German submarine U-205

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-205
Ordered: 23 September 1939
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 634
Laid down: 19 June 1940
Launched: 20 March 1941
Commissioned: 3 May 1941
Fate: Sunk 17 February 1943 by HMS Paladin at 32.56N, 22.01E
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Range:
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) 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: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1][2]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Franz-Georg Reschke,
  • March 1941 – October 1942
  • Friedrich Bürgel
  • August 1942 – February 1943
Operations: Twelve patrols
Victories:
  • One merchant ship sunk (2,623 GRT)
  • One warship ship sunk (5,450 tons)

German submarine U-205 was a Type VIIC U-boat of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 19 June 1940 by the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft yard at Kiel as yard number 634; launched on 20 March 1941; and commissioned on 3 May 1941 under the command of Franz-Georg Reschke.

She was sunk on 17 February 1943 by HMS Paladin at 32°56′N 22°01′E / 32.933°N 22.017°E / 32.933; 22.017.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-205 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[3] She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[3] When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-205 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[3]

Service history[edit]

Part of the 3rd U-boat Flotilla, U-205 carried out two patrols in the North Atlantic. Joining 29th U-boat Flotilla, she carried out a further ten patrols in the Mediterranean.

1st patrol[edit]

U-205's first patrol began when she left Trondheim on 24 July 1941; she travelled through the gap between Greenland and Iceland (the Denmark Strait) and docked at Brest in occupied France, on 23 August 1941.

2nd patrol[edit]

Leaving Lorient on 23 September 1941, U-205 was attacked and damaged by aircraft on 27 September and returned to port, arriving in Lorient on 2 October 1941.

3rd patrol[edit]

On 3 November 1941 U-205 left Lorient and joined Wolfpack Arnauld. Breaking through the Gibraltar barrage, U-205 joined the 29th U-Flotilla in La Spezia on 10 December 1941.

4th patrol[edit]

U-205 left La Spezia on 5 January 1942 and returned on 10 February.

5th patrol[edit]

Having left La Spezia on 17 March, U-205 encountered the fleet tanker RFA Slavol on her way to Tobruk on 26 March 1942 and sank her with a torpedo from her stern torpedo tube after a four-torpedo-screen failed to generate any hits.

6th patrol[edit]

Saling from La Spezia on 6 May 1942, U-205 reached Salamis on 8 June 1942.

7th patrol[edit]

On the return leg, U-205 successfully attacked the British light cruiser HMS Hermione on 16 June 1942, guarding convoy MW-11. The U-boat docked in La Spezia on 23 June.

8th patrol[edit]

On 3 August 1942, U-205 sailed from La Spezia for Pula, arriving there on 10 September 1942.

9th patrol[edit]

Pola, 20 October 1942 – La Spezia, 19 November 1942

10th patrol[edit]

La Spezia, 20 November 1942 – Pola, 24 November 1942

11th patrol[edit]

Pola, 12 January 1943 – Salamis 26 January 1943

Last patrol and sinking[edit]

Leaving Salamis on 2 February 1943, U-205 was manoeuvering to attack a convoy off Apollonia, Cyrenaica on 17 February 1943 when she was spotted by a Bristol Blenheim bomber of the South African Air Force and attacked by British destroyer HMS Paladin at 32°56′N 22°1′E / 32.933°N 22.017°E / 32.933; 22.017Coordinates: 32°56′N 22°1′E / 32.933°N 22.017°E / 32.933; 22.017. Forced to surface by depth charges, U-205's crew abandoned ship after opening the sea vents. A boarding party from HMS Paladin managed to salvage documents and radio equipment. A second warship, HMS Gloxinia, attempted to tow the still-floating submarine to the beach, but failed. U-205 sank about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) off shore.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-205 took part in one wolfpack, namely.

  • Arnauld (5–18 November 1941)

Aftermath[edit]

U-205 is widely believed to be the submarine with the erroneous number U-307 in Peter Keeble's book Ordeal by Water, in which he describes his dive to recover encrypting equipment from a sunken U-boat.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Displacement Fate[4]
26 March 1942 RFA Slavol  Royal Fleet Auxiliary 2,623 Sunk
16 June 1942 HMS Hermione  Royal Navy 5,450 Sunk

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-205". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrols by U-205". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-205". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4. 
  • Jak Mallmann Showell, Enigma U-boats, 2000, p. 95.

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-205". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 205". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 9 December 2014.