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WW2: The story of the U-boats

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29 Nov 2014, 12:45 PM
#1
avatar of RandomName

Posts: 431

Introduction

Hey guys,
we already have a lot of threads with pictures and discussions about the war ashore. So how about the naval warfare? To be honest, the naval history is more interesting for me and I have read a ton of books about it so I thought I want to share my knowledge a bit with you. The poll will show if you like it or not. If you do, I would be happy to write more about the german submarines. This thread is about the beginning of the german submarines (also called "U-boats") in the Kriegsmarine. The next episodes would be about specific types, their armament and so on. I apologize for the grammer mistakes, etc.


U 18, a type II B submarine, is heading towards the sea, 1937

After Versailles

On 16th March 1935 Germany terminated the treaty of Versailles. A part of this treaty was the prohibition of developing own submarines, which was a hit in the nerve since the german submarines were quite successful in WWI. The building of U 1 started already in 1934, but this violation of the treaty was not punished in any way. In June 1935 the english-german naval agreement was signed and only eleven days later, on 29th of June, U 1 was armed in Kiel, the later main base of the submarines. Versailles maybe prevented Germany from developing and building its own submarines, but german engineers were also designing submarines for other countries like Finland, the Netherlands and Turkey in the past 17 years. This means that the engineering was still quite modern. With the english-german naval agreement the Kriegsmarine was still limited in the quantity, but it was a start.


The type II plans. U 1 belonged to this

Start

The first problem was: who is going to be the commander of the submarines? You need a man with experience and strategic knowledge who is hard-working. Erich Raeder (1876-1960), the supreme commander of the Kriegsmarine, already had an idea: Karl Dönitz (1891-1980). Dönitz was an successful U-boat commander in WWI. Unfortunately, his submarine UB 68 was sunk in September 1918 and he was captured by british forces. He returned to Germany in 1919 and continued his career. He just came back from a long travel through Asia when he got promoted to the commander of the submarines. The second problem was the naval agreement between the UK and Germany. The goal was a big fleet with big submarines with a long range, but on the other side the tonnage was limited. Dönitz decided to build many U-boats who were small and for coastal operations. The type II was designed. For better understanding: the U-boats also had diffrent A's (Aufsführungen) who were also named A, B, C, etc. Dönitz also invented the "Rudeltaktik", the "wolf packs". This strategy was designed to attack convoys. It was simple: many submarines were patrolling in the same part of the ocean, but the distance between them was big enough to have a wide "screen" of submarines. One submarine detects a convoy and sets a signal for the others. They follow the convoy through the day and slowly surround it. The attack happens always at night, when dodging torpedoes was harder. With a submarine fleet like this, Dönitz wanted to cut off the supply lines of the enemy and to make him surrender as fast as possible. An ideal strategy to fight the UK - but thats a spoiler.


Karl Dönitz in 1943 Erich Raeder

The coming types

This was just a simple introduction. I am more likely to write about the types and their stories.
If you like this idea, I would write about the following types of german submarines:

- Type I
- Type II (for coastal operations)
- Type VII (the workhorse)
- Type IX (most successful)
- Type XB
- Type XIV (the "milk cow")
- Type XXI (the first modern submarine)
- Type XXIII
- mini subs
- captured submarines (from France, Norway, Netherlands and more)

Thank you for reading this far. As said this is a test. Waiting for your reactions :).


29 Nov 2014, 12:47 PM
#2
avatar of Von Kluge
Patrion 14

Posts: 3548 | Subs: 2

This is going to be interesting. BRING IT ON
1 Dec 2014, 07:36 AM
#3
avatar of Lümmel
Patrion 14

Posts: 541 | Subs: 1

Always in favor of history porn!
I heard about older Russian Submarines with Sauanas and pools, do you know anything about them?

edit: found some Click for awesome photos
1 Dec 2014, 15:44 PM
#4
avatar of RandomName

Posts: 431

Always in favor of history porn!
I heard about older Russian Submarines with Sauanas and pools, do you know anything about them?

edit: found some Click for awesome photos


Yeah, Typhoon class was a cold war submarine :). I also have read about it. It was a try to provide the crew a bit more free room. Normally, a sub is too small to have any comfort. Even the commander sleeps in a room smaller than a prison cell. You can see the result on this wonderful pics: a incredible big submarine, maybe a bit too big. But since it was a nuclear missisle sub, the length was not that important. The special thing about the Typhoon class was that is has 2 nuclear reactors and not only one that most nuclear subs have (explains also the size). So we have here a nuclear sub armed with nukes :D. I think the most ones were put out of service in the late 90's and only like 6 were build (don't remember exactly).

Okay, I've found it again: 20 nuclear missisles, 6 533mm torpedoes (actually since WW2 international standart caliber), 8-10 AA missisles and build on the Sewerodwinsk shipyard. Also named as "Projekt 941". Typical is that is under water double as fast as above (thanks to the german WW2 scientists, the "Walter Turbine"). Like 170m long and 23,3 m in width. I have used "TK-202" for this data. They were build to as an answer to the US Ohio class and when the Cold War ended there was no need to maintain them. "TK-202" was put out of servic in 2006. Man, I love this book :D.
1 Dec 2014, 15:46 PM
#5
avatar of l4hti

Posts: 476

Tell us more i dont know anything from U boats.
1 Dec 2014, 15:50 PM
#6
avatar of RandomName

Posts: 431

You are of demanding, Ich am of writings. Soon when I am a bit more organized.
1 Dec 2014, 15:55 PM
#9
avatar of Von Kluge
Patrion 14

Posts: 3548 | Subs: 2



Yeah, Typhoon class was a cold war submarine :). I also have read about it. It was a try to provide the crew a bit more free room. Normally, a sub is too small to have any comfort. Even the commander sleeps in a room smaller than a prison cell. You can see the result on this wonderful pics: a incredible big submarine, maybe a bit too big. But since it was a nuclear missisle sub, the length was not that important. The special thing about the Typhoon class was that is has 2 nuclear reactors and not only one that most nuclear subs have (explains also the size). So we have here a nuclear sub armed with nukes :D. I think the most ones were put out of service in the late 90's and only like 6 were build (don't remember exactly).

Okay, I've found it again: 20 nuclear missisles, 6 533mm torpedoes (actually since WW2 international standart caliber), 8-10 AA missisles and build on the Sewerodwinsk shipyard. Also named as "Projekt 941". Typical is that is under water double as fast as above (thanks to the german WW2 scientists, the "Walter Turbine"). Like 170m long and 23,3 m in width. I have used "TK-202" for this data. They were build to as an answer to the US Ohio class and when the Cold War ended there was no need to maintain them. "TK-202" was put out of servic in 2006. Man, I love this book :D.


I wrote a piece here about the typhoon, dunno where though :snfCHVGame:
4 Dec 2014, 17:49 PM
#10
avatar of RandomName

Posts: 431

Type IA (1935)



U 25 at the beginning of the war

U-boats for operations in the high sea with 1 hull and big side ballast tanks. The Type IA class only consisted of 2 units: U 25 and U 26. These U-boats were related to the turkish submarine Gür or span. E 1, which was build by german engineers in Spain during the treaty of Versailles in 1932. U 25 and U 26 were basically prototypes for the IX type and were never meant to fight the enemy, but they still were send on Feindfahrten (= "enemy cruise", or just patrol or operation). Both units were lost in the summer 1940; U 25 ran on a mine in the North Sea and U 26 was sunk by destroyers and aircraft in the North Atlantic.

Data

  • crew: 43
  • shipyard: Deschimag AG Weser, Bremen
  • displacement (note: units is "long ton" (1.016 Kg)*: 862 ts surfaced, 983 ts submerged
  • length: 72,4 m
  • width: 6,2m
  • depth: 4,3m
  • operational depht: 150m
  • fuel: 96 ts
  • fastest submerging: 30 seconds
  • engine: 2 Diesel MAN and 2 "E-machines" (used underwater when diesels were off)
  • engine performance: 2800 PS surfaced, 1000 PS submerged
  • speed: 17,7 knot surfaced, 8,3 knot submerged
  • range: 7900 sm (sea mile) at 10 knots surfaced, 78 sm at 4 knots when submerged
  • armament: 4 torpedo tube at the bow, 2 torpedo tubes at the rear (533mm standart
    caliber); 1 10,5cm L/45 cannon and 1 2cm AA

    * this unit is used because it is used by many navys international
4 Dec 2014, 18:34 PM
#11
avatar of lDaveTankl

Posts: 173

Yep. I'm very interested. Keep posting.
Also I can't find the forum where someone was posting heaps of photos and info on the tanks in the Munchen Panzer Museum (I think), can someone help me find it again?
4 Dec 2014, 18:53 PM
#12
avatar of Lümmel
Patrion 14

Posts: 541 | Subs: 1

Yep. I'm very interested. Keep posting.
Also I can't find the forum where someone was posting heaps of photos and info on the tanks in the Munchen Panzer Museum (I think), can someone help me find it again?


Sure thing :P

Lümmels tank museum thread
4 Dec 2014, 19:34 PM
#13
avatar of lDaveTankl

Posts: 173



Sure thing :P

Lümmels tank museum thread


Awesome work.
Thanks dude.
4 Dec 2014, 19:49 PM
#14
avatar of AvNY

Posts: 858

For those interested in the era of the nuclear subs, read The Hunt for Red October. (And no, you won't get the same feel from watching the movie.)

I had a couple of ex Silent Service officers in grad school with me at the time the book came out (yes, I am that old) and they said the book had the right "feel". When asked if it was true that a lot of what is in the book was still classified on responded to me "by law I am still not allowed to tell you things that you can read in the book."
5 Dec 2014, 17:50 PM
#15
avatar of RandomName

Posts: 431

Type II (1934)


U 2 in Kiel, 1935

A small submarine for coastal operations. It had 1 hull and a inner ballast tank for fast submerging. This type is named "II" but it actually was the first type build in Germany after WW1. This submarine is related to the finnish Vesikko, which was build by german engineers in Finland during the treaty of Versailles. They were small submarines with a great maneuverability and a short range. Many improvements were made over the years, which led to 4 "Ausführungen": A,B,C,D. Also the design was changed a bit from year to year.


You already know this picture from the first post: the plans of the type II class

The production of this type was stopped after 1941 because the other types of high sea U-boats like VII and IX were more important. They were used mostly in the coastal water around Germany, the english channel in 1939/40 and later against the Soviet Union in the Baltic Sea in the summer 1941. Many were also used as training submarines for the new crews. Some of the managed to get through the east european channels in the Black Sea where they disturbed the supply of the Red Army (for example the siege of Sewastopol) until 1944. Most of the type II U-boats were sunk by their own crews at the end of the war.

  • crew: 25
  • shipyard: Deutsch Werke, Kiel and Krupp Germania Werft, Kiel
  • displacement: 253 ts to 314 ts surfaced, 303 ts to 364 ts submerged (A-D)
  • length: 40,9m (IIA); 42,7m (IIB); 43,9m (IIC); 44m (IID)
  • width: 4,1m (IIA and IIB); 4,2m (IIC); 4,9m (IID)
  • depth: 3,8m (IIA); 3,9m (IIB); 3,8m (IIC); 3,9m (IID)
  • maximal depht: 120m
  • fuel: 12 ts (IIA); 21 ts (IIB); 23 ts (IIC); 38 ts (IID)
  • fastest submerging: 35 to 25 seconds
  • engine: 2 Diesel MWM, 2 E-motors
  • engine performance: 700 ps surfaced (all); 360 ps (IIA, IIB) to 410 ps (IIC; IID) submerged
  • speed: 13 knots surfaced (all); 6,9 knots (IIA; IIB) to 7,4 knots (IIC; IID) submerged
  • range: 1600 sm (IIA); 3100 sm (IIB); 3800 sm (IIC); 5650 sm (IID); 35-56 sm submerged
  • armament: 3 torpedo tubes in the bow (533mm standart caliber), 1 2cm Flak (1942: 4 X 2cm)



7 Dec 2014, 13:12 PM
#16
avatar of RandomName

Posts: 431

Type XXI (1944) On someones special wish Kappa


U 2511 lies between two other type XXI U-boats in Bergen. On the left is a type VII, 1945

You can consider these as the first modern era submarines. We have here a U-boat with 2 hulls and with high underwater speed, but the Walter-Turbine is not integrated in this type. The first Submarine of this type, U 2501, entered service on 17th June 1944 and later around 1300 submarines would be under construction. Many parts of these submarines were precasted, which allowed a faster development. As you can see, we have here now the typical modern submarine design which looks like a drop. This reduced the water resistance and helped increasing the underwater speed along with a new system of Diesel and E-motors, which made this U-boat actually faster underwater than surfaced. The XXI-class also now had a snorkel which allowed air conditioning and battery charging underwater which lead to the possibility of staying very long submerged. Also, a maximal depht of over 300m was now possible.


You can see the two hulls in their detail on the right and they are black marked on the left.

These U-boats were designed for operations who took at least 5 month, which also explains the huge range of this type. A improvement was also the usage of several radar equipment now along with a high sensitive unterwater listening device with 48 microphones. For better escaping out of dangerous situations the type XXI-class also could emit foam confusing the allied destroyers by creating fake echos. New is also the fact that the torpedo tubes on the rear are gone now, instead there are 6 tubes in the bow. With some torpedo improvements in the late war (which I will write about too), we have here a U-boat which is fast underwater, silent due to the new E-machines and a special "creeping mode", hard to catch and with the abillity to detect targets who are extremely far away. Another special thing is that the allied sonar was ineffective when the U-boat was faster than 12/13 knots underwater. This lead to this situation on 30th April 1945: U 2511 dives directly under a brithis Sullolk-class cruiser and is not detected by the surrounding destroyers (the germans decided not to sink the ship since the war would be over soon). When the war ended 1 week later, the german commander looked for the captain of the cruiser and told him about this. The british were astonished about the capability of the type XXI and captured some of them. The captured submarines were divided: for the UK, USA and France. Only one submarine returned to Germany: U 2540, also know as Wilhelm Bauer. You can still see Wilhelm Bauer in the port of Bremen. These submarines could have dealt a lot damage to the Allies, but the development took way to long to be effective.


U 2540 or Wilhelm Bauer in Bremen

Data

  • crew: 57
  • shipyard: Blohm & Voß, Hamburg; Deschimag AG Weser, Bremen and F.Schichau, Danzig
  • displacement: 1621 ts surfaced and 1819 ts submerged
  • length: 76,7m
  • width: 8m
  • depth: 6,2m
  • maximal depht: 330m
  • fuel: 250 ts
  • fastest submerging: 18 seconds
  • engine: 2 Diesel MAN; 2 E-machines plus 1 for "creeping"
  • engine performance: 4000ps surfaced, 4200 - 4800 ps submerged + 226 ps creeping
  • speed: 15,5 knots surfaced, 17,5 knots submerged and 3,5 knots when creeping
  • range: 15500 sm at 10 knots surfaced, 110 sm at 10 knots submerged
  • armament: 6 torpedo tubes in the bow (533mm standart caliber) + optional mines and 4 X 30mm flak






7 Dec 2014, 18:47 PM
#17
avatar of RandomName

Posts: 431

Btw guys play Silent Hunter 3 and 4. I you don't know these games consider youself slapped. Keepo
7 Dec 2014, 19:24 PM
#18
avatar of Von Kluge
Patrion 14

Posts: 3548 | Subs: 2

7 Dec 2014, 19:51 PM
#19
avatar of MajorBloodnok
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Btw guys play Silent Hunter 3 and 4. I you don't know these games consider youself slapped. Keepo


I have Silent Hunter 3. Silent Hunter 5 has a mixed crit on Steam? (Could not see Silent Hunter 4)
7 Dec 2014, 20:30 PM
#20
avatar of RandomName

Posts: 431



I have Silent Hunter 3. Silent Hunter 5 has a mixed crit on Steam? (Could not see Silent Hunter 4)


Silent Hunter 3: orgasm
Silent Hunter 4: the same in the pacific
Silent Hunter 5: some bugs (don't know if fixed now) and complicated controls + über destoyer AI which leads to you end at the first patrol due to 5 mio. destroyers coming at you and you always get insta detected, but good graphics
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