Polish Naval Memories of WWII









Wojciech Francki, Commander

German U-Boat fleet is scuttled, 27th November.

Wojciech Francki commanded ORP Błyskawica participating in Operation Deadline scuppering German submarines near the shores of Norway.German U-boat fleet is scuttled, 27th November

On the 13th May 1945 two German E-Boats entered Felixstowe harbour bringing the E-Boat fleet commander, Admiral Bruening, into surrender. This must have been of some satisfaction to the Eighth Polish MTB Flotilla and their commanding officer Kpt. Mar (Lt Cdr) Witold Szuster. The new cruiser, ORP Conrad, a replacement for the lost Dragon lost during the Normandy landings, was the first Allied warship to enter the cradle of the German Navy, Wilhelmshaven, which was occupied by units of the Polish First Armoured Division.

ORP Błyskawica, with battle honours ranging from Narvik in 1940 to convoy escort, Western Approaches, to fleet operations in the Channel area, and a veteran of some 400 ops, was part of the Seventeenth Destroyer Flotilla during late 1945 and January 1946 which sank 110 U-boats off Malin Head. The Polish task was to sink U-boats by gunfire where demolition charges had failed.

Operation Deadlight was the code name for the Royal Navy operation to scuttle German U-boats surrendered to the Allies after the defeat of Germany near the end of World War II.

Of the 156 U-boats that surrendered to the allies at the end of the war, 121 were scuttled as part of Operation Deadlight in deep water off Lisahally, Northern Ireland or Loch Ryan, Scotland in late 1945 and early 1946.

When Operation Deadlight was activated, it was found that many of the U-boats were in an extremely poor condition as a result of being moored in exposed harbours while awaiting disposal. Combined with poor weather, this meant that 56 of the boats sank before reaching the designated scuttling areas and those which did were generally sunk by gunfire rather than explosive charges. The first sinking took place on 17 November 1945 and the last on 11 February 1946.

In addition to ORP Błyskawica:

U-244 was being towed out to the scuttling ground by the tug Enchanter when the tow broke. The U-boat was sunk by destroyer ORP Piourn with gunfire in position 55.46N, 08.32W that same day.

U-1010 was sunk on 7th January 1945 at 55.37N x 07.491W by gunfire from destroyer ORP Garland.


More from 1945

Edward Nikiel

Franciszek Rumuński

Władysław Pacewicz

Tadeusz Lesisz

Antoni Piątek

Wojciech Francki

Jerzy Świrski