|German submarine U-106 (1940)|
A Type IXB submarine, believed to be U-106, under attack by a Sunderland flying boat|
A Type IXB submarine, believed to be U-106, under attack by a Sunderland flying boat
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||24 May 1938|
|Builder:||AG Weser, Bremen|
|Laid down:||26 November 1939|
|Launched:||17 June 1940|
|Commissioned:||24 September 1940|
|Fate:||Sunk, 2 August 1943, northwest of Spain, by British and Australian aircraft|
|Class & type:||Type IXB submarine|
1,061 t (1,044 long tons) surfaced|
1,178 t (1,159 long tons) submerged
|Length:||76.5 m (251 ft 0 in) overall|
|Beam:||6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) overall|
|Draft:||4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)|
33.9 kilometres per hour (18.3 kn) surfaced|
13.5 kilometres per hour (7.3 kn) submerged
8,700 nm when surfaced|
64 nm when underwater
2nd U-boat Flotilla
Kptlt. Jürgen Oesten|
(September 1940–October 1941)
Kptlt. Hermann Rasch
(October 1941–April 1943)
Oblt. Wolf-Dietrich Damerow
4 January–10 February 1941
26 February–17 June 1941
11 August–11 September 1941
21 October–22 November 1941
3 January–22 February 1942
15 April–29 June 1942
25–29 July 1942
22 September–26 December 1942
17 February–4 April 1943
28 Julyl–2 August 1943
Sank 22 ships totalling 138,581 gross register tons (GRT)|
Damaged two ships totalling 12,634 GRT
Damaged one auxiliary warship of 8,246 GRT
Damaged the battleship HMS Malaya
German submarine U-106 was a Type IXB U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine that operated during World War II. She was laid down on 26 November 1939 at AG Weser in Bremen as 'werk' 969, launched on 17 June 1940 and commissioned on 24 September. She was armed with six torpedo tubes and a 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun. U-106 was assigned to the 2nd U-boat Flotilla on 24 September 1940, in which she would serve for nearly three years.
U-106 was one of the most successful German submarines of World War II. She completed 10 wartime patrols and sank 22 ships totalling 138,581 gross register tons (GRT). She also damaged two ships totalling 12,634 GRT, one auxiliary warship of 8,246 GRT and the battleship HMS Malaya. U-106 helped to catalyze Mexico's entry into World War II on the side of the Allies by sinking one of two oil tankers; the Faja de Oro. (The other was the Potrero del Llano, sunk by U-564).
U-106 departed Kiel for her first patrol on 4 January 1941 which was to be conducted in the Atlantic Ocean. Her route included negotiating the 'gap' between the Faroe and Shetland Islands. She sailed north-west of Rockall and sank two ships: the Zealandic on the 17th and the Sesostris on the 29th. There were no survivors from either vessel.
The boat docked in Lorient in occupied France on 10 February.
For her second patrol, U-106 departed Lorient on 26 February 1941. She would not return to France until 17 June, 112 days later. The boat headed for the coast of West Africa. Her first victim on this patrol was the Memnon, which went to the bottom 200 mi (320 km) west of Cape Blanco, French West Africa on 11 March. She sank seven more ships and damaged two others, including the battleship HMS Malaya in the vicinty of Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands. One of the seven, the Eastlea, had her back broken and sank within ten minutes.
Sortie number three and the U-boat failed to find any targets. She had left Lorient on 11 August 1941 and returned there a month later (on 11 September), having covered the ocean west of Ireland, also west of the Azores and from north of that island chain to the Portuguese mainland.
Any success on the boat's fourth sally was marred on 23 October 1941 by the discovery that an entire watch, (four men), had been washed overboard in heavy seas on the western edge of the Bay of Biscay. U-106 sank one ship, the King Malcolm on the 28th and damaged one other, the USS Salinas, on the 30th. She was then hunted for nine hours and seriously damaged by the escort vessels of convoy ON-28.
For her fifth patrol, U-106 sailed along the eastern coast of the United States and sank five ships, during the so-called "Second Happy Time". Amongst them were the SS Empire Wildebeeste and the tanker SS Rochester, the latter ship being dispatched with her 10.5 cm deck gun. She had left Lorient on 3 January 1942 and returned on 22 February.
Patrol number six also benefitted from a change of operational area to the Gulf of Mexico, where the boat sank five more ships and damaged a sixth. One of them, the tanker Faja de Oro, on 21 May 1942, was the second ship to be sunk which helped to facilitate Mexico's declaration of war on Germany on 1 June.
7th and 8th patrols
U-106 was attacked by a Vickers Wellington of No. 311 Squadron RAF in the Bay of Biscay on 27 July 1942. The first watch officer (1WO) was killed; the commander was wounded, forcing the boat to put about, returning to Lorient on the 29th, just five days after setting out.
.The submarine crossed the Atlantic once more, sinking the Waterton in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on 11 October 1942.
This foray was comparatively uneventful, starting on 17 February 1943 and finishing on 4 April. No ships were attacked.
10th patrol and loss
The U-boat's 10th and final patrol began on 28 July 1943; she was sunk on 2 August of that year off northern Spain, after being damaged by a Wellington of No. 407 Squadron RCAF. U-106 tried to join E-boats (German surface torpedo boats), but was spotted by a Sunderland flying boat of 228 Squadron flown by Flying Officer Reader Hanbury. Although the anti-aircraft guns on U-106 fended off the British machine, U-106 was finished off by another Sunderland of No. 461 Squadron RAAF flown by Flight Lieutenant A. F. Clarke.
According to the Allied crews and photographs taken of the attack, the U-Boat partially exploded, before sinking vertically. 22 of U-106's 48-man crew were killed. 26 survived the attack and were later picked up by German E-boats.
Summary of raiding career
|17 January 1941||Zealandic||United Kingdom||10,578||Sunk|
|29 January 1941||Sesostris||Egypt||2,962||SC-19||Sunk|
|11 March 1941||Memnon||United Kingdom||7,506||Sunk|
|16 March 1941||Almkerk||Netherlands||6,810||Sunk|
|17 March 1941||Andalusian||United Kingdom||3,082||SL-68||Sunk|
|17 March 1941||Tapanoeli||Netherlands||7,034||SL-68||Sunk|
|20 March 1941||HMS Malaya||United Kingdom||31,100||SL-68||Damaged|
|20 March 1941||Meekerk||Netherlands||7,995||SL-68||Damaged|
|24 March 1941||Eastlea||United Kingdom||4,267||Sunk|
|30 May 1941||Silveryew||United Kingdom||6,373||Sunk|
|31 May 1941||Clan Macdougall||United Kingdom||6,843||Sunk|
|6 June 1941||Sacramento Valley||United Kingdom||4,573||OB-324||Sunk|
|28 October 1941||King Malcolm||United Kingdom||5,120||SC-50||Sunk|
|30 October 1941||USS Salinas||United States||8,246||ON-28||Damaged|
|24 January 1942||Empire Wildebeeste||United Kingdom||5,631||ON-53||Sunk|
|26 January 1942||Traveller||United Kingdom||3,963||Sunk|
|30 January 1942||Rochester||United States||6,836||Sunk|
|6 February 1942||Opawa||United Kingdom||10,354||Sunk|
|5 May 1942||Lady Drake||Canada||7,985||Sunk|
|21 May 1942||SS Faja de Oro||Mexico||6,067||Sunk|
|26 May 1942||Carrabulle||United States||5,030||Sunk|
|27 May 1942||Atenas||United States||4,639||Damaged|
|28 May 1942||Mentor||United Kingdom||7,383||Sunk|
|1 June 1942||Hampton Roads||United States||2,689||Sunk|
|11 October 1942||Waterton||United Kingdom||2,140||BS-31||Sunk|
- Bishop, C. Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939–45. Amber Books, 2006.
- Bowyer, Chaz. Coastal Command at War. Ian Allan. 1979, ISBN 0-7110-0980-5
- Evans, J. The Sunderland: Flying Boat Queen Paterchurch Publications, 2004 ISBN 1-870745-13-2
- U-106 at U-boat.net
- U-106 at ubootwaffe.net
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