German submarine U-2511

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German submarine U-2511 was a Type XXI U-boat of the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. The Elektroboote submarine was laid down on 7 July 1944 at the Blohm & Voss yard at Hamburg, launched on 2 September 1944, and commissioned on 29 September 1944 under the command of Korvettenkapitän Adalbert Schnee.[1]

Contents

Service history

After training with 31. Unterseebootsflottille, U-2511 was transferred to 11. Unterseebootsflottille at Bergen, Norway, for front-line service on 15 March 1945.[1]

According to the commander of U-977, Heinz Schaeffer, Captain Schnee was in port in Denmark taking on stores when he started bragging about the wonders of the boat. After an extended period, Cpt. Schaeffer lost his temper and bet him a cask of champagne that he would reach Norway before Schnee. The bet was taken, Schnee believing that he would win easily. On the way to Norway, U-977 was having trouble with their schnorkel while dived: the exhaust from the diesels kept filtering into the rest of the boat, the schnorkel head would shut as it dipped beneath the waves, and all the air would be sucked out of the boat. So the captain ordered the boat to surface. After airing it out, Schaeffer decided to continue to Norway on the surface. His reasoning was that no U-boats had been seen on the surface in those waters in some time, and he doubted the Allies would strain themselves carrying out extra checks now that the war was basically over. He beat Schnee by two days.[citation needed]

U-2511 conducted one patrol. On the evening of 30 April 1945 (coincidentally the date of Hitler's death), U-2511 set out from Bergen, Norway for the Caribbean, but on 4 May Schnee received the end-of-the-war cease-fire order.[1]

The Norfolk Controversy

A few hours after receiving the cease-fire order, U-2511 spotted a group of British warships. Schnee approached to within 500 meters of the British cruiser HMS Norfolk without being detected.

Schnee had a U-boat commander's dream shot lined up, but left the scene without attacking and headed back to base. U-2511 reached Bergen on 5 May 1945 and surrendered as ordered. The commander spoke with officers of Norfolk a few days later, who found it unbelievable that U-2511 was able to get so close without any sonar contact.

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