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German submarine U-227

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Title: German submarine U-227  
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Subject: World War II shipwrecks in the Norwegian Sea, No. 455 Squadron RAAF, U-boats commissioned in 1942, U-boats sunk in 1943, German Type VII submarines
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German submarine U-227

History
Nazi Germany
Name:
Ordered: unbulleted_list
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 657
Laid down: 8 November 1941
Launched: 30 July 1942
Commissioned: 22 August 1942
Fate:
General characteristics
Class & type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: convert
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Range:
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: unbulleted_list
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Jürgen Kuntze
  • August 1942 – April 1943
Operations: 24–30 April 1943
Victories: None

German submarine U-227 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built for service in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was cursed with repeated bad luck during her brief service life. Her commander was Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Kuntze, an officer with just five months U-boat experience at the time of his promotion.

Design

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-227 had a displacement of when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[1] It had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of , a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 shaft horsepower (760 PS; 560 kW) for use while submerged. It had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. It was capable of operating at depths of up to 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in).[1]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[1] When submerged, it could operate for at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, it could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-227 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at its bow and one at its stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. It had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[1]

Construction

U-227 was built during 1941 and 1942 by the Germaniawerft shipyard in the fleet base at Kiel as yard number 657, and was completed in August 1942, in preparation for operations over the coming winter. During the initial working-up period, disaster struck one month into the program, when U-227 ran onto a Royal Air Force mine dropped by an aircraft in Danzig Bay. The crippled boat survived without any serious injuries, but only just managed to limp into port. The mining of coastal waters was a new tactic for the RAF, but one which would reap dividends amongst the port-based German navy. The repairs to the boat following this misfortune meant that she was not ready for operations until the following April, when Kuntze, having worked his crew hard, embarked on his only war patrol.

Operational patrol

U-227 lasted a mere six days on her first operational patrol, when she was ordered to proceed with all haste to the North Atlantic Ocean to interdict Canadian convoys. Passing through the gap between the Faroe Islands and Iceland, she was spotted, despite bad weather, by a Hampden bomber of No. 455 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, which swooped onto the submarine and dropped a bomb on her. U-227 went into an uncontrolled dive following the attack and never resurfaced, presumably hitting the sea floor hundreds of

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