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U 34

U 34 is most likely to have entered the Bristol Channel during her first war patrol.
U 34
Type VII
Laid down 15 Sept 1935 Germania Werft, Kiel
Commissioned 12 Sept 1936 Kptlt. Ernst Sobe
Commanders 09.36 - 11.36
11.36 - 12.36
12.36 - 02.38
02.38 - 10.38
10.38 - 09.40
09.40 - 05.41
05.41 - 11.41
11.41 - 06.42
06.42 - 02.43
02.43 - 06.43
06.43 - 08.43
Kptlt. Ernst Sobe
Kptlt. Harald Grosse
Kptlt. Ernst Sobe
Kptlt. Hans Pauckstadt
Kptlt. Wilhem Rollmann (Knights Cross)
Oblt. Fritz Meyer
Oblt. Karl-Otto Schultz
Oblt. Oblt. Gerhard Remus
Oblt. Horst-Arno Fenski (Knights Cross)
Oblt. Karl-Heinz Hagenau
Ltnt. Eduard Aust

Career

September 1936 - September 1939 U-Flottille ’Saltzwedel’ (Wilhelmshaven)

January 1940 – September 1940 2 U-Flottille (Wilhelmshaven)
October 1940 - November 1940 21 U-Flottille (Pillau) school boat
November 1940 - August 1943 24 U-Flottille (Danzig/Memel/Trondheim/Gotenhafen) training boat

Patrol 1 19 August 1939. Departed Wilhelmshaven, to operate west of the English Channel with 2 U-Flottille. In early September, U 34 sank two ships south west of the Scillies, the SS Pukkastan (British, 5809t) on the 7th and the SS Kennebec (British, 5548t) on the 8th. U 34 may have ventured into the Bristol Channel during this patrol. U 34 captured a ship near Norway on the 24th, the SS Hanonia (Es 2534t). She was taken to a German port by a prize crew and as Schiff II she was later used as a mine layer off the east coast of England. U 34 returned to base on 26 September 1939.

Patrol 2 17 October 1939. Left for Atlantic operations west of the English Channel. Outward-bound on the 20th, U 34 sank two ships east of the Shetlands by torpedo and gunfire, the SS Gustav Adolf (Swedish, 926t) and the SS Sea Venture (British, 2327t). On the 27th U 34 attacked eastbound convoy HX 5A in the evening south west of Fastnet and severely damaged the SS Bronte (British, 5317t). In the early hours of the 29th U 34 again attacked the convoy, sinking the SS Malabar (British, 7976t) west of the Scillies. Returning, U 34 captured the SS Snar (Norwegian. 3176t) off southern Norway on 9 November. She was taken as a prize to a German port. U 34 returned to Wilhelmshaven on 12 November 1939.

Patrol 3 10 January 1940. Left for a minelaying operation off south-west England. U 34 laid eight very powerful TMC magnetic mines off Falmouth early on the 20th. Later that day the tanker MV Caroni River (British, 7807t) sank after striking one of these mines, no other sinkings were attributed to this field - another failure of the minelaying strategy. The SS Eleni Stathatos (Gr. 5625t) was torpedoed and sunk by U 34 200 miles west of the Scillies on the 28th. The boat returned to Wilhelmshaven on 6 February 1940.

Patrol 4 11 March 1940. Operating off Trondheim. Returned to Wilhelmshaven on 30 March 1940.

Patrol 5 3 April 1940. Left Wilhelmshaven To take part in Operation Hartmut. U 34 is believed to have made an attack on the battlecruiser HMS Repulse on the 18th, which failed because of torpedo defects. Returned to base on 30 April 1940.

Patrol 6 22 June 1940. Left Wilhelmshaven to patrol the South-Western Approaches and the Bay of Biscay. On 5 July U 34 sank the destroyer HMS Whirlwind north west of the Scillies, on the 6th the SS Vapper (Es. 4543t) south of Cape Clear, on the 7th the tanker SS Lucrecia (Nl. 2584t) west of the Scillies, on the 9th the SS Tiiu (Es. 1865t) south west of Ireland, on the 10th the SS Petsamo (Fi. 4596t) south of Cape Clear and on the 11th the SS Janna (Nw. 2197t), a straggler from convoy HX 54, again south west of Ireland. On the 15 July, U 34 torpedoed and sank the SS Evdoxia (Gr. 2018t) 40 miles south west of Bull Rock, Ireland. Later the same day, probably with all torpedoes gone, U 34 sank the SS Naftilos (Gr. 3531t) by gunfire west of Ushant.

U 34 put in to Lorient for resupply on the 18th and left again on the 23rd, to patrol west of the British Isles. On the 26th she encountered westbound convoy OB 188 south west of Rockall and torpedoed and sank the MV Accra (British, 9337t) and the SS Vinemoor (British, 4359t). After pursuing the convoy south for 12 hours U 34 sank two more ships in the early hours of the 27th, the SS Sambre (British, 5260t) and the tanker MV Thiara (British, 10364t). On the return journey to Wilhelmshaven U 34 torpedoed and sank the British submarine HMS Spearfish on 1 August west of Stavanger. U 34 returned to base on 3 August 1940.

In October 1940 U 34 went on to training duties, serving with 21 and 24 U-Flottillen, and continued so until 5 August 1943, when she sank off Memel after colliding with the U-boat depot ship Lech.