1st clearing boat flotilla - 1. Räumbootsflottille
Lineup and composition
The flotilla was set up in the Baltic Sea in autumn 1937 with the eight new mine clearance boats R 17 - R 24 and the escort ship Zieten (renamed Nettelbeck on May 10, 1939 and M 538 on October 1, 1940 ). The boats of class R 17 belonged to the type clearing boat 1934 . They were 36.9 m long and 5.44 m wide, had a 1.38 m draft and displaced a maximum of 128 t . They were powered by two MAN 8-cylinder four - stroke diesel engines , each with 918 hppowered, had two Voith-Schneider propellers and reached a top speed of 21.2 knots . Their range of action was 900 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots. The armament consisted of two 20-mm machine guns L / 65 C / 30, and they could carry up to twelve mines . The crew numbered 17 men.
Second World War
Until the start of the war in September 1939, the flotilla was subordinate to the commander of the security of the Baltic Sea , then from mid-September to the leader of the minesweeper east (FdMO). First the flotilla carried out mine clearing service in the Danzig Bay and then general security service in the Baltic Sea. They then moved to the North Sea . In April 1940 she took part in the occupation of Norway as part of the "Warship Group 5" in the conquest of Horten and several islands in the Oslofjord ; it was R 17 in the morning of April 9 in battle with the Norwegian minelayer Olaf Tryggvason sunk (59 ° 25 N, 10 ° 29 O). Then the flotilla was used off the Dutch coast and in the English Channel . From June 1941 until the end of the war, the flotilla was back in the Baltic Sea, where it laid mine barriers to block the Soviet Baltic Sea Fleet in the Gulf of Finland , carried out general security and escort service, and finally evacuated refugees and soldiers from the Kurland Basin and the former German Eastern Territories participated. After the sinking of the escort ship M 538 (ex Nettelbeck , ex Zieten ) on June 21, 1944 during a Soviet air raid inReval , the sister ship M 566 took over the function of the escort ship for the flotilla.
German mine clearance service
After the war, the flotilla was the German mine clearing service (German Mine Sweeping Administration (GMSA)) assumed. It was subordinate to the 1st mine clearing division in Kiel and cleared mines in the German coastal waters in the western Baltic Sea until its dissolution at the end of 1947. The boats M 566 , F 1029 , R 24 , R 43 , R 52 , R 67 , R 68 , R 76 , R 120 , R 127 , R 128 , R 150 and R 249 belonged to the flotilla . 
The composition of the flotilla changed over the years due to losses, regroupings and the allocation of new buildings. In the flotilla boats of the types Räumboot 1934 , Räumboot 1936–42 and Räumboot 1937–43 were used. In addition to the units already mentioned, the following boats served in the 1st clearing boat flotilla: R 65 , R 66 , R 69 , R 70 , R 71 , R 72 , R 73 , R 74 , R 75 , R 106 , R 119 , R 145 , R 259 , R 260, R 268 . The escort ship Nettelbeck was renamed the minesweeper M 538 on October 1, 1940 .
- October 1937 - October 1939: Corvette Captain Karl Bergelt
- October 1939 - November 1939: Corvette Captain Walter Berger, later in 1957 first commander of the naval forces of the North Sea
- December 1939 - March 1942: Corvette Captain Gustav Forstmann
- March 1942 - March 1942: Corvette Captain Claus Henning von Grumbkow
- April 1942 - September 1943: Corvette Captain Erich Klünder
- September 1943 - July 1944: Lieutenant Captain Walter-Erich Schneider
- July 1944 - late 1947: Lieutenant Carl Hoff
- R17 ran on 26 October 1935 on the Schlichting-Werft in Travemünde with the hull number 798 from the stack and was put in the same year in service.