German submarine U-55 (1939)

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-55.
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-55
Ordered: 16 July 1937
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Cost: 4,439,000 Reichsmark
Yard number: 590
Laid down: 2 November 1938
Launched: 19 October 1939
Commissioned: 21 November 1939
Fate: Sunk 30 January 1940
General characteristics
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 M6V diesel engines totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW) Max rpm 470-490 surfaced
2 × AEG GU 460/8-276 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
Armament:

5 × 53.3 cm torpedo tubes: four bow, one stern (14 torpedoes or 26 TMA or 39 TMB mines)
1 × 8.8 cm SK C/35 naval gun with 220 rounds

C30 20 mm flak guns
Service record
Part of: 7th U-boat Flotilla
(21 November 1939 – 30 January 1940)
Commanders: Kptlt. Werner Heidel
(21 November 1939–30 January 1940)
Operations: 16–30 January 1940
Victories: Six ships sunk for a total of 15,853 gross register tons (GRT)

German submarine U-55 was a Type VIIB U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was ordered on 16 July 1937 and laid down on 2 November 1938 at Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel as yard number 590. Launched on 19 October 1939, she went into service on 21 November 1939 under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Kptlt.) Werner Heidel.[1]

Wartime activity[edit]

U-55 began her first and only war patrol on 16 January 1940, under Heidel's command; he had previously sunk two ships in U-7. She sank four small freighters sailing independently, then attacked convoy OA-80G on 29 January. U-55 sank two more ships before coming under concerted attack from the convoy's escorts, supported by a Sunderland flying boat from RAF Coastal Command. After a sustained depth charge attack, the U-boat surfaced and carried out a running gun battle before her deck gun jammed. Heidel ordered the boat to be abandoned, then apparently went down with it. The remainder of the crew was rescued by the escorts. The British awarded official credit for sinking U-55 to the sloop HMS Fowey, the destroyer HMS Whitshed and the Sunderland.[2]

Raiding career[edit]

Date[3] Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
18 January 1940 Foxen  Sweden 1,304 Sunk
19 January 1940 Telnes  Norway 1,694 Sunk
22 January 1940 Segovia  Norway 1,387 Sunk
23 January 1940 Andalusia  Sweden 1,357 Sunk
30 January 1940 Keramiai  Greece 5,085 Sunk
30 January 1940 Vaclite[4]  United Kingdom 5,026 Sunk

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "U-55 Type VIIB". ubootwaffe.net. Retrieved 21 November 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ Blair (1996), 136–137.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-55". WWII U-boat successes. Uboat.net. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Kemp 1997, p. 63.
Bibliography
  • 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. 
  • Blair, Clay (1996). Hitler's U-Boat War. 1: The Hunters 1939–1942. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-58839-8. 
  • 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 (1997). U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. Arms and Armour. p. 63. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°37′N 7°48′W / 48.617°N 7.800°W / 48.617; -7.800