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Re: U-34 and bioluminescence
Posted by: Michael Lowrey ()
Date: September 07, 2010 11:05PM


In trying to figure out what happened to World War U-boats that didn't return to base, the diappearance of U 34 is (sadly) fairly typical, in that there is a British sinking claim that doesn't hold up under closer examination.

The British sinking claim, based upon what the Royal Navy knew during the war, is that U 34 was sunk on the evening of November 8/9, 1918 U 34 was attempting to pass through the Straits of Gibraltar en route back to Germany when she was surprised on the sufrace and then sunk by gunnery and depth charges. I have seen accounts including bioluminescence as an element in the sighting of the U-boat,

The German official history, published in 1966, rejects this sinking claim. Simply put, U 34 would not have been at that location at that date.

U 34 operated from Austrian ports 1915 on. On October 16, 1918, she sailed from Pola for Cattaro to begin a patrol in the Eastern Mediterannean. The Germans were not able to dermine if U 34 reached Cattaro and then proceeded onward (as would have been standard operating procedure).

In any case, on October 21/22, 1918, The Germans sent out radio orders ending operations against merchant shipping. On October 23, 1918, a recall order was issued to all German submarines at sea in the Mediterannean. Two days later, the commander of German submarines sent out a message authorizing U 33 (then still at sea) and U 34 to proceed directly back to Germany if they had sufficient fuel and supplies. (Seaworthy boats in the Mediterannean sailed back to Germany; boats that could not be made ready were scuttled.)

U 34 did not reappear in Pola for additional fuel. Had she turned west to begin sailing back toward Germany on October 25, 1918, she would have passed through the Straits of Gibraltar before the evening of November 8/9, 1918.

The German official history lists UB 51 as likely the boat attacked on the evening of November 8/9, 1918. It was not sunk, and returned to Germany.

What happened to U 34 is unknown. It is quite possibly though that she was lost between October 16 and October 23, 1918, possibly while passing outbound through the Otranto Barrage.

Best wishes,

Options: ReplyQuote

Subject Written By Posted
U-34 and bioluminescence Marcel Koken 09/06/2010 07:48PM
Re: U-34 and bioluminescence Josephbremez 09/07/2010 04:07PM
Re: U-34 and bioluminescence Marcel Koken 09/07/2010 07:49PM
Re: U-34 and bioluminescence Michael Lowrey 09/07/2010 11:05PM
Re: U-34 and bioluminescence Marcel Koken 09/09/2010 05:05AM
Re: U-34 and bioluminescence Michael Lowrey 09/11/2010 02:46AM
Re: U-34 and bioluminescence DanOdenweller 09/08/2010 10:11AM

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