Noteworthy Events

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1966: The loss of U Hai

During transit to a NATO Exercise off Scotland the first submarine of the novice Federal German Navy went into distress at sea and sank in the Northsea on 14 September 1966 in heavy seas due to a series of human errors. Only one member of the 20 head crew managed to survive. This was the so far most serious accident of the Navy and the Bundeswehr and it was, until today, the only loss of a warship of the Navy of the Federal Republic of Germany. On 19 September 1966 U Hai was lifted from the bottom at 47 m and scrapped in 1968

Since 1971: Regular participation at training at FOST and JMC

After sporadic visits in the 1960ies each year since January 1970 (first U-Boat: U 1) until recent time several submarines of the Federal German Navy are detached for several weeks to Portland, later Devonport in the UK to act as exercise opponent during the training of surface combatant at the Flag Officer Sea Training /FOST) of the Royal Navy (FOST-Support). German U-Boats are participating on a regular basis at the advanced training for Anti Submarine Warfare at the annual Joint Maritime Courses and their successor organization in the sea areas off Scotland

1971: Collision of U 12 with an East German Freighter

On 02 April 1971 during surface transit in the Baltic U 12 of Type 205A collided with the East German Freighter Fritz Reuter. The U-Boat was overrun at right angel and damaged so severely, that it had to receive repair maintenance in the dockyard for two years. There were no casualties. Afterwards, U 12 was employed as Test and Trial U-Boat for weapon and detection systems only.

1971: First time after World War II German U-Boats in French ports again

In June 1971 a formation of German U-Boats with U 2, U 9 and U 11 visits the French ports of Brest and Lorient, first time after World War II.

1983: Collision of “U-26” with an East German Cruise Liner

On 21 January 1983 during passage of the Fehrmarnbelt in the Western Baltic U 26 collided with the East German Cruise Liner Völkerfreundschaft. There was damage to the U-Boat costing millions of Deutschmarks and longer repairs were required.

1987: Portcall by U 23 at Brussels

After its employment at Royal Navy´s FOST at Portland U 23 proceeds via the Western Schelde and the Belgian Sea Canal for a portcall to Brussels in early August 1983.

1988: Collision of U 27 with a Norwegian Oilrig

On 06 March 1988 due to navigational error U 27 collides with the Norwegian Oilrig Oseberg B off Bergen, comes under the main standing posts of the rig and manages to come free only by extreme skillful manoeuvres. The damage to the oilrig was significant and cost millions in repairs.

Since 1993: Regular presence of German U-Boats in the Mediterranean

Since 1993 each year U-Boats of the Federal German Navy detach on a regular basis to the Mediterranean for own training purposes, for exercising with Allied Partners and for assignments to multinational formations. For this, they remain each time in the Mediterranean several months. With growing success, crew changes are executed in the area of operation and well off their home port.

1997/ 1999/ 2001: U-Boats of the Federal German Navy cross the Atlantic Ocean

In the context of the bi-annual combined US-German Weapon Engagement and Task Group Exercises under multi-threat in the Caribbean German U-Boats detached, together with a German Task Group and accompanied by their support ship Meersburg, across the Atlantic Ocean to the US East Coast. These were the first crossings of the Atlantic Ocean of German U-Boats after World War II. Between 01 April 1997 and 05th of August 1997 U 17 and U 26 transit across the Atlantic Ocean, being the first post war German U-Boats to do so. They also had portcalls at Washington (04 to 09 June 1997) and New York (02 to 07 July 1997). Between 08 February 1999 and 16 July 1999 a second group crossed the Atlantic Ocean composed of U 15 and U 25. These boats visited Annapolis (30 April to 05 May 1999), Boston (28 May to 01 June 1999) and Halifax (10 to 14 June 1999), being the first port call at a Canadian harbour. And, between 02 January and 12 June 2001 a third group transited across the Atlantic Ocean, composed of U 24 and U 28, carrying out a portcall at Norfolk, USA (09 to 17 April 2001).

2006: World record for underwater passage by a conventional submarine

Between 11th and 25th of April 2006 U-Boat U 32 of the new Type 212A sails 13 days underwater without surfacing from the English Channel to the Spanish Peninsula, to achieve a record never reached before by a conventional submarine.