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Old 10-05-12, 09:52 PM   #2078
gap
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U-boat refitting at sea
Part I: German tankers interned in Spanish ports

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Even though neutrality regulations prohibited merchant ships interned in neutral ports to refit war ships or u-boats, with connivance of the Spanish authorities some ships secretly refuelled and provided U-boat with provisions. These refittings usually took place at night, when the risk of being caught was smaller, and they were abondoned by late 41- early 42, when the commissioning of the new type XIV Milchkuh U-boats rendered the use of surface vessels for U-boat refitting needless.

The list of the interned German tankers and U-boat that refuelled from them follows below. By comparing patrol dates and areas (marked in color) of the refitted subs, it won't be difficult to track down the OHII campaign/mission best fitting those patrols.

Here is the list:


Ship name: MV Max Albrecht
Location: Ferrol (Galicia)
Documented refits from this unit (3):
  • U-30 (type VIIa), 6th patrol: outbound Wilhelmshaven, 08/06/1940, inbound Lorient, 07/07/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Western Approaches; refitted from MV Max Albrecht on 18/06/1940;

  • U-68 (type IXc), 4th patrol: outbound Lorient, 14/05/1942, inbound Lorient, 10/07/1942; patrol duties carried out: patrolling Caribbean; refitted from MV Max Albrecht on 17/05/1942;

  • U-66 (type IXc), 6th patrol: outbound Lorient, 23/06/1942, inbound Lorient, 29/09/1942; patrol duties carried out: patrolling the Atlantic coast of South America, between Venezuela and Dutch Guiana (modern Suriname) ; refitted from MV Max Albrecht on 23/09/1942.


Ship name: MV Bessel
Location: Vigo (Galicia)
Documented refits from this unit (8):
  • U-43 (type IX), 4th patrol: outbound Wilhelmshaven, 13/05/1940, inbound Wilhelmshaven, 22/07/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Western Approaches and Portuguese coastal waters; refitted from MV Bessel on 18/06/1940;

  • U-29 (type VIIa), 5th patrol: outbound Wilhelmshaven, 27/05/1940, inbound Wilhelmshaven, 11/07/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Western Approaches off Bay of Biscay; refitted from MV Bessel between 20 and 21/06/1940;

  • U-52 (type VIIb), 4th patrol: outbound Kiel, 08/06/1940, inbound Lorient, 21/07/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling South Western Approaches and Bay of Biscay; refitted from MV Bessel on 01/07/1040;

  • U-77 (type VIIc), 3rd patrol: outbound St. Nazaire, 11/10/1941, inbound Lorient, 13/11/1941; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in Mid Atlantic and Western Approaches; refitted from MV Bessel on 08/11/1941;

  • U-96 (type VIIc), 7th patrol: outbound St. Nazaire, 27/10/1941, inbound Mediterranean sea (back to St. Nazaire on 06/12/1941 after being bombed by a British aircraft near Gibraltar); patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in Mid Atlantic and Western Approaches; refitted from MV Bessel between 27 and 28/11/1941;

  • U-574 (type VIIc), 1st patrol: outbound Kiel, 08/11/1941, sunk on 19/12/1941 in North Atlantic near Punta Delgada, by ramming and depth charges from HMS Stork; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in Mid Atlantic and then Gibraltar area; refitted from MV Bessel between 11 and 12/12/1941;

  • U-575 (type VIIc), 2nd patrol: outbound St. Nazaire, 09/11/1941, inbound Mediterranean sea (back to St. Nazaire on 17/12/1941 after detecting ASW activity on approaching Gibraltar); patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in Mid Atlantic; refitted from MV Bessel between 12 and 13/12/1941;

  • U-434 (type VIIc), 1st patrol: outbound Kristiansand, sunk 18/12/1941 north of Madeira, Portugal, by depth charges from HMS Blankney and HMS Stanley; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in mid Atlantic; refitted from MV Bessel between 14 and 15/12/1941.


Ship name: MV Thalia
Location: Cadiz (Andalusia)
Documented refits from this unit (6):
  • U-25 (type Ia), 2nd patrol: outbound Wilhelmshaven, 13/01/1940, inbound Wilhelmshaven 19/02/1940; patrol duties carried out: patrolling Portuguese coastal waters and Gibraltar area; refitted from MV Thalia on 30/01/1940;

  • U-109 (type IXb), 2nd patrol: outbound Lorient, 28/01/1941, inbound Lorient 17/08/1941; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations off Atlantic coast of Morocco, Gibraltar, Azores Islands; refitted from MV Thalia on 21/07/1941;

  • U-331 (type VIIc), 1st patrol: outbound Kiel, 02/07/1941, inbound Lorient 19/08/1941; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in mid Atlantic south of Greenland, and between Gibraltar and Azores Islands; refitted from MV Thalia between 1 and 02/08/1941;

  • U-564 (type VIIc), 3rd patrol: outbound Brest, 19/09/1941, inbound Lorient 01/11/1941; patrol duties carried out: wolfpack operations in North Atlantic off Cape Farewell (Greenland) and west of Gibraltar; refitted from MV Thalia between 14 and 15/10/1941, and transfered to her a medical case;

  • U-204 (type VIIc), 3rd patrol: outbound Brest 20/09/1941, sunk 19/10/1941 off Tangiers by depth charges from HMS Mallow and HMS Rochester; patrol duties carried out: escorting the German blockade runner MV Rio Grande (heading to Japan) off Bay of Biscay, wolfpack operations west of Gibraltar and off Atlantic coast of Morocco; refitted from MV Thalia between 15 and 16/10/1941;

  • U-652 (type VIIc), 3rd patrol: outbound Lorient, 01/11/1941, inbound Messina (Sicily, Italy), 12/12/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling mid Atlantic between Greenland, US Atlantic coast and Azores, then escorting the German merchant auxiliary cruiser KM Komet to Bay of Biscay, then patrolling Mediterranean sea east of Gibraltar and off Baleares islands; refitted from MV Thalia between 27 and 27/11/1941.


Ship name: MV Corrientes and MV Charlotte Schliemann
Location: Las Palmas (Canary Islands)
Documented refits from this unit (6):
  • U-124 (type IXb), 4th patrol: outbound Lorient, 23/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 01/05/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast; refitted from MV Corrientes or MV Charlotte Schliemann on 03/03/1941;

  • U-105 (type IXb), 2nd patrol: outbound Lorient, 22/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 13/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic, off Cape Verde and West African coast, then escorting the German blockade runner MV Lech; refitted from MV Corrientes or MV Charlotte Schliemann on 04/03/1941;

  • U-106 (type IXb), 2nd patrol: outbound Lorient, 26/02/1941, inbound Lorient, 17/06/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic, off Cape Verde and West African coast, then escorting the German blockade runner MV Lech; refitted from MV Corrientes or MV Charlotte Schliemann on 05/03/1941;

  • U-123 (type IXb), 5th patrol: outbound Lorient, 15/06/1941, inbound Lorient, 23/08/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast; refitted from MV Corrientes or MV Charlotte Schliemann on 25/06/1941;

  • U-69 (type VIIc), 3rd patrol: outbound Lorient, 05/05/1941, inbound St. Nazaire, 08/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast down to Gulf of Guinea, and mine lying Lagos (Nigeria) and Takoradi (Ghana); refitted from MV Corrientes or MV Charlotte Schliemann on 30/06/1941;

  • U-103 (type IXb), 4th patrol: outbound Lorient, 01/04/1941, inbound Lorient 12/07/1941; patrol duties carried out: patrolling central Atlantic and West African coast; refitted from MV Corrientes or MV Charlotte Schliemann on 05/07/1941.

Last edited by gap; 10-28-12 at 10:24 AM.
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