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Date: Tuesday, 25 August 1942
Place: Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
A lovely panoramic shot of the minelayer submarine U-218 in Kiel harbor. The Type VII D minelayer was one of the rarest types of boat used by the German submarine arm. Just six were built by Krupp's Germania shipyard in Kiel (U-213 to U-218). Of these, only U-218 survived the war. The boat's emblem makes identification of the submarine easy. Whereas it was customary in the submarine arm to paint emblems on the conning tower, the crew of U-218 placed their on the bow! "Drei Kleine Fische" (Three Little Fish) emblem was derived from the unit emblem of the 2.Staffel/Küstenfliegergruppe 706. As applied to the unit's seaplanes, the emblem had the fish on a blue shield. The emblem was painted on the submarine by U-218's first captain, Kapitänleutnant Richard Becker, who had previously served as an airman with 2./Kü.fl.Gr.706 before being transferred back to the U-boat arm. Kapitänleutnant Becker obviously intended the emblem to express his ties to his old squadron, but perhaps he also wanted to retain the good luck charm that had seen him throught his operational flights. The photo above shows U-218 on 25 August 1942 leaving for Kristiansand, Norway, from where it began its first operationa sortie on 28 August. On 29 September, after a month at sea, the U-boat arrived in Brest, home of the 9. Unterseebootsflottille (9. U-Flottille). It is noteworthy that the forward pressure-tight container for the Marcks rescue float (portside in front of the gun) is not present on the U-218!
"U-Boot im Focus" magazine, edition No.2 - 2007, page II