German submarine U-461
Attack on U-461, which along with two other U-boats, was sunk on 30 July 1943 in the Bay of Biscay
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||14 May 1940|
|Builder:||Deutsche Werke, Kiel|
|Laid down:||9 December 1940|
|Launched:||8 November 1941|
|Commissioned:||30 January 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk, 30 July 1943|
|Class & type:||German Type XIV submarine|
|Displacement:||1,668 long tons (1,695 t) surfaced
1,932 long tons (1,963 t) submerged
|Length:||67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) overall
47.5 m (155 ft 10 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||9.35 m (30 ft 8 in) overall
4.9 m (16 ft 1 in) pressure hull
|Height:||11.7 m (38 ft 5 in)|
|Draft:||6.5 m (21 ft 4 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × Germaniawerft F46 supercharged 6-cylinder diesel engines, 3,200 hp (2,400 kW)
2 × SSW Gu343/388-8 double-acting electric motors 750 hp (560 kW)
|Speed:||14.9 knots (27.6 km/h) surfaced
6.2 knots (11.5 km/h) submerged
|Range:||12,350 nmi (22,870 km; 14,210 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced
55 nautical miles (102 km; 63 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
|Test depth:||240 m (790 ft)|
|Armament:||2 × 37 mm AA guns
2 × 20 mm AA guns
|Part of:||4th U-boat Flotilla
(30 January–30 June 1942)
10th U-boat Flotilla
(1 July–31 October 1942)
12th U-boat Flotilla
(1 November 1942–30 July 1943)
|Commanders:||Kptlt. Hinrich-Oscar Bernbeck
(30 January–21 April 1942)
KrvKpt. Wolf-Harro Stiebler
(22 April 1942–30 July 1943)
|Operations:||1st patrol: 21 June–16 August 1942
2nd patrol: 7 September–17 October 1942
3rd patrol: 19 November 1942–3 January 1943
4th patrol: 13 February–22 March 1943
5th patrol: 20 April–30 May 1943
6th patrol: 27 July–30 July 1943
Her keel was laid down on 9 December 1940, by Deutsche Werke in Kiel as 'werk' 292. She was launched on 8 November 1941 and commissioned on 30 January 1942 with Oberleutnant zur See Hinrich-Oscar Bernbeck in command. Bernbeck was promoted to Kapitänleutnant by 21 April 1942, when he was relieved by Korvettenkapitän Wolf-Harro Stiebler.
U-461 conducted six patrols. As a supply boat, she avoided combat.
1st and 2nd patrols
Her second patrol was much like her first; the most westerly point in the vast Atlantic wastes was reached on 30 September 1942.
3rd and 4th patrols
U-462's third sortie commenced with her departue from St. Nazaire on 19 November 1942. Travelling south, she reached the furthest spot in the patrol which was roughly between South America and Africa. There, she spent two days (according to her position reports), before moving a short distance west on 11 December 1942. She returned to her French base on 3 January 1943.
She steamed to a point west of the Canary Islands, which she reached on 2 March 1943. Having departed St. Nazaire on 13 February, she returned there for the last time on 22 March.
She left St.Nazaire on 20 April 1943, but was attacked on the return leg on 23 April by a Canadian Wellington of 172 squadron RAF, equipped with a Leigh Light. Three bombs were dropped, resulting in slight damage and, more seriously, a trail of oil. She returned to France, but this time to Bordeaux.
6th patrol and loss
She had left Bordeaux on 27 July 1943, but was hardly out of the Bay of Biscay, northwest of Cape Ortegal, Spain, when she was sunk on 30 July by an Australian Sunderland flying boat from No. 461 Squadron RAAF piloted by Flight Lieutenant Dudley Marrows. Coincidentally this aircraft had the registration "U", also making it known as 'U-461'. As a result of the attack, the pilot dropped an inflatable dinghy, fifteen of her crew survived; 53 were killed.
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, pp. 136-137.
- "The Type XIV boat U-461 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
- "War Patrols by German U-boat U-461 - Boats - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-07.