(German Type IXD-2 similar to Type IXD-1 long range submarine)

IJN Submarine I-506: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2010 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp

Revision 4

15 May 1941:
Bremen, Germany. Laid down at Deschimag (Deutsche Schiff und Maschinenbau) AG Weser, as a 1,616-ton surface displacement Type IXD-1 long-range submarime.

28 April 1942:
Launched and numbered U-195. She is equipped with experimental fast-running diesel engines.

25 September 1942:
Completed and registered in the Kriegsmarine. Kapitänleutnant Heinz Buchholz (former CO of U-15) is the Commanding Officer. [1]

20 March 1943:
Departs Kiel to patrol in the Cape of Good Hope and Madagascar areas.

April-May 1943:
Atlantic. U-195 sinks the 7,200-ton American merchant JAMES W. DENVER and 7,191-ton American freighter SAMUEL JORDAN KIRKWOOD and damages 6,797-ton American freighter CAPE NEDDICK.

20 July 1943:
Bay of Biscay. RAF aircraft attack U-195. One enlisted man is KIA, but the U-boat escapes.

23 July 1943:
Arrives at Bordeaux, France.

In the summer of 1943, the Kriegsmarine decides to send U-boats to operate in the Indian Ocean. The first group of U-boats arrives in the Far East at the end of September 1943, after the tropical monsoon rains period. Thereafter, the group is named "Monsun".

October 1943-April 1944:
Bordeaux. U-195 is converted to serve as a transport submarine and equipped with new diesels and a snorkel. Her torpedo tubes are removed. She is able to carry 252-tons of oil.

16 April 1944:
Oberleutnant zur See (OL) Friedrich Steinfeldt assumes command.

21 August 1944:
U-195 departs Bordeaux, France. She carries mercury and lead, steel, uncut optical glass and aluminum in her keel for Japan and spare torpedoes and a spare propeller for the U-boat base at Penang.

November 1944:
Incessant Allied air and submarine attacks render Penang untenable as an operational base for submarines. The German U-boats withdraw to Batavia (Jakarta) and the Japanese I-boats relocate to Surabaya, Java (Indonesia).

20 December 1944:
Indian Ocean. Refuels the Europe-bound U-843.

27 December 1944:
U-195 arrives off the coast of Java. She is met by a two-seat Arado Ar-196A floatplane (formerly of raider MICHEL, Hilfskreuzer IX/Schiff 28). The plane has Japanese Hinomaru markings, but is flown by OL Ulrich Horn (former air officer of MICHEL). The Arado provides anti-submarine escort for several hours.

U-195 comes into Tanjong Priok (Batavia's harbor), the Monsun U-boat Flotilla's new base of operations. It is a disaster scene because the day before 1,135-ton Japanese ammunition ship TAICHO MARU exploded wrecking the harbor's facilities and causing many casualties. Anchored U-219, U-861 and another U-boat are damaged slightly.

Nevertheless, U-195's crew turns out on deck in fresh Kriegsmarine tropical uniforms of short sleeve shirts and shorts. Korvettenkapitän (KK=LtCdr) Kandeler, Commander of the Kriegsmarine's U-boat base, and other German and Japanese officers greet them as they tie up. Several of the flotilla's boats including U-510, U-532 and U-861 are anchored in the harbor being prepared for supply runs to Bordeaux.

19 January 1945:
U-195, still under OL Steinfeldt, departs Batavia for Norway, but her diesels develop trouble. She is directed to refuel U-532 and then return to Batavia.

9 February 1945:
U-195 makes a rendezvous with and refuels Fregattenkapitän Ottoheinrich Junker's U-532 bound for Europe with a cargo of tungsten and bales of raw rubber. U-195's crewmen give mail to U-532 for delivery to their families at home.

4 March 1945:
The U-195 returns to Batavia, but departs the next day.

7 March 1945:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java for repairs.

5 May 1945: Germany Ceases Hostilities with the United States and Great Britain:
Tokyo. The German naval attaché, Vizeadmiral Paul Wennecker (former CO of Panzerschiff DEUTSCHLAND/LÜTZOW) and Deutscher Admiral Ostasien (German Admiral, East Asia) sends the code-word signal "Lübeck" to all U-boats in Asia. It signifies that Germany has ceased hostilities.

Surabaya. KK Konrad Hoppe, Commander of the Kriegsmarine's U-boat base, calls muster on their tennis courts. Hoppe announces that Hitler is dead and that Germany has ceased hostilities in the West, but continues to resist Soviet forces overrunning Berlin. [2]

U-195's crew lowers her battle flag. A Japanese patrol boat is anchored next to the U-boat. Her Captain and some of his men board the U-195 and hoist a rising sun ensign. Thereafter, the U-boat's crew is interned by the Japanese in a nearby open prison camp.

15 July 1945:
U-195 is commissioned in the IJN as I-506. She is overhauled at the No. 102 Repair Unit at Surabaya and then assigned to the 2nd Southern Expeditionary Fleet. No Japanese crew is assigned to I-506 as a result of lack of submarine personnel. She never leaves her moorings.

July-August 1945:
Potsdam, Germany. The USA, UK and USSR establish a Tripartite Naval Commission to allocate captured German Kriegsmarine and merchant marine ships between them. The “Big Three” agree that all "unallocated" German submarines which had surrendered should be sunk not later than 15 Feb 46.

5 August 1945:
At 2005, a message from Chief of Staff, 10th Area Fleet, reads ""Report on ex-German submarines. (1) Present state. (a) I-501 and I-502 crews have been instructed and ships fitted out, largely by the Germans. Working up is about to start and should be completed by the end of the month. They will then be kept ready for sea at short notice. Each submarine will have 16 torpedoes. (b) I-505 and I-506 have completed their crews, and hulls and armament are generally satisfactory. I-505 has a mine compartment for 30 mines in which about 130 tons of aviation petrol can be loaded. The compartment has been modified for petrol stowage. In addition she can take about 35 tons of cargo. I-506 is 60% completed - - . (2) Plans for use. (a) I-501 and I-502 when ready will be used for operational transport (oil etc.) to the Andamans. After that she will operate in the Pacific and then proceed to Japan for torpedo tubes to be altered. (b) I-505 and I-506, when their crews are completed, will be detailed to transport oil and important cargoes within the Southern Area, particularly to French lndo-China, outlying islands, and Hong Kong. However, since I-506 - to be replaced, she will have to be sent to Japan as soon as possible."[3]

September 1945: The Surrender of Japan:
I-506 is surrendered. Soon, Indonesian rebels overrun Surabaya, seize I-506 and blow up the city's electrical power plant. Nepalese Gurkhas in British service arrive from Singapore, rout the rebels and restore order. The Union Jack is hoisted above the former U-boat. Her former German crewmen are recruited to run the diesel engines that drive her generators and make electricity for the city.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List. On that same day, OL Steinfeldt dies of dysentery and is buried near Bogor, Java.

15 December 1945:
A Tripartite Naval Commission (TNC) memo from Vice Admiral Robert L Ghormley, USN, to the Senior British Representative on the TNC, Vice Admiral (later Admiral, Sir) Geoffrey J. A. Miles, RN, says: "I have been directed by the Chief of Naval Operations to inform you that the destruction of the U-219 at Batavia, the U-195 at Surabaya, the U-181 and U-862 at Singapore is considered to be a British responsibility".

24 January 1946:
At 1411, the British Admiralty sends a message to the Royal Navy’s C-in-C East Indies Vice Admiral (later Admiral, Sir) Clement Moody that orders destruction of the four U-Boats in Singapore and Java by not later than the TNC deadline of 15 February 1946.

14 February 1946:
At 0945, the C-in-C East Indies sends a "Most Immediate" message to NOIC Surabaya, copy HMS SUSSEX, that reads: "Sink U-195 forthwith and report when sunk. No delay is acceptable. Acknowledge.” [3][4]

15 February 1946:
Bali Sea. I-506/U-195 is scuttled by the Royal Navy at 06-50S, 114-42E.

Authors' Note:
German Naval Officer Ranks:
Leutnant zur See (Lt=Ens), Oberleutnant zur See (OL=Lt(j.g.), Kapitänleutnant (KL=Lt), Korvettenkapitän (KK=LtCdr), Fregattenkapitän (FK=Cdr), Kapitän (K=Capt), Flottillenadmiral (FA=RAdm, LC), Konteradmiral (KA=RAdm, UC), Vizeadmiral (VA=VAdm), Admiral (A=Adm), Grossadmiral (GA=FAdm)

[2] Some sources misidentify KK Konrad Hoppe as Joachim Hoppe, but this is incorrect since Joachim Hoppe was KIA as CO of U-65 on 28 Apr '41.

[3] The source of these date are transcripts of decrypts of Japanese radio messages by the USN Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne, (FRUMEL), Australia.

[4] Both the British Admiralty and the Foreign Office wished to be able to assure the Commission (and especially the Russians) that the UK had strictly followed the agreement, thus the urgency to comply.

Special thanks for help in preparing this TROM go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks also go to Allan Alsleben of the United States and the guys at the forum on Jan Visser's "Royal Netherlands Navy Warships of World War II" website for help in identifying the TAICHO MARU. Thanks also go to Derek Waller of UK and Hans McIlveen of the Netherlands for input concerning the final months of I-506.

– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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