Book Review: German Submarine U-1105 "Black Panther": The Naval Archaeology of a U-boat


by Aaron Stephan Hamilton

Osprey Publishing, 2019. Pp. 136. Illus., maps, chron., appends., notes, index. $35.00. ISBN: 1472835816

Germany’s Most Advanced U-boot

Military historian and marine archaeologist Hamilton gives us a remarkably detailed account of the type VIIC submarine U-1105, nicknamed “Black Panther”.

Completed in mid-1944, U-1105, a type VIIC submarine, was the only German boat equipped with three of the most advanced technologies of the war, the GHG Balkan passive sonar array, the Alberich rubber anti-sonar coating, and, perhaps the most important, snorkel, which had it been introduced earlier would have seriously prolonged the battle for the sea lanes.

Despite its advanced technology, U-1105 made only one combat cruise, and that in the final weeks of the war. She sank one allied vessel, before surrendering to the British on May 9, 1945. The boat was subject to extensive examination by the Royal Navy and then the U.S.N., and she was sunk and recovered several times. The U-1105 was finally scuttled off Piney Point, Maryland, in 1949, a site now designated a shipwreck preserve.

While Hamilton gives us good look at the boat’s origins, construction, and brief wartime career, he concentrates on its post-war experiences. He goes into considerable detail on the many trials and tests through her final scuttling. Hamilton then discusses the exploration of the wreck and its value for a better understanding of the evolution of the German submarine.

German Submarine U-1105 “Black Panther” is a highly technical work that will primarily be of value to the serious student of submarines or the Battle of the Atlantic.


Note: German Submarine U-1105 “Black Panther” is also available in several e-editions.


StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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