U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , a shortening

of Unterseeboot, which means "undersea boat" employed by Germany, particularly

in World War I and World War II. The unrestricted submarine warfare of World War 1

and World War 2 came close to bringing England to its knees .



Germany was denied a submarine force after WW I . Despite the ban, Germany

set up a clandestine uboat design office in Holland in 1922. In 1932, the Weimar

government approved the building of 16 uboats . Donitz was given command of

Germany's first post war uboat flotilla in 1935 and set about planning to succeed

where the WW I uboats had failed .


Engine room of WWI uboat


At the outbreak of the war, Germany had three main types of uboats in construction .

Type II was manoeuvrable and could crash dive in 25 seconds . their small sized and

weapon loads led to their being stopped produced in 1941 . A majority of the uboats t

hat fought in the battle of the Atlantic were type VIIs . These were built in large numbers

with over 800 being built by the end of the war . This uboat carried between 11 and 14

torpedoes . Type IX uboats were designed for long range operations and could reach

Indian Ocean and the Pacific without refueling . The Kriegsmarine's building schedule

was based on the belief that there would be no war till the mid 1940s, when they hoped

to match the British Navy . when war broke out in 1939, Germany only had 46 operational

uboats . Between the wars, Donitz developed a new uboat tactic, the wolf pack , using groups

of uboats to attack allied shipping .


German stamp WW 2


By the end of the war, the Type XXI uboats, the fastest ever built with a Schnorchel

that let it operate as long as there was fuel could have wrought havoc in the allied

navies, but like the Me-262 jet fighter in was produced to late and in too few numbers

to have ant effect on the outcome of the war .


1st U Boat Flotilla U-Flottille Weddigen founded Sept 27, 1935


Uboat submariners captured by US Coast Guard


WW2 uboat



Uboat Videos






World War 1 uboats in color






Uboats in the Gulf

In 1942, with the U.S. military still gearing for battle, Hitler brought the war to America.

In a little known mission, dozens of Nazi U-boats penetrated the Gulf of Mexico, attacking

and sinking numerous merchant freighters and oil tankers. While experts thought they

knew most of what went on there, their theories were challenged in 2001 when an

underwater survey team discovered the wreck of U-166 on the Gulf's seafloor--over 140

miles distant from where records said she sank .



 The last voyage of U234. In March 1945 it leaves Germany bound for Japan. Its cargo

includes an ME262 jet fighter and V2 rocket components, together with over 500

KG of uranium - bound for the Japanese atomic bomb program.



Documentary on Nazi U-boat technology

a documentary on German U-boats (short for Unterseeboot: underwater boat) includes

some nice footage of a few impenetrable U-boat bunkers constructed at Adolf

Hitler's suggestion. The reference to "slave laborers" is a misnomer unless one

calls all prisoners everywhere on this planet "slave laborers". We also see a visit

by the Japanese Imperial Navy. The narrator points out that they took both technology

and tactics from the Germans. There's also very interesting footage of a Fa-330 or

Bachstelze (literally "wagging tail") a sort of mini-helicopter that was towed from

behind a surfaced U-boat providing an ingenius observation platform.



WWll in Colour-1941 U-Boat Campaign Against the U.S


Mini uboat Seehund Type XXVII , produced from 1944, two man crews, mini uboats

sank 9 merchant ships . the Seehund's small size made it almost impossible for Asdic

to get a return from her hull, while her very quiet slow speed running made her almost

immune to detection by hydrophone. As Admiral Sir Charles Little, Commander-in-Chief

, Portsmouth put it, "Fortunately for us these damn things arrived too late in the war to

do any damage".



 A German U-boat is shown being resupplied at

sea by a Type XIV milkcow submarine.


WWII German Cadets Study Diesel

Engines at U-Boat Training School






German Kriegsmarine

U-Boat jacket




U-Boats: The Illustrated History

of the Raiders of the Deep



Das Boot 

 Now comes in uncut and director's cut versions .

 The full, original uncut is 4 hour 50 minute  (290 minute).

The US theatrical release was 2 1/2 hours and the Director's Cut is  3 1/2 hours.


Steel Boat Iron Hearts 

 Hans Goebeler is known as the man who “pulled the plug” on U-505

in 1944 to keep his beloved U-boat out of Allied hands. 'Steel Boat, Iron

Hearts' is his no-holds-barred account of service aboard a combat U-boat.





 Diary of a U-boat Commander

 Captain Karl von Schenk of the Kaiser's Navy is a stereotypical German nobleman

 - supremely self-confident, touchy about the divisions of class and any infringement on his

place. He thinks he is handsome, has a suitably manly physique, an excellent singing voice,

 and a facility with writing. His wartime service related in his diary is a series of triumphs

over harrowing circumstances, bringing his boat back in spite of the best efforts of the Royal Navyto stop him.



Donitz's Last Gamble: The Inshore

U-Boat Campaign 1944-45 

 By the end of 1943 the German submarine war on Atlantic convoys was all but

defeated, beaten by superior technology, code-breaking and air power. With losses

mounting, Donitz withdrew the wolfpacks, but in a surprise change of strategy,

following the D-Day landings in June 1944, he sent his U-boats into coastal waters,

closer to home, where they could harass the crucial Allied supply lines to the new European





German Imperial

battle flag












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