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German submarine U-122 (1939)
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-122
Ordered: 15 December 1937
Builder: AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 954
Laid down: 5 March 1939
Launched: 20 December 1939
Commissioned: 30 March 1940
Fate: Missing since 22 June 1940[1]
General characteristics
Class & type: Type IXB U-boat
Displacement: Surfaced 1,051 tons tons
submerged 1,178 tons
Length: Overall 76.5 m (251 ft 0 in)
pressure hull 58.7 m (192 ft 7 in)
Beam: Overall 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in)
pressure hull 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in)
Draught: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: Diesel/Electric, 2x MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9 cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 hp (3,300kW), 2xSSW GU345/34 double acting electric motors, 1000 hp (740kW)
Speed: Surfaced 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h)
submerged 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h)
Range: Surfaced: 22,200 km (12,000 nmi) at 10 knots
submerged: 118 km (64 nmi) at 4 knots (7 km/h)
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 48 to 56 officers and ratings

German submarine U-122 was a Type IXB U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine that operated during World War II.

She was ordered on 15 December 1937 and was laid down on 5 March 1939 at AG Weser, Bremen, becoming 'Werk 954'. She was launched on 20 December 1939 and commissioned under her first and only commander, Korvettenkapitän Hans-Günther Looff on 30 March 1940.

Service history

She carried out two combat patrols with the 2nd U-boat Flotilla. On her first foray in May 1940, she transported an 88 mm Flak (anti-aircraft gun) with ammunition, some bombs, 90 cbm (some 750 barrels (119 m3)) of fuel for aircraft and some motor oil to Trondheim during the Norwegian campaign. On 23 May she encountered an enemy submarine in the North Atlantic, but neither boat attacked each other.[3] She sank a single ship during her career, the SS Empire Conveyor on 20 June 1940.

She was declared missing with all hands after 22 June 1940 between the North Sea and the Bay of Biscay. She may have collided with the vessel San Felipe on 22 June, or been sunk by depth charges from the corvette HMS Arabis on 23 June.

Dutch and Polish authors suggest that U-122 was sunk after being rammed by the submarine ORP Wilk during the early morning hours of 21 June.[4] The captain of the Wilk reported ramming a surfaced U-boat while it was attempting to dive. This version was often disputed and an alternative theory states that the Wilk instead rammed and sank the Dutch submarine O-13. However, the first officer of the Wilk said that the enemy submarine was rammed in front of its deck gun, which suggests that the Wilk indeed sank a U-boat, as the O-13 lacked such a weapon.[5]

See also


  1. Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1999, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 66.
  2. Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp.248&249

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