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S-Boote in der Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945

S-Boat-Wrecks in the Western Baltic

Besides of the four wrecks in Lunke Bugt in the east of the little island Tåsinge near Svenborg/Denmark, divers have found in 2010, we today know of wreckpositions of three Kriegsmarine S-boats. 

Thereof the wreck off Momark/Als is clearly identified as the remains of  "S 103" (Lt.z.S. Heckel) sunk by RAF SQN 193 on 04.05.1945. 

Boat "S 226" was scuttled north of Heiligenhafen by its commanding officer, Lt.z.S. von Glasenapp, on 03.05.1945. There is no wreck in that position.

Boats "S 191" (Kptlt. Weber) and "S 301" (Lt.z.S. Binis) were scuttled in the southeastern entry of Femern Sound having been severely damaged by ramming each other during an air attack on 05.05.1945 according to a report of Oblt.z.S. Kelm. Probably this happened already on 04.05.1945 because the Royal Airforce did not fly any attacks after that date. Due to the war-diary of SKL the boats were missed since 03.05.1945.  In this position there are no wrecks. In the fighting report of RAF SQN 193 it is reported that 15 boats among them MTBs were attacked on 04.05.1945.

The position "W 1" off Rødby Havn/Lolland marks a wreck found by divers, which could so far not be identified clearly. In on-lin and printmedia (homepage of Bubblewtcher Tauchservice and Reinhard Öser: "Auf dem Grunde des Meeres" wreck "W 1" is assumed to be the remains of "S 226". That has in the meantimne proven as wrong. It is probably the remains of a boat of type "S 38" or type "S 100" of one of the school-flotillas.

The position "W 2" off Bagenkop/Langeland is also marking a S-boat-wreck found by divers, which has until now not been identified positively. As for wreck "W 2" the media mentioned above come to the conclusion that it could be the remains of "S 22". Also that has in the meantime proven to be wrong.

Position "O 1" off Rødby Havn/Lolland is a postition af a World-War II S-boat-wreck obtained by electronic detection as published by Søværnet Orientaring No. 31/76.

Positions "R 1" and "R 2" are positions of engagements reported in the fighting-reports of RAF Squadron 193 in which S-boats or assumed S-boats have been attacked on 03.05. and 04.05.1945. In these positions no wrecks have been found.

The sinking position of fast-tug "Herold" (ex "S 18") which was sunk by an air attack on 05.05.1945 in the Smålands Farvandet is between Lolland and Ømø.

It is proven that the following S-boats of the fighting flotillas were lost or missed in Western Baltic during the last days of war: "S 103", "S 170", S 191", S 201", S 226", and "S 301".

By the photograph below by Walter Schöppe (Kirchspielarchiv Steinberg/Ostsee) and the  report of eye-witness Hans-Niko Diederichsen, also the loss of "S 108" on 05.05.1945 at the beach of Norgaardholz in Gelting Bight is proven. The boat of the 3. S-School-Fltl was canibalized by the population around Gelting Bight, the wooden hull was used as firewood. Of the boat only metal parts remained, which were removed when the wrecks of the ships and boats in sunk there were removed.

Stranded "S 108" at Norgaardholz - Picture: Walter Schöppe (Kirchspielarchiv Steinberg)


Wrecks and Attack-Positons in the Western Baltic May 1945


Wreck in Position 54°16′ N 10°07′ E - "S 103"

The wreck is from boat "S 103" (Oblt.z.S. Hans-Wulf Heckel) sunk by Typhoon I B-fighterbombers about 2 miles southeast of Mommark/Als on 03.05.1945. The wreck lies on 35 m waterdepth in vicinity of a seacable and therefore has not been destructed as planned by the Danich Navy although torpedoes as well as artillery-ammunition have been found on board. 

The boat was en route from Svendborg/Denmark to Flensburg in order to find out if the British had arived there already. On board was a totally unpractised crew and two guests when the boat around 16.00 was attacked by Typhoon I B-fighterbombers with rocket-bombs and aircraft armaments off Mommark as a surprise. The boat had to take two direct hits and sank. The Commanding Officer and 11 men of the complement - partly wounded - were picked up by a Danish fisherman and taken to Mommark.

The Danish branch of Teledyne Marine has in the meantime surveyed the wreck with the BlueView M900-2250 Mk, one of their products, and made the data visible using their 3D-software. From the sonar-pictures, of which one is shown below, the image is composed showing a S-boat type S 38 with scull-bridge appeared. 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.




Wreck in Position 54°39,7′ N 11°11,8′ E - Unknown S-Boat Type "S 100" - W 1

The naval vessel that according to the report of the police-station Nakskov was scuttled on 06.05.2016 after a bombing northwest of the harbour Rødby Havn on the southern tip of the island Lolland at a water depth of 16 m. It was clearly identified by diving aktivities as a S-boat belonging to type "S 100". 

The picture below, on which the so called well (Brunnen) on the forecastle can be seen, identifies the wreck as from a boat type "S 38", "S 100" or "S 700", all other boats had no such well, the only lost boats of type "S 700" were sunk in the Hoofden, "S 702" on 19.09.1844, "S 703" on 08.04.1945. The positions reported by divers and obtained by electronic means differ somewhat but ist must be assumed that it is one and the same wreck.

Well for the forward 20mm-Flak - Picture: Marine Research Germany

The boat was scuttled after a bombhit by its crew on 06.05.1945 northwest of Rødby Havn. Commanding officer and 19 of 23 men of the complement went ashore near Kramnitze with help of the remaining liferafts on board and reported themselves at  the next Danish police-station.

In the diver-reports of Bubblewatcher Tauchservice and Marine Research Germany this find eroneously is declared as wreck of "S 226". The scuttling of "S 226"  (Lt.z.S. d.Res. von Glasenapp), however, took place on 03.05.1945  north of Heiligenhafen

Two other boats of type "S 100" lost in the Western Baltic during the last days of war, "S 191" and "S 301" were logged as missing since 05.05.1945 according to the KTB of the Seekriegsleitung (SKl). Both boats had been so badly damaged by a ramming during an air attack in the southeast entry of Femern Sound that they were scuttled by their crews. In the fighting report of RAF SQN 193 dated 04.05.1945 it is reported that 15 boats among them MTBs were attacked.  

 Boat "S 201" was in the Kriegsmarinewerft Kiel and was scuttled by its crew on 03.05.1945 in Kiel harour after having been damaged severely by bombs in an air attack.

Boats of type "S 38" and Type "S 100" were not only employed by the fighting flotillas but also by the S-Boat-Schoolflotillas. But since for the boats under training no KTBs are available there is no knowledge of losses of school-boats of type "S 100" during the last days of war.

Therefore, the wreck off Rødbyhavn must be accounted for to be from an unknown school-boat of Type "S 100". 

Wreck in Position 54° 31' N   010° 42' E - "S 170" - W 2

 The wreck two miles southwest of Keldsnor lighthouse in the south of the island Langeland at a watrdepth of 24 m is from a S-boat of class "S 100" according to the available unterwaterphotographs. 

 Lock of the Starboard Torpedo-Tube  (definitely of newer type) - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

Capstan with Chain (definitely of newer build) - Picture: Marine Research Germany 

In our opinion the wreck is of "S 170". The boat was en route from Travemünde to Flensburg together with " S 226" (Lt.z.S. d.Res. von Glasenapp) and two minesweepers on 03.05.1945. According to the report of the former Commanding Officer of "S 226", which is available to us, the force was engaged by 12 Typhoon I B-fighterbombers west of Femern Belt.  During a further attack 20 minutes later north of Putlos "S 226" was camouflaged and did not perform any defensive action while "S 170" fired from all barrels and tried to escape at high speed. During this attack one of the minesweepers was badly damaged. When "S 226" proposed to commonly sail to assist the minesweeper the crew of "S 170" mutinied. "S 226" rescued the survivors of the minesweeper and shortly thereafter scuttled off Heiligenhafen. The further whereabouts of "S 170" are not stated in the report. In the fighting report of RAF SQN 193 it is reported that a MTB with northerly course was attacked and damaged.  

The last known position of "S 170" north of Putlos and the fact, that it was en route to Flensburg and was counted as missing, leads to assume, that the sinking off Keldsnor possibly by a minehit left no survivors and remained therefore without any reporting of the loss.

The possibility stated by the divers that it could be the wreck of "S 22" is contradicted by the notification of the last radio operator of "S 22", Herr Raimund Schulz, who communicated to the Web-Master on 17.01.2016 that "S 22" sank in the harbour of Wilhelmshaven in early April 1945 because of damages suffered from the last big bombing of the town on 30.03.1945.


Scuttling-Position 54°23′ N 11°05′ E - "S 191" and "S 301"

The position stated by Hümmelchen for the scuttling of boats "S 191" and "S 301" on May 4th 1945 in the easterly entrance of Femern Sound on relatively shallow water leads to assume that the wrecks were removed by explosive means or by recovery in the years after the war because they were hampering shipping and fishery in that position. The scuttling was confirmed by Oblt.z.S. a.D. Gunnar Kelm.


Scuttling-Position ca. 54°25′ N 10°59′ E - "S 226"

The scuttling-position of "S 226" stated in the report of the Commanding Officer north of Heiligenhafen also on relatively shallow water leads to think, that the wreck was removed by explosive means or by recovery for the same reasons.


It must be stated that the bombings of Fast Tug "Herold" (ex "S 18") on 05.05.1945 and the boat sunken off Rødby Havn on 06.05.1945 have not ben conducted by the RAF since the part capitulation was already in force. Therefore, it must be assumed that the attack were performed by Soviet Battle aircraft.