The decals cover 2 IIBs and 12 VIICs and will allow you to build something a little different to what comes with the kits. Revells 1/144 VIIC has decals for U-81, U-96 and U-522. ICM’s Type IIB has decals for U-20 and U-23, while Revells Type IIB builds U-9, U-20 or U-23.
These decals are all from photographs in the U-Boot im Focus series and the instructions tell you which magazine in the series to refer to for larger photographs and more information on the U-Boats in question. As usual these are meticulously researched. The usual standard by which references for U-Boat emblems are compared is Embleme, Wappen, Malings Deutscher U-boote 1935-1945 by Högel, Georg, but the U-Boot im Focus series builds upon that as more information comes to light from private collections. Needless to say the historical accuracy of the decals is guaranteed.
The decals are by Catograf and are up to their usual high standard, with crisp clear colours and solid whites.
These decals are highly recommended for anyone considering building a Type IIB or VIIC in the near future.
Many thanks to Luftfahrtverlag-Start for the review samples.
Here’s a list of which U-Boot im Focus to look at for your references:
- U-10, Typ II B, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 11
- U-24, Typ II B, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 11
- U-93, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 2
- U-257, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 6
- U-403, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 2 + 5
- U-454, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 7 + 8
- U-581, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 10
- U-588, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 2 + 6
- U-595, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 4
- U-653, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 10
- U-702, Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 6
- Unknown VII C Boot mit shark’s mouth Details see „U-Boot im Focus“ Edition 11
What follows is a brief synopsis of the U-Boats covered in this decal sheet:
- U-10 was a Type IIB U-boat built before World War II. As she was one of the first batch of boats built following the renunciation of the Treaty of Versailles, she was only capable of coastal and short cruising work. This led to her being reassigned to training duties after the Norwegian campaign of 1940 together with many of her sister boats. During the war U-10 sank two vessels. After almost five years she was stricken on 1 August 1944 at Danzig (now Gdańsk) and broken up.
- U-24 was a Type IIB U-boat. She was laid down on 21 April 1936 at the F. Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel with yard number 554, launched on 24 September and commissioned into the Kriegsmarine on 10 October. Oberleutnant zur See Heinz Buchholz took command on 3 July 1937. To serve in the 30th U-boat Flotilla, she was transported overland and via the Danube to the Black Sea. On 25 August 1944, U-24 was scuttled at Konstanza, on the Romanian Black Sea coast to prevent the advancing Soviet forces from capturing it. She was raised by the Soviet Union in early 1945, but sunk as target practice by the Soviet submarine M-120 on 26 May 1947, off Sevastopol.
- U-93 was a Type VIIC U-boat. She was laid down on 9 September 1939 at the F. Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel as yard number 598, launched on 8 June 1940 and commissioned on 30 July 1940 under Kapitänleutnant Claus Korth. She sank eight ships of 43,392 GRT in seven patrols but was herself sunk by a British destroyer in January 1942.
- U-96 was a Type VIIC U-boat. Her keel was laid down on 16 September 1939, by Germaniawerft, of Kiel as “Werft-Nummer 601”. She was commissioned on 14 September 1940, with Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock in command. As part of the 7th U-boat Flotilla, stationed in Saint Nazaire, on the French Atlantic coast, U-96 conducted 11 patrols, sinking 27 ships totalling 180,206 gross register tons (GRT) and damaging four others totalling 33,043 GRT. She also caused one vessel of 8,888 GRT to be declared a total loss. The boat was a member of eleven wolfpacks. On 30 March 1945, U-96 was sunk by US bombs while in the submarine pens in Wilhelmshaven. In her entire career, she suffered no casualties to her crew. The boat was also known for its emblem, a green laughing sawfish. It became the symbol of the 9th Flotilla after Lehmann-Willenbrock took command in March 1942. During 1941, war correspondent Lothar-Günther Buchheim joined U-96 for a single patrol. His orders were to photograph and describe the U-boat in action for propaganda purposes. Over 5,000 photographs, mostly taken by Buchheim, survived the war. From his experiences, he wrote a short story, “Die Eichenlaubfahrt” (“The Oak-Leaves Patrol”) and a 1973 novel which was to become an international best-seller, Das Boot, followed in 1976 by U-Boot-Krieg (“U-Boat War”), a nonfiction chronicle of the voyage. In 1981 Wolfgang Petersen brought the novel to the big screen with the critically acclaimed Das Boot.
- U-257 was a Type VIIC U-boat. She was laid down at the Bremer Vulkan yard at Bremen-Vegesack on 22 February 1941 as yard number 22. She was launched on 19 November and commissioned on 14 January 1942 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Heinz Rahe. U-257 was assigned to the 5th U-Boat Flotilla for training, then transferred to the 3rd U-boat Flotilla for operational service. She was sunk by Allied warships in mid-Atlantic in February 1944.
- U-403 was a Type VIIC U-boat. She carried out eight patrols. She sank two ships. She was a member of twelve wolfpacks. The submarine was laid down on 20 May 1941 at the Danziger Werft at Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland) as yard number 15, launched on 26 February 1941 and commissioned on 25 June under the command of Kapitänleutnant Heinz-Ehlert Clausen. She served with the 5th U-boat Flotilla from 25 June 1941 for training and the 7th flotilla from 1 September for operations. She was reassigned to the 11th flotilla on 1 July 1942, then the 9th flotilla on 1 March 1943. The boat was sunk by depth charges dropped by a Vickers Wellington of No. 344 Squadron RAF, (with a French crew), on 18 August 1943 near Dakar on the west African coast. Forty-nine men died in U-403; there were no survivors.
- U-454 was a Type VIIC U-boat. She carried out ten patrols. She sank two ships and damaged one more. The submarine was laid down on 4 July 1940 in the Deutsche Werke, Kiel as yard number 285, launched on 30 April 1941 and commissioned on 24 July under the command of Kapitänleutnant Burkhard Hackländer. She served with the 5th U-boat Flotilla from 24 July 1941 for training and the 7th flotilla from 1 November for operations. U-445 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay by depth charges dropped by an Australian Sunderland flying boat of No. 10 Squadron RAAF. The aircraft crashed, the U-boat was on her way to the Mediterranean when she met her fate. Thirty-two men died; there were 14 survivors.
- U-581 was a Type VIIC U-boat. She carried out two patrols and sank one auxiliary warship of 364 tons. The submarine was laid down on 25 September 1940 at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 557, launched on 12 June 1941 and commissioned on 31 July under the command of Kapitänleutnant Werner Pfeifer. She served with the 5th U-boat Flotilla from 31 July 1941 for training and moved to the 7th flotilla for operations until her loss, from 1 December 1941 to 2 February 1942. The boat was sunk by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Westcott near the Azores, in February 1942. Four men died; there were 41 survivors. One of U-581 ’s officers, swam six kilometres to land. He was repatriated to Germany through neutral Spain.
- U-588 was a Type VIIC U-boat. She carried out four patrols, was a member of two wolfpacks, sank seven ships of 31,492 GRT and damaged another vessl of 7,460 GRT. The submarine was laid down on 31 October 1940 at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 564, launched on 23 July 1941 and commissioned on 18 September under the command of Kapitänleutnant Victor Vogel. She served with the 6th U-boat Flotilla from 18 September 1941 for training and stayed with that organization for operations until her loss, from 1 January to 31 July 1942. U-588 was sunk on the 31st July 1942 by depth charges dropped by Canadian warships, the corvette HMCS Wetaskiwin and the destroyer HMCS Skeena east northeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Forty-nine men died with U-588; there were no survivors.
- U-595 was a Type VIIC U-boat. She was laid down on 4 January 1941 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 571, launched on 17 September 1941 and commissioned on 6 November 1941 under Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Quaet-Faslem. The boat’s career began with training at 8th U-boat Flotilla on 6 November 1941, followed by active service on 1 August 1942 as part of the 9th Flotilla for the remainder of her service. In three patrols she sank no ships. U-595 was sunk on 14 November 1942 in the Mediterranean in position 36°38′N 00°30′E, by depth charges from two RAF Hudson bombers from 608 Squadron. The depth charges damaged her so badly that she had to surface, and the commander took the decision to beach her on the Algerian coast near Ténès. During the air attack the crew were able to damage some aircraft with machine-gun fire. There were 45 survivors and no casualties.
- U-653 was a Type VIIC U-boat. She was laid down on 9 April 1940 by Howaldtswerke, Hamburg as yard number 802, launched on 22 March 1941 and commissioned on 25 May 1941 under Kapitänleutnant Gerhard Feiler. The boat’s career began with training at 1st U-boat Flotilla on 25 May 1941, followed by active service on 1 December 1941 as part of the 1st Flotilla for the remainder of her service. In 9 patrols she sank 3 merchant ships, for a total of 14,983 gross register tons (GRT), and one warship of 840 tons. U-653 was sunk on 15 March 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 53°46′N 24°35′W, by depth charges from Fleet Air Arm Swordfish, HMS Starling and HMS Wild Goose. All hands were lost.
- U-702 was a Type VIIC U-boat. She was under the command of Kapitänleutnant Wolf-Rüdiger von Rabenau. Originally serving with 5th U-Boat Flotilla a training vessel from 3 September 1941 to 28 February 1942, U-702 was transferred to the 7th U-Boat Flotilla for her official war-time service. On 21 March, twenty-one days after her transfer, she set sail from Hamburg on a two-day voyage to the Heligoland island chain to prepare for her first assignment. She left port on the twenty-ninth, and began her patrol of the North sea. On the 3 April 1942, U-702 struck a mine in position 59°55.8′N 2°23.3′E
- Finally there’s a set of sharkouth decals for an as yet unidentified Type VIIC.
Paul Tosney – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com