German submarine U-52 (1939)
Although this photograph is undated, it was probably taken pre-war, as U-52 's number, here visible on the conning tower, was painted out on the commencement of hostilities
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||15 May 1937|
|Builder:||Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel|
|Laid down:||9 March 1937|
|Launched:||21 December 1938|
|Commissioned:||4 February 1939|
|Fate:||Scuttled at Danzig, 3 May 1945
Broken up, 1946-7
|Class & type:||Type VIIB U-boat|
|Displacement:||753 t (741 long tons) surfaced
857 t (843 long tons) submerged
|Length:||66.5 m (218 ft 2 in) o/a
48.8 m (160 ft 1 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) overall
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × supercharged MAN 6 cylinder, 4-stroke F46 diesel engines totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW) Max rpm 470-490 surfaced
2 × BBC GG UB 720/8 electric motors totalling 750 shp (560 kW) submerged
|Speed:||17.9 knots (33.2 km/h; 20.6 mph)
8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
|Range:||9,700 nmi (17,964 km; 11,163 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)surfaced
90 nautical miles (170 km; 100 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph)
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft). Calculated crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)|
|Complement:||44 to 48 officers and ratings|
|Part of:||7th U-boat Flotilla
(4 February–31 May 1939)
(1 September–31 December 1939)
(1 January 1940–31 May 1941)
26th U-boat Flotilla
(1 June–31 March 1942)
24th U-boat Flotilla
(1 April 1940–30 September 1943)
23rd U-boat Flotilla
(1–21 October 1943)
Oblt.z.S. Wolfgang Barten
(1 April–22 October 1943)
19 August–17 September 1939
27 February–4 April 1940
7–29 April 1940
8 June–21 July 1940
27 July–13 August 1940
17 November–28 December 1940
22 January–24 February 1941
3 April–1 May 1941
|Victories:||Thirteen vessels sunk (56,333 GRT)|
German submarine U-52 was a type VIIB U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was initially ordered on 15 May 1937, in violation of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, and laid down on 9 March 1938, at the yards of F. Krupp Germaniawerft AG in Kiel as yard number 587. Launched on 21 December 1938, she was commissioned on 4 February 1939, under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Kptlt.) Wolfgang Barten.
U-52 undertook eight war patrols in the Battle of the Atlantic, she sank thirteen ships before being scuttled at Danzig in 1945 and broken up in 1947.
U-52 's first patrol began with her departure from Kiel on 19 August 1939, well before the outbreak of war. She crossed the North Sea and headed for the Atlantic Ocean via the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The most southerly point of the patrol was reached on 1 September, the same day that Germany began the invasion of Poland.
After a series of short trips from Kiel to the German-administered island of Helgoland, (also known as Heligoland) and then Wilhelmshaven, the boat left Helgoland on 27 February 1940 and arrived at Wilhelmshaven on 4 April.
Three days later, U-52 began her third sortie. It was very similar to her second; but success continued to elude her. She crossed the North Sea and swept the area between the Faroes and Shetland Islands.
Having sailed in a southerly direction to the west of Ireland, the boat sank The Monarch 60 nautical miles (110 km; 69 mi) west of Belle Ile in the Bay of Biscay on 19 June 1940. Moving further into the Bay, U-52 came across the Ville de Namur. At first the Germans were under the impression that large wooden structures on deck were for weapons, when they were stables for horses. Nevertheless, the vessel was sunk; she went down in five minutes.
She also sank the Hilda on 21 June and the Thetis A. on 14 July. The latter vessel had already been attacked, but the torpedo used malfunctioned, (a common occurrence in the early months of the war).
Foray number five was in terms of tonnage sunk, her most successful; she destroyed the Gogovale on 4 August 1940 about 300 nautical miles (560 km; 350 mi) west southwest of Bloody Foreland (County Donegal in Ireland). On about the same day the submarine was badly damaged by British escorts; repairs took four months to implement.
Her tally rose steadily with the demise of the Tasso and the Goodleigh on the same day (2 December 1940). Both ships went to the bottom about 360 nautical miles (670 km; 410 mi) west of Bloody Foreland.
Continuing her hunting in mid-Atlantic, U-52 sank the Ringhorn on 4 February 1941 and the Canford Chine about 165 nautical miles (306 km; 190 mi) southwest of Rockall, (a tiny outcrop), on the 10th. There were no survivors from the second ship.
She sank the Saleier on 10 April 1941. According to 'Uboat.net', the ship went down in 15 seconds but there were 63 survivors.
Her last recorded victim was the Ville de Liège, a Belgian-registered vessel which was successfully attacked about 700 nautical miles (1,300 km; 810 mi) east of Cape Farewell, (southern Greenland) on 14 April.
Summary of Raiding Career
|19 June 1940||The Monarch||United Kingdom||824||Sunk|
|19 June 1940||Ville de Namur||Belgium||7,463||Sunk|
|21 June 1940||Hilda||Finland||1,144||Sunk|
|14 July 1940||Thetis A.||Greece||4,111||Sunk|
|4 August 1940||Geraldine Mary||United Kingdom||7,244||Sunk|
|4 August 1940||Gogovale||United Kingdom||4,586||Sunk|
|4 August 1940||King Alfred||United Kingdom||5,272||Sunk|
|2 December 1940||Goodleigh||United Kingdom||5,448||Sunk|
|2 December 1940||Tasso||United Kingdom||1,586||Sunk|
|4 February 1941||Ringhorn||Norway||1,298||Sunk|
|10 February 1941||Canford Chine||United Kingdom||3,364||Sunk|
|10 April 1941||Saleier||Netherlands||6,563||Sunk|
|14 April 1941||Ville de Liège||Belgium||7,430||Sunk|
- 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.