|Ordered||25 January 1939|
|Laid down||28 December 1939|
|Launched||22 November 1940|
|Commissioned||4 January 1941|
|Fate||Sunk by bombing, 30 March 1945|
|Class and type||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
German submarine U-72 was a Type VIIC submarine of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.
U-72 was launched on 22 November 1940 and commissioned on 4 January 1941. U-72 served with 24th U-boat Flotilla (a training unit), and later with 21st U-boat Flotilla (also a training unit), from 2 July 1941 to 30 March 1945. U-72 was used throughout World War II as a training boat until it was sunk in a daylight American bombing raid on 30 March 1945.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-72 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8-276 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-72 was fitted with two 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes at the bow, fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and one 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
The U 72 was found off the coast of Fla in 1971 by divers from Diver Haven, between the second and third reef. It is now in the area of the "Graveyard of ships in North Carolina.