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WWII U-Boats


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Class: (Type XB)
Text courtesy of

Fate: "Surrendered at sea to Sutton (DE-771) on 14 May 1945 and escorted into Portsmouth, New Hampshire on 19 May 1945. By the end of May, U-234's crew and passengers had been taken into captivity, and its cargo had been unloaded, whilst the U-Boat itself remained at Portsmouth. It was then selected as one of the few U-Boats in which the US Navy had a medium-term interest, being given a minor re-fit in the latter part of 1945 prior to its use in trials in the first half of 1946. After that U-234 was berthed at Portsmouth until it was declared surplus to requirements. It was sunk on 20 November 1947 by the submarine Greenfish (SS-351) in torpedo tests approximately 40 miles north-east off Cape Cod on the US east coast".
Text courtesy of Derek Waller
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U-boats219kKapitšnleutnant Johann-Heinrich Fehler, CO of U-234, (in the white cap center of photo) talks with LCDR Narzo on the bridge of the Sutton (DE-771), 15 May 1945. Photo courtesy of
U-boats174kKptlt. Johann-Heinrich Fehler (on right) of the U-234.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
U-boats290k"When it surrendered, U-234 was en-route to Japan with important cargo, as well as several high ranking German experts on various technologies, including two Messerschmitt production engineers. The cargo comprised three elements. Items for the Japanese Army and Navy, including mercury, optical glass, lead, zinc, steel, brass, thallium, uranium oxide and a very large number of Me 262-related technical drawings, production plans, patterns, forms and templates: considerable quantities of stores and ammunition for the German U-Boats and U-Boat bases that were still operational in the Far East: and several tons of diplomatic mail for the German Embassy in Tokyo. The most significant element of this cargo, which the British and Americans knew about in advance via ULTRA intercepts, were the Me 262 documents which, with the help of the two Messerschmitt engineers, could have enabled the Japanese to set up factories designed to produce up to 500 Me 262s a month within two years. Despite many rumours to the contrary, U-234 was not carrying any aircraft on board, and even today it is unclear what eventually became of the uranium oxide". Text courtesy of Derek Waller
USN photo courtesy of Lance Dean.
Greenfish 80k Greenfish (SS-351) sinks U-234 by a torpedo during trials approximately 40 miles north-east off Cape Cod, on the US east coast on 20 November 1947. Text courtesy of
USN photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.

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