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Type XXIII U-boats
Image: Type XXIII
- circa 1945 -
The Type XXIII was the last design of Nazi Germany's full-size U-boats (as opposed to the later Midget submarines). Built with a streamlined hull and powerful electric motors to permit faster speed underwater than when surfaced, the Type was a small coastal version of the Type XXI "Electro".
Although more than 900 boats were ordered, only 61 were commissioned by war's end, with six becoming operational (U-2321, U-2322, U-2324, U-2329, U-2336 and U-4712) and sinking five Allied ships. The six boats were capable of hunting safely even with the very strong Allied anti-submarine presence in the latter half of the war; and none of the 6 operational boats was sunk by the Allies during the war even though the U-boats patrolled mainly around the British Isles in early 1945. Seven other commissioned - but not yet operational Type XXIIIs - were lost to accidents or mines and one was sunk by a British fighter (the only Type XXIII lost to enemy action). However, the fact that they could shoot off only the two torpedoes carried in their bow tubes (no reloads) and their short range made them secondary to the strategic plans of Admiral Dönitz. U-2336, a Type XXIII submarine, scored the last U-boat victory when she sank 2 British freighters in the Firth of Fourth on May 7th, 1945.
At the end of the war, 31 of the remaining Type XXIII boats were scuttled by Germany and 20 more surrendered to the Allies - who eventually sank them in Operation Deadlight. Only U-2326 (later the British sub N-35), U-2353 (later the British sub N-37) and U-4706 (later the Norwegian sub "Knerten") survived the war.
Two of the U-boats (U-2365 and U-2367) were raised after the war (in 1956) and were then commissioned into the German Democratic Republic Bundesmarine as "U-Hai" and "U-Hecht" respectively.
Type XXIII U-boats
61 boats commissioned from June 1944 to April 1945
U-2321 to U-2369, U-2371, U-4701 to U-4707, U-4709 and U-4710 to U-4712
Museum quality, fully assembled,
desk-top display models of German Kriegsmarine
U-boats hand-crafted from mahogany wood.
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