The escort vessels (in German called "Flottenbegleiter")
F1 - F10 could be described with a single word: Failure.
In the early 1930s a group of ten escort vessels was build. Since
those ships should not only have been used as fast escort ships but
also as fast mine-sweepers, submarine hunter and test beds for the
new high-pressure destroyer engines, too much was expected of the
The result was a very bad designed ship with a
totally unreliable engine system that spent a long time in shipyards
for repair. As a result, the Flottenbegleiter were almost never seen
in operational action and were transferred to several different
secondary tasks. Some were used as fleet tenders, some for training Uboat crews.
As the number of engine breakdowns increased to an
tolerable level in the later years of the war, the ships were taken
out of action. Only one of them, the F9 , was lost through
enemy actions, when it was hit by a torpedo of the British
submarine Ursula in December 1939 and sunk within 3 minutes.
A successor class of "Schnelle Flottenbegleiter" -
fast escort vessels - was planned but never realized. To close the
gap of desperately needed escorts, several captured ships (French
and Dutch) in combination with destroyers, torpedo boats and mine
hunters were used for this task, especially in the British Channel
and French waters.