“On this day in history” German submarine U-200 sunk, 1943

“On this day in history,” 24 June 1943, German Type IXD2 submarine U-200 (KrvKpt. Heinrich Schonder) sunk with depth charges by a Liberator aircraft from No. 120 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command.

Amazingly, a photograph of the attack is in the IWM archives.

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Dept charge attack on U-200 (IWM C3763)

The Liberator (serial 120/H) was piloted by Flight Lieutenant Alexander Fraser, Royal Australian Air Force, operating from Reykjavik, Iceland. As you can see from the photograph, Fraser caught U-200 on the surface and his two depth charges straddled the U-boat perfectly.

Fraser was awarded a bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross for his “magnificent example of determination to destroy the enemy in the face of opposition.”

U-200 was lost with all hands. The figure of 67 dead includes not only the U-boat’s crew, but also a 7-man German special forces unit of Brandenburg commandos. The Brandenburg unit was in transit to South Africa, where they were to be landed and make contact with anti-British sympathizers in the Boer community.

 

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