f2 and barge wreck

F2 escort boat and YC21 barge

F2 was a World War II German escort boat, similar to a corvette, given to the British as war reparations. The boat sank during a gale in 1946 and came to rest in Gutter Sound, between the islands of Hoy and Farra.

F2 was built by Germaniawerft at Kiel and completed in 1936 as a Geleiteboot (escort boat), the second built out of a class of ten. Her design was experimental as it incorporated high-pressure boilers. In the end this proved problematic and the F2 made a poor sea boat. As a result of these limitations, the boat was lengthened by four metres and converted to a torpedo recovery vessel at Wilhelmshaven in 1938/9.

She sank in a storm in 1946, not long after coming into British hands at the end of the war. The wreck was not considered worthy of salvage until 1967 or 1968, when it was sold for scrap to Metrec Engineering. The company used a wooden barge, YC21, in the salvage operation, but the barge sank in a storm on 15 November 1968. No salvage operations have been carried out on either wreck since.

Much of the F2 still lies at a depth of 16 metres below high water. The hull has been broken in half – the stern remains upright but the forward portion lies on its port side. Recognisable features and fittings include the forward gun, the single mast, the searchlight and the starboard anchor cable, which leads out from the bow (RCAHMS, 16 January 2003).

The YC21 barge was holding many salvaged pieces of the F2 when she sank, and this debris is now lying in 15 metres of water about 100 metres south-east of the wreck of the barge (Siedlecki, BAC Wreck Register, Scotland 1, 1987).

  • Nationality: German
  • Date built: 1935
  • Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
  • Type: Destroyer
  • Purpose: Escort Boat
  • Displacement: 756 tons
  • Length: 263.1ft (80.1m)
  • Beam: 28.9ft (8.8m)
  • Draught: 10.6ft (3.2m)
  • Cause of loss: Storm
  • Date lost: 30 December 1946 (with YC21 barge lost on 15 November 1968)
  • Propulsion: Oil-fired
  • Engine: Two steam turbines
  • Power: 14,000 shp
  • Speed: 26 Knots