German submarine U-229

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-229
Ordered: 7 December 1940
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 659
Laid down: 3 November 1941
Launched: 20 August 1942
Commissioned: 3 October 1942
Fate: Sunk, 22 September 1943[1] by a British warship
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 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:
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[2][3]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Robert Schetelig
  • 3 October 1942 – 22 September 1943
Operations:
  • Three:
  • 1st patrol: 20 February – 17 April 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 11 May – 7 June 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 31 August – 22 September 1943
Victories:
  • Two commercial ships sunk (8,352 GRT)
  • One commercial ship damaged (3,670 GRT)

German submarine U-229 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

The submarine was laid down on 3 November 1941 at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft yard at Kiel as yard number 659, launched on 20 August 1942, and commissioned on 3 October under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Robert Schetelig.[2]

After training with the 5th U-boat Flotilla at Kiel, U-229 was transferred to the 6th U-boat Flotilla, (which was based at Saint-Nazaire on the French Atlantic coast), on 1 March 1943, for front-line service. In three war patrols the U-boat sank two merchant ships, totalling 8,352 gross register tons (GRT) and damaged another of 3,670 GRT.[2]

She was sunk by a British warship in September 1943.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-228 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[4] 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).[4]

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).[4] 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-228 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.[4]

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-229 left Kiel on 20 February 1942. She crossed the North Sea, passed through the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and entered the Atlantic Ocean.

She sank the British freighter Nailsea Court - part of convoy SC-121 on 10 March 1943 southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland. In the same attack she damaged the British freighter Coulmore (this ship was salvaged and returned to service in July 1943).

She then sank the Swedish Vaalaren in the same vicinity on 5 April. There were no survivors.

U-229 arrived at St. Nazaire on 17 April.

2nd patrol[edit]

The boat's second foray commenced with her departure from St. Nazaire on 11 May 1943. On the 17th, west of the Bay of Biscay, she was attacked by a Catalina flying boat of No. 190 Squadron RAF. The damage inflicted was such that she was forced to return to France, arriving in Bordeaux on 7 June.

3rd patrol[edit]

Having moved from Bordeaux to La Pallice in early August 1943, the boat departed the latter port on the 31st.

Fate[edit]

She was sunk on 22 September 1943 south-east of Cape Farewell, Greenland in position 54°36′N 36°25′W / 54.600°N 36.417°W / 54.600; -36.417Coordinates: 54°36′N 36°25′W / 54.600°N 36.417°W / 54.600; -36.417, by depth charges, gunfire and ramming by the British destroyer HMS Keppel. All 50 hands were lost.[2]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-229 took part in four wolfpacks, namely.

  • Neuland (4–6 March 1943)
  • Ostmark (6–11 March 1943)
  • Stürmer (11–16 March 1943)
  • Leuthen (15–23 September 1943)

Summary of Raiding History[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate
10 March 1943 Coulmore  United Kingdom 3,670 Damaged
10 March 1943 Nailsea Court  United Kingdom 4,946 Sunk
5 April 1943 Vaalaren  Sweden 3,406 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, pp. 146-147.
  2. ^ a b c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-229". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-229". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. pp. 171, 182, 219, 220. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • 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. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-229". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 229". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.