- Whitehouse, John
- Ship histories and stories, WWII operations
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- December 2002 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The U Boats which came into Loch Eriboll were, with a few exceptions, Type VIIC – the standard operational boat, and like all ships in all navies they differed one from the other.:
U.532. She was in fact a Type 1XC, and therefore considerably larger than the Type VIIC, converted for cargo-carrying, and arrived, considerably travel-stained, with a cargo of tin, molybdenum, rubber, wolfram and quinine, after a voyage to Japan and back. Her Captain was a four-ringer – very senior for a submarine commander – with extreme political views. He demanded of Lt. Black, of Rupert, that as the senior German naval officer in the UK he be sent to London immediately, as the German ‘surrender’ was merely a ruse so that Germany and the Allies could engage the Russians together. The boat, and her unbelieving captain, were sent to Liverpool so that Max Horton could see this phenomenon for himself.
U.1105. The one that attacked and damaged Redmill – still unable to believe that her presence on that occasion was never suspected.
U.1231 Another of Rupert’s. This one was so full of wine that it was thought possible that she was acting as some sort of Off Licence to the entire German Navy. Peter Black offered some of this to his sailors but they sturdily refused to drink any of it. Captain (D) and the Belfast Customs, on the other hand, were more understanding.
U.1009. This boat was the first to enter the Loch and was boarded by a party from Byron. In accordance with the signal from Doenitz she reported her position from between Shetland and the Faroes at 1200B on 9th May. That afternoon she was attacked by mistake by an aircraft of Coastal Command, but continued on her surrender course to Loch Eriboll, being joined en route by U.1305. The two boats arrived at 0815B on 10th May and were thus the first to enter a British port.
On arrival at Loch Alsh the German crews were put aboard a submarine depot ship before being transferred to Prisoner of War camps, leaving only skeleton crews behind as steaming parties. The U Boats themselves were taken across to Northern Ireland and laid up at Loch Ryan and Lisahally. In October 1945, those which had not been distributed amongst the Allies as War Booty were taken out into the North Atlantic and sunk in ‘Operation Deadlight’ either by scuttling, or bombing, or gunfire. The only member of 21EG to take part in this somewhat dreary operation was Rupert. Our relationship with the German U Boat Service was at an end.
Authored by John Whithouse
c/- Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum