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Volume 6 Issue 62

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@ Aerospace Publishing Ltd 1984
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of \IUorld\lfar ll
The struggle for supremacy above and beneath the swirling
waters of the North Atlantic was the most importaurttbattle
A Krupp yard at KieI, and construction
of U - boats proceeds apace.
G erman indus try bu il t more than
foaght by the submarine forces of the Axis nauies, hut was fat I 1 00 boats, with well over half being
from being the sole scene of operations. Indeed,, Axis lost in action. Of the remainder, most
did not survive the war, being lost to
submarines ranged the sealanes from the Atlantic tluough accidents or to enemy actionwhile in
the Indian Ocean to the South Pacific. harbour.

During World War I1 the common factor that permitted the USA to wage Italy, however, found her boats to be deficient in quality and their
war in both Europe and the Pacific simultaneously, and which allowed crews both poorly trained and, in many cases, suffering from the same
the UK to exist at all, was merchant shipping, Losses of warships could lack of motivation and conviction that affected her surface fleet,
cause problems, but losses of merchantmen were potentially disastrous. Japan, on the other hand, had no lack of motivation but was stricken
If the loss rate had exceeded the construction rate for a significant with an iniiexibility of purpose that worked to the American advantage.
period, the Allies' capacity to waqe war would have slowed, to the point War waged against merchant shipping was vrewed as 'defensive' so,
eventually of capitulatron. desprte in most cases being manifestly unsuitable for the purpose,
As World War I had adequately proved to the Germans that sub- Japanese submarines were employed almost exclusively against
marines were the best vehicles for this form of warfare, it seems extraor- warships, The twin facts that American llnes of communication vulner-
dinary that more resources were not put into their construction in the late ably straddled two oceans and that American submarines.were throt-
i930s. Those available caused damage enough, but greater numbers thng Japan by blockade appeared unnotlced,
and a higher construction rate from the outset would have swamped the There was no lack of sacriflce, In pursuing their various objectives, the
abilrty of current Allied defences to cope. Axis partners lost over 950 boats in action and many more from other
Throughout the conflict, the Germans strove to improve both the causes.
technical quality of their boats and the methods by whlch they could best
be employed, a natural energy that contrasted strangely with that of
their Axis partners. Both Italy and Japan had sizable submarine fleets
Suchwas the pressure onGermany that the German navy could not alford to
and, as each joined the war at later dates, they had adequate time to take obsolescent boats out of production, with the result thatin the latter
Ieam at first hand the problems of submarine warfare before actually stages of thewar boats such as U-805, aTypelXC/40,were badly outclassed jn
committing themselves, the struggle against the Allied escorts.
'RO-I00' and 'RO-35' classes
Small- to medium-srzed boats in the IJN troyed by the American destroyer- but were being completed up to 1944. Specification
were designated 'RO', equivalent to escort USS England on various dates, Nine firrther projected units were can- 'RO-100'class
the Western'B'. In the case of the'RO- The desigm was a drminutive o{ but celled. Type: coastal submarrne
100'class, the term'Kaisho'or Tlpe I(S very dfferent from, the earlier 'RO-33', The parallel RO type, the 'RO-35' Displacement: 601 tons sMaced and
was also used, denoting 'small', They In size and potential it equated roughly class ('Kaichu or'Type K6') was larger 782 tons submerged
were designed originally as limited- with the British U-class. They were un- and comprised the last medium-sized Ditnensions: leng1h 60.90 m (199 ft
endurance boats for use in the waters suitable for attacking the warships that boats built by the IJN, Of the 18 com- 10 in); beam 6. i0 m (20 ft 0 in); draught
oll the Japanese home islands, and for were desigmated their prime targets pleted oniy one sriwived the war, hav- 3.50m(ltft6ln)
this reason operational depth could be yet, whilst they could have operated ing been used defensively despite Propr:lsion: surfaced diesels
reduced to only 75 m (245 ft). The func- effectively against mercantile targets, their superior potential, Between dehvering i,100 bhp (820 kW) and
tion of the boats was, however, ex- the Japanese submarine command them, the combined 'RO-35' and 'RI- submerged electric motors delivering
tended to protection of the numerous showed the lack of imagination and 100' classes are credited with four 760 hp (570 kW) to two shafts
islands that were acquired to defend flexibility that was characteristic minor warships and srx merchantmen Speed: surfaced 14 ktsand
the outer perrmeter of the new empire, throughout the war and which was pri- sunk, a catastrophically poor rate of submerged8 kts
As these were often surrounded by marily responsible for its poor show- exchange that led also to the cancella- Range: surfaced 6500 kn (4,040 miles)
deep water, the 'RO-100'boats started mg. tion of 60 further 'RO-35s'. at 12 ks and submerged t 10 km (68
at a disadvantage, Once submerged, The class of lB was ordered pre-war miles)at3 kts
the boats'small sonar proflle did not Directly comparable in performance Armament:one 76-mm (3-in) qun
compensate for their poor perform- and size to the British'U-class' boats, (often removed), and four 533-mm (21-
ance and all 18 of the class were sunk, the'RO- 1 00 s' should have been in) torpedo tubes (all forward) with
significantly only two by aircraft. That equally successful, butwere to prove eiqhttorpedoes
one was sunk off eastern India says /ess ab,le lo cop e with operational Complement:38
much for the endurance of its crew, No limitations.
less than five of the class were des-

'I-15'class
An '1'prefix, equivalent to the Western
A, denoted a largrer submarine de-
siqned for fleet or cruising work.
These two functions were tending to
merge, for the 'fleet' concept was a
hangover tom earlier British ideas of
using iarge boats with a good sudace
performance to act closely as an eie-
ment ofthe surface fleet, a concept that
was not successfii at that time. The
'I-15' class was, therefore, derived
from twin sources. Fust of these was
the 'TYpe KD' fleet submarine of the
mid-1930s, capable of a 23-kt surface
speed and a ranqe suitable for a return
trip across the Paciic. The other was worth, and several boats had such pro- similar'Type 82' and 'Type 83' v-ar-= ?his pr,cture portrays the high
the Jursen', or cruiser submarine, of a vision removed in favour of a second were modried to calrrl Kaiten (sr::;-:: surface speed of the J ap a n e s e Tlpe
siightly later date, which incorporated qun to suit them better for the attack midget submarines), The Tf:pe E2 EJ (?-l5l dass. To improve targeting
one or tvvo floatplanes in a pressure- role. As such, the boats were among was the'I-40'class (six compleiec_ all in the snmercrg- raiding role, a
tight hangar forrmng part of the super- the more successful ofJapanese clas- the 'Type 83'was the'I-54'class l=- l5lert' lloe@lane was carried.
structure, It would seem that the rdea ses, beinq credited with the sinking of completed).
of these aircraft was to increase the eight warships (including the carrier
boat's scouting capability rather than USS l/asp by I-19) and 59 merchant- Specification
for offensive puposes. men of about 400,000 grross registered 'I-15'class
Really the first variant 'Type BI' of tons. Type: ocean-going submanne
three, the 'I-15' erroup was 20 strong, Despite these successes, the losses Displacement: 2, 590 tons sum:e: =- :
with the hangar a iow, streamlined of the 'l- l5' boats were catastrophicaily 3,655 tons submerged
structure protruding (usually forward) high, as a resuit mainly of their poor Dimensions: lengith 108.60 m
from the tower, The freeboard was submerged performance and of the 4 tn): beam 9,30 m (30 fi 6 Ln;
13.r€-
ji::f::
high to improve aircraft handling in a fact that only three full salvoes oftorpe- 5.10m(16ft9in)
seaway, and was made higher by a does were carried; only one boat of20 Propr:lsion: surfaced diesels
sloping catapult track; a foldingi crane survived to surrender. A couple of the delivering 12.400 bhp (924: k,i- =-:
was also incorporated for recovery class, along with others from the very submerged elec:: : L-.- : : r. :=.
"'=:-
;
purposes, A 140-mm (5,5-in) qnm was
set on a substantial bandstand. In prac- In terms of naval archit*tural probie.lrs. t1eir- jJ:'cJass boats were a
tice, the aircraft and its equipment clean and satisfactory solution toputdnga,trcra-ft into submarines. The
proved more trouble than they were r easons for doing so we re. hmeaer guestionable.
Nlidget submaffnes r4/ere used by all the Axis navieswith
''zarjous deErees ol en fft usiasrn and success . Types ranged
fram genwine bul rnrniaf ure submarrn es to thd japanese
Kaiten - manned suliclde forpedoes.
Bv ineir \/ery ^atJre rl dger submarines possessed a 'cloai a^d oagger'aura
that has iended to cause their true potential to be overratecj Like the Roval
\,av\i, tne flecls or sll t^e majo" Axrs powcrs operated iher. b,,rr, despite their
odd success, rhey really did not repav the considerable effort expended on thern
n both design and construction. Ph iosophies regarding their use varied irom
ileet to fleet. ,.4,a:tilal;;,i;li:ltltt4ittli.pea!'.u t,.;':"t).

-,ke the Br tisn, the llal ans sarnv lnem as rreans oIatrac\ ng :argets in d {l.c:ll
anchorages or lcr depioying specialrst swimming teams. if the 16-m (52.s-ft)
Britrsh X-crait are taken as dr/ardstick, they correiponded to the most-used of
the ital an iypes, the CB. Several of tf'ese *ere transported overland to the
3 ac. Sea ;n 1942 a:d accornred fo, a pr:r of Sovret submar.nes, bul I tlle otr e'
act vrty is recorded Smaller. 10-m (32.BJt) CAs could cai'ry either torpedoes or
-w rnmers, deoending on lype. Prololvpes 'or -trch larger. 33-m (108.27-ftr CC
olO cv types were b,ilr. h"t revcr saw prodrrct.on
ii-re lapi,-,ese had a far more ambltious use formidget submarines, seejng
the r role as be nq carrred by surface shrps and f ieet submarines for launching in
tfre course of a fleet action. With the speecis and ranges atwhich these were
i.e1y to be fought, this dea became manifesily impracticable and the rnidget
ooats were viewed more in the ccntexi of specialist attack and defence aga:nst
enemy landincs. A,bout 400 were burlt to various designs, but only the)4-m
LlB.74-ft) Type As were used at all effectively, although their debui during tne
Pearl Harbor attack was far from auspicrous.
Fotlowing the occupation of Madagascar by the Brtish some six months laler,
nowever, naval f orces were reconnoiireci by a Japanese seaplane. Despite tnrs
r,arn.rtg, the b:trlesn'p HMS ,Qami//ics dld a Ian<e'were afterwards lorpe6'ec
n snellered waLers o{+ D ego Sriarez. Tne batliesh p srirvived bul was cons oe'.
,oy Carr-'aEed. Tne atlack-l'ad beer carreo o,rt by Type Ac which, \Ar[^ I-e
seaplane, had been carried on three Japanese submarines This well inlegratei
.ocrat 01 was 'ollowed a dav laler by an insuccess'ul dllempt on Syorer
tTi"T:,:ofiY?13'J1ou"uru
produced a suicicie toi'pedo, the Kaitet-t,rowarci rhe
end of the war. Th6se weie to be used in large numbers, launched fror'
submarines and surface ships. Fortunately, their steering was as suspect as rhe
led calicn of many of tneir pilots.
The Gerrnans buill a wide'range of torpedo-carrying mrdgets for use aga nst
amphrbious ianding fleets. The Neger and Marder each harj one, and lhe Biber
iwo. 533-mm {21-in) torpedoes, the latter being able to carry them for 24a r re
t149 miles) at 6 k1s. Built rn quaniity and transported overland, they were n
ection off Anzio, Normandy and the Schelde, but found the Allied escorts
clentifl-rl, aggressrve and m6re than able to cope. Many of the little craft jrsr ane af several types of 'Small Battle Unit', the Biber (Beaver) displaced only s:,:
.vent m'bs;.rg rcns. The ptcrure.sfiows the sca lloped hullwhichcould carry two totpedoes :.'
rnore eifective were the true submarines of the lype XXViIA
Potentially-lype r.vc m:r.es. At the taraard end is a towing pointwhich allowed the rather
iHecht) and XXVIiB (Seehund) classes These were '1 0.5 arrd 'l 2 m {34 4 short-ranged craft ta be towed to a point near its operational area.
:rd 39 4 fil :ong respeotively, and the letter had lwo rorpedocs rnd a 550---
r342-mile) ranqe. Thrs was sufficjent to reach ihe British east coast but, agarn, A Kajf en i i s t au n ched from a converted light cruiser. The pilot was hous e d
'^ey coJld do , ti e more lhan sint the old onc or two mercharrimen. Kcpt vr e - vt : h : n a ; e m o de lled Ty pe I 3 torpedo, and was suppos ed to contro I it at 3 ) ]: : :
r

check by the anti-suLrmarine forces, their challenge finally died wrth the lrbera- ta a :argei that can scarcelyhave beenvisible. Laterversions, to have useci
rron of ihe Channel coasts bv Allied forces. hvdragen peroxide engines, would have been truly suicidal in use.
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--* - 'I-361', I-373' and 'I-35I' classes
The well-recorded exploits of the
'Tokyo Express' to Guadalcanal tend to
overshadow the fact that the Japanese
had many other island garrisons ihat
needed suppofi and resupply, Once
the American counteroffensive began
to make progress in 1943, many such
islands were bypassed as having low
strategrc significance. With the enemy
firmly across their lines of supply,
Japanese surface forces (even if avail-
able) would have had little chance of
suwival in such a role, so the sup-
plementary 1942 buildinq programme
included a dozen specialist careto-
carrying submarines, known as the
'Type DI' or'l-361' class after the first
such unit, Though not large, the boats
were ungainly, their high casinqr actinQr
as a stowage for two 13-m (42.7-ft) land-
ing craft abaft the fin, These were built
to resrst diving to 6Om (197f1) and
could be floated on and off by trimmingr
the submarine. Twenty tons of stores
could also be carried externally with a
further 60 tons and two large rubber
boats inboard. Alternatively 110
equipped men could be carried on
short hauls,
By Japanese standards the boats'
submerged endurance was good, but
their 60-day surfaced endurance was
excessive, as resupply over the radius verted to Kaiten (surcide midget sub- Spgcification S;:tiiar n size to the'l-361'class,
of which the boats were capable marrne) carriers. 'I-361'class scn",e o! the 'KD6a' class of attack
would have required many more of the More ambitious were the three 'I- Type: supply subman:-e subr.arine were converted to
class. Thougrh they boasted a 140-mm 351' class boats known also as the Displacement: l. 44C icrs s--:-a :: : -- i i"rax::ports, the gun being removed
(5.S-in) gun, the boats had no torpedo 'Type SH' for 'Sen Ho' or 'submarine 2,215 tons submergei a,:d a ,r3-m (42.7-ft) landing craft
tubes, the two fitted in early unrts replenisher'. Some lli
m (364.2 ft) in Dimensions: lenqth 73.40 rr' .2=, : car;ed in place of spare torpedoes.
being removed in an effort to improve lengrth, these were the equivalent of 10 in); beam B,9O m (29 ft 2 rlira:::: 'I - 5 t l re-numbered'l - I 68') was sunk
poor handling characteristics. Once the German Type XIV Milchkilhe. 4.70m(15ft5rn) in )'la7 )943.
detected, therefore, the boats were They had triple hulls, between two of Propulsion: surfaced dtesels
particularly vulnerable and mne were which could be stowed about 600 tons deliverinEr 1,850 bhp (1380 k\\-
lost. The 'Type D2' or'I-373' class ex- of anation spidt for the refuelling of -.:
submerged elecrrrc molor-. je-'..-::. :
changed endurance for further stow- long-range flying-boats. Inboard was 1,200 hp (895 kW) to rwo sl-:.
age, but went to only two boats before stowed a comprehensive range of Speed: surfaced 13 k1s ard
beinq overtaken by events, Five ofthe stores, ordnance and even spare submerged 6 5 kts
'TYpe Dl' boats were eventually con- crews. Only one was ever completed, Range: surfaced 27900 lc-n 1 il : ::

'l-58' cutaway drawing key


'l Aft navlgatlon llght T 0 Loading hatch 18 Englneroom 26 Ammunition hoist j2 AnchorhandJinggear
2 Auxiliaryrudder 1 T Wireless aerlal '19 Diesel engine 27 Periscopes :3 Catapulttrack
3 Rudderengine 12 Navigationlight 20 Stoweddlnghy 28 Radio direction finder * AnCnOr
4 Spindle T3 Crewquarters 21 140-mm(5.5-in)deckgun 29 Enclosed conningtowe. i- Sparetorpedoes(21 in)
5 l\,4ain rudder 14 Watertlght doors 22 Col apsibledetrickfor 30 Contro room -6 Torpedotubes
6 Ruddersupport 15 Dieselexhaust handling dinghy 31 Stores il Torpedotrolley
7 Screw 16 Compressedair 23 Doublehull 32 Magazine i3 Pressure hull
B Propel er shaft compartment 24 Opticalrange{inder 33 Periscopewe s :3 Escapecompartment
9 Compressed aircanisters 17 Electric motor 25 25-mmAAqun 34 Auxillary engine a0 Radioroom

1224
JAPAN

'I-400' class
Unable to strike effectlvely at strategic
targets on the US west coast, the Impe-
rial Japanese Navy conceived the idea
of submarines carryingr a pair of bom-
ber floatplanes. Because ofthe accom-
modation for these and the ranges in-
volved, the resultant boat would need
to be large, with considerable beam as
well as length to mrnimize ship motion
during arcraft operations, A capacious
hull could be used to add accommoda-
tion, and the aircraft would also be em-
ployed as scouts. Thus the resultant
'I-400'class design, known offlcially as
the 'Type STo'for'Sen-Toku' or 'spe-
cial submarine', was expected to com-
bine several functions in control, attack
and reconnaissance. The lengith was
about 122 m (400.3 ft), and a satisfctory
length to beam ratio would have in- The beam of the boats allowed for Above: The large aircraft-carrying
volved an unacceptably deep hull if two diesels on each shaft driving su bm arine' I - 40 2', despite any
constructed as a single cylirder; the through a common gearbox, but the ex ternal euidence, had been
pressure hull was. therefore, con- 'I-400' class units must have been a converted to a submersible tanker
structed as a horizontal fignrre eight in problem to dive and handle once sub- for replenishing isolated garrisons.
section, reinforced for a useful oper- mergred. In the event, like the broadly Up to three small floatplanes could
ational diving depth of 100 m (328 ft). srmilar 'l-13' class boats, their priority be housed in the very long hangar.
Like that of most Japanese boats, sub- lapsed and only three were ever com-
merged performance was not particu- pleted, another two being started. Propulsion: surfaced dresels
larly good and, with operatlons on the They found no employment (though deliverins 7,750 bhp (5780 kW) and
American seaboard in mind, the boats one was converted as a fuel carrier) submerged electric motors delivering
were equipped wrth a crude, flxed and all were scuttled by the Amer- 2,400 hp (i790 kW) to two shafts
snorkelling devrce. icans after the war. Like so many spe- Speed: surfaced 19 kts and
The hangar was a separate pressure cial-purpose warships, their need pas- submerged 7 kts
cylinder, accessible from mthin the sed with their promoters. Range: surfaced 7000 km (4,350 miles)
hull, tilted slightly to the slope of the at 14 l<ts and submerged I 10 km (68
catapult track running the lengrth ofthe Specification miles) at 3 kls
foredeck. As completed, the boats had 'I-400'class Armament: one 140-mm (5.5-in) eun, l0
an aircraft complement of three. The Type: ocean-goingr submarine 25-mm AA guns, three Aichi M6A I
hangar was sited on the centreline, Displacement: 5,223 tons and 6,560 aLrcraft (with torpedoes and bombs),
and the long bridge structure on top tons submerged and eight 533-mm (21-in) torpedo
needed to be offset to port, its length Dimensions: length 121.90 m (400 ft tubes (all forward) with 20 torpedoes
being remrniscent of the Britrsh 'K' 0 in); beam 12.00 m (39 ft 4 in); draught Complement: 140 including flight
boats of World War L 7,00 m (23 ft 0 in) detachment

Above:Giants of their day, two'l-


400s' and the very similar 'l- 14' are
seen beingprep ared tor scuttling
after the surrender. Shown clearly
are the pressure-tight hangars,
tracks and offset towers.

A.bove : L:c<e a number of proj ects Below:'l -58' prior to conversion into
designed for universal capabilities, a Kaiten carrier in 1944. Main gpn and
the J apanese' I -400' class submarines aircraftwere removed, and sk or
[e11shortin every sense. Over-large, eight m anned suicide torpedoe s
over-vulnerable and with only a were fitted.'l-58' was responsible for
vagaely-defined role, they owed as sinkrng USS Indianapolis rnlu/y /945.
much toYamamoto as didtheRoyal the last major vessel lost by the US
JVartls useJess'tin-clads' to Fisher. Navy.
OnIy four were completed.

L
trl :ii"-zo I' class
Technically the most interestinq of the Japanese planned the rapid pro- srngle, centreline propeller, set abaft a Displacement: 377 tons surfaced and
lapan's many submarine designs, the duction of 90 boats. Even with exten- crucrform control surface assembly, 440 tons submerged
littie 'Ha-20I' class boats, com- sle prefabrication and the use of five remarkably similar to modern Dimensions: length 53.00 m (173 ft
plemented by the 78-m (255.9-ft) T-201' separate yards, they managed to com- arangements. They possessed only li- l1 in); beam4.0O m(13 ft I in); draught
class boats, were the equivalent ofthe plete only about 10, none of which mited endurance and their ctew of 22 340m(11ft2in)
German Types XXIII and XXI respec- managed an offensive patrol, though could be supported for about 15 days. Propulsion: surfaced diesel delivering
tively, With the Americans pressing 28 more were in an advanced state of A type of snort was fltted to allow pro- 400 bhp (298 kW) andsubmersed
ever closer to the home rslands, the construction at the surrender, longed periods of submersion, neces- electric motor delivering 1,250 hp
Japanese seem in 1943 at last to have The prefix 'Ha' corresponds to 'C', sary for them to survive at a tlrne when (930 kW) to one shaft
grasped the fact that they had the denotlng a small boat. The exterior American air power was vrrhrally un- Speed: surfaced 10.5 ktsand
wrong types of submarine to tackle was kept as clean ofprotruberances as challenged. Together with advanced submergred 13 kts
their chosen prime targets, warships, possible, though there was rather a lot German submarine types, they Range: surfaced 5600 lcn (3,480 miles)
Their strategy would best have been of forward casingT. The boats were cap- yielded the Americans much valuable at 10.5ltsandsubmerged lB5 ]an(115
sewed by concentratingi their existingt able of 'grrouping-up'for llmited bursts post-war data to appiy to their'Guppy' mrles) at 2 kts
boats, as did the Americans, on mer- of high submerged speed, necessary progEammes, Armament: one 7. 7-mm (0, 303-in)
cantile targets but, persevering to the as they had only two torpedo tubes and machrne-gmn, and two 533-mm (21-tn)
end, the Japanese developed the'Ha attacks needed to be carried out from Specification torpedo hrbes (both forward) with four
201' class or'Type STStas a fast, man- close range to quarantee success, In- 'Ha-20I'class torpedoes
oeuwable desigm to protect the home terestingly, they were propelled by a Type: coastal submarine Compiement: 22
rslands against warships. Like similar
German boats, however, they arrived Like the GermanTYpe XXIIIS, the
too late to be of use, their enemy 'H a- 20 I' class boats were small, fast
already having achieved absolute su- and handy. Theywere also too late to
periority, be ofuse, rn spite ofprefabricated
Using experimental data derived constuction. Larger than their
fuom the prewar experiments with the German equivalents, they had
43-m (14]-ft) evaluation boat, No. 71, superior endurance.

ffi rrilL n
In 1935 Germany repudiated the treaty
by which she was prevented from
operating submarines, forcing an
Anglo-German agreement which
allowed direct construction up to a
ceiling oftotal tonnage equivalent to 45
per cent ofthat operated by the British,
A major task for the submartne supre-
mo, Karl Donitz, was to break thrs
frgn-rre down into numbers and types of
boat that would fulfil a wartime
strateqy. One requirement identified
was that of a coastal submarine rougihly
equrvalent to the later UB series that rng' through the type IIB, Type IIC and Type IIs ceased in 1941, ire i:a: The srall size of theGermanTYpe
operated successfully in UK waters Type IID sub-types: the TYpe IIB had lhereafter being used much i:: :=. IIB is emphasizedby the scaleof the
during World War I. During the fallow greater bunkerage and radius, the ing and trials purposes, rncluc;-; :r'. .' crew in the tower. Seen fiere tn Pre-
years ofthe treaty, German desiqn ex- TVpe IIC was modelled on the Type experimentation wllh snon ?e:r -:. :-'- war livery, U-9 was sunk by bombing
pertise was maintained througTh work IIB with more powerful engines, and al, there were burlt sx 1\pe l-:*. -. n 1944 in the BlackSea.
for export, and the prototype for the the Type IID had saddle tanks, TYpe IIBs, erght rype llCs e-. j -: l'.--+
Type IIA can thus be found in the The design encompassed a single IIDs. s-: :-=: q:i electric motors delivedng
Vesikko, itself based on an amalgam of hull with a trim tank at each end of the 1-- --p :-: k'\ADtotvvoshafts
data from the UBII and the later UF, pressure hull and an internal 'rapid- Specification Spe.ed: :- ---aced 13 kts and
Thrs boat was built in Finland in 1933 to dive' tank amldshrps, As only three tor- TypeIID s-::,=:;:c 7.5 kts
German desigm, pedo tubes and limited reloads were Type: coastal submarLne Rar.ge: siaced 6500 kn (4,040 miles)
The T'"pe IIAs went quickly into pro- carried, a load of mines was an alterna- Displacement: 3l4 tons sr=,::: -. : a. -2 lcs
=i srrbmerged 105 km (65
duction following the go-ahead, and tlve ralher than an addition. 364 tons submerged ---:: r- : K-
proved to be handy and manoeuvr- With the emphasis of the sea war Dimensions: lenqth 13 S; n .,- * Armament: cne (1ater four) 20-mm AA
able, being able to crash-dive in 25 moving deep-sea, construction of the 1 2 in); beam4 87 m(i6 n,: ::=-::. ;-:-: --:'.:ree 533-mm (21-in) torpedo
seconds. Their profile and lively sur- 13.90m(l2ft9Ln) --
-:€s ..-l :r*ard) with six torpedoes
face characteristrcs earned them the Propulsion: surfaced aes::. Complement:25
nickname of 'canoes', Though the small delivenngTCC l:rc :22 <',',- ::,:
displacement of the Type IIA favoured
larger numbers in a restricted ceiling,
ffi, Type II caastal boats lacked the
enduralce necess ary tor much of the
the desiqn was very limited on endur- t war at sea, and were not built after
ance, requirinq prognessive'stretch- I 94 1 . S hown here is the U -3, an early
comm an d of the ace Scfi epke.
E ffiLvu
Like that of the TYpe II, the design of
Axis Submarines of World War II

the Type VII seagoing boat had export


origins in a Finnish-built series of 1930-
I (the 'Vetehlnen' class) and, beyond
that, in the UB lil of 1918. To permit the
greatest number of hulls to be built
within the ceiling tonnage agrreed, sze
was severely ltrnited in the 10 Type
VIIA boats (626/745 tons). With per-
formance and offensive capacity opti-
mized, conditions aboard were some-
what spartan even with internal space
saved by mounting the after tube in the
casinq (where it could be reloaded
only with dlfficul$ and then on the sur-
face) and by the stowage of spare tor-
pedoes and part of the bunker capac-
ity externally (whgre they were
vulnerable to depth charging), The
Type VIIB and Type VIIC were, there-
fore, stretched to increase internal
volurne to rectify some of the short-
comings and to aliow more powerful
diesels to be fitted, a signtficant factor
in surface operations. This modified
boat was hlghly successfirl, nearly 700
units being built in various sub-variants
until the war's end. Later improve-
ments included qEeater operational
depths, reinforced towers, enhanced
AA armament and snorts, all features Specification Above : A Tlpe VI I C boat, probably Below: A clutch of TYpeVIIA boaa of
reflectrng developing Alhed anti- TypeVIIC U-402, is reJaunched atter the Second Flotilla alongside at Kiel
submanne procedures, Significantly, Type: sea-gtoing submarine maintenance, her broad keelson prewar. The tender is the converted
most lacked a deck gnm as surface op- Displacement: 769 tons surfaced and allowing her to siton the cradlewith minesweeperFucl's. U-27 on the left
eratrons became imposslble. B7l tonssubmergred EttJe auxiliary support. Note the of the picture was an early loss , sunk
While mines configllred to the stan- Dimensions: lenqth66.50 m (218 ft blisters ofthe external ballast tanks by British destroyers off Scotland.
dard 533-mm (2i-in) torpedo tube 2 in); beam 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in). draught and the skeg aIt spreading braces to
could be laid by all German sub- 4.75m(15ft7in) keep wires clear of the twin rudders.
marines, these weapons could not Propulsion: surfaced diesels
gnlarantee a sinking as opposed to dis- deliverins 2,800 bhp (2089 kW) and
ablement. 'fo lay the largest moored submerged electric motors delivering
mines, therefore, sx Type VIIs were 750 hp (559 kW) to hso shafts
stretched by the addrtion of an extra Speed: surfaced 17.5 lcts and
10-m (32.8-ft) section amidships con- submerged 7.5 kts
taining f,ve vertical free-floodingt Range: surfaced 15750 tan (9,78S
tubes, each containing three complete miles)at l0 ktsandsubmerged 150 kn
mine assemblies. These tubes prot- (93 miles) at 4 kts
ruded upward to 0I level lnto an ex- Armament: one BB-mm (3, 465-rn) grun,
tended tower. The class was known as one 37-mm AA gnrn, two (later eiqht)
the Type VIID, A further four boats, the 20-mm AA gnrns, and five 533-mm (21-
Type VIIF sub-class, were srmilarly in) torpedo tubes (four forward and
lengrthened, with the additional space one aft) with 14 torpedoes
glven over to spare torpedoes for Complement:44
transfer to extend the operational
duration ofother boats, Up to 25 torpe- Below: Belonging to the best-known
does could be carrred but transfer op- German submarine Ilotilla, the 7th
erations with both boats temporaily (Stier), U-52 is aType VIIB which
immobilued on the surface became survived until the war's last day s.
increasrngly upopular and were aban- Larger than the'A' variant, the'B'
doned. The Type VIIE, a study tn im- Iacks the odd hump att, the after
proved propulsion, never prog-ressed torpedo tubes having been relocated
beyond the drawing board. withinthehull.

Fl

::--r
*
U-Boat Aces: Gunther Prien
Of all the arms of German military might, it was the U-boat sewice which most
threatenedBritish survival, and early successesindjcatedthattheU-boatwould
forceBritaininto surrender.In thoseearlydays, certain commanders stoodout,
notably Prien, Kretschmer andSchepke.

At 01.16 on 14 October 1939 the British bat-


tleship HMSRoyalOakwas torpedoed whilst in
the protected fleet anchorage ol Scapa FIow.
Within 15 minutes the veteran of Jutland had
gone doum in only 13 fathoms but taking with
her 833 of her crew, An outstanding coup, the
sinking marked the highpoint of the brief
career of Gunther Prien; commander of the
u.47.
Prien was very much a product of the de-
spair that was the lot of the Germany of the
1920s. At this time he was a youth living in
Leipzig with his mother, who eked out a
meaqre living by selling lace and the odd pic-
hrre that she painted, Though living far from the
sea, he thought of little else; there was, in any
case, scant hope of employment in his home
town. With his savings earned as a gnride at the
annua] trade fair, he paid to go to the Seaman's
College at Finkenwerder to start studies flcr the
master's certificate of which he dreamt. Foilow-
ing initial training, he signed on in a sguare
rigger as a 'Moses', or ship's boy, making a
round voyage to the Gulf of Mexico only to be
wrecked outslde Dublin, Though arriving back
in Hamburg a survivor, he discovered that he
was in debt to the company to the tune of 5.70
marks for 'slops' receivedl
Going into steam, he stayed in the American
trades and succeeded in becoming a fourth
officer at the age of 21, Disilluslon came only
three years later when he passed for master
but, instead of a ship's brldge, he found only the
gueue at the assistance board. The humrliation
and frustration of useless unemployment, living
on handouts of a few marks per week, made
him join the National Socialists. Like so many of
his generation, he saw in them the only force
capable of restoring Germany to purpose and
position.
Qualifying for command
After a speil in the voluntary labour corps, he
joined the renascent Kriegsmarine, entering
the U-boat training school in Kiel early in 1933.
It took him little more than five years to qualify
for command and he was rewarded with the
U-47, a type VIIB boat being completed by the
Germaniawerft in Kiel. She was commissioned
into the Zth Submarine Flotilla whose disting-
uish mark, or Wappen, painted on the side of
each conning tower, was a laughing bull.
With war a certainty, the German naval staff Orkneys, spending the day Iaying quietly on U-boab se/dorn attacH thek targets from under
sailed 14 U-boats to North Atlantic stations in the bottom. After darkness had fallen, Prien water, preferring to remain sudacedfor an attack.
mid-Augmst 1939; five, including Prien's boat, surfaced to find calm conditions wrth a slight Indd, Prien and hisU47 torpedoedl/MSRoyal
were from the 7th Flotilla, The war was only two sweli. Despite the lack of moon, however, the Oa.k on llresurface of Scapa Flow, escaping in the
days old when he accounted for his flrst British veil of the night was shot unpredictably wrth the Sarne manner.
merchantman, the Bosnja; by his recall two multi-coloured shifting curtains of the Northem
days later he had added two more, He was Lights. While these would assist him rn his im-
already 8,000 gross registered tons toward the minent problem of forcing an entry to the Flow Ewe, and iew ships were now to be seen, The
record he sought, they could also betray him to watchfl:l eyes. Flow itself is a wild bleak water about 9. 7 lcn (6
It was at the beginning of October that this Fortunately, for Prien, there were neither eyes miles) across, surrounded by the treeless hills
promising commander was summoned to a nor radar. of the Orkreys. Access to rt rs by a dozen
conference at which was outlined an audacious Scapa Flow was, indeed, a poor abandoned navigabie channeJs, subject to fierce tidal flows
plan to penetrate the British naval anchorage at sort of place compared with its heyday 20 years and, for the most part at that tlme, boomed and
Scapa Flow Donitz himself had worked it out before, when it had harboured most of the defensively mined or obstructed by
and, . asked his opinion, Prien thought the Grand Fieet. Its defences were mn dornm, and blockships. Dorutz had reasoned correctly
scheme feasibie, He was promptly given the pre-war plans to upgrade them were as yet that the movable obsffuctionswere more likely
assignment, sailing on 8 October. In appalling unexecuted. So poor were the defences that to be patrolled than the fixed blockages which
weather he took until 13 October to reach the the Home Fleet had been longbilleted on Loch is why, shortly before midniqrht on 13 October,

1228
U-Boat Aces: Gunther Prien Axis Submarines of World War II
Prien was approaching the 700-m (765-yard)
wide narrows between the islet of Lamb Holm
and Mainland on the Flow's eastern side.
Aerial reconnaissance had suggested that
this channel, though encumbered by a boom
and four rotting blockships, could be negoti-
ated at high water, though only experiment
could tell. The submarine shouldered her way
through, scraping both beach and barriei.
Boidness paid off and, running free, Ihe U-47
found the net barrier beyond of small consegu-
ence. With diesels murmuring from the open
hatch behind them, the bridge watch stared
into the shiftinggloom of thewide Flowthatwas
opening up ahead, Initially, there was nothing
to be made out then, to starboard, close under
the hills of Mainland, could be seen the mas-
sive tophamper of a battleship, Beyond her was
another. Prien identified them as HMS.Repu/se
and an 'R' class battieship, and swung U-47
around to close.
RoyalOakkrll air attack or an intemal expiosion, In all prob- Given the combination of the small size of a
In fact, the ships were the Royal Oak Iyng ability the anchor cable had been hit, conning tower, bad North Atlantic weather,
outside the old seaplane carrier Pegasus. Prien calmly reversed his boat and loosed nightfall and a paucity of escorts, it is no wonder
The battleship belonged to the 2nd Battle his single stern tube. Again no result and, in- that the U-boats could slip into convoys such as this
with relative ease.
Sguadron, which had just completed an abor- credibly, no apparent alarm. Labowing might-
tive search for the marauding German battle- ily the crew reloaded and a further salvo of
cruiser Gneisenau. Where the remainder of three was unleashed. Only two hrt, but it was Though thre Royal Oak was an old ship of
the force had returned to Loch Ewe, however, more than enough, the old ship flooding rapid- Iimited value, her loss was a severe blow and
the.Royal Oak and her escort, which had been ly. In I 3 minutes her remains joined those of the Ied directly to others. With Scapa clearly
covering the neighbouring Fair Isje Channel, German High Seas Fleet just 8 k'n (5 miies) to vulnerable, the Home Fleet needed to use
had berthed at Scapa. the west. other anchorages, a point not lost on the Ger-
Remaining on the surface, Prien closed to With the Flow now alive wrth smal craft, mans who used submarines to mine them. Thus
4000 m (4,375 yards) and, at 00.58, fired three Prien blasted back the way that he had come,
torpedoes. At this time, German torpedoes just able to keep steerage way rn the roaring
were prone to both depth-keeping and tide under i:amb HoIm. Less some more paint- The return of Prien and his U-47 to harbour meant
magnetic pistol problems, and all that re- work, he was in open water aqain by 02. I5. celebrations following the sinking ofIiMS Royal
warded Prien'sefforts was a muifled detonation Retr:rning the hero of Scapa Flow', he was Oak. The celebrationswere appropriate, with
of no great intensity. Aboard the target herseli received by the Firhrer himself and awarded Prien receiving lhe Ritterkreuz (Knighft Cross ot
opinion dijlered as to whether it had been an the Knight's Cross of the lron Cross. the lronCross) personally from theFiihrer.

L
U-Boat Aces: Gunther Prien

U-31's mines at Loch Ewe were to damage the


battleship HMS Ne/son heavily and sink two
mrriesweepers, while U-21'smines in the Firth
of Forth broke the back of the cruiser HMS
Belfast and sank two other ships.
Fauity torpedoes were to dog Prien in the
Norwegian campaigm from April 1940, during
wluch he missed a cruiser and transports at
anchor, plus the battleship HMS trTarspife. In
the June, the so-calied 'Group Prien' was
icrmed with U-47 and six others. The group
operated successfully in the Western
Approaches, accounting for 32 merchantmen
of about 175,000 gross registered tons, of which
the leader's personal contribution amounted to
eight ships of about 51,000 gnoss registered
tons, This total included the ironic and con-
troversial sinking of the ex-cruise liner firan-
dora Sbr, whose heavy passenger list compris-
ed mainly Axis nationals en route to internment
in Canada.
Using the effective tactic of entering a con-
voy on the surface at night, possible until the
general fitting of radar to escorts, Prien sank him down and sank him with all hands. It was Above: HMS Royal QaI< was a veteran of Wor]d War
four out of the five ships lost by the Halifax-UK davm on 8 March 1941. I, an'R' class battleship partially modernized
convoy SC 2 in Augnrst 1940. In the October, he Beside lhe Royal Oak, Gunther Prien's per- between the wars . Not x effective as the
sighted HX 79, vectored in five other U-boats sonal score included 30 merchantships ofabout contemporary'Quen Elizabeth' class,
nevertheless her loss in thewaters ofScapa Flow
and mounted a co-ordinated onslaught that 165,000 gross registered tons. His loss was was asevere blow toBritishpride.
accounted for 14 ships, three to Prien. admitted by the German high command a llcrt-
night later, together with the posthumous
Lastaction award of the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross.
On 6 March I94l Prien located the west- Strangely, after three months when not a
bound OB 293 and brought in fow other boats. single U-boat had been sunk, the Germans lost
The convoy was stoutly defended, Iosing four four in March I94I. T\nro of the others also were
ships at an initial cost to the Germans of one commanded by'aces', Kretschmer's Lr-99 and
U-boat sunk and one severely damaged, Prien Schepke's U- I 00. AbIe skippers such as these
hung on, determined to exact full measure. had exploited the early weaknesses of the con-
Using his surface speed and the cover ofrain voy system, With their loss and the continually
squalls, he kept the convoy in sight but neg- improving escort situation, the Battle of the
lected to watch his flanks. The veteran des- Atlantic hrrned a significant corner in the iong
troyer HMS Wolvenne surprised him, forced struggle to Allied victory.

.230
Axis Submarines of World War II

TUpe VllB Unlerseeboot U-47

Below and right: Workhorse of the German


submarine fleet, the TVpeWI appeared in sk main
variants. Shown is a 'B'-type, Prien's U-47 with the
,Seven flr,Subma rine Flotilla's'Laughing B ulll motil
on the tower. The single 20-mtn gun was soon
moved to a bandstand ahalt the periscope
standards and supplemented by other weapons.
U - Boqt Aces : Ofto Kretschmer
During World War I some U-boat commanders had While many U-boats still made orthodox submerged attacks from
experimented with night attacks on the surtace, and had outside the escort screen, U-99 weaved amonq the columns of hapless
enjoyed considerable success. In the first 18 months of merchantmen, sending ship after shrp to the bottom, Kretschmer com-
World War I I , a few daring captains developed night- fighting manded that only he could order a crash dlve, being firmly convinced
techniques that cut a swathe through Britain's Atlantic that safety lay on the surface. However imprecise, Asdic could pinpoint
convoys. submerged U-boats for a potentially lethal depth-chargrng. Time and
time again, Kretschmer evaded escorts with his hrgh surface speed,
The havoc wrought among the convoys by the U-boat aces was out olall quite prepared to fight his way out rather than submerge. The eventual
proportion to their number: in the infamous assault on convoy SC 7 on 18 fate of U-99 was to prove him right.
October 1940, Otto Kretschmer's U-99 inflicted more casualties than the On 16 March 194I, U-99 joined in another wolfpack attack, slipping
other seven submarines that took part in the battle, the captain and his past the escorts at dusk and sinking four tankers and two freighters by 3
crew returning to a hero's welcome at their base at Lorient, This attack, a am. It was her fourth battle in as many weeks, and signalled the end of
classic success for Admirat Donitz and his U-boat commanders, origin- the patrol. Low on fuel, she set course for home, her captain gorng below
ated when U-93 made a qeneral sigmai giving the posttron, course and to compose his report to Lorient. But the watch was not alert, and when
speed of a large convoy it had spotted. In accordance with U-boat two destroyers suddenly loomed out of the darkness a junior officer
tactical doctrine, U-93 endeavoured to shadow the convoy while all panicked and ordered a crash dive. Kretschmer's worst fears were then
other U-boats within range converged on the area, The convoy man- realized as U-99 was locatecl by Asdic and pounded with depth charges.
aged to shake off U-93, only to be spotted by U-48 on the afternoon of 17 Her lights went out and she plunged out of control well below the
October; but by intercepting slgnal traffic the Britlsh knew SC 7 was maximum safe depth, Ankle deep in water and with the hull groaning
being followed and the convoy made several violent course alterations, under the pressure, Kretschmer had no choice but to surface and
and U-48 iost contact too. Donitz promptly ordered his U-boats to deploy surrender,
into an 'interception stripe' across the probable course olthe convoy. SC
7 eventually brushed the northern edge ofthe line, and as darkness fell
the wolfpack pounced: 17 ships were sunk in a night of desperate
f,ghtlng,
The aces ignored the procedures they had learned before the war
and instead closed to attack on the surface. Kretschmer's favourite
attacking position was from the dark side of a convoy so that the target
ships were silhouetted against the moon, but if the night was too dark
then he approached from windward so that the enemy watch was
squinting against the wind and spray.

TheattackonconvoySCT
took place on the night of I I
October I 940 : six U-boats,
including Kretschmer's U -99
andSchepke'sU-100,
attacked at dusk. Kretschmer
manoeuvred U-99 to aim at a
shipontheedgeof the
convoywhen the target
suddenlyexploded,
torpedoed by another
member of the wolfpack. A --
destroyer appeared just as U-
99 and U- 1 23 were closing in,
and U-99 sped off into the
darkness, returning to attack
at I0pm.

*.
Left: Another blazing merchantman
sink belowthewaves.When a ship
went down the radio operatorwould
try to g:ive its nane andposifibn so
that survivors could be found, but
prospects of suwival in the icy
Atlanticwere grim.
Axis Submarines cf Worid War nE

Left: The escorts franticaily fire slarsftelJbursfs to Below: As the attack draws to a close, U-99 warks
locate the G erman su,bmarjnes. Once spof ted, a her way round ta the rear of the canvay with ihe
U-boat could be depth-charged or even attacked intention oi expending her last lorpecloes on a
by the most ancient naval weapon of all, the rant. straggler. Kretschmer and his crew had sunk rtine
,Scftepke was eventually toperish thisway, cuiin ships out of lft e I 7 last by SC 7, ard ref urned io
half with his U-boat, but this night the escorts had base atLorientfour days later ta a hera's welcorne
no such luck and merchantmenwentdownone
after another.

g
:::.:.,:'i:":r;
.::se-.4*,..
#;1-d+:
,;,-.i."
.-tr.!;!! ,ffi
: l:i-;
=,'<r-

4 F.#r:
sr+ .":_:
,,-,#,.:,.q,.

':1@*; .

;,E&p,4,];,i:
li ::r:.!:{,:rj'
:..rt,'rai.:i1' ,:
.,: +!t
!:bi :ri:-"-
' " ii i!:i:i: : i.! .
ir i + '

*
" **,=
d:'=.: :j ":i:ji:++:&j'::-;

*=:l*r5*€-'
F

: : :: U-boats boldly approached


. . : nvoy on the surface. their prey
' : :etted in the moanlight. U-99 .

. - ,:rafes fhe escort screen. Atter


- .: al torpedoesliadmjssedaf
.. :ange. Kretschmer aimed the
. :'.' his ownjudgement.
-*- .,;-
':.::€'::€.=-:€-<
- ::ting that the aiming director -_ "" JLe* *
lulty ::
t.=':-:- --=
]€_:: = i*
.- -::=-
'. =

ffi'" i-;rrj L
trI rui,L rx
The Type D( class was desigmed for
ccean warfare, Loosely based on the
far smailer Type II, rt differed fun-
damentally in having a doubie hull.
This feature increased meful internal
volume by enabling fue1 and ballast
tanks to be sited externally. In turn, the
extra hull improved survivability by
cushioning the inner (pressure) hull
from explosive shock and gave the
boats greatly improved seakindliness
on the surface. Habitability was im-
proved for operations ol longer dura-
tion and the number of torpedoes car-
ried, at 22, was about 50 per cent more
than those of a Type VIIC. The deck
Qnrn was increased in calibre ftom 88 to
I05 mm (3,465 to 4.13 in).
To give an idea olhow desigms de-
veloped dwing the cowse of the war,
the Type D(A and Tlpe VIIA variants
were, respectively, 76.5 and 64,5m
(25I and 2It.6 ft) long, while the final
Type IXD and Type VIIF marks, were
87,5 and 77.6m (287,07 and 254,6ft)
long.
The major objective with the TYpe
IX variants was to improve range
rather than offensrve capability. Thus
the eiqht Type IXA boats could
achieve 19500 l<rn (12,I20 miles) on the
surface at l0 kts yet, even before
September 1939, were being com- no armament, but capable of stowing Specification Already wearing the' OId G lory', a
plemented by the first of 14 TYpe DG over 250 tons of fuel for the topping-up TypeD(C surendered TYpe I X U - boat wallow s
boats capable of 22250 km (i3,825 of other boats. The 29 TYpe IXD2s Ifpe: ocean-gorng submarine in a quiet sea off the American aast,
miles). These were followed by the boats were operational boats with the Displacement l, 120 tons surfaced and in May I 945, watched by a DE and a
largrest gnoup, the lVpe D(C and slight- phenomenal range ofSB400 kn (36,290 I,232 tons submerged blimp. This ex ample was a' D'
ly modified Type IXC-40, I49 boats miles), enabling them to work the indi- Dimensions: lengrth 76.70 m (251 ft variant, longer than earlier versions.
with bunkers for 25000km (15,535 an Ocean ald even reach Japan. Some B in); beam6.75 m(22ff.Z ln); draught
miles), included a small, sinqle-seat towed 4.70m(15ft5rn)
From the opening of hostilities, the gyro.kite to increase their visual Propulsioru surfaced diesels
Type IXs worked the westem and search radius. The TYpe IXD2 was delivering4,400 hp (3281 k\AI) and (71.5 miles) at 4 kts
southern Atlantic and, on the entry into firrther ref,ned to the Type XD2-42, submerged electric motors deliveringt Armament: one i05-mm (4. 13-in) grun,
the war of the United States, were sup- but only one of this variant was ever I,000 hp (746 kW) to two shafts one 37-mmAA En:n, one 20-mm AA
' plemented by Type VIICs for the 'Hap- compieted. Advanced diesels in the Speed: surfaced I8.2 ks and gnrl\ and six 533-mm (21-in) torpedo
py Time', ravaging shipping dourn the Type IXDIs Erave a 2l-kt surface submergedT.S kts tubes (forr forward and two aft) with 22
USA's eastern seaboard to the Carib- speed, but were found unreliable and Range: surfaced 25000 kn (15,535 torpedoes
bean before a proper convoy system not repeated. mtles) at I0 lls and submerged I 15 lrn Complement:zE
had been instrhrted,
As early as 1940, the Type D(D was With each variant operating ever turther afreld, the Wpe IX wasa most
on the board, with an extra I0,8-m successlfu/desigm. Shown is the'B' variant U- I 06, which was particrlarly
(35.4-ft) section worked ir. Tbo exam- succressrtJin fi e North Ailantic, off the Aneican eastern seaboa rd, in the
ples of the Type IXDI were built, with Caribban and off West Africa. Sfi e also torpedoed liebalflesftjp Mdaya

trl Tril'" x and rype xI


Of the flve marn types of U-boat iden- World War I, its mode of operation boats were smaller, with a circular- 2, 177 tons submerged
tified by pre-war staff reguirements, rapidiy became impossible in World section pressure hull flanked by a Dimensions: Iength 89. B0 m (294 ft
the patrol submarines of short-, War II and ihe type was discontinued. slab-sided outer hull ofgenerous prop- 7 in); beam9.20 m(30 ft2 in); draught
medium- and lonQl-enduranie capabi- Indeed, the boats' most noteworthy ortions. On the centreline forward, six 4.11 m(13 ft6 rn)
lities became the TVpe II, TYpe VII achievement seems to have been U- mine storages projected from keei to Propulsioru surfaced diesels
and 'fype IX respectively. The others 601's initial sighting of the British con- the top of a hump in the casing, each delivering 4,200 bhp (3131 kW) and
were a 'small' minelayer and a long- voy JW 55B in the Norwegrian Sea on accommodating three mrne assemb- submergted electric motors delivering
range cruiser submarine; with mod- Christmas Day 1943. Her contact re- lies. On each side, in the space be- l, 100 hp (820 kW) to two shafts
frcations, these became the Type X port was responsible for the sailing of tween the hulls,. were fltted 12 shorter Speed: surfaced 16,5 kts and
and Tlpe XI. the Sdrarniorsl, bent on interception, stowages, each containing hvo mines. submerged7 kts
Only three type XIs were ever built, She, in turn, was met by the Royal Navy The total load was, therefore, 66 large Range: surfaced 34400 kn (21,375
these being very larqe boats with a and sunk the followiag day. mines. Built to avoid action as far as miles)at l0 ktsandsubmerged I75 kn
lengrth of I 15 m (377.3 ft) and a surface The Type XA was, in fact, a very possible, the type XBs had only hvo 109 miles) at 4 kts
displacement of 3140 tons. Essentially Iarge minelayer desigm, a 2,500{onner torpedo tubes, squeezed rn right aft. Armament: one 105-mm (4. I3-in) gnm
submersible surface raiders, they had incorporating multiple vertical mine- They proved to be better employed in (later removed), one 37-mm AA gmn,
a useftrl surface speed of23 kts, and a stowage shafts of the type used suc- resupply rather than minelaytng, one (later four) 20-rnrn AA gunq tvvo
superstructure that included stowage cessfirlly in the TYpe VIIDs. Possibly 533-mm (21-rn) torpedo hrbes (bothaft)
for a small scout seaplane and paired considered vulnerable because of its Specification with l5 torpedoes, and 66 mines
127-mm (S-in) qmns at each end, size, the TYpe XA never progffessed TypeXB Complement52
Though the large cruiser submarine beyondthe drawing board, being su- Type: minelaying submarine
had enjoyed some success during perseded by the Type XB. These eight Displacement: 1,763 tons surfaced and

r234
Type X and Type XI (continued) Axis Submarines of World War II
Pianned atatimewhenthe larger cruiser submarine ideawas still invogue,
only threeType XI were built, due tochangingpriorities.With alengthot
I I 5 m (377 ft), the tour boats (U- l 1 2/ - 1 1 5) would have had a range of 25430 km
( 1 5,800 miles) at 12 kts. Their armament included four I 27-mm gans and an
autogyrowas carried.

E! rri;'" xvrr
A combination of antisubmarine air- ; e"-i
:raft and radar gradually made it im-
possible for U-boats to use therr high
surface speed as a basis for attack and, -.&. ".r
:o ensure their survival as a viable
attack platform, submarines had to be
rptimized for submerged perform-
arce, Only a machinery system inde-
pendent of surface air in combinatron
vrth a cleaned-up, high-speed hull
-,vould suffice, and the Type XVII
narked this fundamental and tran-
sltional step forward,
The key to the concept was the Wal-
:er closed-cycle propulsion system
Iat rehed on the near-explosive de-
:omposition of concentrated hyd-
:ogen peroxide in the presence of a
.atalyst, The reaction produced a
:igh{emperature mix of steam and fpl
ree oxygen into which fuel oil was in- 3&.r*r9t'
_ected and flred, resulting in high-
pressure gases that were made to ;..&w&
Crwe.a conventional h-ubine. A weak-
ress of the principle was that almost
any impurity couid act as a catalyst to
mtiate the process at a disastrously
early staqe.
Two prototype boats proved the
machinery feasible, and the system I -, *,a619:
',v-as pressed into servrce in the Type
.{VIIs. A drawback was the extreme modified Type XVIIB (three com- Propulsion: surfaced diesel delivering One of the nearly com ple te Type XVI tr
--hust of the system, dictatinq a small pleted) having only one tubine. Space 210 bhp (157 k\trf andsubmerged Walter turbine boats is transfend
loat wrth a srngle propeller. For cruise was available for only two torpedo Walter closed-cycle engdne by a 350-ton floating crane through
pur:poses, this was driven by a conven- tubes, with but one reload for each, a deliverhg 2,500 hp ( 1865 kW) or the shattered Kielyard of
:tona1 diesel/electric combination, deficiency oflsel by lhe rncreasrng electrlc motor delivering 77 hp H owaldtswerke. Advanced fe a tur es
'nth the Walter coupled up only to lethallty of the weapon. (57 k\AD to one shaft include a hydrodynamically clean
:crce or decline an engaqement, A projected T1rye XVIIKwould have Speed: surfaced 9 lcts and submerged hull and a single propeller set in
Externally, the hull was cleaned-up,
-.'nth no guns and a mimmum of pro-
abandoned the volatile Walter for con- 21.5 ktson Walter engine or 5 kls on cruciform control surfaces. Jvofe tie
ventional diesels aspirated with pure electdcmotor sonar dome forward.
:.tberances. It was offigmre-eight sec- oxygen stored aboard. Range: surfaced 5550 km (3,450 mrles)
'-on, formed of two overlapping circu- at 9 kts ard submerqed 2 10 kr ( 130.5
iar pressure hulls ofunequal diameter, Specification mr-les) on Walter engine or 75 kn (46.6
h practice, the length to beam ratio TypeXVIIB miles) on electric motor
.Yas too high, resultrng in an unneces- Type: coastal submarine Armament: two 533-mm (2 l-in)
*carily high drag, This meant that the Displacement: 3 12 tons surfaced and torpedo hrbes (both forward) with four
Type XVIIA never realized its theore- 357 tons submerged torpedoes Few in number s but rich in varian ts.
-jcal top speed of 25 kts possible with Dimensions: length 4 1, 50 m (i36 ft Complement: 19 the fipe XVI I U -boat was not a
:,vo hrbines on a common shaft. So 2 in); beam3,40 m(11 ft2 in); draught success, trying to press the Walter
:nly four such boats were built, the 4.25 m(14 ftO in) turhine into service before its time.
i: Planned to run to a dozen boats (U-
I 08 1 / 1 092), the'G' variant was haltec'
3."* before any were comple te. I t w as
desigmed for an ultim ate su bm e r g ei
speedof25 kts.
Science versus the U-Boqt
Wartarehas always heenaforcing-groundfor technologicalchange, butnowarhas
been more dependent upon science than the s truggle between the submarine and
/fte escort vessel. Swinging firstoneway and then the other, theBattle of theAtlantic
was to be won by the side with the technological edge.

The UK's near total dependence upon sea-


borne commerce has proved a weakness often
explorted by her enemies, Durlng World War I
the Germans were able to keep their High Seas
F1eet as a threat 'in being'whrle using their
submarines almost without restriction to dam-
age the British economy, to the extent that vic-
tory was iost only through the redrscovered art
of convoy,
Hitler, with an even weaker surface fleet,
looked again in 1939 to his U-boats to blockade
the Brltish lnto submission. The courage of the
submarine crewswas, however, to be matched
by that of the British and thelr allies, backed by
technology that was eventually to prove deci-
slve,
Science could assrst, not only in developing
the familiar 'black boxes' but also in passive
assessment of the struggle to come, A convoy
system was obviously requrred but, bearing in
mind the enemy's weaknesses and strengths,
answers to fundamental questions were also
requrred. What was the oplimum convoy size
and how best was it to be arranged? How many
escorts were needed and where were they to Independents suffered losses at two to three In an attemptto extend the endurance oftheU-
be placed? In terms of cargo shrp/days, was it times the rate of ships in convoy, but the Admir- boats, special resupply submarines were
more effective to run'independents', with their alty's belief that the latter should not exceed 40 developed, to enable regrular attacks on sea routes
higher loss rates, than to keep shlps hanging ships came under scrutiny, Escorts were allo- far from the increasingly well protected convoys.
around warting for a convoy? What routes and cated (rdeally, at least) at three to a very small As these'milchcows'were sunk, the U-boats turned
their attentions back to the main target, the
convoy cycles best served the war effort, while convoy, plus one for each addrtional 10 ships, convoys,
taking lnto account the limlted escort capacity? Thrs principle was shown to be anomalous for,
The science of operational research provided applying it, say, to two separate convoys, each late further, 60 ships had less than twrce the
the answers to these questions and many more, of 20 ships, each would need to be accompa- perrmeter of 20 and 100 less than 272 times.
The basic weakness of the U-boat was its nied by frve escorts, yet by combining the two Thus to keep the same spacing, all else being
slow speed and endurance once submerged. convoys into one of40 ships, only seven escorts equal, only 12 of 13 escorts were required for a
Even surfaced, its horizon was normally limited would be required. 100-ship convoy, where 25 would have been
to about l6 km (10 miles), and it could be simp- With escorts in desperately short supply, the needed for five 20-ship convoys, together with
ly demonstrated that a single group of ships reasoninq was attractive. It was also correct, for a higher risk of detection, Larger convoys were
was far less iikely to be detected than a num- thouQrh twice as many ships occupled twice the instituted in early Ig43 and halved the loss rate.
ber of independents, Also, to devote warships area, their perrmeter (assumed circular) in-
to convoy escort duties was not totally defen- creased by less than 50 per cent, To extrapo- Increased listening capacity
sive warfare for, once sighted, the convoy A surfaced submarine could extend its li-
acted as the bait to bring the U-boat to the Under whatever flag, surtace watchkeeping on a
mited horizon by listening lirr a convoy's hyd-
hunter, saving much fruitless search. Only by submarine was wet and endless but vital to spot rophone effect or by sighting its smoke, but a
directly patroiling the submarines' transit targets or for self-protection against aircraftwhen group of submarines could increase its chance
routes could anti-submarine shrps be em- re-charying. These crewmen are I talian, on what by forming a hne of bearing across a suspected
ployed as effectively. appears to be an'Adua' class boat. track, Should a submarine make a contact it
would report to its shore-based control on HF,
the latter rebroadcasting on MF to a1l boats to
close in, the well known 'wolfpack' tactic
(known to the Germans as.Rude.l ?aktuk). The
weaknesses of the system were the amount of
wireless traffic generated and the need for
U-boats to run on the surface, failings both ex-
ploited by the British.
.,,r.,,,,&..... , .rllrrr
"l Rapld and encyphered, the transmissions
tended to have a patrern and, even before they
could be decyphered they were useful be-
cause their very direction indicated a convoy
under threat and requirlng reinforcement, The
breakthrough was the development of a ship-
borne high-frequency direction-finder (WF Dl
F or 'Huff Duff) Two or three ships so fitted
could accompany a convoy and take bearings
on any transmissions, whlch if close enough or
on a bearing that posed a threat, would be
aggressively run dov,n by the best-positioned
escort, To sink the submarine was a bonus but
merely to make iL submerge was sufficient to
for rt to lose touch, sometimes for good, as the
Axis Sulcmarines of World War II

.t

--' !

3erman boat's submerged performance at that when arrcraft received the EO-milhon candle- The advanced technology of theGermanType X,l:i
:]me was poor, power Leigh Light, ertra gnms and improved counted for little when caught on the surface by
U-boats were, indeed, surprised and sunk depth charges wrth which to mount sudden and marauding aircraft. Extensive mining obliged
but, as WF DIF appeared at about the same unannounced onslaughts frcm out of the dark- them to transit coastalwate$ in groups and
accomp anie d by mine sweeper s.
:ime as escort-borne radars, the latter tended
,o be suspected by the enemy as the cause. The enemy survived by developrng the
Asdic (now termed 'sonar') was widely fltted Schnorckel (snort) but slow, submerged tran- favoured weapon was the Zaunkonig ac.-.--
r Royal Naval escorts, but its effectrveness had sits now occupied most of a boats endurance torpedo, tuned to home on the escoris --s.-
been rather overrated before the war, and this and even on station high surface speeds could running propellers, After some losses. the :a:-
:actor was compounded by the common prac- not be used. Efficrency fell ofl raprdly. Desper- tice adopted was to locate the torped: .
..ce by surfaced U-boats of attacking a convoy ately, some U-boats carried enhanced AA approach on hydrophones and stop engr-:.
-i night, capitalizing on their small silhouettes, armament, electing to f,ght tt out on the surface. The enemy responded wrth more delica:e :-:--
lhe answer was radar, the escorts beingt fltted This suited the aircraft very,,nrell. and spiralling ing to detect the noise of arxiliary machire:,'
',-lth modrfied metrlc-wavelength ASV sets U-boat losses soon dlscouraged the practice, defeated in turn by the escort towing an ac:--
:om aircraft, these being gradualiy replaced with air-to-surface rockeis proi'ing particularly tic decoy known as 'Foxer',
ly centimetrlc sets that could detect a surfaced effective against the submanne s thick hulls, Forerunner of today's countermeasures -,:-:
s,rbmarine out to about 6.4 km (4 miles). With the U-boat now atiachng submerged, Foxer was only one such item, American ::-=--
Asdlc came back into iis o-wn. In 1943, lf she tributions included Magnetic Anomaly De:=:
Aircraft sub-hunters kept her speed down to abcu: 15 ks an escort tion (MAD) as early as 1942, with sonobuc-.-. =
It was the aircraft that proved the greatest could obtain a contact ai up ic about 2,4 km (1.5 year later. The Brltish had an air-launched =:::-
:.uisance to the surfaced U-boat, but its pre- miles) but, because of ihe geometry of the pen- submarrne homing torpedo, FIDO by mtd- - :=:
::nce wrth a convoy did have the drawback of cil beam, contact ,"ryas lcs: cn :he run in, some
:.ecessitating a degree of radro traffic where, 275 m (300 yards) shcr: c: :arget As charges High-speed submarines
:.|herwise, silence was observed, Even wrth were stiil dropped or nrei c'er the target's Ultimately the Germans introduced the :-;:.
:adar, arrcraft took a while to develop the art of positron, this gave an alert suimarrne comman- speed submarine rn the Types XXI and i-,----
;ubmarine huntrng, partly because the Ger- der a precious half minute to take the evasrve The former had a 16-kt submerged sp==:
:rans had a radio receiver that very effecttvely action, Ahead-flring weapons were therefore underwater fire control and advanced :crp:-
letected radar transmissions, enabling rapid developed, Mousetrap and Hedgehog and, la- does but, fortunately for the Allies, was brc-;::
=voiding actron to be taken. Not untrl Novem- ter, the Squid, were able to reach the target into service too late to have much impac:
:er 1941 was the first 'krll' ascribed to radar. By before contact was iost, The Squid, in fact, was Through ail causes, the Germans lost rre a:-,'
:arly 1943 shorter wavelengths confounded soon used rn conjurrction wtth an Asdic that 800 U-boats durlng the war. These :-=-
re German equipment and, for a space of could measure depth as vu'ell as range and accounted for over 14 milhon Qlross regrs:=::l
:iree months, U-boat losses ran at an average bearing. tons of mercantile losses, over two-thrras :-=
:i one per day. Any U-boat seeking to attack a convoy was total from all causes. Science assis:ei ::-=
Night-running on the surface, even to charge then forced to iackle the escorts first, particu- Alhed victory immeasurably in both an--3-!:.
,atteries, became prohibitively dangerous larly as aircraft were usually present, A ing and respondlng to enemy develop:-=:-:..
ffi rri;'" run
One of the most influential destgns tn
the hrstory of the submarine, the Tlpe
lOil was to set standards until the intro-
duction of the nuclear boat a decade
later, Thougrh both closed-cycle tur-
brnes and diesels had been intro-
duced, both still needed development,
so a stopgap high-power electric boat
was produced, usinq mostly estab-
lished technoloqy. With the lower
pressure hull packed with high power-
density cells, the Type XXIs could, lbr
the first time, develop more power
submerged than swfaced. Their main
propulsion motors were sup-
plemented by low power untts for st-
lent manoeuvrinqt.
Like that in the Type XVII, the press-
ure hull of the TVpe XXIwas of 'double-
bubble' cross section, though external- Above: Lack of paint on hoth tower
ly framed. It was prefabdcated in eight and stemhead are clues to the high
sections at a variety of sltes, being speeds atlajned by thisTTpeXXI.
brought together for flnal assembly at The hull is faired into an almost
the shipyard. The external framinq in- elliptical cross-section, leaving little
creased volume and facilrtated the deck, and the forward hydroplanes
addition of a hydrodynamically clean fold back into slots to reduce drag.
outer skin, Construction was all-
welded for a target of three boats per
week in an ambitious programme to Left: The Blohm undVoss slips in May
produce an eventual 1,500 units (U- 1945 give anideaof the leveltowhich
2500 to U-4000). Most other submarine series production of submarines had
progEammes were curtailed or cancel- progre s sed. The se TYpe X XI boats
led to this end, are berng assem bled from hull
The TYpe XXIs were designed to sections prefabricated at many
spend their full patrol time sub- inland sites and tansported to
merged, so the snod was used mainly Hamburgbywater.
to run diesels for battery recharge.
Habitability was greatly improved, for the Ailies, the TVpe XXI never be- 6,20m(20ft4in) submerged electric motors delivering
with air-conditioning and air- came fully operational. Several were Propulsion: surfaced diesels 5,000 hp (3730 kW) or electric motors
regeneration apparatus. sunk, all by aircraft and in home wa- delivering 4,000 bhp (2983 kW) and delivering 226 hp ( 169 kW) to two
The only gnrns were paired automa- ters. shaJts
trc weapons set into the forward and Optim ized for submerged Speed: surfaced 15,5 kts and
after profiles of the elongated fin, A Specification performance, the protile of submerged i6 lcts on main electric
combination of active and passive so- Type)OflA the T\pe XX I cont asts with motor or 3.5 kts on creepinQl electric
nars was used to provide a full torpe- Tlpe: ocean-going submarine those of earlier submarines. motors
do-firing solution without recourse to Displacement: 1,62I tons sufaced and iVo deckgrun rs needed, but Range: surfaced 28800 l<n (17,895
the periscope. T\lro proposed but un- l,B 19 tons submerged chin sonar and sonar mast are miles) and submerged 525 km (325
built variants, the TYpe lOilB and Type tii'";;i;;J;"ai zo zo . 1zs r rt $ prominent. The first to miles) at 6 kts
l0flC, would have increased the num- B in); beam6,62 m(2i ft9 in); commission, U-251 I, was Armament: four 30-mm or 20-mm AA
ber of torpedo tubes ftom sx to 12 and ,: Norwegrian-based,but, guns, and sx 533-mm (2 1 -in) torpedo
IB respectively by the insertron of ex- . beyond a 'dumm/ attack on a tubes (all forward) with 23 torpedoes
tra sectioris into the hull. Fortunately i O cruiser, fia d no luck. Complement:57
:!r::itd:;ffi

ffi Trir'" )ffirrr


Rather than search the Atlantic for con-
The very small size of lhe German
T?pe XXIII is apparent from this view
ofU-2326 alongside aDundee quaY
in May 1 945. Few fittings protrude to
voys it may, in retrospect, have been spoil the flow over the very clean hull
more rewardrng for the German sub- and tower. Only two bow torpedo
madne arm to develop tactics to tackle tubeswerefitted.
lhem at ther knovm points of anival
and departure, despite the likely con-
centrations of escorts, A suitable vehi- with a very low reserve buoyancy (the
c1e would have been the Type )OilII, difference between surfaced and sub-
smali and agile for shallow water op- merged displacements was only 24
eratlons and, Iike its larger cousin the tons) allowed for rapid crash-dive,
Tlpe XXI, packed with high-capacity times of iess than l0 seconds beinqt
battery cells for maximum underwater recorded. Even smaller than the Type
speed, Its hull had the 'double-bubble' XVII Walter boats, the TYpe XXIIIS
cross section over the forward half but also had a single shaft but a propeller
was internally framed and prefabrt- proportionately larger in diameter for
cated in four sections. The partial- greater propulsive efficiencY.
Iength lower hull contarned both bat- Though the boat was designed to
tenes and some ballast and fuel capac- operate submerqed, its stlhouette on
rW, A deparhrre was the near aban- the surface was very small, being ltttle
donment of outer casing except in the more than the slim tower with the
transitional zones and this, together attached low casing that enclosed the

l aco
Type X)fiII (continued) Axis Submarines of World War II
snort rnduction and engine exhaust less than 500 m (545 yards), By this time Specification 35 hp (26 kW) to one shaft
arangements. No quns were carried 62 type XXIIIs had entered service and TypeXXIII Speed: swfaced 10 kts and
ald, oddly, .only two torpedo tubes. their only losses had been to aircraft; it Tlpe: coastal submarine submerged I2.5 kts on main elecEic
With no space rnboard for orthodox was fortunate for the Allies that the Displacement: 232 tons surfaced and motor or 2 kts on creeping elecfic
loading, the boat needed to be tdm- enemy's training and dedication no 256 tons submergred motor
med by the stern to expose the bow longer matched his technology, Dimensions: lengith 34. 10 m ( I 12 ft Ranfe: surfaced 2500 ]cn (i,555 mites)
caps. As no spares could be carried an 0 in); beam 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in); draughr and submerged 325 lcn (202 miles) at
extra two or four tubes forward would 3.75m(12ft3in) 4 kts
have been a bonus, As rt was, attacks fropulsion: surfaced diesel delivering Armament: two 533-mm (2 l-rn)
jrad to be carried out positively, from 580 bhp (433 kW) andsubmerged torpedo tubes (both forward) with twc
:lose range and with very fast or very electdc motor dehvering 600 hp torpedoes
slealthy disengagements. That this (447 kW) or electric motor deitvering Complement: 14
;,-as possible was shown by the last
',-boat attack in European waters, From the tower aft the Type XXIil
-rluch occurred on 7 May 1945 well was all machinery. The forward
::side the Firth of Forth, when the U quarter was all torpedo rom and,
2336 sank two British merchantmen of except for a minisc'ufle control r@m,
rn escorted convoy, One torpedo was the crewwas squeezed abve the
-ed on each, fired on the strength of
passive sonar bearinqs from ranges of
banks of high-capacity battery ells .
lVofe tlre srhgr/e screw and unusual
antrolsurtaces.

'Sirena', 'Perla', 'Adua' and


'ACCiaiOt ClaSSgS Bonaventure once converted, she
went on to attack the harbour at
Datilg from a period of gneat expan- Algrers in December 1942, heavrly
son for the ltalian narry's submarine damagring four shrps totalling 20,000
arm, the 12 'Sirena' class submarrnes gross regmtered tons.
were known also as the '600' class Yet another virtual repeat class had
boats. This flgnrre was indicative of followed in the 17 'Adua' class boats.
']reLr standard surface displacement launched 1936-8. Two of these also
exceeded
ard, though the final design were converted to carry SLCs and one
:: by a considerable margin, they of thesetheScrre, wasparticularlysuc-
proved very handy boats for the con- cessful, She attacked Gibraltar on no
stricted conditions of the Mediterra- less than four occasions, the raid of
:ean. Their detail design was greatly September l94l accountingr for two
-niuenced by that of the preceding ships, including the auxiliary tarker
Argonauta' class, but, as they were Dedcydate.Hergreatestcoup,howev-
iaid down before the latter's entry into er, was in December l94l when her
service, they dld not benefit from three SLCs put the battleships HMS
-rorking experience, Simple and Queen Elizabefi and HMS Valiant.
:obust, they were heavily used and togetherwithatanker,onthebottomof tons surhced and between 842 and The ltalian submarine Perla at Beirut
s:fiered accordingrly, only one surviv- Alexandria harbour, She was finally BtO tcrs sr-lbmerged after capture in I 942. The shadow
-rg beyond the armistice of Septem- sunk by the anti-submarine trawler Dimensions: ienerth 60. 18 m ( ]97 ft accentuates the unusual
cer 1943. /s/ay outside Haifa in Augn:st 1942. 6 rn) been:6 45 m(21 ftZ in); draught tunblehome of the casing.
Ten almost identical derivatives, the The final expression of the '600' type 4.7Gn.-:t5in)
?erla'class, followed on. Tbro of these, was in the enlarged l3-boat Acciaio' PropuJsion: s,.rfaced dresels Speed: surfaced 14 kts and
:nde and Onice, served somewhat class of lg41-2, deli;e=,9. 2C0 bhp(895 kW)and submerged8 kts
:ontroversially under Spanrsh suin::ged elecffic motors delivering Range: surfaced 9000 ka (5,590 miles)
\atronalist colours durinq the Spanish Specification 8CC lc il3l k\\I) to two shafts at B kts and submerged I35 kn (84
trivil War. During World War iI, the 'Sirena'class miles) at 4 kts
i'rde, together wrth the Ambra, were Type:sea-groinqsubmarine Armament: one 100-mm (3,9-rn) qn-m,
:onverted to cArry SLC human torpe- Displacement:between679and701 huo (laterfour) i3.2-mm (0.52-in)
loes. The latter boat had already dis- :.A machine-gnrns, and six 533-mm (2l-rn)
fuguished herself when, two days af- ' ",, .. torpedo tubes (fow forward and two
:3r the Battle of Cape Matapan, she aft)wrth 12torpedoes
lad sunk the Bdt*h cruis'er HMS ---F':z: r ?- -- Complemeu!:-4!
J-i--- !

A.bdue : H andy-sized'Mediterranean' Below: A more powerful'Adna'/


trong' Adua' c,lass
I 7- s 'Perla' with reduced ,or4ler, Acciaio
were after places in ltalian was lead boat of a class of I 3 . She was
North Boats of the class were sunk by H M Subm ar ine Unroly on I 3
modified carners. luly 1943.
ruil t"s'i'class :::.::':' ".:.:]];t::.,:',.):.t:)t:..::::.4:,::;:...,
.:)::::: ':.:
-.::...:?.^.
"'.."a::;::.::).
..-)ri
i.:":r.::
:'::..- -.-%i
'i,;:
:t 1t...
:.it
..!"''
..

It rs not clear how the Italian navy, with


minimal commitments outside the
Mediterranean, could justify invest-
ment in submarines for ocean warfare, a: :iffill1;**iiiPf ;f.*1e;l.itr.rl;
Italy's merchant marine, while of
reasonable srze, could not be pro-
tected on a worldwide basis by Italy's
surface fleet, which was gteared to
short-endurance, high-speed under-
takings, so coherent operations in the
defence of trade were out of the ques-
tion, even against the rrval neighbour
France. Despite this, the four 'Cagmi'
class submarines were all laid down in
September and October 1939 on the
outbreak of hostilitres between Ger-
many and the Angrlo-French alliance.
As these submarines were aimed spe-
cifically at long-range commerce raid-
ing, one can only speculate that ltaly,
as yet umnvolved, saw rnvolvement
against the mantime powers as only a
matter of time,
The 'Cagnis'were the largest attack
boats yet built for the Italian navy and,
interestingly, were armed with small
450-mm (17.7-in) torpedoes, Though
these were longer than the standard Unfortunately for ltalian plans, the Displacement: 1,680 tons surfaced and Ammiraglio Cagrni returns from sea
450-mm (17.7-rn) weapons, enabling Mediterranean sea war requrred the 2, i70 tons submerged with a damaged after casing. The
them to cafiy a warhead of 200k9 keeping open of the vital North Africa Dimensions: lenqth 87,90 m (2BB ft heavy armament of two I 00-mm and
(441 lb) in place of the more usual supply route. Following healry surface 5 in); beam 7 76 m (25 ft 6 in); draught four I 3.2-mm gruns can be seen, also
110kq (243 lb), this payload was still losses, the nalry pressed large sub- 5,72 m(lB frg in) the generally bulky appearance
considerably less than the 270 kq marines into this sewice, In complet- Propulsion: surfaced dresels typical of most Italian ocean-going
(595 Ib) of the larger 533-mm (21-in) ing 15 trips, three of the four boats in delivering 4,370 bhp (3260 kW) and boats.
torpedoes. As the torpdoes were for the class were sunk in only three submerged electric motors deliveringr
use primanly aqalnst 'soft' tarqets, months, Only the name boalAmmirag- I,800 hp (1345 kW) to two shafts Armament: tvvo 100-mm (3.9-in) gruns,
however, this was judged acceptable, lio Cagni worked as designed, but un- Speed: surfaced 17 kts and four 13, 2-mm (0. 52-in) machine-gmns,
together with their lack of range, The successfully, sinkrng less than 10,000 submergredB.S kls and 14 450-mm ( 17,7-in) torpedo tubes
bonus for this compromise was the gross registered tons in trvo lonQr pat- Range: surfaced 20000 km (12,425 (erght forward and six aft) with 36
ability to carry 36 torpedoes, the eight rols. miles) at 12 ]<ts andsubmerged 200 kn torpedoes
tubes forward and sx aft permitting ( 124 miles) at 3,5 kts Complement: 82
large spreads to
o enhance chances of Specification
success. An unusual feature was that 'Cagmi'class Nameship and sole survivorof her
torpedoes could be transferred from Tlpe:ocean-goingsubmarine clasg Cagmili seen herc with a
f,.S; m od ifi e d and rather G erm anic- s tyle
one end of the boat to the other. Tlvo
large deck euns were also carried to tower, reducing her radar profile.
conserve torpedoes.
i
r'

the latter was on one of the banks of deliverLng3,000 bhp (2235 kW) and
'Archimede' class torpedo tubes and, apparently, caused
a compressed air explosion followed
submergred electric motors delivering
1,300 hp (970 kW) to two shafts
The four 'Archimede' class sub- British antr-submarine trawler Mooa- by the detonation of a torpedo war- Speed: surfaced 17 kts and
marines were enlargements of the stone, which inflicted damaqe that head, The ship was destroyed. submerged B kts
precedinqr'Settembrini' design with caused the boat to be fllled with no- Range: surfaced 19000 km (1 I,805
ballastrng rearranged to improve xrous fumes. Unable to dive, she fougtht Specification mrles) at B kts and submerqed 195 krn
bunker capacity, An extra Qun was it out on the surface, Far largTer, faster 'Archimede'class ( 121 miles) at 3 kts

also fltted, in keeping with the boats' and more heavily armed than her Type: sea-going submarine Armament: lwo 100-mm (3, 9-in) wns,
'ocean' role, All were launched in 1934 opponent she should have been suc- Displacement:9BS tons sMaced and two 3. 2-mm (0. 52-in) machine-gmns,
1

and, as part of therr covert support of cessful had not the Moonslone shot up 1,259 tons submerged and eight 533-mm (21-in) torpedo
the Nationalist cause during the Span- every gun's crew that emerged top- Dimensions: lenqth 70.50 m (231 ft tubes (four forward and four aft) with 16
ish Civil War, the ltaltans transferred side. With most of its officers dead, the 4 in); beam 6.83 m (22 ft 5 in); draught tor:pedoes
two to Spanish colours. These were the demoralized crew surrendered, Cap- 4, l0 m (13 ft 6 in) Complement: 55
Archimede and the Torricelli and lo tured, the boat assumed the British Propulsion: surfaced diesels
'conceal' therr transfer, two of the fol- pennant PTll until her eventual dis-
low-on 'Brins assumed their names. posal in 1946.
The three classes of boat formed a Galilei's replacement Torricelli was
closely-relal ed group, used extensive- also apprehended by British forces,
ly in colonial work, Forced to the surface near Perim Is-
That part ofthe Italian navy stationed land, she engaged in a gmn action with
in the Red Sea in June 1940 was cut off three 'K' class destroyers and a s1oop.
foom the homeland and severely hand- She was, inentably, sunk but not be-
led by the British as a threat astride the fore she had hit both the sloop and the
route from the Suez Canal eastward, destroyer HMS Kftarloum, The hit on
The Gellrlej sank a Norwegian tanker
less thair a week after the outbreak of T he' Arch imede' class submartne
hostilitids and announced her position Galilei is seen a bout to be taken in
further only lwo days later by siopping tow by the British destroyer
a neutrbl for examination, On the fol- Karrdahar. jVoxious gases fiLled the
lowing day she was intercepted by the boat and caused her surrender.

,i+0
US Pa:t 2

Organization
-^e uS Army is divided into i4 major commands.
li unctional basis, it is perhaps more illuminating
a.f
:: tnink of the army as divided into two basic
:'anches. the Arms and the Services, although
:^ese have some overlapping responsibilities.
The Arms, listed in order of precedence, are the
"iantry, the Corps of Engineers, Air Defense
:1illery, Field Artillery. Armor, the Signal Corps, the
','iiiitary Police, and Army lntelligence.
The Services are the Adjutant General's Corps,
:ae Finance Corps, the Ouartermaster Corps, the
tr.rmy Medical Department, the Chaplains, the
jrdge Advocate General's Corps, the Ordnance
Corps, the Chemical Corps, and the Transportation
Corps.
Overlap occurs with the Corps of Engineers, the
Military Police, and the Signals Corps, for these are
considered both Arms and Services because they
nave a dual combat and service function. Some
entities fall into neither category, such as the Army
Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) and
Arm.v Aviation, numerically the largest 'air force' in
the world, but not permitted to operate fixed-wing
combat aircraft. which have become the concern of
the US Air Force.
Operationally. the US Army is formed of divisions,
grouped into corps along three basic lines. These Each mechanized infantry division possesses four The US Armj, now consists of all-regular
divisions are the four armoured divisions, six tank battalions and five mechanized infantry personnel, and good rates of pay and the
mechanized infantry divisions, and four infantry battalions; in addition there are three or four artillery introductionof new equipmentsuch as theMl
divisions. There is also a single paratroop division, battalions, a helicopter battalion, an air-defence AbramsMBT has meantthatalmost allunits areup
the 82nd Airborne. considered the army's crack to full strength and the Army can be more selectiie
missile battalion, an air cavalry squadron, and sup-
fighting force. porting units. Each infantry division has one tank in its recruitment. These troops are in West
Germanyin 1983.
Each armoured division has five or six tank battalion, six mechanized infantry battalions and,
battalions and four mechanized infantry battalions. usually, six or more infantry battalions. The 82nd some divisions rely on the Reserves to f ill out their
Airborne is formed of three brigades, each with totals.
Equipment is unloaded from a Lockheed C- 130
Hercules of Military Airlift Command (MAC) three parachute battalions and an artillery battalion. National Guard units, and there are 3,285 of them,
during the 1983'Reforger'exercises.In time of war The above are basic outlines. Some divisions have represent the individual states' role in contributing
therewould be insufficientC-130, C-141 andC-5 more units assigned, others are merely at cadre to national defence. Under control of state gover-
aircraft to go around, and much equipment would strength. The infantry and mechanized infantry nors until activated as part of the regular army,
still have to come across the Atlantic by sea. divisions have National Guard components and National Guard units are :heoretically required only
Armed Forces of the World

in times of national emergency, but have been


mobilized for internal policing and disaster relief
functions. Full mobilization of the National Guard
would produce two armoured divisions, a mechan-
ized infantry division, five infantry divisions and 22
independent brigades (four armoured, eight
mechanized infantry and 10 infantry) of which four
would join regular divisions. They would in addition
form four armoured cavalry regiments, eight air-
defence battalions, and supporting units. lncluded
are five independent tank battalions, two mechan-
ized infantry battalions, 50 artillery battalions,'four
anti-tank battalions armed with TOW missiles, an
infantry reconnaissance group for use in the Aritic,
two Special Forces groups, and Army Aviation units
that fly 2,568 aircraft.
Every year 49,000 US Army Reserves serve
temporarily with regulars, adding 3,410 units and
556 aircraft. The Reserves include 12 training
divisions, a mechanized infantry division, two
independent combat brigades, and 67 support is typified by the Sikorsky UH-60A and Hughes AH- An M I 63 20-mm Vulcan self-propelled anti-aircralt
grun is driven off a Cygmus vehicje cargo ship
battalions. Not all Reserve units are up to full 64.
(N(R). Two ships 6f this class were chartered to
strength, some being cadres only. Apart from the field forces in its order of battle,
-To back up conventional forces, the US Army the Military Sealilt Command for a five-year peiod
the US Army has units in Greece, ltaly, the Nether-
from I 98 I, at a total cost oI over S I 35 million.
maintains at full strength nine artillery groups, each lands and Turkey, plus small units in the United Vehicles are unloaded via the stern.
with from 12 to 16 artillery battalions, and four anti- Kingdom. To back up its major commitment in
aircraft artillery (AAA) groups. There is a single Korea, base and support personnel are stationed in Mil 'Hind' variants) and of massed armour attack.
independent armoured brigade and four indepen- Japan. From studies, the AH-64 design was chosen and
dent infantry brigades. The spirit of the old horse Of special interest, especially to those pondering from it a superb combat helicopter has emerged.
cavalry is kept up by one independent air cavalry the army of the 21st century, is the gth lnfantry The two-seat AH-64 can operate in all weather and
brigade and three armoured cavalry regiments. Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. Part of the has important'survivability' features, including
The US Army's heavy punch comes from four RDJTF, trimmed of fat, beefed-up on weaponry, the complex navigation systems, pilot aids and armour.
Pershing missile battalions, one of which ls a train- 9th lnfantry Divjsion is an experimental and trials As armament, the AH-64 has an inbuilt 30-mm Chain
ing battalion capable of use in the f ield if required. To division known as the High Technology Test Bed Gun, 70-mm (2.75-in) rocket in pods for ground-fire
back these longer-range units are eight Lance (HTTB). lt is the modelforthe proiected Division '86, suppression, and Hellfire anti-tank missiles.
battalions. Pershing and Lance can be fitted with a new type of US Army division scheduled to take to Sensors and electronic devices for target-seeking
nuclear warheads, and will soon be joined in inven- the field in 1986. sprout from all parts of the airframe. The first AH-
tory by Patriot air-defence missiles in nine 64's have entered service but with a price tag close
battalions. Equipment. to $15 million each. While the US Army has an initial
Also distinct from conventional field units are the Just about every item in US Army inventory is requirement for 1 1 2 AH-64s, it is unlikely to get even
US Army's three Special Forces groups and two superb, though some raise the eyebrows of Con- that many if current noises from Congressional
Ranger battalions. Men from these elite units were gressional watchdogs like Michigan Senator William budget-watchers are anything to go by, especially
included in the tri-service 'Blue Light' outfit which Proxmire, a defence expert troubled over rising since the AH-64 is intended to knock out hgllcopters
made the lranian rescue attempt. Special Forces costsi The American soldier has always gone to war and tanks costing far less.
and Rangers are the US Army's 'SAS' and train for with the best that his nation can provide, and no An even louder brouhaha has arisen over the
everything from foiling airline hijackings to dropping effort is spared to guarantee that he will not find his divisional air defence system (DIVADS), inspired by
behind the lines into Czechoslovakia. equipment wanting. lt does not always work: some the Soviet ZSU-234 airdefence cannon. DIVADS is
Army Aviation supports the ground fighters, and items prove faulty under the stress of in-service or a radarguided, twin 40-mm gun system mounted
its units are assigned to varioui headquarters for combat experience. But as a rule, strict research and on an M48A5 tank chassis, and is intended to guard
reconnaissance, scouting, tactical support, casualty development standards and rigorous testing eradi- field forces against armed helicopters and fighter-
evacuation, and other work. The army operates cate flaws an item may conceal. While gratifying for bombers. Critics say it
has two problems which
Beech RU-21D 'Guardrail' electronics aircraft on the soldier, this has its price. Some weapon compromise some weapons systems: it is too
snooping missions. A new generation of helicopters systems are too complex, where a simpler design complicated to operate and, at $1 .5 million it costs
would do. Some are 'gold-plated' to a degree to too much.
cause even the exchequer of the richest nation on Other examples of the over-elaborate ot s1,'gold-
M60 MBTs and M I 5 I (4x 4) Wht vehicles, Earth to blanch. plating'can be cited, but in the main the US Army is
stocl<piled somewhere in West Germany. T hese An example, say critics, is the Hughes AH€4 well served by American defence industries, who
are kept in top condition and are ready to move as
Apache. This armed helicopter iesulted from long are now the arsenal of the non-Communist world.
soon as their crews arrive by air from the United
States..Simrjar stoc@iles of equipment areheld on development and research to counter the threat of What the US Army adopts, other nations adopt,
sfiips in the Middle East. Warsaw Pact armed helicopters (such as the latest aware that supply, back-up and spares will be forth-
coming.
Suppliers of equipment for the US Army include a
few which are virtually state-owned. For example,
artillery comes almost exclusively from Federal
arsenals at Rock lsland and Watervilet. Most items,
however, come from the nation's wdll-known
private contractors such as Chrysler, Ford.
McDonnell Douglas, and so on.
When the US Army assumes a new weapons
system, as a rule the replaced equipment goes to
the National Guard. But in recent years.the,National
Guard has begun to receive some new equipment
ahead of the regular army, a case in.point being the
M901 lmproved TOW anti-tank missile: vehicle
provided to National Guard units.before it was
issued to troops in Germany. Most of the equipment
of the National Guard and Reserves remains a
generation behind that of the regular army.

5#4 ?,t