In the days when the Second World War was in full swing, Adolf Hitler, who had turned Europe into a place of fire, had turned his eye to the east, to the USSR, as it was then called, or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. On June 22, 1941, about three million German soldiers attacked the USSR. On this front, the target was rich natural resources, especially oil. In this operation, called Barbarossa, Adolf Hitler was convinced that he would bring the Russians to their knees only with the attack of ground troops.
The Germans occupied the Black Sea coast with a rapid advance, advanced as far as Taupse. But there were no German naval forces in the Black Sea that could take control of the coast and protect the supply routes.
Turkey did not have the straits used
The entrance to the Black Sea was closed, and the passage ticket was in the hands of Turkey, which was neutral in the Second World War. In accordance with the Montreux Agreement, Turkey had closed the Dardanelles and Istanbul straits, which are the only transportation routes to the Black Sea, to military ships. He had also laid magnetic lines underwater to block the secret passage of quiet and deeply moving submarines. The German government asked Turkey to open the straits to submarine passage first. Turkey's response was negative.
This time, the Germans wanted to buy Turkish submarines Atalay, Saldayay and Yildiray, which were of their own making. The Turkish government, determined to stay out of the war, also turned down this request, which would have cast a shadow on its neutrality.
Adolf Hitler planned to bring submarines to the Black Sea from a distance of 3 thousand 500 kilometers!
The options for the Germans were running low. The Germans, desperate, decided to implement a crazy plan. Submarines were to be transported overland from the North Sea to the Black Sea. The route from the naval base Kiel to the port of Constanta of Allied Romania meant a total distance of 3 thousand 500 kilometers using rivers in Europe. Six submarines were to be dismantled and transported piece by piece!
Interesting Story of German Submarines Brought Overland from the Black Sea
The Germans chose the type 2s, one of the smallest and lightest submarines in the navy, for this unusual voyage. For this particular task, 6 type 2 B-class submarines were first selected. 30. The so-called Submarine Flotilla U-9, 18, 19, 20, 23 and in order for 24 submarines to be transported, a complex set of operations was required that required engineering knowledge. Although the size of the ships was small, it was not possible to transport them in one piece. That is why the Germans decided to disassemble the submarines first of all. The dismantled parts were placed on specially prepared pontoons that tugboats would tow. This process took exactly 11 months!
The submarines were first brought from Hamburg to Dresden via the Kaiser-Wilhelm canal and the Elbe River, then transported by highway to Ingolstadt, from here to Graz and Constance via the Danube River and lowered into the Black Sea.
in the spring of 1942, the first group of 3 submarines was transported using submarine parts, the Elbe and Danube rivers. At a distance of 300 kilometers between the two rivers, the submarines were decommissioned. The transfer of 6 German submarines to the Romanian port of Constanta took place within 11 months.
German Submarines sink 26 Soviet ships in the Black Sea
The submarines, assembled again, were launched into the raging waters of the Black Sea, which were fraught with dangers, from October 1942. German submarines conducted 56 operations for 1 and a half years and sank 26 Soviet ships, totaling 45 thousand 426 tons. Of these submarines, 3 submarines were rendered unusable, and 3 were stuck in the Black Sea.
Although the successes of the submarines ended the superiority of the Russians in the Black Sea, this was a belated success. The destruction of German forces on land had begun, the battle had already been lost. in the summer of 1944, Romania switched ranks in the war. The Soviet army entered Constanta, the only base for submarines, and made three of the 6 submarines, U9,18 and 24, unusable.
3 submarines, U19, 20 and 23, were left without ports and without support. Rudolf Arendt, the Commander of U23, one of the submarines trapped in the Black Sea, likened their situation to cats being put in a sack.
Blue Passion met with Rudolf Arendt, the Commander of the U23. The Germans contacted the Turkish government again so that the submarines would not fall into Soviet hands. This time they wanted to surrender their submarine in exchange for the return of personnel. The response of Turkey, which is sensitive about neutrality, was again negative.
The order to sink the submarines has arrived!
Having risen to the command of the Navy, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz understood that he had no choice. He sent orders to the submarine commanders to sink and disembark in Turkey. According to the order, the soldiers were to land to the south on the territory of Anatolia and establish contact with German ships in the Aegean.
The 3 Submarines met on September 9, 1944 near the Turkish coast. The commanders have identified the points where they will sink their submarines. The U19 was sunk off Karadeniz Ereğli and the U20 was sunk off Sakarya Karasu. The point that Rudolf Arendt chose for the U23 was the Tournament deficits.
The German Soldiers who came ashore were soon captured
The main difficulty for the German sailors would begin after that. The sailors had gone ashore in a country they had never known. It didn't take long for the blonde, blue-eyed and short-pants soldiers, who were divided into groups, to be noticed. They were captured the day after they came ashore.
Turkey showed great care for the German soldiers who were its allies in the First World War. The Germans were invited for 2 years, first in a special camp in Beyşehir, then in Isparta. The soldiers who stayed in Beyşehir for 8 months and were paid monthly salaries by the Red Crescent were also contributing to daily life. Some worked as doctors in hospitals, some made shoes, and some repaired broken machines in factories and workshops.
The war that turned the world into a bloodbath ended in September 1945. The German submarines, along with other soldiers interned in Turkey, were sent to Izmir by train in July 1946, and then to Italy by ship. The soldiers, who were handed over to the Americans in accordance with the peace agreement, returned home in September 1946 after being interrogated at the Dachau prison camp near Munich, Germany.
The U20 Submarine was found in 1994
The silent witnesses of this story lie at unknown points off the coast of submarines, Zonguldak Ereğli, Sakarya Karasu and Kocaeli Yılganlı. The U20 Submarine would be the first to break this silence. The U20 was found in 1994 by dec Turkish Navy's search and rescue vessel TCG Saviour 2 miles off the Black Sea district of Sakarya. The identity of the ship had also been determined by the researcher Selçuk Özgür. The submarine lies at a depth of 26 meters as a silent witness of the battle.
U23 was the last submarine to reach the Black Sea. September June 1944, when she was commissioned, she sank 7 ships in the 15-month period from June 1943 to September 1944. He performed patrol duties in the Sevastopol, Batumi and Novorosisk regions. TCG Akin, with this discovery 2 years ago, an important note has been made in the history of the world. The discovery of U23 after U20 has brought one of the most unusual stories of the Second World War to the agenda.
The U19 Submarine is waiting to be discovered
One of the 3 submarines lying off the coast of Turkey, U19, is waiting to be discovered somewhere off the coast of Zonguldak Ereğli.