German submarine U-58 (1938)
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|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||17 June 1937|
|Builder:||Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel|
|Laid down:||29 September 1937|
|Launched:||12 October 1938|
|Commissioned:||4 February 1939|
|Fate:||Scuttled at Kiel, 3 May 1945|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||IIC|
|Displacement:||291 t (286 long tons) surfaced
341 t (336 long tons) submerged
|Length:||43.90 m (144 ft 0 in)|
|Beam:||4.08 m (13 ft 5 in)|
|Draft:||3.82 m (12 ft 6 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × propeller shafts
2 × MWM four-stroke diesel engines, 700 shp (520 kW)
2 × Siemens-Schuckert electric motor, 410 shp (310 kW)
|Speed:||12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) submerged
|Range:||1,900 nautical miles (3,500 km; 2,200 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
35–42 nmi (65–78 km; 40–48 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||80 m (260 ft)|
|Complement:||3 officers, 22 men|
* 5th U-boat Flotilla (Training)
*1st U-boat Flotilla (Front boat)
* 22nd U-boat Flotilla (School Boat)
* 19th U-boat Flotilla (School Boat)
|Victories:||Seven ships sunk, total 24,549 GRT|
German submarine U-58 was a Type IIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine that served in the Second World War. She was produced by Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel. Ordered on 17 June 1937, she was laid down on 29 September as yard number 257. She was launched on 12 October 1938 and commissioned on 4 February 1939 under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Herbert Kuppisch.
U-58 was initially assigned to the 5th U-boat Flotilla during her training period, until 31 December 1939, when she was re-assigned to the 1st U-boat Flotilla for a front-line combat role. U-58 carried out twelve war patrols, sinking seven ships for a total 24,549 gross register tons (GRT).
U-58, along with U-57, were both used for testing a new flooding valve schnorchel head during August 1943, that Deutsche Werke had constructed in June. For the test the schnorchel replaced the aft periscope. The initial trial was successful and a collapsible schnorchel forward of the bridge was envisaged for Type VIIC boats.
First, second and third patrols
U-58 's first three patrols, completed during her workup and training period, were uneventful cruises in the North Sea. No ships were attacked during this period.
The submarine's luck changed for the better on New Year's Day 1940. The (neutral) Swedish steam merchant ship Lars Magnus Trozelli (1,951 GRT) was hit with a single torpedo and sunk at. Two days later the 2,475 ton Svartön, also Swedish flagged, was sunk at while traveling with convoy HN-6.
Fifth and sixth patrols
U-58 's fifth patrol was really only a six-day transit from Kiel to Wilhelmshaven. Her sixth patrol began from the latter port on 27 January 1940. On 3 February, at 09.36 hours, the only success of this patrol occurred when the small (815 ton) Estonian merchantman Reet was sunk with a single torpedo. Two previous shots earlier in the day had missed their mark (02.15 and 04.52 hours respectively). There were no survivors.
An eighth patrol into the North Sea was U-58 's most successful in terms of tonnage destroyed, however all 8,401 tons credited for this patrol comprised a single ship, the British Boom Defense Vessel HMS Astronomer, which was sunk at by three torpedo hits (two of which were coups de grâce). 101 of the 105 souls aboard survived to be picked up by other Royal Navy vessels.
The veteran submarine's ninth patrol saw her headed for a new home port in Lorient, France. Command was assumed by Oblt.z.S. Heinrich Schonder, who remained in charge of the boat for the rest of her career. Along the way, the 1,591 GRT Norwegian steam merchant Gyda was sunk by a single torpedo. This was a rather bold attack, given that the ship was being escorted by a Sunderland flying boat, a well known U-boat killer. The merchant vessel sank in less than a minute at .
Departing Lorient on 29 July 1940, U-58 headed north toward Ireland, where she sank the 4,360 ton Greek merchant ship Pindos (a straggler from convoy SL-40), on 4 August with two torpedoes. The ship capsized to port before sinking at; however 29 of the 32 crew escaped in lifeboats. The patrol terminated at Lorient on 12 August 1940.
The U-boat's eleventh patrol was uneventful and she was transferred to a new home port, Bergen in Norway. En route, she attacked and sank the 4,956 ton British merchantman Confield, a straggler from convoy HX-76. Although not sunk by the torpedo hit, the abandoned derelict was later shelled and sunk by the British sloop Weston.
U-58 departed Bergen on 14 October 1940 for her final patrol, a transit back to Kiel. There she was transferred to the 22nd U-boat flotilla for service as a training boat. She remained in this role under various commanders for the rest of the war. She was eventually scuttled at Kiel on 3 May 1945 to keep her out of the hands of the advancing Allies. The wreck was subsequently raised and broken up for scrap.
Summary of raiding career
|Date||Ship||Nationality||Tonnage||Fate and location|
|1 January 1940||Lars Magnus Trozelli||Sweden||1,951||Sunk at|
|3 January 1940||Svartön||Sweden||2,475||Sunk at|
|3 February 1940||Reet||Estonia||815||Sunk|
|1 June 1940||HMS Astronomer||Royal Navy||8,401||Sunk at|
|18 July 1940||Gyda||Norway||1,591||Sunk at|
|4 August 1940||Pindos||Greece||4,360||Sunk at|
|8 October 1940||Confield||United Kingdom||4,956||Sunk|
- Gröner 1985, p. 67.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IIC boat U-53". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships Hit by U-58". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- Eberhard Rossler. The U-Boat: The Evolution and Technical History of German Submarines. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-36120-8
- 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.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IIC boat U-58". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
- Hofmann, Markus. "U 58". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 1 February 2015.