Type XII-class long-range submarine
The Type XIIs were a series of high endurance Sieg submarines (U-boats) designed to operate as far as the Antaran Hampton islands in the Freyatic Ocean in the event the two superpowers went to war. While U-boats had generally good cruising range, additional tonnage was required for extra supply storage and living space for the crew. This enlarged size made it only slightly smaller than Antaran fleet submarines. Another improvement that came as a result of the increased tonnage was an extra two torpedo forward torpedo launchers, however the total torpedo count remained at the standard 22.
While most U-boats would prey on Wesmeric ships at the outbreak of war, Type XII captains were renowned for journeying into Antaran waters and picking a fight with them instead. Type XIIs had the largest share of documented Antaran sinkings of any U-boat group of the World War.
The most well known incident involving a Type XII was of U-218 in 1346. U-218 was tasked with delivering plans and some components of a nuclear bomb to the Osorans, which required her to journey across the Tiamatic Sea and rendezvous with an Osoran task force to pick up the cargo. A trip across the Tiamatic was rare for the Siegs - who operated mostly in the Freyatic. U-218 made the Atia strait on 15 November, 1346, and arrived in Fuyuang Sea around early December. Unknown to the crew at the time they made sea, the Tiamatic and nearby Fuyuang were contested waters.
To make matters worse, the Antarans had been made aware of the meet up as a result of Osoran code-breaking. The exact details of what occurred leading up to the eventual battle between the Antarans and the Osorans as neither U-218 or any of the Osoran ships survived the engagement. U-218 met up with the Osoran force, made up of six destroyers, around the 3rd of December. U-218 departed the same day, and an hour later the force came under surface fire from an Antaran formation.
The Antarans consisted of a light cruiser, escorted by nine destroyers. Only one ship was of note, destroyer DeMaine, whose sonar officer thought he heard a submerged vessel passing beneath her as the battle commenced. The engagement continued for 40 minutes and resulted in the sinking of all Osoran ships that took part. DeMaine asked for permission to pursue the sonar contact, despite having only a rough bearing of where it went. After permission was obtained, DeMaine gave chase.
For at least 11 hours, DeMaine reported no additional contacts, and a nearby task force had even attempted to fly recon aircraft with no success. DeMaine suffered an engine failure, brought about by the constant running at high speeds during the previous action, and was forced to drop her speed to 8 knots for a day. On the 5th, DeMaine made radar contact with U-218 at a range of about 30 kilometers, presumably because DeMaine had caught up and caught her surfaced. DeMaine corrected her course and steamed at 16 knots. On her new bearing, it was made clear that U-218 was bound for the uninhabited island chain of Lapur, south of Bahatia, halfway between home and the original meeting point. Why they were travelling there was unclear.
DeMaine arrived at the Lapur Islands on the 6th and closed into only 150 meters from the cliff-faced shores. The shores were charted and determined to be safe for a warship of her draught to approach. The close proximity of the islands meant that closing into such distances was necessity. By then, DeMaine's skipper had come to the conclusion that U-218 was expecting the destroyer to simply pass right by while the boat hid in the confined waters of the islands, where she was invisible to radar.
What neither vessel was expecting, was how quickly they would encounter one another. DeMaine spotted U-218 hugging the shore, blended in perfectly with the terrain, surfaced and motionless, 200 meters away. U-218 already had crew on deck and scrambling to man the deck gun, while DeMaine wasn't yet at battle stations. General quarters was called and DeMaine accelerated, intending to ram at full speed. DeMaine fired no shots, but took fire from U-218, a round striking her bow. At a speed of 21 knots, DeMaine rammed 218's aft and cut across her amidships, tearing the boat in half. Unable to decelerate and steer clear, DeMaine inadvertently slammed against the cliff face only a dozen meters away from the U-boat.
With U-218 destroyed, DeMaine was now fighting flooding created from both rams. The destroyer made a distress call. Over several hours of damage control, DeMaine's captain ordered his crew to abandon ship and the destroyer eventually sank, partially submerged. On the 9th, a Bahatian frigate arrived and rescued the survivors of both crews. 193 members from the DeMaine, and 6 gun crew from U-218 survived.
Displacement - 1320 tonnes surfaced, 1480 tonnes submerged
Speed - 16 knots surfaced, 8 knots submerged
Range - 11 000nm at 10 knots
Maximum depth - 212 meters
Armament - x1 88mm deckgun. 22 torpedoes, 6 launchers fore, 2 launchers aft
Ships in class
U-204 - lost, 1342
U-205 - lost, 1344
U-206 - sunk in surface action, 1345
U-207 - lost, 1343
U-208 - surrendered, 1348, scrapped 1350
U-209 - depth charged, 1345
U-210 - sunk by aircraft, 1347
U-211 - sunk by aircraft, 1346
U-212 - grounded, 1344
U-213 - lost, 1344
U-214 - surrendered, 1348, scrapped 1350
U-215 - torpedoed by aircraft, 1345
U-216 - lost, 1344
U-217 - depth charged by aircraft, 1345
U-218 - rammed, 1346
U-219 - surrendered, 1348, scrapped 1350
U-220 - sunk by aircraft, 1346