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S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945

Loss of "S 103"

On 04.05.1945 Oblt.z.S. Hans-Wulf Heckel got the order at Svendborg/Fynen to leave harbour with his boat, which he had taken command of only two days earlier, and to sail to Flensburger Förde in order to find out whether the British already had occupied Flensburg. On bord were a unexperienced complement and som guests, which were to be transported to Flensburg, together 32 persons.

He left harbour and sailed through Svendborg Sund to the west. In the Small Belt he was attacked about 16.00 by Typhoon-Bombers of RAF Squadron 193 with rocketbombs and had to take several hits. The crew of the 40mm-gun was taken aout of the game immediately and so was the boat without any defence. The boat sank in position 54o 16'N 010o 07'E. The fighterbombers opened fire with their machine-guns on the survivors svimming in the water. 20 men were killed. The commanding officer and 11 men, among them six seriously wounded, were picked up by a Danich fisherboat and brought to Mommark. 

Boat of Type S 100 - Picture: Archives Förerverein

  The wreck of the boat is still laying at its sinking-position at a waterdepth of ca. 35 m and was discovered by the Danish professional-diver Åge Jensen ("Dynamit-Åge") from Grenå and there were already taken some parts of the outfitting before the Danish authorities passed aout a diving-ban because of the sharp torpedoes, the ammunition for the guns and depth charges being still around.

Our member, Rudi Hansen, Fynshav/Als, who provided us with the newspaper articles som dealer with the sinking of "S 103", has reported: At Mommark the rumor is kept up that is were not 12 but 16 men which were rescued by the fisherman an taken ashore, according to  the statement of the former fisherman Carl Hansen in the article of May 1st 1977, also it is reported in the area aroung Mommark that two men have clelared off and hid themselves in the area around Mommark, since for them the war was over. One of them is told to have hidden himslef on the loading loft of a farm. The farmer's daughter found him there and helped him to hide. The two became lovers and got maried later. He adopted her last name and they are said to have lived at Skovby/Als. This occurrence was written down by the department Lokalhistorien of Jydske Vestkysten on basis of verbal reports. The grade of truth of this story has not been proven yet.

The hobby-historian and collector Flemming Hansen from Fredericia keeps an iron helmet, a signalflag, a tureen, a plate, an oilcan and a engine-telegraph from "S 103" in his collection. 

Iron helmet from "S 103" - Picture: J. Leimgruber Signalflag from "S 103" - Picture: J. Leimgruber
Tureen from "S 103" - Picture: J. Leimgruber Plate from "S 103" - Picture: J. Leimgruber
Underside of the Plate - Picture: J. Leimgruber Oil-Can from "S 103" - Picture: J. Leimgruber
Machine-Telegrapf from "S 103" - Picture: Janka Leimgruber


At Dynamit-Åge's home a torpedo-target-calculator from "S 103" is kept on a provisional pillar, the corresponding optical device (RZA 5) was sold some years ago.

Torpedo-Taget-Calculator from "S 103" - Picture: Frands Frandsen

Torpedo-Taget-Calculator from "S 103" - Picture: Frands Frandsen

Lifevest salvaged from Wreck of "S 103" - Picture: Rainer Brosch

The remains of the lifevest were donated to us by Mister Rainer Brosch and is dispülayed in a showcase in our permanent exposition.

Mister Steffen Schmitt, passionated diver and underwaterphotograph, most friendly made some underwaterpictures of the wreck of "S 103" available to us.

Diver over the Bridge of "S 103" - Picture: Steffen Schmitt

View of the Deck of "S 103" - Picture: Steffen Schmitt

40mm-Gun of "S 103" - Picture: Steffen Schmitt

Bow of "S 103" - Picture: Steffen Schmitt

Marine Life on "S 103" - Picture: Steffen Schmitt

Der dänische Zweig der Firma Teledyne Marine hat inzwischen mit dem Sonar eines ihrer Produkte das Wrack vermessen und die Daten mittels 3D-Software sichtbar gemacht. Die Sonarbilder, von denen unten eines gezeigt wird, werden zusammengesetzt und lassen mittel firmeneigener 3D-Software das Image eines S-Bootes vom Typ S 38 mit Kalotte entstehen.

The Danish branch of company Teledyne Marine has in the meantime surveyed the wreck with the Sonar of one of their products and made the data visible using their 3D-software. From the sonar-pictures, of which one is shown blow. the image of a S-boat type S 38 with scull-bridge is composed. The company has friendly enough sent us the video and the 3D-image on 18.02.2020 for our disposal.

Screenshot from the Video of Company Teledyne Marine

Image composed using 3D-Software of Company Teledyne Marine

Förderverein Museums-Schnellboot has stimulated that the company is surveying also the wrecks off Bagenkop and Rødby Havn in that way and to make them visible in such a way, to make a posiitve identification possible without emloyment of divers.