Ubootjäger

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Kriegsmarine except those dealing with the U-Boat forces.
panzerkrieg
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Ubootjäger

Post by panzerkrieg » 14 Apr 2005 21:26

Did the Kriegsmarine operate any specific class of sub-hunters or were these converted fishing vessels? Did the Flottenbegleiter belong to this class ? or was the term Ubootjäger given to any vessel modified for ASW like Vorpostenboote ?
thanks
Nathan

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Post by OHara » 16 Apr 2005 04:09

Uj boats came in a wide range of sizes and configurations. Two hundred and thirty-one trawlers and fishing vessels served in this role (Worth: Fleets of WWII). Some of the more capable were captured Italian corvettes of the Gabbiano class. At least they were purpose built warships. Other warships which lacked the designation served the function (especially the motor minesweepers and the larger M class minesweepers). The Germans improvised a lot, but they could get away with it as nearly all their convoys sailed in coastal waters.

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Post by panzerkrieg » 16 Apr 2005 05:10

Thanks for replying, your book is AWESOME........people dont realise that there was so much more to the german navy than a couple of leviathans.

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Post by varjag » 16 Apr 2005 12:28

Somewhat OT - but ages and ages ago, I read a German propaganda-book, the title of which I have forgotten - but it probably was 'U-Bootsjäger' (Sub-hunters). Dealing with a sub-hunter flotilla of former obvious German steam-trawlers. Consistent with the times no ships, nor dates are given - only the endless tedium of searching with hydrophones for their elusive prey. The highlight - and probably reason for it's printing - is the narrative of the sinking of the British submarine H 49. Only with the advent of the Internet have I learned that H 49 was sunk on October 17th, 1940 near Texel in the North Sea - by UJ 116 and UJ 118. Interesting point - the book claims that one man escaped from the H 49 - and was saved. Wonder how that poor fellow ended his war? The book further claims that, circling the wreck after the sinking - they heard knocks on the hull - and some time later, what was deemed to be two gunshots - then silence.....a mini-tragedy in a major one.

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Re: Uboatjagers

Post by Tiornu » 16 Apr 2005 15:07

I believe there were about 275 vessel given a UJ-number. I'm aware of only two standardized classes that appear in the list in any quantities: the KFK's and the KUJ's. In the spirit of quoting FLEETS OF WORLD WAR II...
"KFK1 class (110 tons, light guns, 9 knots, 1942-45): 630 units completed of 1072 planned. The layout, based on a fishing design, allowed for peacetime conversion for fishing work. Construction orders went to yards all over Europe, from the Adriatic to Belgium, even to Sweden. Their versatility left the KFK's susceptible to rampant renaming as the Germans designated them to various tasks: M-numbers for minesweeping, V-numbers for coastal patrol, and so on. Desperation caused many to specialize as SC (given Uj-numbers), the duty which suited them least. Three units transferred to Romania. A number of KFK's were among the small craft captured by the Allies in 1944-45."
and
"Kuj1 class (830 tons, 1 3.5in DP gun, 12.75 knots, 1943-45): about forty-two trawlers planned, only half of them completed."

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 16 Apr 2005 16:28

The story of UJ 116/Xanten in the Black Sea is a pretty interesting one.

It was built 1918 in Koenigsberg and named FM-35 (Flachgehende Minensuchboot 35) and after the war it was sold to Romania in 1920. It was renamed Socrates and used initially as a passenger ship on the Danube. Later it was sold to the sugar factory in Giurgiu, which employed it as a tug on the river.

In October 1941, it was resold to the German Navy and was renamed Xanten. It was transformed into a mine-laying ship at first and then, in 1942, in a submarine hunter. During its service between 1942-44 it is possible it sunk 3 submarines of the ChF:
1. Sc-213 on 14 October 1942, during its very first patrol
2. M-31 on 17 December 1942
3. D-4 on 24 December 1943

After 23 August 1944, it retreated to Bulgaria, where it was sunk by the crew on 25 August, south of Cape Kaliakra.

The small KFK (Küsten Fisch Kutter) was armed with one 37 mm gun, one 20 mm gun, anti-submarine grenades and an S-Gerät. It was usually designated by UJ+4 digits.
Last edited by Victor on 16 Apr 2005 16:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by OHara » 16 Apr 2005 16:29

Nathan, thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate them. The activities of the Uj-boats, the minesweepers, the patrol boats represent—to me—the foundation of sea power as practiced by the Germans. Not glamorous, but, like washing dishes, very necessary. The articles of Pierre Hervieux in Warship 1995 and 1996 are good for details. The book Varjag mentions sounds interesting. The survivor was George Oliver and he became a POW. I imagine the tedium of monitoring the hydrophones was better than the excitment of sighting British destroyers.

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Post by Königstiger » 17 Apr 2005 13:36

Victor wrote:The small KFK (Küsten Fisch Kutter) was armed with one 37 mm gun, one 20 mm gun, anti-submarine grenades and an S-Gerät. It was usually designated by UJ+4 digits.

KFK means Kriegsfischkutter.

Königstiger

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Post by varjag » 18 Apr 2005 11:43

Thanks OHara for George Olivers name - I sincerely hope that he survived and was able to rejoin his loved ones at home when the madness was over. Varjag

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Post by panzerkrieg » 20 Apr 2005 23:11

Guys i really appreciate your replies...

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 22 Apr 2005 01:27

I might be mis reading this but according to this site a series of ~ 130 dutch built 700 ton 'Mine hunting boats' were built along with scores of follow on a design. Anyway they were equipped with depth charges and were said to be used in escort operations....does that make them corvettes?

If they were used in ASW hunts did they use Hydro phones or Sonars?


http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ ... index.html

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Post by OHara » 22 Apr 2005 04:05

Paul, you're reading it right. These are the ubiquitous 1940 type M class minesweeper. They served as general escorts and most carried out active minesweeping duties. A few had a pair of torpedo tubes (although for training, not combat ) A favorite quote of mine is by Captain Basil Jones: "I don't think any C.O. of the 10th Flotilla wold prefer his sub-division to have to fight four M-class minesweepers in lieu of two enemy destroyers." Captain Jones R.N. fought several surface actions against the Germans and spoke from experience. They even acted as transports, carrying the German troops that raided Granville, France on 9 March 1945 (fighting a successful surface action with USS PC-564 along the way). Check out the current issue of World War II magazine for a good article about these boats in action around the Channel Islands even up to May 1945. --Vince

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Post by Paul Lakowski » 22 Apr 2005 05:32

OHara wrote:Paul, you're reading it right. These are the ubiquitous 1940 type M class minesweeper. They served as general escorts and most carried out active minesweeping duties.


Thanks I will check out what I can. Do you know if germans mounted active sonars on ships that small or did they all just use hydro phones?

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Post by ohrdruf » 22 Apr 2005 15:50

An excellent fictionalised account of his experiences aboard converted trawlers used for minesweeping and anti-submarine work is Wolfgang Ott: "Sharks and Little Fish" first published in about 1960 (Original German title, "Haie und Kleine Fische"). Ott served latterly as IIWO aboard a U-boat.

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Post by PT Dockyard » 24 Apr 2005 12:44

(fighting a successful surface action with USS PC-564 along the way).

PC-564 was shot up by three Artilleriefahrprahms type AFP-C, not M-boats. M-412 was present at Granville but was grounded and had to be scuttled.

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