German submarine U-34 (1936)
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||25 March 1935|
|Builder:||Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel|
|Laid down:||15 September 1935|
|Launched:||17 July 1936|
|Commissioned:||12 September 1936|
|Fate:||Sunk, 5 August 1943|
|General characteristics |
|Type:||Type VIIA submarine|
|Displacement:||626 tonnes (616 long tons) surfaced
745 t (733 long tons) submerged
|Length:||64.51 m (211 ft 8 in) o/a
45.5 m (149 ft 3 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||5.85 m (19 ft 2 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Draft:||4.4 m (14 ft 5 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × MAN 6-cylinder 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines, totaling 2,100–2,310 bhp (1,570–1,720 kW). Max rpm: 470-485
2 × BBC GG UB 720/8 electric motors, totaling 750 shp (560 kW). Max rpm: 322
|Speed:||17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) surfaced
8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged
|Range:||6,200 nautical miles (11,500 km; 7,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
73–94 nautical miles (135–174 km; 84–108 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||220 m (720 ft)
Crush depth: 230–250 m (750–820 ft)
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
|Armament:||5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (4 bow, 1 stern)
11 × torpedoes or 22 TMA mines or 33 TMB mines
1 × 8.8 cm SK C/35 naval gun (220 rounds)
1 × 2 cm C/30 AA
|Part of:||2nd U-boat Flotilla
(12 September 1936–30 September 1940)
21st U-boat Flotilla
(1 October–1 November 1940)
24th U-boat Flotilla
(2 November 1940–5 August 1943)
(12 September 1936–14 February 1938)
(4 November–22 December 1936)
(15 February–17 August 1938)
(5 September–28 October 1938)
Kptlt. Wilhelm Rollmann
(26 October 1938–28 September 1940)
Oblt.z.S. Fritz Meyer
(29 September 1940–22 May 1941)
(23 May–19 November 1941)
(20 November 1941–15 June 1942)
Oblt.z.S. Horst-Arno Fenski
(16 June 1942–1 February 1943)
Oblt.z.S. Karl-Heinz Hagenau
(2 February–11 June 1943)
Lt.z.S. Eduard Aust
(12 June–5 August 1943)
19 August–26 September 1939
17 October–12 November 1939
1 January–6 February 1940
11–30 March 1940
3–30 April 1940
22 June–18 July 1940
23 July–3 August 1940
|Victories:||19 commercial ships sunk (91,989 GRT)
three warships sunk (2,365 GRT)
two commercial ships captured (4,957 GRT)
She was laid down in September 1935, launched in July 1936 and commissioned in September.
The boat carried out seven patrols, sinking 22 ships and capturing two more. She was sunk in a collision in the Baltic in August 1943.
Construction and assignments
She was laid down on 15 September 1935 by the Germaniawerft at Kiel as yard number 557, launched on 17 July 1936 and commissioned on 12 September 1936 under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Kptlt.) Ernst Sobe.
U-34 was, after commissioning, a part of the 2nd U-boat Flotilla until September 1940. She was then sent to the 21st flotilla for less than a month. She spent almost the next three years with the 24th flotilla.
The early years
U-34 took part in Operation Ursula—the German submarine operation in support of Franco's naval forces during the Spanish Civil War. Under the command of Kptlt. Harald Grosse, she sank the Spanish Republican Navy submarine C-3 on 12 December 1936.
World War II
The U-boat left Wilhelmshaven (which was to be her base until July 1940), on 19 August 1939. Her route took her across the North Sea to the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. She entered the Atlantic Ocean on about the 24th and headed south, to the west of Ireland. On 7 September she sank Pukkastan about 39 nautical miles (72 km; 45 mi) southwest of Bishop Rock after getting the ship to stop with two rounds fired across her bows with the deck gun.
The next day she repeated the exercise and sank Kennebec about 70 nautical miles (130 km; 81 mi) southwest of the Scilly Isles.
The boat returned to Wilhelmshaven on 26 September.
U-34's second foray was even more fruitful, sinking Gustav Adolf and Sea Venture (which had replied to the U-boats' warning shots with fire of her own), both on 20 October 1939. Bronte on the 27th and Malabar went to the bottom on the 29th. The boat also captured Snar in the North Sea on 9 November.
The first victim of this sortie was Caroni River in Falmouth Bay on 20 January 1940.
The next was the neutral, clearly marked and fully lit, Greek merchantman Eleni Stathatou at Portmagee. 13 died of exposure. The 20 survivors were so weak that they had to be carried ashore.on the 28th. The survivors were eventually rescued by Michael Casey, a fisherman from Kerry, who towed them to
4th and 5th patrols
Patrol number four, in March 1940, was through the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea. It was remarkable only for its lack of 'kills'.
The boat used the so-called Faroes/Shetland 'gap' (which she had cleared by 26 June 1940), to enter the Atlantic; she had left Wilhelmshaven on the 22nd. On 5 July she sank the British destroyer HMS Whirlwind 120 nautical miles (220 km; 140 mi) west of Lands End.
There followed a steady stream of victories in the same area: the Lucrecia, the Tiiu, the Petamo, the Janna and the Evdoxia. Having run out of torpedoes, U-34 sank the Naftilos with gunfire.
The boat docked at the newly occupied port of Lorient, on the French Atlantic coast, on 18 July.
The sinkings continued; Vinnemoor on 26 July 1940; Accra on the same day and in the same attack and Sambre and Thiara, both on the 27th. Returning to Germany, the boat came across the British submarine Spearfish. Using her last torpedo, the U-boat managed to sunk the British unit. There was only one survivor from the Spearfish, he was captured by the Germans.
She was sunk at 21:55 on 5 August 1943 at Memel (today's Klaipėda in Lithuania), in the Baltic, in position after a collision with the U-boat tender Lech. Four men died, although 39 survived. The boat was raised on 24 August but stricken on 8 September 1943.
Summary of raiding history
|Date||Name of Ship||Nationality||Tonnage||Fate|
|7 September 1939||Pukkastan||UK||5,809||Sunk|
|8 September 1939||Kennebec||UK||5,548||Sunk|
|24 September 1939||Hanonia||Estonia||1,781||Captured|
|20 October 1939||Gustav Adolf||Sweden||926||Sunk|
|20 October 1939||Sea Venture||UK||2,327||Sunk|
|27 October 1939||Bronte||UK||5,137||Sunk|
|29 October 1939||Malabar||UK||7,976||Sunk|
|9 November 1939||Snar||Norway||3,176||Captured|
|20 January 1940||Caroni River||UK||7,807||Sunk (mine)|
|28 January 1940||Eleni Stathatou||Greece||5,625||Sunk|
|13 April 1940||HNoMS Frøya||Royal Norwegian Navy||595||Total loss|
|5 July 1940||HMS Whirlwind||Royal Navy||1,100||Sunk|
|6 July 1940||Vapper||Estonia||4,543||Sunk|
|7 July 1940||Lucrecia||Netherlands||2,584||Sunk|
|9 July 1940||Tiiu||Estonia||1,865||Sunk|
|10 July 1940||Petsamo||Finland||4,596||Sunk|
|11 July 1940||Janna||Norway||2,197||Sunk|
|15 July 1940||Evdoxia||Greece||2,018||Sunk|
|17 July 1940||Naftilos||Greece||3,531||Sunk|
|26 July 1940||Accra||UK||9,337||Sunk|
|26 July 1940||Vinemoor||UK||9,337||Sunk|
|27 July 1940||Sambre||UK||5,260||Sunk|
|27 July 1940||Thiara||UK||5,267||Sunk|
|1 August 1940||HMS Spearfish||Royal Navy||670||Sunk|
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Type VIIA". U-Boat War in World War II. Uboat.net. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- "Type VII U-Boat". German U-boat. Uboataces.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- "The Type VIIA boat U-34 – German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- "War Patrols by German U-boat U-34 – Boats – uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- The Times Atlas of the World - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 10
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. 1997. pp. 139 and 140. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3
- Ships hit by U-34 - U-boat Successes - German U-boats - uboat.net
- 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.
- U-34 at u-boot-archiv.de (German)
- Operation Ursula and the sinking of the submarine C-3
- U-34 at uboat.net
- U-34 at ubootwaffe.net[dead link]