U-boat fates

U-boat losses 1939-1945

Chart of U-boat losses in WWII

A chart showing losses from month to month and gives a graphical overview of the escalation in the war.

Losses by cause

On this page I attempt to break down all U-boat fates by type of loss. Very interesting to read.


57 U-boats were capable of going out to sea when the war began in September 1939. When the year ended 9 of them had been lost.


24 boats were lost in 1940. U-31 was actually sunk twice so she appears twice in that number.


35 boats were lost during 1941.


The U-boat fleet lost 87 boats during this year, most of them in the latter half the year. A sign of things to come ...


With the biggest convoy battles of the war and the highest number of boats at sea, stakes were high. In May 1943 the biggest loss to befall the U-boat fleet came with loss of 41 boats. Overall losses in 1943 were 243 U-boats.


This year was even worse than 1943, steady losses all year brought the total up to 249 boats when the year came to and end.


With the war coming to an end, overwhelming allied forced all around them, Germany lost over 120 U-boats in action in the first 5 months of the year.