German submarine U-26 (1936)

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U-25, the other Type IA U-boat
Nazi Germany
Name: U-26
Ordered: 17 December 1934
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 904
Laid down: 1 August 1935
Launched: 14 March 1936
Commissioned: 6 May 1936
Fate: Scuttled 1 July 1940, southwest of Ireland. 48 survivors[1]
General characteristics [2]
Length: 72.39 m (237 ft 6 in)
Beam: 6.21 m (20 ft 4 in)
Draught: 4.30 m (14 ft 1 in)
  • 7,900 nmi (14,600 km; 9,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 78 nmi (144 km; 90 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 200 m (660 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 39 enlisted
Service record
Part of:
Identification codes: M 07 314
Operations: Six patrols
  • 11 ships sunk for a total of 48.645 GRT
  • One ship damaged for a total of 4,871 GRT
  • One warship damaged for a total of 530 tons

German submarine U-26 was one of the two Type IA ocean-going U-boats produced by Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. Constructed in Bremen, U-26 was commissioned in May 1936. She experienced a short, but successful combat career, sinking eleven ships.

Until 1940, U-26 was primarily used as training vessel and for propaganda purposes by the German government. During her trials it was found that the Type IA submarine was difficult to handle due to her poor stability and slow dive rate.

In early 1940, the boat was called into combat duty due to the shortage of available submarines. U-26 participated in six war patrols, sinking eleven ships and badly damaging one other. On her first patrol laying mines, U-26 sank three merchant ships and damaged one British warship. On her second war patrol it became the first U-boat during World War II to enter the Mediterranean Sea. U-26 participated in three other successful patrols, sinking four additional merchant ships.

Construction history[edit]

Laid down by DeSchiMAG AG Weser in Bremen as yard number 904 on 1 August 1935, U-26 was launched on 14 March 1936. She was commissioned on 6 May with Kapitänleutnant Werner Hartmann in command.

Operational history[edit]

U-26 carried out six patrols between August 1939 and July 1940, during which she sank or damaged 12 ships.


U-26 under attack by a Sunderland flying boat on 1 July 1940.

The boat was scuttled southwest of Ireland after being badly damaged by depth charges dropped by the British Flower-class corvette HMS Gladiolus and an Australian Sunderland flying boat of No. 10 Squadron RAAF. The crew (48 men), all survived.

In fiction[edit]

The U-boat in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark has the number U-26.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
15 September 1939 Alex van Opstal  Belgium 5,965 Sunk (mine)
7 October 1939 Binnendijk  Netherlands 6,873 Sunk (mine)
13 November 1939 Loire  France 4,825 Sunk (mine)
22 November 1939 Elena R.  Greece 4,576 Sunk (mine)
12 February 1940 Nidarholm  Norway 3,482 Sunk
14 February 1940 Langleeford  United Kingdom 4,622 Sunk
15 February 1940 Steinstad  Norway 2,477 Sunk
21 April 1940 Cedarbank  United Kingdom 5,159 Sunk
26 June 1940 Frangoula B. Goulandris  Greece 6,701 Sunk
30 June 1940 Belmoira  Norway 3,214 Sunk
30 June 1940 Merkur  Estonia 1,291 Sunk
1 July 1940 Zarian  United Kingdom 4,871 Damaged


  1. ^ Clay Blair, Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunters 1939-1942, pp. 170-171
  2. ^ Gröner 1991, p. 39.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-26". U-boat Successes - German U-boats of WWII - 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. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • 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. 
  • Williamson, Gordon (2005). Wolf Pack: The Story of the U-Boat in World War II. Osprey. 

External links[edit]