German submarine U-22 (1936)

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U-9 IWM HU 1012.jpg
U-9, a typical Type IIB boat
Nazi Germany
Name: U-22
Ordered: 2 February 1935
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 552
Laid down: 4 March 1936
Launched: 29 July 1936
Commissioned: 20 August 1936
Fate: Missing since 27 March 1940, in the North Sea around Skagerrak. 27 presumed dead
General characteristics
Class and type: IIB coastal submarine
  • 279 t (275 long tons) surfaced
  • 328 t (323 long tons) submerged
  • 4.08 m (13 ft 5 in) (o/a)
  • 4.00 m (13 ft 1 in) (pressure hull)
Height: 8.60 m (28 ft 3 in)
Draught: 3.90 m (12 ft 10 in)
Installed power:
  • 700 PS (510 kW; 690 bhp) (diesels)
  • 410 PS (300 kW; 400 shp) (electric)
  • 1,800 nmi (3,300 km; 2,100 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
  • 35–43 nmi (65–80 km; 40–49 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 80 m (260 ft)
Complement: 3 officers, 22 men
Service record
Part of:
Identification codes: M 26 177
Operations: Seven patrols
  • Six ships sunk for a total of 7,344 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.


German Type IIB submarines were enlarged versions of the original Type IIs. U-22 had a displacement of 279 tonnes (275 long tons) when at the surface and 328 tonnes (323 long tons) while submerged. Officially, the standard tonnage was 250 long tons (250 t), however.[1] The U-boat had a total length of 42.70 m (140 ft 1 in), a pressure hull length of 28.20 m (92 ft 6 in), a beam of 4.08 m (13 ft 5 in), a height of 8.60 m (28 ft 3 in), and a draught of 3.90 m (12 ft 10 in). The submarine was powered by two MWM RS 127 S four-stroke, six-cylinder diesel engines of 700 metric horsepower (510 kW; 690 shp) for cruising, two Siemens-Schuckert PG VV 322/36 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 460 metric horsepower (340 kW; 450 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 0.85 m (3 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 80–150 metres (260–490 ft).[1]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph).[1] When submerged, the boat could operate for 35–42 nautical miles (65–78 km; 40–48 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 3,800 nautical miles (7,000 km; 4,400 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-22 was fitted with three 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes at the bow, five torpedoes or up to twelve Type A torpedo mines, and a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of twentyfive.[1]

War Patrols[edit]

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 trawler Wigmore off the Scottish coast. In December 1940 she laid mines off Blyth, in Northumberland, which claimed two coastal freighters and a naval patrol minesweeper in less than a week.[2] She was then used directly against Scottish convoys in the Moray Firth,[3] 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.[4] Some suggested,[who?] 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.[5] 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[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[6]
18 November 1939 Wigmore  United Kingdom 345 Sunk
20 December 1939 Mars  Sweden 1,877 Sunk (mine)
23 December 1939 HMS Dolphin  Royal Navy 3,099 Sunk (mine)
25 December 1939 HMS Loch Doon  Royal Navy 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  Royal Navy 1,475 Sunk
21 January 1940 Tekla  Denmark 1,469 Sunk (mine)
28 January 1940 Eston  United Kingdom 1,487 Sunk (mine)



  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.


  1. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 39–40.
  2. ^ "U-22 Patrols". Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  3. ^ The Times Atlas of the World - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 10
  4. ^ The Times Atlas of the World, p. 11
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-22". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 19 November 2019.


  • 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.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • 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.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • 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.
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IIB boat U-22". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 22". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - (in German). Retrieved 6 December 2014.

Coordinates: 57°30′N 9°00′E / 57.500°N 9.000°E / 57.500; 9.000