German submarine U-217

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-217
Ordered: 16 February 1940
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 649
Laid down: 30 January 1941
Launched: 15 November 1941
Commissioned: 31 January 1942
Fate: Sunk, 5 June 1943, by US carrier-borne aircraft
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: 5.01 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 nmi (128 km; 79 mi) 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:
  • Kptlt. Kurt Reichenbach-Klinke
  • 31 January 1942 – 5 June 1943
Operations:
  • Three:
  • 1st patrol: 14 July – 16 October 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 24 November 1942 – 23 February 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 19 April – 5 June 1943
Victories: 3 commercial ships sunk (10,651 GRT)

German submarine U-217 was a Type VIID mine-laying U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Design[edit]

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.[3] 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).[3]

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).[3] 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.[3]

Service history[edit]

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 30°18′N 042°50′W / 30.300°N 42.833°W / 30.300; -42.833Coordinates: 30°18′N 042°50′W / 30.300°N 42.833°W / 30.300; -42.833, near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-217 took part in two wolfpacks, namely.

  • Pirat (30 July – 3 August 1942)
  • Trutz (1–5 June 1943)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate
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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIID boat U-217". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-217". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 66–67.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIID boat U-217". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 217". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 – u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 30 January 2015.