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Author Topic: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.  (Read 5499 times)

Bradley

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HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« on: July 17, 2008, 10:31:26 pm »

Here goes for a little reminisce.  In the early 1950's I was doing my National Service with the Royal Marines and was a landing craft coxswain at HMS Royal Prince aka the Royal Naval Rhine Squadron at Uerdingen am Rhein near Krefeld.  The winter I spent there was one of the coldest I have ever known and it eventually reached the stage where there were mini icebergs coming down the Rhine and the commercial barges had to take shelter in whatever harbour they could find, including ours.  Then the harbour froze over to a depth of about two feet.  This meant that our boats (landing craft and captured german MLs) and the barges were trapped and had to remain so until the thaw started.  From what I can remember, when the ice reduced to about 10"-12" thick the powers-that-be sent in an ice breaker to free the barges as all the time they were trapped they were losing money.  The ice breaker was fascinating to watch - it was not a very large ship but, going on the shape of it's bows, it had been designed for the job.  The procedure was that it would start at the harbour mouth (obviously), go full ahead and come sliding out on to the top of the ice.  It would sit there (quite nonchalantly)  ::), for several seconds whilst the ice groaned and cracked around it and it dropped back into the water.  It then backed off and did the same again.  This whole procedure was repeated until all of the ice was broken up and the barges could leave and go about their business  :).  It meant that our boats were freed also, but I'm sure that this was not the intention of the Rhine authorities.  I wish I had had a camera at that time as it was an episode that was definitely worth recording.
Hope this has not bored y'all  :-\.
Derek.   :police:
(I wonder if this should have been posted under 'Chit Chat'.  :-\
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barryfoote

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2008, 08:05:08 am »

Derek,

A cracking story and I am sure it will jog the memories of others....More to come now!! :police:
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cdsc123

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2008, 07:28:27 pm »

Hi Derek

Here's a link to a photo of one of those launches, they were called FLBs, they were ex-Luftwaffe rescue launches;
http://www.navyphotos.co.uk/ml%2060341b.jpg
A fellow Coastal Forces nut is after a set ofr plans if anyone can help?

Ta,
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Bradley

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2008, 08:50:08 pm »

Hi cdsc123,
Many thanks for the link but, from what I recall, none of our boats were as big as the one shown.  The biggest ones we had were known as MLs (Motor Launches) and the smaller ones were TRVs (Torpedo Recovery Vessels) but I cannot remember what their OALs were.  I think that they were all timber built as, on one occasion, an ML that had broken down at Rotterdam was being towed back to base tied alongside an LST, when just off the harbour entrance it was hit and crushed by one of a string of barges travelling downstream.  It was fortunate that it was in the harbour within a few minutes and it was tied between the LST and another ML to stop it sinking as the collision had sprung many of it's planks.  The MLs and TRVs had a fair turn of speed and I think that they may have been used by the Germans as river patrol boats although, if the TRVs had been used for what their name suggests, they would have been used at sea (can't see many torpedoes being allowed to run amock in the Rhine  >:().  Again, racking my memory, I believe they were armed with a single Oerlikon ahead of the wheelhouse but, unless the Germans had Oerlikons during the war (which I suppose was possible), they must have been fitted by the RN after capture.
Derek.   :police:
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farrow

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2008, 01:56:32 pm »

I do not know if it is any use to you, But I am more than sure I have seen one of those German boats. It was in 1 basin Chatham Dockyard moored close to the old graving dock, the person who owns is living aboard with his wife and is slowly restoring the vessel.
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Bradley

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2008, 03:17:10 pm »

Many thanks for the info rmasmaster O0.  If anyone should happen to go to Chatham Dockyard and be able to locate the boat and photograph it I would certainly like to see it.  Perhaps it would jog my memory  ??? and I may be able to identify it as one of the RNRS vessels.  I also seem to recall that the boat that actually had the name 'HMS Royal Prince' was a motor yacht that had once belonged to one of the Nazi hierarchy - Goering? - not sure.  :-\
Derek.   :police:
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brian humphrey

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2013, 12:29:27 pm »

Hi all above
I was also at Royal Prince, between 1953-54-55,Royal Navy regular serviceman in S & S Branch.
Some pointers:-
can confirm that the ML's were all wooden hulled, have potos of me sitting abaft wheelhouse on P6019. There were no guns on the boats during my period of service, all having been stripped out post-war.
Frozen harbour was an annual event. Part of Officer Of The Day's routine was to test thickness of ice. One Sunday, therefore in civvies and wearing bowler hat, the duty OOD was a RM Captain. He stepped onto the ice to test it and went straight through. One bowler bobbing about the harbour.
The 'yacht' was Goering's. White hulled and very smart it contained the largest loo seat I've ever seen. It was actually re-christened Prince Charles, not Royal Prince. :police:
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hmsantrim

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 06:27:28 pm »

 
      Hi Derek.
                        Is this not something like what your friend is looking for
 
                       
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John A

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 08:12:47 pm »

Hello for the first time. I have a few points to share later but just for now I will say that I served at HMS Royal Prince Rheinhafen in 1951 on board boat 6010 (with 6009) and I will follow up later. Cheers John Annakin.
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TailUK

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2013, 09:25:02 am »

The boats were known as Flugbetriebsboote or Flight Operations Launches. There is an super german langauge website withloads of pics.
 
http://historisches-marinearchiv.de/projekte/luftwaffenfahrzeuge/luftwaffen_fahrzeuge_schiffe/uebersicht.php?kategorie=Flugbetriebsboot
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TailUK

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2013, 10:04:07 am »

The boats were known as Flugbetriebsboote or Flight Operations Launches. There is an super german langauge website withloads of pics.
 
http://historisches-marinearchiv.de/projekte/luftwaffenfahrzeuge/luftwaffen_fahrzeuge_schiffe/uebersicht.php?kategorie=Flugbetriebsboot

HMS Royal Albert/Royal Prince was formerly the private yacht of Hermann Goering and is listed here,
 
http://historisches-marinearchiv.de/projekte/luftwaffenfahrzeuge/luftwaffen_fahrzeuge_schiffe/ausgabe.php?where_value=779&kategorie=seem%E4nnische+Ausbildung
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superqualicast

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Re: HMS Royal Prince/Royal Naval Rhine Squadron.
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2013, 08:46:14 am »

Heyhmsantrim its look nice. 
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