German submarine U-180

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from U-180)
Jump to: navigation, search
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-180
Ordered: 28 May 1940
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 1020
Laid down: 25 February 1941
Launched: 10 December 1941
Commissioned: 16 May 1942
Fate: Sunk, 23 August 1944
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Type IXD submarine
Displacement: 1,610 t (1,580 long tons) surfaced
1,799 t (1,771 long tons) submerged
Length: 87.58 m (287 ft 4 in) overall
68.5 m (224 ft 9 in) pressure hull
Beam: 7.5 m (24 ft 7 in) overall
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 10.2 m (33 ft 6 in)
Draft: 5.35 m (17 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × Germaniawerft F46 supercharged 6-cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 PS (4,340 shp; 3,236 kW)
2 × SSW 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 PS (986 shp; 735 kW)
Speed: 20.8 knots (38.5 km/h; 23.9 mph) surfaced
6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph) submerged
Range: 12,750 nmi (23,610 km; 14,670 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
213 nmi (394 km; 245 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 55 to 63
Service record[2]
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(16 May 1942–31 January 1943)
12th U-boat Flotilla
(1 February–1 November 1943, and 1 April–23 August 1944)
Identification codes: M 44 013
  • F.Kapt. Werner Musenberg
    (16 May 1942–4 January 1944)
  • Oblt.z.S.d.R. Harald Lange
    (October–7 November 1943)
  • Oblt.z.S. Rolf Riesen
    (2 April–23 August 1944)
Operations: Two
1st patrol:
9 February–3 July 1943
2nd patrol:
20–23 August 1944
Victories: Two commercial ships sunk (13,298 GRT)

German submarine U-180 was a Type IXD1 transport U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine which served in World War II. Her keel was laid down on 25 February 1941 at the DeSchiMAG AG Weser yard in Bremen as yard number 1020. She was launched on 10 December 1941 and commissioned on 16 May 1942 under Fregattenkapitän Werner Musenberg (Crew 25). Stripped of torpedo armament, the Type IXD1s were designated as transport submarines, and could carry up to 252 tonnes of freight.[3] U-180 was used primarily in clandestine operations.

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-180 sailed from Kiel on 9 February 1943, with the leader of the Indian National Army Subhas Chandra Bose and his aide Abid Hasan aboard.

On 18 April U-180 sank the British 8,132 ton tanker Corbis about 500 miles (800 km) east southeast of Port Elizabeth, South Africa.[4] Three days later, on 21 April, the boat made her rendezvous with the Japanese submarine I-29, just east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, and exchanged the two Indians for two Japanese Navy officers, both shipbuilding officers, Captains Emi Tetsushiro and Tomonaga Hideo, who were to study U-boat building techniques upon their arrival in Germany. Bose and Hasan's transfer is the only known record of a civilian transfer between two submarines of two different navies in World War II. Also received were two tonnes of gold ingots as payment from Japan for weapons technology.

On the return voyage, U-180 sank the Greek freighter Boris west of Ascension Island on 3 June 1943.[5]

During this voyage, U-180 was supplied by U-462 on the way to the exchange. She was supposed to be refueled by U-463 on the way back, but that boat was sunk by the British on 16 May 1943. On 19 June, U-180 was refueled by U-530.

2nd patrol and loss[edit]

Under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Rolf Riesen (Crew 38), U-180 sailed from Bordeaux on 20 August 1944 bound for Japan. She was reported sunk off the Bay of Biscay on 23 August 1944, with the loss of all of her 56 crew. The official verdict is "sunk by a mine",[6] however, some experts speculate that trouble with the schnorkel (the underwater breathing and engine operating device), may have been the cause.

Raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[7]
18 April 1943 Corbis  UK 8,132 Sunk
3 June 1943 Boris  Greece 5,166 Sunk


  • U-180 is the submarine carrying Nazi party secretary, Martin Bormann, to South America in the Jack Higgins thriller, Thunder Point.
  • U-180 is featured in the thriller Spook's Gold by Andrew Wood. The rendezvous on 21 April between U-180 and I-29, as well as an exchange of gold and military goods is a key element of the plot.


  1. ^ Gröner 1985, p. 114.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXD1 boat U-180". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  3. ^ "German Transport Boats to the Far East". Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Corbis (Motor tanker)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Boris (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  6. ^ Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed – German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. Arms & Armour. p. 214. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-180". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 29 December 2014. 


  • 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. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°00′00″N 2°00′00″W / 44.000°N 2.000°W / 44.000; -2.000