German submarine U-958

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-958
Ordered: 10 April 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Laid down: 10 March 1942
Launched: 21 November 1942
Commissioned: 1 January 1943
Fate: Scuttled, 3 May 1945
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) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44–52 officers & ratings
Armament: 5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (4 bow, 1 stern)
14 × torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun (220 rounds)
Various AA guns
Service record
Part of: 55th U-boat Flotilla
(14 January 1943–31 July 1944)
8th U-boat Flotilla
(1 August 1944–15 February 1945)
5th U-boat Flotilla
(16 February–3 May 1945)
Commanders: Kptlt. Gerhard Groth
(14 January 1943–25 April 1945)
Oblt.z.S. Friedrich Stege
(26 April–3 May 1945)
Operations: 1st patrol: 22–27 May 1944
2nd patrol: 3–23 June 1944
3rd patrol: 7 September–11 October 1944
4th patrol: 13 October–17 December 1944
Victories: 1 commercial ship sunk (40 GRT)
1 commercial ship damaged (40 GRT)

German submarine U-958 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The U-boat was mainly used for training purposes until losses in other theatres prompted her relocation to operate from Norway and then against Soviet shipping in the Northern Baltic Sea.

Built in Hamburg and completed in January 1943, U-958 was given to Kapitänleutnant Gerhard Groth, who remained with the boat for her whole operational lifespan. Earmarked for training duties in the Baltic, U-958 was based in Kiel and helped prepare other boats for operational service, as well as training up potential commanders and officers and honing tactical and operational techniques. She fulfilled this duty for the whole of 1943, before huge losses in the Battle of the Atlantic forced her to be deployed from Bergen, Norway.

War patrols[edit]

Just four days after leaving Bergen on her first patrol designed to catch Allied submarines, minelayers and other craft operating off Norwegian waters, U-958 was seen and attacked by Mosquito aircraft of 333 (Norwegian) Squadron of the Royal Air Force. Their rocket and strafing attacks killed one sailor and wounded two more, forcing the boat's early return to Bergen.

A second patrol lasted twenty days amongst the fjords of Norway during June 1944, but without success, failing to find a target. The boat returned to her training duties for a short time, but was still needed in an offensive capacity, and was returned to the Baltic in the summer of 1944.

Her third patrol began on 7 September 1944, and she was tasked with operating in the Northern Baltic along the Finnish coastline. Not only was this area now being used by Soviet naval and civil shipping supplying the war zones in the Baltic states, but it also was used by Finnish vessels. During the patrol the rules of engagement with Finnish shipping changed, as Finland, once an ally of Germany, had agreed a separate peace with the Soviet Union, and was now fighting German troops on their soil in the Lapland War.

Although this patrol was a failure, soon after her return on the 11 September U-958 was sent back to the same area. This time she was to cover the withdrawal of German forces from Finland, as well as an attempt to exact some revenge on Finnish shipping. This allowed U-958 her only victories, when she torpedoed the two small Finnish coastal sailing craft Linnea and Piikio on the 24 October.[1]

Following this fourth patrol, U-958 was pulled back to Kiel and did not conduct any more offensive operations, limited by fuel and opportunity.

Fate[edit]

In April 1945, most of her crew were split up and sent to other boats to replace losses, and on the 3 May, the skeleton crew which remained, took her out into Kiel roadstead and scuttled her to prevent her falling into Allied hands. Two years later the wreck was pulled from the seabed and sold for scrap.

Summary of Raiding career[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
24 October 1944 Linnea  Finland 40 Sunk
24 October 1944 Piikio  Finland 40 Damaged

References[edit]

Notes
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. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]