The Type XVII U-boats
were small coastal submarines which used Hellmuth Walter
's high test peroxide
propulsion system, which offered a combination of air-independent propulsion
and high submerged speeds.
In the early 1930s Hellmuth Walter had designed a small, high-speed submarine with a streamlined form propelled by high test peroxide and in 1939 he was awarded a contract to build an experimental vessel, the 80 ton V-80
, which achieved an underwater speed of during trials in 1940. In November 1940 Admirals Erich Raeder
and Werner Fuchs (head of the Kriegsmarine
s Construction Office) witnessed a demonstration of the V-80
; Raeder was impressed, but Fuchs was slow to approve further tests.
Following the success of the V-80's
trials, Walter contacted Karl Dönitz
in January 1942, who enthusiastically embraced the idea and requested that these submarines be developed as quickly as possible. An initial order was placed in summer 1942 for four Type XVIIA development submarines.
Of these, and , designated Wa 201
, were built by Blohm & Voss
, commissioned in October 1943, and achieved submerged. The other pair of Type XVIIA submarines, and , designated Wk 202
, were constructed by Germaniawerft
and commissioned in April 1944.
achieved a submerged speed of in March 1944 with Admiral Dönitz aboard. In June 1944 the U-792
achieved over a measured mile.
The Type XVIIA submarines were found to... Read More