German submarine U-408

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-408
Ordered: 16 October 1939
Builder: Danziger Werft, Danzig
Yard number: 109
Laid down: 30 September 1940
Launched: 16 July 1941
Commissioned: 19 November 1941
Fate: Sunk by a US aircraft, in November 1942, north of Iceland[1]
General characteristics [2]
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 × 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]
Part of: 5th U-boat Flotilla
(19 November 1941–30 April 1942)
9th U-boat Flotilla
(1 May–30 June 1942)
11th U-boat Flotilla
(1 July 1942–5 November 1942)
Commanders: K.Kapt. Reinhard von Hymmen
(19 November 1941–5 November 1942)
Operations: 1st patrol:
7 June–16 July 1942
2nd patrol:
10–26 September 1943
3rd patrol:
31 October–5 November 1942
Victories: Three ships sunk; 19,689 GRT

German submarine U-408 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She carried out three patrols. She sank three ships.

She was a member of two wolfpacks.

She was sunk by a US aircraft north of Iceland in November 1942.

Service history[edit]

The submarine was laid down on 30 September 1940 at the Danziger Werft at Danzig (now Gdansk) as yard number 109, launched on 16 July 1941 and commissioned on 19 November under the command of Korvettenkapitän Reinhard von Hymmen.

She served with the 5th U-boat Flotilla from 19 November 1941 for training and the 9th flotilla from 1 May 1942 for operations. She was reassigned to the 11th flotilla on 1 July 1942 and served with that organization until her loss.

1st patrol[edit]

U-359‍ '​s first patrol was preceded by a move from Kiel in Germany to Skjomenfjord in Norway. She left there for her first patrol on 7 June, sailing through the north Norwegian Sea into the Barents Sea. She returned to Skjomenfjord on 16 July.

2nd patrol[edit]

The boat set-out on her second foray on 10 September 1942. She sank Stalingrad on the 13th, 100 nmi (190 km; 120 mi) southwest of Spitsbergen. She also sank Oliver Ellsworth with the same spread of torpedos. The master of the Soviet ship, A. Sakharov, was awarded the George Cross after acting as pilot for his convoy and spending 40 minutes in the freezing water.

The next day she sank Atheltemplar southwest of Bear Island.

3rd patrol and loss[edit]

The submarine's third and last sortie began from Narvik on 31 October 1942. On 5 November she was sunk by a US PBY Catalina north of Iceland. Her previous track was from the east, towards the Denmark Strait, (which separates Greenland from Iceland).

Forty-five men died in U-408; there were no survivors.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-408 took part in two wolfpacks, namely.

  • Eisteufel (21 June - 10 July 1942)
  • Trägertod (12–22 September 1942)

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Displacement Fate[4]
13 September 1942 SS Oliver Ellsworth  United States 7,191 Sunk
13 September 1942 SS Stalingrad  Soviet Union 3,559 Sunk
14 September 1942 MV Atheltemplar  United Kingdom 8,939 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 95.
  2. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-408". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-408". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 

External links[edit]