U-boat bases

The Bases in Norway

Bergen along with the rest of southern Norway was captured Germans on the 9 April 1940. The Germans immediately saw the great potential for using Norwegian harbours as bases for U-boats operating in the North-sea and the Arctic areas.

Bergen was the starting point for hundreds of U-boat patrols in the war, from July 1940 until early May 1945. The only type XXI submarine to leave for patrol went from Bergen as the U-2511 sailed from there on 3 May, 1945.

UC-2 (former Norwegian B-6) during exercises near Bergen (UAS Narvik) during summer of 1943. (collection Norwegian Naval Museum).

See a map of the Norwegian bases here.

Bunker "Bruno"

The planning of a U-boat bunker in Bergen started already in late 1940 by Organization Todt, who also made a special group called "Einzatzgruppe wiking". They were set to coordinate the building of the U-boat bunker, as well as other bunkers along the coast. The construction of bunker "Bruno" started one year later. The bunker had 7 pens, including 3 dry-docks and 3 "wet-docks". The 7th was used as storage for fuel, oil, torpedoes and such.

Bergen remained a rather quiet place during the first years, with only one large air attack. In 1943, the base was also added 2 new camps, "U-stützpunkt lager Prien" and "U-stützpunkt lager Weddingen" connected with the shipyard "Danziger Werft".

This was changed radically after the fall of France when Fdu West was moved from Angers, France to Bergen. A massive expansion programme of the base was launched, and several new Flak (anti-aircraft) units were stationed near the bunker. A lot of engineers and technicians were moved to Bergen. Additional 2 new camps called Werft Gemeischaftslager 1 & 2 were built.

Late in 1944 several massive British air raids struck the base in Bergen. In one occasion, a "tallboy" bomb went trough the roof in pen#3, making it unuseable for the rest of the war. The base was capitulated along with the rest of Norway on 8 May, 1945 when all German forces surrendered.

Bruno today

Today the bunker is being used as storeage for the Norwegian navy, and some private workshops. A wooden roof has been added to give the bunker a more friendly look. Most of the surrounding barracks are gone, but a lot of buildings from the Werft Gemeischaftslager 2 are still there. The surrounding area also has a strange kind of architecture. Due to heavy bombing, many new houses are mixed up with the pre-war buildings. This area was probably the most devastated area in southern Norway after the war.

U-boat bases