German submarine U-154 (1941)

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For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-154.
U-505chicago.jpg
U-505, a typical Type IXC boat
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-154
Ordered: 25 September 1939
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 996
Laid down: 21 September 1940
Launched: 21 April 1941
Commissioned: 1 August 1941
Fate: Sunk on 3 July 1944[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXC submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,120 t (1,100 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,232 t (1,213 long tons) submerged
Length:
  • 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in) o/a
  • 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in) pressure hull
Beam:
  • 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in) o/a
  • 4.40 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in)
Installed power:
  • 4,400 PS (3,200 kW; 4,300 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Range:
  • 13,450 nmi (24,910 km; 15,480 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 64 nmi (119 km; 74 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 44 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • K.Kapt. Walther Kölle
  • 2 August – 7 October 1942
  • Heinrich Schuh
  • 7 October 1942 – 8 February 1943
  • Oblt.z.S. Oskar-Heinz Kusch
  • 8 February 1943 – 21 January 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Gerth Cemeiner
  • 22 January – 3 July 1944
Operations: Eight patrols
Victories:
  • 10 ships sunk for a total of 49,288 GRT
  • 2 ships damaged for a total of 15,771 tons
  • 1 ship declared a total loss, for 8,166 tons

German submarine U-154 was a Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II. The keel for this boat was laid down on 21 September 1940 at the DeSchiMAG AG Weser yard in Bremen, Germany as yard number 996. She was launched on 21 April 1941 and commissioned on 2 August under the command of Korvettenkapitän Walther Kölle.

The submarine began her service life with training as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla; moving on to the 2nd flotilla for operations. She conducted eight patrols, sinking ten ships.

She was sunk by American destroyers in July 1944.

Design[edit]

German Type IXC submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXBs. U-154 had a displacement of 1,120 tonnes (1,100 long tons) when at the surface and 1,232 tonnes (1,213 long tons) while submerged.[2] The U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW; 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 metric horsepower (740 kW; 990 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[2]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph).[2] When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 13,450 nautical miles (24,910 km; 15,480 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-154 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.[2]

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

The boat's first patrol began with her departure from Kiel on 7 February 1942. She headed for the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland via the gap between the Faroe and Shetland Islands. She docked at Lorient in occupied France, on 1 March.

2nd patrol[edit]

For her second sortie, she sailed to the Caribbean, sinking Como Rico on 4 April 1942, about 225 nmi (417 km; 259 mi) north of St. Juan, in Puerto Rico. Her success continued with the sinking of Catahoula, Delvalle, Empire Amethyst and Vineland, all near Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

3rd, 4th and 5th patrols[edit]

Her third patrol saw her cross the Atlantic once more. She sank Tillie Lykes on 28 June 1942, about 100 nmi (190 km; 120 mi) south of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and Lalita, using the deck gun, in the Yucatan Channel on 6 July.

One of the boat's victims on this, her fourth patrol, was Nurmahal. She was sunk on 9 November 1942 300 nmi (560 km; 350 mi) east of Martinique "in less than thirty seconds."[3] Another was Tower Grange, sunk 250 nmi (460 km; 290 mi) off Cayenne in French Guiana.

Having made the short trip from Lorient to Brest, the submarine's fifth foray was her longest (109 days) and second most successful. Amongst many others, she attacked Florida. Although the ship had her back broken on 28 May 1943, she was eventually repaired.

6th, 7th and 8th patrols and loss[edit]

She departed on patrol number six on 2 October 1943. U-154 was attacked by an unidentified PBY Catalina flying boat on 3 November; she was also twice attacked on the 22nd. None caused any damage. The boat returned to Lorient on 20 December.

She was then attacked on 13 March 1944, possibly by the US Navy patrol boat PC 469 north of the Panama Canal; only minor damage was sustained. U-154 was also engaged on the 29th of the same month by the Colombian Navy destroyer Caldas. She returned to France, again to Lorient, on 28 April 1944.

U-154 was sunk by the US destroyers USS Inch and Frost northwest of Madeira on 3 July 1944.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-154 took part in one wolfpack, namely.

  • Südwärts (24–26 October 1942)

Postscript[edit]

Oblt.z.S. Oskar-Heinz Kusch, who had commanded the boat in 1943 and the first month of 1944 and successfully attacked three ships, was court-martialled and shot in 1944, having been reported by his first officer,[4] Ulrich Abel, for "Wehrkraftzersetzung" (sedition and defeatism). Ulrich Abel gained his own command U-193 but will killed when it was sunk in April 1944. It was not until the 1990s that Kusch's legal record was wiped clean and a memorial to his memory was erected.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[5]
4 April 1942 Comol Rico  United States 5,034 Sunk
5 April 1942 Catahoula  United States 5,030 Sunk
12 April 1942 Delvalle  United States 5,032 Sunk
13 April 1942 Empire Amethyst  United Kingdom 8,032 Sunk
20 April 1942 Vineland  Canada 5,587 Sunk
28 June 1942 Tillie Lykes  United States 2,572 Sunk
6 July 1942 Lalita  Panama 65 Sunk
8 November 1942 D'Entrecasteaux  United Kingdom 7,291 Sunk
9 November 1942 Nurmahal  United Kingdom 5,419 Sunk
18 November 1942 Tower Grange  United Kingdom 5,226 Sunk
28 May 1943 Cardinal Gibbons  United States 7,191 Damaged
28 May 1943 Florida  United States 8,580 Damaged
28 May 1943 John Worthington  United States 8,166 Total loss

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, pp. 200-1.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 68.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-154". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Sharpe 1998 p.53-54
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-154". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • 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. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Earl Shilton: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC boat U-154". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 154". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 7 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 34°00′N 19°18′W / 34.000°N 19.300°W / 34.000; -19.300