my Dad's notes.
    Brenda
    Photos to follow when I get them sorted.

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    Default Re: The end of the u-boat war at sea

    1945 E MAY LISAHALLY.JPG1945 E MAY LOCH ALSH U-BOAT.jpg1945 E MAY MAP OF AREA.jpg1945 E MAY Admiral-Sir-Max-Horton-5.jpg

    The Admiralty ordered all U-boats at sea to surface and hoist black flags and make their way to certain ports and positions. A white flag of surrender would not be easily seen against the white of the waves.
    Photos of Sir Max Horton accepting the surrender at Lisahally 14th May.
    Map of Kylrea

    Brenda

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    Default Re: The end of the u-boat war at sea

    My wife's father RNVR was at Wilhelmshaven after the war and took part in the disposal of the U-boat fleet. Here is a snip from my seagoing memoir, "You'll See Wonders" where I hope to bring to life an old conversation in the saloon of a Brocklebank ship in 1958:

    My fiance is speaking: "I know Dad took part in the scuttling of the U-boat fleet at a place called Wilhelmshaven, after the surrender. He brought home a clock from one U-boat. And the dress flag off the battleship Prinz Eugen; it's enormous — red with a black cross in the middle and a swastika in one corner. He keeps it folded up; we don't like to look at it. He brought back other German flags, and a parachute — we made blouses out of them.'
    As the soup arrives, the mate chimes in: 'Prinz Eugen was a heavy cruiser. It was her and the Bismark put an end to HMS Hood.'
    The chief engineer follows with: 'The Yanks hauled Eugen all the way to Bikini Atoll, in mid Pacific. They parked her up with a load of other redundant ships, then exploded an atom bomb overhead to ascertain what might transpire. Only a few sank, so they detonated another bomb underwater. What was left of Eugen got towed to another atoll for inspection, but she capsized and will have to stay where she lies, upside down.'" End of snip.

    We keep a silver tray and six goblets Beryl's dad brought home from a Wilhelmshaven naval storehouse. They were intended as awards to U-boat officers on the sinking of certain tonnages of Allied shipping. Lt. Frank Scott's commander declared: 'What's good enough for them, is good enough for my chaps. Share them out!'.

    I believe there is a set in the Greenwich maritime museum.
    ***
    Last edited by Harry Nicholson; 8th May 2023 at 09:34 AM.
    Harry Nicholson

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    Default Re: The end of the u-boat war at sea

    My wife is always complaining about our everyday cutlery saying how blunt the knives are. I say do you not remember me bringing them home shortly after we were married that was 60 years ago and they were probably 40 years old then . Everything on the ship I was on at the time was up for grabs we were told by the owners selling the ship to foreign owners . It was one of Runciman ships and he wouldn’t of supplied anything of real value to his ships . JS
    R575129

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    Default Re: The end of the u-boat war at sea

    Harry Nicholson

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    Default Re: The end of the u-boat war at sea

    Of course John what you should do is buy one of those things that comes with a set of steak knives, solve all the problems.
    Or buy a whet stone and sharpen the bloody things.
    But if they came from the crew mess room on a ship they were most likely made not to cut anything.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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