German submarine U-211

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-211
Ordered: 16 October 1939
Yard number: 640
Laid down: 29 March 1941
Launched: 15 January 1942
Commissioned: 7 March 1942
Fate: Sunk by a British aircraft, 19 November 1943
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement: 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296.
Speed: 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range: 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44–52 officers and ratings
Armament:
Service record[2][3]
Part of: 5th U-boat Flotilla, (Training)
(7 March–31 August 1942)
9th U-boat Flotilla, Front (Operational) Boat
(1 September–19 November 1943)
Commanders: K.Kapt. Karl Hause
(7 March 1942–19 November 1943)
Operations: Five patrols
1st patrol:
26 August–7 October 1942
2nd patrol:
11 November–29 December 1942
3rd patrol:
13–25 February 1943
4th patrol:
10 May–16 July 1943
5th patrol:
11 October–19 November 1943
Victories: One warship sunk - 1,350 tons; Three commercial ships damaged - 31,883 GRT

German submarine U-211 was a Type VIIC U-boat of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 29 March 1941 by the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft yard at Kiel as yard number 640, launched on 15 January 1942 and commissioned on 7 March under the command of Korvettenkapitän Karl Hause.

A member of eight wolfpacks, she sank one warship of 1,350 tons and damaged three commercial vessels totalling 12,556 gross register tons (GRT) in five patrols.

She was sunk on 19 November 1943 by a British aircraft in the North Atlantic. 54 men died; there were no survivors.

Operational career[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

Having moved to Bergen via Arendal in Norway in August 1942, U-211 '​s first patrol began from the larger Nordic port on 26 August. Her route took her through the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean.

On 12 September, she damaged Empire Moonbeam southwest of Cape Clear, (southern Ireland) with one torpedo and Hektoria with two. Her next victim was Esso Williamsburg which was damaged on the 23rd about 500 nmi (930 km; 580 mi) south of Cape Farewell (Greenland). This ship had already been unsuccessfully attacked the previous day. She was eventually sunk by U-254 on 3 October. There were no survivors.

U-211 arrived at Brest in occupied France on 7 October 1942.

2nd patrol[edit]

The boat left Brest for her second foray on 11 November 1942. On 17 December, as part of Wolf pack Raufbold she sank a British destroyer, HMS Firedrake (H79), which at the time was on escort duty protecting Convoy ON 153, in mid-Atlantic. The ship broke into two pieces on being hit. The bow sank immediately, but the stern remained afloat for some hours. There were 26 survivors out of a ships' company of 196.

The submarine returned to Brest on 29 December.

3rd patrol[edit]

All was well on the boat's third sortie until 20 February 1943 when she was attacked by a US B-24 Liberator west of the Bay of Biscay. The aircraft dropped six depth charges, causing enough damage to bring the patrol to a premature end.

4th patrol[edit]

This time it was the turn of the Royal Air Force. While still outbound, an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley of No. 10 Squadron dropped three depth charges north of Finisterre in Spain on 15 May 1943 - the damage was not so great. Having left Brest on the 10th, U-211 returned on 16 July.

5th patrol and loss[edit]

U-211 moved from Brest to Lorient in September 1943. On 11 October, she began what would turn out to be her final outing. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing west of Portugal, she was sunk by depth charges from a British Vickers Wellington of 179 Squadron east of the Azores.

54 men died; there were no survivors.

Wolf Packs[edit]

U-211 took part in 8 wolfpacks, namely.

  • Vorwärts (3 - 26 September 1942)
  • Panzer (27 November - 11 December 1942)
  • Raufbold (11 - 21 December 1942)
  • Trutz (1 - 16 June 1943)
  • Trutz 3 (16 - 29 June 1943)
  • Geier 2 (30 June - 10 July 1943)
  • Schill (25 October - 16 November 1943)
  • Schill 1 (16 - 19 November 1943)

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate
12 September 1942 Empire Moonbeam  United Kingdom 6,849 Damaged
12 September 1942 Hektoria  United Kingdom 13,797 Damaged
23 September 1942 Esso Williamsburg  United States 11,237 Damaged
17 December 1942 HMS Firedrake  Royal Navy 1,350 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-211". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-211". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
Bibliography
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler). ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. pp. 105, 108. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-211". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U-211". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 9 December 2014.