Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne in the Gironde department in Southwestern France. The municipality of Bordeaux proper has a population of 252,040. Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Bordeaux is the centre of the Bordeaux Métropole. With 1,195,335 in the metropolitan area, it is the sixth-largest in France, after Paris, Lyon and Lille, it is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture of the Gironde department. Its inhabitants are called "Bordelais" or "Bordelaises"; the term "Bordelais" may refer to the city and its surrounding region. Being at the center of a major wine-growing and wine-producing region, Bordeaux remains a prominent powerhouse and exercises significant influence on the world wine industry although no wine production is conducted within the city limits, it is home to the world's main wine fair and the wine economy in the metro area takes in 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century.
The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century. After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France. In historical times, around 567 BC it was the settlement of a Celtic tribe, the Bituriges Vivisci, who named the town Burdigala of Aquitanian origin; the name Bourde is still the name of a river south of the city. In 107 BC, the Battle of Burdigala was fought by the Romans who were defending the Allobroges, a Gallic tribe allied to Rome, the Tigurini led by Divico; the Romans were defeated and their commander, the consul Lucius Cassius Longinus, was killed in the action. The city fell under Roman rule around its importance lying in the commerce of tin and lead, it became capital of Roman Aquitaine, flourishing during the Severan dynasty. In 276 it was sacked by the Vandals. Further ravage was brought by the same Vandals in 409, the Visigoths in 414, the Franks in 498, beginning a period of obscurity for the city.
In the late 6th century, the city re-emerged as the seat of a county and an archdiocese within the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks, but royal Frankish power was never strong. The city started to play a regional role as a major urban center on the fringes of the newly founded Frankish Duchy of Vasconia. Around 585, Gallactorius is fighting the Basque people; the city was plundered by the troops of Abd er Rahman in 732 after they stormed the fortified city and overwhelmed the Aquitanian garrison. Duke Eudes mustered a force ready to engage the Umayyads outside Bordeaux taking them on in the Battle of the River Garonne somewhere near the river Dordogne; the battle had a high death toll. Although Eudes was defeated here, he saved part of his troops and kept his grip on Aquitaine after the Battle of Poitiers. In 735, the Aquitanian duke Hunald led a rebellion after his father Eudes's death, at which Charles responded by sending an expedition that captured and plundered Bordeaux again, but did not retain it for long.
The following year, the Frankish commander descended again to Aquitaine, but clashed in battle with the Aquitanians and left to take on hostile Burgundian authorities and magnates. In 745, Aquitaine faced yet another expedition by Charles's sons Pepin and Carloman, against Hunald, the Aquitanian princeps strong in Bordeaux. Hunald was defeated, his son Waifer replaced him, confirmed Bordeaux as the capital city. During the last stage of the war against Aquitaine, it was one of Waifer's last important strongholds to fall to King Pepin the Short's troops. Next to Bordeaux, Charlemagne built the fortress of Fronsac on a hill across the border with the Basques, where Basque commanders came over to vow loyalty to him. In 778, Seguin was appointed count of Bordeaux undermining the power of the Duke Lupo, leading to the Battle of Roncevaux Pass that year. In 814, Seguin was made Duke of Vasconia, but he was deposed in 816 for failing to suppress or sympathise with a Basque rebellion. Under the Carolingians, sometimes the Counts of Bordeaux held the title concomitantly with that of Duke of Vasconia.
They were meant to keep the Basques in check and defend the mouth of the Garonne from the Vikings when the latter appeared c. 844 in the region of Bordeaux. In Autumn 845, count Seguin II marched on the Vikings, who were assaulting Bordeaux and Saintes, but he was captured and executed. No bishops were mentioned during part of the 9th in Bordeaux. From the 12th to the 15th century, Bordeaux regained importance following the marriage of Duchess Eléonore of Aquitaine with the French-speaking Count Henri Plantagenet, born in Le Mans, who became, within months of their wedding, King Henry II of England; the city flourished due to the wine trade, the cathedral of St. André was built, it was the capital of an independent state under Edward, the Black Prince, but in the end, after the Battle of Castillon, it was annexed by France which extended its territory. The Château Trompette and the Fort du Hâ, built by Charles VII of France, were the symbols of the new domination, which however deprived the city of its wealth by halting the wine commerce with England.
In 1462, Bordeaux obtained a parliament, but regained importance only in the 16th century when it became the centre of the distribution of sugar and slaves from the West Indies along with the traditional wine. Bordeaux adhered to the Fronde
German submarine U-461
German submarine U-461 was a Type XIV supply and replenishment U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. Her keel was laid down on 9 December 1940, by Deutsche Werke in Kiel as yard number 292, she was launched on 8 November 1941 and commissioned on 30 January 1942 with Oberleutnant zur See Hinrich-Oscar Bernbeck in command. Bernbeck was promoted to Kapitänleutnant by 21 April 1942, when he was relieved by Korvettenkapitän Wolf-Harro Stiebler. German Type XIV submarines were shortened versions of the Type IXDs. U-461 had a displacement of 1,688 tonnes when at the surface and 1,932 tonnes while submerged; the U-boat had a total length of 67.10 m, a pressure hull length of 48.51 m, a beam of 9.35 m, a height of 11.70 m, a draught of 6.51 m. The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft supercharged four-stroke, six-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 2,800–3,200 metric horsepower for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/38-8 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower for use while submerged.
She had two propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 240 metres; the submarine had a maximum surface speed of 14.4–14.9 knots and a maximum submerged speed of 6.2 knots. When submerged, the boat could operate for 120 nautical miles at 2 knots. U-461 was not fitted with torpedo tubes or deck guns, but had two 3.7 cm SK C/30 anti-aircraft guns with 2500 rounds as well as a 2 cm C/30 guns with 3000 rounds. The boat had a complement of fifty-three. U-461 conducted six patrols; as a supply boat, she avoided combat. U-461's first patrol took her from Kiel to St. Nazaire in occupied France, via the gap between Iceland and the Faeroe Islands and out into the mid-Atlantic, her second patrol was much like her first. U-462's third sortie commenced with her departure from St. Nazaire on 19 November 1942. Travelling south, she reached the furthest spot in the patrol, between South America and Africa. There, she spent two days, before moving a short distance west on 11 December 1942, she returned to her French base on 3 January 1943.
She steamed to a point west of the Canary Islands, which she reached on 2 March 1943. Having departed St. Nazaire on 13 February, she returned there for the last time on 22 March, she left St. Nazaire on 20 April 1943, but was attacked on the return leg on 23 April by a Canadian Wellington of 172 squadron RAF, equipped with a Leigh Light. Three bombs were dropped, resulting in slight damage and, more a trail of oil, she returned to France, but this time to Bordeaux. She had left Bordeaux on 27 July 1943, but was hardly out of the Bay of Biscay, north-west of Cape Ortegal, when she was sunk on 30 July by an Australian Sunderland flying boat from No. 461 Squadron RAAF piloted by Flight Lieutenant Dudley Marrows. Coincidentally this aircraft had the registration "U" making it known as'U-461'; as a result of the attack, the pilot dropped fifteen of her crew survived. U-461 took part in three wolfpacks, namely. Wolf Vorwärts Rochen Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type XIV boat U-461". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net.
Retrieved 6 December 2014
German submarine U-459
German submarine U-459 was a Type XIV supply and replenishment U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. Her keel was laid down on 22 November 1940 by Deutsche Werke in Kiel as yard number 290; the submarine was launched on 13 September 1941 and commissioned on 15 November, with Kapitänleutnant Georg von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff in command. German Type XIV submarines were shortened versions of the Type IXDs. U-459 had a displacement of 1,688 tonnes when at 1,932 tonnes while submerged; the U-boat had a total length of 67.10 m, a pressure hull length of 48.51 m, a beam of 9.35 m, a height of 11.70 m, a draught of 6.51 m. The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft supercharged four-stroke, six-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 2,800–3,200 metric horsepower for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/38-8 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower for use while submerged, she had two propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 240 metres.
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 14.4–14.9 knots and a maximum submerged speed of 6.2 knots. When submerged, the boat could operate for 120 nautical miles at 2 knots. U-459 was not fitted with torpedo tubes or deck guns, but had two 3.7 cm SK C/30 anti-aircraft guns with 2500 rounds as well as a 2 cm C/30 guns with 3000 rounds. The boat had a complement of fifty-three. U-459 conducted six patrols; the submarine served in the 4th U-boat Flotilla, for training, before moving on to the 10th and the 12th flotillas, for operations. Having moved from Kiel to Helgoland U-459 set-off for occupied France, arriving in St. Nazaire on 15 May 1942, after traversing the north-central Atlantic, her captain, von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf, was at one of the oldest skippers at the time. Her second patrol began on 6 June 1942, it was at about this time. Her third foray saw the boat sail into the south Atlantic, as far as Namibia, she returned on 4 November. Her fourth patrol was her longest, from 20 December 1942 to 7 March 1943, a total of 78 days.
She finished in Bordeaux. This voyage included sailing toward Cameroon, the boat's nearest position to that country was reached on 18 January 1943, her fifth patrol began when she left Bordeaux on 20 April 1943. On 30 May, she shot down a British Whitley aircraft, she was attacked, on the same day, by an RAF Liberator with a total of ten depth charges. The boat was not damaged, the aircraft was, she returned to her French base on 30 May. Having left Bordeaux on 22 July 1943, U-459 was attacked by two British Wellington aircraft of No. 172 Squadron RAF near Cape Ortegal, Spain on 24 July. The boat shot one of the Wellingtons down, but 19 submarine crewmen were killed and she was so badly damaged by this attack that she had to be scuttled. 41 of her crew survived to be taken prisoner. U-459 took part in one wolfpack, namely. Eisbär Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type XIV boat U-459". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-02
Operation Deadlight was the code name for the Royal Navy operation to scuttle German U-boats surrendered to the Allies after the defeat of Germany near the end of World War II. Of the 156 U-boats that surrendered to the allies at the end of the war, 116 were scuttled as part of Operation Deadlight; the operation was carried out by the Royal Navy and it was planned to tow the submarines to three areas about 100 miles north-west of Ireland and sink them. The areas were codenamed XX, YY and ZZ; the intention was to use XX as the main area for scuttling while 36 boats would be towed to ZZ for use as targets for aerial attack. YY was to be a reserve position where, if the weather was good enough, submarines could be diverted from XX to be sunk by naval forces. In the case of those submarines not being used as targets, the plan was to sink them with explosive charges, with naval gunfire as a fall-back option if that failed; when Operation Deadlight was activated, it was found that many of the U-boats were in an poor condition as a result of being moored in exposed harbours while awaiting disposal.
Combined with poor weather, this meant that 56 of the boats sank before reaching the designated scuttling areas, those which did, were sunk by gunfire rather than explosive charges. The first sinking took place on 17 November 1945 and the last on 11 February 1946. Several U-boats escaped Operation Deadlight; some were claimed as prizes by Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Four were in East Asia when Germany were commandeered by Japan. Two U-boats that survived Operation Deadlight are today museum ships. U-505 was earmarked for scuttling, but American Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery argued that she did not fall under Operation Deadlight. United States Navy Task Group 22.3, under then-Captain Gallery, had captured U-505 in battle on 4 June 1944. Having been captured, not surrendered at the end of the war, she survived to become a war memorial at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. U-995 became the Norwegian Kaura, she was returned to Germany in 1965, to become a museum ship in 1971. In the late 1990s, an approach was made to the British Ministry of Defence for salvage rights to the Operation Deadlight U-boats, by a firm which planned to raise up to a hundred of them.
Because the U-boats were constructed in the pre-atomic age, the wrecks contain metals which are not radioactively tainted, which are therefore valuable for certain research purposes. No salvage award was made, due to objections from Russia and the U. S. and from Great Britain. Between 2001 and 2003, nautical archaeologist Innes McCartney discovered and surveyed fourteen of the U-boat wrecks. In 2007, Derry City Council announced plans to raise the U-778 to be the main exhibit of a new maritime museum. On 3 October 2007, an Irish diver, Michael Hanrahan, died whilst filming the wreck as part of the salvage project. In November 2009, a spokesman from the council's heritage museum service announced the salvage project had been cancelled for cost reasons. McCartney, Innes. "Operation Deadlight U-boat Investigation". After the Battle. Scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow List of Operation Deadlight U-boats "Operation Deadlight" a 1945 Flight article
Klaus Scholtz was a commander in the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany during World War II. He commanded the Type IXB U-boat U-108. Scholtz was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. Scholtz joined the Reichsmarine in 1927 as member of "Crew 1927" and served in torpedo boats, before transferring to the U-bootwaffe in April 1940. From October 1940 he commanded U-108, sinking 25 ships on 8 patrols, for a total of 128,190 tons of Allied shipping, including the British armed merchant cruiser Rajputana. In October 1942 Scholtz took command of 12th U-boat Flotilla based at Bordeaux, France. In August 1944 the approach of Allied troops meant; the last U-boats escaped by sea, Scholtz attempted to lead the remaining men back to Germany on foot. They were captured on 11 September by American forces in Loire. Scholtz spent the next 18 months in US captivity. Post-war, Scholtz served in the Bundesgrenzschutz-See - the naval arm of the Federal Border Guards - from 1953 to 1956 transferred to the Bundesmarine, serving as commander of several naval bases, including Kiel and Wilhelmshaven.
He retired in 1966 with the rank of Kapitän zur See, died in 1987. Iron Cross 2nd and 1st Class Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves Knight's Cross on 26 December 1941 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-108 123rd Oak Leaves on 10 September 1942 as Korvettenkapitän and commander of U-108
BETASOM was a submarine base established at Bordeaux, France by the Italian Regia Marina Italiana during World War II. From this base, Italian submarines participated in the Battle of the Atlantic from 1940 to 1943 as part of the Axis anti-shipping campaign against the Allies. Axis naval co-operation started after the signing of the Pact of Steel in June 1939 with meetings in Friedrichshafen, an agreement to exchange technical information. After the Italian entry into the war and the Fall of France, the Italian Royal Navy established a submarine base at Bordeaux, within the German occupation zone; the Italians were allocated a sector of the Atlantic south of Lisbon to patrol. The base was opened in August 1940, in 1941 the captured French passenger ship De Grasse was used as a depot ship before being returned to the Vichy French Government in June 1942. Admiral Angelo Parona commanded the submarines at BETASOM under the operational control of Konteradmiral Karl Dönitz. Dönitz was the "Commander of the Submarines" for the German Kriegsmarine.
About 1,600 men were based at BETASOM. The base could house up to thirty submarines, it had dry docks and two basins connected by locks. Shore barracks accommodated a security guard of 250 men of the San Marco Regiment. A second base was established at La Pallice in France; this second base allowed submerged training, not possible at Bordeaux. From June 1940, three Italian submarines patrolled off the Canary Islands and Madeira, followed by three more off the Azores; when these patrols were completed, the six boats returned to their new base at Bordeaux. Their initial patrol area was the Northwestern Approaches and at the start they out-numbered their German allies' submarines. Dönitz was pragmatic about the Italians, seeing them as inexperienced, but useful for reconnaissance and to gain expertise; the results were disappointing. The Italian submarines sighted convoys but failed to make effective reports. Fearing that German operations would be prejudiced, Dönitz reassigned the Italians to the southern area where they could act independently.
In this way, about thirty Italian boats achieved some success, though without much impact on the most critical areas of the campaign. Dönitz considered the Italians as displaying "great dash and daring in battle exceeding that of Germans", but less toughness and tenacity; when the British tanker British Fame was attacked by the Malaspina, the officer of the watch and lookouts were on the bridge and the captain, according to the survivors of the tanker, "was dozing in a deckchair below". It took five torpedoes to sink the tanker and, at one point, the tanker's gunfire forced the Malaspina to submerge; the Italians towed the lifeboats to safety, an act worthy of praise, but one against Dönitz's orders and leaving the submarine open to attack for 24 hours. While the BETASOM submarines did have some value, it is clear why they did not meet the expectations of Dönitz. By 30 November 1940, Italian submarines in the Atlantic each sank an average of 200 gross tons per day. By comparison, German U-boats each averaged 1,115 gross tons per day during the same time period.
Italian submarines, had only been in the Atlantic for a few months at this time, had not had yet the time to adapt to the new operational conditions, whereas the U-Boats had been operating there for more than a year. In an attempt to improve the performance of the Italian submarines, several measures were taken: taking cue from the Kriegsmarine, older Italian submarine commanders were replaced with younger officers, who possessed more aggressiveness and stamina. Italian submarines underwent improvement work, such as the reshaping of their excessively large turrets; these measures improved the performance of the remaining Italian submarines. The tonnage sunk for every lost submarine was 32,672 GRT in 1940, 20,432 GRT in 1941, 136,674 GRT in 1942 and 13,498 GRT in 1943. Between February and March 1942, five BETASOM submarines took part in Operation Neuland, sinking 15 of the 45 Allied merchant ships destroyed during this operation; the top scoring BETASOM aces, Gianfranco Gazzana-Priaroggia and Carlo Fecia di Cossato, were among the few Italian recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
Gazzana-Priaroggia's boat, Leonardo da Vinci, held the distinction of being the top-scoring non-German submarine of World War II, with 17 ships sunk totalling 120,243 GRT. Italian naval historian Giorgio Giorgerini has put forward the view that, although Italian submarines did not perform as well as the U-boats, they did achieve a good success considering the deficiencies of their boats (
German submarine U-849
German submarine U-849 was a long-range Type IXD2 U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. Laid down in Bremen and launched on 31 October 1942. German Type IXD2 submarines were larger than the original Type IXs. U-849 had a displacement of 1,610 tonnes when at 1,799 tonnes while submerged; the U-boat had a total length of 87.58 m, a pressure hull length of 68.50 m, a beam of 7.50 m, a height of 10.20 m, a draught of 5.35 m. The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines plus two MWM RS34.5S six-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines for cruising, producing a total of 9,000 metric horsepower for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower for use while submerged. She had two 1.85 m propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 200 metres; the submarine had a maximum submerged speed of 6.9 knots. When submerged, the boat could operate for 121 nautical miles at 2 knots.
U-849 was fitted with six 53.3 cm torpedo tubes, 24 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun, 150 rounds, a 3.7 cm SK C/30 with 2575 rounds as well as two 2 cm C/30 anti-aircraft guns with 8100 rounds. The boat had a complement of fifty-five. Though she was commanded by top U-boat ace Heinz-Otto Schultze she neither sank nor damaged any vessels, she joined 4th Flotilla for training on 11 March 1943, where she remained until 30 September 1943, whence she joined 12th Flotilla for active service until her sinking on 25 November 1943. U-849 was sunk by depth charges dropped by a US Navy P4BY-1 Liberator bomber from VB-107 in the South Atlantic west of the River Congo estuary at position 06°30′S 05°40′W. All 63 hands were lost. Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXD2 boat U-849". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 13 May 2014