HM Submarine SEAL
mine-damaged, attacked and captured 5th May 1940
HM S/M Seal
(courtesy NavyPhotos, click for enlargement)
My thanks to Huub van Sabben of Holland for bringing these photographs to my attention. They were taken by German personnel present at the time, and although I do not have copyright permission, I would like to obtain this and acknowledge the source.
A fuller account of her capture and fate follows the photographs, courtesy of Don Kindell
Seal after her capture with a boarding party alongside (click photograph for larger image) Translation of text on rear - "Captured English submarine in the harbour at Frederikshavn, (NE tip of) Denmark, 7th May 1940" and "52 man crew"
(click photograph for larger image)
During the Norwegian Campaign, SEAL (Lt Cdr R P Lonsdale) arrived off Goteborg and Vinga in the Kattegat to lay mines in 57-33.5N, 11-35.5E. Shortly after completing the lay at 0859, SEAL struck a mine herself and was badly damaged. In this state, she was captured early on 5 May by two German Arado seaplanes of the German Navy and towed to Frederikshavn by trawler UJ.128 (trawler FRANKEN, 435 tons) of the 12th Anti-submarine Flotilla.
Lt Cdr Lonsdale, Lt T B J D Butler, Lt T A Beet, Lt (E) R H S Clark, S/Lt A R L Henderson, S/Lt R W H Boulnois and 48 ratings were taken prisoner. One rating was lost with the submarine and another died while a prisoner of war.
Preliminary repairs were made to SEAL at Frederikshaven by the 9th May and on the 10th, she left under tow for Kiel where she arrived on 11 May. SEAL was commissioned as German U.B on 30 November 1940.
Four ships were lost on SEAL'S FD 7 minefield.
The full story of HMS/M Seal can be found in "Will Not We Fear" by C E T Warren and James Benson, first published 1961
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