German submarine U-209

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U 209 - Spouštění na vodu.jpg
Launching of U-209
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-209
Ordered: 16 October 1939
Yard number: 638
Laid down: 28 November 1940
Launched: 28 August 1941
Commissioned: 11 October 1941
Fate: Missing since 7 May 1943, possible diving accident
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement: 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 PS (2,800–3,200 bhp; 2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 PS (740 shp; 550 kW) and max rpm: 296.
Speed: 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
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: 44–52 officers and ratings
Service record[2][3]
Part of: 6th U-boat Flotilla, (Training)
(11 October 1941–28 February 1942)
6th U-boat Flotilla, Front (Operational) Boat
(1 March–30 June 1942)
11th U-boat Flotilla, Front (Operational)
(1 July–28 February 1943)
1st U-boat Flotilla, Front (Operational) boat
(1 March–7 May 1943)
Commanders: Kptlt. Heinrich Brodda,
(11 October–7 May 1943)
Operations: Seven patrols
1st patrol:
15 March–1 April 1942
2nd patrol:
7–20 April 1942
3rd patrol:
16 May–2 June 1942
4th patrol:
17–28 July 1942
5th patrol:
16 May–1 September 1942
6th patrol:
6 November–10 December 1942
7th patrol:
6–7 April 1943
Victories: Four commercial ships sunk (1,356 GRT)

German submarine U-209 was a Type VIIC U-boat of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 28 November 1940 by the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft yard at Kiel as yard number 638, launched on 28 August 1941 and commissioned on 11 November under the command of Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Brodda.

She was lost in May 1943, possibly due to a diving accident.

Operational career[edit]

U-209 began her service career as part of the 6th U-boat Flotilla for training, she then commenced operations with the same organization on 1 March 1942. She was re-assigned to the 11th flotilla on 1 July 1942. She was with the 1st flotilla until her loss on 7 May 1943. She carried out a total of seven patrols and was a member of nine wolfpacks.

1st patrol[edit]

She made the short journey from Kiel to the German island of Helgoland and then departed on her first patrol on 15 March 1942. She headed north, into the Norwegian Sea, then east. The boat was attacked by the armed trawler HMS Blackfly on the 28th ; but conditions were so bad that the ship could not use her armament because it was frozen. Depth charges were little better, at least one malfunctioned.

The submarine also came under attack from two minesweepers, HMS Hussar (J826) and Gossamer in the Barents Sea on the 29th. U-209 escaped.

2nd patrol[edit]

The boat's second sortie began in the Norwegian port of Kirkenes in the far north of the country. She patrolled the vicinity of Bear Island,[4] then sailed south and southwest, before docking in Bergen, also in Norway.

3rd and 4th patrols[edit]

Her third and fourth patrols, in June and July 1942, covered the Norwegian Sea and the passage between Bear Island and Svalbard, it saw her depart Bergen and return to Kirkenes.

5th patrol[edit]

The boat attacked a small Soviet convoy on 17 August 1942, near Mateev Island in the eastern Barents Sea. She sank the Komiles, the Komsolec, SH-500 and P-4, (two tugs and two barges), with her gun.

6th and 7th patrols and loss[edit]

Patrol number six, at 35 days, was her longest. It took her northwest of Bear Island.

By now the boat had returned to Kiel, from where she departed for the last time on 6 April 1943. She was attacked by a British B-17 Flying Fortress of No. 220 Squadron RAF southeast of Iceland, on the 16th, sustaining damage to her periscope. She was also attacked by a Canadian PBY Catalina (known as a Canso) of No. 5 Squadron RCAF on 4 May. The damage incurred included her radio transmitter, so a message to Bdu (U-boat headquarters), was sent via U-954. U-209 was recalled, but she was never heard from again; her loss might be explained by a diving accident. Whatever the reason, forty-six men died; there were no survivors.


U-209 was originally thought to have been sunk by the frigate HMS Jed and the sloop HMS Sennen on 19 May 1943. This attack was responsible for the demise of U-954. U-209 was nicknamed "Brno" by the south Moravian town in where the crew took a holiday in February 1943. They were invited by SS-Sturmbannführer Konrad Nussbaum, chief of Brno Kripo, whose son was one of the crew. Brno municipality received as a gift a model of the submarine (photos exist) but the model itself was probably lost after the end of WWII.


U-209 took part in nine wolfpacks, namely.

  • Ziethen (23–29 March 1942)
  • Eiswolf (29–31 March 1942)
  • Robbenschlag (7–14 April 1942)
  • Blutrausch (15 April 1942)
  • Greif (16–29 May 1942)
  • Boreas (19 November - 7 December 1942)
  • Meise (25–27 April 1943)
  • Star (27 April - 4 May 1943)
  • Fink (4–6 May 1943)

Summary of raiding career[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage (GRT) Fate[5]
17 August 1942 Komiles  Soviet Union 136 Sunk
17 August 1942 Komsolec  Soviet Union 220 Sunk
17 August 1942 P-4  Soviet Union 500 Sunk
17 August 1942 Sh-500  Soviet Union 500 Sunk


  1. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-209". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-209". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Times Atlas of the World" - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 24
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-209". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 9 December 2014. 209/html


  • 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. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°00′N 38°00′W / 52.000°N 38.000°W / 52.000; -38.000