U-boat bases

Kiel, Germany

Kiel was from March 1865 Prussian, later German naval port. Here was commissioned the first German U-boat SM U-1 in 1906. In Kiel was founded the first U-boat flotilla in October 1910 and a year later the Ubootsschule (U-boat school).

U-8, U-9 and U-11 in October 1935 in Kiel.

In September 1935 the Unterseebootsflottille "Weddigen" (1st U-boat flotilla) was founded in Kiel. In the same year was once more founded the Unterseebootsschule (U-boat school). To the school was attached the Schulverband der Unterseebootsschule (training unit of the U-boat school), which contains 1935 six U-boats. The Unterseebootsschule and also the attached flotilla moved away in May 1937 to Neustadt.

The Unterseebootsflottille "Saltzwedel" Flotilla (2nd U-boat flotilla) was founded in Kiel in September 1936, but moved only some weeks later to Wilhelmshaven.

6th Flotilla
6th Flotilla - Emblem

In October 1937 the Unterseebootsflottille "Lohs" Flotilla (3rd U-boat flotilla) was founded in Kiel. In 1938 were formed three more flotillas in Kiel. The Unterseebootsflottille "Wegener" (7th U-boat flotilla) in June, Unterseebootsflottille "Hundius" (6th U-boat flotilla) followed in October and finally the Unterseebootsflottille "Emsmann" (5th U-boat flotilla) in December.

Until the start of the war in Kiel also was based the staff of the FdU.

In January 1940 the organization of the German U-boat force was totally changed and there were developed three new front flotillas, from which two were based in Kiel, the 1st and the 7th (combat) flotilla. Both flotillas moved in 1940 and 1941 in the new bases in France. In March 1941 was founded the "new" 3rd (combat) flotilla which also moved in September 1941 to La Pallice, France.

The 5th flotilla was re-founded in June, 1941 as a training unit and served until the end of the war in Kiel. During the period until the end of the war only the 5th training flotilla was stationed there. Many newly completed boats that had finished their training started their first combat patrols from Kiel until the end of the war. During the war more then 300 U-boats belonged to the 5th flotilla.

In February 1945 the 19th flotilla was transferred from Pillau to Kiel and surrendered there 3 months later.

Kiel was the second most important U-boat construction location in Germany with over 230 U-boats launched, second only to Hamburg.

The U-Boat bunkers in Kiel

Read about the U-boat bunkers constructed in Kiel, the Kilian and the Konrad.

U-boat bases