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S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945

Loss of Unknown Boat

 

According to a report of Mr. Reinhard Öser of Interessengruppe

 Marine Research Germany  

by telephone a wreck of a clearly identified boat of type "S 18" is laying 2 nm southwest of the lighthouse Bagenkop at a waterdepth of 11 m.

The boats of type "S 18" had according to Hümmelchen the following fates:

Boat Whereabouts
S 18 + 05.05.1945 as fast tug "Herold" off Laaland by alliied Fighterbomber
S 19 1945 british warloot, 1950 as Ztargetship to Target Trials Committee, used up
S 20 1945 british warloot, sold 1947/48 for demolition
S 21 1945 USA warloot, 18.01.46 sold by OMGUS to Norway, Feb. 1950 deleted from list of warships
S 22 + Early April 1945 in Wilhelmshaven after romb rais of 30.03.1945 
S 23 (+) 12.07.1940 in 51o 18' N, 002o 05' E blown up after hit by mine
S 24 1945 UdSSR warloot, 05.11.45: TK 1004, 1955 deleted from list of warships
S 25 1945 british warloot, sold 1947/48 for demolition

"By the exclusion method (no other boat has a sinking position which corresponds with the co-ordinates of the find) the wreck-find off Bagenkop probably the wreck of "S 22". The shape of the forecastle, the composition of the torpedo-tubes and the remains of the bridge leave no space for another conclusion." So far Mr. Öser.

Until now it had been assumed that the boat was sunk south of Låland/DK and that the wreck discovered probably was "S 22", which according to Hümmelchen was still accounted for by the 3. S-School-Flotilla in early April 1945. When the boats gathered in the Gelting Bight after the capitulation she was missing.

But on 17.01.2016 the Web-master received a telephone-call from the last radio-operator of the boat "S 22", OGefr d.R. Raymund Schulz, the last survior of "S 22", that his boat had sunk in the early days of April in the harbour of Wilhelmshaven after she had been severely damaged by the last bomb-raid against Wilhelmshaven on 30.03.1945 where she was laying in a dock. Therefore, it was considered that the find was possibly "S 18", which in the mean time was counted for as fast-towinboat "Herold".

Which harbour the boat "Herold" (ex "S 18") left and with what orders, is not known by us. A loss report does not exist. There is no report of survivors of the sinking, therefore, it must be assumed that it was a total loss of boat and crew.

The wreck found southwest of Bagenkop indicates that it probably was hit by a mine or a bomb or it was sunk as a result of a ramming. The forecastle is partly totally destroyed, the port-torpedotube lies on stbd-side of the boat, the diesel-engines a severely damaged, around the boat 20mm- and MG-ammunition is spread around on the bottom of the sea. The boat had been sanded in strongly, rudders and propellers as well as the quarter of the boat are in a good state

The Interessengruppe Marine Research Germany has made the folowing pictures of the wreck of "S 18" during their last expedision and made them available to us:

Unknown Wreck in the Sonar - Picture: Marine Research Germany

Deck of the Wreck - Picture: Marine Research Germany

   Engine room - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

 Engine room - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

 Starboard Torpedo-Tube - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

 Lock of Starboard Torpedo-Tube (obviously from a newer type boat - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

The Hinge of the Lock is placed vertically on "S 18" - Picture: Archives Förderverein

The Hinges of the Lock are placed horizontally on type S 100 Boats - Picture: Archives Förderverein

 Lock-Drive of Starboard Torpedo-Tube - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

 Compressed Air Bottle - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

Capstan with Chain - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

Bollard - Picture: Marine Research Germany

 The Danish diver Martin Høeg Larsen has reported on 24.06.2015 that in the vecinity of the boat he has dived to years ago, a 37mm-Flak and corresponding ammunition on or around the boat hads been found by him (that also could lead to the conclusion that it is the wreck of a S 100-type boat).  Mr. Reinhard Öser, however, has only found 20mm-ammunition and MG-ammunition.