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German submarine U-195
Career (Germany)
Name: U-195
Ordered: 4 November 1940
Builder: AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 1041
Laid down: 15 May 1941
Launched: 8 April 1942
Commissioned: 5 September 1942
Fate: Taken over by Japan, May 1945
Career (Japan)
Name: I-506
Acquired: May 1945
Commissioned: 15 July 1945
Fate: Surrendered, August 1945. Scuttled by the RN
Broken up, 1947
General characteristics
Type: Type IXD1 submarine
Displacement: 1,610 t (1,580 long tons) surfaced
1,799 t (1,771 long tons) submerged
Length: 87.6 m (287 ft 5 in) o/a
68.5 m (224 ft 9 in) pressure hull
Beam: 7.5 m (24 ft 7 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 10.2 m (33 ft 6 in)
Draft: 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 hp (3,281 kW)
2 × SSW GU345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Speed: 20.8 knots (38.5 km/h) surfaced
6.9 knots (12.8 km/h) submerged
Range: 12,750 nmi (23,610 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced
213 nmi (394 km) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 55 to 63
  • 6 × torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern)
  • 22 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedoes
  • 1 × Utof 105 mm/45 deck gun (110 rounds)
  • AA guns
Service record (Kriegsmarine)[1][2]
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(5 September 1942–31 March 1943)
12th U-boat Flotilla
(1 May 1943–30 September 1944)
33rd U-boat Flotilla
(1 October 1944–8 May 1945)
Commanders: KrvKpt. Heinz Buchholz
(5 September 1942–17 October 1943)
Oblt. Friedrich Steinfeldt
(16 April 1944–8 May 1945)
Operations: Three
1st patrol:
20 March–23 July 1943
2nd patrol:
24 August–28 December 1944
3rd patrol:
19 January–4 March 1945
Victories: Two commercial ships sunk (14,391 GRT)
One commercial ship damaged (6,797 GRT)

German submarine U-195 was a Type IXD1 transport U-boat which served in World War II. The submarine was laid down on 15 May 1941 at the AG Weser yard in Bremen as 'werk' 1041, launched on 8 April 1942, and commissioned on 5 September 1942 under the command of Korvettenkapitän Heinz Buchholz.[1]

U-195 was one of two IX-D1 transport U-boats that had their forward torpedo tubes removed and the compartment converted into a cargo hold. The other IX-D1 was U-180, which was lost in the Bay of Biscay in 1944 whilst setting out for a voyage to Japan. (U-180 had been trialled originally with six diesel engines driving two propeller shafts, but overheating proved such a problem that these engines were removed and replaced with a pair of 2,200 hp MAN diesel engines). It is unclear if U-195 underwent the same engine history as U-180, but it seems likely.

Operational history

1st patrol

U-195 departed Kiel on 20 March 1943 and sailed to the waters off South Africa where she sank two ships and damaged another.[3]

On 11 April she torpedoed the American 7,200 ton liberty ship James W. Denver about 475 mi (764 km) west of Las Palmas, Canary Islands. The ship, a straggler from Convoy UGS-7 en route from Baltimore to Casablanca, was loaded with sugar, acid, flour, aircraft parts, vehicles, bulldozers and had twelve P-38 Lightning aircraft as deck cargo. The crew of 69 abandoned ship in five lifeboats. The U-boat then fired two more torpedoes which sank the vessel.[4]

Another unescorted liberty ship, the Samuel Jordan Kirkwood was torpedoed on 7 May about 125 mi (201 km) southeast of Ascension Island. The crew of 71 abandoned ship in four lifeboats and a raft before the U-boat sank the ship with another torpedo.[5]

On 12 May, the unescorted 6,797 ton American merchant ship Cape Neddick was hit by two torpedoes. One failed to explode, while the other tore a hole 25 ft (7.6 m) by 30 ft (9.1 m) in the side. Still under way, the ship's armed guards opened fire at the U-boat with their 4 in (100 mm), 3 in (76 mm), and 20 mm guns. The vessel began to sink, and most of the crew abandoned ship in two lifeboats and three rafts. After more than an hour the master and six volunteers re-boarded the ship and got her under way, just as U-195 fired another torpedo, which missed. The next day, the ship returned to pick up the men in the boats and rafts, and on 16 May arrived safely at Walvis Bay, South Africa.[6] U-195 arrived at Bordeaux on 23 July after a patrol lasting 126 days.[2]

2nd patrol

Now under the command of Oblt. Friedrich Steinfeldt, U-195 left Bordeaux in occupied France on 24 August 1944 and arrived at Batavia (now part of Indonesia), 127 days later on 28 December.[7]

Amongst her cargo were parts of 12 dismantled V-2 rockets for the Japanese military. U-219 also carried part of the same V-2 rocket consignment. Both U-boats arrived at Batavia in December 1944. These two U-boats are also thought to have carried Uranium oxide requested for Japan's atomic bomb project by General Toranouke Kawashima in July 1943. The signals requesting Uranium were part of the PURPLE decrypts which have since been declassified by the United States.[8]

3rd patrol

U-195's final patrol involved an abortive attempt by several U-boats to sail back to Europe. Leaving Batavia on 19 January 1945 she sailed out into the Indian Ocean, south of Madagascar.[9] There she refuelled U-boats of the Monsun Gruppe and then returned to Batavia on 4 March.

Imperial Japanese Navy

After Germany's surrender in early May 1945, U-195 was taken over by the Imperial Japanese Navy and was commissioned as I-506 on 15 July. The U-boat surrendered to the Allies at Batavia in August 1945, she was scuttled later that month[10] and was broken up in 1947.

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
11 April 1943 James W. Denver  USA 7,200 Sunk
7 May 1943 Samuel Jordan Kirkwood  USA 7,191 Sunk
12 May 1943 Cape Neddick  USA 6,797 Damaged

See also



External links

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