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View Full Version : U-35 WW2 German Submarine..A Humanitarian Account in War.



MB_Avro_UK
03-13-2008, 06:32 PM
Hi all,

German Submarine U-35 had an interesting history. She and Kapitan Lott performed an act of humanity in WW2.

U-35 in 1939 destroyed a cargo ship off the southern coast of England. The weather was very bad and Kapitan Lott decided to take all the crew from the cargo ship on board his submarine.

He sailed to Southern Ireland (Neutral Territory) and his sailors took the prisoners ashore.

Sometime later, U-35 was attacked by Royal Navy ships under the command of Lord Mountbatten.

All the crew of U-35 were rescued. The prisoners were amazed to find that the British sailors treated them with great respect and gave them their own clothing,cigarettes and rum!

The prisoners were kept in the Tower of London for a couple of months (!) before being transferred to Canada.

Whilst in the Tower of London, Lord Mountbatten took Kapitan Lott to a restaurant in London. Lott promised as a gentleman that he would not try to escape http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Here's a link. The rescue of the sailors by U-35 made the cover of the US 'Life' magazine!

http://www.u-35.com/diamantis/

Lord Mountbatten was killed by the IRA in 1979 whilst fishing off the coast of Sligo,Southern Ireland.His fishing boat was blown up by a bomb.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Low_Flyer_MkIX
03-13-2008, 07:13 PM
Great story. The pic on the last page of two elderly Germans with a Yeoman Warder perhaps sums up a spirit of reconcialiation made easier by the actions of personnel from both sides all those years ago.

I keep meaning to read a book on Mountbatten I've had for a few years now. This story might just spur me on.

Thanks for posting.

jadger
03-14-2008, 01:08 AM
great story, but it can't help but remind me of the incident that stopped them from rescuing the sailors. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

MB_Avro_UK
03-14-2008, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by jadger:
great story, but it can't help but remind me of the incident that stopped them from rescuing the sailors. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Explain please...

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

jadger
03-15-2008, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jadger:
great story, but it can't help but remind me of the incident that stopped them from rescuing the sailors. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Explain please...

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

the reason Doenitz was tried for war crimes after the war... Laconia Incident (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laconia_incident)

The Laconia incident was an incident in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. In September 1942, when RMS Laconia, carrying some 80 civilians, 268 British Army soldiers, about 1,800 Italian prisoners of war, and 160 Polish soldiers (on guard), was struck and sunk by a torpedo from a German Navy (Kriegsmarine) U-156 off the coast of west Africa.

.....The next morning, 16 September, at 11:25am, the four submarines, with Red Cross flags draped across their gun decks, were spotted by an American B-24 Liberator bomber from Ascension Island. Hartenstein signalled to the pilot requesting assistance. Lieutenant James D. Harden of the U.S. Army Air Force turned away and notified his base of the situation. The senior officer on duty that day, Captain Robert C. Richardson III, replied with the order "Sink sub."

Harden flew back to the scene of the rescue effort and at 12:32pm attacked with bombs and depth charges. One landed among the lifeboats in tow behind U-156 while others straddled the submarine itself. Hartenstein cast adrift those lifeboats still afloat and ordered the survivors on his deck into the water. The submarines dived and escaped. Many hundreds of the Laconia survivors perished, but French vessels managed to re-rescue about a thousand later that day. In all, some 1,500 passengers survived. An English seaman, Tony Large, endured forty days adrift in an open life boat before he was finally picked up

... not that the two situations had much in common, but the fact that a Uboat so close to British soil could surface and let off prisoners without getting attacked is remarkable.

Heliopause
03-15-2008, 03:52 AM
U35..very nice read! Thanks for posting.

Bewolf
03-15-2008, 04:06 AM
Nice find, Avro! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Never read about that account before. But yeah, back in those years there was not as bitter as it became later. The Laconia incident is a sad example for that.

BTw, as we are here with this topic, anybody else in here into the Silent Hunter Series? I just got the u boat missions lately and am a mighty happy kaleun now .

MB_Avro_UK
03-15-2008, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
Nice find, Avro! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Never read about that account before. But yeah, back in those years there was not as bitter as it became later. The Laconia incident is a sad example for that.

BTw, as we are here with this topic, anybody else in here into the Silent Hunter Series? I just got the u boat missions lately and am a mighty happy kaleun now .

Hi Bewolf,

I agree that late war the situation became much more bitter. But it does not diminish the U-35 incident.

The Laconia incident is tragic and interesting. The B-24 pilots obviously did not want to attack the U-Boats and requested advice from his base commander. Should they have disobeyed orders??

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

jadger
03-15-2008, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by Bewolf:
Nice find, Avro! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Never read about that account before. But yeah, back in those years there was not as bitter as it became later. The Laconia incident is a sad example for that.

BTw, as we are here with this topic, anybody else in here into the Silent Hunter Series? I just got the u boat missions lately and am a mighty happy kaleun now .

I was a diehard SHII player and loved it, bought SH3 but couldn't play it on my old comp... bought a new comp with Vista and it won't play on it either because it's not vista compatible I believe http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif so no luck so far.

jadger
03-15-2008, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
Nice find, Avro! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Never read about that account before. But yeah, back in those years there was not as bitter as it became later. The Laconia incident is a sad example for that.

BTw, as we are here with this topic, anybody else in here into the Silent Hunter Series? I just got the u boat missions lately and am a mighty happy kaleun now .

Hi Bewolf,

I agree that late war the situation became much more bitter. But it does not diminish the U-35 incident.

The Laconia incident is tragic and interesting. The B-24 pilots obviously did not want to attack the U-Boats and requested advice from his base commander. Should they have disobeyed orders??

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

IMHO although I cannot say I have ever been in a remotely similar position, I would say should have disobeyed orders... Not that I'm criticizing them at all, because I'm not. Just say "can't find Uboat, must have submerged" when you get back to base is what I would have done.

Like, the Uboat captain signalled to the aircraft that he wanted/needed help, and had the chance to shoot him down with his AA guns if he had wanted to, and was flying a red cross flag, obviously he was not a threat, unless it was a ruse of some sort. I would like to know more about the base commander though, what kind of Commander was he? If one was to follow the Hollywood stereotype... a far off base out of the main war zone, wet behind the ears commander looking for glory/promotion or a gung-ho believer in the "only good German is a dead one" idea.

MB_Avro_UK
03-16-2008, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by jadger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
Nice find, Avro! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Never read about that account before. But yeah, back in those years there was not as bitter as it became later. The Laconia incident is a sad example for that.

BTw, as we are here with this topic, anybody else in here into the Silent Hunter Series? I just got the u boat missions lately and am a mighty happy kaleun now .

Hi Bewolf,

I agree that late war the situation became much more bitter. But it does not diminish the U-35 incident.

The Laconia incident is tragic and interesting. The B-24 pilots obviously did not want to attack the U-Boats and requested advice from his base commander. Should they have disobeyed orders??

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

IMHO although I cannot say I have ever been in a remotely similar position, I would say should have disobeyed orders... Not that I'm criticizing them at all, because I'm not. Just say "can't find Uboat, must have submerged" when you get back to base is what I would have done.

Like, the Uboat captain signalled to the aircraft that he wanted/needed help, and had the chance to shoot him down with his AA guns if he had wanted to, and was flying a red cross flag, obviously he was not a threat, unless it was a ruse of some sort. I would like to know more about the base commander though, what kind of Commander was he? If one was to follow the Hollywood stereotype... a far off base out of the main war zone, wet behind the ears commander looking for glory/promotion or a gung-ho believer in the "only good German is a dead one" idea. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Difficult situation for the pilots.

They were caught between humanity and orders.

If the U-Boats had met with Allied ships, what would have happened next?

Would the Allied ships have allowed the U-Boats to sail away and sink more Allied ships?

The humanitarian aspects of the U-Boats were admirable but perhaps not practical?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

jadger
03-16-2008, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jadger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bewolf:
Nice find, Avro! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Never read about that account before. But yeah, back in those years there was not as bitter as it became later. The Laconia incident is a sad example for that.

BTw, as we are here with this topic, anybody else in here into the Silent Hunter Series? I just got the u boat missions lately and am a mighty happy kaleun now .

Hi Bewolf,

I agree that late war the situation became much more bitter. But it does not diminish the U-35 incident.

The Laconia incident is tragic and interesting. The B-24 pilots obviously did not want to attack the U-Boats and requested advice from his base commander. Should they have disobeyed orders??

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

IMHO although I cannot say I have ever been in a remotely similar position, I would say should have disobeyed orders... Not that I'm criticizing them at all, because I'm not. Just say "can't find Uboat, must have submerged" when you get back to base is what I would have done.

Like, the Uboat captain signalled to the aircraft that he wanted/needed help, and had the chance to shoot him down with his AA guns if he had wanted to, and was flying a red cross flag, obviously he was not a threat, unless it was a ruse of some sort. I would like to know more about the base commander though, what kind of Commander was he? If one was to follow the Hollywood stereotype... a far off base out of the main war zone, wet behind the ears commander looking for glory/promotion or a gung-ho believer in the "only good German is a dead one" idea. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Difficult situation for the pilots.

They were caught between humanity and orders.

If the U-Boats had met with Allied ships, what would have happened next?

Would the Allied ships have allowed the U-Boats to sail away and sink more Allied ships?

The humanitarian aspects of the U-Boats were admirable but perhaps not practical?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

In the article, it says the Uboat captain sent out a message in plain English on a certain radio band that said he needed assistance and would not attack. However this could be seen as a ruse. It's all a matter of trust really, I just like seeing the best in ppl.

Bewolf
03-17-2008, 03:40 AM
What I find much more interesting that this gos totally against the Hollywood stereotype of ruthless germans machinegunning lifeboats. That happend, to my knowledge, once.

On the other hand there were several US skippers doing this to the japanese. Not to start a flamefest here, seriously not my intention, but I consider this noteworthy towards the regular clichés born during these times.

That said I do not blame the bomber pilots. they got their orders. And deciding between orders and humanity is a tough choice all the time, especially back then, in such an epic life or death conflict.

foxyboy1964
03-17-2008, 03:59 AM
If that account posted by Jadger is accurate then I certainly would not have attacked the subs. Didn't the aircrew see the lifeboats in tow?

And as for the good captain Robert C. Richardson III (the third? Who cares if his grandfather had the same name? Does he think he's Royalty or something?) if he wants to commit murder he should have the guts to go and do it himself!

Bewolf
03-17-2008, 04:51 AM
Originally posted by foxyboy1964:
If that account posted by Jadger is accurate then I certainly would not have attacked the subs. Didn't the aircrew see the lifeboats in tow?

And as for the good captain Robert C. Richardson III (the third? Who cares if his grandfather had the same name? Does he think he's Royalty or something?) if he wants to commit murder he should have the guts to go and do it himself!

That account is correct. The Laconia incident also led to the issuing of orders to the german boats to not safe shipwrecked ppl anymore, just pilots or other personal maybe having important informations.

foxyboy1964
03-17-2008, 07:12 AM
I've just read the wiki account of this incident. The U-boat commander broadcast his position in English then stayed on the surface for two days waiting for help. The allies should have given him a medal. I'm not surprised the U-boats were ordered not to pick up survivors after this.

jadger
03-17-2008, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by foxyboy1964:
I've just read the wiki account of this incident. The U-boat commander broadcast his position in English then stayed on the surface for two days waiting for help. The allies should have given him a medal. I'm not surprised the U-boats were ordered not to pick up survivors after this.

Very true, but how could the allies have known it was not a trap of some sort to draw in defenseless craft or a capital ship into a concentration of lots of uboats and surface ships.

MB_Avro_UK
03-17-2008, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by jadger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by foxyboy1964:
I've just read the wiki account of this incident. The U-boat commander broadcast his position in English then stayed on the surface for two days waiting for help. The allies should have given him a medal. I'm not surprised the U-boats were ordered not to pick up survivors after this.

Very true, but how could the allies have known it was not a trap of some sort to draw in defenseless craft or a capital ship into a concentration of lots of uboats and surface ships. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Interesting point http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

At that stage in WW2 the U-Boats were regarded by the allies as 'pirates'. The allied mindset then was different to us today as we have the 'gift' of hindsight.

My original post related to 1939 when attitudes were perhaps different.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.