German submarine U-212
|Ordered:||16 October 1939|
|Laid down:||17 May 1941|
|Launched:||11 March 1942|
|Commissioned:||25 April 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk by British warships on 21 July 1944|
|Class & type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
German submarine U-212 was a Type VIIC U-boat that served with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. Laid down on 17 May 1941 as yard number 641 at F. Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel, she was launched on 11 March 1942 and commissioned on 25 April under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Helmut Vogler.
She was a member of thirteen wolfpacks. She carried out fifteen patrols, but sank only one ship.
She was sunk by British warships in July 1944.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-212 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. 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).
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). 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-212 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 an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
1st to 6th patrols
Her first six patrols were of little interest; being confined to the waters of the north: around Iceland, Greenland, Bear Island and Jan Mayen Island. In that time (September 1942 to July 1943), she was based at Narvik, Bergen and Hammerfest in Norway.
It was during this sortie that the boat could claim her only victim; the Soviet Majakovski, sunk by a mine on 5 August 1943, laid by U-212 on 31 July.
The submarine departed Bergen and Norwegian waters, on 11 October 1943. Passing through the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, she headed for Newfoundland, docking at La Pallice / La Rochelle in occupied France, on 2 December.
Patrol number nine was U-212's longest, at 63 days.
She was strafed by an unidentified Leigh Light - equipped aircraft on 14 January 1944. The 37mm AA gun malfunctioned after just one round was fired and the barrel of a 20mm weapon burst. No damage was inflicted by the air attack on the outbound U-boat.
On 25 February 1944, she met U-549 to transfer some radar detection equipment. Both submarines were caught on the surface by an unidentified Catalina flying boat. U-549 dived immediately, but U-212 chose to put up some resistance before joining her sister. The boat was not damaged.
She was also unsuccessfully attacked by an unidentified B-24 Liberator on 8 March while inbound.
If her ninth foray was her longest, her tenth and thirteenth outings were the shortest - three days each. They both started and finished in La Pallice.
This mission was also cut short; while sailing to interfere with the D-Day landings, the boat was attacked by two 57mm Tsetse cannon-firing Mosquitoes of No. 228 Squadron RAF. U-212 returned to base for repairs on 9 June 1944.
12th, 13th and 14th patrols
15th patrol and loss
Forty-nine men died; there were no survivors.
U-212 took part in thirteen wolfpacks, namely.
- Boreas (22 November – 9 December 1942)
- Eisbär (27 March – 5 April 1943)
- Siegfried (25–27 October 1943)
- Siegfried 1 (27–30 October 1943)
- Körner (30 October – 2 November 1943)
- Tirpitz 1 (2–8 November 1943)
- Eisenhart 4 (9–15 November 1943)
- Schill 3 (18–22 November 1943)
- Rügen (15–26 January 1944)
- Hinein (26 January – 3 February 1944)
- Igel 1 (3–17 February 1944)
- Hai 1 (17–22 February 1944)
- Preussen (22 February – 4 March 1944)
Summary of raiding history
|Date||Ship Name||Nationality||Tonnage (GRT)||Fate|
|5 August 1943||Majakovski||Soviet Union||80||Sunk|
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- 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.
- Bishop, Chris (2006). Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939-45. London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-904687-96-2.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-212". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
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