U-boat fates

Scuttled U-boats, May 1945

Operation Regenbogen

On 30 April, 1945, in order to preserve the honour of the Kriegsmarine, Dönitz ordered that the entire fleet should be scuttled, only ships that would be needed for fishing, transport and mine clearance after the war should remain intact. He kept the hopeless military struggle on for a few more days both in order to rescue as many as possible from the Baltic states and also to ensure the Kriegsmarine commanders had enough time to prepare to scuttle their ships.

The code name Regenbogen was to signal the order to scuttle the ships. But at 1514 hours on May 4 Dönitz was forced to withdraw this order by condition of the Allied commanders. But the U-boat commanders in the Western Baltic believed this new surrender order to be against Dönitz will and scuttled their vessels anyway.

When things settled down 238 U-boats had been scuttled in the Western Baltic. Of these 238 U-boats 16 were not in commission (paid off) and 5 had not been launched.

Location of Scuttled U-boats

This is page showing the locations on a map plus a small summary.

Scuttled U-boats by type

Please note that these are commissioned U-boats (there were also unfinished or paid off boats scuttled).

TypeScuttled
Type II21
Type IX6
Type VII70
Type XXI Elektro boats85
Type XXIII Elektro boats31
Walter boats7
220

U-boat fates