Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

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Edward L. Hsiao
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Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 20 Apr 2019 21:21

What Heer units operated the Siebel ferries during WWII on the Eastern Front? When did Einsatzstab Fahre Ost of the Luftwaffe which operated the Siebel ferries got disbanded? I take it that it was the only Luftwaffe unit that operates Siebel ferries during WWII?

Edward L. Hsiao

Larry D.
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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by Larry D. » 21 Apr 2019 14:23

Heer Units:
Pi-Landungs-Rgt.(Stab) 770
Heeres-Bau-Batle. 85(sF), 86(sF), 128(sF),
Pi- Lehr-Btl.(sF) Lindau
Pi-Landungs-Btl. 771
Pi-Landungs-Kpn. 777, 778, 780
le.Stubo-Kdo. 904


Einsatzstab Fähre Ost d.Lw.

Formed June 1942 and by July had relocated to Ladenpohja on Lake Ladoga under the personal command of Obstlt. Siebel. His deputy was Obstlt. Max Wachtel, a Flakartillerie officer who commanded the Flak-Rgt. used on the ferries. Wachtel later went on the command Flak-Rgt. 155 (W) that fired the V-1 flying bombs on London during the summer of 1944. The Lake Ladoga operation lasted to November 1942 and was considered very unsuccessful, mainly because the Russian boats on the lake were faster and more powerfully armed than the 30 Siebel ferries that were employed. The Einsatzstab was either transferred to Sicily and re-designated Einsatzstab Fähre Süd d.Lw. or it was disbanded. In any event, it is not mention again in the documents after November 1942.

FpN: (L 49773)

Kommandeur:
Obstlt. Friedrich-Wilhelm Siebel (Jun 42 - Nov 42)

Sources:
Erich Gröner – Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815 – 1945, Band 7 (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe Verlag, 1990); Randolf Kugler – Das Landungswesen in Deutschland seit 1900 (Berlin: Oberbaum Verlag, 1989); Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der Deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS 1939-1945. Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte (Osnabrück, 1980); Jürg Meister – Der Seekrieg in den osteuropäischen Gewässern 1941-45 (München: J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, 1958); Rohwer, Jürgen and Gerhard Hümmelchen, Chronology of the War at Sea: The Naval History of World War Two (Annapolis, 1992); Andreas Hillgruber – Die Räumung der Krim 1944 (Frankfurt/M.: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn, 1959); Friedrich Forstmeier – Die Räumung des Kuban-Brückenkopfes im Herbst 1943 (Darmstadt: Wehr und Wissen Verlag, 1964); Pickert, Wolfgang – Vom Kuban-Brückenkopf bis Sewastopol (Heidelberg: Kurt Vowinkel Verlag, 1955); Weyer – “The German Navy in the Southeastern Area of Europe from Summer 1941 to Autumn 1944”, unpub. manuscript on microfilm; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-311 rolls 179, 181, 183); (T-1022 rolls 1765, 2534, 2541); website ww2.dk.

L.

Edward L. Hsiao
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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 21 Apr 2019 22:37

Thank you for the answer. The answer had plenty of good information.

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Edward L. Hsiao
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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 25 Apr 2019 09:47

I'm not sure if the 88mm guns on the Siebel ferries were good enough for shore bombardments. And yes the ferries were clumsy and slow. I wonder if there were versions of Siebel ferries mounted with rockets launchers that would be good for bombarding enemy shore positions?


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Larry D.
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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by Larry D. » 25 Apr 2019 14:10

8.8 cm Guns
These were not used to wantonly shell enemy-held territory like conventional artillery, but they were used for direct fire missions against observed and identified targets. I am currently reading through the KTB und Anlagen for the I. Flakkorps in Russia and they include daily reports from late August to mid-November 1942 of I./Flak-Rgt. 9 and other Flakabteilungen spending their days firing on Soviet positions on the east bank of the Volga River. The 8.8 cm batteries of the German Flak units were on the west bank, of course. The Volga was quite wide at that point, which was on the northern outskirts of Stalingrad, and many of the identified targets were 2 and 3 kilometers inland from the river bank. So the 8.8 was quite effective when used for direct fire missions.

Rocket Launchers
Yes, Siebel ferries were used by the Heer as Artillerietraeger outfitted with 30 cm Raketenwerfer 56 and other rail-launched weapons, including those that fired the Soviet 8.2 cm Katyusha projectile.

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Edward L. Hsiao
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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 27 Apr 2019 22:14

The battles that the rocket carrying Heer Siebel ferries participated in were many but little known even today. What examples did the Heer ferries that carried rockets can you come up with battles of WWII?

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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by Larry D. » 27 Apr 2019 23:35

There was mention of them in one or more of the sources I cited using Siebel ferry mounted rocket launchers in the Baltic in 1944. I intentionally listed the sources I used so you could obtain them and pursue your curiosity further.

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lupodimare89
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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by lupodimare89 » 28 Apr 2019 09:52

Greetings, I am personally very interested about the subject! Apart the famous partecipation of the Luftwaffe Siebel crafts in Ladoga Lake (battle of Suho etc.) I have also tried to gather some information about the Luftwaffe and Heer Siebel crafts operating in Azov Sea in 1942.

I also gathered a short list of losses caused by Soviet mine-fields laid in the north of the Azov Sea with the purpose to interdict the local German convoys. Here what i gathered (comparison with other sources, corrections or opinions are welcome!):


Lossses close Mariupol
28 July 1942. A "Heer" Siebel craft sunk with heavy human losses. Unknown details or identity to me. Mine laid by Soviet boat SKA 0175
16 August 1942. A "Luftwaffe" Siebel craft sunk: apparently it was SF-123. Again mine laid by Soviet boat SKA 0175
((On that same area also lost a Ukrainian fishing schooner on 19 June 1942 fishing for Germans).


Losses close Yeisk
All these losses caused by mines laid by the very same SKA 0175
11 July 1942 A "Luftwaffe" Siebel craft reportedly sunk: i am not 100% sure of this loss, it was found on a German site, but i found no mention of it in Kriegsmarine war diary (that however is very fragmented and not detailed of Luftwaffe/Heer operations).
10 August 1942 A "Luftwaffe" Siebel craft sunk: I have not yet found her identity and details.
((Also on the very same day 10/Aug was lost the Kriegsmarine MFP F-133. On same mines on 15 August 1942 lost the Croat minesweeping boat S-I))

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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by Larry D. » 28 Apr 2019 13:57

Hello Lupodimare89 -

Here are the notes I took 25 years ago re the Siebel ferries on the Sea of Azov:

"In May 42 Bau-Btl. 86 (sF) was moved by ship from Constanţa to Nikolayev and then by rail to Genichesk on the Sea of Azov where the ferries were reassembled. It then moved to Mariupol in July and began transporting supplies to Rostov and Yeisk. Meanwhile, Bau-Btl. 128 (sF), identically organized, was transported with its 30 Siebel ferries from Antwerpen to Mariupol, the ferries assembled, and then in early July transferred to Kasantip near Kerch. Lw.-Fährenflottille 1 (Hptm. Herzer) moved from Constanţa to Ochakov in spring 1942, then to Nikolayev and from there by train to the Sea of Azov where the ferries were reassembled. In late June it began ferrying supplies for the Luftwaffe to Taganrog, losing ferries on 11 July and 10 August to mines off Yeisk and another to a mine on 16 August off Mariupol. Two off these losses were SF119 and SF123. The following ships are known to have served with Luftwaffen-Fährenflotille I:
Siebel ferries: SF111, SF114 - 123, SF145
I-Transporter: I-O-80, I-O-81, I-O-84, I-O-106, and 2 others."

That's all I have on the Sea of Azov.

L.

lupodimare89
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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by lupodimare89 » 06 May 2019 18:28

Larry D. wrote:
28 Apr 2019 13:57
Hello Lupodimare89 -

Here are the notes I took 25 years ago re the Siebel ferries on the Sea of Azov:
Thanks, even if these are quite commonly quoted data and likely not all correct:
SF-123 fate is confirmed by German documents:
https://www.historisches-marinearchiv.d ... _value=116

But concerning SF-119 it's conflicting:
https://www.historisches-marinearchiv.d ... _value=112
There a report of transfer and name-change and alleged move to Mediterranean but with stressed "no proof".
So it's quite much blurred.

Eventually i will dig in the DEFE Ultra files, maybe catching some extra info.

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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 10 May 2019 00:29

I take it that the Siebel ferries were not stout water craft at all. Plenty of them were lost on mines and air attacks as well.


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lupodimare89
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Re: Siebel Ferries in Service with the Heer and Luftwaffe

Post by lupodimare89 » 18 May 2019 15:17

Edward L. Hsiao wrote:
10 May 2019 00:29
I take it that the Siebel ferries were not stout water craft at all. Plenty of them were lost on mines and air attacks as well.
I think somewhere i read a wartime comparison between Siebel and MFP.
Cannot say for Mediterranean opearations, but in Black Sea the Kriegsmarine clearly favoured the MFP (also for direct combat actions with soviet boats)

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