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German Armed Forces Research 1918-1945

WW2 German Destoyer Z6 Theodor Riedel


18 Jul 35: Laid down

22 Apr 36: Launched

02 Jul 37: Commissioned

03 Sep 39: With 2nd DD FLOT laying West Wall mine barrage in the North Sea (Z6, Z7, Z8, Z1) 1st and 4th DD FLOTs and 5th DD DIV are involved, 16xDD total.

04 Sep 39: With 2xML and 1xDD lays 666 mines.

05 Sep 39: With 2xML and 1xDD lays 666 mines.

13 Sep 39: With 4xML and 2xDD lays 960 mines.

15 Sep 39: With 4xML and 3xDD lays 555 mines.

07 Oct 39: Sorties with Gneisenau, Koln and 8xDD toward Norway's south coast as bait to lure the British Home Fleet across a submarine line and bring it into range of air attacks. (The mission succeeds in that the air attacks are made, but no damage is inflicted on the British.

10 Oct 39: Returns to Kiel.

17-19 Oct 39: Participates in an anti-mercantile patrol in the Skagerrak with 2xDD and 3xTBs.

20 Oct 39: 2nd DD FLOT Z5, Z6 and Z7 arrives at Swinemunde for exercises.

12/13 Nov 39: Returns early with rest of 2nd DD FLOT (Z12, Z7) from mining operation into the Thames estuary due to machinery problems

09-10 Feb 40: With Z8 and Z7 forms escort for mining group of 6xDD laying fields off the Shipwash, and Cromer Knoll, coast of England.

18-20 Feb 40: Escorts Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Hipper into North Sea with 2xDD & 2xTB. Separates with the other DDs to conduct mercantile warfare in the Skagerrak.

22-23 Feb 40: 1st DD FLOT (6xDD total FS Z16, Z4, Z6, Z3, Z1 and Z13) conducts Operation Wikinger - a strike against British fishing vessels in the North Sea. While in the Heligoland Bight, the force is attacked in error by German aircraft and two destroyers are sunk. Z6 falls victim to a submarine scare and drops four depth charges. Her speed is too low to put sufficient distance between her and the charges when they explode and she suffers considerable shock damage as a result, particularly to her electrically controlled rudder.

06 Apr 40: Departs Cuxhaven with Hipper, Z5, Z16, and Z8 as part of Group 2 assigned to the occupation of Trondheim.

07 Apr 40: Group 2 meets Group 1 (Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and 10xDD) and proceeds north in their company. An attack by 12 Blenheims is repelled without loss.

09 Apr 40: Z6 lands her embarked troops at Trondheim. She subsequently runs aground adding hull damage to the storm damage previously suffered on the passage north. She is beached in Strommen Bay as a stationary battery.

20 Apr 40: Refloated.

June 40: Returns to Germany.

Aug 40: Fitted with SGerat submarine detection gear.

09 Sep 40: Departs Wilhelshaven with Z20, Z16 and Z14.

11 Sep 40: Arrives Cherbourg.with her three companions after repelling an air attack

18 Sep 40: Attacked in port after midnight by RAF Blenheims and Beauforts, but undamaged.

19-20 Sep 40: With 4xDD attempts on offensive sweep to the area off the western entrance of the English Channel, but forced to return Brest because of heavy weather.

28/29 Sep 40: Offensive mining operation in Falmouth Bay. With Z16 acts as escort for the destroyers carrying mines, Z5, Z10, Z14, Z10 and Z15.

10 Oct40: Undergoes attack by RAF Swordfish at Brest. Slightly damaged by splinters.

17 Oct 40: Sorties from Brest with Z10, Z15, Z14 and Z20 on an offensive sweep into the SW approaches of the English Channel. Develops tube failures in #1 boiler room and returns to Brest.

05-08 Nov 40: Transferred from Brest to Wilhelmshaven (with 3xDD) and then to Kiel. Assigned to dock for major refit.

June 41: In Baltic working up.

09 Aug 41: Sails from Kiel for the Arctic. In passage she runs aground in the Scharen and is towed into Bergen. Returns to Germany and reenter dock.

May 42: Repairs completed. Begins working up in Baltic.

11 May 42: Sails from Kiel for Trondheim with Z20.

02 Jul 42: Sails with Tirpitz, Hipper, Z14, Z20, Z10, T7 and T15 from Trondheim to rendezvous at Altenfjord with forces sailing from Narvik. The mission's ultimate objective is to launch an attack on British convoy PQ.17

03 Jul 42: Runs aground at Grimsoystraumen on uncharted, submerged rocks. Lutzow, Z20 and Z10 suffer the same fate. The German ships are making the dangerous passage through the fjords at night in an attempt to forestall British aerial reconnaissance. Z6's damage is the most minor of the four only affecting her propeller. She returns to Trondheim

25 Jul 42: Towed from Trondheim for Germany with Z10, also under tow.

28 Jul 42: Attacked by RAF Beauforts at 0127 hours and again at 0150 south of Stavanger. She slips her tow and manages to avoid the torpedoes, although her top speed is only 7 knots.

29 Jul 42: Makes Kiel and enters dock.

21 Nov 42: Repairs completed.

Dec 42: Escorts Lutzow from Germany to Kaafjord.

30 Dec 42: Sails from Kaafjord to attack a British convoy with Hipper, Lutzow and Z4, Z16, Z29, Z30 and Z31. The heavy units operate separately; Z6 forms part of Lutzow's screen with Z30 and Z31.

Dec 31 42: She engages the convoy between 1140 and 1215 hours; the range to the merchant ships is too great for Z6, but she does manage to hit one of the escorting destroyers with her second salvo at the very end of the battle.

Jan 43: Inactive at Kaafjord

05/06 Feb 43: Conducts mining operation off Kildin roads, a choke point for Murmansk bound shipping with the minelayer Brummer and Z31. She is attacked at least twice by the Soviet submarines L20 and K22, but avoids all torpedoes fired.

10/11 Mar 43: Transferred from Kaafjord to Narvik with Lutzow and 1xDD.

22-24 Mar 43: Transfers from Narvik to Altafjord with Tirpitz, , At this time the far northern force based at Altafjord (Alten Fjord) consisted of Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Lutzow, Z4, Z5, Z6, Z15, Z20, Z28 and Z31. Z6 is the flag of DD FLOT 6.

31 Mar-02 Apr 43: Sorties from Altafjord with Z5 and Z20 to meet the blockade runner Regensburg. This mission is unsuccessful as Regensburg has already been sunk in the Denmark Strait. The destroyers return with heavy sea damage sustained in a violent storm.

06 Apr 43: While on passage from Narvik to Trondheim, Z6 losses all steam in her boilers due to water polluted fuel. She nearly drifts unto the rocks before a tug arrives from Trondheim to rescue her.

06-08 Sep 43: Participates in attack on Spitzbergen with Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, 4th DD FLOT (Z29, Z33, Z31) 5th DD FLOT (Z15, Z27, Z30) and 6th DD FLOT (Z6, Z10 Z20). Z6 carried approximately 100 men of the 349 Grenadier Regiment. After landing her troops, Z6 screened Tirpitz and engaged in some unauthorized shore bombardment.

04-07 Dec 43: Participates in mining operations with 3xML and 2xDD designed to block the entrance to the Skagerrak.

13 Dec 43: Enters drydock at Kiel for refit.

Jun 44: Returns to service. Based at Horten in southern Norway.

03 Aug 44: Mining operation in the Skagerrak with 2xML and 2xDD.

04 Aug 44: Repeat of operation of previous night.

Aug 44: Suffers serious fire in boiler room caused by oil soaked rage left in her bilges from prior refit. Must enter dock in Oslo for repair.

19-20 Sep 44: Participates in laying of Klaudius minefield in the Skagerrak with Emden, 1xML and 3xDD.

01-02 Oct 44: Participates in laying of Kaligula minefield in the Skagerrak with Emden, 1xML and 3xDD.

Nov 44: Runs aground again.

Dec 44: At Horten with Z14, Z4 and Z20. Under repair due to damage suffered from previous grounding.

07 Jan 45: Operational.

13/14 Jan 45: Participates in laying of Titus minefield in the North Sea with Nurnberg, 1xML Z14, T19 and T20. Attacked unsuccessfully several times by RAF.

1945: By this time Z6's AA has been supplemented to 14x20mm.

03 May 45: Suppports last evacuations from Hela. Beats off Soviet MTB attack.

06 May 45: Disembarks refugees in Copenhagen.

07 May 45: Returns to Hela with 7xDD and 5xTB.
WW2 German Destory Z6 Photo
Destoyer Z6 Theodor Riedel


Displacement, standard/full load: 2,171/3,110 tons (Z5-8) 2,270/3,190, (Z9-13) 2,239/3,165
Length, oa, wl: 119.3/116.3m
Beam/draught: 11.3/4m
Machinery: 2 shafts, geared turbines, 6 boilers 70,000shp, 38.2 knots
Main Battery: 5x127mm/45 C34 (5x1) (120rpg)
Anti Air Battery: 4x37mm/83 C30 (2x2), 4x20mm C38 (4x1) (2,000 rpg)
Torpedo/Mines: 8x533mm (4x3) 60 mines.
Fuel/Endurance: 670 ton - 1,530nm @ 19 knots.
Crew: 315 (Z1 335)