German submarine U-106 (1940)

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-106.
A Type IXB submarine, believed to be U-106, under attack by a Sunderland flying boat
A Type IXB submarine, believed to be U-106, under attack by a Sunderland flying boat
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-106
Ordered: 24 May 1938
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 969
Laid down: 26 November 1939
Launched: 17 June 1940
Commissioned: 24 September 1940
Homeport: Lorient, France
Fate: Sunk, 2 August 1943, northwest of Spain, by British and Australian aircraft[1]
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: Type IXB submarine
Displacement: 1,051 t (1,034 long tons) surfaced
1,178 t (1,159 long tons) submerged
Length: 76.5 m (251 ft) o/a
58.75 m (192 ft 9 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draft: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
Speed: 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
Range: 12,000 nmi (22,000 km; 14,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
64 nmi (119 km; 74 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Armament:
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine:
2nd U-boat Flotilla
Commanders:
Operations: Ten patrols
1st patrol:
4 January–10 February 1941
2nd patrol:
26 February–17 June 1941
3rd patrol:
11 August–11 September 1941
4th patrol:
21 October–22 November 1941
5th patrol:
3 January–22 February 1942
6th patrol:
15 April–29 June 1942
7th patrol:
25–29 July 1942
8th patrol:
22 September–26 December 1942
9th patrol:
17 February–4 April 1943
10th patrol:
28 Julyl–2 August 1943
Victories: Sank 22 ships totalling 138,581 GRT
Damaged two ships totalling 12,634 GRT
Damaged one auxiliary warship of 8,246 GRT
Damaged the battleship HMS Malaya

German submarine U-106 was a Type IXB U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine that operated during World War II. She was laid down on 26 November 1939 at DeSchiMAG AG Weser in Bremen as yard number 969, launched on 17 June 1940 and commissioned on 24 September. She was armed with six torpedo tubes and a 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun. U-106 was assigned to the 2nd U-boat Flotilla on 24 September 1940, in which she would serve for nearly three years.

U-106 was one of the most successful German submarines of World War II. She completed 10 wartime patrols and sank 22 ships totalling 138,581 gross register tons (GRT). She also damaged two ships totalling 12,634 GRT, one auxiliary warship of 8,246 GRT and the battleship HMS Malaya. U-106 helped to catalyze Mexico's entry into World War II on the side of the Allies by sinking one of two oil tankers; the Faja de Oro. (The other was the Potrero del Llano, sunk by U-564).

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-106 departed Kiel for her first patrol on 4 January 1941 which was to be conducted in the Atlantic Ocean. Her route included negotiating the gap between the Faroe and Shetland Islands. She sailed north-west of Rockall and sank two ships: Zealandic on the 17th and Sesostris on the 29th. There were no survivors from either vessel.

The boat docked in Lorient in occupied France on 10 February.

2nd patrol[edit]

For her second patrol, U-106 departed Lorient on 26 February 1941. She would not return to France until 17 June, 112 days later. The boat headed for the coast of west Africa. Her first victim on this patrol was Memnon, which went to the bottom 200 nmi (370 km; 230 mi) west of Cape Blanco, French West Africa on 11 March. She sank seven more ships and damaged two others, including the battleship HMS Malaya in the vicinity of Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands. One of the seven, Eastlea, had her back broken and sank within ten minutes.

3rd patrol[edit]

Sortie number three and the U-boat failed to find any targets. She had left Lorient on 11 August 1941 and returned there a month later (on 11 September), having covered the ocean west of Ireland, also west of the Azores and from north of that island chain to the Portuguese mainland.

On 2 Sept., the submarine met the German freighter Anneliese Essberger at 37 degrees 55 minutes N and 37 degrees 24 minutes W. She then escorted the freighter until 8 Sept., when they reached western cape of the Spanish north coast. The freighter then continued onwards to Bordeaux.[3]:100–105

4th patrol[edit]

Any success on the boat's fourth sally was marred on 23 October 1941 by the discovery that an entire watch, (four men), had been washed overboard in heavy seas on the western edge of the Bay of Biscay. U-106 sank one ship, King Malcolm on the 28th and damaged one other, USS Salinas, on the 30th. She was then hunted for nine hours and seriously damaged by the escort vessels of convoy ON-28.

5th patrol[edit]

For her fifth patrol, U-106 sailed along the eastern coast of the United States and sank five ships, during the so-called "Second Happy Time". Amongst them were the SS Empire Wildebeeste and the tanker SS Rochester, the latter ship being dispatched with her 10.5 cm deck gun. She had left Lorient on 3 January 1942 and returned on 22 February.

6th patrol[edit]

Patrol number six also benefitted from a change of operational area to the Gulf of Mexico, where the boat sank five more ships and damaged a sixth. One of them, the tanker Faja de Oro, on 21 May 1942, was the second ship to be sunk which helped to facilitate Mexico's declaration of war on Germany on 1 June.

7th and 8th patrols[edit]

U-106 was attacked by a Vickers Wellington of No. 311 Squadron RAF in the Bay of Biscay on 27 July 1942. The first watch officer (1WO) was killed; the commander was wounded, forcing the boat to put about, returning to Lorient on the 29th, just five days after setting out.

.The submarine crossed the Atlantic once more, sinking Waterton in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on 11 October 1942.

9th patrol[edit]

This foray was comparatively uneventful, starting on 17 February 1943 and finishing on 4 April. No ships were attacked.

10th patrol[edit]

The U-boat's 10th and final patrol began on 28 July 1943; she was sunk on 2 August of that year off northern Spain, after being damaged by a Wellington of No. 407 Squadron RCAF.

Fate[edit]

U-106 tried to join E-boats (German surface torpedo boats), but was spotted by a Sunderland flying boat of 228 Squadron flown by Flying Officer Reader Hanbury. Although the anti-aircraft guns on U-106 fended off the British machine, U-106 was finished off by another Sunderland of No. 461 Squadron RAAF flown by Flight Lieutenant A. F. Clarke.[1]

According to the Allied crews and photographs taken of the attack, the U-Boat partially exploded, before sinking vertically.[4] 22 of U-106‍ '​s 48-man crew were killed. 26 survived the attack and were later picked up by German E-boats.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-106 took part in three wolfpacks, namely.

  • Raubritter (1–15 November 1941)
  • Westwall (1–16 December 1942)
  • Unverzagt (12–22 March 1943)

Summary of raiding career[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Convoy Fate Location Deaths
17 January 1941 Zealandic  United Kingdom 10,578 Sunk 58°28′N 20°43′W / 58.467°N 20.717°W / 58.467; -20.717 73
29 January 1941 Sesostris  Egypt 2,962 SC-19 Sunk 56°00′N 15°23′W / 56.000°N 15.383°W / 56.000; -15.383 Unknown
11 March 1941 Memnon  United Kingdom 7,506 Sunk 20°41′N 21°00′W / 20.683°N 21.000°W / 20.683; -21.000 5
16 March 1941 Almkerk  Netherlands 6,810 Sunk 13°21′N 20°25′W / 13.350°N 20.417°W / 13.350; -20.417 0
17 March 1941 Andalusian  United Kingdom 3,082 SL-68 Sunk 14°33′N 21°06′W / 14.550°N 21.100°W / 14.550; -21.100 0
17 March 1941 Tapanoeli  Netherlands 7,034 SL-68 Sunk 15°56′N 20°49′W / 15.933°N 20.817°W / 15.933; -20.817 0
20 March 1941 HMS Malaya  Royal Navy 31,100 SL-68 Damaged 20°02′N 25°50′W / 20.033°N 25.833°W / 20.033; -25.833 Unknown
20 March 1941 Meekerk  Netherlands 7,995 SL-68 Damaged 20°00′N 26°00′W / 20.000°N 26.000°W / 20.000; -26.000 Unknown
24 March 1941 Eastlea  United Kingdom 4,267 Sunk 16°18′N 22°05′W / 16.300°N 22.083°W / 16.300; -22.083 37
30 May 1941 Silveryew  United Kingdom 6,373 Sunk 16°42′N 25°29′W / 16.700°N 25.483°W / 16.700; -25.483 1
31 May 1941 Clan Macdougall  United Kingdom 6,843 Sunk 16°50′N 25°10′W / 16.833°N 25.167°W / 16.833; -25.167 2
6 June 1941 Sacramento Valley  United Kingdom 4,573 OB-324 Sunk 17°10′N 30°10′W / 17.167°N 30.167°W / 17.167; -30.167 3
28 October 1941 King Malcolm  United Kingdom 5,120 SC-50 Sunk 51°28′N 28°30′W / 51.467°N 28.500°W / 51.467; -28.500 38
30 October 1941 USS Salinas  United States Navy 8,246 ON-28 Damaged 46°56′N 37°46′W / 46.933°N 37.767°W / 46.933; -37.767 Unknown
24 January 1942 Empire Wildebeeste  United Kingdom 5,631 ON-53 Sunk 39°30′N 59°54′W / 39.500°N 59.900°W / 39.500; -59.900 9
26 January 1942 Traveller  United Kingdom 3,963 Sunk 40°00′N 61°45′W / 40.000°N 61.750°W / 40.000; -61.750 52
30 January 1942 Rochester  United States 6,836 Sunk 37°10′N 73°58′W / 37.167°N 73.967°W / 37.167; -73.967 4
3 February1942 Amerikaland  Sweden 15,355 Sunk 36°36′N 74°10′W / 36.600°N 74.167°W / 36.600; -74.167 5
6 February 1942 Opawa  United Kingdom 10,354 Sunk 38°21′N 61°13′W / 38.350°N 61.217°W / 38.350; -61.217 56
5 May 1942 Lady Drake  Canada 7,985 Sunk 35°43′N 64°43′W / 35.717°N 64.717°W / 35.717; -64.717 12
21 May 1942 SS Faja de Oro  Mexico 6,067 Sunk 23°30′N 84°24′W / 23.500°N 84.400°W / 23.500; -84.400 10
26 May 1942 Carrabulle  United States 5,030 Sunk 26°18′N 89°21′W / 26.300°N 89.350°W / 26.300; -89.350 22
27 May 1942 Atenas  United States 4,639 Damaged 25°50′N 89°05′W / 25.833°N 89.083°W / 25.833; -89.083 0
28 May 1942 Mentor  United Kingdom 7,383 Sunk 24°11′N 87°02′W / 24.183°N 87.033°W / 24.183; -87.033 4
1 June 1942 Hampton Roads  United States 2,689 Sunk 22°45′N 85°13′W / 22.750°N 85.217°W / 22.750; -85.217 5
11 October 1942 Waterton  United Kingdom 2,140 BS-31 Sunk 47°07′N 59°54′W / 47.117°N 59.900°W / 47.117; -59.900 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kemp 1999, p. 138.
  2. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 105-7.
  3. ^ Giese, O., 1994, Shooting the War, Annapolis: United States Naval Institute, ISBN 1557503079
  4. ^ Bowyer 1977, p. 46.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bishop, C. Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939–45. Amber Books, 2006.
  • Bowyer, Chaz. Coastal Command at War. Ian Allan. 1979, ISBN 0-7110-0980-5
  • 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. 
  • Evans, J. The Sunderland: Flying Boat Queen Paterchurch Publications, 2004 ISBN 1-870745-13-2
  • 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. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]