E-boat was the Western Allies' designation for the fast attack craft (German: Schnellboot, or S-Boot, meaning "fast boat") of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. The most popular, the S-100 class, were very seaworthy, heavily armed and capable of sustaining 43.5 knots (80.6 km/h; 50.1 mph), briefly accelerating to 48 knots (89 km/h; 55 mph).
These craft were 35 m (114 ft 10 in) long and 5.1 m (16 ft 9 in) in beam. Their diesel engines provided a range of 700 to 750 nmi (810–860 mi; 1,300–1,390 km), substantially greater than the gasoline-fueled American PT boats and British Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs).
An E-boat flying the white flag, after surrender at the coastal forces base HMS Beehive, Felixstowe, May 1945
|Name:||E-boat (German: S-boot)|
|Class and type:||S-100 Fast attack craft|
|Length:||32.76 m (107.5 ft)|
|Beam:||5.06 m (16.6 ft)|
|Draught:||1.47 m (4 ft 10 in)|
|Installed power:||3,960 brake horsepower (2,950 kW)|
|Propulsion:||3 × Daimler Benz MB 501 marine diesel engines|
|Speed:||43.8 knots (81.1 km/h; 50.4 mph)|
|Range:||800 nmi (1,500 km; 920 mi) at 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)|
This design was chosen because the theatre of operations of such boats was expected to be the North Sea, English Channel and the Western Approaches. The requirement for good performance in rough seas dictated the use of a round-bottomed displacement hull rather than the flat-bottomed planing hull that was more usual for small, high-speed boats. The shipbuilding company Lürssen overcame many of the disadvantages of such a hull and, with the Oheka II, produced a craft that was fast, strong and seaworthy. This attracted the interest of the Reichsmarine, which in 1929 ordered a similar boat but fitted with two torpedo tubes. This became the S-1, and was the basis for all subsequent E-boats.
After experimenting with the S-1, the Germans made several improvements to the design. Small rudders added on either side of the main rudder could be angled outboard to 30 degrees, creating at high speed what is known as the Lürssen Effect. This drew in an "air pocket slightly behind the three propellers, increasing their efficiency, reducing the stern wave and keeping the boat at a nearly horizontal attitude". This was an important innovation as the horizontal attitude lifted the stern, allowing even greater speed, and the reduced stern wave made E-boats harder to see, especially at night.
E-boats, a British designation using the letter E for Enemy, were primarily used to patrol the Baltic Sea and the English Channel in order to intercept shipping heading for the English ports in the south and east. As such, they were up against Royal Navy and Commonwealth, e.g., Royal Canadian Navy contingents leading up to D-Day, Motor Gun Boats (MGBs), Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), Motor Launches, frigates and destroyers. They were also transferred in small numbers to the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea by river and land transport. Some small E-boats were built as boats for carrying by auxiliary cruisers.
Crew members could earn an award particular to their work—Das Schnellbootkriegsabzeichen—denoted by a badge depicting an E-boat passing through a wreath. The criteria were good conduct, distinction in action, and participating in at least twelve enemy actions. It was also awarded for particularly successful missions, displays of leadership or being killed in action. It could be awarded under special circumstances, such as when another decoration was not suitable.
E-boats of the 9th flotilla were the first naval units to respond to the invasion fleet of Operation Overlord. They left Cherbourg harbour at 5 a.m. on 6 June 1944. On finding themselves confronted by the entire invasion fleet, they fired their torpedoes at maximum range and returned to Cherbourg.
During World War II, E-boats claimed 101 merchant ships totalling 214,728 tons. and 12 destroyers, 11 minesweepers, eight landing ships, six MTBs, a torpedo boat, a minelayer, a submarine and a number of smaller craft, such as fishing boats. They also damaged two cruisers, five destroyers, three landing ships, a repair ship, a naval tug and numerous other merchant vessels. Sea mines laid by the E-boats were responsible for the loss of 37 merchant ships totalling 148,535 tons, a destroyer, two minesweepers and four landing ships.
In order to boost Axis naval strength in the Black Sea, the OKW ordered to the region the transfer of six E-boats of the 1st S-flotilla, the last to be released from action in the Baltic Sea before refit. The Romanian port of Constanța was elected as the S-flotilla's headquarters. Transporting the six boats overland from Germany to Romania was an impressive logistical feat. The superstructure and all weapons were removed, leaving only the hull. After a long road journey of 60 hours, the boats arrived at Ingolstadt, where they were transferred back to water and towed towards Linz. Upon reaching the Austrian city, the superstructure was rebuilt, then the journey continued down the Danube to Galați, where the main engines were installed. The E-boats then continued on their own power towards Constanța, where refitting was completed.
The first two boats, S-26 and S-28, arrived in Constanța on 24 May 1942, the second pair, S-72 and S-102 on 3 June, and the final pair, S-27 and S-40 10 days later. After the sinking of S-27 by a malfunctioning torpedo, four more reserve boats, S-47, S-49, S-51, S-52 were dispatched to the Black Sea, in order to replace boats undergoing maintenance. S-28, S-72 and S-102 were soon relegated to the Constanța Shipyard for engine replacement, leaving only S-26 and the newly commissioned S-49 operational. On 1 January 1944, the 1st S-flotilla numbered six operational boats: S-26, S-42, S-47, S-49, S-52 and S-79 while S-28, S-40, S-45 and S-51 were all out of commission, undergoing repair in Constanța. Three more boats were shipped down the Danube and were being reconstructed at Constanța. On 1 June 1944, 8 boats were operational in Constanța: S-28, S-40, S-47, S-49, S-72, S-131, S-148 and S-149. The boats were however penned in harbor, due to fuel shortage. During July, S-26, S-28, S-40 and S-42 were transferred to Sulina at the mouth of the Danube, where S-42 was fitted with a new propeller. They were joined by S-72 in early August, the rest of the boats remaining in Constanța. On 19 August, S-26, S-40 and S-72 were destroyed in port by a Soviet air attack. On 22 August S-148 hit a mine and sank near Sulina, and on the following day, S-42, S-52 and S-131 were destroyed in Constanța by a Soviet air attack. What remained of the S-flotilla was disbanded after Romania switched sides on the same day.
The poor seaworthiness of the Italian-designed MAS boats of World War I and early World War II led its navy to build its own version of E-boats, the CRDA 60 t type, classed MS (Motosilurante). The prototype was designed on the pattern of six German-built E-boats captured from the Yugoslav Navy in 1941. Two of them sank the British light cruiser HMS Manchester in August 1942, the largest victory by fast torpedo craft in the Second World War. After the war these boats served with the Italian Navy, some well into the 1970s.
The Kriegsmarine supplied the Spanish Navy with six E-boats during the Spanish Civil War, and six more during the Second World War. Another six were built in Spain with some assistance from Lürssen. One of the early series, either the Falange or the Requeté, laid two mines during the civil war that crippled the British destroyer HMS Hunter off Almería on 13 May 1937. The German-built boats were discarded in the 1960s, while some of the Spanish-built ones served until the early 1970s.
Yue-22 was destroyed by Japanese planes, Yue-371 was sunk by its sailors to avoid being captured by the Japanese soldiers and Yue-253 was captured by the People's Liberation Army during the Chinese civil war. Yue-253 was renamed "HOIKING"(海鯨), its meaning is "SEAWHALE". The People's Liberation Army Navy used it as a patrol boat until 1963.
Germany sold four E-boats to Romania on 14 August 1944. These vessels displaced 65 tons, had a top speed of 30 knots generated by three Mercedes-Benz engines totalling 2,850 hp and were armed with two 500 mm (19.7 inch) torpedo tubes. Each of the four boats had a crew of 25. They were numbered 10 to 13 (formerly S-151, S-152, S-153 and S-154) and served in the Romanian Navy until at least 1954.
At the end of the war about 34 E-boats were surrendered to the British. Three boats, S-130 (renamed P5230), S-208 (P5208) and S-212 (P5212) were retained for trials.
The Gehlen Organization, an intelligence agency established by American occupation authorities in Germany in 1946 and manned by former members of the Wehrmacht's Fremde Heere Ost (Foreign Armies East), used Royal Navy's E-boats in order to infiltrate its agents into the Baltic states and Poland. Royal Navy Commander Anthony Courtney was struck by the potential capabilities of former E-boat hulls, and John Harvey-Jones of the Naval Intelligence Division was put in charge of the project. He discovered that the Royal Navy still had two E-boats, P5230 and P5208, and had them sent to Portsmouth, where one of them, P5230 (ex-S130), was modified to reduce its weight and increase its power with the installation of two Napier Deltic engines of 2,500 hp apiece.
Lieutenant-Commander Hans-Helmut Klose was assigned to command a German crew, recruited by the British MI-6 and funded by the American Office of Policy Coordination. The missions were assigned the codename "Operation Jungle". The boats carried out their missions under the cover of the British Control Commission's Fishery Protection Service, which was responsible for preventing Soviet navy vessels from interfering with German fishing boats and for destroying stray mines. The home port of the boats was Kiel, and operated under the supervision of Harvey-Jones. Manned by Klose and his crew, they usually departed for the island of Bornholm waving the White Ensign, where they would hoist the Swedish flag for a dash to Gotland, and there they would wait for orders from Hamburg. The first mission consisted in the landing of Lithuanian agents at Palanga, Lithuania, in May 1949, and the last one took place in April 1955 in Saaremaa, Estonia. During the last two years of the operation, three new German-built motorboats replaced the old E-boats. Klose was later assigned the command of a patrol boat in the Bundesmarine and became commander-in-chief of the fleet before his retirement in 1978.
In 1947, the Danish navy bought twelve former Kriegsmarine boats. These were further augmented in 1951 by six units bought from the Royal Norwegian Navy. The last unit, the P568 Viben, was retired in 1965.
After World War II, the Norwegian Navy received a number of former Kriegsmarine boats. Six boats were transferred to Denmark in 1951.
There is just one surviving E-boat, identified as S-130. S-130 was purchased and towed from Wilhelmshaven, Germany to the Husbands Shipyard, Marchwood, Southampton, England in January 2003, under the auspices of the British Military Powerboat Trust. In 2004, S-130 was taken to the slipway at Hythe, where, under the supervision of the BMPT, she was prepared and then towed to Mashfords yard in Cremyll, Cornwall, England to await funding for restoration. In 2008, S-130, having been purchased by Kevin Wheatcroft, set up ashore at Southdown in Cornwall to undergo restoration work involving Roving Commissions Ltd. As of June 2012, this work continues and includes an S130 Members' Club.
Built as hull No. 1030 at the Schlichting boatyard in Travemünde, S-130 was commissioned on 21 October 1943 and took an active part in the war, participating in the Exercise Tiger attack and attacks on the D-day invasion fleet.
According to Dutch military historian Maurice Laarman:
In 1945, S-130 was taken as a British war prize (FPB 5030) and put to use in covert operations. Under the guise of the "British Baltic Fishery Protection Service", the British Secret Intelligence Service MI-6 ferried spies and agents into Eastern Europe. Beginning in May 1949, MI-6 used S-208, (Kommandant Hans-Helmut Klose) to insert agents into Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland. The operations were very successful and continued under a more permanent organisation based in Hamburg. In 1952, S-130 joined the operation and the mission was enlarged to include signal intelligence (SIGINT) equipment. In 1954/55, S-130 and S-208 were replaced by a new generation of German S-boote.
S-130 was returned to the newly formed Bundesmarine in March 1957, and operated under the number UW 10. Serving initially in the Unterwasserwaffenschule training sailors in underwater weaponry such as mines and torpedoes, she later became a test boat under the name EF 3.
S-130 was on display in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, formerly used as a houseboat.
The Schnellboot design evolved over time. The first had a pair of torpedo tubes on the fore deck.
Wartime types were:
Other AA armament carried on different models included two or more pintle-mounted MG-34s, 3.7 cm Flak 42 (S-100) and 8.6 cm RaG M42 (S-100) or, rarely, one quadruple 20 mm Flakvierling mounts.
In Norse mythology, Bergelmir ( bair-GHEL-meer; Old Norse "Mountain Yeller" or "Bear Yeller")
is a Jötunn, the son of giant Þrúðgelmir and the grandson of Ymir (who was called Aurgelmir among giants), the first Jötunn, according to stanza 29 of the poem Vafthrudnismal from the Poetic Edda:
"Uncountable winters before the earth was made,
then Bergelmir was born,
Thrudgelmir was his father,
and Aurgelmir his grandfather."
— Larrington trans.According to the Gylfaginning section of the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, Bergelmir and his wife alone among the giants were the only survivors of the enormous deluge of blood which flowed from Ymir's wounds when he was killed by Odin and his brothers Vili and Vé. They escaped the sanguinary flood by climbing onto an object and subsequently became the progenitors of a new race of Jötunn.Gordon Williamson (writer)
Gordon Williamson (born 1951) is a British military historian. Williamson spent seven years with the Military Police in the British Territorial Army and, as of 2016, resides in Scotland. Williamson has written more than 40 books and other publications. His works have focused on topics ranging from U-boats, military insignia, flying aces, the Waffen-SS, and special forces. Williamson has authored over 20 books on the Waffen-SS and the Wehrmacht. S. P. MacKenzie has characterized Willamson's treatment of the Waffen-SS as somewhat skeptical but still rehabilitory in nature, noting that he was one of the British historians in the 1990s who wanted "to restore the tarnished reputation [of the Waffen-SS] and reiterate its superb fighting qualities" by relying on veterans' narratives.Guard ship
A guard ship is a warship assigned as a stationary guard in a port or harbour, as opposed to a coastal patrol boat which serves its protective role at sea.HMS Garth (L20)
HMS Garth was a Type I Hunt-class destroyer of the Royal Navy built by John Brown & Company on the River Clyde, and launched on 28 December 1939. She was adopted by the Civil Community of Wokingham, Berkshire, as part of the Warship Week campaign in 1942.HMS Wakeful (H88)
HMS Wakeful was a W-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was built under the 1916-17 Programme in the 10th Destroyer order. Wakeful was assigned to the Grand Fleet after completion, and served into the early years of the Second World War. Wakeful was torpedoed and sunk during Operation Dynamo by a German E-Boat on 29 May 1940.Hunt-class destroyer
The Hunt class was a class of escort destroyer of the Royal Navy. The first vessels were ordered early in 1939, and the class saw extensive service in the Second World War, particularly on the British east coast and Mediterranean convoys. They were named after British fox hunts. The modern Hunt-class GRP hulled mine countermeasure vessels maintain the Hunt names lineage in the Royal Navy.Light aircraft carrier
A light aircraft carrier, or light fleet carrier, is an aircraft carrier that is smaller than the standard carriers of a navy. The precise definition of the type varies by country; light carriers typically have a complement of aircraft only one-half to two-thirds the size of a full-sized fleet carrier. A light carrier was similar in concept to an escort carrier in most respects, however light carriers were intended for higher speeds to be deployed alongside fleet carriers, while escort carriers usually defended convoys and provided air support during amphibious operations.Mine countermeasures vessel
A mine countermeasures vessel or MCMV is a type of naval ship designed for the location of and destruction of naval mines which combines the role of a minesweeper and minehunter in one hull. The term MCMV is also applied collectively to minehunters and minesweepers.Minehunter
A minehunter is a naval vessel that seeks, detects, and destroys individual naval mines. Minesweepers, on the other hand, clear mined areas as a whole, without prior detection of mines. A vessel that combines both of these roles is known as a mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV).Motor Torpedo Boat
Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) was the name given to fast torpedo boats by the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy. The 'motor' in the formal designation, referring to the use of petrol engines, was to distinguish them from the majority of other naval craft that used steam turbines or reciprocating steam engines.
The capitalised term is generally used for the Royal Navy (RN) boats and abbreviated to "MTB". During the Second World War, the US Navy built such craft, identified by the hull classification symbol "PT", for "Patrol, Torpedo".
German motor torpedo boats of the Second World War were called S-boote (Schnellboote, "fast boats") by the Kriegsmarine and "E-boats" by the Allies. Italian MTBs of this period were known as Motoscafo Armato Silurante ("MAS boats", torpedo armed motorboats). French MTBs were known as vedettes lance torpilles ("torpedo-launching fast boats"). Soviet MTBs were known as торпедные катеры (torpyedniye katyery; "torpedo cutters", often abbreviated as TKA). Romanian MTBs were known as vedete torpiloare ("torpedo fast boats").
After the end of the War in 1945, a number of the Royal Navy's MTBs were stripped and the empty hulls sold for use as houseboats.North 26
The North 26 is a boat designed by Julian D Everitt in 1982, Cowes UK, designer of the very successful E boat. Big brother to the E-boat, intended for Yacht racing Inshore and in Junior Offshore Group races to rate under Channel now IRC measurement rule. Examples race the English Channel and have a wide flat sole plate that enables them to sit the mud in English ports with the keel retracted. This feature also enables safe beach sitting whilst cruising and use as a Trailer yacht.Operation Jungle
Operation Jungle was a program by the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) early in the Cold War (1948–1955) for the clandestine insertion of intelligence and resistance agents into Poland and the Baltic states. The agents were mostly Polish, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian exiles who had been trained in the UK and Sweden and were to link up with the anti-Soviet resistance in the occupied states (the Cursed soldiers, the Forest Brothers). The naval operations of the program were carried out by German crewmembers of the German Mine Sweeping Administration under the control of the Royal Navy. The American-sponsored Gehlen Organization also got involved in the draft of agents from Eastern Europe. The KGB penetrated the network and captured or turned most of the agents.RAF Felixstowe
Royal Air Force Felixstowe or more simply RAF Felixstowe is a former Royal Air Force station located 2.7 miles (4.3 km) northeast of Harwich, Essex, England and 10.7 miles (17.2 km) southeast of Ipswich, Suffolk.Repair ship
A repair ship is a naval auxiliary ship designed to provide maintenance support to warships. Repair ships provide similar services to destroyer, submarine and seaplane tenders or depot ships, but may offer a broader range of repair capability including equipment and personnel for repair of more significant machinery failures or battle damage.SS Corduff
SS Corduff, a laden 2345 grt collier in East Coast convoy FS 32, was damaged, though without casualties, in an attack by Stuka divebombers in the Barrow Deep on 11 November 1940.On the night of 7/8 March 1941 she was torpedoed and sunk by German E-Boat S28 while heading north with a convoy off Cromer. Seven of her crew were lost, and, after drifting for some hours and being hailed by the E-boat captain, the other 14 (including Captain Rees) were found by the Cromer lifeboat H F Bailey. It was the night of the most successful E-Boat raid on East Coast merchant shipping, with six other ships sunk.
Corduff belonged to William Cory & Son Ltd.SS Kommandøren
SS Kommandøren was a steel-hulled passenger/cargo steamship built in Norway in 1891. She served as a communications link between the regional capital of Western Norway, Bergen, and the various communities of Sogn og Fjordane county.
Following the 9 April 1940 German invasion of Norway, she was requisitioned by the Norwegian authorities and carried troops for the Norwegian war effort until the forces in Western Norway ceased fighting on 2 May 1940.
After a brief stint in German service, she returned to her civilian duties later in 1940, and was accidentally torpedoed and sunk by a German E-boat in Bergen on 29 March 1945.SS Wandle (1932)
SS Wandle was a British coastal collier owned and operated by the proprietors of Wandsworth gas works in south-west London. She was a flatiron, meaning that she had a low-profile superstructure, hinged funnel, hinged or telescopic mast and folding wheelhouse to enable her to pass under low bridges on the tidal River Thames upriver from the Pool of London. She was in service from 1932 to 1959 and survived a number of enemy attacks in the Second World War.Steam Gun Boat
Steam gun boat (SGB) was a Royal Navy term for a class of small naval vessels used during the Second World War. The class consisted of nine gun boats, powered by steam, and built from 1940 to 1942 for the Coastal Forces of the Royal Navy.
They were developed in parallel with the Fairmile D motor torpedo boats ("dog boats"), specifically as a response to the need to hunt down German E-boats and also as a response to the scarcity of suitable diesel engines. While sixty were planned only an initial batch of nine were ordered on 8 November 1940, of which seven were completed.Submarine tender
A submarine tender is a type of depot ship that supplies and supports submarines.
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