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Johnny E. Balsved


The 2nd World War 1939-1945:

View of the Naval Dockyard in the days after the scuttling of the navy.
(Photo: Royal Danish Naval Museum)

Salvaging the scuttled Danish ships

Following the events on August 29 the Germans took over the Naval Dockyard and started salvaging the scuttled ships

At the same time as the Danes refuse to participate in the salvaging of the scuttled ships, they manage to destroy the stored sea planes.

German floating crane succeeds in salvaging most of the Danish ships,
and 15 of those are incorporated into the German Kriegsmarine.

By Søren Nørby, arts student

Following the scuttling of the navy, German troops occupied the Naval Dockyard.

The Naval Dockyard was allowed to continue production, but the yard still did not give in on the German pressure to build and repair German naval units.

The Danish naval vessels under construction at the yard were not completed, and they were all found at the dockyard at the war's end.

Sea Planes destroyed

Rigets Flag på batteriet SIXTUS

The Sovereign Flag at the SIXTUS battery was stroked, however the German's chose not to fly the Swastika instead.
(Photo: Royal Danish Naval Museum)

After the surrender in April 1940, the navel sea planes had been stored at the Naval Dockyard.

Shortly after August29th, 1943 the Germans removed various tools and materials from the stores, but when they, at the end of November, wanted to remove the planes, the Danes succeeded in burning the buildings and thereby destroying the sea planes.

The German's take over the Naval Dockyard

On November 29th the German shipyard Howaldtswerke Inc, Hamburg, took over control of the Naval Dockyard, but most of the Danish workers continued working at the yard.

Holmen september 1943

Holmen in September, 1943.
In the center are the two T-41 torpedo boats under construction
 Notice at the right, the Royal Yacht DANNEBROG in the dry dock, before it was moved to an other part of the harbor.
In the left side is the submarine HAVFRUEN, put on land after being salvaged September 8th.

(Photo: Royal Danish Naval Museum)

The Germans promised that the Naval Dockyard was only to work on civilian vessels, and that the yard was not expected to assist in the raising of the scuttled Danish ships, or with the repair of German naval units.

Danes refuse to assist

The Germans first tried to make the Danes raise the scuttled ships.

Arguing that the ships were Danish!

But when the Danes refused, the Germans started raising the ships themselves.

On October 3rd, a large German floating crane, named Schwimmkran I/38, but called "Der Lange Hendrik", crane arrived in Copenhagen, and was put to use bringing the ships back to the surface.

15 ships ended up
in the German

Den tyske flydekran, Schwimmkran I/38, også kaldet "Der Lange Hendrik"

The German floating crane, Schwimmkran I/38, also nicknamed "Der Lange Hendrik".
(Photo: Royal Danish Naval Museum)


Luftfoto af Holmen Januar 1945 - Klik på billedet for art se det i stor størrelse...

Aerial Photography of Holmen
January 1945

The Danish ships, not completely destroyed, were towed to the B&W shipyard near by, where the were repaired before entering tht German Kriegsmarine.

The Germans were able to raise most of the scuttled ships, and a total af fifteen of these were put into some kind of service by the German Kriegsmarine.

After the German take over of the Naval Dockyard it continued to repair civilian German vessel, but the Danish warships under construction, were not finished.

The fate of the ships after August 29

Below is a list stating the dates on which the Danish ships were salvaged.

The list is based on information from Anton Jacobsen, who in 1943 where employed at the Naval Dockyard.

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(Sail training ship)

Left the Royal Dockyard 15-9 for Svendborg.

(patrol vessel)

Raised 17-9. Towed to nearby private shipyard (Burmeister and Wain) 22-9. Returned to the Naval Dockyard 23-9.
Left the Naval Dockyard 28-10.
Hit by unknown explosion 30-10 while at Langelinie; one German sailor killed and several wounded.


Raised 20-9 and towed to B&W 23-9.

MS 2

Towed from the Naval Dockyard 21-9.

LINDORMEN (mine layer)

Raised 1-10 and towed to B&W 14-10. Returned from B&W 22-10 and placed by the Hønsebro.

MS 8

Raised 5-10. Towed to B&W 22-10.

MS 10

Placed on land 6-10 and returned to the water 11-10. Towed to B&W 22-10.

H.2 HAVFRUEN (submarine)

Raised 8-10 and placed on land.
Returned to the water the 3-12. Sank again 4-12 and raised again 6-12.

MF.4 LAALAND (minelayer)

Raised 11-10 and placed by the Hønsebro.

R.2 MAKRELEN (guard ship)

Raised 13-10. Broke in two and was placed on land the 14-10.

P.1 HVALROSSEN (guard ship)

Raised 17-10. The keel broke and it was placed on land.

MF.3 LOUGEN (minelayer)

Raised 20-10.


Raised 22-10. Towed away 30-10.

M.3 SØULVEN (minesweeper)

Raised 24-10.


Raised 26-10.


Raised 27-10.

MF.1 KVINTUS (minelayer)

Raised 29-10.

(Royal Yacht)

Towed to Sydhavnen 29-10.

C.3 FLORA (submarine)

Raised 1-11.

H.3 HAVKALEN (submarine)

Raised 2-11.

C.2 BELLONA (submarine)

Raised 4-11.

D.1 DAPHNE (submarine)

Raised 5-11.

H.4 HAVHESTEN (submarine)

Raised 6-11.

H.1 HAVMANDEN (submarine)

Raised 8-11.

C.1 ROTA (submarine)

Raised 10-11.

D.2 DRYADEN (submarine)

Raised 12-11.

M.2 SØBJØRNEN (minesweeper)

The ship was placed upright on the 3-11 and raised on the 18-11. The ship broke up during the attempt. The aft part of the ship broke off, and was raised on the 22-11. The fore part of the ship was raised the 24-11 and placed on land six days later.
SØBJØRNEN was raised with assistance from the Naval Dockyards own steam-crane, which the Germans started using on the 1-11.

(guard ship)

Raised 20-11 and placed on land 22-11.

PEDER SKRAM (coast defense ship)

Raised and baled out 22-11.

MS 4

Raised 23-11 and placed on land 26-11.

R.3 NORDKAPEREN (guard ship)

Raised 26-11 and placed on land.

(torpedo boats)

Moved to the torpedobådsbroer 26-11.

Floating dock nr. 1.

Raised 30-11.

(patrol vessel)

Left the Naval Dockyard 2-12 under German command and the new name SYDPOL.

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Da Danmarks Flaade blev sænket, by F. H. Kjølsen, Commander s.g., H. Hagerups Forlag, Copenhagen, 1945


Flådens Oprør, by Per Wessel Tolvig (editor), Marinehistoriske Skrifter, Copenhagen, 1953


Flådens skibe 1950, af R. Steen Steensen, Det Schønbergske Forlag, København, 1950


Flaadens skibe den 29. august 1943, og deres senere skæbne, by R. Steen Steensen, article in "Tidsskrift for Søvæsenet", 1953


Flådens skibe og fartøjer 1945-1995, by Gunnar Olsen and Svenn Storgaard, Marinehistoriske skrifter,  Copenhagen, 1998 (ISBN 87-87720-13-2)


Operation K N U, Den danske flåde 29. august 1943, by Hans Chr. Bjerg, article in "Tidsskrift for Søvæsenet", nr. 1, 1983


Orlogsværftets Særberetning vedrørende Tiden fra 29. august 1943 til 31. marts 1944.


Søværnet og dets personel 1940-45, by Hans Chr. Bjerg, article in "Tidsskrift for Søvæsenet" nr. 1, 1998


Søværnets vilkår og virke under den tyske besættelse april 1940 til august 1943, by S. S. v. F. Kieler, article in "Tidsskrift for Søvæsenet" nr. 1 og 2, 1993


Vore undervandsbåde gennem 50 år (1909-1959), by R. Steen Steensen, Munksgaards forlag, Copenhagen, 1960

44You are also referred to the Naval Bibliography

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Scuttling the Navy
- August 29, 1943


The attack on the


After August 29, 1943


Attack on


The Navy before 1801


Wars against England (1801-1814)


Reconstructing the Navy (1814-1848)


The 1st Schleswig War (1848-50)


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The long Period of Peace (1864-1914)


The Navy during the 1st World War (1914-1918)


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The Navy during the 2nd World War (1939-1945)


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