German submarine U-205

German submarine U-205 was a Type VIIC U-boat of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 19 June 1940 by the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft yard at Kiel as yard number 634; launched on 20 March 1941; and commissioned on 3 May 1941 under the command of Franz-Georg Reschke.

She was sunk on 17 February 1943 by HMS Paladin at 32°56′N 22°01′E / 32.933°N 22.017°E.

Nazi Germany
Name: U-205
Ordered: 23 September 1939
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 634
Laid down: 19 June 1940
Launched: 20 March 1941
Commissioned: 3 May 1941
Fate: Sunk 17 February 1943 by HMS Paladin at 32.56N, 22.01E
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draught: 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)
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) 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:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Service record[1][2]
Part of:
  • Franz-Georg Reschke,
  • March 1941 – October 1942
  • Friedrich Bürgel
  • August 1942 – February 1943
Operations: Twelve patrols
  • One merchant ship sunk (2,623 GRT)
  • One warship ship sunk (5,450 tons)


German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-205 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[3] She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), 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 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[3]

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).[3] When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-205 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[3]

Service history

Part of the 3rd U-boat Flotilla, U-205 carried out two patrols in the North Atlantic. Joining 29th U-boat Flotilla, she carried out a further ten patrols in the Mediterranean.

1st patrol

U-205's first patrol began when she left Trondheim on 24 July 1941; she travelled through the gap between Greenland and Iceland (the Denmark Strait) and docked at Brest in occupied France, on 23 August 1941.

2nd patrol

Leaving Lorient on 23 September 1941, U-205 was attacked and damaged by aircraft on 27 September and returned to port, arriving in Lorient on 2 October 1941.

3rd patrol

On 3 November 1941 U-205 left Lorient and joined Wolfpack Arnauld. Breaking through the Gibraltar barrage, U-205 joined the 29th U-Flotilla in La Spezia on 10 December 1941.

4th patrol

U-205 left La Spezia on 5 January 1942 and returned on 10 February.

5th patrol

Having left La Spezia on 17 March, U-205 encountered the fleet tanker RFA Slavol on her way to Tobruk on 26 March 1942 and sank her with a torpedo from her stern torpedo tube after a four-torpedo-screen failed to generate any hits.

6th patrol

Saling from La Spezia on 6 May 1942, U-205 reached Salamis on 8 June 1942.

7th patrol

On the return leg, U-205 successfully attacked the British light cruiser HMS Hermione on 16 June 1942, guarding convoy MW-11. The U-boat docked in La Spezia on 23 June.

8th patrol

On 3 August 1942, U-205 sailed from La Spezia for Pula, arriving there on 10 September 1942.

9th patrol

Pola, 20 October 1942 – La Spezia, 19 November 1942

10th patrol

La Spezia, 20 November 1942 – Pola, 24 November 1942

11th patrol

Pola, 12 January 1943 – Salamis 26 January 1943

Last patrol and sinking

Leaving Salamis on 2 February 1943, U-205 was manoeuvering to attack a convoy off Apollonia, Cyrenaica on 17 February 1943 when she was spotted by a Bristol Blenheim bomber of the South African Air Force and attacked by British destroyer HMS Paladin at 32°56′N 22°1′E / 32.933°N 22.017°ECoordinates: 32°56′N 22°1′E / 32.933°N 22.017°E. Forced to surface by depth charges, U-205's crew abandoned ship after opening the sea vents. A boarding party from HMS Paladin managed to salvage documents and radio equipment. A second warship, HMS Gloxinia, attempted to tow the still-floating submarine to the beach, but failed. U-205 sank about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) off shore.


U-205 took part in one wolfpack, namely.

  • Arnauld (5–18 November 1941)


U-205 is widely believed to be the submarine with the erroneous number U-307 in Peter Keeble's book Ordeal by Water, in which he describes his dive to recover encrypting equipment from a sunken U-boat.

Summary of raiding history

Date Ship Name Nationality Displacement Fate[4]
26 March 1942 RFA Slavol  Royal Fleet Auxiliary 2,623 Sunk
16 June 1942 HMS Hermione  Royal Navy 5,450 Sunk

See also


  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-205". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrols by U-205". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-205". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 9 December 2014.


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
  • Jak Mallmann Showell, Enigma U-boats, 2000, p. 95.

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-205". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 205". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - (in German). Retrieved 9 December 2014.

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