Operation Deadlight

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Submarines in June 1945 at the berth near Londonderry

The Operation Deadlight was a military operation of the British Royal Navy and the Polish Navy handed the sinking German submarines after the end of World War II in Europe.


After the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht ( VE-Day ), around 155 operational submarines of the Kriegsmarine were demunitioned by the end of 1945 and transferred to the Scottish ports of Loch Ryan and Loch Eriboll as well as Moville and to the port of Londonderry in Lisahally in Northern Ireland .

Around 40 boats were taken over by the victors, the remaining 115 German U-boats were taken over by British U-boats ( Tantivy, Templar ), tugs ( Bustler, Emolous, Enchanter, Enforcer, Fowey, Freedom, Masterful, Prosperous, Saucy ), escort destroyers ( Blencathra, Mendip, Pytchley, Quantock, Southdown, Zetland ) and frigates ( Cawsand Bay, Camsand Bay, Cosby, Cubitt, Loch Arkaig, Loch Shin, Rupert ) to the target areas around Malin Head, Bloody Foreland and Tory Island towed and sunk there. Several submarines have already been lost on the way due to heavy seas or broken tow lines.

In the target area, the boats were mainly used by the British destroyers HMS Obedient , HMS Offa , HMS Onslaught , HMS Onslow , HMS Orwell , HMS Solebay , HMS Zealous and the Polish destroyers ORP Błyskawica , ORP Garland , ORP Krakowiak and ORP Piorun by means of ship artillery and aircraft sunk by the Royal Air Force .

The scuttling began on Tuesday, November 27, 1945 and ended on February 12, 1946 at 10 a.m. with the sinking of U 3514 .

The sinking sites of the submarines are a popular destination for divers.


  • Rainer Busch, Hans-Joachim Röll: The submarine war 1939-1945. Volume 4: German submarine losses from September 1939 to May 1945. Mittler, Hamburg et al. 1999, ISBN 3-8132-0514-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Photos: Operation "Deadlight" ; Retrieved December 26, 2008
  2. Detailed illustration: Operation »Deadlight« ; Retrieved December 26, 2008