German submarine U-396
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||20 January 1941|
|Laid down:||6 June 1942|
|Launched:||27 August 1943|
|Commissioned:||16 October 1943|
|Fate:||Posted missing in mid or late April 1945|
|General characteristics |
|Class and 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|
|Part of:||5th U-boat Flotilla
(16 October 1943–31 May 1944)
1st U-boat Flotilla
(1 June–30 September 1944)
11th U-boat Flotilla
(1 October 1944–23 April 1945)
|Commanders:||Kptlt. Ernst-Günther Unterhorst
(16 October–March 1945)
Kptlt. Hilmar Siemon
(March–23 April 1945)
20 June–3 July 1944
15–20 July 1944
6–16 August 1944
21 October–19 December 1944
13 March–23 April 1945
She carried out five patrols. She did not sink or damage any ships.
She was posted missing in mid or late April 1945.
The submarine was laid down on 6 June 1942 at the Howaldtswerke (yard) at Flensburg as yard number 28, launched on 27 August 1943 and commissioned on 16 October under the command of Kapitänleutnant Ernst-Günther Unterhorst.
The boat departed Kiel on 20 June 1944. On 28 July she was attacked by a British Catalina flying boat of No. 210 Squadron RAF. The only damage was a carbon monoxide leak which was serious enough to cause the submarine to abort her patrol. She arrived at Bergen on 3 July.
2nd and 3rd patrols
These two sorties were relatively uneventful.
U-396 departed Trondheim on 1 October 1944. She entered the north Atlantic Ocean via the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and sailed southeast of Cape Farewell (Greenland). She returned to Trondheim on 19 December. At 60 days, it was her longest patrol.
5th patrol and possible loss
The boat departed Trondheim for Atlantic weather reporting duties on 13 March 1945. It is known that she sailed between the Faroe and Shetland Islands. She was posted missing in mid or late April. No conclusive explanation for her loss exists.
45 men were aboard the U-boat; there were no survivors.
Previously recorded fate
U-396 was thought to have been sunk on 23 April 1945 southwest of the Shetland Islands by depth charges dropped by a British B-24 Liberator of No. 86 Squadron RAF. This attack was probably against a 'nonsub' target.
- 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.
- Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-396". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- U-396 at ubootwaffe.net[dead link]