U-26 (1936)

U-26 under attack by a Royal Australian Air Force Sunderland flying boat and HMS Gladiolus on 1 July, 1940. U-26 would scuttle herself as a result of these attacks. Photo in the collection of the Australian War Memorial.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1935
Launched
1936
Commissioned
1936
AD/BC
AD
History

One of two Type IA submarines, U-26 was commissioned 6 May, 1936. Despite poor handling, she was deployed near Spain during its Civil War, but mainly served in a training and propaganda role. She was brought into front line service in 1940, due to a shortage of U-boats, and conducted six war patrols. Between laying minefields and her torpedoes, U-26 sank eleven ships, and badly damaged the corvette HMS Kittiwake and another merchant ship. Her luck ran out on 1 July, 1940, when she was attacked off Ireland by a Short Sutherland flying boat, and the corvette HMS Gladiolus. U-26 was scuttled by her crew, but all of them initially survived. However, six of them were later killed when a German bomber accidentally jettisoned its bombs over a prisoner of war camp they were being held in.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: The submarine in Raiders of the Lost Ark is called U-26, despite being a Type VII submarine. She was on loan from the filming of the movie Das Boot.