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The crew numbers aboard a U-boat varied greatly between different U-boat types and the mission it was undertaking. A Type II U-boat comprised of 25 officers and seamen, while a Type VII housed approximately 45. A Type IX had about 50 and Type XXI had a 57 man crew. Sometimes U-boats carried specialist crews on special missions, such as scientists, spies or commandos.
Regardless of crew numbers, the typical U-boat crew was generally organized into Officers, Chief Petty Officers, Petty Officers and Seamen. They can also be viewed from a different perspective; the technicians and the seamen.
The helm of a U-boat comprised of four officers, who had the overall responsibility of maintaining trim and balance throughout the boat.
Chief Petty Officers (Noncommissioned Officers)
The enlisted crew was led by four chief petty officers.
Petty Officers (Unteroffiziere)
The number of petty officers varied, but generally there were two for every three seamen. Petty officers comprised of various types of specialists :-
Every member of a U-boat crew was important to the operation of the boat. The seamen acted as the watch crew on deck, they manned the guns, loaded the torpedoes, prepared food from the galley and took care of daily operations aboard the boat.
Note: Petty officers also took turns to stand watch on the bridge.
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