German submarine U-260

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-260
Ordered: 23 December 1939
Builder: Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack
Yard number: 25
Laid down: 7 May 1941
Launched: 9 February 1942
Commissioned: 14 March 1942
Fate: Scuttled, 12 March 1945[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. Hubertus Purkhold
  • 14 March 1942 – April 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Klaus Becker
  • April 1944 – 12 March 1945
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 10 September – 15 November 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 14 December 1942 – 3 February 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 12 March – 22 May 1943
  • 4th patrol: 25 August – 24 October 1943
  • 5th patrol: 18 December 1943 – 27 February 1944
  • 6th patrol: 6–16 June 1944
  • 7th patrol: 7–13 August 1944
  • 8th patrol: 3 September – 17 October 1944
  • 9th patrol: 18 February – 12 March 1945
Victories: 1 commercial ship sunk (4,893 GRT)

German submarine U-260 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. Her keel was laid down 7 May 1941 by Bremer Vulkan, of Bremen-Vegesack. She was commissioned 14 March 1942 with Kapitänleutnant Herbertus Purkhold in command.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-260 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-260 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]

U-260 conducted nine patrols in total. On her second, U-260 was part of Spitz wolfpack[5] which attacked Convoy ON-154, making contact with the convoy on 28 December 1942, and sinking the 4,893 ton British freighter Empire Wagtail (lost with all hands – 43 dead).[6] This was the only ship sunk by U-260.

Purkhold was relieved in April 1944 by Oberleutnant zur See Klaus Becker. Becker commanded the boat until March 1945.

On 12 March 1945, U-260 was scuttled south of neutral Ireland, in position 51°15′N 09°05′W / 51.250°N 9.083°W / 51.250; -9.083, after sustaining mine damage. The minefield had been laid by HMS Apollo, an Abdiel-class minelayer.

After the sinking, a sealed container of papers floated to the surface. A British expert flew to Cork to examine them.[7]

The crew of five officers and 48 crew were interned in Ireland for the remainder of the war. In her entire career, U-260 suffered no casualties to her crew.

Post war[edit]

The wreck site of U-260 was discovered in 1975 by local fisherman Colin Barnes after snagging nets, although it was presumed that the wreck of Counsellor (sunk due to a mine in 1917) was in the area. A friend of Mr Barnes, Joe Barry, dived on the noted position and discovered the U-boat rather than the expected cargo ship.

U-260 currently lies in about 40–45 metres (131–148 ft) of water approximately seven kilometres south of Glandore, and is a popular scuba diving site from Baltimore, County Cork and Union Hall.

There is recent speculation that U-260 did not actually strike a mine, but instead struck an underwater pinnacle (now known as '78 Rock' but which was uncharted at the time) leading to its damaged state.

On 1 July 2014, two divers got into trouble whilst exploring the wreck, the bodies of both of them were later recovered.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-260 took part in 16 wolfpacks, namely.

  • Blitz (22–26 September 1942)
  • Tiger (26–30 September 1942)
  • Luchs (1–6 October 1942)
  • Panther (6–11 October 1942)
  • Südwärts (24–26 October 1942)
  • Spitz (22–31 December 1942)
  • Seeteufel (21–30 March 1943)
  • Löwenherz (1–10 April 1943)
  • Lerche (10–15 April 1943)
  • Specht (21 April – 4 May 1943)
  • Fink (4–6 May 1943)
  • Leuthen (15–24 September 1943)
  • Rossbach (24 September – 7 October 1943)
  • Rügen 6 (28 December 1943 – 2 January 1944)
  • Rügen 5 (2–7 January 1944)
  • Rügen (7–11 January 1944)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage Fate[8]
28 December 1942 Empire Wagtail  United Kingdom 4,893 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 237.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-260". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-260". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  5. ^ Rohwer & Hummelchen 1992 p.183
  6. ^ Hague 2000 p.135
  7. ^ Bourke, Edward. Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast. 2. p. 197. ISBN 0952302713. 
  8. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-260". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. pp. 136, 137, 176, 217. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • 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. 
  • Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-019-3. 
  • Rohwer, J.; Hummelchen, G. (1992). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-105-X. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]