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German Type VII Submarine


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Crag_r #1 Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:59 PM

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Another one from Crag_r's sub corner;


Type VII U-boats were the most common type of German World War II U-boat. The Type VII was based on earlier German submarine designs going back to the World War I Type UB III, designed through the Dutch dummy company Ingenieurskantoor voor Scheepsbouw den Haag which was set up by Germany after World War I in order to maintain and develop German submarine technology and to circumvent the limitations set by the Treaty of Versailles, and was built by shipyards around the world. The Finnish Vetehinen class and Spanish Type E-1 also provided some of the basis for the Type VII design. These designs led to the Type VII along with Type I, the latter being built in AG Weser shipyard in Bremen, Germany. The production of Type I was cut down only after two boats; the reasons for this are not certain and range from political decisions to faults of the type. The design of the Type I was further used in the development of the Type VII and Type IX. Type VII submarines were the most widely used U-boats of the war and were the most produced submarine class in history, with 703 built. The type had several modifications.

General characteristics (Type VIIC)

Displacement:
769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged

Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in)
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull

Beam:
6.2 m (20 ft 4 in)
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull

Height:
9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)

Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)

Propulsion:
2 × supercharged Germaniawerft, 6-cylinder, 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesels totalling 2,800–3,200 hp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490

Speed:
17.7 knots (20.4 mph; 32.8 km/h) surfaced
7.6 knots (8.7 mph; 14.1 km/h) submerged

Range: 15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged

Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)

Calculated crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)

Complement: 44-52 officers & crew

Armament:
• 5 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (4 bow, 1 stern)
• 14 × torpedoes or 26 TMA or 39 TMB mines
• 1 × 8.8 cm SK C/35 naval gun[3] with 220 rounds
• Various FLAK weaponry


Type VIIA
Type VIIA U-boats were designed in 1933-34 as the first series of a new generation of attack U-boats. Most Type VIIA U-boats were constructed at Deschimag AG Weser in Bremen with the exception of U-33 through U-36, which were built at Germaniawerft, Kiel. Type VIIA U-boats were generally popular with their crews and much more powerful than the smaller Type II U-boats they replaced, with four bow and one external stern torpedo tubes. Usually carrying 11 torpedoes on board, they were very agile on the surface and mounted the 88 mm fast-firing deck gun with about 220 rounds.

Ten Type VIIA boats were built between 1935 and 1937. All but two Type VIIA U-boats were sunk during World War II (U-29 and U-30, both scuttled in Kupfermühlen Bay on 4 May 1945).

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Type VIIB
The VIIA had limited fuel capacity, so 24 Type VIIB boats were built between 1936 and 1940 with an additional 33 tons of fuel in external saddle tanks which added another 2500 miles (4625 km) of range at 10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced. They were slightly faster than the VIIA, and had two rudders for greater agility. The torpedo armament was improved by moving the aft tube to the inside of the boat. Now an additional aft torpedo could be carried below the deck plating of the aft torpedo room (which also served as the electric motor room) and two watertight compartments under the upper deck could hold two additional torpedoes giving it a total of 14 torpedoes. The only exception was U-83, which lacked a stern tube and carried only 12 torpedoes.

Type VIIBs included many of the most famous U-boats of World War II, including U-48 (the most successful), Prien's U-47, Kretschmer's U-99, and Schepke's U-100.

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Type VIIC
The Type VIIC was the workhorse of the German U-boat force, with 568 commissioned from 1940 to 1945. The first VIIC boat commissioned was the U-69 in 1940. The Type VIIC was an effective fighting machine and was seen almost everywhere U-boats operated, although its range of only 6,500 nautical miles was not as great as that of the larger Type IX (11,000 nautical miles), severely limiting the time it could spend in the far reaches of the western and southern Atlantic without refueling from a tender or U-boat tanker. The VIIC came into service toward the end of the first "Happy Time" near the beginning of the war and was still the most numerous type in service when Allied anti-submarine efforts finally defeated the U-boat campaign in late 1943 and 1944.

Type VIIC differed from the VIIB only in the addition of an active sonar and a few minor mechanical improvements, making it 2 feet longer and 8 tons heavier. Speed and range were essentially the same. Many of these boats were fitted with snorkels in 1944 and 1945.



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Type VIIC/41
Type VIIC/41 was a slightly modified version of the VIIC and had the same armament and engines. The difference was a stronger pressure hull giving them a deeper test depth and lighter machinery to compensate for the added steel in the hull, making them slightly lighter than the VIIC. A total of 91 were built; all of them from U-1271 onwards lacked the fittings to handle mines.

Today one Type VIIC/41 still exists: U-995 is on display at Laboe (north of Kiel), the only surviving Type VII in the world.


Type VIIF
The Type VIIF boats were designed in 1941 as supply boats to rearm U-boats at sea once they had used up their torpeodes. This required a lengthened hull and they were the largest and heaviest type VII boats built. They were armed identically with the other Type VIIs except that they could have up to 39 torpedoes onboard and had no deck guns.
Only four Type VIIFs were built. Two of them, U-1062 and U-1059, were sent to support the Monsun Gruppe in the Far East; U-1060 and U-1061 remained in the Atlantic. Type VIIF U-boats used the same engines as the Type VIID class. Three were sunk during the war, the last was scuttled after the war along with the majority of the surrendered U boats.


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Tanz #2 Posted 16 September 2012 - 12:26 AM

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Sweet info on the Type VIIs Crag.

Always like watching what I think is the Best Submarine/ Naval film ever..Das Boot. Type VII FTW :Smile_playing: ....well..almost :Smile_ohmy:

The Germans and the Dutch and their secret companies :Smile_unsure:  :Smile_hiding:


Crag_r #3 Posted 16 September 2012 - 12:46 AM

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It was a VIIC that was in Das boot, U-96 :Smile_smile:

Edited by Crag_r, 16 September 2012 - 01:31 AM.


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Tanz #4 Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:27 AM

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View PostCrag_r, on 16 September 2012 - 12:46 AM, said:

It was a VIIC that was in Das boot, U-86 :Smile_smile:

I'll +1 you for that one :Smile_popcorn:


Ariecho #5 Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:26 AM

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Nicely documented post (+1)


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JeeWeeJ #6 Posted 16 September 2012 - 09:22 AM

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View PostCrag_r, on 16 September 2012 - 12:46 AM, said:

It was a VIIC that was in Das boot, U-96 :Smile_smile:
I love that movie. Got the Director's Cut right here, especially when you've got the German spoken version its quite authentic. I use the quote "ALAAAAAAAAAAAAARM!!!!!!!!!" from that movie quite often when things go wrong.. :Smile_teethhappy:


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Ariecho #7 Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:04 PM

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Notorious victory by a type VII submarine:

On September 17, 1939, U-29 (type VIIA) and U-53 (type VIIB) were sent by Doenitz to intercept a British convoy sailing in the Western Approaches.  Because of early casualties during the firt days of WWII, the Royal Admiralty decided to provide some escort to the convoy and dispatch HMS (CV) Courageous and a few destroyers.

U-53 soon found a British freighter (SS Kafristan) and attacked her with a combination of torpedo and gun attacks.  The freighter called for help, and two of the four destroyers, as well as some Swordfish airplanes were dispatched to hunt the U-boat that had sunk the Kafristan.

http://www.uboataces...rageous_map.gif

East of the U-53's position, U-29 was also searching for the convoy but instead spotted a Swordfish aircraft.  Because of the location (300 miles away from any coast), that only meant that an aircraft carrier was in the vicinity.  Staying at periscope depth, the U-29 spotted some smoke and soon identified it as coming from a British aircraft carrier.  While the Courageous was definitely a tempting prize, her aircraft protection and the two remaining destroyers prevented any attack.  In his log, the U-29 Captain wrote: "At that time it looked like a hopeless operation. Because of the aircraft, I could not surface and my underwater speed was less than 8 knots while the carrier could do 26. But we were told during our training to always stay close and that is exactly what I did, following him submerged".

U-29 followed the Courageous patiently until 19:30 when the aircraft carrier turned into the wind to launch some aircraft, offering a very large target to the U-boat.  By 19:40, U-29 was in position and fired all three torpedoes on the Courageous.  Schuhart (U-29's Captain) wrote: "the vast size of the target upset all normal calculations and in any case, I was looking straight into the sun."

http://www.uboataces..._courageous.gif

Schuhart started his retreat, and dived to 180 feet.  He mentioned that his torpedoes' explosion was so violent that he thought for a moment that his submarine was being attacked.  The entire crew knew that it was now a matter of minutes before the two destroyers would start the chase.  One of them picked the U-29 on sonar, and both of them starting to launch depth charges.  Several times during the attack, explosions were so close that Schuhart thought that he was being sunk.  The attack continued until 23:40 (4 hours!!!) until the destroyers eventually gave up.  Schuhart went to periscope depth and sent a short signal "Courageous destroyed - U-29 homebound".


Discussing with a British officer: "You French fight for money, while we British fight for honour." "Sir, a man fights for what he lacks the most."
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JeeWeeJ #8 Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:13 PM

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Yeah, the uboats did a lot of damage to the RN surface fleet. HMS Royal Oak, HMS Barham, HMS Courageous.. They achieved quite some remarkable kills!


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Ariecho #9 Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:05 PM

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Yes, it just happened that this one was from a type VII and that its anniversary was coming this week, as I found out when updating the "this week in history thread".


Discussing with a British officer: "You French fight for money, while we British fight for honour." "Sir, a man fights for what he lacks the most."
Robert Surcouf (French Corsair)


Ariecho #10 Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:44 PM

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Just to add to Crag's excellent post, there were other variations of the type VII.

The typeVII D was a minelayer submarine.  It was based on the type VII C, and was equipped with 5 vertical mine launchers.  Despite this specific equipment, she was equipped with the same torpedo tubes as the type VII C.  Only six were produced between 1941 and 1942.

The type VII E was am experimental version used to try a V-12 engine, theoretically capable of helping the submarine to dive further.  The program was never finished.

Also, the Kriegsmarine had on blueprints a type VIIC/42, and type VIIC/43.  The type VIIC/42 was to be equipped with a more powerful engine, to allow faster surface speed.  The type VIIC/43 was to be based on the VIIC/42 with six bow, and four stern torpedo tubes.


Discussing with a British officer: "You French fight for money, while we British fight for honour." "Sir, a man fights for what he lacks the most."
Robert Surcouf (French Corsair)


Crag_r #11 Posted 16 September 2012 - 11:33 PM

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I thought about putting in the E and D but they weren't really used too much compared to the main variants.


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