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The Type IX U-boat was designed by Germanymarker in 1935 and 1936 as a large ocean-going submarine for sustained operations far from the home support facilities. Type IX boats were briefly used for patrols off the eastern United States, in an attempt to disrupt the stream of troops and supplies bound for Europe. The extended range came at the cost of longer dive times and decreased maneuverability, which is why the smaller Type VII was produced in greater numbers and used for the bulk of operations. It was derived from the Type IA, and appeared in various sub-types.

Type IXs had six torpedo tubes, four at the bow and two at the stern. They carried six reloads internally and had five external torpedo containers (three at the stern and two at the bow) which stored ten additional torpedoes. The total of 22 torpedoes allowed U-boat commanders to follow a convoy and strike night after night. As mine-layers they could carry 44 TMA or 66 TMB mines, but many of the IXC boats were not fitted for mine operations.

Secondary armament was provided by one large Utof 105/45 gun with about 110 rounds. Anti-aircraft armament differed throughout the war. They had two periscopes in the tower. Types IXA and IXB had an additional periscope in the control room, which was removed in Type IXC and afterward.

Type IXA

List of Type IXA submarines

Eight Type IXA U-boats were built by AG Wesermarker of Bremenmarker.

Type IXB

Type IXB was an improved model with an increased range. It was the most successful version overall with each boat averaging a total of over 100,000 tonnes sunk.

Famous IXB boats included U-123 under the command of Reinhard Hardegen, which opened up the attack in the US waters in early 1942 known as Operation Drumbeat, and U-107marker out of Freetown, Africamarker under the command of G√ľnther Hessler, which had the most successful single mission of the war over with close to 100,000 tonnes sunk.

List of Type IXB submarines

Fourteen Type IXB U-boats were built by AG Wesermarker of Bremenmarker.

Type IXC

Type IXC was a further refinement of the class with storage for an additional 43 tonnes of fuel, increasing the boat's range. This series omitted the control room periscope leaving the boats with two tower scopes.

As mine-layers they could carry 44 TMA or 66 TMB mines, though U-162 through U-170 and U-505marker through U-550marker (35 boats), were not fitted for mine operations.

One IXC carries the distinction of being the only U-boat sunk in the Gulf of Mexico, U-166.

U-505marker survives at the Museum of Science and Industrymarker in Chicagomarker, and as of 2005 has been completely renovated.

List of Type IXC submarines

There were 54 Type IXC submarines were built by AG Wesermarker and Seebeckwerft of Bremenmarker, and Deutsche Werft of Hamburgmarker.

Type IXC/40

Type IXC/40 was an improved Type IXC with slightly increased range and surfaced speed. The remains of U-534 are on display at Woodside Ferry Terminal, Birkenheadmarker

List of Type IXC/40 submarines

Eighty-seven of this type were built by AG Wesermarker and Seebeckwerft of Bremenmarker, and Deutsche Werft of Hamburgmarker.

Type IXD

Type IXD was significantly longer and heavier than the IXC/40. They also had two pairs of diesels: one pair for cruise and one pair for high speed or battery recharge. There were three variants: the IXD1, IXD2 and IXD/42. The IXD1 had unreliable engines and they were converted to transports.The IXD2 comprised most of the class. The IXD/42, was almost identical but with more engine power (5,400 ehp instead of 4,400).

In 1943 and 1944 the torpedo tubes were removed from a number of IXD boats and they converted for transport use. In their new role they could transport 252 tonnes of freight.

List of Type IXD submarines

Thirty Type IXD U-boats were built by AG Wesermarker of Bremenmarker.

Several Type IXD/42 U-boats were contracted to be built AG Wesermarker of Bremenmarker, but only two were commissioned. They were:

U-883marker was launched on April 28, 1944 and commissioned March 27, 1945.Her career ended in Operation Deadlight.

U-884 was launched on May 17, 1944 but was badly damaged on March 30, 1945 by US bombs while still in dockyard hands.

U-885, U-886 U-887, and U-888 were laid down but construction halted on September 30, 1943 when all IXD/42 contracts were cancelled.

See also


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