German submarine U-215

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-215
Ordered: 16 February 1940
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 647
Laid down: 15 November 1940
Launched: 9 October 1941
Commissioned: 22 November 1941
Fate: Sunk, 3 July 1942, by HMS Le Tiger
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIID submarine
Displacement:
  • 965 tonnes (950 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,080 t (1,060 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.38 m (20 ft 11 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.70 m (31 ft 10 in)
Draught: 5 m (16 ft 5 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:
  • 11,200 nmi (20,700 km; 12,900 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 69 km (37 nmi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 200 m (660 ft)
  • Crush depth: 220–240 m (720–790 ft)
Crew: 4 officers, 40 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1][2]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • K.Kapt. Fritz Hoeckner
  • 22 November 1941 – 3 July 1942
Operations: one patrol: 9 June – 3 July 1942
Victories: One commercial ship sunk (7,191 GRT)

German submarine U-215 was a Type VIID mine-laying U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was one of six U-boats of her kind, equipped with special vertical tubes that launched the mines.[3] Her keel was laid down 15 November 1940 by Germaniawerft in Kiel as yard number 647. The U-boat was launched on 9 October 1941 and commissioned on 22 November with Kapitänleutnant Fritz Hoeckner in command.

Design[edit]

As one of the six German Type VIID submarines, U-215 had a displacement of 965 tonnes (950 long tons) when at the surface and 1,080 tonnes (1,060 long tons) while submerged.[4] She had a total length of 76.90 m (252 ft 4 in), a pressure hull length of 59.80 m (196 ft 2 in), a beam of 6.38 m (20 ft 11 in), a height of 9.70 m (31 ft 10 in), and a draught of 5.01 m (16 ft 5 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 supercharged four-stroke, six-cylinder 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 460/8-276 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 shaft horsepower (760 PS; 560 kW) 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).[4]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 16–16.7 knots (29.6–30.9 km/h; 18.4–19.2 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph).[4] When submerged, the boat could operate for 69 nautical miles (128 km; 79 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 11,200 nautical miles (20,700 km; 12,900 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-215 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), twelve torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun, in addition to five mine tubes with fifteen SMA mines. The boat had a complement of 49.[4]

Service history[edit]

U-215 was sunk in the summer of 1942 by British warship HMS Le Tiger while on a mission to lay mines in Boston Harbor after attacking and sinking the U.S. liberty ship Alexander Macomb, part of an allied convoy. The wreck was not discovered until 2004.[5]

Wreck Site[edit]

She now lies 270 feet (82 m) beneath the surface of the Atlantic, 150 nautical miles (280 km; 170 mi) off the coast of New England and south of Nova Scotia, just across international waters into Canadian territory. 4 of her 5 vertical tubes are still sealed, her hatches are still sealed, and she is (presumably) still airtight with the remains of 49 German sailors entombed within.[6]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage (GRT) Fate[7]
3 July 1942 Alexander Macomb  United States 7,191 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIID boat U-215". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-215". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  3. ^ "German U-Boat Sea Mines – TMA, TMB, SMC". www.uboataces.com. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 66–67.
  5. ^ "First-ever U-boat found off Canadian coast". www.cba.ca. 13 July 2004. Retrieved 2011-05-31. 
  6. ^ "USATODAY.com – 'Sea Hunters' find deadly U-215". 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-215". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 29 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. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°28′47.9″N 66°22′47.9″W / 41.479972°N 66.379972°W / 41.479972; -66.379972