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German shipyards and the evolution of the U-bootwaffe (1932-1939). Type VII B.
As the Type VII A were commissioned, measures were taken to optimize the performance of the boat, resulting in the Type VII B. Thus, on November 21, 1936, the shipyard Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel received the order for the construction of seven units of the mentioned type; These U boats were from U 45 to U 51 (U 45, 46, 47 and 51 entered service in 1938 and U 48, 49 and 50 in 1939). On May 15, 1937, the same shipyard received the order for another two units, U 52 and U 53, and on July 16 of that year, U 54 and U 55 were ordered (All commissioned during 1939). At the end of the year, on December 12, 1937, the last four were ordered, from U 99 to U 102 (all entered service in 1940).
Likewise and as a result of the agreement reached on April 28, 1938 to increase the number of German submarines to 100% of British tonnage, on June 2, 1938 the shipyard Vulkan Vegesack Werft, Bremen received an order to build four U boats of the Type VII B; These went from U 73 to U 76 (all entered service in 1940). In general, the construction of 10 submarines of this type had been planned, but finally the remaining 6 were constructed in January of 1939 as Type VII C.
Within the framework of the same program, on June 9, 1938, the shipyard Flender Werke AG, Lübeck was commissioned to construct four other units of Type VII B; These were from U 83 to U 86, instead of the 500-ton export submarine, a fifth unit of the same type VII B was ordered in 1939, the U 87 (all of them entered service during the year 1941) .
This variant was derived directly from its predecessor, the Type VII A. As a result of the more powerful diesel engines and greater fuel capacity, the dimensions and displacement increased slightly. The stern launcher tube was now housed inside the pressure hull and the reserve torpedoes were increased to 14.
In total, 24 units of the Type VII B were built, and in the construction of this type were involved three shipyards: Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel (15 units), the shipyard Vulkan Vegesack Werft, Bremen (4 units) and the shipyard Flender Werke AG, Lübeck (5 units).
Sources: Vom Original zum Modell. Uboot Typ II.
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