by Gareth Collins

Formed in Kiel-Friedrichsort with the outbreak of war for the placement of net barriers at important war ports & Baltic Sea entrances. Various units were formed & dissolved during the course of the war which were employed where development in the war required. At its largest it consisted of 7 Flotillas with approximately 120 ships employed (1200 to 5000 ton). The Unit was responsible for net barrier operations throughout the entire theatre of war, and often with very primitive means. It was down-sized gradually with the loss and evacuation of many of the occupied areas. Its most important employments were at Kiel Bay, Swinemünde, Elbe, Weser & Jade. It also employed Submarine barriers in the Gulf of Finland, Gjedser-Enge, Moen-Trelleborg, Suns South and Drogden. The Unit also supplied net barriers for heavy Fleet employments in the Bogen Bay, Altafjord, in the eastern Baltic, in Brest, La Pallice & Le Verdon. Net barriers at the Kerch Straight, Odessa & Sevastopol and at Italian, Greek, Rumanian & Bulgarian ports. The Formation was subordinated to Stationskommando Ostsee for administration and operationally subordinate to the various Seekommandanten inside & outside the Baltic. The Chief of the Formation had his seat in Kiel until 1943 then to the wars end it was at Travemünde.

Chef

Kapitän zur See Siegfried Tschirch (01 Sep 1939-08 May 1945)

Stab

1. Admiralstabsoffizier
Korvettenkapitän der Reserve Werner Birkle (01 Sep 1939-08 May 1945)

Verbands-Ingenieur
Korvettenkapitän (Ing.) der Reserve Heinrich Ullrich (00 Jan 1941-08 May 1945)

Verbands-Verwaltungsoffizier
Kapitänleutnant (V) Willy Conert (01 Sep 1939-00 Nov 1941)
Korvettenkapitän (V) Rudolf Thormann (00 Nov 1941-00 Jan 1944)
Kapitänleutnant (V) Ruge (00 Jan 1944-08 May 1945)

Verbandssperrwaffenoffizier
Kapitänleutnant (W) Gerhard Bredekamp (00 Sep 1941-00 Mar 1943)
Oberleutnant (W) (Kr.O.) Fritz Odebrecht (00 Mar 1943-08 May 1945)

Sources used

Research by Gareth Collins
Erich Gröner - Die Schiffe der deutschen Kriegsmarine und ihr Verbleib 1939-1945, J.F. Lehmanns Verlag, München (1976)
Hans H. Hildebrand - Die organisatorische Entwicklung der Marine nebst Stellenbesetzung 1848 bis 1945, Biblio-Verlag, Osnabrück (2000)
Hans H. Hildebrand & Ernest Henriot – Deutschlands Admirale 1849-1945, Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück (1989)
Hans H. Hildebrand, Albert Röhr & Hans-Otto Steinmetz – Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe, Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Hamburg (1980)
Walter Lohmann & Hans H. Hildebrand – Die Deutsche Kriegsmarine, Verlag Hans-Henning Podzun, Bad Nauheim (1956)

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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