Ship ClassM-class Minesweeper
BuilderElsflether Werft AG
Yard Number248
Sunk15 Aug 1944


ww2dbaseGerman minesweeper M385 was completed in May 1943. She was lost in Aug 1944.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2019

M385 Operational Timeline

15 Aug 1943 Before dawn, German seaplane tender Richthofen, torpedo boat T24, minesweeper M275, minesweeper M385, and Sperrbrecher 157 were caught by British cruiser Mauritius, destroyer HMS Ursa, and destroyer Iroquois in the Bay of Biscay off Les Sables d'Olonne, France. T24 laid a smoke screen and fired torpedoes at Iroquois, but all of them missed. British ships fired, sinking Sperrbrecher 157, and damaging all other ships; M385 was forced to beach to prevent sinking. HMS Iroquois suffered light damage in the engagement.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
30 Jul 2020 12:32:26 AM

On the night of 22/2 August 1944 the destroyers HMS Iroquois, Ursa and Mauritius of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla were on patrol between Les Sables and Ile d’Yeu. At 0117 Iroquois got a radar contact. They stood to and let an enemy convoy get well into the Bay of Biscay, At 0209 Iroquois led the other two destroyers in. At 4,000 yards they opened fire on four enemy vessels which instantly turned away and made smoke.

The German ships returned fire and were joined by a shore battery, but all their gunnery was inaccurate. Mauritius hit and blew up a medium-sized merchantman while Iroquois, and Ursa dealt with the others. A trawler and a merchant ship caught fire, one running aground and the other sinking. The 543-ton minesweeper M385 was damaged and also ran aground.

At 0249 the British warship turned away, leaving 150 stranded German survivors to be rounded up by the FFI on Pointe de Pennarch. At 0351 the three British destroyers repeated their performance and an hour later a further four enemy ships had been eliminated. Two had sunk, while the others had caught fire and collided, one capsizing and sinking and the last run aground. HMS Ursa now returned and boarded the Minesweeper which was aground off Audierne, removing eleven prisoners, charts and documents before destroying her with gunfire to prevent any salvaging. For the 10th DF it had been a highly successful night’s work.

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