German submarine U-158 (1941)

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-158.
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-158
Ordered: 25 September 1939
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 1000
Laid down: 1 October 1940
Launched: 21 June 1941[1]
Commissioned: 25 September 1941[1]
Fate: Sunk 30 June 1942, west of Bermuda, by a US aircraft[1]
General characteristics [2]
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
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 PS (4,340 shp; 3,236 kW)
2 × SSW 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 PS (986 shp; 735 kW)
Speed: 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) surfaced
7.7 knots (14.3 km/h; 8.9 mph) submerged
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: 48 to 56
Armament:
Service record[3]
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(25 September 1941–31 January 1942)
10th U-boat Flotilla
(1 February 1942–30 June 1942)
Commanders: Kptlt. Erwin Rostin
(25 September 1941–30 June 1942)
Operations: Two patrols
Victories: 17 ships sunk for a total of 101,321 GRT
Two ships damaged for a total of 15,264 GRT

German submarine U-158 was a Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II.

Her keel was laid down on 1 November 1940 by DeSchiMAG AG Weser in Bremen as yard number 1000. She was commissioned on 25 September 1941, with Kapitänleutnant Erwin Rostin (Knights Cross) in command.[3]

Career[edit]

U-158 conducted only two combat patrols, sinking 17 ships totalling 101,321 gross register tons (GRT) and damaging two others totalling 15,264 tons.[3]

1st patrol[edit]

U-158 departed the German administered island of Helgoland, (sometimes spelt 'Heligoland'), for her first patrol on 7 February 1942. Her route took her north of the British Isles, through the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean.

Her first victim was Empire Celt, sunk about 420 nmi (780 km; 480 mi) south southeast of St Johns on 24 February. The ship broke in two after being hit, the stern section was last seen on 4 March. In the same attack, the U-boat also damaged Diloma. This tanker was able to proceed under her own power at reduced speed. She was repaired in Baltimore and returned to service in June 1942.

The submarine then moved further down the US east coast. She sank another four ships and damaged one more, they were: Finnanger (1 March), Caribsea (11 March), John D. Gill (13 March), Olean (damaged on 15 March) and Ario (also on 15 March).[4]

John D. Gill was another tanker; her cargo did not ignite on being hit by a torpedo. Instead, the surrounding water was turned into a blazing inferno by a seaman who subsequently threw a life ring overboard, its built-in carbide lamp had functioned. Almost half the crew died.

Olean was towed to Hampton Roads, rebuilt and renamed as Sweep and returned to service.[5]

Having caused so much mayhem, the boat sailed for France, arriving at Lorient on 31 March 1942.

2nd patrol[edit]

For her second foray, U-158 moved into the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico in May 1942. On the way she sank Darina about 500 nmi (930 km; 580 mi) east southeast of Bermuda on 4 May and Frank B. Baird on the 22nd.[6]

Following the sinking of Knoxville City on 2 June, the survivors in their lifeboats declined an offer of help from Jamaica as they thought the German submarine was still nearby.

The Hermis, despite being hit by two torpedoes on the 7th, maintained a speed of eight knots due to the engines still running. The U-boat surfaced and shelled the ship. She was observed some twelve hours later with her stern out of the water; she eventually sank shortly afterward.

Fate[edit]

U-158 was sunk on 30 June 1942, west of the Bermudas, in position 32°50′N 67°28′W / 32.833°N 67.467°W / 32.833; -67.467Coordinates: 32°50′N 67°28′W / 32.833°N 67.467°W / 32.833; -67.467, by depth charges from a PBM Mariner aircraft commanded by Richard Schreder of United States Navy Squadron VP-74. None of her 54 crewmen on board survived the sinking.[1][3]

Summary of raiding career[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[7]
24 February 1942 Diloma  United Kingdom 8,146 Damaged
24 February 1942 Empire Celt  United Kingdom 8,032 Sunk
1 March 1942 Finnager  Norway 9,551 Sunk
11 March 1942 Caribsea  United States 2,609 Sunk
13 March 1942 John D. Gill  United States 11,641 Sunk
15 March 1942 Ario  United States 6,952 Sunk
15 March 1942 Olean  United States 7,118 Damaged
20 May 1942 Darina  United Kingdom 8,113 Sunk
22 May 1942 Frank D. Baird  Canada 1,748 Sunk
2 June 1942 Knoxville City  United States 5,686 Sunk
4 June 1942 Nidarnes  Norway 2,647 Sunk
5 June 1942 Velma Lykes  United States 2,572 Sunk
7 June 1942 Hermis  Panama 5,234 Sunk
11 June 1942 Sheherazade  Panama 13,467 Sunk
12 June 1942 Cities Service Toledo  United States 8,192 Sunk
17 June 1942 Moira  Norway 1,560 Sunk
17 June 1942 San Blas  Panama 3,601 Sunk
23 June 1942 Major General Henry Gibbins  United States Navy 5,766 Sunk
23 June 1942 Everalda  Latvia 3,950 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Kemp 1999, p. 83.
  2. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 105-7.
  3. ^ a b c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC boat U-158". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-158". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "John D. Gill". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War patrols of German U-boat U-153". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-158". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 

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. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). Ships hit by U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). Ships hit by U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]