We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a U-Boat?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Historical Index is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Historical Index, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A U-boat is a type of submarine invented by the Germans for use in World War I and II. The initial "U" in U-boat stands for "unterseeboot", or undersea boat in English. Holland housed a "Submarine Development Bureau" in 1922 that was made to look like a regular shipbuilding company. The German U-boat designers had to secretly store special parts when they worked on improving their U-boats.

The Type VIIC U-boat was the main type of U-boat used in the German's U-boat campaign. The VIIC held a crew of up to 56 and 14 torpedoes. The first U-boat military campaign involved 20 U-boats. When the United Kingdom (UK) declared war on the German Empire on 4 August 1914, the Germans sent out 10 U-boats on 6 August 1914 and the remaining 10 later that month. None of the U-boats sunk any British ships, but suffered heavy German casualties.

The German's second U-boat campaign did much better, sinking 3 UK ships and killing 1,460 British sailors by 22 September 1914. The U-boats were proving their power and the Germans were sinking enemy ships faster than the British could build them. As the British had little defense against the powerful U-boats, they invented the "Q-ship" that was designed to sink U-boats. The Q-ships did work, but German skippers soon learned how to avoid the Q-ships, so the Q-ships destroyed less than 10% of all U-boats.

However, when the British merchant convoy system was introduced, it worked for the UK in successfully destroying German U-boats. British destroyer escorts (DEs) helped defeat Germany with technology such as sonar, radar, and depth charges. The U-boats had been causing serious damage in the Battle of the Atlantic until the DEs were brought in. The Battle of the Atlantic took place along the United States (US) coast as far as the Gulf of Mexico.

The cracking of the Enigma Code, known as the "German U-Boat Code", also finally helped defeat the Germans in WW II. The Enigma code was deciphered by Polish crypto-analyst/mathematician Marian Rejewski in 1933 and given to the British. The Germans used typewriter-like machines to encrypt codes into their U-boat communications.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
By anon321427 — On Feb 22, 2013

I need to know when, how, and who invented U-boats. I also need to know how they were defeated and the U-boats' attack strategy.

By cyprus — On Jun 10, 2010

Glad you like it and hope you visit often! We are constantly adding new articles on a variety of topics.

By anon89213 — On Jun 09, 2010

This is a cool site!

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.