German submarine U-378

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-378
Ordered: 16 October 1939
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Kiel
Yard number: 9
Laid down: 3 May 1940
Launched: 13 September 1941
Commissioned: 30 October 1941
Fate: Sunk in mid-Atlantic by US aircraft, 20 October 1943[1]
General characteristics [2]
Class & 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
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
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 × GL RP 137/c 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:
Service record[3][4]
Part of: 8th U-boat Flotilla
(30 October 1941–28 February 1942)
3rd U-boat Flotilla
(1 March–30 June 1944)
11th U-boat Flotilla
1 July 1942–30 April 1943
3rd U-boat Flotilla
1 May–20 October 1943
Identification codes: M 34 668
Commanders: Kptlt. Alfred Hoschatt
(30 October 1941–11 October 1942)
Oblt.z.S. Peter Schrewe
(18 June–10 September 1942)
Kptlt. Hans-Jürgen Zetzsche
(10 September–11 October 1942)[deputizing]
Kptlt. Erich Mäder
(12 October 1942–20 October 1943)
Operations: 1st patrol:
a. 11–12 March 1942
b. 15 March–1 April 1942
2nd patrol: 7–20 April 1942
3rd patrol: 29 April–6 May 1942
4th patrol:
12–12 September 1942
5th patrol: 11 November–12 December 1942
6th patrol: 15 March–1 April 1943
7th patrol: 12 April–4 June 1943
8th patrol: 6 September–20 October 1943
Victories: One warship sunk; 1,920 tons

German submarine U-378 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She carried out eight patrols before being sunk by US aircraft on 20 October 1943 in mid-Atlantic at position 47°40′N 28°27′W / 47.667°N 28.450°W / 47.667; -28.450Coordinates: 47°40′N 28°27′W / 47.667°N 28.450°W / 47.667; -28.450.

She was a member of 16 wolfpacks.

She sank one warship.

Service history[edit]

The submarine was laid down on 3 May 1940 at the Howaldtswerke yard at Kiel as yard number 9, launched on 13 September 1941 and commissioned on 30 October under the command of Kapitänleutnant Alfred Hoschatt.

1st patrol[edit]

The boat's first patrol was in two parts and commenced with her departure from Kiel on 11 March 1942. The second part began from the German island of Helgoland (sometimes spelt 'Heligoland'). She was attacked northeast of Norway's North Cape by the British destroyer HMS Fury. No damage was sustained.

2nd - 6th patrols[edit]

U-378 continued to operate in northern waters such as the Barents, Greenland and Norwegian seas until April 1943 when her sphere of operations changed to the Atlantic Ocean.

7th patrol[edit]

This sortie saw the boat leave Trondheim on 12 April 1943, negotiate the gap separating Iceland and the Faroe Islands and sail as far eastward as Newfoundland and Labrador. She then re-crossed the Atlantic, docking at La Pallice in occupied France on 4 June. At 54 days, this was easily the submarine's longest patrol.

8th patrol and loss[edit]

U-378 sank the Polish destroyer Orkan on 8 October 1943. The Commander, ten officers, 166 ratings and seven British crew members were lost.

On the 13th, the boat was the target of a FIDO homing torpedo that had been dropped from a TBF Avenger, but the weapon missed.

The submarine was sunk by an Avenger / F4F Wildcat pair on 20 October in mid-Atlantic. The aircraft had flown from USS Core.

48 men died in the depth charge attack; there were no survivors.

Wolf Packs[edit]

U-378 took part in 16 wolfpacks, namely.

  • Ziethen (23 Mar 1942 - 29 Mar 1942)
  • Eiswolf (29 Mar 1942 - 31 Mar 1942)
  • Robbenschlag (7 Apr 1942 - 14 Apr 1942)
  • Blutrausch (15 Apr 1942 - 19 Apr 1942)
  • Strauchritter (29 Apr 1942 - 5 May 1942)
  • Trägertod (19 Sep 1942 - 22 Sep 1942)
  • Boreas (19 Nov 1942 - 9 Dec 1942)
  • Eisbär (27 Mar 1943 - 30 Mar 1943)
  • Meise (25 Apr 1943 - 27 Apr 1943)
  • Star (27 Apr 1943 - 4 May 1943)
  • Fink (4 May 1943 - 6 May 1943)
  • Naab (12 May 1943 - 15 May 1943)
  • Donau 2 (15 May 1943 - 19 May 1943)
  • Mosel (19 May 1943 - 24 May 1943)
  • Leuthen (15 Sep 1943 - 24 Sep 1943)
  • Rossbach (24 Sep 1943 - 9 Oct 1943)

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate
8 October 1943 ORP Orkan  Polish Navy 1,920 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 152
  2. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-378". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-378". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
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. 

External links[edit]