German submarine U-259

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-259
Ordered: 23 December 1939
Builder: Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack
Yard number: 24
Laid down: 25 March 1941
Launched: 30 December 1941
Commissioned: 18 February 1942
Fate: Sunk, 15 November 1942[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
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; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[2][3]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Klaus Köpke
  • 18 February 1942 – 15 November 1942
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 29 August – 5 October 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 5–15 November 1942
Victories: None

German submarine U-259 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 25 March 1941 at the Bremer Vulkan yard at Bremen-Vegesack, launched on 30 December 1941, and commissioned on 18 February 1942 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Klaus Köpke. After training with the 5th U-boat Flotilla at Kiel, U-259 was transferred to the 3rd U-boat Flotilla, based at La Pallice, France, for front-line service from 1 September 1942.

U-259 sank no ships in her short career, and was sunk off North Africa on 15 November 1942, during her second combat patrol, by a British Hudson bomber.[2]

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-259 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[4] She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[4]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[4] When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-259 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[4]

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-259 sailed from Kiel on 29 August 1942, and headed out into the mid-Atlantic, joining Wolfpack Lohs from 3 to 22 September, and Wolfpack Blitz from 22 to 25 September, but had no success. The U-boat arrived at La Pallice on 5 October after 38 days at sea.[5]

2nd patrol[edit]

U-259 departed La Pallice on 5 November 1942 as part of Wolfpack Delphin, entered the Mediterranean Sea through the Strait of Gibraltar, and joined Wolfpack Wal on 12 November.

Sinking[edit]

On 15 November the U-boat was attacked by a British Hudson light bomber of No. 500 Squadron RAF, north of Algiers, in position 37°20′N 3°5′E / 37.333°N 3.083°E / 37.333; 3.083Coordinates: 37°20′N 3°5′E / 37.333°N 3.083°E / 37.333; 3.083. U-259 was sunk with all 48 hands when one of the depth charges dropped by the aircraft exploded on contact with the U-boat. The blast also crippled the aircraft, forcing the crew to bail out. Only the pilot and one crewman were rescued by the British sloops HMS Erne and HMS Leith.[2][6]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-259 took part in four wolfpacks, namely.

  • Lohs (13–22 September 1942)
  • Blitz (22–25 September 1942)
  • Delphin (5–12 November 1942)
  • Wal (12–15 November 1942)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 96.
  2. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-259". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-259". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-259 from 29 August 1942 to 5 October 1942". U-boat patrols - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-259 from 5 Nov 1942 to 15 Nov 1942". U-boat patrols - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 

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. 
  • Bishop, Chris (2006). Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939-45. London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-904687-96-2. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-259". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 259". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.