Paul Lakowski wrote:I have a question. I was reading "S-Boote Geman Eboats in Action 1939-1945", and it was detailing the Sboote operations escorting troop ships to Norway in 1940. I gather the Sboote were used to ferry troops from the big ships to the shore and provide protection & escort. After these ports were secured , the Sboote operated for weeks later providing local coastal protection from the captured ports.
Reading these Sboote accounts , the operations normally radius was often 200-300km ,which was considered more than most smaller MTB operations. But the Norway operation was around 700km radius and the explaination is that a depotship or Fleet tender accompanied each Sboote flottila . So how was the Sboote range extended? Did the Tenders refuel the Sboote while they were steaming to Norway along with the troops ships? I know that Germans practiced replenishment at sea for the larger ships from Fleet oil tankers etc, but did these Fleet tenders also provide replensishment at sea for Sboote allowing them to exend operational radius of action?
Haven't read the book Paul - but did much 'ferrying' of troops take place in Norway? The laden troop-ships appear mostly to have moored at existing quay-facilities and debarked the troops and their equipment on the spot, judging by the picture material of that time.
The range even of pre-war S-Boote is given as of the order 600-700 miles (at 30 knots!?)
which was more than enough for them to reach southern Norway from Baltic/North Sea ports and quite a bit further at reduced speed. (I assume the data refers to 'land-miles' - not Nautical Miles) So - perhaps they only/mostly (?) did act as escorts. The German method of re-fuelling at sea was by streaming a hose behind the tanker - somewhat tricky for a small S-Boot....I venture to say that the crew 'doing their thing' on that small foredeck would have had a rather risky job.....my Tuppence, Varjag