U-9, a typical Type IIB boat
|Ordered:||2 February 1935|
|Laid down:||11 April 1936|
|Launched:||28 August 1936|
|Commissioned:||24 September 1936|
|Fate:||Scuttled 10 September 1944, off the coast of Turkey in the Black Sea|
|Class and type:||IIB coastal submarine|
|Height:||8.60 m (28 ft 3 in)|
|Draught:||3.90 m (12 ft 10 in)|
|Test depth:||80 m (260 ft)|
|Complement:||3 officers, 22 men|
|Identification codes:||M 01 984|
German Type IIB submarines were enlarged versions of the original Type IIs. U-23 had a displacement of 279 tonnes (275 long tons) when at the surface and 328 tonnes (323 long tons) while submerged. Officially, the standard tonnage was 250 long tons (250 t), however. The U-boat had a total length of 42.70 m (140 ft 1 in), a pressure hull length of 28.20 m (92 ft 6 in), a beam of 4.08 m (13 ft 5 in), a height of 8.60 m (28 ft 3 in), and a draught of 3.90 m (12 ft 10 in). The submarine was powered by two MWM RS 127 S four-stroke, six-cylinder diesel engines of 700 metric horsepower (510 kW; 690 shp) for cruising, two Siemens-Schuckert PG VV 322/36 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 460 metric horsepower (340 kW; 450 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 0.85 m (3 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 80–150 metres (260–490 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate for 35–42 nautical miles (65–78 km; 40–48 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 3,800 nautical miles (7,000 km; 4,400 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-23 was fitted with three 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes at the bow, five torpedoes or up to twelve Type A torpedo mines, and a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of twentyfive.
At 04:45 on 4 October 1939, U-23 scored one of the Kriegsmarine's early successes of the war when she torpedoed and sank with gunfire, the merchant ship Glen Farg about 60 nmi (110 km; 69 mi) south-southwest of Sumburgh Head (southern Shetland). One person died, while 16 survivors were picked up by HMS Firedrake and landed at Kirkwall the next day.
Over the course of her service with the Kriegsmarine, U-23 had ten commanding officers, the most famous of whom was Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer, who went on to become the top scoring U-boat ace. After service in the Atlantic with the 1st U-boat Flotilla, U-23 served as a training boat with the 21st U-boat Flotilla from July 1940 until September 1942. U-23 was then transported in sections along the Danube to the Romanian port of Galați. She was then re-assembled by the Romanians at the Galați shipyard and sent to the Black Sea port of Constanţa, Romania, with the 30th U-boat Flotilla until September 1944.
On 3 February 2008, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that U-23 had been discovered by Selçuk Kolay, a Turkish marine engineer, in 160 ft (49 m) of water, three miles from the town of Ağva.
Summary of raiding history
|4 October 1939||Glen Farg||United Kingdom||876||Sunk|
|8 December 1939||Scotia||Denmark||2,400||Sunk|
|11 January 1940||Fredville||Norway||1,150||Sunk|
|12 January 1940||Danmark||Denmark||10,517||Total loss|
|24 January 1940||Varild||Norway||1,085||Sunk|
|18 February 1940||HMS Daring||Royal Navy||1,375||Sunk|
|19 February 1940||Tiberton||United Kingdom||5,225||Sunk|
|22 February 1940||Loch Maddy||United Kingdom||4,996||Total loss|
|24 August 1943||Shkval||Soviet Navy||35||Sunk|
|15 October 1943||TSC-486 Sovetskja Rossiya||Soviet Navy||1,005||Damaged|
|23 October 1943||Tanais||Soviet Union||372||Sunk|
|5 April 1944||SKA-099||Soviet Navy||56||Damaged|
|29 May 1944||Smelyj||Soviet Union||71||Sunk|
|1 September 1944||Oituz||Romania||2,686||Sunk|
- Gröner 1991, pp. 39–40.
- Steel and Ice: The U-boat Battle in the Arctic and Black Sea 1941-45, Chapter 5 - The Black Sea: War in the South 1942-43, 5th page
- Jasper Copping (3 February 2008). "Adolf Hitler's 'lost fleet' found in Black Sea". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- Andy McSmith (11 February 2008). "Hitler's 'lost fleet' of U-boats found in Black Sea". The Independent. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-23". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- 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 IIB boat U-23". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Hofmann, Markus. "U 23". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- "U-23". Retrieved 5 February 2008.[permanent dead link]