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The concept of
the "U-flak" or "Flak Trap" originated the previous year,
on 31 August 1942, when U-256 was seriously damaged by aircraft. Rather than
scrap the boat, it was decided to refit her as a heavily armed anti-aircraft
boat intended to combat the losses being inflicted by Allied aircraft in the
Bay of Biscay. Two 20 mm quadruple Flakvierling mounts and an experimental 37
mm automatic gun were installed on the U-flaks' decks. A battery of 86 mm
line-carrying anti-aircraft rockets was tested (similar to a device used by the
British in the defense of airfields), but this idea proved unworkable. At
times, two additional single 20 mm guns were also mounted. The submarines'
limited fuel capacities restricted them to operations only within the Bay of
Biscay. Only five torpedoes were carried, preloaded in the tubes, to free up
space needed for additional gun crew.
(more on Wiki HERE)