Norwegian Grave of a Type VII U-Boat
Original picture is acrylic on paper measuring 12” x 10”        
High quality, digital print available - same size as original plus attractive white border
Subject: German WWII Type VII U-boat underwater

The story behind the painting...

There were just 10 boats built like this type VII.  Below is the story of U36 - one of the ten. 

U36 spent the 3 years prior to the Second World War as a school boat – training Germany’s navy for the unknown horrors ahead.  She was actually patrolling in the North Sea when war was declared at the beginning of September 1939. She was then transferred to the ‘Saltzwedel’ flotilla in Wilhelmshaven, North Germany, and was put under the command of KL Wilhelm Fröhlich. 

On her next patrol, off the coast of Scotland, U36 torpedoed the SS Truro seriously damaging her.  Truro’s crew had to take to the lifeboats.  According to a report made by Truro’s Captain Egner, Fröhlich apologised to them, “I am sorry but war is war, I am going to sink your ship.”  He duly fired shells and 2 torpedoes and the Truro was no more.  Egner requested some water for his stranded seamen but U36’s own water supply was bad.  However, Fröhlich gave them 24 bottles of beer instead.  He also towed the survivors for 1½ hours until he saw a steamer that could possibly rescue them.  He then cast them off and fired rockets to attract attention.  Unfortunately the steamer continued on its way and Truro’s men went unnoticed until the next morning when 2 Belgian trawlers came to their aid.

U36 claimed her second success 10 days later during the same patrol.  This time it was the 1839-ton SS Silesia that met her fate.  At the end of September 1939 the U-boat returned to base.

On 2 December 1939 she left on her next and final patrol.  Just 2 days after leaving Kiel, in waters between Norway and Denmark, the British submarine HMS Salmon, commanded by Lt Cdr Bickford, fired a torpedo at her.  U36 sank taking all 40 men with her.

This painting could possibly be U36, although she was probably more severely damaged than is portrayed here.  If it is her then she is lying quietly on a sandy bottom in cold and clear Norwegian waters.  The wake from HMS Salmon has only just vanished.  Listing slightly, damage can be seen on the port side although her main wound remains hidden.  She will never surface again but above her she still has 6 long years of angry fighting to silently witness.  

U-Boat U36 Type VII – Facts and Figures
Keel laid: 2/3/1936
Launched 4/11/1936
Commissioned: 16/12/1936
Total sunk: 2 ships (2813 GRT)
Sunk: 4/12/1939 SW of Farsund

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