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 & 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 four miles 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 the 1st of 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]

  • 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]