German submarine U-443
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||13 April 1940|
|Laid down:||10 February 1941|
|Launched:||31 January 1942|
|Commissioned:||18 April 1942|
|Fate:||U-443 was sunk on 23 February 1943 in the Mediterranean near Algiers by three escort destroyers|
|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 × 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 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 kn (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|
She was laid down at F Schichau Danzig in the Polish city on 10 February 1941, launched on 14 January 1942 and commissioned on 18 April with Oberleutnant zur See Konstantin von Puttkamer in command. She served with the 8th U-boat Flotilla for training, then with the 9th flotilla from 1 October 1942 to 31 December 1942, and the 29th flotilla from 1 January 1943 to 23 February for operations.
U-443 completed three patrols, sinking three merchant ships totalling 19,435 gross register tons (GRT) and one warship of 1,087 GRT.
U-443 began her operational service when she departed Kiel on 1 October 1942 and sailed out into the Atlantic, clearing the northern coast of Scotland. On 9 October in rough weather, a lookout broke his arm. The U-boat sank two ships from Convoy ON 139 in mid-Atlantic on 22 October, but was then forced to submerge where she was held by the escort ships until the convoy had escaped. She subsequently steamed into Brest in occupied France, arriving on 4 November.
Her second sortie saw her leave Brest on 29 November 1942, penetrate the heavily defended Strait of Gibraltar, sink two more ships in the western Mediterranean and arrive at the Italian port of La Spezia on 22 December.
3rd patrol and loss
The U-boat left La Spezia on 16 February 1943 and headed southwest. She was sunk with all hands on 23 February northwest of Algiers by depth charges from the escort destroyers HMS Bicester, Lamerton and Wheatland.
U-443 took part in 2 wolfpacks, namely.
- Panther (11 Oct 1942 - 16 Oct 1942)
- Puma (16 Oct 1942 - 29 Oct 1942)
Summary of Raiding Career
|22 October 1942||Donax||United Kingdom||8,036||Sunk|
|22 October 1942||Winnipeg II||United Kingdom||9,807||Sunk|
|11 December 1942||HMS Blean||Royal Navy||1,087||Sunk|
|14 December 1942||Edencrag||United Kingdom||1,592||Sunk|
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 105.
- Kemp, p. 105.
- 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.
- Bishop, Chris (2006). Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939-45. London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-904687-96-2.