German submarine U-196
|Ordered:||4 November 1940|
|Builder:||AG Weser, Bremen|
|Laid down:||10 June 1941|
|Launched:||24 April 1942|
|Commissioned:||11 September 1942|
|Status:||Missing since 12 December 1944|
|Class and type:||Type IXD2 submarine|
|Height:||10.20 m (33.5 ft)|
|Draught:||5.40 m (17.7 ft)|
|Test depth:||Calculated crush depth: 230 m (750 ft)|
|Complement:||55 – 64|
|Victories:||Three commercial ships sunk (17,739 GRT)|
German submarine U-196 was a Type IXD2 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 10 June 1941 at the AG Weser yard in Bremen, launched on 24 April 1942, and commissioned on 11 September 1942 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat. After training with the 4th U-boat Flotilla at Stettin, U-196 was transferred to the 12th flotilla for front-line service on 1 April 1943.
German Type IXD2 submarines were considerably larger than the original Type IXs. U-196 had a displacement of 1,610 tonnes (1,580 long tons) when at the surface and 1,799 tonnes (1,771 long tons) while submerged. The U-boat had a total length of 87.58 m (287 ft 4 in), a pressure hull length of 68.50 m (224 ft 9 in), a beam of 7.50 m (24 ft 7 in), a height of 10.20 m (33 ft 6 in), and a draught of 5.35 m (17 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines plus two MWM RS34.5S six-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines for cruising, producing a total of 9,000 metric horsepower (6,620 kW; 8,880 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS; 750 kW) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.85 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 200 metres (660 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 20.8 knots (38.5 km/h; 23.9 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate for 121 nautical miles (224 km; 139 mi) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 12,750 nautical miles (23,610 km; 14,670 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-196 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 24 torpedoes, two 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 240 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 with 2575 rounds as well as two 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns with 8100 rounds. The boat had a complement of fifty-five.
Under Kentrat's command she completed the longest patrol made by a submarine during World War II, leaving Kiel on 13 March 1943, and returning to Bordeaux on 23 October 1943, spending 225 days at sea. During that time she sailed all the way around the coast of South Africa and sank two British merchant ships in the Indian Ocean.
U-196 was transferred to the 33rd U-boat Flotilla on 1 October 1944. On 30 November, U-196 left Batavia (Java, in Indonesia), now commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Werner Striegler. After departure U-196 was reassigned to refuel a sister U-boat in the Indian Ocean, but the rendezvous never took place. Efforts to contact U-196 during early December 1944 failed to elicit a response.
Her wreck has never been found, the cause of U-196's sinking remains unknown. It has been suggested that she struck an Allied mine laid by the British submarine HMS Porpoise. However, Porpoise did not lay the mines until 9 December 1944.
Oberleutnant zur See Dr. Ing. Heinz Haake of U-196 is buried in a graveyard at Bogor, Java with members of the World War I German East Asia Squadron at Arca Domas, on the slopes of Mount Pangrango, Java. His date of death is listed on a memorial as 30 November 1944, the day U-196 sailed on her last voyage.
Summary of raiding history
|11 May 1943||Nailsea Meadow||United Kingdom||4,962||Sunk|
|3 August 1943||City of Oran||United Kingdom||7,323||Sunk|
|9 July 1944||Shahzada||United Kingdom||5,454||Sunk|
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