|German submarine U-20 (1936)|
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||2 February 1935|
|Laid down:||1 August 1935|
|Launched:||14 January 1936|
|Commissioned:||1 February 1936|
|Identification:||M 29 241|
|Fate:||Scuttled 10 September 1944, off the coast of Turkey in the Black Sea|
Surfaced 279 Tons|
Submerged 329 Tons
Surfaced:13 Knots |
Surfaced 1,800 Miles at 12 Knots|
Submerged 43 Miles at 4 Knots
|Armament:||Three fore torpedo tubes with 6 x 21 inch Torpedos and 1 x 20mm AA gun on fore-deck|
24–31 August 1939
29 September–17 October 1939
18–24 November 1939
7–13 December 1939
6–16 January 1940
a. 21–21 January 1940
b. 23–31 January 1940
c. 4–4 February 1940
27 February–4 March 1940
14–20 March 1940
22–29 June 1943
11 July–7 August 1943
a. 16–22 September 1943
b. 24 September–12 October 1943
8 November–9 December 1943
1–26 January 1944
a. 22 February–1 March 1944
b. 2–27 March 1944
11 June–11 July 1944
19 August 1944–10 September 1944
13 ships sunk for a total of 30,067 GRT|
One ship damaged, of 1,846 GRT.
Two ships declared a total loss for a total of 8,446 GRT
German submarine U-20 was a Type IIB U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine. Her keel was laid down on 1 August 1935, by Germaniawerft of Kiel as 'werk' 550. She was commissioned on 1 February 1936. During World War II, she conducted operations against enemy shipping.
U-20 went on 16 war patrols, sinking 16 ships totalling 39,637 GRT and damaging one more of 1,846 GRT.
1st, 2nd and 3rd patrols
U-20's first three patrols involved observation (in August 1939) and the laying of mines in the North Sea and off the British east coast. She would start in Kiel and finish in Wilhelmshaven; then reverse the process.
4th and 5th patrols
She sank the Magnus about 40 mi (64 km) east northeast of Peterhead in Scotland. The ship went down in 90 seconds; there was only one survivor. She also sank the Ionian and the Willowpool in November and December respectively, with mines laid in November.
The boat sank the Sylvia northeast of Aberdeen on her fifth sortie on 13 October 1940.
6th - 8th patrols
U-20 sank a steady number of ships on her sixth and seventh patrols, (her eighth foray was relatively quiet), but a series of changes were on the way.
She was transferred to the U-Ausbildungsflottille as a school boat on 1 May 1940, then the Black Sea, avoiding the heavy British presence at Gibraltar and throughout the Mediterranean by moving overland and along the Danube to her new home with the 30th U-boat Flotilla at Konstanza in Rumania.
9th and 10th patrols
The boat's first patrol in the new environment, but her ninth overall, almost ended in disaster when she tried to torpedo a Soviet submarine chaser; the vessel responded by dropping eight depth charges. U-20 was obliged to stay submerged for four hours and returned to base with various mechanical failures.
Near the end of sally number ten, a crew member from U-19 who had been taken sick, was transferred to U-20 on 4 August 1943. The boat docked at Konstanza on the 7th.
11th - 14th patrols
These patrols were conducted between Konstanza and Sevastopol. U-20 sank the Soviet Vaijan Kutur'e on 16 January 1944 off Cape Anakria.
The boat sank the Pestel on 19 June 1944 off Trabzon. The Soviets reported that this ship was sunk in Turkish territorial waters.
She also sank the Soviet landing craft DB-26 on 26 June with gunfire and demolition charges.
16th patrol and fate
She was scuttled on 10 September 1944, in the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey.
On 3 February 2008, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that U-20 had been discovered by Selçuk Kolay, a Turkish marine engineer, in 80 feet (24 m) of water off the coast of the Turkish city of Zonguldak.
Summary of raiding history
|29 November 1939||Ionian||United Kingdom||3,114||Sunk (mine)|
|9 December 1939||Magnus||Denmark||1,339||Sunk|
|10 December 1939||Føina||Norway||1,674||Sunk|
|10 December 1939||Willowpool||United Kingdom||4,815||Sunk (mine)|
|13 January 1940||Sylvia||Sweden||1,524||Sunk|
|27 January 1940||England||Denmark||2,319||Sunk|
|27 January 1940||Faro||Norway||844||Total loss|
|27 January 1940||Friedensborg||Denmark||2,094||Sunk|
|27 January 1940||Hosanger||Denmark||1,591||Sunk|
|29 February 1940||Maria Rosa||Italy||4,211||Sunk|
|1 March 1940||Mirella||Italy||5,340||Sunk|
|29 November 1943||Peredovik||Soviet Union||1,846||Damaged|
|16 January 1944||Vaijan Kutur'e||Soviet Union||7,602||Total loss|
|7 April 1944||Rion||Soviet Union||184||Sunk (mine)|
|19 June 1944||Pestel||Soviet Union||1,850||Sunk|
|24 June 1944||DB-26||Soviet Union||9||Sunk|
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997. p. 217. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3
- The Times Atlas of the World - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 21
- Kemp, p. 217.
- Adolf Hitler's "Lost fleet" found in Black Sea, The Telegraph, Retrieved 2010-12-27
- uboat.net webpage for U-20
- ubootwaffe.net webpage about U-20
- u-boot-archiv.de webpage for U-20(German)
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