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German submarine U-118 (1941)
U-118 Luftangriff.jpg
U-118 under attack by aircraft from USS Bogue
Name: U-118
Ordered: 31 January 1939
Builder: Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 617
Laid down: 1 March 1940
Launched: 3 May 1941[1]
Commissioned: 23 September 1941[2]
Fate: Sunk on 12 June 1943[2] by US aircraft
General characteristics [3]
Class & type: Type XB submarine minelayer
Displacement: 1,763 long tons (1,791 t) surfaced
2,177 long tons (2,212 t) submerged
Length: 89.80 m (294 ft 7 in) o/a
70.90 m (232 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Beam: 9.20 m (30 ft 2 in) o/a
4.75 m (15 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Height: 10.20 m (33 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.71 m (15 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 2 × diesel engines, 4,800 hp (3,600 kW)
2 × electric motors, 1,100 hp (820 kW)
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) surfaced
7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) submerged
Range: 18,450 nmi (34,170 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced
93 nmi (172 km) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: Calculated crush depth: 220 m (720 ft)
Complement: 48-60 men
Armament: • 2 × 53.3 cm (21 in) stern torpedo tubes
• 15 × G7e torpedoes
• 66 × SMA mines
• 1 × 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun[4] (200 rounds)
Service record[5][6]
Part of: 2nd U-boat Flotilla
(26 July 1941–31 January 1942)
1st U-boat Flotilla
(1 February 1942–6 October 1942)
Commanders: Krvkpt. Werner Czygan
(6 December 1941–12 June 1943)
Operations: Four
1st patrol:
19 September–16 October 1942
2nd patrol:
12 November–13 December 1942
3rd patrol:
25 January–26 February 1943
4th patrol:
25 May–12 June 1943
Victories: Three ships sunk (14,064 GRT)
One warship sunk - 925 tons
Two ships damaged - 11,945 GRT

German submarine U-118 was a Type XB minelaying U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She was ordered on 31 January 1939 and laid down on 1 March 1940 at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel, as 'werk' 617. She was launched on 23 September 1941 and commissioned on 6 December under the command of Korvettenkapitän Werner Czygan.

After a period of training as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla, U-118 was assigned to the front-line as part of the 10th U-boat Flotilla on 1 October 1942. She was reassigned to the 12th flotilla a month later on 1 November. She was a member of three wolfpacks.

Operational career[]

U-118 sank three merchant vessels and a warship; a total of 14,989 tons of shipping in three patrols. She also damaged two others, for a total of 11,945 tons.

1st patrol[]

U-118's first patrol began on 19 September 1942 with her departure from Kiel. Her route took her across the North Sea, through the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean. The boat was attacked south of Iceland by an aircraft on 29 September which caused only slight damage. She reached her destination, which was Lorient in occupied France, on 16 October.

2nd patrol[]

Her second sortie was to an area between the Azores and Madeira. It was uneventful.

She carried out a short transit voyage from Lorient to Brest on 12 and 13 December 1942.

3rd patrol[]

The boat's third patrol was the longest, but most successful. Departing Brest on 25 January 1943, she sailed west of Gibraltar, where she sank the Baltonia, the Empire Mordred and the Mary Slessor on 7 February and damaged the Duero with a mine on the 10th. She was also responsible for the sinking of the corvette HMCS Weyburn on 22 February. The Canadian ship struck a mine that U-118 had laid on the 1st. Despite best efforts by the crew to remove depth charge primers, two exploded when the ship sank, killing men in the water and disabling a nearby destroyer. She returned to France, to Bordeaux, on 26 February.

4th patrol and loss[]

U-118 had been at sea less than a month when she was attacked by two aircraft west of the Canary Islands followed by a further eight planes from the carrier USS Bogue. Following a heavy expenditure of bombs, .50" and .30" ammunition; the U-boat exploded into two parts, oil and debris were flung into the air. 16 men survived to be picked up by the escort vessel USS Osmond Ingram.[2][7]

Summary of raiding history[]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
7 February 1943 Baltonia  United Kingdom 2,013 Sunk (Mine)
7 February 1943 Empire Mordred  United Kingdom 7,024 Sunk (Mine)
7 February 1943 Mary Slessor  United Kingdom 5,027 Sunk (Mine)
10 February 1943 Duero  Spain 2,008 Damaged (Mine)
22 February 1943 HMCS Weyburn  Canada 925 Sunk (Mine)
22 February 1943 Thorsholm  Norway 9,937 Damaged (Mine)


  1. Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. 1997. pp. 124-125. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kemp, pp. 124-125.
  3. "Type XB Mine-laying boats - German U-boat Types of WWII -". Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  4. Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp.248&249
  5. "The Type XB boat U-118 - German U-boats of WWII -". Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  6. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-118 - Boats -". Retrieved 28 December 2012. 

External links[]

See also[]

Coordinates: 30°49′N 28°21′W / 30.817°N 28.35°W / 30.817; -28.35

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