German submarine U-227

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Career
Name: U-227
Ordered: 7 December 1940
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 657
Laid down: 8 November 1941
Launched: 30 July 1942
Commissioned: 22 August 1942
Fate: Sunk by aircraft, 30 April 1943
General characteristics
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
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: 15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
150 km (81 nmi) 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: 5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
14 × torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun (220 rounds)
Various AA guns
Service record
Part of: 5th U-boat Flotilla
(August 1942–April 1943)
7th U-boat Flotilla
(April 1943)
Commanders: Kptlt. Jürgen Kuntze
(August 1942–April 1943)
Operations: 24–30 April 1943
Victories: None

German submarine U-227 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built for service in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was cursed with repeated bad luck during her brief service life. Her commander was Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Kuntze, an officer with just five months U-boat experience at the time of his promotion.

Construction[edit]

U-227 was built during 1941 and 1942 by the Germaniawerft shipyard in the fleet base at Kiel as 'werk' 657, and was completed in August 1942, in preparation for operations over the coming winter. During the initial working-up period, disaster struck one month into the program, when U-227 ran onto a Royal Air Force mine dropped by an aircraft in Danzig Bay. The crippled boat survived without any serious injuries, but only just managed to limp into port. The mining of coastal waters was a new tactic for the RAF, but one which would reap dividends amongst the port-based German Navy. The repairs to the boat following this misfortune meant that she was not ready for operations until the following April, when Kuntze, having worked his crew hard, embarked on his only war patrol.

Operational patrol[edit]

U-227 lasted a mere six days on her first operational patrol, when she was ordered to proceed with all haste to the North Atlantic Ocean to interdict Canadian convoys. Passing through the 'gap' between the Faroe Islands and Iceland, she was spotted, despite bad weather, by a Hampden bomber of No. 455 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, which swooped onto the submarine and dropped a bomb on her. U-227 went into an uncontrolled dive following the attack and never resurfaced, presumably hitting the sea floor hundreds of feet below, where she still lies with all 49 of her crew.

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References[edit]


Coordinates: 64°40′N 6°40′W / 64.667°N 6.667°W / 64.667; -6.667