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German submarine U-214
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-214
Ordered: 16 February 1940
Builder: Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 646
Laid down: 5 October 1940
Launched: 18 September 1941
Commissioned: 1 November 1941
Fate: Sunk, 26 July 1944, by a British warship
General characteristics
Type: Type VIID submarine
Displacement: 965 long tons (980 t) surfaced
1,080 long tons (1,097 t) submerged
Length: 76.9 m (252 ft 4 in) o/a
59.8 m (196 ft 2 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.4 m (21 ft 0 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draft: 5 m (16 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft, 6-cylinder, 4-stroke F46 diesel engines totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × AEG GU 460/8-276 electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW). Max rpm: 285
Speed: 16.7 knots (19.2 mph; 30.9 km/h) surfaced
7.9 knots (9.1 mph; 14.6 km/h) submerged
Range: 20,720 km (11,190 nmi) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced
130 km (70 nmi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 200 m (660 ft)
Crush depth: 220–240 m (720–790 ft)
Complement: 46–52 officers and ratings
Armament: • 5 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
• 14 × torpedoes or 26 × TMA or 39 × TMB tube-launched mines
• 5 × vertical launchers with 15 SMA mines
• 1 × C35 88mm gun/L45 deck gun (220 rounds)
• 2 × C30 20 mm AA (4,380 rounds)
Service record[1][2]
Part of:

5th U-boat Flotilla
(1 November 1941–30 April 1942)

9th U-boat Flotilla
(1 May 1942–26 July 1944)
Commanders: Kptlt. Günther Reeder
(1 November 1941–10 May 1943)
Oblt./Kptlt. Rupprecht Stock
(7 May 1943–July 1944)
Oblt. Gerhard Conrad
(July 1944–26 July 1944)
Operations: Ten patrols:
1st patrol:
18 May–4 June 1942
2nd patrol:
13–17 June 1942
3rd patrol:
9 August–9 October 1942
4th patrol:
30 November 1942–24 February 1943
5th patrol:
4–10 May 1943
6th patrol:
18 May–26 June 1943
7th patrol:
22 August–30 November 1943
8th patrol:
19 February–29 April 1944
9th patrol:
11 June–2 July 1944
10th patrol:
22–26 July 1944
Victories: Three commercial ships sunk (18,266 GRT)
one warship sunk (1,525 GRT)
one commercial ship damaged (6,507 GRT)
one auxiliary warship damaged (10,552 GRT)

German submarine U-214 was a Type VIID mine-laying U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Laid down on 5 October 1940 by Germaniawerft in Kiel, the boat was commissioned on 1 November 1941 with Kapitänleutnant Günther Reeder in command. She trained with the 5th U-boat Flotilla from 1 November 1941 until 30 April 1942, and was then assigned to the 9th U-boat Flotilla from 1 May 1942. She was sunk on 26 July 1944 by a British warship.

The wreck of U-214 was found by the archaeologist Innes McCartney in 2006 at the location reported by the Allies after the war.

Service history[edit | edit source]

1st and 2nd patrol[edit | edit source]

U-214 sailed from Kiel on 18 May 1942, arriving at Kristiansand in Norway on the 20th. She sailed the next day, heading for Brest in France. On 22 May while in the North Sea, she was attacked by an aircraft, and slightly damaged by three bombs. The U-boat arrived at Lorient, also in France, on 2 June, and sailed to Brest the next day.[1]

Her second patrol began on 13 June,[2] but on 16 June at 03:44, she was strafed, three depth charges were also dropped by a Leigh light-equipped aircraft in the Bay of Biscay. A second attack was fought off with her flak defenses, but the U-boat sustained damage which forced her to return to Lorient on 17 June.[1]

3rd patrol[edit | edit source]

Not until her third patrol did U-214 score a victory. On 9 August 1942 she sailed from Brest, and on 18 August attacked Convoy SL-118, west of Portugal, sinking the 6,318 ton Dutch cargo ship Balingkar and the 7,522 ton British cargo ship Hatarana. She also damaged the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cheshire (F18). She returned to Brest on 9 October after 62 days at sea.[3]

4th and 5th patrols[edit | edit source]

U-214's fourth patrol took her to the Caribbean Sea where she attacked the 4,426 ton unescorted Polish merchant ship Paderewski with torpedoes 40 mi (64 km) off Trinidad, before sinking her with gunfire. The U-boat returned to her homeport on 24 February 1943 after a voyage of 87 days.[4]

U-214's fifth patrol was cut short when she was attacked on 7 May 1943 by a British Halifax bomber of 58 Squadron RAF in the Bay of Biscay, after only three days at sea. The U-boat crash-dived, suffering only minor damage, but her commander Kptlt. Günther Reeder was severely wounded, resulting in first Officer Oberleutnant Rupprecht Stock bringing the U-boat safely back to base.[5]

6th patrol[edit | edit source]

Now under Stock's command, U-214 sailed from Brest on 18 May 1943, and headed for the coast of West Africa. There, on 20 June, the American 6,507 ton merchant ship Santa Maria struck a mine laid by U-214 five miles (eight km west of Dakar, blowing off her bows. After abandoning ship, she was later re-boarded by her crew and towed to Dakar for repairs.[6] The U-boat arrived back at Brest on 26 June.[7]

7th patrol[edit | edit source]

U-214's seventh patrol took her to the waters off Panama. While outbound on 9 September, 92 mi (148 km) south-west of Santa Maria, Azores, she was attacked by an American Avenger aircraft from the escort carrier Croatan (CVE-25). The aircraft approached by radar and dropped four depth charges, but was damaged in the air intake and the bomb bay by the U-boat's flak. One depth charge hit the U-boat, but bounced off and exploded without damaging her.[1]

On 8 October, five miles off Colón, U-214 laid a field of 15 mines. One of these may have sunk the United States Navy submarine USS Dorado (SS-248) on or about 14 October. On 12 October, the boat was attacked twice, but not damaged, by an aircraft of US Navy Patrol Squadron 210. U-214 returned home on 30 November after 101 days at sea.[8] [9]

8th and 9th patrol[edit | edit source]

U-214's next patrol, from 19 February–29 April 1944, took her south to the west African coast, but without success. The U-boat was then fitted with a schnorkel before returning to active service. U-214 headed north into the shallow waters of the English Channel on 11 June, under the command of the newly promoted Kapitänleutnant Stock, however she had no successes,[2] and the patrol was curtailed after the U-boat was attacked by a British B-24 Liberator of 224 Squadron, sustaining damage which forced her to return to Brest on 2 July.[1]

10th patrol and loss[edit | edit source]

U-214 sailed from Brest on 22 July 1944 under the command of 21-year old Oblt. Gerhard Conrad, one of the youngest U-boat commanders of World War II.[10] After only five days, on 26 July, the U-boat was sunk in the English Channel at 49°58′N 03°30′W / 49.967°N 3.5°W / 49.967; -3.5Coordinates: 49°58′N 03°30′W / 49.967°N 3.5°W / 49.967; -3.5 by depth charges from the Captain-class frigate HMS Cooke. All 48 hands were lost.

Summary of raiding history[edit | edit source]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
18 August 1942 Balingkar  Netherlands 6,318 Sunk
18 August 1942 Hatarana  United Kingdom 7,522 Sunk
18 August 1942 HMS Cheshire  United Kingdom 10,552 Damaged
30 December 1942 Paderwski  Poland 4,426 Sunk
20 June 1943 Santa Maria  USA 6,507 Damaged (Mine)
14 October 1943 USS Dorado  USA 1,525 Sunk (mine)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "The Type VIID boat U-214 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/u214.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "War Patrols by German U-boat U-214 - Boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/patrols/u214.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  3. "Patrol of U-boat U-214 from 9 Aug 1942 to 9 Oct 1942 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/patrols/patrol_4219.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  4. "Patrol of U-boat U-214 from 30 Nov 1942 to 24 Feb 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/patrols/patrol_4220.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  5. "Patrol of U-boat U-214 from 4 May 1943 to 10 May 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/patrols/patrol_4221.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  6. "Santa Maria (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/2954.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  7. "Patrol of U-boat U-214 from 18 May 1943 to 26 Jun 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/patrols/patrol_4222.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  8. "Patrol of U-boat U-214 from 22 Aug 1943 to 30 Nov 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/boats/patrols/patrol_4223.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  9. "USS Dorado (SS-248) - American Vessels lost to U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/3108.html. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  10. "Oberleutnant zur See Gerhard Conrad - German U-boat Commanders of WWII - uboat.net". uboat.net. http://uboat.net/men/commanders/175.html. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 

"U-214 at uboat.net". http://uboat.net/boats/u214.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Innes McCartney (2002). Lost Patrols: Submarine Wrecks of the English Channel. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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