Operation Deadlight Expedition II

by Innes McCartney

Day One: 4 May, 2002

Depth: Weather and sea conditions:
57 metres - Wind SE 3 fair. Sunny conditions 20-25 metres linear visibility.

Diving report:
It seems that U-861 (our primary target) is getting harder to locate, probably because she is deteriorating badly. We chose to dive the wreck of U-1271 instead.

This U-boat foundered on tow during Operation Deadlight.

The wreck is completely intact. It lists over to port and apart from the usual loss of the thin metal around the conning tower, she shows all the features one would expect to see on a late-was Type VII.

The underwater visibility was, as usual stunning, with most of the wreck coming into view while the divers descended. This U-boat has been fitted with a ring-float schnorchel and large life raft canisters either side of the mount for the 37mm gun. Also there are four canisters on the bow, one of which seems to have been opened and salvaged.. Interestingly the UZO telegraph is in place and is of the type with the 'halo' bearing disk.

Interestingly - the Lennart Lindberg method of identification falls down here. The port side slot configuration reads 3/16/4 which does not register with the list in Groner. U-1271 should have 3/16/2 according to the book.

Amazing video footage on another absolutely stunning U-boat dive.

We were watched by a Basking Shark while decompressing. :

Deadlight is back! - Tomorrow we are going to dive another unidentified Type VII. From tomorrow evening we have a magnetometer on board for the rest of the expedition. This should assist us in finding some of the more remote offshore U-boats. So far, the weather has been with us!

Innes McCartney

This article was published on 13 May 2002.

Operation Deadlight Expedition II

Day One: 4 May, 2002 - Diving on the U-1271 since U-861 is hard to locate.

Day Two: 5 May, 2002 - The broken down wreck of U-1009, plus the Laurentic.

Day Three: 6 May, 2002 - Going back to the U-2511 which Innes describes as the world's greatest submarine dive.

Day Four: 7 May, 2002 - A dive on the U-1104 in a nice Atlantic swell.

Day Five: 8 May, 2002 - Another unidentified U-boat location, plus a steamer from WWI.

Day Six: 9 May, 2002 - A dive on another unidentified boat which turned out to be an awesome dive on the other type XXI boat there!

Day Seven: 12 May, 2002 - Finally Oesten's elusive U-861 is located.

Day Eight: 13 May, 2002 - No diving due to poor weather conditions.

Day Nine: 14 May, 2002 - No diving due to poor weather conditions.

Day Ten: 15 May, 2002 - Another visit on the type XXI boat U-2506.

Day Eleven: 16 May, 2002 - Dropping onto the U-1271.

Day Twelve: 17 May, 2002 - The end report of the Operation Deadlight Expedition II.

Go to the front page of

Royal Navy and German Naval Disarmament, 1942-1947, The

Madsen, Chris

Buy this title at

Books dealing with this subject include

Czarne dni U-Bootwaffe. Perepeczko, Andrzej, 1961.
The Grey Wolves of Eriboll. David M. Hird, 2010.
The Royal Navy and German Naval Disarmament, 1942-1947. Madsen, Chris, 1998.
U-Boat Fact File. Sharpe, Peter, 1988.
The U-Boat Wrecks of Operation Deadlight. McCartney, Innes, 2003.

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