German submarine U-259
|Ordered:||23 December 1939|
|Builder:||Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack|
|Laid down:||25 March 1941|
|Launched:||30 December 1941|
|Commissioned:||18 February 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk, 15 November 1942|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
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.
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. 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).
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). 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.
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.
On 15 November the U-boat was attacked by a British Hudson light bomber of No. 500 Squadron RAF, north of Algiers, in position Coordinates: . 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.
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)
- Kemp 1999, p. 96.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-259". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-259". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.