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German submarine U-22 (1936)
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-22
Ordered: February 2, 1935
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 552
Laid down: March 4, 1936
Launched: July 29, 1936
Commissioned: August 20, 1936
Fate: Missing since March 27, 1940, in the North Sea around Skagerrak. 27 presumed dead
General characteristics
Type: IIB
Displacement: Surfaced 279 Tons
Submerged 329 Tons
Length: 42.7m (140.2Ft)
Beam: 4.1m (13.5Ft)
Speed: Surfaced:13 Knots
Submerged:7 Knots
Endurance: Surfaced 1,800 Miles at 12 Knots
Submerged 43 Miles at 4 Knots
Crew: 25
Armament: Three fore torpedo tubes with 6 x 21 inch Torpedos and 1 x 20mm AA gun on fore-deck
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine
1st U-boat Flotilla
3rd U-boat Flotilla
Identification codes: M 26 177
Commanders: Harald Grosse
Werner Winter
Karl-Heinrich Jenisch
Operations: Seven patrols
Victories: Six ships sunk for a total of 7,344 gross register tons (GRT)
Two auxiliary warships sunk for a total of 3,633 GRT
One warship sunk for 1,475 tons

German submarine U-22 was a Nazi German Type IIB U-boat which was commissioned in 1936 following construction at the Germaniawerft shipyards at Kiel. Her pre-war service was uneventful, as she trained crews and officers in the rapidly expanding U-boat arm of the Kriegsmarine following the abandonment of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles two years before.

War Patrols

During the Second World War, she was mainly deployed for coastal work, a role enforced by her small size and endurance. Thus she was useful for operations in the North Sea and against the British coastal convoys, particularly along the north east seeboard of Great Britain. It was in this region that she scored her first successes, after fruitless operations off the Polish coast during the invasion of that country and a patrol against British shipping coming from Norwegian ports.

On 18 November 1939, she scored her first kill, sinking the tiny coastal cargo ship SS Parkhill off the Scottish coast. This was followed on her fourth patrol with two mine barrages[Clarification needed] off Blyth, in Northumberland, which claimed two coastal freighters and a naval patrol minesweeper in less than a week. She was then used directly against Scottish convoys in the Moray Firth,[1] during which she achieved her greatest success, torpedoing the British destroyer HMS Exmouth, which went down with all hands, the cause of her loss only discovered by the British after the war. Shortly afterwards, in thick fog, she sank a Danish ship from the same convoy. These were her final direct victims, although she later claimed another with a mine laid sometime before.

The submarine failed to return from her seventh patrol, for which she had departed on 20 March 1940. There is some indication that she was lost due to an unexplained mine detonation in the Skagerrak.[2] Some suggested, that she might have been rammed by the Polish submarine Wilk, which reported crashing into something, but it was a month later (20 June) and newest analyses show, that the Wilk most probably collided with a buoy.[3] Whatever the cause, U-22 and her 27 crew were never seen again, lost somewhere in the North Sea in March 1940.

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
18 November 1939 Parkhill  United Kingdom 500 Sunk
18 November 1939 Wigmore  United Kingdom 345 Sunk
20 December 1939 Mars  Sweden 1,877 Sunk (mine)
23 December 1939 HMS Dolphin  United Kingdom 3,099 Sunk (mine)
25 December 1939 HMS Loch Doon  United Kingdom 534 Sunk (mine)
28 December 1939 Hanne  Denmark 1,080 Sunk (mine)
21 January 1940 Ferryhill  United Kingdom 1,086 Sunk (mine)
21 January 1940 HMS Exmouth  United Kingdom 1,475 Sunk
21 January 1940 Tekla  Denmark 1,469 Sunk (mine)
28 January 1940 Eston  United Kingdom 1,487 Sunk (mine)


  1. The Times Atlas of the World - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 10
  2. The Times Atlas of the World, p. 11
  3. Andrzej S. Bartelski (in Polish). Prawdy i mity "Torpedy w celu" (Facts and myths in "Torpedo in target"). Biuletyn Nr.6, ISSN 2080-5780, p.48-50

See also

Coordinates: 57°30′N 9°00′E / 57.5°N 9°E / 57.5; 9

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