German submarine U-217
|Ordered:||16 February 1940|
|Laid down:||30 January 1941|
|Launched:||15 November 1941|
|Commissioned:||31 January 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk, 5 June 1943, by US carrier-borne aircraft|
|Class and type:||Type VIID submarine|
|Height:||9.70 m (31 ft 10 in)|
|Draught:||5.01 m (16 ft 5 in)|
|Crew:||4 officers, 40 enlisted|
|Victories:||3 commercial ships sunk (10,651 GRT)|
As one of the six German Type VIID submarines, U-217 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-217 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 between forty-four.
She was laid down on 30 January 1941, launched on 15 November and commissioned on 31 January 1942, U-217 served with the 5th U-boat Flotilla in a training capacity before moving on to the operational 9th flotilla on 1 August 1942 until she was sunk. U-217 completed three patrols and sank three ships totalling 10,651 gross register tons (GRT).
She was sunk on 5 June 1943 in the mid-Atlantic with all hands by depth charges dropped by Grumman TBF Avengers from the escort carrier Bogue (CVE-9). The wreck lies at Coordinates: , near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
U-217 took part in two wolfpacks, namely.
- Pirat (30 July – 3 August 1942)
- Trutz (1–5 June 1943)
Summary of raiding history
|19 August 1942||Sea Gull D||United Kingdom||75||Sunk|
|14 December 1942||Etna||Sweden||2,619||Sunk|
|3 February 1943||Rhexnor||United Kingdom||7,181||Sunk|
- 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.
- Bishop, Chris (2006). Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939-45. London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-904687-96-2.
- 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.