News Nazi U-boat wreckage found off Galicia by Spanish divers

Notebook

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Divers have found wreckage from a Nazi World War Two U-boat near the coast of Galicia in north-western Spain.
U-966 was heavily damaged by Allied bombers in November 1943, so the crew blew it up with timed charges and all but eight reached dry land.
US Navy and RAF Liberator bombers targeted U-966 with depth charges for a whole day, as the German submarine zig-zagged and fired its anti-aircraft gun.
One Allied plane was shot down - reportedly an RAF Catalina flying boat.
An RAF Wellington bomber also took part in the submarine chase and dropped depth charges.

Just noticed the U-boat has no deck gun. Later variant?

N.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44741045
 
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Thanks Michkov.

I did read somewhere that the strategy changed at some point in WWII, and U-boats were given more AA guns so they could fight aircraft on the surface. Maybe the deck gun went to keep the balance.

Not sure I could say who has the advantage in that fight?


N.

N.
 

Urwumpe

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The type VIIC/41 dropped the deck gun (for higher submerged speed) and installed a snorkel instead. It was the second-most build submarine class of Germany in WW2. A newly designed, larger type VIIC/42 was planned, but later cancelled in favor of the XXI class.

Generally: Installing AAA guns on the submarines was a big error. They were supposed to be used when the time was too short to dive or the batteries had been empty, but generally, it just wasted precious time better used for diving. Especially after the addition of the snorkel. They did score some kills with the AAA, but this required reckless behavior of the aircraft pilot. Most such planes had larger guns allowing to attack the submarine from outside its AAA range. Funnily even Hitler was opposed to install AAA turrets on the XXI class. (But the BdU insisted on them)
 
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boogabooga

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Virtually all of the combat U-boats, both type IX and VII, had their deck guns removed circa 1943 (even the older-built ones) and their towers were rebuilt to take more 20 and 37 mm Flak guns. The advent of radar made day or night surface attack almost suicide, besides, by then the Allies had a well escorted convoy system and finding lone merchants to shell was extremely rare. (Deck gun removal also added a bit to the underwater speed and endurance)

By 1943, RAF Coastal Command and to an extent the U.S. Navy had the Bay of Biscay under siege with radar-equipped patrol aircraft. (Alan Turing's folks at Bletchley certainly helped, too) It looks like this one was trying to take the "Piening route" of entering Spanish territorial waters in hopes that the allies would not follow. They were wrong; both sides seemed perfectly fine violating Spanish 'neutrality'.

---------- Post added at 06:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:45 PM ----------

The Piening-Route:
https://uboat.net/maps/piening-route.htm
 

Andy44

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Even worse, USN and RN radar started getting good at detecting snorkels and periscopes. Being a late war U-boat sailor was almost a death sentence.
 

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Even worse, USN and RN radar started getting good at detecting snorkels and periscopes. Being a late war U-boat sailor was almost a death sentence.


Which is why the XXI class was so important. Not only because it was able to dive longer than submarines before, it was also equipped with stealth features and in the best case (obsolete) radar detectors. Also it did no longer need periscope for firing torpedoes, since it had a much better sonar equipment than earlier submarines. ASDIC was the worse enemy for those. As well as their price.
 

tl8

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On U-Boats, this is a nice discussion:

Also an hour of Lindybeige is good fun.
 
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