German Type II submarine

German Type II submarine

The Type II U-boat was designed by Germany as a coastal submarine, modeled after the submarine CV-707, which was designed by Dutch dummy company Ingenieurskantoor voor Scheepsbouw den Haag (I.v.S) (set up by Germany after World War I in order to maintain and develop German submarine know-how and to circumvent the limitations set by the Treaty of Versailles) and built in 1933 by the Finnish Crichton-Vulcan shipyard in Turku, Finland. It was too small to undertake sustained operations far away from the home support facilities. Its primary role was found to be in the training schools, preparing new German naval officers for command. It appeared in four sub-types.

Background

Germany was stripped of her U-boats by the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I, but in the late 1920s and early 1930s began to rebuild her armed forces. The pace of program accelerated under Adolf Hitler, and the first Type II U-boat was laid down on February 11, 1935. Knowing that the world would see this step towards rearmament, Hitler reached an agreement with Britain to build a navy up to 35% of the size of the Royal Navy in surface vessels, but equal to the British in number of submarines. This agreement was signed on June 18, 1935, and "U-1" was commissioned 11 days later.

Design

The defining characteristic of the Type II was its tiny size. Known as the "Einbaum" ("dugout canoe"), it had the advantages over larger boats of the ability to work in shallow water, diving more quickly, and being more difficult to spot due to the low conning tower. However, it had a shallower maximum depth, short range, and cramped living conditions, and could carry few torpedoes.

The boat had a single hull, with no watertight compartments. There were three torpedo tubes forward (none aft), with space for another two torpedoes inside the pressure hull for reloads. A single 20 mm anti-aircraft gun was provided, but no deck gun was mounted.

Space inside was limited. The two spare torpedoes extended from just behind the torpedo tubes to just in front of the control room, and most of the 24-man crew lived in this forward area around the torpedoes, sharing 12 bunks. Four bunks were also provided aft of the engines for the engine room crew. Cooking and sanitary facilities were basic, and in this environment long patrols were very arduous.

Most Type IIs only saw operational service during the early years of the war, thereafter remaining in training bases. Six were stripped down to just a hull, transported by river and truck to Linz (on the Danube), and reassembled for use in the Black Sea against Soviet Union.

In contrast to other German submarine types, few Type IIs were lost. This, of course, reflects their use as training boats, although accidents accounted for several vessels.

These boats were a first step towards re-armament, intended to provide Germany with experience in submarine construction and operation and lay the foundation for larger boats to build upon. Only one of these submarines survives to this day; the prototype CV-707, renamed "Vesikko" by the Finnish Navy which later bought it.

On February 3, 2008, The Telegraph reported that U-20 had been discovered by Selçuk Kolay, a Turkish marine engineer in 80 feet of water off the coast of the Turkish city of Zonguldak. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;?xml=/news/2008/02/03/whitler103.xml] The paper also reported that Kolay knows where U-23 and U-19 are, scuttled in deeper water near U-20.

Comparison of Finnish Crichton-Vulcan CV-707(U2A) to German Type II

Type IIA

Deutsche Werke AG, of Kiel built six Type IIAs in 1934 and 1935.

U-1 -- U-2 --
U-3 -- U-4 --
U-5 -- U-6

;General characteristics
* Displacement: surfaced 254 tons, submerged 303 tons, total 381 tons
* Length: overall 40.9 m, pressure hull 27.8 m
* Beam: overall 4.1 m, pressure hull 4 m
* Draft: 3.8 m
* Height: 8.6 m
* Propulsion: Diesel/Electric, 2x MWM RS127S 6 cylinder diesel engines, 700 horsepower (500 kW), 2x SSW PGVV322/26 double acting electric motors, 402 horsepower (300 kW)
* Speed: surfaced 13 knots (24 km/h), submerged 6.9 knots (13 km/h)
* Range: surfaced 2,500 km (1350 nmi) at 8 knots (15 km/h), submerged 55 km (30 nmi) at 4 knots (7 km/h)
* Torpedoes: 5 (3 bow tubes)
* Deck gun: none
* Crew: 22 to 24 men
* Max depth: 150 m (500 ft)

Type IIB

Deutsche Werke AG, of Kiel, built four Type IIBs in 1935 and 1936, Germaniawerft AG, of Kiel, built fourteen in 1935 and 1936, and Flender-Werke AG, of Lübeck, built two between 1938 and 1940, for a total of twenty built.

U-7 -- U-8 --
U-9 -- U-10 --
U-11 -- U-12 --
U-13 -- U-14 --
U-15 -- U-16 --
U-17 -- U-18 --
U-19 -- U-20 --
U-21 -- U-22 --
U-23 -- U-24 --
U-120 -- U-121

General characteristics
* Displacement: surfaced 279 tons, submerged 328 tons, total 414 tons
* Length: overall 42.7 m, pressure hull 28.2 m
* Beam: overall 4.1 m, pressure hull 4 m
* Draft: 3.9 m
* Height: 8.6 m
* Propulsion: Diesel/Electric, 2x MWM RS127S 6 cylinder diesel engines, 700 horsepower (500 kW), 2x SSW PGVV322/26 double acting electric motors, 402 horsepower (300 kW)
* Speed: surfaced 13 knots (24 km/h), submerged 7 knots (13 km/h)
* Range: surfaced 5000 km (3100 miles) at 8 knots (15 km/h), submerged 70 km (43 miles) at 4 knots (7 km/h)
* Torpedoes: 5 (3 bow tubes)
* Deck gun: none
* Crew: 22 to 24 men
* Max depth: 150 m (500 ft)

Type IIC

Deutsche Werke AG, of Kiel built eight Type IICs between 1937 and 1940.

U-56 -- U-57 --
U-58 -- U-59 --
U-60 -- U-61 --
U-62 -- U-63

General characteristics

* Displacement: surfaced 291 tons, submerged 341 tons, total 435 tons
* Length: overall 43.9 m, pressure hull 29.6 m
* Beam: overall 4.1 m, pressure hull 4 m
* Draft: 3.8 m
* Height: 8.4 m
* Propulsion: Diesel/Electric, 2x MWM RS127S 6 cylinder diesel engines, 700 horsepower (500 kW), 2x SSW PGVV322/26 double acting electric motors, 402 horsepower (300 kW)
* Speed: surfaced 12 knots (22 km/h), submerged 7 knots (13 km/h)
* Range: surfaced 6100 km (3800 miles) at 8 knots, submerged 67 km (42 miles) at 4 knots
* Torpedoes: 5 (3 bow tubes)
* Deck gun: none
* Crew: 22 to 24 men
* Max depth: 150 m (500 ft)

Type IID

Deutsche Werke AG, of Kiel built sixteen Type IIDs in 1939 and 1940.

U-137 -- U-138 --
U-139 -- U-140 --
U-141 -- U-142 --
U-143 -- U-144 --
U-145 -- U-146 --
U-147 -- U-148 --
U-149 -- U-150 --
U-151 -- U-152

General characteristics

* Displacement: surfaced 314 tons, submerged 364 tons, total 460 tons
* Length: overall 44 m, pressure hull 29.8 m
* Beam: overall 4.9 m, pressure hull 4 m
* Draft: 3.9 m
* Height: 8.4 m
* Propulsion: Diesel/Electric, 2x MWM RS127S 6 cylinder diesel engines, 700 horsepower (500 kW), 2x SSW PGVV322/26 double acting electric motors, 402 horsepower (300 kW)
* Speed: surfaced 12.7 knots (24 km/h), submerged 7.4 knots (14 km/h)
* Range: surfaced 9000 km (5650 miles) at 8 knots (15 km/h), submerged 90 km (56 miles) at 4 knots (7 km/h)
* Torpedoes: 5 (3 bow tubes)
* Deck gun: none
* Crew: 22 to 24 men
* Max depth: 150 m (500 ft)

Ships in class

See list of German Type II submarines for individual ship details

See also

* List of naval ship classes of Germany
* List of World War II ship classes
* Ingenieurskantoor voor Scheepsbouw

References

* [http://www.dutchsubmarines.com/export/export_ivs.htm Dutch Export Submarines - Ingenieurskantoor voor Scheepsbouw]


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