Feldgrau helmet logo
German Armed Forces Research 1918-1945

WW2 German Destroyer Z14 Friedrich Ihn


19 Jan 35: Ordered

30 May 35: Laid down at Blohm und Voss, Hamburg

05 Nov 36: Launched

06 Apr 38: Completed

01 Sep 39: Attached to the Reconnaissance Force (Viceadmiral Densch). (light cruisers Nurnberg (FS) Leipzig, Koln, destroyers (Konteradmiral Lutjens) Z1 (FS) Z2, Z4, Z8, Z9, Z10, Z11, Z14, Z15, Z16, 6xS-Boats, 21xMS, 5xEscorts and 10xUB). Excessive for the task of containing the Polish naval units in home waters (destroyer Wicher, ML Gryf and 5xSS with smaller auxiliaries.) this force was broken up and assigned other missions after the war's first day.

03-20 Sep 39: Z14 deployed to the North Sea with forces collected to lay the West Wall mine barrage. Ships involved in one or more operations included Nurnberg, Leipzig, Koln, Konigsbeg and Emden; the 1st DD FLOT (Z2, Z4, Z14, Z15, Z16) 2nd DD FLOT (Z1, Z6, Z7, Z8), 4th DD FLOT (Z10, Z11, Z12) 5th DD DIV (Z17, Z18, Z19 and Z20, 5th TB FLOT (Greif, Mowe, Albatros, Kondor, Falke) and the 6th TB FLOT (Leopard, Seeadler, Ilis, Wolf and Luchs) along with 3xML Z14 with 2xML laid two barrages with 348 and 404 mines on 08 Sep.

28-30 Sep 39: Z14 with Z10, Z15 and 4xTB conducted mercantile warfare in the Skagerrak and Kattegat, stopping and inspecting 45 vessels

07-10 Oct 39: Z14 participated in a major sortie off the southern coast of Norway designed to entice the British fleet into an aircraft/submarine trap and to relive pressure on the two "pocket-battleships" raiding in the Atlantic. The squadron included Gneisenau (FS Admiral Boehm), Koln and twelve destroyers (Z3, Z4, Z6, Z11, Z12, Z14, Z15, Z16, Z17, Z19, Z20, Z21). They sailed from the Blight and were not sighted until 1320 (London Time) on the 8th off Lister Light, fifty miles west of Kristiansand. In response, three major British squadrons, the battlecruiser force, (2xBC, 2xCL and 4xDD) the light cruiser force 3xCL) and the Home Fleet 2xBB, 1xCV, 1xCL and 8xDD) sailed to intercept and prevent the Germans from breaking out into the Atlantic (which the British assumed was the German intention). The Germans continued north until night when they reversed course. Neither Bomber Command nor any of the British warships managed to make contact with the Germans; however, large scale German air attacks by 127 He111s and 21 Ju88s were also without results. The German squadron returned to Kiel early on the 10th.

22-24 Oct 39: Z14 with Z3, Z10, Z11, Z12 and Z15, conducted an anti-shipping patrol in the Skaggerak.

27-29 Oct 39: Z14 with Z3, Z10, Z11, Z15 and Z20 attempted an anti-shipping patrol in the Skaggerak, but the mission was canceled due to bad weather. Some of the units involved suffered weather damage.

13-15 Nov 39: Z14 with Z8, Z15, and Z16 conducted an anti-shipping patrol in the Skagerrak.

24-25 Nov 39: Z14 conducted mercantile warfare in the Skagerrak with Lutzow (FS Commander Reconnaissance Forces Vice-Adm Densch), Koln, Leipzig, Z8, Z11, Z15, Z20, and the TBs Leopard, Seeadler, Iltis and Wolf.

27-28 Nov 39: Z14 conducted an anti-mercantile sweep off the southern coast of Norway with Z3, Z10, Z11, Z15 and. Z20. Heavy weather forced abortion of the operation and Z3 suffered serious damage while returning to port.

12-13 Dec 39: Z14 with Z19 (FS Commodore Bonte) Z15, Z4 and Z8 laid a mine barrage off Newcastle sinking 11 ships of 18,979 tons. Nurnberg, Leipzig and Koln sortied to meet this force upon its return and suffered a submarine attack that severely damaged Nurnberg and Leipzig. The destroyer force was attacked in error by German aircraft shortly before noon, when they were still approximately 200 km away from the cruisers. They received word of the attack 40 minutes later and were ordered to the scene; however Z14 and Z15 had to return to Wilhelmshaven instead because of machinery breakdowns and fuel contamination problems.

18 Dec 39: The 1st DD FLOT (Z7, Z14 and Z16) attempted a minelaying operation off the Thames Estuary, but the mission was aborted because the British had extinguished all navigational lights and the Germans were not able to fix their position with sufficient accuracy to lay mines.

06-07 Jan 40: Z14 with Z16 (FS Cdr. Berger) and Z15, supported by Z4, Z7 and Z20 laid 170 magnetic mines off the Thames Estuary. This barrage sank the destroyer Grenville and 6 merchant ships of 21,617 tons.

10-11 Jan 40: Z14 with Z21 (FS Commodore Bonte) Z4, Z16, Z20 and Z22 laid a mine barrage off Newcastle that sank one trawler of 251 tons. Z14 sukffered machinery problems that reduced her speed to 27kts. She was detached from the force with Z4 as escort and sent home early.

Feb-May 40: Z14 was assigned to dock for refit.

May 40: Z14 completed refit and began extensive work-ups in the Baltic, despite the shortage of destroyers pertaining in the KMS.

Jul 40: Z14 deployed from the Baltic to Trondheim.

25-28 Jul 40: Gneisenau had sortied on 20 Jul to cover the damaged Scharnhorst's return to Germany. On 20 Jul Gneisenau was torpedoed in her turn. After temporary repairs, she sailed from Trondheim escorted by with Nurnberg (FS Read Adm Schmunmdt), Z5, Z10, Z14, Z20 and the TBs Luchs, Iltis, Kondor, Jagukar and T5. The force arrived in Kiel on 28 Jul, although Luchs was sunk in passage by the British submarine Swordfish.

09 Sep 40: Z14 with Z10 (FS, Kapitan zur See Bey), Z6, and Z20 departed Wilhelmshaven to provide escort for a large group of minelayers being deployed to French ports in anticipation of the invasion of England. All arrived safely in Cherbourg on 11 Sep after undergoing an attack by RAF Blenheims on the morning of the 11th.

18 Sep 40: Z14 and the other ships of her flotilla experienced a large RAF raid on Cherbourg.

19-20 Sep 40: Bey's force with flagship Z10 , Z6, Z14, Z16 and Z20 sortied from Cherbourg on an offensive patrol into the English Channel, but poor weather caused him to abort the mission. The flotilla then transferred to Brest.

28/29 Sep 40: The Channel destroyer forces conducted an offensive mining operation in Falmouth Bay. Z6 and Z16 escorted the destroyers carrying mines: Z5, Z10 (FS), Z14, Z15 and Z20. This field accounted for five small ships of 2,037 tons.

17 Oct 40: Bey sortied from Brest with Z10 (FS), Z6, Z14, Z15 and Z20 on an offensive sweep into the SW approaches of the English Channel. He was surprised at 1700, 40 miles south, southwest of the Scillies by British cruisers Newcastle and Emerald with destroyers Jackal, Jupiter, Kashmir, Kelvin, and Kipling. The first notice of the British presence was five shells, fired at extreme range, splashing astern of Z10. The Germans turned toward Brest while the British gave chase. The range closed from 30,000m to 16,000m by 1800: and 6" shells were bracketing the German ships. The British were able to close range so effectively because Z15 was experiencing boiler problems and the need to take evasive action prevented the German destroyers from steering a straight course. To force the British to do some defensive maneuvering themselves, Z10 and Z20 each fired three torpedoes dead astern while Z15 turned to port and fired four more from 14,500m. The Newcastle's spotter aircraft advised her ship of the torpedoes and at 1841 the cruiser turned to comb them. At 1901 Newcastle was bombed by a Do 17. The splashes from the bombs and the smoke from the antiaircraft fire led the Germans to believe they had hit Newcastle with a torpedo. This attack did succeed in opening the range and by 1921 the British had abandoned the chase.

Oct 40: Z14 suffered the lost of both her gunnery and torpedo officers to drafts for the U-Boat service and was left also most non-operational as a result.

05-08 Nov 40: Z14 with Z5, Z6, Z15 and Z16 transferred from Brest to Wilhelmshaven. Z14 enters dock at Oderwerke, Stettin, for refit and repairs.

Late Jan 41: Z14 completed refit. However, icing caused by severe winter weather prevented her from leaving Swinemunde.

Feb 41: Z14 was stationed in Danzig where she was fitted with and then tested the S-Gerat submarine detecting apparatus.

05 Apr 41: Z15 (FS KapZ See Berger) Z8 and Z14 sailed from Germany through the English Channel for the Bay of Biscay. Z14 suffered two near misses from a British air attack on 06 Apr while in passage through the channel.

22-24 Apr 41: The raider Thor was escorted from the Bay of Biscay to Cherbourg by Z8, Z14, and Z15.

17-22 May 41: Supply Ship Nordland was escorted from the Bay of Biscay to Le Harve by Z8, Z14, and Z15.

Late May 41: The tanker Ermland was escorted into port from the Bay of Biscay by Z8, Z14, and Z15.

Early Jun 41: Prinz Eugen was met by Z8, Z14 and Z15 and escorted into Brest.

16 Jul 41: German destroyer forces France are augmented by the arrival of Z23 and Z24. With Z8, Z14 and Z15 they provide the screen for Scharnhorst.

27 Jul 41: Z14 departed Brest for German and refit. Five British MTBs attacked her while in transit through the Channel, but the British force suffered more from their own efforts via a near collision and a near miss from a friendly torpedo then did Z14, although Z14's defensive fire was also without result.

Late Jul 41: Z14 entered the Oderwerke yard at Stettin for refit.

11 Feb 42: Participated in the Cerberus (Channel Dash) operation as part of the escort for Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, and Prinz Eugen. Total forces involved included Z29 (FS Rear-Adm Bey) Z4, Z5, Z7, Z14 and Z25 from Brest; the 2nd TB FLOT (T2, T4, T5, T11, T12 from Le Harve), the 3rd TB FLOT (T13, T15, T16, T17 from Dunkirk), the 5th TB FLOT (Seeadler, Falke, Kondor, Iltis and Jaguar from Cape Gris Nez)

12 Feb 42: Formed the rear guard of the German force (along with Z7). When the force was attacked by 5xMTBs and 2xMGBs from Dover, Z14 followed by Z7 was tasked with driving them away. The British light units fired their torpedoes first; Z14 avoided one torpedo before she was able to open fire at 1343 from about 6,000m. Her fire was ineffective, in part because of her maneuvering as she continued to evade British torpedoes. Moreover, British shore batteries opened fire, landing salvos within 400m of Z14. Z14 turned away only four minutes after she had opened fire. Her failure to sink any of the British boats during this action was criticized by Berger, her Flotilla commander. Six British Swordfish attacked just as the MTB action ended. Z14 shot down two of the attackers. 1443: Opened fire at another group of MTBs, again with Z7. The British were quickly driven off and Z14 was able to suspend fire at 1449.

21 Feb 42: Z4, Z5, Z7, Z14 and Z25 sailed from the Elbe as escort for Prinz Eugen and Scheer during their transfer to Norway. Heavy seas and gale force winds made the passage difficult for the destroyers, particularly Z7 which suffered rolls of up to 35°. The force was unsuccessfully bombed by two British planes on the morning of the 22nd. During this day, as the weather deteriorated, Z4, Z5 and Z14 lost contact with the cruisers and had to turn back to Bergen. On the 23rd the British submarine Trident torpedoed Prinz Eugen, helped in this attack by the reduction in the escorting force.

Feb 42: Arrived Trondheim. Stationed in Trondheim as a part of the escort for Tirpitz and Scheer along with Z4, Z5, Z7 and Z25.

06 Mar 42: Z5, Z7, Z14 Z25, T5 and T12 sortied with Tirpitz to attack the Murmansk bound convoy PQ.12. Z5, T5 and T12 were detached and ordered back to Narvik that evening. The remaining destroyers and the battleship searched for PQ.12 the next morning as weather conditions deteriorated. Z14 experienced several problems during this expedition. On the 6th, problems in her #2 boiler temporally reduced her speed to 21knots. On the 7th she suffered storm damage that prevented #1 gun from being trained. The three destroyers and Tirpitz searched separately, but failed to locate the convoy that was their main target, probably fortunately (escort and covering force collectively consisted of 2xBB, 1xBC, 1xCV, 1xCA, 1xCL, and 12xDD).

07 Mar 42: At 1615 hours Z25 sighted a Soviet freighter straggling from PQ.8. Z14 intercepted and ordered her to heave to and maintain radio silence. Instead, the Russian, Ijora 2,815grt, manned her single gun and radioed a distress call. Z14 replied with 43 rounds of 127mm and 82 rounds of 37mm. Ijora was set on fire, but owing to her cargo of timber, she did not sink. Both Z14 and Z7 fired torpedoes at the Russian and both missed; Z14's torpedo, in fact, reversed course and just missed her source by only ten meters. Finally, Z7 and Z14 teamed up to sink her with their main batteries. After this incident, Z14 was short of fuel. She was detached to Harstad where she topped off.

09 Mar 42: Z14 rejoined Tirpitz. By this time she was the only destroyer escorting the battleship in her continuingly fruitless search for British convoys. That morning the two ships were attacked by five torpedo armed Albacores. Z14 shot down one of the attackers. Both she and Tirpitz were undamaged and had, by noon, returned to Vestfjord.

02 Jul 42: Z14 sailed from Trondheim with Tirpitz, Hipper, Z6 Z10, Z20, T7 and T15 to rendezvous at Altenfjord with forces coming from Narvik (Lutzow, Scheer, Z4, Z24, Z27, Z28, Z29, Z30) The ultimate objective was to launch an attack on British convoy PQ.17. However, Lutzow, Z10, Z20 and Z6 all ran around; although a powerful surface striking force remained, and sailed on 05 Jul, aerial and submarine attacks rendered their contribution redundant. However, it was the threat of this force's forces intervention which caused the British convoy to scatter - indirectly resulting in one of the greatest convoy disasters suffered by the Allies during the war.

12 Jul 42: Z20 escorted by Z14 and Z24 departed Trondheim bound for Kiel. The force arrived 14 Jul after an uneventful voyage.

Jul-Dec 42: Refit.

09-12 Jan 43: Z5, Z14 and Z24 escorted Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen from the Baltic. The objective was to transfer the heavy units to Norway, but Ultra intercepts provided the British with advance warning of the move. The German squadron turned back west of the Skagerrak. The large ships returned to the Baltic while the destroyers went to Aarhus.

15-19 Jan 43: Z5, Z14, Z20, Z24 and Z25 searched in the North Sea for Norwegian blockade runners. The mission was unsuccessful, as were British efforts to intercept the squadron. 06-12 Mar 43: Coming from the Baltic Scharnhorst escorted by Z28, met Z5, Z14 and Z15 with Greif, Jaguar, T16, T20 and T21 off SW Norway. The force proceeded north through severe gales which damaged most of the units involved. Z14 and the torpedo boats were forced to port at Bergen.

Apr 43: Z14 was stationed in the Arctic with Z10, Z5, Z6, Z15 and Z20. The force saw little action.

23 Sep 43: Lutzow departed Altafjord escorted by Z5, Z14, Z15, Z27 and later, off SW Norway by Z38. She reached Gotenhafen without incident on 01 Oct.

Nov 43: Z14 was ordered back to Germany for refit.

Jun 44: Z14 returned to service.

Aug 44: Z14 with Z4 assisted in the transfer of the Anti-Submarine Traning School to Norway from the eastern Baltic, ferrying personnel and escorting U-Boats.

03-06 Aug 44: Z6, Z14 , Z20 with 2xML, 3xMS and 1xMDS laid two mine barrages in the Skagerrak.

19-20 Sep 44: Emden, ML Kaiser and Z4, Z6, Z14, Z20 laid Klaudius mine barrage in the Skagerrak.

01-02 Oct 44: Emden, ML Kaiser and Z4, Z6, Z14, Z20 laid Kaligula mine barrage in the Skagerrak.

05-06 Oct 44: Emden, ML Kaiser and Z4, Z14, Z20, Z30 laid Vespasian mine barrage in the Skagerrak.

20 Oct 44: Z14 attempted to tow Z30 after she struck a mine at the entrance to Oslofjord.

Nov 44: Z14 had her AA armament augmented during a brief refit at Swinemunde.

Dec 44: Z14, Z4, Z6 and Z20 were stationed at Horten in Southern Norway. Only Z14 and Z20 were completely operational.

13-14 Jan 45: Nurnberg, ML Linz with Z6 and Z14, T19, T20 and 7xMTBs laid the mine barrage Titus I in the North Sea. Several British air attacks are repulsed. Z14 was near missed, but suffered no damage.

16-17 Feb 45: Z14, 3xML, T17 and T20 were assigned to lay the Titus II mine barrage, but the attempt was called off.

05 May 45: Z14 with a force including Z6, Z10, Z25, T17, T19, T23, T28, T35 and four smaller warships embarked 45,000 refugees from Hela. Soviet torpedo boat sortied from Kolberg against the German force, but they are repelled. The force proceeded to Copenhagen where the refugees were disembarked.

After the war Z14 was awarded to the Soviet Union; because of boiler defects, her transfer was slightly delayed. Her fate under Soviet control is not clear. She was likely cannibalized for spares.


K.Kpt. C. Trampedach 4.9.38 - 10.25.38
F.Kpt. E. Bey 10.26.38 - 4.3.39
K.Kpt. von Pufendorf 4.9.39 - 10.??.39
K.Kpt. G. Wachsmuth 10.??.39 - 11.10.42
K.Kpt. G. Fromme 11.11.42 - 1.31.44
K.Kpt. C.A. Richter-Oldekop 2.??.44 - 5.10.45