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This article is about German submarines. U-boat_sentence_0

For the bootloader, see Das U-Boot. U-boat_sentence_1

For other uses, see U-boat (disambiguation). U-boat_sentence_2

Not to be confused with British U class submarine. U-boat_sentence_3

U-boat is an anglicised version of the German word U-Boot [ˈuːboːt (listen), a shortening of Unterseeboot. U-boat_sentence_4

While the German term refers to any submarine, the English one (in common with several other languages) refers specifically to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in the First and Second World Wars. U-boat_sentence_5

Although at times they were efficient fleet weapons against enemy naval warships, they were most effectively used in an economic warfare role (commerce raiding) and enforcing a naval blockade against enemy shipping. U-boat_sentence_6

The primary targets of the U-boat campaigns in both wars were the merchant convoys bringing supplies from Canada and other parts of the British Empire, and from the United States to the United Kingdom and (during the Second World War) to the Soviet Union and the Allied territories in the Mediterranean. U-boat_sentence_7

German submarines also destroyed Brazilian merchant ships during World War II, causing Brazil to declare war on both Germany and Italy on 22 August 1942. U-boat_sentence_8

Austro-Hungarian Navy submarines were also known as U-boats. U-boat_sentence_9

Early U-boats (1850–1914) U-boat_section_0

The first submarine built in Germany, the three-man Brandtaucher, sank to the bottom of Kiel harbor on 1 February 1851 during a test dive. U-boat_sentence_10

The inventor and engineer Wilhelm Bauer had designed this vessel in 1850, and Schweffel & Howaldt constructed it in Kiel. U-boat_sentence_11

Dredging operations in 1887 rediscovered Brandtaucher; it was later raised and put on historical display in Germany. U-boat_sentence_12

There followed in 1890 the boats Nordenfelt I and Nordenfelt II, built to a Nordenfelt design. U-boat_sentence_13

In 1903 the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft dockyard in Kiel completed the first fully functional German-built submarine, Forelle, which Krupp sold to Russia during the Russo-Japanese War in April 1904. U-boat_sentence_14

The SM U-1 was a completely redesigned Karp-class submarine and only one was built. U-boat_sentence_15

The Imperial German Navy commissioned it on 14 December 1906. U-boat_sentence_16

It had a double hull, a Körting kerosene engine, and a single torpedo tube. U-boat_sentence_17

The 50%-larger SM U-2 (commissioned in 1908) had two torpedo tubes. U-boat_sentence_18

The U-19 class of 1912–13 saw the first diesel engine installed in a German navy boat. U-boat_sentence_19

At the start of World War I in 1914, Germany had 48 submarines of 13 classes in service or under construction. U-boat_sentence_20

During that war the Imperial German Navy used SM U-1 for training. U-boat_sentence_21

Retired in 1919, it remains on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. U-boat_sentence_22

World War I (1914–1918) U-boat_section_1

Main article: U-boat Campaign (World War I) U-boat_sentence_23

On 5 September 1914, HMS Pathfinder was sunk by SM U-21, the first ship to have been sunk by a submarine using a self-propelled torpedo. U-boat_sentence_24

On 22 September, U-9 under the command of Otto Weddigen sank the obsolete British warships HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue (the "Live Bait Squadron") in a single hour. U-boat_sentence_25

In the Gallipoli Campaign in early 1915 in the eastern Mediterranean, German U-boats, notably the U-21, prevented close support of allied troops by 18 pre-Dreadnought battleships by sinking two of them. U-boat_sentence_26

For the first few months of the war, U-boat anticommerce actions observed the "prize rules" of the time, which governed the treatment of enemy civilian ships and their occupants. U-boat_sentence_27

On 20 October 1914, SM U-17 sank the first merchant ship, the SS Glitra, off Norway. U-boat_sentence_28

Surface commerce raiders were proving to be ineffective, and on 4 February 1915, the Kaiser assented to the declaration of a war zone in the waters around the British Isles. U-boat_sentence_29

This was cited as a retaliation for British minefields and shipping blockades. U-boat_sentence_30

Under the instructions given to U-boat captains, they could sink merchant ships, even potentially neutral ones, without warning. U-boat_sentence_31

In February 1915, a submarine U-6 (Lepsius) was rammed and both periscopes were destroyed off Beachy Head by the collier SS Thordis commanded by Captain John Bell RNR after firing a torpedo. U-boat_sentence_32

On 7 May 1915, SM U-20 sank the liner RMS Lusitania. U-boat_sentence_33

The sinking claimed 1,198 lives, 128 of them American civilians, and the attack of this unarmed civilian ship deeply shocked the Allies. U-boat_sentence_34

According to the ship's manifest, Lusitania was carrying military cargo, though none of this information was relayed to the citizens of Britain and the United States who thought that the ship contained no ammunition or military weaponry whatsoever and it was an act of brutal murder. U-boat_sentence_35

Munitions that it carried were thousands of crates full of ammunition for rifles, 3-inch artillery shells, and also various other standard ammunition used by infantry. U-boat_sentence_36

The sinking of the Lusitania was widely used as propaganda against the German Empire and caused greater support for the war effort. U-boat_sentence_37

A widespread reaction in the U.S was not seen until the attack on the ferry SS Sussex which carried many citizens of the United States of America. U-boat_sentence_38

The initial U.S. response was to threaten to sever diplomatic ties, which persuaded the Germans to issue the Sussex pledge that reimposed restrictions on U-boat activity. U-boat_sentence_39

The U.S. reiterated its objections to German submarine warfare whenever U.S. civilians died as a result of German attacks, which prompted the Germans to fully reapply prize rules. U-boat_sentence_40

This, however, removed the effectiveness of the U-boat fleet, and the Germans consequently sought a decisive surface action, a strategy that culminated in the Battle of Jutland. U-boat_sentence_41

Although the Germans claimed victory at Jutland, the British Grand Fleet remained in control at sea. U-boat_sentence_42

It was necessary to return to effective anticommerce warfare by U-boats. U-boat_sentence_43

Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer, Commander in Chief of the High Seas Fleet, pressed for all-out U-boat war, convinced that a high rate of shipping losses would force Britain to seek an early peace before the United States could react effectively. U-boat_sentence_44

The renewed German campaign was effective, sinking 1.4 million tons of shipping between October 1916 and January 1917. U-boat_sentence_45

Despite this, the political situation demanded even greater pressure, and on 31 January 1917, Germany announced that its U-boats would engage in unrestricted submarine warfare beginning 1 February. U-boat_sentence_46

On 17 March, German submarines sank three American merchant vessels, and the U.S. declared war on Germany in April 1917. U-boat_sentence_47

Unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 was initially very successful, sinking a major part of Britain-bound shipping. U-boat_sentence_48

With the introduction of escorted convoys, shipping losses declined and in the end the German strategy failed to destroy sufficient Allied shipping. U-boat_sentence_49

An armistice became effective on 11 November 1918. U-boat_sentence_50

Of the surviving German submarines 14 U-boats were scuttled and 122 surrendered. U-boat_sentence_51

Of the 373 German submarines that had been built, 178 were lost by enemy action. U-boat_sentence_52

Of these 40 were sunk by mines, 30 by depth charges and 13 by Q-ships. U-boat_sentence_53

512 officers and 4894 enlisted men were killed. U-boat_sentence_54

They sank 10 battleships, 18 cruisers and several smaller naval vessels. U-boat_sentence_55

They further destroyed 5,708 merchant and fishing vessels for a total of 11,108,865 tons and the loss of about 15,000 sailors. U-boat_sentence_56

The Pour le Mérite, the highest decoration for gallantry for officers, was awarded to 29 U-boat commanders. U-boat_sentence_57

12 U-boat crewmen were decorated with the Goldene Militär-Verdienst-Kreuz, the highest bravery award for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men. U-boat_sentence_58

The most successful U-boat commanders of World War I were Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière (189 merchant vessels and two gunboats with 446,708 tons), followed by Walter Forstmann (149 ships with 391,607 tons), and Max Valentiner (144 ships with 299,482 tons). U-boat_sentence_59

Their records have not been surpassed in any subsequent conflict. U-boat_sentence_60

Classes U-boat_section_2


Surrender of the fleet U-boat_section_3

Under the terms of armistice, all U-boats were to immediately surrender. U-boat_sentence_61

Those in home waters sailed to the British submarine base at Harwich. U-boat_sentence_62

The entire process was done quickly and in the main without difficulty, after which the vessels were studied, then scrapped or given to Allied navies. U-boat_sentence_63

Stephen King-Hall wrote a detailed eyewitness account of the surrender. U-boat_sentence_64

Interwar years (1919–1939) U-boat_section_4

The Treaty of Versailles ending World War I signed at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 restricted the total tonnage of the German surface fleet. U-boat_sentence_65

The treaty also restricted the independent tonnage of ships and forbade the construction of submarines. U-boat_sentence_66

However, a submarine design office was set up in the Netherlands and a torpedo research program was started in Sweden. U-boat_sentence_67

Before the start of World War II, Germany started building U-boats and training crews, labeling these activities as "research" or concealing them using other covers. U-boat_sentence_68

When this became known, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement limited Germany to parity with Britain in submarines. U-boat_sentence_69

When World War II started, Germany already had 65 U-boats, with 21 of those at sea, ready for war. U-boat_sentence_70

World War II (1939–1945) U-boat_section_5

Main article: Battle of the Atlantic U-boat_sentence_71

During World War II, U-boat warfare was the major component of the Battle of the Atlantic, which began in 1939 and ended with Germany's surrender in 1945. U-boat_sentence_72

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 ending World War I had scuttled most of the old Imperial German Navy and the subsequent Treaty of Versailles of 1919 limited the surface navy of Germany's new Weimar Republic to only six battleships (of less than 10,000 tons each), six cruisers, and 12 destroyers. U-boat_sentence_73

To compensate, Germany's new navy, the Kriegsmarine, developed the largest submarine fleet going into World War II. U-boat_sentence_74

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill later wrote "The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril." U-boat_sentence_75

In the early stages of the war the U-boats were extremely effective in destroying Allied shipping due to the large gap in mid-Atlantic air cover. U-boat_sentence_76

Cross-Atlantic trade in war supplies and food was extensive and critical for Britain's survival. U-boat_sentence_77

The continuous action surrounding British shipping became known as the Battle of the Atlantic, as the British developed technical defences such as ASDIC and radar, and the German U-boats responded by hunting in what were called "wolfpacks" where multiple submarines would stay close together, making it easier for them to sink a specific target. U-boat_sentence_78

Britain's vulnerable shipping situation existed until 1942, when the tides changed as the U.S. merchant marine and Navy entered the war, drastically increasing the amount of tonnage of supplies sent across the Atlantic. U-boat_sentence_79

The combination of increased tonnage and increased naval protection of shipping convoys made it much more difficult for U-boats to make a significant dent in British shipping. U-boat_sentence_80

Once the United States entered the war, U-boats ranged from the Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Arctic to the west and southern African coasts and even as far east as Penang. U-boat_sentence_81

The U.S. U-boat_sentence_82 military engaged in various tactics against German incursions in the Americas; these included military surveillance of foreign nations in Latin America, particularly in the Caribbean, to deter any local governments from supplying German U-boats. U-boat_sentence_83

Because speed and range were severely limited underwater while running on battery power, U-boats were required to spend most of their time surfaced running on diesel engines, diving only when attacked or for rare daytime torpedo strikes. U-boat_sentence_84

The more ship-like hull design reflects the fact that these were primarily surface vessels that could submerge when necessary. U-boat_sentence_85

This contrasts with the cylindrical profile of modern nuclear submarines, which are more hydrodynamic underwater (where they spend the majority of their time), but less stable on the surface. U-boat_sentence_86

While U-boats were faster on the surface than submerged, the opposite is generally true of modern submarines. U-boat_sentence_87

The most common U-boat attack during the early years of the war was conducted on the surface and at night. U-boat_sentence_88

This period, before the Allied forces developed truly effective antisubmarine warfare tactics, which included convoys, was referred to by German submariners as "die glückliche Zeit" or the First Happy Time. U-boat_sentence_89

Torpedoes U-boat_section_6

The U-boats' main weapon was the torpedo, though mines and deck guns (while surfaced) were also used. U-boat_sentence_90

By the end of the war, almost 3,000 Allied ships (175 warships; 2,825 merchant ships) were sunk by U-boat torpedoes. U-boat_sentence_91

Early German World War II torpedoes were straight runners, as opposed to the homing and pattern-running torpedoes that became available later in the war. U-boat_sentence_92

They were fitted with one of two types of pistol triggers: impact, which detonated the warhead upon contact with a solid object, and magnetic, which detonated upon sensing a change in the magnetic field within a few meters. U-boat_sentence_93

One of the most effective uses of magnetic pistols would be to set the torpedo's depth to just beneath the keel of the target. U-boat_sentence_94

The explosion under the target's keel would create a detonation shock wave, which could cause a ship's hull to rupture under the concussive water pressure. U-boat_sentence_95

In this way, even large or heavily armored ships could be sunk or disabled with a single, well-placed hit. U-boat_sentence_96

Initially the depth-keeping equipment and magnetic and contact exploders were notoriously unreliable. U-boat_sentence_97

During the first eight months of the war torpedoes often ran at an improper depth, detonated prematurely, or failed to explode altogether—sometimes bouncing harmlessly off the hull of the target ship. U-boat_sentence_98

This was most evident in Operation Weserübung, the invasion of Norway, where various skilled U-boat commanders failed to inflict damage on British transports and warships because of faulty torpedoes. U-boat_sentence_99

The faults were largely due to a lack of testing. U-boat_sentence_100

The magnetic detonator was sensitive to mechanical oscillations during the torpedo run, and to fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field at high latitudes. U-boat_sentence_101

These early magnetic detonators were eventually phased out, and the depth-keeping problem was solved by early 1942 with improved technology. U-boat_sentence_102

Later in the war, Germany developed an acoustic homing torpedo, the G7/T5. U-boat_sentence_103

It was primarily designed to combat convoy escorts. U-boat_sentence_104

The acoustic torpedo was designed to run straight to an arming distance of 400 m and then turn toward the loudest noise detected. U-boat_sentence_105

This sometimes ended up being the U-boat itself; at least two submarines may have been sunk by their own homing torpedoes. U-boat_sentence_106

Additionally, these torpedoes were found to be only effective against ships moving at greater than 15 knots (28 km/h). U-boat_sentence_107

The Allies countered acoustic torpedoes with noisemaker decoys such as Foxer, FXR, CAT and Fanfare. U-boat_sentence_108

The Germans, in turn, countered this by introducing newer and upgraded versions of the acoustic torpedoes, like the late-war G7es, and the T11. U-boat_sentence_109

However, the T11 did not see active service. U-boat_sentence_110

U-boats also adopted several types of "pattern-running" torpedoes that ran straight out to a preset distance, then traveled in either a circular or ladder-like pattern. U-boat_sentence_111

When fired at a convoy, this increased the probability of a hit if the weapon missed its primary target. U-boat_sentence_112

U-boat developments U-boat_section_7

During World War II, the Kriegsmarine produced many different types of U-boats as technology evolved. U-boat_sentence_113

Most notable is the Type VII, known as the "workhorse" of the fleet, which was by far the most-produced type, and the Type IX boats, an enlarged VII designed for long-range patrols, some traveling as far as Japan and the east coast of the United States. U-boat_sentence_114

With the increasing sophistication of Allied detection and subsequent losses, German designers began to fully realise the potential for a truly submerged boat. U-boat_sentence_115

The Type XXI "Elektroboot" was designed to favor submerged performance, both for combat effectiveness and survival. U-boat_sentence_116

It was the first true submersible. U-boat_sentence_117

The Type XXI featured an evolutionary design that combined several different strands of the U-boat development program, most notably from the Walter U-boats, the Type XVII, which featured an unsuccessful yet revolutionary hydrogen peroxide air-independent propellant system. U-boat_sentence_118

These boats featured a streamlined hull design, which formed the basis of the later USS Nautilus nuclear submarine, and was adapted for use with more conventional propulsion systems. U-boat_sentence_119

The larger hull design allowed for a greatly increased battery capacity, which enabled the XXI to cruise submerged for longer periods and reach unprecedented submerged speeds for the time. U-boat_sentence_120

Waste disposal was a problem when the U-boats spent extended periods without surfacing, as it is today. U-boat_sentence_121

Throughout the war, an arms race evolved between the Allies and the Kriegsmarine, especially in detection and counterdetection. U-boat_sentence_122

Sonar (ASDIC in Britain) allowed Allied warships to detect submerged U-boats (and vice versa) beyond visual range, but was not effective against a surfaced vessel; thus, early in the war, a U-boat at night or in bad weather was actually safer on the surface. U-boat_sentence_123

Advancements in radar became particularly deadly for the U-boat crews, especially once aircraft-mounted units were developed. U-boat_sentence_124

As a countermeasure, U-boats were fitted with radar warning receivers, to give them ample time to dive before the enemy closed in, as well as more anti aircraft guns. U-boat_sentence_125

However, by early to mid-1943, the Allies switched to centimetric radar (unknown to Germany), which rendered the radar detectors ineffective. U-boat_sentence_126

U-boat radar systems were also developed, but many captains chose not to use them for fear of broadcasting their position to enemy patrols and lack of sufficient electronic countermeasures. U-boat_sentence_127

Early on, the Germans experimented with the idea of the Schnorchel (snorkel) from captured Dutch submarines, but saw no need for them until rather late in the war. U-boat_sentence_128

The Schnorchel was a retractable pipe that supplied air to the diesel engines while submerged at periscope depth, allowing the boats to cruise and recharge their batteries while maintaining a degree of stealth. U-boat_sentence_129

It was far from a perfect solution, however. U-boat_sentence_130

Problems occurred with the device's valve sticking shut or closing as it dunked in rough weather; since the system used the entire pressure hull as a buffer, the diesels would instantaneously suck huge volumes of air from the boat's compartments, and the crew often suffered painful ear injuries. U-boat_sentence_131

Speed was limited to 8 knots (15 km/h), lest the device snap from stress. U-boat_sentence_132

The Schnorchel also had the effect of making the boat essentially noisy and deaf in sonar terms. U-boat_sentence_133

Finally, Allied radar eventually became sufficiently advanced that the Schnorchel mast could be detected beyond visual range. U-boat_sentence_134

Several other pioneering innovations included acoustic- and electro-absorbent coatings to make them less of an ASDIC or RADAR target. U-boat_sentence_135

The Germans also developed active countermeasures such as facilities to release artificial chemical bubble-making decoys, known as Bold, after the mythical kobold. U-boat_sentence_136

Classes U-boat_section_8


  • Type I: first prototypesU-boat_item_1_12
  • Type II: small submarines used for training purposesU-boat_item_1_13
  • Type V: uncompleted experimental midget submarinesU-boat_item_1_14
  • Type VII: the "workhorse" of the U-boats with 709 completed in World War IIU-boat_item_1_15
  • Type IX: these long-range U-boats operated as far as the Indian Ocean with the Japanese (Monsun Gruppe), and the South AtlanticU-boat_item_1_16
  • Type X: long-range minelayers and cargo transportsU-boat_item_1_17
  • Type XI: uncompleted experimental artillery boatsU-boat_item_1_18
  • Type XIV: used to resupply other U-boats; nicknamed the Milchkuh ("Milk Cow")U-boat_item_1_19
  • Type XVII: small coastal submarines powered by experimental hydrogen peroxide propulsion systemsU-boat_item_1_20
  • Type XXI: known as the Elektroboot; first subs to operate primarily submergedU-boat_item_1_21
  • Type XXIII: smaller version of the XXI used for coastal operationsU-boat_item_1_22
  • Midget submarines, including Biber, Hai, Molch, and SeehundU-boat_item_1_23
  • Uncompleted U-boat projectsU-boat_item_1_24

Countermeasures U-boat_section_9

Main article: Anti-submarine warfare U-boat_sentence_137

Advances in convoy tactics, high-frequency direction finding (referred to as "Huff-Duff"), radar, active sonar (called ASDIC in Britain), depth charges, ASW spigot mortars (also known as "hedgehog"), the intermittent cracking of the German Naval Enigma code, the introduction of the Leigh light, the range of escort aircraft (especially with the use of escort carriers), the use of mystery ships, and the full entry of the U.S. into the war with its enormous shipbuilding capacity, all turned the tide against the U-boats. U-boat_sentence_138

In the end, the U-boat fleet suffered extremely heavy casualties, losing 793 U-boats and about 28,000 submariners (a 75% casualty rate, the highest of all German forces during the war). U-boat_sentence_139

At the same time, the Allies targeted the U-boat shipyards and their bases with strategic bombing. U-boat_sentence_140

Enigma machine U-boat_section_10

Main article: Enigma machine U-boat_sentence_141

The British had a major advantage in their ability to read some German naval Enigma codes. U-boat_sentence_142

An understanding of the German coding methods had been brought to Britain via France from Polish code-breakers. U-boat_sentence_143

Thereafter, code books and equipment were captured by raids on German weather ships and from captured U-boats. U-boat_sentence_144

A team including Alan Turing used special purpose "Bombes" and early computers to break new German codes as they were introduced. U-boat_sentence_145

The speedy decoding of messages was vital in directing convoys away from wolf packs and allowing interception and destruction of U-boats. U-boat_sentence_146

This was demonstrated when the Naval Enigma machines were altered in February 1942 and wolf-pack effectiveness greatly increased until the new code was broken. U-boat_sentence_147

The German submarine U-110, a Type IXB, was captured in 1941 by the Royal Navy, and its Enigma machine and documents were removed. U-boat_sentence_148

U-559 was also captured by the British in October 1942; three sailors boarded her as she was sinking, and desperately threw all the code books out of the submarine so as to salvage them. U-boat_sentence_149

Two of them, Able Seaman Colin Grazier and Lieutenant Francis Anthony Blair Fasson, continued to throw code books out of the ship as it went under water, and went down with it. U-boat_sentence_150

Further code books were captured by raids on weather ships. U-boat_sentence_151

U-744 was boarded by crew from the Canadian ship HMCS Chilliwack on 6 March 1944, and codes were taken from her, but by this time in the war, most of the information was known. U-boat_sentence_152

The U-505, a Type IXC, was captured by the United States Navy in June 1944. U-boat_sentence_153

It is now a museum ship in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry. U-boat_sentence_154

Battle of Bell Island U-boat_section_11

Main article: Battle of the St. Lawrence U-boat_sentence_155

Two events in the battle took place in 1942 when German U-boats attacked four allied ore carriers at Bell Island, Newfoundland. U-boat_sentence_156

The carriers SS Saganaga and SS Lord Strathcona were sunk by U-513 on 5 September 1942, while the SS Rosecastle and PLM 27 were sunk by U-518 on 2 November with the loss of 69 lives. U-boat_sentence_157

When the submarine launched a torpedo at the loading pier, Bell Island became the only location in North America to be subject to direct attack by German forces in World War II. U-boat_sentence_158

Operation Deadlight U-boat_section_12

Main article: Operation Deadlight U-boat_sentence_159

"Operation Deadlight" was the code name for the scuttling of U-boats surrendered to the Allies after the defeat of Germany near the end of the war. U-boat_sentence_160

Of the 154 U-boats surrendered, 121 were scuttled in deep water off Lisahally, Northern Ireland, or Loch Ryan, Scotland, in late 1945 and early 1946. U-boat_sentence_161

Memorial U-boat_section_13

Main article: Möltenort U-Boat Memorial U-boat_sentence_162

Post–World War II and Cold War (after 1945) U-boat_section_14

From 1955, the West German Bundesmarine was allowed to have a small navy. U-boat_sentence_163

Initially two sunken Type XXIIIs and a Type XXI were raised and repaired. U-boat_sentence_164

In the 1960s, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) re-entered the submarine business. U-boat_sentence_165

Because West Germany was initially restricted to a 450 tonne displacement limit, the Bundesmarine focused on small coastal submarines to protect against the Soviet threat in the Baltic Sea. U-boat_sentence_166

The Germans sought to use advanced technologies to offset the small displacement, such as amagnetic steel to protect against naval mines and magnetic anomaly detectors. U-boat_sentence_167

The initial Type 201 was a failure because of hull cracking; the subsequent Type 205, first commissioned in 1967, was a success, and 12 were built for the German navy. U-boat_sentence_168

To continue the U-boat tradition, the new boats received the classic U designation starting with the U-1. U-boat_sentence_169

With the Danish government's purchase of two Type 205 boats, the West German government realized the potential for the submarine as an export, developing a customized version Type 207. U-boat_sentence_170

Small and agile submarines were built during the Cold War to operate in the shallow Baltic Sea resulting in the Type 206. U-boat_sentence_171

Three of the improved Type 206 boats were later sold to the Israeli Navy, becoming the Type 540. U-boat_sentence_172

The German Type 209 diesel-electric submarine was the most popular export-sales submarine in the world from the late 1960s into the first years of the 21st century. U-boat_sentence_173

With a larger 1,000–1,500 tonne displacement, the class was very customizable and has seen service with 14 navies with 51 examples being built as of 2006. U-boat_sentence_174

Germany would continue to reap successes with derivations or on the basis of the successful type 209, as are the Type 800 sold to Israel and the TR-1700 sold to Argentina. U-boat_sentence_175

Germany would continue to succeed as an exporter of submarines as the Klasse 210 sold to Norway, considered the most silent and maneuverable submarines in the world. U-boat_sentence_176

This would demonstrate its capacity and put its export seal on the world. U-boat_sentence_177

Germany has brought the U-boat name into the 21st century with the new Type 212. U-boat_sentence_178

The 212 features an air-independent propulsion system using hydrogen fuel cells. U-boat_sentence_179

This system is safer than previous closed-cycle diesel engines and steam turbines, cheaper than a nuclear reactor and quieter than either. U-boat_sentence_180

While the Type 212 is also being purchased by Italy and Norway, the Type 214 has been designed as the follow-on export model and has been sold to Greece, South Korea, Turkey, and based on it would get the Type U 209PN sold to Portugal. U-boat_sentence_181

In recent years Germany introduced new models such as the Type 216 and the Type 218 the latter being sold to Singapore. U-boat_sentence_182

In 2016, Germany commissioned its newest U-boat, the U-36, a Type 212. U-boat_sentence_183

See also U-boat_section_15


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U-boat.