German submarine U-99 (1940)

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-99.
A model of Günther Prien's VIIB U-47, which was identical to U-99
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-99
Ordered: 15 December 1937
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 593
Laid down: 31 March 1939
Launched: 12 March 1940
Commissioned: 18 April 1940
Fate: Scuttled, 17 March 1941, south-east of Iceland. Three dead and 40 survivors[1]
General characteristics
Type: Type VIIB submarine
Displacement: 753 tonnes (741 long tons) surfaced
857 t (843 long tons) submerged
Length: 66.6 m (218 ft 6 in) o/a
48.8 m (160 ft 1 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 GW, 6-cylinder, 4-stroke F46 diesel engines totalling, 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490.
2 × AEG GU 460/8-276 electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW). Max rpm: 295
Speed: 17.9 knots (33.2 km/h; 20.6 mph) surfaced
8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged
Range: 9,400 nmi (17,400 km; 10,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
90 nmi (170 km; 100 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 220 m (720 ft)
Crush depth: 230–250 m (750–820 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament: 4 × 53.3 cm (21 in) bow torpedo tubes
12 × torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
1 × 8.8 cm (3.5 in) deck gun with 220 rounds
1 × C30 20 mm AA
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine:
7th U-boat Flotilla
Identification codes: M 17 046
Commanders: Otto Kretschmer
Operations: Eleven
1st patrol:
18–25 June 1940
2nd patrol:
27 June–21 July 1940
3rd patrol:
25 July–5 August 1940
4th patrol:
4–25 September 1940
5th patrol:
13 –22 October 1940
6th patrol:
30 October–8 November 1940
7th patrol:
27 November–12 December 1940
8th patrol:
22 February–17 March 1941
Victories: 35 ships sunk (totaling 198,218 gross register tons (GRT))
three auxiliary warships sunk - 46,440 GRT
five ships damaged - 37,965 GRT
one ship taken as a prize - 2,136 GRT

German submarine U-99 was a Type VIIB U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was laid down on 31 March 1939 at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel as 'werk' 593. She was launched on 12 March 1940 under the command of Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer and was assigned to the 7th U-boat Flotilla based in Kiel and later in St Nazaire.

U-99 was one of the most successful German U-boats in the war, sinking 38 ships for a total tonnage of 244,658 GRT of Allied shipping in eight patrols. She damaged five more ships and took one vessel as a prize.

Career[edit]

From April to June 1940, the crew of U-99 were under training, based at Kiel and St. Nazaire.[2]

1st patrol[edit]

On 18 June, U-99 departed Kiel for operations in the North Sea west of Norway.[2] She was attacked by an Arado Ar-96 seaplane from the German battleship Scharnhorst, having been mistaken for a British submarine. Two days later, U-99 was attacked by two aircraft; minor damage was inflicted.[3] She returned to Kiel on 25 June.[2]

2nd patrol[edit]

U-99 departed Wilhelmshaven on 27 June to patrol southwest of Ireland.[2] On 29 June, she was attacked by British aircraft. A crash dive was carried out with the result that the boat hit the seabed, causing some damage which was able to be repaired.[3] During this patrol, U-99 sank six ships.[2] A seventh was captured.[4] An attack on the 5,360 GRT Manistee was called off on 7 July, when the armed merchant ship fired upon the U-boat.[5] On 8 July, over 100 depth charges were dropped by the escorts of Convoy HX 53, but U-99 escaped undamaged.[3] The patrol ended on 21 July.[2]

Painting of Estonian merchant ship SS Merisaar's lifeboat approaching German submarine U-99 in July 1940
Date Ship Flag Tonnage (GRT) Fate
5 July 1940 Magog  Canada 2,053 Sunk
7 July 1940 Bissen  Sweden 1,514 Sunk
Manistee  UK 5,360 Escaped
Sea Glory  UK 1,964 Sunk
8 July 1940 Humber Arm  UK 5,758 Sunk
12 July 1940 Ia  Greece 4,861 Sunk
Merisaar*  Estonia 2,136 Captured
18 July 1940 Woodbury  UK 4,434 Sunk

† Convoy HX 52, ‡ Convoy HX 53, * sunk by German bombing, 15 July 1940

3rd patrol[edit]

On 25 July, U-99 departed Lorient for the North Atlantic. Four ships were sunk and three others damaged.[2] On the 31st, the escorts of Convoy OB 191 dropped 20 depth charges on the boat without effect. Later that evening, a flying boat also attacked her, again without causing any damage.[3] The patrol ended on 5 August.[2]

Date Ship Flag Tonnage (GRT) Fate
28 July 1940 Auckland Star  UK 13,212 Sunk
29 July 1940 Clan Menzies  UK 7,226 Sunk
31 July 1940 Jamaica Progress  UK 5,475 Sunk
Jersey City  UK 6,322 Sunk
2 August 1940 Alexia †, ‡  UK 8,016 Damaged
Lucerna †, ‡  UK 6,556 Damaged
Strinda †, ‡  Norway 10,973 Damaged

† Convoy OB 191, ‡ Damaged

4th patrol[edit]

U-99 departed Lorient on 4 September for the North Atlantic; seven ships were sunk. The patrol ended on the 25th.[2] U-99 was slightly damaged in an air raid on Lorient on 27 September.[3]

Date Ship Flag Tonnage (GRT) Fate
11 September 1940 Albionic  UK 2,468 Sunk
15 September 1940 Kenordoc  Canada 1,780 Sunk
16 September 1940 Lotos  Norway 1,327 Sunk
17 September 1940 Crown Arun  UK 2,372 Sunk
21 September 1940 Baron Blythswood *  UK 3,668 Sunk
Elmbank *  UK 5,156 Sunk
Invershannon*  UK 9,154 Sunk

† Convoy SC 3, ‡ Convoy HX 71, * Convoy HX 72

5th patrol[edit]

On 13 October, U-99 departed Lorient to patrol the North West Approaches. Six ships from Convoy SC 7 were sunk and another was damaged. The patrol ended on 22 October.[2]

Date Ship Flag Tonnage (GRT) Fate
18 October 1940 Empire Miniver  UK 6,055 Sunk
Fiscus  UK 4,815 Sunk
Niritos  Greece 3,854 Sunk
19 October 1940 Clintonia  UK 3,106 Damaged
Empire Brigade  UK 5,154 Sunk
Snefjeld  Norway 1,643 Sunk
Thalia  Greece 5,875 Sunk

6th patrol[edit]

U-99 departed Lorient for the North West Approaches on 30 October 1940; four ships were sunk. The patrol ended on 8 November.[2]

Date Ship Flag Tonnage (GRT) Fate
3 November 1940 Casanare  UK 5,376 Sunk
HMS Laurentic  Royal Navy 18,724 Sunk
4 November 1940 Patroclus  UK 11,314 Sunk
5 November 1940 Scottish Maiden  UK 6,993 Sunk

† Convoy HX 83

7th patrol[edit]

On 27 November, U-99 departed Lorient for the North Atlantic. Four ships were sunk. The patrol ended on 12 December.[2]

Date Ship Flag Tonnage (GRT) Fate
2 December 1940 HMS Forfar (F30)  Royal Navy 16,402 Sunk
Samnanger  Norway 4,276 Sunk
3 December 1940 Conch  UK 8,376 Sunk
7 December 1940 Farmsum  Netherlands 5,237 Sunk

Convoy HX 90, ‡ Convoy OB 252

8th patrol[edit]

U-99 departed Lorient on 22 February 1941 to patrol in the North Atlantic; eight ships were sunk. U-99 was attacked herself, with severe damage inflicted. Kretschmer surrendered and scuttled the submarine with the loss of three lives.[2]

Date Ship Flag Tonnage (GRT) Fate
7 March 1941 Athelbeach  UK 6,568 Sunk
Terje Viken  UK 20,638 Sunk
16 March 1941 Beduin  Norway 8,136 Sunk
Ferm  Norway 6,593 Sunk
Franche-Comté  UK 9,314 Damaged
J. B. White  Canada 7,375 Sunk
Korshamn  Sweden 6,673 Sunk
Venetia  UK 5,728 Sunk

Convoy OB 293, ‡ Convoy HX 112

Fate[edit]

On 17 March 1941, U-99 had just fired the last of her torpedoes and sunk Korshamn when the Watch Officer spotted a destroyer, south-east of Iceland in approximate position 61°N 12°W / 61°N 12°W / 61; -12. He immediately ordered a dive, contrary to Kretschmer's standing orders,[6] but once the boat was under it was quickly fixed on ASDIC and attacked by HMS Walker and Vanoc. U-99 was driven deep by the attack but was nonetheless severely damaged. Kretschmer had no choice but to surface; immediately a barrage of fire greeted the boat. Kretschmer sent a message to Donald Macintyre, Walker's captain, "CAPTAIN TO CAPTAIN. I AM SUNKING [sic] PLEASE RESCUE MY CREW."[7] He then ordered that the boat should be scuttled. 40 crew, including Kretschmer, were rescued to become POWs, while three crewmen lost their lives. Macintyre took Kretschmer's binoculars as a souvenir.[8]

Wolfpack operations[edit]

U-99 operated with the following Wolfpacks during her career:

  • Wolfpack 1 (20 September 1940 - 22 September 1940)
  • Wolfpack 2 (17 October 1940 - 19 October 1940)

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Kemp 1997, p. 69.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "U-99". Ubootwaffe. Retrieved 17 November 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e "U-99". Uboat. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "Merisaar". Uboat. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "HMS Manistee (F104)". Uboat. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Fairbank White 2006, p. 79.
  7. ^ Fairbank White 2006, p. 81.
  8. ^ Fairbank White 2006, p. 82–83.
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. 
  • Fairbank White, David (2006). Bitter Ocean – The dramatic story of the Battle of the Atlantic 1939–1945. Headline Publishing Group. ISBN 9-780-7553-1089-0. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1997). U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]