German submarine U-257
|Ordered:||23 December 1939|
|Builder:||Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack|
|Laid down:||22 February 1941|
|Launched:||19 November 1941|
|Commissioned:||14 January 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk in February 1944|
|Type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Displacement:||769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
|Length:||67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Draft:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296.
|Speed:||17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
|Range:||15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
|Complement:||44–52 officers and ratings|
|Armament:||5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
14 × G7e torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun (220 rounds)
Various AA guns
|Part of:||5th U-boat Flotilla
(14 January–30 September 1942)
3rd U-boat Flotilla
(1 October 1942–24 February 1944)
|Commanders:||Kptlt. Heinz Rahe
(14 January 1942–24 February 1944)
21 September–18 October 1942
7 December–14 December 1942
3rd patrol:br> <22 December 1942–12 February 1943
14 March–7 May 1943
12 June–14 September 1943
2 January–24 February 1944
German submarine U-257 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was laid down at the Bremer Vulkan yard at Bremen-Vegesack on 22 February 1941 as 'werk' 22. She was launched on 19 November and commissioned on 14 January 1942 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Heinz Rahe.
She was sunk by Allied warships in mid-Atlantic in February 1944.
The boat carried out six patrols, but did not sink or damage any ships. She was a member of seven wolfpacks.
U-256's first patrol began on 21 September 1942 from Bergen in Norway. Her route took her across the North Sea, through the gap between the Faroe and Shetland Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean. She docked at La Pallice in occupied France, on 18 October.
2nd, 3rd and 4th patrols
These sorties passed without major incident.
The boat was attacked from the air twice in one day. U-257, in the company of U-600 and U-615 was transitting the Bay of Biscay, outbound on 14 June 1943, when a Sunderland flying boat of 228 Squadron RAF unsuccessfully depth charged the three boats. In the afternoon, it was much the same story, but this time a Whitley from No. 10 OTU was involved. One man from the U-boat's crew was wounded. A second Whitley from the same unit arrived, but could only exchange fire with the submarine as it had expended all its depth charges in a previous engagement, the boat escaped.
6th patrol and loss
The submarine had moved to St. Nazaire; she departed from this French Atlantic port on 2 January 1944. On 24 February, she was attacked and sunk in mid-Atlantic by the Canadian frigate HMCS Waskesiu, assisted by HMS Nene. (A former crew member from the Waskesiu has stated that Nene merely picked survivors up). Thirty men died in the sinking, there were nineteen survivors.
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 171
- "The Type VIIC boat U-257 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "War Patrols by German U-boat U-257 - Boats - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- U-257 at uboat.net
- U-257 at ubootwaffe.net[dead link]
- Bishop, C. Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939–45. Amber Books, 2006.
- Williams, G. Wolf-Pack: The Story of the U-boat in World War II. Osprey Pub., 2005.