German submarine U-160 (1941)

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U-505chicago.jpg
U-505, a typical Type IXC boat
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-160
Ordered: 23 December 1939
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 1010
Laid down: 21 November 1940
Launched: 12 July 1941
Commissioned: 16 October 1941
Fate: Sunk on 14 July 1943
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:
  • Kptlt. Georg Lassen
  • 16 October 1941 – 14 June 1943
  • Oblt.z.S. Gerd von Pommer-Esche
  • 15 June 1943 – 14 July 1943
Operations: Five patrols
Victories:
  • 26 ships sunk for a total of 156,082 GRT
  • five ships damaged of 34,419 GRT

German submarine U-160 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 November 1940 at the DeSchiMAG AG Weser yard in Bremen, Germany as yard number 1010. She was launched on 12 July 1941 and commissioned on 16 October under the command of Kapitänleutnant Georg Lassen (Knight's Cross).

The U-boat's service began in training with the 4th U-boat Flotilla. She lost seven men and one was injured in a fire on 14 December 1941 at Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland).[1] She then moved to the 10th flotilla on 1 March 1942 for operations.

She sank 26 ships, totalling 156,082 gross register tons (GRT) and damaged five more, for 34,419 tons. She was sunk by American carrier-borne aircraft in July 1943.

Design[edit]

German Type IXC submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXBs. U-160 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-160 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]

Before starting on her first patrol, U-160 made a brief journey from Wilhelmshaven to Helgoland on 24 February 1942.

1st and 2nd patrols[edit]

She departed the German island on 1 March 1942, crossed the North Sea entered the Atlantic Ocean via the Faroe / Shetland gap and headed for the US east coast. Her first victim was Equipoise, sunk on 27 March 1942 60 nautical miles (110 km; 69 mi) southeast of Cape Henry, Virginia. The confusion of the sinking was not helped by there being nationals from at least ten countries among the crew. The boat went on to successfully attack City of New York, Rio Blanco and Ulysses. One ship that did not sink was Bidwell; indeed, she survived the war, not being broken up until 1965.

U-160's second foray saw the boat leave Lorient on 20 June 1942. She crossed the Atlantic again but made for the northern coast of South America. The pickings were just as rich here as they had been further north. Sinking Beaconlight, Carmona and theTreminnard, who were all sailing without an escort, was accomplished within 200 nmi (370 km; 230 mi) of Trinidad. She also damaged Thorshavet, an 11,000 tonner, with torpedo and gun on 4 August 1942. The drifting wreck was subsequently sunk by the Italian submarine Enrico Tazzoli on 6 August. U-160 returned to Lorient on the 24th.

3rd patrol[edit]

It was during her third patrol that the boat almost came to grief. She was attacked by the escorts of a convoy on 16 October 1942.; but the damage was slight. The submarine returned to her former hunting grounds off South America and sank Gypsum Express and Leda to name but two.

4th patrol[edit]

Her fourth sortie was her longest, at 125 days, but also her most successful. Moving into the south Atlantic, she sank Roger B. Taney on 8 February. She then attacked and sank Nipura, Empire Mahseer and Marietta E. east of South Africa. Also lost with Marietta E. were eight landing craft. Other ships were also sunk. When the submariners questioned the survivors of Aelbryn, they misunderstood the ship's name, reporting it as Arian, an American vessel.

5th patrol and loss[edit]

By now she was based in Bordeaux, from which she departed on 29 June 1943. She was sunk by TBM Avenger and F4F Wildcat aircraft from the carrier USS Santee south of the Azores on 14 July 1943.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
27 March 1942 Equipoise  Panama 6,210 Sunk
29 March 1942 City of New York  United States 8,272 Sunk
1 April 1942 Rio Blanco  United Kingdom 4,086 Sunk
6 April 1942 Bidwell  United States 6,837 Damaged
9 April 1942 Malchace  United States 3,516 Sunk
11 April 1942 Ulysses  United Kingdom 14,647 Sunk
16 July 1942 Beaconlight  Panama 6,926 Sunk
18 July 1942 Carmona  Panama 5,496 Sunk
21 July 1942 Donovonia  United Kingdom 8,149 Sunk
25 July 1942 Telamon  Netherlands 2,078 Sunk
29 July 1942 Prescodoc  Canada 1,938 Sunk
2 August 1942 Treminnard  United Kingdom 4,694 Sunk
4 August 1942 Havsten  Norway 6,161 Damaged
9 October 1942 Coloradan  United States 6,557 Sunk
16 October 1942 HMS Castle Harbour  Royal Navy 730 Sunk
16 October 1942 Winona  United States 6,197 Damaged
3 November 1942 Chr. J. Kampmann  Canada 2,260 Sunk
3 November 1942 Gypsum Express  United Kingdom 4,034 Sunk
3 November 1942 Leda  Panama 8,546 Sunk
3 November 1942 Thorshavet  Norway 11,015 Sunk
6 November 1942 Arica  United Kingdom 5,431 Sunk
11 November 1942 City of Ripon  United Kingdom 6,368 Sunk
21 November 1942 Bintang  Netherlands 6,481 Sunk
8 February 1943 Roger B. Taney  United States 7,191 Sunk
3 March 1943 Harvey W. Scott  United States 7,176 Sunk
3 March 1943 Nipura  United Kingdom 5,961 Sunk
3 March 1943 Tibia  Netherlands 10,356 Damaged
3 March 1943 Nipura  United Kingdom 5,961 Sunk
3 March 1943 Empire Mahseer  United Kingdom 5,087 Sunk
4 March 1943 Marietta E.  United Kingdom 7,628 Sunk
4 March 1943 Sheaf Crown  United Kingdom 4,868 Damaged
8 March 1943 James B. Stephens  United States 7,176 Sunk
11 March 1943 Aelbryn  United Kingdom 4,986 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC boat U-160". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 68.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-160". 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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC boat U-160". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 160". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 7 December 2014.