Kriegsmarine U- Boat Type XIV
The Type XIV were supply vessels, a development of the IXD with their length reduced to that of the Type VIIC boats. The size of these boats and their intended purpose resulted in the nickname `Milk Cow`. They were built to resupply the fighting U-boats in the Atlantic and thus had no offensive power, only anti-aircraft weapons for defense.

The Type XIV did not live long in the war for two basic reasons - First, they were a top priority of the Allied ASW because sinking one XIV before she could give her fuel to the Frontboots would drastically shorten the time the combat submarines could remain in their patrol area and secondly, the security aboard the Type XIV boats was appalling lax. 

There are so many accounts of Frontboots taking on fuel from a XIV and noting that the men aboard the tanker were standing at the rail, having a smoke - and nobody manning the AA guns.  After completing the refueling, the XIV many times would get into long radio messages with HQ which of course, brought the long-range ASW aircraft over them quickly.  A Type XIV usually did not live more than six months from being put into action. The above reasons usually brought her quick destruction.

Specifications, Type XIV:

Displacement (srf/sub tons):
Dimensions (L*B*D meter): 67.10*9.35*6.51
Propulsion: diesel-electric 2*1,600hp diesels , 2*325hp electric motors, 2 shaft
Speed (srf/sub knots):
Range (srf/sub n/miles@knots): 12,350@10/55@4
Diving depth (meter): 120 (crush depth 240)
Complement: 53-60 officers and enlisted
Torpedo: none
Mines: none
Armament: no main deck gun, 1*2*37mm AA gun, 4*20mm AA gun


A total of 10 boats were built in this class;
U-459-464, 6 hulls by Deutsche Werke, Kiel during 1940 to 1942
U-487-90, 4 hulls by Germaniawerft, Kiel during 1941 to 1943

Back to History Index

Image Country Year Description
Ghana 1998 Type XIV German submarine
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