German submarine U-2322

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-2322
Ordered: 20 September 1943
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Laid down: 22 March 1944
Launched: 30 April 1944
Commissioned: 1 July 1944
Fate: Sunk as a target, 27 November 1945
Class & type: Type XXIII submarine
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine:
4th U-boat Flotilla
32nd U-boat Flotilla
11th U-boat Flotilla
Commanders: Kptlt. Fridtjof Heckel (March 1944–May 1945)
Operations: 2 patrols;
6 February–3 March 1945
4–30 April 1945
Victories: 1 ship sunk for a total of 1,317 gross register tons (GRT)

German submarine U-2322 was a highly advanced Type XXIII U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine in 1944. U-2322 was one of just a few such boats to undertake an operational patrol, and one of only three to undergo two. During these patrols, she succeeded in sinking a single British freighter, one of five ships sunk by this submarine class.

U-2321 was built at Hamburg in just four months, being ready by July 1944. As a prototype of a new class of boats, she was not ready for active service until 1945, as there were numerous engineering difficulties to contend with and the crew had to be trained to manage the new boat and new operational tactics practised and decided on. When she was finally ready for a war patrol in February 1945, it was more as an experiment into the abilities of the boat than a real attempt to damage allied shipping.

War Patrol[edit]

Leaving Horten in Norway on the 6 February, U-2322 proceeded to the East coast of Scotland, particularly in the area of St Abb's Head, where lone coastal shipping sometimes passed, believing that German U-boats would not bother waiting in such a dangerous spot for such insignificant prey. This plan finally worked on the 25 February, when the 1,300 ton coastal cruiser SS Egholm was sunk by a torpedo.[1] This first and only success for U-2322 was achieved in the dark off Holy Island. The rest of this patrol was unsuccessful.

The second patrol, off East Anglia in April was totally fruitless, powerful allied escorts and well-organised convoys effectively cutting off the small U-boats from their potential targets. The only advantage gained in these patrols was that no Type XXIII boat was lost in the North Sea, all losses coming in German waters from indirect sources like accident, bombing raids and naval mines.

When Germany surrendered, U-2322 was at Stavanger in Norway, from where it sailed to Loch Ryan in Scotland for disposal in Operation Deadlight. Towed out to sea on the 27 November, the unmaintained and rusting boat was destroyed as a naval gunnery target.

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
25 February 1945 Egholm  United Kingdom 1,317 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes
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. 
  • 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. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

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