3. Outpost Flotilla - 3. Vorpostenflottille

The 3rd outpost flotilla was a naval unit of the German Navy during World War II .



The flotilla was set up in September 1939 as part of the mobilization of the Wehrmacht and was part of the 3rd Security Division and later the 9th Security Division . [1] It was formed from nine deep-sea steamers, the beginning of September when the war began in 1939 from their fishing grounds in Iceland had been recalled. On September 4th, the boats with the Kriegsmarine IDs VP 301 to VP 309 were put into service in Warnemünde and Kiel . After slight modifications and the armament with an 8.8 cm gun on the forecastle, a 2 cm anti-aircraft gun and machine guns , the boats were ready for action on September 30, 1939. In the following years, water bombers were with the associated water bombs and equipment for submarine taken -Search on board and reinforces the Flakbewaffnung of boats.


The area of ​​operation of the flotilla was the Baltic Sea from October 1939 to March 1940, in particular the surveillance of the Oresund between Denmark and Sweden against the passage of opposing merchant ships or ships with contraband . [2] In April 1940, the flotilla took part in the invasion of Norway ( Enterprise Weser Exercise ), where it secured the transport of troops and materials from Germany to Norway. The flotilla carried out these convoy safeguards to Norway until August 1940.

At the beginning of September 1940, the flotilla moved to the Channel coast for the planned invasion of England ( Operation Sea Lion ) . During their time on the French coast, the flotilla drove escort guards to Bordeaux . In order to compensate for losses incurred and to strengthen the flotilla, the boats VP 310 to VP 314 were assigned to it on June 1, 1941 , with which the association had eleven outpost boats available.

At the beginning of June 1941, the flotilla was relocated to the Baltic Sea to Gotenhafen for the imminent attack on the Soviet Union , during which the boats drove escort security for supplies. In the spring of 1942 the flotilla was deployed on the Dutch coast, but moved back to the Baltic Sea in June 1942. There she drove escort from Gdansk to Finland and into the Gulf of Finland and was strengthened by the minesweepers M 1806 and M 1808 and the outpost boats Vp 1707 and Vp 1708 .


After a major overhaul of the boats in the first months of 1943, the flotilla was used in the Gulf of Finland to hunt down Soviet submarines that could attempt to break the submarine network lock that had been moved from Helsinki to Reval across the Gulf of Finland in order to get into to get to the Baltic Sea. At the same time, boats of the flotilla continued to be used to secure convoy.

On August 18, 1943, the VP 316 , built in the Netherlands as an outpost boat, was incorporated into the flotilla. It was sunk by an air torpedo on September 25, 1943 during a British air raid while it was being moved from Holland to the Baltic Sea as an escort vehicle for convoy 1177 along the North Sea coast.

During the icing of the Baltic Sea in the winter of 1943–1944, the boats of the flotilla were completely overhauled, and the first overtaken boats were again at the submarine network barrier in the Gulf of Finland or were under escort from mid-February 1944.

After VP 317 had joined the flotilla, a number of different small warships were assigned to the flotilla from mid-1944 to defend against the increasing numbers of Soviet light naval forces and fighter aircraft. Finally, at the end of 1944, the flotilla comprised 28 small ships. At the beginning of 1945 the artillery carriers were withdrawn from the flotilla and used for shelling by Soviet troops on the Baltic coast.

In the second half of 1944, the Wehrmacht began to withdraw from the Baltic Sea, thereby supporting the 3rd outpost flotilla in repatriating German troops and civilians from the eastern Baltic Sea, until finally in 1945 the flotilla evacuating the German population across the Baltic Sea ( Company Hannibal ) was used.

The last war operation of the flotilla took place on May 8, 1945 as security for the last convoy with refugees from Hela to the west. [3]

The boats of the flotilla

Nummer Ship name Tonnage Commissioning out of service (retired) / sunk (†) annotation
V 301 Weser 639 BRT 27.09.1939 † 21.11.1939 Langeland ran into German mine, lifted, 15 March 1941 back to owner
V 302 Bremen 408 BRT 20.09.1939 1945 back to the pre-war owner
V 303 Tannenberg 464 BRT 23.09.1939 † 05.01.1941 lifted, repaired, returned to pre-war owner in 1945
V 304 Breslau 296 BRT 30.09.1939 † 17.09.1940 IJmuiden stranded on harbor blocking blocks
V 305 East Prussia 422 BRT 30.09.1939 aD 15.02.1944 becomes Vs 518; 1945 back to the pre-war owner
V 306 Fritz Hincke 391 BRT 23.09.1939 † 05.01.1941 for IJmuiden British mine
V 307 Württemberg 425 BRT 25.09.1939 1945 back to the pre-war owner
V 308 Oskar Neynaber 337 BRT 17.09.1939 † September 23, 1941 near Hogland , Gulf of Finland Torpedo hit by a Soviet speedboat
V 309 Martin Donandt 391 BRT 28.09.1939 † 28.10.1941 vor Libau soviet mine
V 310 Rosemarie 296 BRT 29.04.1941 1945 back to the pre-war owner
V 311 Osdorf 247 BRT 20.04.1941 1945 back to the pre-war owner
V 312 Hanseat 306 BRT 03.05.1941 † 08/28/1942 before Reval Accumulated on underwater rocks
V 313 Eifel 290 BRT 20.04.1941 1945 back to the pre-war owner
V 314 Heinrich Lehnert 269 BRT 27.04.1941 aD 01.10.1943 becomes Vs 314
V 315 Bris (RT-25) 589 BRT 03.02.1942 † March 12th, 1945 in front of Rixhöft New building for the Soviet Union, confiscated by the Navy in June 1941; sunk after collision
V 316 New building 538 600 BRT 18.08.1943 † September 25, 1943 in front of Den Helder New building for the Soviet Union, taken over by the Navy in June 1941; sunk by British air torpedo
V 317 Wega 337 BRT 27.04.1944 1945 back to the pre-war owner

Vehicles that have been operational at times:
Outpost boats V 1707, V 1708, V 1803, V 1809 ,
minesweepers M 1806 , M 1808 ,
test boat Gauleiter Bürkel ,
light artillery carrier Beatrix ,
heavy artillery carrier Helene, Joost, Kemphan, Nienburg, Baltic Sea, Paraat, Polaris, Soemba , Trompenburg, West Flanders , F 10
fleet attendants , torpedo boats T 123 , T 196 , artillery school boat Fuchs .

Fleet Chiefs

Reserve officers were reactivated as flotilla chiefs. [4]

From To Rank Name
September 1939 November 1939 Corvette cabinet dR Bracklo
November 1939 November 1943 Corvette cabinet dR Drenckhan
November 1943 May 1944 Captainleutnant d. R. Suhl
May 1944 May 1945 Corvette cabinet dR Böttger


  • Werner Korthals: ... your calls for help were suffocated in the sea. Outpost boats, the indispensable units of the Kriegsmarine in World War II . Schüz: Ötigheim 1988, ISBN 3-925418-11-3 .
  • Erich Gröner , Dieter Jung, Martin Maass: The German Warships 1815-1945, Volume 8. Bernard & Graefe: Koblenz 1993, ISBN 3-7637-4807-5 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Outpost boats 1939-1945 . Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart, online at wlb-stuttgart.de.
  2. Werner Korthals, 1988, page 14
  3. Werner Korthals, 1988, page 194
  4. Werner Korthals, 1988, page 195