U 869

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the submarine forces of the Kriegsmarine.
gewehrdork
Member
Posts: 512
Joined: 28 Jan 2004 03:32
Location: Rural Abode, USA

U 869

Post by gewehrdork » 04 Jul 2004 06:05

I can remember back in '91 when I lived in NJ when I read in the local papers about a mystery U boat found 50+ miles off the jersey shore, not far from where I grew up and lived. Anyhow I found a book today at of all places Barnes & Noble. It's titled "SHADOW DIVERS" by Robert Kurson. It chronicles the finding and the research into the identification of that lost with all hands U boat. I lost track of that story way back and missed the PBS special on it.Finding the book and reading it - as well it was excellently written by Kurson , one does take away some sympathy for the lost souls on board. Excellent and suggested book for your libraries.

User avatar
Dieter Zinke
In memoriam
Posts: 9828
Joined: 02 Dec 2003 09:12
Location: Koblenz / germany

Post by Dieter Zinke » 04 Jul 2004 10:04

Hallo:

U 869 sunken in front of New York.
Cause: Miss by own torpedo ("Wendefehl").
Proofed by US-divers.
Great documentation in german TV (SAT 1) on 12.04.1999

Oberstab

User avatar
Kurt_Steiner
Member
Posts: 3979
Joined: 14 Feb 2004 13:52
Location: Barcelona, Catalunya

Post by Kurt_Steiner » 04 Jul 2004 10:31

A German U-boat was found off the coast of New Jersey, USA on 2 Sept, 1991 by several divers. On 31 August, 1997 these same divers reported evidence that the boat they found is the U-869 (knife inscribed with a U-869 crew member's name, UZO torpedo aiming device, machinery-numbers from the engine room). This location is at 39.33N, 73.20W in about 230 feet (around 73m) of water.

This location is extremely far from the Gibraltar area which the U-869 is claimed to have been sunk in (see the red X for the old estimated position). The explanation is that the boat never received the orders from BdU to change its operational area to Gibraltar and thus stayed in its North American area after passing through the Straits of Denmark. According to this the boat was lost sometime in Feb of 1945.

What happened to the boat?
Most probably she was hit by a circular torpedo run it seems, if so she was at least the 3rd U-boat to suffer that fate (U-377 in 1944 and U-972 in late 1943), there were of course no survivors.

Previously recorded fate
Sunk 28 Feb, 1945 in the mid-Atlantic near Rabat, in position 34.30N, 08.13W, by depth charges from the US destroyer escort USS Fowler and the French submarine chaser L' Indiscret.

This attack was probably not against a submarine.
from http://uboat.net/boats/u869.htm

Best regards

User avatar
FAlmeida
Member
Posts: 364
Joined: 02 Apr 2004 11:18
Location: Portugal

Post by FAlmeida » 04 Jul 2004 11:14


User avatar
Sewer King
Member
Posts: 1711
Joined: 18 Feb 2004 04:35
Location: northern Virginia

Post by Sewer King » 07 Jul 2004 04:06

The solved U-869 mystery is also covered in an interesting study of New York area shipwrecks:

Sheard, Bradley. Lost Voyages: Two Centuries of Shipwrecks inthe Approaches to New York. New York: Aqua Quest Publishing, 1998.

It has some interesting photos of the artifacts and cutlery that pointed the way to the answer. The rest of the book is fairly interesting too because various of the wrecks are locally or separately known, but seldom covered together in general, in detail, and in color photos. There's a dive to the US Navy's biggest loss in World War I, the cruiser USS San Diego lost to a mine in 1918 near Fire Island. Unfortunately, she's upside down on the bottom.

Simon Gunson
Member
Posts: 750
Joined: 23 Mar 2004 00:25
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Post by Simon Gunson » 02 Apr 2005 03:04

Some U-boats were expended as targets off Cape Cod in 1946 and 1947. Not all U-boat wrecks may be war casualties.

User avatar
Texas Kubelwagen
Member
Posts: 28
Joined: 21 Mar 2005 04:28
Location: Texas

Re: U 869

Post by Texas Kubelwagen » 24 Jul 2005 01:51

gewehrdork wrote:I can remember back in '91 when I lived in NJ when I read in the local papers about a mystery U boat found 50+ miles off the jersey shore, not far from where I grew up and lived. Anyhow I found a book today at of all places Barnes & Noble. It's titled "SHADOW DIVERS" by Robert Kurson. It chronicles the finding and the research into the identification of that lost with all hands U boat. I lost track of that story way back and missed the PBS special on it.Finding the book and reading it - as well it was excellently written by Kurson , one does take away some sympathy for the lost souls on board. Excellent and suggested book for your libraries.
Seconded, that book "Shadow Divers" is EXCELLENT. I just finished reading it a few days ago - only took me three days as I was put together well and fascinating stuff!

User avatar
Kurt_Steiner
Member
Posts: 3979
Joined: 14 Feb 2004 13:52
Location: Barcelona, Catalunya

Post by Kurt_Steiner » 24 Jul 2005 09:06

Simon Gunson wrote:Some U-boats were expended as targets off Cape Cod in 1946 and 1947. Not all U-boat wrecks may be war casualties.
What was Operation Deadlight?
Operation Deadlight was the code name for the scuttling of the unwanted German U-boats which the allies got their hands on after the end of World War Two (WWII). Most of these (if not all) operations took place from Lisahally, Northern Ireland or Loch Ryan, Scotland. About 121 German U-boats were scuttled during the fall and and winter of 1945-1946 out of Ireland. You can see where by visiting the Operation Deadlight Map page.
from http://uboat.net/fates/deadlight_hist.htm

Image
Above is a map which shows the known locations of scuttled U-boats during Operation Deadlight.
The numbers written on the map are the number of U-boats that I know were scuttled at each location. As I get more and more information on these locations more and more red dots will be added. But even in this form this is a pretty good indicator.
from http://uboat.net/fates/deadlight_map.htm

93 conventional German U-boats were scuttled during Operation Deadlight, they were of types IID, VII, IXC and IXD. 22 Elektro boats became victims to this operation, plus 4 of the larger type XXI.
On Feb 12. 1946 at 1004hrs. U-3514 received the distinction of being the last U-Boat sunk during Operation Deadlight
from http://uboat.net/fates/deadlight_elektro.htm

zmija
Member
Posts: 271
Joined: 15 Oct 2005 21:56
Location: Slovenia

U 869

Post by zmija » 15 Oct 2005 23:42

National Geographic Channel's ''Hitler's Lost Sub'', reports that the wreck of u-869 rests about 60 miles off New Jersey coast. But we all know that.

However, i think Dieter Zinke's term ''Wendefehl'' for being sunk by own torpedo is false. Wolfgang Hirschfeld in his book ''Feinfahrten'' uses term ''Kreisläufer''.

Return to “U-Boats”