German submarine U-270

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-270
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: Bremer-Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen
Yard number: 35
Laid down: 15 October 1941
Launched: 11 July 1942
Commissioned: 5 September 1942
Fate: Sunk, in August 1944 in the Bay of Biscay, by an Australian aircraft[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 metric tons (757 long tons; 848 short tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons; 960 short 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. Paul-Frederich Otto
  • 5 September 1942 – 15 July 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Heinrich Schreiber
  • 16 July – 13 August 1944
Operations:
  • Six patrols:
  • 23 March – 15 May 1943
  • 26 June – 2 July 1943
  • 7 September – 6 October 1943
  • 8 December 1943 – 17 January 1944
  • 6–17 June 1944
  • 10–13 August 1944
Victories: One warship declared a total loss, 1,370 GRT

German submarine U-270 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 15 October 1941 at the Bremer-Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft (yard) in Bremen as yard number 35. She was launched on 11 July 1942 and commissioned on 5 September under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Paul-Fredrich Otto.[2]

In six patrols, she caused one British warship of 1,370 gross register tons (GRT) to be declared a total loss. She was a member of seven wolfpacks.

She was sunk in August 1944 in the Bay of Biscay by an Australian aircraft.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-270 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-270 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]

After training with the 8th U-boat Flotilla, the boat became operational on 1 April 1943 when she was transferred to the 6th flotilla.

1st and 2nd patrols[edit]

U-270's first patrol began when she departed Kiel on 23 March 1943. She entered the Atlantic Ocean after negotiating the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Two crew members were injured in bad weather on 4 April. She then docked at the French Atlantic port of St. Nazaire on 15 May.

For her second sortie, the boat moved through the Atlantic waters off northwest Spain.

3rd and 4th patrols[edit]

She attacked the British frigate HMS Lagan which caused the warship to be declared a total loss. During an attack on a convoy in mid-Atlantic, the boat's pressure hull was cracked by depth charges dropped by the escorts; the submarine was forced to return to base.

U-270 was attacked by a British B-17 Flying Fortress on 6 January 1944 and succeeded in shooting the aircraft down, but not before sufficient damage was caused to force the U-boat to curtail the patrol.

5th patrol[edit]

The submarine was returning to base after being attacked and badly damaged by a Vickers Wellington of No. 172 Squadron RAF, when she was attacked by a second Fortress, this time from 53 Squadron. This B-17 was also shot down, but did not cause any further damage to the boat.

6th patrol and loss[edit]

U-270 departed Lorient for the last time on 10 August 1944. In the Bay of Biscay, she was attacked and sunk by an Australian Sunderland flying boat of No. 461 Squadron RAAF on the 13th.

There were no deaths; seventy-one men survived.The German version of U 270 reports of 10 men dead and 71 survived; the boat was overloaded with staff, being evacuated.U 270

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-270 took part in seven wolfpacks, namely.

  • Löwenherz (4–10 April 1943)
  • Lerche (10–16 April 1943)
  • Specht (21 April - 4 May 1943)
  • Fink (4–5 May 1943)
  • Leuthen (15–23 September 1943)
  • Borkum (18 December 1943 - 3 January 1944)
  • Borkum 1 (3–6 January 1944)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[5]
20 September 1943 HMS Lagan  Royal Navy 1,370 Total loss

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 210.
  2. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-270". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-270". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-270". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 5 October 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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. pp. 216, 217, 219, 220. 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. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-270". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 270". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.