Military Wiki
German submarine U-3 (1935)
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-3
Ordered: 2 February 1935
Builder: Deutsche Werke, Kiel[1]
Yard number: 238
Laid down: 11 February 1935
Launched: 19 July 1935
Commissioned: 6 September 1935
Fate: Stricken, August 1944. Scrapped 1945
General characteristics
Class & type: IIA
Type: Coastal submarine
Displacement: 254 t (250 long tons) ↑[2]
303 t (298 long tons) ↓[2]
Length: 40.9 m (134 ft 2 in)[2]
Beam: 4.08 m (13 ft 5 in)[2]
Draft: 3.83 m (12 ft 7 in)[2]
Propulsion: 2 × propeller shafts
2 × MWM four-stroke diesel engines, 700 shp (520 kW)[2]
2 × Siemens-Schuckert electric motor, 360 shp (270 kW)[2]
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h) ↑[2]
6.9 knots (12.8 km/h) ↓[2]
Range: 1,050 nautical miles (1,940 km; 1,210 mi) @ 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) ↑[2]
35 nmi (65 km; 40 mi) @ 4 knots ↓[2]
Test depth: 80 m (260 ft)[2]
Complement: 3 officers, 22 men[2]
Armament: 3 × 53.3 cm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes[2]
5 × torpedoes
1 × 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun[2]
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine
U-Boat Training Flotilla
21st U-boat Flotilla
Commanders: Oblt.z.S. Hans Meckel
(6 August 1935–29 September 1937)
Ernst-Günter Heinicke
(30 September 1937–July 1938)
Kptlt. Joachim Schepke
(29 October 1938–2 January 1940)
Gerd Schreiber
(3 January–28 July 1940)
Kptlt. Helmut Franzke
(29 July–10 November 1940)
Kptlt. Otto von Bülow
(11 November 1940–2 July 1941)
Oblt.z.S. Hans-Hartwig Trojer
(3 July 1941–2 March 1942)
Oblt.z.S. Joachim Zander
(3 March–19 September 1942)
Oblt.z.S. Herbert Zoller
(1 October–18 May 1943)
Oblt.z.S. Ernst Hartmann
(19 May 1943–9 June 1944)
Lt.z.S. Hermann Neumeister
(10 June–16 July 1944)
Operations: Five:
1st patrol:
4–8 September 1939
2nd patrol:
13–24 September 1939
3rd patrol:
27 September–3 October 1939
4th patrol:
16–29 March 1940
5th patrol:
12–19 April 1940
Victories: Two ships sunk, total of 2,348 GRT

German submarine U-3 was a Type IIA U-boat laid down at the Deutsche Werke in Kiel on 11 February 1935 as Werk 238. She was commissioned into the Kriegsmarine on 6 August 1936 under the command of Oberleutnant zur See (Oblt.z.S.) Hans Meckel. U-3 carried out a total of five combat patrols; she sank two ships while under the command of Joachim Schepke. During April 1940, she was part of the fleet that supported the German invasion of Norway, Operation Weserübung.

As the Type II submarines were too small for combat duty in the Atlantic Ocean, she was assigned to the Baltic for training duties with the 21st U-boat Flotilla, a training outfit.


U-3 is known to have had three emblems; one was an oak leaf, with an anchor and a knife or dagger. She also shared this emblem with U-29, U-120, U-747, U-1274 and U-1308.[3]

Operational history

1st and 2nd patrols

The boat's first patrol was relatively uneventful.

Her second sortie was toward the British east Anglian coast.

3rd patrol

She sank the Danish ship Vendia and the Swedish vessel Gun for a total of 2,348 gross register tons (GRT) on 30 September 1939. U-3 closed the Vendia and as was common practice in the early days of the war, ordered her to stop after a few warning shots were fired. The ship's fate is disputed. The German submariners said the Danish vessel tried to ram the U-boat. The ship's crew were convinced she swung with the strength of the wind. A torpedo was fired which hit the vessel and sank her.

The Gun was attacked in the Skagerrak 30 nmi (56 km) northwest of Hanstholm. By now wary from the experience with the Vendia, the U-boat sent a boarding party to the Swedish ship, but was obliged to dive by the arrival of HMS Thistle. U-3 fired a torpedo at the British submarine, which missed; indeed they were not aware they had been targeted. The German vessel left the area and came across a lifeboat from the Gun, telling the Swedes in it to return to their ship as she was still afloat. The German boarding party had left the ship in a lifeboat, but were picked up by the Danish merchant ship Dagmar. U-3 recovered them and put a torpedo into the empty Gun.

4th and 5th patrols

Patrol number four was also quiet, but number five was enlivened by another British submarine, HMS Porpoise, firing six torpedoes 10 nmi (19 km) west of Egersund at the U-boat on 16 April 1940. They were originally thought to have been aimed at U-1, but the attack caused no damage.


U-3 was stricken on 1 August 1944 in Gotenhafen. She was captured by Great Britain on 3 May 1945 and scrapped that same year.

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
30 September 1939 Vendia  Denmark 1,150 Sunk
30 September 1939 Gun  Sweden 1,198 Sunk


See also

Coordinates: 57°42′03″N 2°00′12″W / 57.70083°N 2.00333°W / 57.70083; -2.00333

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).