German submarine U-147 (1940)

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-147
Ordered: 25 September 1939
Builder: Deutsche Werke, Kiel
Yard number: 276
Laid down: 10 April 1940
Launched: 16 November 1940[1]
Commissioned: 11 December 1940[1]
Fate: Sunk by British warships on 2 June 1941[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: IID
Type: Coastal submarine
Displacement:
  • 314 t (309 long tons) surfaced
  • 364 t (358 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 4.92 m (16 ft 2 in) o/a
  • 4.00 m (13 ft 1 in) pressure hull
Height: 8.40 m (27 ft 7 in)
Draught: 3.93 m (12 ft 11 in)
Installed power:
  • 700 PS (510 kW; 690 bhp) (diesels)
  • 410 PS (300 kW; 400 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Range:
  • 3,450 nmi (6,390 km; 3,970 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
  • 56 nmi (104 km; 64 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 80 m (260 ft)
Complement: 3 officers, 22 men
Armament:
Service record[2][3]
Part of:
Commanders:
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 22 February - 12 March 1941
  • 2nd patrol: 16 April - 11 May 1941
  • 3rd patrol: 24 May - 2 June 1941
Victories:
  • Two ships sunk (6,145 GRT)
  • One ship damaged (4,996 GRT)
  • One ship a total loss (2,491 GRT)

German submarine U-147 was a Type IID U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was laid down on 10 April 1940 at Deutsche Werke in Kiel as yard number 276, launched on 16 November 1940 and commissioned on 11 December under the command of Kapitänleutnant Reinhard Hardegen.[2]

Design[edit]

German Type IID submarines were enlarged versions of the original Type IIs. U-147 had a displacement of 314 tonnes (309 long tons) when at the surface and 364 tonnes (358 long tons) while submerged. Officially, the standard tonnage was 250 long tons (250 t), however.[4] The U-boat had a total length of 43.97 m (144 ft 3 in), a pressure hull length of 29.80 m (97 ft 9 in), a beam of 4.92 m (16 ft 2 in), a height of 8.40 m (27 ft 7 in), and a draught of 3.93 m (12 ft 11 in). The submarine was powered by two MWM RS 127 S four-stroke, six-cylinder diesel engines of 700 metric horsepower (510 kW; 690 shp) for cruising, two Siemens-Schuckert PG VV 322/36 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 410 metric horsepower (300 kW; 400 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 0.85 m (3 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 80–150 metres (260–490 ft).[4]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 12.7 knots (23.5 km/h; 14.6 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.4 knots (13.7 km/h; 8.5 mph).[4] When submerged, the boat could operate for 35–42 nautical miles (65–78 km; 40–48 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 3,800 nautical miles (7,000 km; 4,400 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-147 was fitted with three 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes at the bow, five torpedoes or up to twelve Type A torpedo mines, and a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of 25.[4]

Operational career[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-147's first patrol was preceded by a short trip from Kiel to Bergen in Norway in February 1941. She then left the Nordic port on 22 February and headed for the Atlantic north and west of Scotland. She sank the Norwegian freighter Augvald a straggler from convoy HX-109, about 72 nmi (133 km; 83 mi) north north-west of Ness in the Outer Hebrides on 2 March. Following this patrol Hardegen took command of U-123 and was succeeded by his first watch officer, Eberhard Wetjen.[5]

She arrived back in Kiel on 12 March.

2nd patrol[edit]

The boat's second foray was similar to her first, except it started from Kiel. She sank another Norwegian ship, Rimfakse, about 130 nmi (240 km; 150 mi) north-west of Scotland on 27 April 1941. She sank no other ships and put in to Bergen on 11 May.[3]

3rd patrol and loss[edit]

U-147's third and final patrol began on 24 May 1941. A week later, she torpedoed the British freighter Gravelines northwest of the Bloody Foreland (western Ireland), which broke in two and was declared a total loss; the forward part of the ship was towed to the Clyde and scrapped. On 2 June U-147 encountered convoy OB-239 near the African coast and attacked alone (a decision which historian Clay Blair described as "bold"). She damaged one ship, (Mokambo), before being sunk with all hands by a British destroyer, HMS Wanderer and a corvette, HMS Periwinkle.[3][6]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Ships attacked by U-147[7]
Date Ship Nationality Tonnage (GRT) Convoy Fate and location
2 March 1941 Augvald  Norway 4,811 HX-109 Sunk at 59°30′N 07°30′W / 59.500°N 7.500°W / 59.500; -7.500 (Augvald (ship))
27 April 1941 Rimfakse  Norway 1,334 Sunk at 60°10′N 08°54′W / 60.167°N 8.900°W / 60.167; -8.900 (Rimfakse (ship))
31 May 1941 Gravelines  United Kingdom 2,491 HX-127 Declared a total loss; stern sank at 56°0′N 11°13′W / 56.000°N 11.217°W / 56.000; -11.217 (Gravelines (ship))
2 June 1941 Mokambo  Belgium 4,996 OB-329 Damaged at 56°38′N 10°24′W / 56.633°N 10.400°W / 56.633; -10.400 (Mokambo (ship))

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kemp 1999, p. 70
  2. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IID boat U-147". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  3. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-147". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 39–40.
  5. ^ Blair 1996, pp. 248, 302.
  6. ^ Blair 1996, p. 307.
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-147". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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: The Hunters 1939–1942. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-58839-8. 
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed – German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IID boat U-147". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 147". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 30 January 2015.