U203 Underwater

Original picture is acrylic on paper measuring 12” x 8”
Limited Number of Digital Prints available with original dimensions plus border
Subject: German WWII type VII U-boat U203 underwater

The story behind the painting...


This painting is featured on the back cover of 
"First U-Boat Flotilla
by Lawrence Paterson
published by Pen & Sword and the US Naval Institute Press

To find out more about this book 
double click on the cover


U203 spent the first couple of months after commissioning as a training boat in Kiel. By May 1941 though U203 was part of the front line defence unit based with the 1st U-boat flotilla in Brest, France.  Under her commander, KL Rolf Mützelburg, she proved to be one of the top scoring U-boats claiming many victims on her war patrols.  She also participated in the initial attacks on the United States of America.   Mützelburg was duly awarded the much-esteemed Knights Cross with Oak Leaves on 15 July 1942. 

Despite the horrendous cramped conditions on-board and the tensions of war experienced by all submariners, occasionally there were times when all appeared quiet and the crew could relax.  On one such occasion during their 9th patrol, U203’s crew were enjoying a swim in the sea.  Mützelburg dived from the top of the conning tower.  Unfortunately, at that precise moment the U-boat rocked and he hit the saddle tank below breaking his neck.  He died and was buried at sea the next day, on 12 September 1942.  While the rest of the world was busy blowing each other up Mützelburg’s death was recorded as “death by misadventure”.

U203 returned to port. Two further patrols under KL Herbert Kottman saw two more Allied ship sunk. Whilst returning to base after their 11th and last patrol U203 was spotted by a Swordfish aircraft of 811 (FAA) Squadron.  The Swordfish informed its escort carrier HMS Biter who in turn passed the information to British destroyer HMS Pathfinder.  U203 dived quickly beneath the surface hoping to escape but was easily located by Commander Gibbs on Pathfinder.  After enduring 2 hours of depth charges U203, now leaking badly, was forced to surface where she was attacked by gunfire and sank taking 11 men with her.  Kottman and 38 crew were rescued and became Prisoners of War.

U203 was the last “ace” boat in the 1st U-Flotilla. She sank over 20 Allied ships claiming an impressive 100,000 tons. 

This painting shows U203 underwater under Mützelburg’s command.  Her powerful 88mm quick firing cannon is charging towards the viewer.   The conning tower, from which Mutzelburg will soon take his fateful dive, sports the Essen coat of arms - the German town of Essen being the U-boat’s sponsors. 

U-Boat U203 – Facts and Figures
Keel laid: 28/3/1940
Launched 4/1/1941
Commissioned: 18/2/1941
Sunk: 25/4/1943 South of Cape Farewell, Greenland

Digital Print



For on-line purchasing click on the PayPal logo next to desired item. 
For other payment methods and general purchasing information:  CLICK HERE


Please note the copyright of all work of art displayed on this site remains with the artist at all times
Copyright © 2001-2007 SUBART.NET and its respective contributors All Rights Reserved