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Type XIV U-boat

The Type XIV U-boat was a modification of the Type IXD, designed to resupply other U-boats. They were nicknamed "Milchkuh/Milchkuehe" (Milk Cows). They had no offensive weaponry, only antiaircraft guns. Early in World War II, the Milk Cows successfully allowed the smaller Type VIIC boats to raid the American coast. The Milk Cows were of course a priority target for all allied forces, and improved radar and air coverage eliminated them during 1943. Milk Cow duty was especially hazardous; 289 sailors were killed out of an estimated complement of 530-576 men.

Ten boats of this type were commissioned: U-459, U-460, U-461, U-462, U-463, U-464, U-487, U-488, U-489, and U-490.

Fourteen planned Type XIVs were cancelled. Three of them (U-491, U-492, U-493) were about 75% done when all work was stopped and they were scrapped in July and August 1943. The other 11 had not been laid down when they were cancelled on May 27, 1944. On that same day Dönitz dropped development plans for the XX class, large transport boats that would not have been ready until the summer of 1945.

General Characteristics