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#396496 - 21st Mar 2010 3:38pm surrender of U boats
jimbob Offline

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Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1550
Loc: Birkenhead
Article in the Saturday Telegraph and also piece about the book that has been writen on the subject. Mass surrender of Nazi U-boats documented in new book
For 65 years residents of a remote Scottish village have paid heed to the wartime warning that “loose lips sink ships”.

By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent
Published: 8:00AM GMT 20 Mar 2010

The Highland fjord in the far north-west of Scotland, close to Cape Wrath, was the only Scottish rendezvous point for U-boats. In the space of two weeks, from May 10 to May 25, 1945, it turned into the biggest single gathering of the German submarine flee
Now, however, they have decided to speak out to tell the astonishing story of the biggest ever surrender of Nazi U-boats.
The surrender of German submarines in Loch Eriboll in Sutherland was one of the strangest episodes at the end of World War II. Locals were sworn to secrecy and it has often been assumed that only “two or three” crews gave themselves up in the sheltered inlet.

But a new book marking the 65th anniversary of the incident reveals that no fewer than 33 U-boat commanders surrendered in the space of 12 days in the 10-mile long loch.
The Highland fjord in the far north-west of Scotland, close to Cape Wrath, was the only Scottish rendezvous point for U-boats. In the space of two weeks, from May 10 to May 25, 1945, it turned into the biggest single gathering of the German submarine fleet anywhere in the world. The U-boats — nicknamed grey wolves — were part of Hitler’s plan to starve Britain of food, raw materials and equipment.
David Hird, 65, a former local government officer, has spent two years researching The Grey Wolves of Eriboll.
He has identified and detailed every U-boat that came into Eriboll and said he was “staggered” to find 33 had surrendered in the loch.
They included U-1231, which was used as the fleet’s “off-licence” and was laden with wine, and U-532 which had just returned from Japan and was carrying raw rubber, quinine and other war supplies.
“It was covered in barnacles it had been in the ocean so long,” said Mr Hird, who lives in east Sutherland and is originally from Yorkshire.
“I have identified them all and have proved to my satisfaction there were 33 that came into Loch Eriboll.”
The vessels that surrendered were responsible for sinking or damaging 59 merchant ships and 14 warships — 300,000 tonnes of Allied shipping.
Fifteen U-boats were brought under convoy from Norway by Canadian warships and all were disarmed within hours.
Explosives and other armaments were dumped over the side and they were then re-routed to locations including Lochalsh in Wester Ross, where the crews were arrested.
As part of Operation Deadlight, the U-boats were scuttled in the Atlantic, with 121 of the 154 U-boats that surrendered being sunk in deep water off Lisahally, Northern Ireland, or Loch Ryan, in the west of Scotland, in late 1945 and early 1946.
Loch Eriboll was chosen because of its isolation and deep anchorage. It also limited any opportunity for a last show of defiance from the U-boat commanders.
Mr Hird’s research uncovered just one such incident, when U-295 rammed a Canadian escort ship, HMCS Nene, punching a hole in the starboard side. The U-boat captain claimed it was an accident.
“There were also considerable crew numbers,” said the author.
“Each U-boat had between 30 and 50 crew. The crews were happy to surrender in Scotland, it was the Russians they were worried about. They just didn’t want to give up to them.
“Stuff was just dumped there and then over the side. I am quite convinced that the loch’s seabed to this day is littered with explosives and armaments.
“I spoke to crew from both Canadian and British vessels who oversaw the operation and one or two locals who remembered seeing the U-boats, though they were very young at the time.”
Alan Hope, a sailor on HMS Byron, told him of the moment the first U-boat arrived.
He said: “U-1009 arrived on the surface flying a tattered black flag from its periscope as a sign that it was ready to surrender.
“The U-boat was boarded, guns and torpedo firing pistols were thrown overboard and log books and other documents were removed in preparation for the escorted passage to Lochalsh where the crew were to be taken into captivity.
“The U-boat captain read a message to his ship’s company telling them that they were leaving their boat and I think there were a few tears.”

at has been writen on the subject
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Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#396497 - 21st Mar 2010 3:40pm continuation
jimbob Offline

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Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1550
Loc: Birkenhead
Book uncovers secret surrender of 33 Nazi U-Boats in sea loch

2010-03-21 16:50:00

The secret behind the Nazi U-Boats or Grey Wolves which nearly drove Britain to defeat in the Second World War is finally out, with a new book revealing the facts about their surrender to Scotland in 1945.
Written by David Hird, the book, The Grey Wolves of Eriboll, revealed the untold secret surrender of 33 German submarines in one of Scotland's most remote corners.
For 12 days from 10 May 1945, the U-boats sailed into the little-visited Loch Eriboll, near Cape Wrath. It was the biggest ever gathering of Nazi submarines, and it was top secret.
Hird, who spent two years tracking every single one of the submarines, learned from local gossip that the U-boats had come in to the loch.
"The crews were happy to surrender in Scotland. It was the Russians they were worried about. They just didn't want to give up to them," The Scotsman quoted Hird, as saying.
Hird believes equipment, including explosives, was simply hurled over the side of the vessels into the loch.
Surrendered submarines included U-1231, which was used as the U-boat pack's "off-licence" and was laden with wine.
Locals living near the 10-mile long Loch Eriboll were sworn to secrecy after the war.
Hird managed to speak to a few elderly people who remembered seeing the vessels, and also interviewed crew from British and Canadian ships who escorted some of the U-boats into the remote Scottish bay.
Eventually, the U-boats were all scuttled by the British. (ANI)
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