German submarine U-269

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-269
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack
Yard number: 34
Laid down: 18 September 1941
Launched: 24 June 1942
Commissioned: 19 August 1942
Fate: Sunk by a British warship, 25 June 1944[1]
General characteristics
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: 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) 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 × torpedoes or 26 × TMA or 39 × TMB tube-launched mines
  • 5 × vertical launchers with 15 SMA mines
  • 1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun (220 rounds)
  • 2 × 20 mm AA (4,380 rounds)
Service record[2][3]
Part of: 8th U-boat Flotilla
(August 1942–March 1943)
11th U-boat Flotilla
(April–October 1943)
6th U-boat Flotilla
(November 1943–June 1944)
Commanders: Oblt.z.S.. Karl-Heinrich Harlfinger
(19 August 1942–29 April 1943)
Oblt.z.S.. Otto Hansen
(June–4 September 1943)
Kptlt. Karl-Heinrich Harlfinger
(5 September 1943–21 March 1944 )
Oblt.z.S.. Georg Uhl
(6 April–25 June 1944)
Operations: Five:
1st patrol: 23 March–23 April 1943
2nd patrol: 22 July–4 September 1943
3rd patrol: 4 November–15 December 1943
4th patrol: 22–28 May 1944
5th patrol: 6–25 June 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-269 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The U-boat was laid down on 18 September 1941 by Bremer Vulkan at Bremen-Vegesack, launched on 24 June 1942 and commissioned on 19 August under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Karl-Heinrich Harlfinger.[2]

During its career the submarine failed to sink or damage any vessels, but neither did it lose any crew members prior to its sinking on 25 June 1944.[2]

Service history[edit]

After training with the 8th U-boat Flotilla in the Baltic Sea, U-269 was assigned to the 11th U-boat Flotilla based in Bergen, Norway.[2]

U-269 first left Kiel on 16 March 1943 to operate from bases in Norway, carrying out two patrols in the Barents Sea in the summer of 1943, one under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Karl-Heinrich Harlfinger in March and April, and another under Oberleutnant zur See Otto Hansen in July, August and September.[3]

Reassigned to the 6th U-boat Flotilla, on 4 November 1943 the U-boat left Bergen for her third patrol in the Atlantic under the command of the newly promoted Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinrich Harlfinger. On 1 December Allied forces attacked the U-boat, causing serious damage and forcing U-269 to abort her patrol. She reached St. Nazaire on the French Atlantic coast on the 15th.[3]

In France, command was assumed by Oberleutnant zur See Georg Uhl, who made one short patrol in the Bay of Biscay in May 1944, then sailed from Brest on 6 June ("D-Day") to St. Peter Port, Guernsey, three days later sailing into the English Channel on her final patrol.[3]

Sinking[edit]

U-269 was sunk on 25 June 1944 south-east of Torquay, in position 50°01′N 2°59′W / 50.017°N 2.983°W / 50.017; -2.983Coordinates: 50°01′N 2°59′W / 50.017°N 2.983°W / 50.017; -2.983.[2] The U-boat was detected by the Royal Navy frigate HMS Bickerton, of the 5th Support Group, which immediately attacked with depth charges. The first attack knocked out all the lights aboard the U-boat, while the second ruptured the seals on the drive shafts, allowing water to rush in. The frigate's third depth charge run destroyed pipes, valves and electrical connections. Realizing that the situation was hopeless, Uhl ordered U-269 to surface, and prepared to abandon and scuttle the boat. The submarine surfaced within range of the frigate, which had just dropped a fourth set of depth charges. The U-boat began to sink immediately, while the survivors swam away or escaped on rafts. Bickerton picked up the 39 survivors.[4] There were 13 dead, including Captain Uhl.

The wreck of U-269 was located in 1951, during a search for the missing British submarine Affray, this was confirmed by nautical archaeologist Innes McCartney in 1999.[2]

Wolf Packs[edit]

U-269 took part in 3 wolfpacks, namely.

  • Eisbär (27 Mar 1943 - 15 Apr 1943)
  • Coronel (4 Dec 1943 - 4 Dec 1943)
  • Dragoner (22 May 1944 - 28 May 1944)

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1999, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 199.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-269". uboat.net. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-269". uboat.net. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 : U-269". u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
Bibliography
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler). ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 
  • McCartney, Innes (2002). Lost Patrols: Submarine Wrecks of the English Channel. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]