German submarine U-158 (1941)
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||25 September 1939|
|Builder:||AG Weser, Bremen|
|Laid down:||1 October 1940|
|Launched:||21 June 1941|
|Commissioned:||25 September 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk 30 June 1942, west of Bermuda, by a US aircraft|
|Type:||Type IXC submarine|
|Displacement:||1,120 t (1,100 long tons) surfaced
1,232 t (1,213 long tons) submerged
|Length:||76.8 m (252 ft 0 in) o/a
58.7 m (192 ft 7 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Height:||9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 hp (3,281 kW)
2 × SSW GU345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
|Speed:||18.2 knots (33.7 km/h) surfaced
7.7 knots (14.3 km/h) submerged
|Range:||24,880 nmi (46,080 km; 28,630 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced
117 nautical miles (217 km; 135 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)|
|Complement:||48 to 56|
|Armament:||6 × torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern)
22 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedoes
1 × 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun (110 rounds)
|Part of:||4th U-boat Flotilla
(25 September 1941–31 January 1942)
10th U-boat Flotilla
(1 February 1942–30 June 1942)
|Commanders:||Kptlt. Erwin Rostin
(25 September 1941–30 June 1942)
|Victories:||17 ships sunk for a total of 101,321 gross register tons (GRT)
Two ships damaged for a total of 15,264 GRT
U-158 conducted only two combat patrols, sinking 17 ships totalling 101,321 tons and damaging two others totalling 15,264 tons.
U-158 departed the German administered island of Helgoland, (sometimes spelt 'Heligoland'), for her first patrol on 7 February 1942. Her route took her north of the British Isles, through the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Her first victim was the Empire Celt, sunk about 420 nautical miles (780 km; 480 mi) south southeast of St Johns on 24 February. The ship broke in two after being hit, the stern section was last seen on 4 March. In the same attack, the U-boat also damaged the Diloma. This tanker was able to proceed under her own power at reduced speed. She was repaired in Baltimore and returned to service in June 1942.
The submarine then moved further down the US east coast. She sank another four ships and damaged one more, they were: the Finnanger (1 March), the Caribsea (11 March), the John D. Gill (13 March), the Olean (damaged on 15 March) and the Ario (also on 15 March).
The John D. Gill was another tanker; her cargo did not ignite on being hit by a torpedo. Instead, the surrounding water was turned into a blazing inferno by a seaman who subsequently threw a life ring overboard, its built-in carbide lamp had functioned. Almost half the crew died.
The Olean was towed to Hampton Roads, rebuilt and renamed as the Sweep and returned to service.
Having caused so much mayhem, the boat sailed for France, arriving at Lorient on 31 March 1942.
For her second foray, U-158 moved into the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico in May 1942. On the way she sank the Darina about 500 nautical miles (930 km; 580 mi) east southeast of Bermuda on 4 May and the Frank B. Baird on the 22nd.
Following the sinking of the Knoxville City on 2 June, the survivors in their lifeboats declined an offer of help from the Jamaica as they thought the German submarine was still nearby.
The Hermis, despite being hit by two torpedoes on the 7th, maintained a speed of eight knots due to the engines still running. The U-boat surfaced and shelled the ship. She was observed some twelve hours later with her stern out of the water; she eventually sank shortly afterward.
U-158 was sunk with all 54 hands on 30 June 1942, west of the Bermudas, in position Coordinates: , by depth charges from a PBM Mariner aircraft commanded by Richard Schreder of United States Navy Squadron VP-74.
Summary of Raiding Career
|24 February 1942||Diloma||United Kingdom||8,146||Damaged|
|24 February 1942||Empire Celt||United Kingdom||8,032||Sunk|
|1 March 1942||Finnager||Norway||9,551||Sunk|
|11 March 1942||Caribsea||United States||2,609||Sunk|
|13 March 1942||John D. Gill||United States||11,641||Sunk|
|15 March 1942||Ario||United States||6,952||Sunk|
|15 March 1942||Olean||United States||7,118||Damaged|
|20 May 1942||Darina||United Kingdom||8,113||Sunk|
|22 May 1942||Frank D. Baird||Canada||1,748||Sunk|
|2 June 1942||Knoxville City||United States||5,686||Sunk|
|4 June 1942||Nidarnes||Norway||2,647||Sunk|
|5 June 1942||Velma Lykes||United States||2,572||Sunk|
|7 June 1942||Hermis||Panama||5,234||Sunk|
|11 June 1942||Sheherazade||Panama||13,467||Sunk|
|12 June 1942||Cities Service Toledo||United States||8,192||Sunk|
|17 June 1942||Moira||Norway||1,560||Sunk|
|17 June 1942||San Blas||Panama||3,601||Sunk|
|23 June 1942||Major General Henry Gibbins||United States||5,766||Sunk|
|23 June 1942||Everalda||Latvia||3,950||Sunk|
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1999, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 83.
- Kemp, p. 83.
- Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp.248&249
- "The Type IXC boat U-158 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- U-158 at u-boot-archiv.de (German)