German submarine U-44 (1939)
U-37, (an identical U-boat to U-44) at Lorient in 1940
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||21 November 1936|
|Builder:||AG Weser, Bremen|
|Laid down:||15 September 1938|
|Launched:||5 August 1939|
|Commissioned:||4 November 1939|
|Fate:||Sunk by a mine on 13 March 1940 off the coast of the Netherlands.
All crew members were lost
|General characteristics |
|Type:||Type IXA submarine|
|Displacement:||1,032 t (1,016 long tons) surfaced
1,152 t (1,134 long tons) submerged
|Length:||76.5 m (251 ft) o/a
58.7 m (192 ft 7 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.51 m (21 ft 4 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Height:||9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 hp (3,281 kW)
2 × SSW 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
|Speed:||18.2 knots (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) surfaced
7.7 knots (14.3 km/h; 8.9 mph) submerged
|Range:||10,500 nmi (19,400 km; 12,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
65–78 nautical miles (120–144 km; 75–90 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)|
6th U-boat Flotilla
|Identification codes:||M 05 024|
|Commanders:||Kptlt. Ludwig Mathes
(4 November–13 March 1940)
6 January–9 February 1940
13 March 1940
|Victories:||Eight ships sunk, total 30,885 gross register tons (GRT)|
German submarine U-44 was a Type IXA U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine that operated during World War II. She was ordered in November 1936 and laid down in September 1938 in Bremen. She was launched in August 1939 and commissioned in November.
During her service in the Kriegsmarine, U-44 conducted only two war patrols and sank a total of eight enemy vessels for a loss of 30,885 GRT. On 13 March 1940, she struck a mine that was located in field Number 7 off the north coast of the Netherlands. All 47 of her 's crew members went down with the submarine.
U-44 was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 21 November 1936 (as part of Plan Z and in violation of the Treaty of Versailles). She was laid down on 15 September 1938 by AG Weser, in Bremen as yard number 949. U-44 was launched on 5 August 1939 and commissioned on 4 November of that same year under the command of Kapitänleutnant Ludwig Mathes.
U-44 had two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, that put out 4,400 hp (3,281 kW) as well as two SSW 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors that produced 1,000 hp (746 kW) and allowed her to travel at 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) while surfaced and 7.7 knots (14.3 km/h; 8.9 mph) submerged. She had a range of 10,500 nmi (19,400 km; 12,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) while on the surface and 65–78 nautical miles (120–144 km; 75–90 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) while submerged. U-44 had six torpedo tubes (four in the bow, two in the stern). She also carried a total of 22 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedoes and had a 10.5 cm (4.1 in) SK L/45 deck gun with 180 rounds. She was equipped with the standard 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun. U-44 had a crew of forty seven men, however she could hold up to fifty six. After being commissioned and deployed, U-44 was stationed in the German port of Wilhelmshaven. This city was to be her home for the rest of her short career.
U-44 had a very short operational life. During her service with the Kriegsmarine, she took part in only two combat patrols. After training exercises with the 6th U-boat Flotilla from 4 November to 31 December 1939, U-44 was assigned as the front boat for the 2nd U-boat Flotilla on 1 January 1940. She was to remain a part of this flotilla until her loss.
The first of U-44 's two patrols began on 6 January 1940 when she left Wilhelmshaven for the North Sea, eventually circumnavigating the British Isles, travelling as far south as the Bay of Biscay and Portugal. It was in these two locations that U-44 sank her first (and last) merchant ships. Following these victories, she headed north again, travelling just north of the coast of Scotland and back into the North Sea. She then returned to Wilhelmshaven, arriving there on 9 February 1940. Over a period of thirty-five days, U-44 sank eight merchant ships, for a total loss of 30,885 tons.
Unlike her first outing, U-44 's second patrol was a disaster, not even lasting through the first day. After spending more than a month in Wilhelmshaven, she began her second patrol on 13 March 1940. A few hours after leaving port, U-44 entered minefield Number 7, just off of the northern coast of the Netherlands. This particular minefield was laid by the British destroyers HMS Esk, Express, Icarus, Faulknor and Impulsive. Upon entering the minefield, U-44 struck one of the devices and sank at Coordinates: . All forty-seven of her crew were lost.
Previously recorded fate
Summary of Raiding Career
|15 January 1940||Arendskerk||Netherlands||7,906||Sunk|
|15 January 1940||Fagerheim||Norway||1,590||Sunk|
|16 January 1940||Panachrandros||Greece||4,661||Sunk|
|18 January 1940||Canadian Reefer||Denmark||1,831||Sunk|
|20 January 1940||Ekatontarchos Dracoulis||Greece||5,329||Sunk|
|24 January 1940||Tourny||France||3,819||Sunk|
|25 January 1940||Alsacien||France||2,769||Sunk|
|28 January 1940||Flora||Greece||2,980||Sunk|
- "U-44 Type IXA". ubootwaffe.net. Retrieved 4 April 2010.[dead link]
- "U-44". German U-boats of WWII. Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- Kemp, Paul (1997). U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. Arms and Armour. p. 64. ISBN 1-85409-515-3.
- Gröner 1985, pp. 105-6.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Type IXA". U-Boat War in World War II. Uboat.net. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- "Patrol info for U-44 (First patrol)". U-boat patrols. Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- "Patrol info for U-44 (Second patrol)". U-boat patrols. Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- http://uboat.net/boats/u.44/htm[dead link]
- "Ships hit by U-44". U-boat Successes. Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- 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.