German submarine U-300
|Ordered:||23 March 1942|
|Builder:||Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack|
|Laid down:||9 April 1943|
|Launched:||23 November 1943|
|Commissioned:||29 December 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk, 22 February 1945 by British warships|
|Class & type:||Type VIIC/41 submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draft:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
The submarine was laid down on 9 April 1943 by the Bremer Vulkan yard at Bremen-Vegesack as yard number 65. She was launched on 23 November 1943, and commissioned on 29 December 1943 under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Fritz Hein. U-300 served with the 8th U-boat Flotilla for training, the 7th U-boat Flotilla from 1 August 1944 to 30 September 1944 and the 11th U-boat Flotilla from 1 October 1944 to 22 February 1945 for operations. She carried out three patrols, sinking two ships, and damaged two more before she was sunk on 22 February 1945 off Cadiz, Spain.
German Type VIIC/41 submarines were preceded by the heavier Type VIIC submarines. U-300 had a displacement of 759 tonnes (747 long tons) when at the surface and 860 tonnes (850 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-300 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-300 departed Horten, Norway, on 18 July 1944 and sailed for the waters south-east of Iceland. On 4 August the U-boat was attacked by a Canso flying boat of No. 162 Squadron RCAF with three depth charges, causing extensive damage. The U-boat drove the aircrat off with flak, but was forced to return to base for repairs, arriving at Trondheim on 17 August.
She hit the British 6,017 ton tanker Shirvan setting her on fire, and when the Icelandic 1,542 ton cargo ship Godafoss stopped, against orders, to pick up survivors from the tanker, she was also torpedoed, and sank within seven minutes with the loss of 24 lives, including four young children. The abandoned Shirvan foundered the next day.
U-300 sailed from Stavanger on 21 January 1945 on her third and final patrol to the Atlantic waters off Spain. There on 17 February, 27 miles from Gibraltar, she attacked Convoy UGS-72, firing two spreads of two torpedoes, hitting the American 7,176 ton Liberty ship Michael J. Stone and the British 9,551 ton tanker Regent Lion.
The Michael J. Stone was flooded in both holds and the steering room. However, she managed to reach Gibraltar under her own power where she was dry-docked and repaired. The Regent Lion, which had already been damaged by a torpedo from another U-boat the previous day, had to be taken in tow. She was grounded on Perl Rock, a mile south of Carnero Point in the Bay of Gibraltar, and was later declared a total loss.
U-300 was sunk on 22 February 1945 in the North Atlantic west of Cadiz, in position Coordinates: , by depth charges from the British Algerine-class minesweepers HMS Recruit and HMS Pincher, and the armed yacht/minesweeper HMS Evadne. Nine of the crew were lost, there were 41 survivors.
Summary of raiding history
|10 November 1944||Godafoss||Iceland||1,542||Sunk|
|10 November 1944||Shirvan||United Kingdom||6,017||Sunk|
|17 February 1945||Michael J. Stone||United States||7,176||Damaged|
|17 February 1945||Regent Lion||United Kingdom||9,551||Total loss|
- Kemp 1999, pp. 233-4.
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