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stepping stones of maritime history


On January 13, 1945, several mini submarines (Biber type) were directed from Emmerich to Nijmegen to destroy the bridge at Nijmegen. Several attempts were made to plant explosives. Defense against such attacks was relatively simple by placing (iron) nets in the Waal river.

At least 8 submarines were damaged and their crews killed. The Biber wreck found in Gendt was one of these submarines destroyed during this attack.

Biber Gendt
In September 2009, the rear part of a Biber was found on the river beach near Gendt. The submarine was stationed in the German town of Emmerich near the German-Dutch border and was destroyed several kilometers downstream near Gendt.
This Biber was probably deployed in January or February 1945 during an attack on the bridge at Nijmegen. The Biber has been excavated and can now be seen in the National Liberation Museum Groesbeek.

Biber on display in Speyer (Picture Wikicommons).

On the 29th of August 1944, 18 Bibers where put in action against allied supply vessels in the allied invasion fleet near Normandy. Later they where transferred to Holland in Scheldt Estuary. In all 324 Bibers were built, success was very limited. In Emmerich 5 Bibers were stationed in January and February 1945 to attack the bridge near Nijmegen.


Biber a midget submarine. The smallest in the German navy.
Built in Lubeck.
Length:9.00 m
Beam:0.89 m
Draught:1.1 m
Propolsion:32 HP Opel petrol engine
Armament:2 torpedo's G7

The remains of a Biber in Gendt (foto William Moore).

People on board1


  • U boat net.
  • F. van Hemmen, Ooievaar brengt zondvloed. De onderwaterzetting van de Betuwe, December 1944-maart1945. 1995.
  • Gendt biber.

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