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September 7 - Focus: Type VII submarine

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Alpha Tester
4,441 posts

I couldn't find any surface action worth reporting about September 7 (from 1939 to 1945) so I'll again have to refer to submarine activities.


  • While about 400 miles southwest of Ireland, the Olivegrove, a British steamer, was hit by a torpedo from U-33, a German submarine.  The U-33 stayed on scene until a US passenger ship, the Washington arrived in the area.

U-33 was a type VIIA U-boat.  Laid down on September 1, 1935, she was launched on June 11, 1936, and commissioned on July 25, 1936.  She participated in 3 patrols, and sank 10 ships, for a total of 19,261 tons.  She was sunk on February 12, 1940, by HMS Gleaner, an Halcyon-class British minesweeper.

  • The very same day, south of Ireland, another British steamer, the Pukkastan was also attacked and ultimately sank by the U-34.  Unescorted, the Pukkastan was not originally torpedoed but attacked by the U-34 gun.  The ship was sunk after her crew was allowed to abandon it by a combination of torpedoes and gun shells.

U-34 was also a type VIIA U-boat.  Laid down on March 25, 1935, she was launched on July 17, 1936, and commissioned on September 12, 1936.  She participated in 7 patrols, and sank 21 ships, including 2 2 warships (HNoMS Frøya andHMS Whirlwind).

10 type VIIA U-boats (U-27 to U-36) were commissioned between 1936 and 1937.

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Type VIIA U-boat

  • A third British steamer fell victim of a German submarine the same day.  The Gartavon was intercepted by the U-47, west of Brittany (France).  Her crew was retrieved by the Castor, a Swedish tanker.

U-47 was a type VIIB U-boat.  Laid down on February 27, 1937, she was launched on October 29, 1938, and commissioned on December 17, 1938.  She participated in 10 patrols and sank 31 ships, including HMS Royal Oak, a British battleship.  She was sunk by HMS Wolverine on March 8, 1941.

24 Type VIIB U-boats were commissioned between 1938 and 1941.

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  • On September 7, 1940, the very same U-47 sank 3 ships, all part of convoy SC-2: The Gro (Norway), José de Larrinaga (UK), and Neptunian (UK), all merchant ships.
  • U-165, a type IXC U-boat sank HMCS Raccoon, a Canadian armed yacht who was protecting a convoy in Canadian waters.  

U-165 was laid down on August 30, 1940, launched on August 15, 1941, and commissioned on February 3, 1942.  She sank 3 ships, and damaged 4 others.  She was sank on Setpember 27, 1942, by a Wellington of RAF squadron 311/Q).

  • The same day, U-517, another type IXC U-boat sank 3 merchant ships part of convoy QS-33 south of Ireland: Mount Pindus (Greece), Mount Taygetus (Greece), and Oakton (Canada).

U-517 was laid down on June 5, 1941, launched on December 30, 1941, and commissioned on March 21, 1942.  She sank 9 ships, including a Canadian corvette, HMCS Charlottetown.  U-517 was sank on November 21, 1942 by an Albacore aircraft of HMS Victorious.

54 Type IXC U-boats were commissioned between 1939 and 1942, not including the improved IXC/40.

U-517 in action

  • U-617 on patrol near Iceland sank the Faroese trailer Tor II.

U-617 was a Type VIIC submarines.  Laid down on May 31, 1941, she was launched on February 14, 1942, and commissioned on April 9, 1942.  She participated in 7 patrols, and sank 11 ships, including 2 warships.  She was sank after running aground by the combined efforts of HMS Hyacinth and HMAS Wollongong.

  • ShCh-207, a Soviet submarine attacked Romanian destroyers Regele Ferdinand and Mărăşti. She launched 6 torpedoes who missed their targets, then retreated under depth charge attacks from the destroyers.

ShCh-207 was a Shchuka-class Soviet submarine.  Laid down on January 5, 1934, she was launched on March 25, 1935, and commissioned on November 17, 1936.  She participated in two other attacks where her torpedoes either missed her targets or failed to detonate.  She survived World War II.

88 Shchuka-class submarines were built, all during World War 2, with the exception of 2.  35 of them were lost, and the others stayed in commission until 1956.

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Shchuka (pike) Soviet submarine

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Beta Testers
5 posts
4,043 battles

Thanks for taking the time to put this together.  It was a fun read.  Looking forward to more.

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