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|Ordered:||15 August 1940|
|Builder:||Bremer-Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen|
|Laid down:||1 August 1941|
|Launched:||11 May 1942|
|Commissioned:||24 June 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk, May 1943|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
|Victories:||Four ships sunk, 16,089 GRT|
German submarine U-266 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 1 August 1941 at Bremer-Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft in Bremen as yard number 31. She was launched on 11 May 1942 and commissioned on 24 June under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Hannes Leinemann.
She was sunk in May 1943 in mid-Atlantic by a British aircraft.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-266 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-266 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
U-266's first patrol began when she departed Kiel on 22 December 1942. She entered the Atlantic Ocean after negotiating the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. She sank Polyktor on 6 February 1943. She then docked at the French Atlantic port of St. Nazaire on the 17th.
The boat departed St. Nazaire on 14 March 1943 for the mid-Atlantic once more. On 5 May, she sank Bonde, Gharinda and Selvistan.
U-266 took part in five wolfpacks, namely.
|6 February 1943||Polyktor||Greece||4,077||Sunk|
|5 May 1943||Bonde||Norway||1,570||Sunk|
|5 May 1943||Gharinda||United Kingdom||5,036||Sunk|
|5 May 1943||Selvistan||United Kingdom||5,136||Sunk|