U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

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ADDIZ JOE
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U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by ADDIZ JOE » 06 May 2018 22:10

I am a fan of naval history and in detail of the history of submarines of the second world war.
Among the various images of 1945 surrender I noticed a type VII C ( or C 41) boat with an unusual camouflage.
From the photos ( see the file attached) , I have also drawn both sides of the boat.
NOTES about the boat with strange camouflage:
Surrender of u boats in 1945 _ type VII C with a very unusual camouflage.pdf
atlantic bow
standard magnetic compass fairing painted dark grey
3 pressure tight containers on the deck (the first is spaced from the second and third, very unusual detail)
Camouflage: dark grey stipes on very light grey

Can you identify this U boat ?
About the exact identification of the boat, from u boat.net:

The U-boats that were in the Narvik area at the end of the war were all moved to the Skjomenfjord upon Allied orders to avoid conflicts with the Norwegians on 12 May. On 15 May, a German convoy of five ships (the fleet tender Grille with the staff of FdU Norwegen aboard, the fleet oiler Kärnten, the repair ship Kamerun and the depot ships Huascaran and Stella Polaris) and 15 U-boats (U 278, U 294, U 295, U 312, U 313, U 318, U 363, U 427, U 481, U 668, U 716, U 968, U 992, U 997 and U 1165) left for transfer to Trondheim, but was intercepted after two days by the 9th Escort Group off the Norwegian coast and officially capitulated. While the ships were allowed to proceed to Trondheim, the U-boats were escorted to Loch Eriboll, Scotland, arriving on 19 May. All U-boats were later that month transferred to Lisahally or Loch Ryan for Operation Deadlight.
Surrender of u boats in 1945 _ type VII C with a very unusual camouflage.pdf
After discounting some for a few reasons or details such as magnetic compass fairing, the Atlantic bow, I think the mystery boat would be U 312 - U 313 - U 318 - U 427
what do you think of the question?

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oldhoweboy
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by oldhoweboy » 07 May 2018 10:38

Hi
You need to post an image!
Rgds

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lionfish
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by lionfish » 07 May 2018 11:06

Hello,

The picture is here : https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item ... /205160205

And the boats are : from front to rear and from left to right :

U 294, U 668, U 997, U 481
U 956, U 825, U 1010, U 1231

For a long time, i believed it was U 997 but now i see an induction pipe for the snorkel in side of the tower.
U 997 was fitted with the snorkel between December 30th,1944 and February 21st,1945.
At this time, U-boats were fitted with a snorkel without an induction pipe on the tower but under the deck.

That do you think ?
Best regards,
Lionfish.

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lionfish
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by lionfish » 07 May 2018 17:34

Hello Addiz Joe,
U 312 was fitted with a snorkel in December 1944 with or without induction pipe ? I don't know but it had the "panzerkarten" on the both sides of the conning tower. It kept this protection still May 1945 ? I don't know. U 481 Yes !
U 313 was fitted with a snorkel in August 1944 but i don't have any pictures about it. Probably with an induction pipe.
U 318 had a Askania compas and no information if it had a snorkel. Well this is not our submarine !
U 427 we have a topic about it on this forum; No camouflage and this isn't our submarine.
U 668 had is snorkel in December 1944 and without induction pipe. This is not our submarine !
U 294 had his snorkel from March 1945. No pictures about it !
U 295 ? Nothing about his snorkel: no pictures, no date.
U 363 isn't our submarine.
U 481 had still yet the special protections on the tower and named " Panzerkarten " and also a special snorkel with an electro-pneumatic valve head and only one dinghy container on the deck bow. This is not our submarine. This boat was on the startboard side of our submarine on the picture IWM.
U 716 with a Grey colour when it surrendered. This is not our submarine.
U 968 had a Grey colour and not an induction pipe with his snorkel. This is not our submarine.
U 992 same as U 968. This is not our submarine.
U 1165 Askania compas, Snorkel without induction pipe, only one dinghy raft container on the bow deck. This is not our submarine.

Well i analysed some of submarines you told us, but i have any issue.

Best regards,
Lionfish.

Axel N
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by Axel N » 07 May 2018 20:48

Hi there,

sorry to say, but the boat in question is still U 997. And it was indeed fitted with the old-type schnorkel installation.

Best wishes

Axel

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oldhoweboy
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by oldhoweboy » 08 May 2018 12:36

Hi
Anyone id my AG WESER please????
Have collected many fotos of comissioned boats at Bremen so need this one for my collection!
Rgds
Nobby

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lionfish
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by lionfish » 09 May 2018 16:15

Thank you very much Axel,

U 997 was fitted with the snorkel between December 30th, 1944 and February 21st, 1945. A very late time for an old snorkel installation. Isn't it ?

http://www.ubootarchiv.de/ubootwiki/index.php/U_997

You can see at this link a book's cover with a picture of U 997 maybe during winter 44/45 cause of the snow. You can see the four dinghy raft container on the bow deck and maybe the upper support of the snorkel on the tower without the induction pipe. The camouflage is different.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/997-Geleitzugs ... 3803500265

Best regards,
Lionfish.

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lionfish
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by lionfish » 10 May 2018 08:31

Hello,

Wikipedia said U 997 was fitted with the "BalconGerat" GHG Hydrophone balcony device.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-997

Best regards,
Lionfish.

Axel N
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by Axel N » 10 May 2018 17:38

Hi Lionfish

Thank you for the links. Schnorkel fitting period for U 997 is correct. Although rather late in the war, there were other boats (e.g. U 427) fitted even later with the early type of schnorkel. Schnorkel type and fitting time are not directly correlated! Would love to have things gone like that, but the facts tell us a different story.

I am afraid the boat on the front cover of the book on U 997 is not this boat, as you will find out easily by expanding the image. Unfortuneatly, its author is not known for historical accuracy. Same applies to the wikipedia link. I wonder how its author found out the boats listed by him from checking wartime photographs. Especially those which were never build! Accurate information on this can be found in a book on German sonar by Eberhard Rössler, including the correct (incomplete) list of boats without these fictional U-numbers.

Best

Axel

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lionfish
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by lionfish » 11 May 2018 09:07

Hello Axel,

I agree with you for Wikipedia. For exemple U 788 was never built and I suppose it was confused with U 778 who had the " BalkonGerat ". The pictures from Innes McCartney confirm it.

For the schnorchels, you're right. U 826 and U 1021 for exemple had an old tube with a new ring head.
I would like to know the exact list of u-boats fitted with " BalkonGerat " GHG.
I saw Pictures of U 995 with an other form of the " BalkonGerat " maybe fitted after the war and deleted in the restoration.

Best regards,
Lionfish

ADDIZ JOE
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Re: U-boat VIIC with a very unusual camouflage in 1945 surrender

Post by ADDIZ JOE » 14 May 2018 21:13

I apologize for failing to attach the file containing the images from which my post was born.
I'm not an expert and I was convinced that the PDF file that I had attached was openable and readable by others.
Now I go back to the topic.
The boat identified by me appears in a series of photos visible on the site of the IWM also reported by LIONFISH, which moreover has identified the whole group of boats ( 7 type VII + 1 TYPE IX ( U 1231)):

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item ... /205160205

More images of the boat can be seen on YOU TUBE footage “ Naxzi U-boat Surrender in Shelburne, N,S May 1945 (frame 0:23>>0:27 )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6_4Zbj9fl8

I also found two more photos of the boat taken from the left side in the book CORVETTES CANADA by Mac Johnston _ page 218 and a photo from e-bay

I also found more photos in this site :
For Posterity's Sake >>> HMCS JOLIETTE K418
http://www.forposterityssake.ca/GALLERIES/JOLIETTE.htm
http://www.forposterityssake.ca/JPGs/PH ... OL0036.jpg

THE MOST IMPORTANT DETAILS ARE THESE:
 atlantic bow
 standard magnetic compass fairing painted dark grey
 3 pressure tight containers on the deck (the first is spaced from the second and third, very unusual detail)
 induction pipe for the snorkel in side of the tower
 Camouflage: dark grey stipes on very light grey
 No insignia painted on the tower

I also performed a color drawing of both sides of the boat, based on the various images found.

Axel confirms the identification as U 997, and in a next post he doubt that the boat on the cover of the book ZEITGESCHICHTE - U 997 - Geleitzugschlachten im Eismeer by Hans Joachim Roll,is actually U 997.
Regarding the boat of the book cover _ See also This Link for the same shot >>>

https://reibert.info/threads/ehmblemy-p ... 87/page-22

I found these details:
 4 pressure tight containers on the deck
 Probably special protections on the front tower known as " Panzerkarten "
 Strange paint of the tower: the back half of the turret under the platforms of the anti -aircraft guns appear black or very dark gray
 On the hull there are also areas painted in extra dark gray over dark gray basic camouflage
 not detected the induction pipe for the snorkel on side of the tower but the photo is very dirty

Regarding the U 997,it is well known the color photo published on page 89 of the book on the U995 by Eckard Wetzel.
The boat appears flanked with U 362, U711, U 278 in data 30 July 1944.

U 997 is the only boat with snorkel and it seems to me to notice the filler of induction pipe for the snorkel on side of the tower (but the photo is fuzzy in the area) .
Regarding about the camouflage, U 997 is painted dark gray and the back half of the turret under the platforms of the anti -aircraft guns appear black or extra dark gray. This detail is identical to the photo on the cover of “U 977” book.
The insignia of the cyclist is another mystery: it is not clear when it was painted on the turret and it does not seem that there are photos of the turret and of the whole boat with the insignia.
Conclusion a little frivolous: REVELL has commercialized the model of the u 997 with a fancy coloring that recalls the camouflage of Luftwaffe night fighters. Perhaps I discovered an actually camouflage for the use of modelers who want to make a later VIIC boat different from the others usually painted in dark gray or in very rare cases in light gray.
I noticed some boats painted light gray in YOU TUBE footage related to the 1945 surrender: this is a strange choice for boats operating in the North Sea sailing underwater with snorkel.
See for example this YOU TUBE footage entitled “BLOWING UP U BOATS OFF NORTHERN IRELAND (frame 3:25 >>3:38 ):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YikVZHtZiY

Flanked to U 1272 You can see a boat type VII ( with a polish flag??) painted in very light grey or off white like schnellboote.

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