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U Boats Come Ashore

Discussion in 'Submarines and ASW Technology' started by gman41, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. gman41

    gman41 Member

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    Did the U Boats ever come ashore to the east coast. I have heard stories that the crews would get bold and come ashore, purchase goods at the stores and other tales. Many of which do not make sense since how would they exchange greetings, buy things without ration cards etc.

    Are all these tales as I see it, or did any of the crews and captains truly get bold and make landings un authorized and interact with America.
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm going with myth here. I came across this at uboat.net
    Going ashore in the US buying groceries

    There is one myth that constantly floats around claiming that U-boat was located of the shore of the US and inside it discovered packaging of US-made bread and so on. Thus it claimed the U-boat men on that boat (and perhaps other boats as well) went ashore shopping.
    We've found no information to support this claim and it's extremely doubtful to say the least. Men from U-boats did indeed land in North America but those were espionage/saboteur (USA - all captured) or weather patrol missions (Canada).
    uboat.net - Special Sections - Myth and Stories
     
  3. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    i think they are as you see it - this link gives a good idea of the sort of trouble they would have been in from the German end if they had tried it, quite apart from the unlikelihood of getting away with it along a coast that was panicking about u-boats far more than they actually needed to;

    Secret U-Boat Ops

    I haven't yet found any references even to stories of it happening unauthorised, which is surprising. I'll keep looking.

    There was a story about a landing in Quebec, including movie visits and shopping, but all evidence would appear to indicate was a myth;

    http://forums.milnet.ca/forums/index.php?topic=60381.15

    And a lot of more believable tales from South Africa, which may have led to some of the US myths;

    http://www.capesaaaca.co.za/newsletters/old/2006-02-SAMCA Newsletter No 2 February 2006.pdf

    And this site has some details of the US 'Myths' although mostly related to sabotage;

    http://www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher/ww2/ww2.htm

    :)
     
  4. gman41

    gman41 Member

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    The South African stuff is more believeable since they would be most sympathetic to Germans as Boers.

    Where would these guys come ashore here, in a small town they'd stick out like a sore thumb. In a big city they'd be lost and have to ask someone for directions etc unless they knew the area pre war. Would make a great novel or movie of fiction but I'm not sold right now.
     
  5. rifleman49

    rifleman49 Member

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    This story is also told in my neck of the woods.For years,it has been said that U-Boats came ashore on the west coast of Ireland and traded for diesel and other goods.It is, alas, a legend except for one occasion.On the 4th of October 1939,the people of the small village of Ballymore found that sailors from the Greek freighter "Diamantis",were being landed by a rubber boat by German U-boatmen.The freighter had been intercepted by the U35 and told to steer for calmer waters so the ships papers could be examined.It did not follow the instruction of the U-boat and a shot was fired across it's bows by the U-boat.The freighter's crew took to the lifeboat's and what ensued in rough waters became a rescue by the U-boat.The lifeboat's overturned in to the sea,one by one.
    All 28 crew were eventually landed safely and the U-boat,commanded by KaptLt Werner Lott which had come in with the remainder of the freighter's crew to Ventry harbour,departed back to sea while a sizeable crowd had gathered along the harbour to see what was going on.The U-boat crew waved to the Irish onlookers and sailed away back into the depths of the atlantic ocean.
    The U35 was later sunk in the North sea,but all hands were saved.As far as I'm aware,this is the only documented time a U-boat ever came ashore in Ireland.
     
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  6. gman41

    gman41 Member

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    Ireland would maybe be another place where the Germans might find a sympathetic or neutral bunch to deal with. They were neutral as far as I know, and maybe some anti British feelings as well depending on which part of Ireland they landed on. Those stories might be true if you factor that in. The conspiracy theory continues.
     
  7. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Considering the U-boat crews humane treatment of the merchant ships crew, a welcome piece of infomation :)
     
  8. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Good karma must have been involved, sort of like in "My Name Is Earl"....
     
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  9. rifleman49

    rifleman49 Member

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    In reply to your above,gman41,from many sources it has been widely agreed that U-boats coming ashore in the waters of the Republic of Ireland,and the stories of such,are a myth not fact.As a point in fact,the one documented fact of the U35 coming ashore in 1939 can help to prove this.The story of this incident is common knowledge here in Ireland,because so many people witnessed it and should the same type of thing had happened again in numerous places along the Irish west and south coasts,exactly the same type of excitement and commotion would have occurred and these stories would have been passed down from generation to generation as the story of U35 has.
    As for people being neutral or pro-German,it has to be remembered that when German aircrew or sailors were captured in the South of Ireland,they were interned in a military camp at the Curragh,Co Kildare.This also applied to Allied airmen and sailors for a small part of the war,but as it progressed they were usually brought to the nearest military or police barracks given some tea and food and either delivered to the Northern Ireland border,or in some cases collected by British Army personnel in civvies.So Irish neutrality was very much pro-allied.
    As a footnote to the U35 story,KaptLt Lott became a lifelong friend of Lord Louis Mountbatten whose flotilla it was, rescued his crew in the North sea at the time of his U-boat's sinking.KaptLt Lott returned to Ireland and to Ventry in 1984,where he met local people who remembered vividly the act of chivalry on the high sea's that day in 1939.A commemoration was held and a plaque unveiled in Ventry on October 17,1984 in the town to remember the occasion.
    KaptLt Werner Lott,died on May 2nd 1997.
     
  10. gman41

    gman41 Member

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    I agree with everything you say in your reply. I would however find it hard to believe that everyone was pro allied in Ireland or any neutral country, even America had it's Hitler supporters as well during our pre war era.

    Do I think the crews ever came ashore, no. But if they did where would they find it easier is the question when it comes to Ireland and other neutrals. Would they be more inclined to come to a neutral, even a pro-allied one as Ireland. We'll never know which is why these myths will continue on forever.
     
  11. Trud3r

    Trud3r Member

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    There are a lot of myths around that's for sure.

    The only landings by U-boat I am aware off are about abwehr agents and they all failed at their tasks.

    - 1 agent from U-213 was landed near St. Martins's in Bay of Fundy in May, 1942.
    - Two teams of 4 men each were landed in America by 2 U-boats during June, 1942 (U-584 in Florida & U-202 in New-York) - Operation Pastorius.
    - 1 agent from U-518 landed at Baie des Chaleurs, Newfoundland in November 1942.

    Other landings where done in the Artic to set up weather stations - Just one by a U-boat though.
     
  12. Lost Watchdog

    Lost Watchdog Member

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    Ah the old U-boats and Irish one again. The Irish hate the British, the Germans are at war with the British - case closed.
    Except .... there were 100,000s of Irish serving in the British military or working in its war industries, and they all had relatives back in the Ould Sod.
    And more importantly, the Irish Government considered the IRA, not the Brits or Germans, the biggest threat to the State during the Emergency. Many IRA men were interred in the aforementioned Curragh Camp and the Offences Against the State Act 1939, aimed squarely at the IRA, makes the Patriot Act look wimpy. Any U-boat calling in was unlikley to be ignored considering the IRA's links with German intelligence.
     
  13. wa2ddl

    wa2ddl Member

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    This persisted even in the Bahamas. I lived in the Abacos from 1997-99 and was often told about an island in the Abaco chain where u-boats used to take on slaughtered animals, etc. for food. I was lucky enough to track this down and actually talked to a man who was hired as a cook at the house on the island during the war. He was more interested in talking about how he prepared food than uboats, but I managed to eventually discuss possible strange people on the island, dressed in uniform, rubber dinghies arriving (depth at the island itself could not have supported the draft of a uboat-15 ft), strange languages spoken, people arriving at night by boat...all sorts of combinations of questions that would have keyed a memory out of him, but he recalled nothing. Since this was the only house on the island and he was credible according to the locals (I think he was around 90 at the time), I found this myth to be busted!
     
  14. wa2ddl

    wa2ddl Member

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    And speakng of Kriegsmarine...how about ths book that details how uniformed Kriegsmarine men were seen in 1946 onboard uboats in the south atlantic fully one year after the May 1945 surrender. Its a good read, make up your own mind about its vaildity: The true facts surrounding the fake suicide of Adolf Hitler.
     
  15. gman41

    gman41 Member

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    I believe that Hitler killed himself, there is no way he could be kept in seclusion for about 30 years he would have remaining on his life. He was 56 I believe when he died. Do you really believe that he would be able to hide, and keep quiet, he was an egomaniac, no way in tarnation would he live in some quiet Argentine village for decades.

    How would the U-Boats fuel and ration in 1946. Who provided them the oil and money to buy it.

    In the end the U-Boats most likely never made these social or grocery shopping calls. But then again who would have ever believe the trips made to North Africa, and Italy pre-invasion by the soon to be Supreme Commanders staff ever would have occured. And yes, by Submarine.
     

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