April 30 1945, the situation at sea was nearly hopeless for most U-boat captains. But for KK (Korvettan Kapitan) Adalbert Schnee, his situation was different. Of the two new operational Type XXIs, he was in command of one of them – U-2511. Schnee was under orders to sail from Bergen, Norway, and to make his way to the Carribbean. His orders were not to attack any ships on his outbound journey, but the boat was detected by an anti-submarine patrol group. Traveling faster underwater than the escorts could on the surface, he easily outran the escorts. He was in command of a new boat, one which would make hunting as easy as it had been during the “Happy Time”. Then on May 3 1945, the unthinkable, but inevitable happened. A message from BdU: Germany had surrendered. All U-boats were ordered to cease hostilities and were to sail to the nearest allied port under a black flag. Nevertheless, U-2511 had the British cruiser HMS Suffolk in its sights. Schnee carefully evaded the heavy escort screen, closed in to 600 meters of the cruiser, and raised the periscope. The torpedoes were primed, and he ordered the tube doors opened. As the British cruiser crossed the targeting crosshair on his periscope - instead of giving the order to fire, he simply cursed, lowered the scope, dived under the target and made off for Norway, unknown to those sailing above him. The other Type XXI, Kptlt. Helmut Manseck of U-3008 had just sailed from Wilhelmshaven on May 3, 1945. Shortly after departing, the message of Germany’s surrender was received, Manseck spotted a British convoy and carried out a dummy attack. He slipped away undetected and returned to port. Technical Specification Type XXI Elektroboat Role Long Range Attack Submarine Displacement Surfaced Submerged 1,621 tons 1,819 tons Dimensions Length Beam Draught 251.6ft (76.7m) 21.6ft (6.6m) 20.7ft (6.3m) Top speed Surfaced Submerged 15.7 knots 17.2 knots Maximum range Surfaced at 12kt Submerged at 6kt 11,150nm 285nm Crush depth 919ft (280m) Engines Diesel Electric Creep motor Battery Two MAN M6V 40/46; 2,200hp Two SSW 2 GU 365/30; 2,500hp Two SSW GW323/28; 323hp Three 124 cell batteries Weapons Bow tubes Stern tubes Torpedo capacity Mines Guns Six 21 inch None 23 TMC mines 2 x 20mm Twin Flak Crew 57 Total built 120 (2 operational) First launch April 19, 1944

johnbr, Oct 24, 2011
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