German submarine U-199

German submarine U-199 was a Type IXD2 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

U-199 under attack by Brazilian Air Force PBY Catalina Arará, notice the "short" conning tower of an early type IX D2.
Nazi Germany
Name: U-199
Ordered: 4 November 1940
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 1045
Launched: 11 July 1942
Commissioned: 28 November 1942
Fate: Sunk, 31 July 1943 by the Brazilian aircraft PBY Catalina Arará
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXD2 submarine
  • 1,610 t (1,580 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,799 t (1,771 long tons) submerged
  • 87.58 m (287 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 68.50 m (224 ft 9 in) pressure hull
  • 7.50 m (24 ft 7 in) o/a
  • 4.40 m (14 ft 5 in)
Height: 10.20 m (33 ft 6 in)
Draught: 5.40 m (17 ft 9 in)
Installed power:
  • 9,000 PS (6,620 kW; 8,880 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
  • 20.8 knots (38.5 km/h; 23.9 mph) surfaced
  • 6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph) submerged
  • 12,750 nmi (23,610 km; 14,670 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 57 nmi (106 km; 66 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: Calculated crush depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 55 - 64
Service record[1][2]
Part of:
Operations: one patrol: 13 May - 31 July 1943
Victories: two commercial ships sunk (4,181 GRT)

The submarine was laid down on 10 October 1941 at the DeSchiMAG AG Weser yard at Bremen as yard number 1045, launched on 11 July 1942 and commissioned on 28 November. She was commanded by Ritterkreuz recipient Kapitänleutnant Hans-Werner Kraus, who had previously successfully commanded U-47 and U-83.

After training with the 4th U-boat Flotilla at Stettin, U-199 was transferred to the 12th U-boat Flotilla for front-line service from 1 May 1943.[1]

She was sunk off the Brazilian coast in 1943 by a combination of attacks by Brazilian and American aircraft.


German Type IXD2 submarines were considerably larger than the original Type IXs. U-199 had a displacement of 1,610 tonnes (1,580 long tons) when at the surface and 1,799 tonnes (1,771 long tons) while submerged.[3] The U-boat had a total length of 87.58 m (287 ft 4 in), a pressure hull length of 68.50 m (224 ft 9 in), a beam of 7.50 m (24 ft 7 in), a height of 10.20 m (33 ft 6 in), and a draught of 5.35 m (17 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines plus two MWM RS34.5S six-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines for cruising, producing a total of 9,000 metric horsepower (6,620 kW; 8,880 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS; 750 kW) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.85 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 200 metres (660 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 20.8 knots (38.5 km/h; 23.9 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph).[3] When submerged, the boat could operate for 121 nautical miles (224 km; 139 mi) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 12,750 nautical miles (23,610 km; 14,670 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-199 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 24 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 150 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 with 2575 rounds as well as two 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns with 8100 rounds. The boat had a complement of fifty-five.[3]

Operational history

U-199 sailed from Kiel on 13 May 1943 on her first and only operational patrol;[4] she negotiated the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, before heading south and had crossed the Equator by 17 June, targeting ships in the South Atlantic Ocean. Operating off the Brazilian coast, she torpedoed and damaged the Brazilian armed merchant ship Bury, which returned fire and managed to escape. On 4 July, the submarine was spotted on the surface by the small fishing boat Changri-Lá.[5] The Brazilian boat was sunk with the loss of all hands by gun fire. U-199 had her first and only significant success, sinking the British merchant ship Henzada on 25 July.[6]


U-199 was found on the surface, off Rio de Janeiro, in position 23°54′S 42°54′W, by three aircraft, a PBY Catalina and a Lockheed Hudson (both Brazilian) and an American PBM Mariner of VP-74 on 31 July.[1] The Catalina, codenamed Arará, hit U-199 with depth charges, sinking her. The pilot of the Catalina was 2º Ten.-Av. (2nd Lt.) Alberto M. Torres,[7] which later went to Italy as part of 1st Brazilian Fighter Squadron. Forty-nine of the crew were killed, although twelve Germans managed to escape the doomed submarine, including the captain. This was possible due to the actions of the Catalina’s crew, who threw a lifeboat to the survivors. They were rescued by the USS Barnegat and taken to Brazil, and then on to captivity in the United States.

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
4 July 1943 Changri-Lá  Brazil 20 Sunk
24 July 1943 Henzada  United Kingdom 4,161 Sunk


  1. Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXD2 boat U-199 — German U-boats of WWII". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  2. Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-199". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  3. Gröner 1991, pp. 74-75.
  4. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-199 from 13 May 1943 to 31 Jul 1943". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  5. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Changri-Lá (Sailing ship)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  6. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Henzada (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  7. Morison, Samuel Eliot (March 2001). History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Vol.10: The Atlantic Battle Won. Castle Books. p. 219. ISBN 0-7858-1311-X.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXD boat U-199". German U-boats of WWII -
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U-199". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - (in German). Retrieved 19 December 2015.

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