" Which would your men rather be, tired or dead "   Erwin Rommel

HOME DAGGERS            BAYONETS            SWORDS            KNIVES            MISC / CONSIGN            GALLERY         is located on the South Coast of the United Kingdom and has been trading and dealing in mainly German authentic military collectables online for over 5 years. I am a UK citizen and have personally collected Third Reich related edged weapons and accessories for over 30 years. Due to our location on the South Coast, the area was fortified during WWII and was often the target for Luftwaffe bombing and strafing runs. It was also a strategic offensive location as the war progressed serving as a base for British and American troops in the lead up to the Normandy Invasion. Many of the area's local fishing boats, yachts and cruisers also aided in the Dunkirk evacuations.
The following two pages recount moments from history of a small fishing port's involvement during WWII and is dedicated to the Men and Women of the local Parish who served, fought and died for their Country.
This website, the owner an all persons associated with it's upkeep bear no affiliation to any hate groups, political organizations or outlawed parties. The site's purpose is to aid the collecting community and individuals with an interest in Military history and in no way condones, approves or supports Nazi ideology.
Page 1 ( Allied ) LOCAL WW2 AXIS MILITARY HISTORY Page 2 ( Axis )
  Operation Tiger 22nd-30th April 1944 ( German Attack )  
KapitanLeutnant Erich Werner Siegfried Götz Freiherr von Mirbach Hans Gunter Meyer ( 2nd ) & Freiherr von Gotz Mirbach (4th)
S-100 Class Schnellboot
LOCATION  - Lyme Bay, English Channel
DATE -  April 28th 1944

 During research for the previous page I decided to dig a little deeper into the attack on the US LST convoy on the night of the 27th April 1944. The convoy consisting of eight US LST's and one RN Corvette was attacked by a formation of nine S-Boats or Schnellbootes of the 5th and 9th Flotillas operating out of Cherbourg, France. The 5th Flotilla craft consisted of six boats ( S-100, S-136, S-138, S-140, S-142, S-143 )  the 9th Flotilla comprised of three boats ( S-130, S-145 and S-150 ). These fast and highly manoeuvrable craft where heavily armed with twin torpedo tubes and very experienced crews. KapitanLeutnant Erich Werner Siegfried Götz  von Mirbach shown above left and in command of S-150 was a hardened veteran with over 70,000 tons of shipping to his name and over 200 missions. He is also shown in the group picture ( 4th from the left ) along with Kapitanleutnant Hans Gunterjurgens Meyer ( 2nd left ) who commanded S-136 which also participated in the attack. S-138 was commanded by Oberleutnant z.s. Hans Jurgen Stohwasser.

 From the French mainland Kapitan zur see Petersen radioed the commanders the bearing of a possible target, setting course at 36 knots and under radio silence the S-Boats of the 5th Flotilla split up into pairs for an attack on what they thought originally where Royal Navy Destroyers. The torpedo boats S-136 & S-138 commanded by Meyer and Stohwasser fired on targets at a range of 2000 metres, the S-136 firing a double salvo at the right hand target, which turned out to be the US LST-507 and a single torpedo from the S-138 of Stohwasser finding it's mark to the left hand target which was US LST-531. Formation one, consisting of S-100 & S-143 from the 5th Flotilla and alerted by tracer fire and a blaze on the horizon joined the attack, both firing twin torpedo salvos, after 76 seconds an explosion was heard.
 With both the US LST's the 531 & 507 well alight and the convoy in disarray, the 9th Flotilla Schnellbootes S-130 & S-150 under the command of von Mirbach attacked under the cover of darkness. He was to strike twice in the ensuing mayhem with one torpedo finding it's mark on the already stricken US LST-531 and a head on strike to the US LST-289.
In the hours following the action it became clear that the US LST's-507 & 531 had been sunk with the loss of 202 and 424 lives respectively, the LST-289 was heavily damaged but continued firing throughout the encounter with the loss of 13 and 18 wounded. The LST 511 was hit by friendly fire from LST 496 during the chaos resulting in another 18 wounded. In total 639 men lost their lives out of a US Army and Navy complement of 943.
 Both Kapitanleutnants Hans Meyer and Erich Gotz von Mirbach already held the German Cross in Gold prior to the attack on the 28th April with Hans Stohwasser receiving his 6 weeks later. Ironically Stohwasser was awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold the day after his Schnellboote, the S-138 was sunk on June 14th 1944 while moored in Le-Havre after a massive air raid by 243 Lancaster Bombers on the port which also sank the S-100, S-143, S-142, and the S-150. ( 5 of the 9 participating S-Boats ). The remaining four S-Boats that where involved in the attack on the Operation Tiger landing craft faired little better with only the S-130 surviving the War. The S-136 commanded by Hansjurgens Meyer which had sunk the US LST-507 on the 28th April, was itself sunk by British Destroyers five weeks later on the 11th June 1944, the S-140 sinking to a mine strike one week earlier.

 The S-130 is the only surviving example of a wartime S-100 class Schnellboot today and is currently undergoing a major restoration project in Plymouth, Devon. Poignantly the craft was towed through the same waters at Slapton en-route to Plymouth from Southampton in which she had played such a devastating role some 60 years earlier.

LONG SERVICE AWARD - 4 year,  RANK - Leutnant Zur See, AWARDED ON - 5th April 1939
IRON CROSS - 2nd Class, RANK - Oberleutnant Zur See, AWARDED ON - 30th April 1940
IRON CROSS - 1st Class, RANK - Oberleutnant Zur See, AWARDED ON - 28th May 1940
KNIGHTS CROSS, RANK - Oberleutnant Zur See, AWARDED ON - 14th August 1940
DESTROYER WAR BADGE, RANK - Oberleutnant Zur See, AWARDED ON - 16th December 1940
E-BOAT BADGE, RANK - Oberleutnant Zur See, AWARDED ON - 21st December 1940
GERMAN CROSS IN GOLD, RANK - Kapitanleutnant, AWARDED ON - 10th November 1942
SPANISH MILITARY ORDER OF MERIT, RANK - Kapitanleutnant, AWARDED ON - 10th November 1943
E-BOAT BADGE WITH DIAMONDS, RANK - Kapitanleutnant, AWARDED ON - 14th June 1944 ( Only 8 awarded )
KNIGHTS CROSS WITH OAKLEAVES, RANK - Kapitanleutnant, AWARDED ON - 14th June 1944

Note: The E-Boat badge with diamonds and the Oakleaves to the Knights Cross where both awarded on the same date, some 6 weeks after the attack on the Lyme Bay convoy. It was also the same day that the RAF destroyed the S-Boat pens at Le-Havre sinking 14 Schnellboots including his own which probably qualified him for the awards. Von Mirbach survived the war and died in Hamburg aged 52 in 1968.
  Staffelkapitan ( Squadron Leader ) Hauptmann Frank Liesendahl  
Bf 109 F-4 ( Jabo ) Fighter-Bomber of Frank Liesendahl
LOCATION -  France
DATE - Pre-17th July 1942

 The 10. ( Jabo ) / JG2 "Richthofen"  was formed on the 10th March 1942 and was established to provide fast low level hit and run attacks on shipping and coastal ports along the South Coast of the UK between Brighton and Torquay. In the first three months of the flight becoming operational under the command of Squadron Leader Oberleutnant Frank Liesendahl, it claimed to have sunk 20 allied merchant ships totalling 63,000 tons. The squadron operated from airfields based around Evreuz and Caen in France and I suspect that is probably where the above picture of Liesendahl's plane was taken. Flying Bf-109F-4jB fighters fitted with a single SC250 undercarriage bomb, the pilots relied on speed, low altitude and poor weather conditions to surprise merchant shipping operating close to the coast and under the protection of land defences. In April alone in 1942 the sister 'JABO' squadron of JG2, the JG26 had carried out 37 attacks and 106 sorties against South Coast towns and gas installations, dropping bombs and strafing the targets. In late June 1942 the JG2 squadron was equipped with the Fw190 A-2 'Jabo' fighter bombers.

 On the 17th July 1942 at 12.45pm the Steamship the "Daxhound" was attacked by four German fighters approximately 1 mile off Berry Head (Brixham). The Daxhound had an escort of two Fairmile "B" motor launches ( Pictured below ) the ML118 & the ML157. The German planes consisted of a "Schwarme" two Bf-109F-4jB fighters and two Fw190 A-2 Jabo's, one flown by Squadron Leader and German Cross of Gold holder ( June 5th 1942 ) Oberleutnant Frank Liesendahl. A bomb from one of the planes went through the wheel house of one of the motor launches and exploded in the sea without any Allied casualties, both launches responded and light Anti aircraft fire from the Daxhound was returned bringing down Liesendahls Fw109 which crashed into the sea killing him. His body was recovered and he was posthumously awarded the Knights Cross on the 4th September 1942 and promoted to Hauptmann after failing to return from the mission.

I do not think that anybody at the time really appreciated what a scalp this was. Liesendahl was given the command of JG2 fighter bomber squadron after proving his worth for the low flying strafing of Polish troops on the Bzura during the Polish campaign in 1939 and again at Dunkirk in 1940. He was shot down during the Dunkirk retreat and had to make a forced landing after aerial combat with Spitfires, he spent eight weeks recovering from injuries sustained and it was during this convalescence that he convinced Geschwader Kommodore Major Walter Oesau to give him command of a dedicated and independent 'Jabo' squadron. The fact that Liesendahl again succumbed to enemy fire on the 17th July 1942 may have had a lot to do with the fact that he was in an unusual or relatively new aircraft to him. Much of his previous experience and flight time was gained in the Bf-109F as pictured above and in which he was obviously very adept, as shown by the six ship tally on his tail fin. It may of course just be coincidence that he was shot down whilst in control of the Fw190-A2 only issued to the squadron a little over two weeks earlier.
 Shown below is Liesendahls tail fin from his Bf-109F showing his personal achievements and tonnage claimed prior to his death. I am also interested to hear from anybody who knows his age and burial location please. As a matter of interest his propeller was recovered from the wreck at a later date and resides in a private collection, I doubt anything remains of the rest of the aircraft due to the close proximity to shore and trawling activity.

   Staffelkapitan Liesendahl's Tail-fin and Fairmile "B" ML  
Hauptmann Liesendahl's Bf-109F Tailfin Fairmile "B" ML or Motor Launch
Page 1 ( Allied ) LOCAL WW2 ALLIED MILITARY HISTORY Page 2 ( Axis )
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