German submarine U-215
|Ordered:||16 February 1940|
|Laid down:||15 November 1940|
|Launched:||9 October 1941|
|Commissioned:||22 November 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk, 3 July 1942, by HMS Le Tiger|
|Class and type:||Type VIID submarine|
|Height:||9.70 m (31 ft 10 in)|
|Draught:||5 m (16 ft 5 in)|
|Crew:||4 officers, 40 enlisted|
|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. 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.
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. 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).
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). 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.
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.
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.
Summary of raiding history
|Date||Ship Name||Nationality||Tonnage (GRT)||Fate|
|3 July 1942||Alexander Macomb||United States||7,191||Sunk|
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIID boat U-215". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-215". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
- "German U-Boat Sea Mines – TMA, TMB, SMC". www.uboataces.com. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
- Gröner 1991, pp. 66–67.
- "First-ever U-boat found off Canadian coast". www.cba.ca. 13 July 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
- "USATODAY.com – 'Sea Hunters' find deadly U-215".
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-215". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- 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.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIID boat U-215". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- Hofmann, Markus. "U 215". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 – u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- CBC : First-ever U-boat found off Canadian coast
- USA Today Report : 'Sea Hunters' find deadly U-215