The reader must always keep in-mind the sheer horror of the Nazi German regime and the atrocities that regime perpetuated upon the world. Nazi German U-Boats are not just ‘U-Boats’ – but are rather maritime perpetuators and supporters of that hideous regime! I personally do not agree with the modern trend that eulogises these machines or their crews which were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousand of lives during WWII! Therefore, the criminality of the Nazi German U-Boats and their crews must NEVER be forgotten!
I communicated with George Smith from 2010-2013 – and during that time he entrusted me with much of his biography relating to the war years (1939-1945), his time in the Royal Navy and around five years after. Crucially, George Smith also provided me with first-hand, eye-witness reports of the events as they unfolded for the crew of the Royal Navy Patrol Service (RNPS) Minesweeper – the HMS Beaumaris Castle (FY 992). My maternal grandfather – Seaman Arthur Gibson (1911-1997) – had already told me many of these stories and when I finally ‘went online’ to investigate these stories further (in 2008) – I was accused by a very vocal minority on a small naval history forum of already knowing ‘George Smith’ (as that was a ‘crime’) and of scrumptiously acting in cahoots with him to perpetuate some kind of historical fraud! Indeed, up until that point in my life, I had never met another Veteran of my grandfather’s ship. However, a researcher who had already made contact with George Smith noticed that the stories I related coincided almost to the letter with the stories George Smith (who had also served on the HMS Beaumaris Castle [FY 992} in the North Atlantic) had been telling people for years – and kindly put me in contact with George in 2010! I then spent the next three-years talking with (via the telephone) and physically writing to (as George did not use email or the internet).
He was as surprised a I was to learn that the BBC had chosen his recollections of the day a Nazi German U-Boat surrendered to the crew of the HMS Beaumaris Castle (FY 992) to be hosted on a prominent historical website in 2005 (although I noticed recently that the article is no longer available on the net). Another peculiar point is that Lawrence Paterson’s excellent book entitled ‘Black Flag’ was first published in 2008 – but George Smith never made reference to it in all the years we communicated – and I am inclined to think that he did not know his 2005 BBC article was quoted within its pages – but with Lawrence Paterson obviously researching the incident further and discovering the ‘number’ of the Nazi German U-Boat involved, and the exact locations it was taken to once ‘surrendered’ such as ‘Loch Ewe’ and finally ‘Loch Eriboll’! I have communicated with the ‘German U-Boat Museum’ situated in North Germany recently, whose researcher rather disrespectfully poured scorn upon the idea of a Nazi German U-Boat surrendering to the Beaumaris Castle (choosing to ignore the established and recognised facts) whilst offering NO counter-evidence as to where they believe U-Boat ‘U1009’ was ‘surrendered’ and to ‘whom’! I suspect that due to the near total devastation of Nazi Germany in 1945, their records are incomplete, patchy, out of date and generally deficient when dealing with specific events. Bear in-mind also that Nazi Germany was thoroughly defeated in 1945 and they surrendered to us. The arrogant manner in which the ‘German U-Boat Museum’ communicates the average reader might be mistaken into thinking ‘we’ surrendered to ‘them’! What follows are the screen shots of Lawrence Paterson’s (2009) Black Flag: The Surrender of Germany’s U-Boat Forces on Land and at Sea [Kindle Edition] Pages 69-70:
The Arthur – Lawrence Paterson – unbeknownst to George Smith, checked the background of his story and confirmed its accuracy through the relevant British military authorities – whilst also ascertaining the further (vital) information provided above. Why the ‘German U-Boat Museum’ refuse to accept this research is beyond me – this is their opinion on the matter emailed to me on 17.11.2021:
‘We are aware, that Lawrence Paterson uses the story of George A. Smith for his book “Black Flag: The Surrender of Germany’s U-Boat Forces on Land and at Sea” and identifies the U-boat as U 1009. However, according to our records this U-boat surrendered on 10th May at Loch Eriboll. It was the first U-boat to surrender at a British port after the war had ended. I have looked through our U-boat files of the 21 U-boats that surrendered at british ports, but did not find any hint towards any of them possibly being the U-boat that surrendered to the HMS Baumaris Castle.
Thus I am very sorry to inform you, that we are not able to identify the U-boat that allegedly surrendered to the Baumaris Castle. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again.‘
German U-boat Museum
Lange Strasse 1
Well, I suggest you read the books you quote more carefully, amd change your policy of wantonly ‘insulting’ British Veterans who had to fight in a war Nazi Germany began – and then lost!