German submarine U-653

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-653
Ordered: 9 October 1939
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Hamburg
Yard number: 802
Laid down: 9 April 1940
Launched: 22 March 1941
Commissioned: 25 May 1941
Fate: Sunk 15 March 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 53°46′N 24°35′W / 53.767°N 24.583°W / 53.767; -24.583Coordinates: 53°46′N 24°35′W / 53.767°N 24.583°W / 53.767; -24.583, by depth charges from Fleet Air Arm Swordfish, HMS Starling and HMS Wild Goose.
General characteristics
Type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement: 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × BBC GG UB 720/8 electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296
Speed: 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range: 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44–52 officers & ratings
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of: 1st U-boat Flotilla
(25 May 1941 - 1 December 1941) - Training
1st U-boat Flotilla
(1 December 1941 - 15 March 1944)
Identification codes: M 44 257
Commanders: Kptlt. Gerhard Feiler
(25 May 1941 - 30 September 1943)
Oblt.z.S. Hans-Albrecht Kandler
(1 October 1943 - 15 March 1944)
Operations: 1st patrol:
13 December 1941 - 13 January 1942
2nd patrol:
31 January 1942 - 30 March 1942
3rd patrol:
25 April 1942 - 6 July 1942
4th patrol:
5 August 1942 - 31 August 1942
5th patrol:
27 October 1942 - 29 December 1942
6th patrol:
28 January 1943 - 31 March 1943
7th patrol:
10 June 1943 - 11 September 1943
8th patrol:
21 November 1943 - 13 January 1944
9th patrol:
2 March 1944 - 15 March 1944
Victories: 3 merchant ships sunk (14,983 GRT)
1 merchant ship damaged (9,382 GRT)
1 warship sunk (840 tons)

German submarine U-653 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 9 April 1940 by Howaldtswerke, Hamburg as yard number 802, launched on 22 March 1941 and commissioned on 25 May 1941 under Kapitänleutnant Gerhard Feiler.

Service History[edit]

The boat's career began with training at 1st U-boat Flotilla on 25 May 1941, followed by active service on 1 December 1941 as part of the 1st Flotilla for the remainder of her service.

In 9 patrols she sank 3 merchant ships, for a total of 14,983 gross register tons (GRT), and one warship of 840 tons.

Wolf packs[edit]

U-653 took part in 15 wolf packs, namely

  • Pfadfinder (21 May 1942 – 27 May 1942)
  • Blücher (14 Aug 1942 – 18 Aug 1942)
  • Natter (2 Nov 1942 – 8 Nov 1942)
  • Westwall (8 Nov 1942 – 16 Dec 1942)
  • Hartherz (3 Feb 1943 – 7 Feb 1943)
  • Ritter (11 Feb 1943 – 26 Feb 1943)
  • Burggraf (4 Mar 1943 – 5 Mar 1943)
  • Raubgraf (7 Mar 1943 – 15 Mar 1943)
  • Coronel (4 Dec 1943 – 8 Dec 1943)
  • Coronel 1 (8 Dec 1943 – 14 Dec 1943)
  • Coronel 2 (14 Dec 1943 – 17 Dec 1943)
  • Föhr (18 Dec 1943 – 23 Dec 1943)
  • Rügen 6 (23 Dec 1943 – 28 Dec 1943)
  • Rügen 7 (28 Dec 1943 – 2 Jan 1944)
  • Rügen 6 (2 Jan 1944 – 5 Jan 1944)
  • Preussen (4 Mar 1944 – 15 Mar 1944)

Convoy ON 166[edit]

In a determined attack, between 22:00 on 23 February 1943 and daybreak the following morning, U-653, together with U-92, U-600 and U-628, came in one after the other against Convoy ON 166.

U-653 fired seven torpedoes at, and missed, the British freighter Delilian, but succeeded in striking the 9,382-GRT Dutch motor vessel Madoera. Against the odds, Madoera stayed afloat and reached St. John’s seven days later, but not before some of her crew had abandoned ship and made for the lifeboats. This resulted in the Dutch ship’s chief officer being captured by U-591.

Fate[edit]

U-653 was sunk on 15 March 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 53°46′N 24°35′W / 53.767°N 24.583°W / 53.767; -24.583, by depth charges from Fleet Air Arm Swordfish, HMS Starling and HMS Wild Goose. All hands were lost.

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[2]
28 February 1942 Leif  Norway 1,582 Sunk
17 May 1942 Peisander  United Kingdom 6,225 Sunk
7 June 1942 USS Gannet  United States Navy 840 Sunk
24 February 1943 Madoera  Netherlands 9,382 Damaged
12 March 1943 Thomas Hooker  United States 7,176 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "The Type VIIC boat U-653 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "U-653 successes". UBoat.net. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
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. 
  • 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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. pp. 161, 168. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]