8th October 1939 German Submarine U-12 sunk off Dover /Folkestone

The German submarine U-12 was ordered on 20th July 1934, built in yard number 546 at Germaniawerft, Kiel. Laid down on 20th May 1935, launched on 11th September 1935, Commissioned 30th September 1935. Class Type IIB Coastal submarine, displacement 279 tons surfaced. 328 tons submerged. Length 140 feet 1 inch, beam 13 feet 5 inches, draft 12 feet 10 inches. Propulsion  2 x MWM four-stoke diesel engines, 700 shp, and 2 x Siemens-Schuckert electric motor, 360 shp., driving two propeller shafts at 13 knots on the surface and 7 knots submerged, with a range of 1,800 nautical miles at 12 knots on the surface. 35-43 nautical miles at 4 knots submerged, maximum depth submerged 260 feet. Complement 3 officers, 22 men. Armament 3 x 21 inch torpedo tubes, 5 torpedoes and 1 x 2cm C/30 anti-aircraft gun. U-12 was part of the Kriegsmarine 3rd U-boat Flotilla Identification code M 17 865. Commanders Werner von Schmidt, Hans Pauckstadt, Dietrich von der Ropp. Sunk during U-12 second operational patrol having not sunk or damaged any ships.

U-12 left Wilhelmshaven on 23rd September 1939 to operate in the English Channel, no messages were received, the boat was reported missing on 20 October when it failed to return and it is believed to have been mined and sunk on 8th October 1939 with all 27 hands in the channel mine barrage. The body of the commanding officer Kapitänleutnant Dietrich von der Ropp, was washed ashore on the French coast near Dunkirk on 29 October 1939.
In July 2002 the German authorities and H.M. MOD chose U-12 to be designated under the protections of Military Remains Act 1986 as the War Grave to represent all German submarines of the Second World War. (It’s choice is based on the fact that it was first German U Boat to be lost in the Second World War)

On 30th September 2002, the German submarine U-12 became a designated vessel under “The Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (Designation of Vessels and Controlled Sites) Order 2002 2a “ the vessel known as the U-12, which sank on or about 5th October 1939” Designated site the area with a distance of 100 meters of the point at (i) Latitude 51 degrees 25.392 North, Longitude 00 degrees 9.172’ East and (ii) Latitude 57degrees 41.244’North, Lonitude degrees 05.310’West.


Sunk in the Channel off Dover on 8th October 1939.

We should remember them.

All of the German Submarine shipwrecks of WW2 are protected under the Military Remains Act 1986 as "War Graves". U-12 represents all German Submarines of the Second World War.