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Thread: Date of U-Boat Surrender Orders

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    Default Date of U-Boat Surrender Orders

    Without access to a proper military library (thanks to Covis lockdown) I am compelled to ask what would otherwise be a simple question. As the RAF was still attacking surfaced U-Boats on 6 May 1945, on what date did the German High Command instruct U-Boats to surrender and hoist a black flag to signify their compliance with this order ?

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    Default Re: Date of U-Boat Surrender Orders

    The agreement to cease fire was to take effect 08:00 on 5 May 1945. At 13:50 on 5 May Doenitz ordered "Cease action at once against all British and Americans", Then at 15:40 it was repeated before at 22:25 Doenitz issued his famous "My U-boot men!" instruction to cease fire and prepare to surrender as per his instructions which would follow. There was confusion caused by an instruction to mass-scuttle u-boats in port which was rescinded minutes after it was issued. On 6 May at 20:26 Doenitz sent the u-boats a further instruction to surrender unconditionally.

    U-boats at sea did not all receive or acknowledge instructions and attacks/sinkings continued through 7 May 1945 (U-2336).
    Last edited by PeteS; 1st June 2020 at 13:03.

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    Default Re: Date of U-Boat Surrender Orders

    On 7 May a signal was sent by Doenitz to all u-boats at sea to surface immediately, report their positions in plain lanuage and fly a large black or blue flag by day and burn naviagtion lights at night. U-boats not to be scuttled.

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    Default Re: Date of U-Boat Surrender Orders

    Hugh,

    When things get back to normal (you know, wars, race riots, etc), get hold of a copy of the following book:

    Black Flag The Surrender of Germany's U-Boat Forces 1945.
    Paterson,Lawrence
    Barnsley:Seaforth Publishing,2009.

    It was extraordinary what took place after Doenitz's "Cease Fire" order.

    Col.

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    Default Re: Date of U-Boat Surrender Orders

    There were, shortly after the end of WW2, rumours (I think I remember reading them in the more virulent/alarmist UK newspapers of the time - I was 10!) that a number of prominent Nazis had escaped to S America by using Type XIV (Milch-Cow) U-boats.
    Prominent Nazis did escape to S America (Adolf Eichmann, etc) - but how they got there remains uncertain if all the U-boats were accounted for!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Date of U-Boat Surrender Orders

    Hi Peter
    Many of the most wanted Nazis seem to have reached South America as passengers aboard steamers using passports/ displaced persons paperwork arranged by Bishop Alois Hudal of the Vatican Staff, specifically to enable them to escape justice. If you look on line at men such as Sobibor Death Camp commander Franz Stangl and his deputy Gustav Wagner, Walter Rauff and Adolf Eichmann, all escaped justice postwar after being initially protected by Vatican staff under Hudal and provided with false papers. I doubt many of the SS criminals would have had the courage to go to sea in a u-boat in 1945 when the chances for survival were extremely poor.

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    Default Re: Date of U-Boat Surrender Orders

    I think that Hudal's escape line is overexposed. There were many routes, Jewish ones were also apparently used. Nonetheless most of the escapes took place well after the war, with only few running away in aircraft. For the first few years there was a sort of protection, at least in the western zones, and then Organisation Gehlen took an umbrella over those who were already away.
    https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-Grabowski-241360809684411/

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