German submarine U-978

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-978
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Laid down: 24 July 1942
Launched: 1 April 1943
Commissioned: 12 May 1943
Fate: sunk on 11 December 1945 during Operation Deadlight.
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 × 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 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (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
Part of: Kriegsmarine:
5th U-boat Flotilla
3rd U-boat Flotilla
11th U-boat Flotilla
Victories: 1 ship damaged ; 7,176 gross register tons (GRT)

German submarine U-978 was a World War II Type VIIC U-boat operated by Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine . She holds the distiniction of having completed the longest underwater patrol of World War II.

Service history[edit]

U-978 was commissioned on 12 May 1943 and assigned to 5th U-boat Flotilla for crew training. On 1 August 1944, U-978 was assigned to 3rd U-boat Flotilla for operational service, and completed one patrol with that unit. On 4 September 1944 she was ordered to 11th U-boat Flotilla, beginning service on 5 September. During her second war patrol, U-978 completed the longest underwater Schnorchel patrol of World War II, lasting 68 days.[1] The record-breaking patrol began on 9 October 1944 when she left Bergen, Norway and ended on 16 December when she returned to Bergen from her patrol. Note that the famed underwater patrol of U-977, during her surrender to Argentina, was not the longest, as sometimes stated, it lasted at most 66 days. During her two patrols U-978, did not sink any ships, but damaged one ship beyond repair, which totalled 7,176 GRT.

Fate[edit]

U-978 survived the war as did her whole crew, and was surrendered at Trondheim on 8 May 1945. She was sunk on 11 December 1945 during Operation Deadlight by torpedoes at location 55°50′N 10°05′W / 55.833°N 10.083°W / 55.833; -10.083.

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage (GRT) Fate[2]
23 November 1944 William D. Burnham  United States 7,176 Total Loss

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Bishop, p.116.
  2. ^ "Ships hit by U-978". 
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. 
  • Bishop, C. Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939 –45. Amber Books, 2006.

External links[edit]