German submarine U-406

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-406
Ordered: 16 October 1939
Builder: Danziger Werft, Danzig
Yard number: 107
Laid down: 6 September 1940
Launched: 16 June 1941
Commissioned: 22 October 1941
Fate: Sunk 18 February 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 48°32′N 23°36′W / 48.533°N 23.600°W / 48.533; -23.600, by depth charges from HMS Spey.
General characteristics [1]
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
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 × BBC GG UB 720/8 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 & ratings
Armament: 5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (4 bow, 1 stern)
14 × torpedoes
1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun (220 rounds)
Various AA guns
Service record[2]
Part of: 8th U-boat Flotilla
(22 October 1941 - 30 April 1942) - Training
7th U-boat Flotilla
(1 May 1942 - 18 February 1944)
Commanders: Oblt.z.S. Horst Dietrichs
(22 October 1941 - 18 February 1944)
Operations: 1st patrol:
4–19 April 1942
2nd patrol:
5 May - 1 July 1942
3rd patrol:
9 August - 8 October 1942
4th patrol:
14 December 1942 - 12 January 1943
5th patrol:
22 February - 30 March 1943
6th patrol:
25 April - 11 May 1943
7th patrol:
26 June - 15 September 1943
8th patrol:
8–10 December 1943
Victories: 1 merchant ships sunk (7,452 GRT)
3 merchant ships damaged (13,285 GRT)

German submarine U-406 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 6 September 1940 by Danziger Werft, Danzig as yard number 107, launched on 16 June 1941 and commissioned on 22 October 1941 under Oberleutnant zur See Horst Dietrichs.

Service History[edit]

The boat's career began with training at 8th U-boat Flotilla on 22 October 1941, followed by active service on 1 May 1942 as part of the 7th Flotilla for the remainder of her service.

In eight patrols she sank one merchant ship, for a total of 7,452 gross register tons (GRT), and 3 merchant ships for a total of 13,285 GRT.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-406 took part in eleven wolfpacks, namely

  • Hecht (8 May - 18 June 1942)
  • Blücher (14–28 August 1942)
  • Iltis (6–23 September 1942)
  • Spitz (22–31 December 1942)
  • Neuland (4–13 March 1943)
  • Dränger (14–20 March 1943)
  • Drossel (29 April - 5 May 1943)
  • Rügen (14–26 January 1944)
  • Stürmer (26 January - 3 February 1944)
  • Igel 1 (3–17 February 1944)
  • Hai 1 (17–18 February 1944)

Fate[edit]

U-406 was sunk on 18 February 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 48°32′N 23°36′W / 48.533°N 23.600°W / 48.533; -23.600Coordinates: 48°32′N 23°36′W / 48.533°N 23.600°W / 48.533; -23.600, by depth charges from Royal Navy frigate HMS Spey. 12 of the crew were killed.

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
19 August 1942 City of Manila  United Kingdom 7,452 Sunk
28 December 1942 Baron Cochrane  United Kingdom 3,385 Damaged
28 December 1942 Lynton Grange  United Kingdom 5,029 Damaged
28 December 1942 Zarian  United Kingdom 4,871 Damaged

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-406". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-406". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. pp. 66, 137, 173. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]

  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 406". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-406". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.