German submarine U-305

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-305
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: Flender Werke, Lübeck
Yard number: 305
Laid down: 30 August 1941
Launched: 25 July 1942
Commissioned: 17 September 1942
Fate: Sunk, January 1944, in mid-Atlantic
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[1][2]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Rudolf Bahr
  • 17 September 1942 – 16 January 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 27 February – 12 April 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 12 May – 1 June 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 23 August – 22 October 1943
  • 4th patrol: 8 December – 16 January 1944
Victories:
  • Two ships sunk, total tonnage 13,045 GRT
  • Two warships sunk, total tonnage 2,560 tons.

German submarine U-305 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 30 August 1941 at the Flender Werke yard at Lübeck as yard number 305, launched on 25 July 1942 and commissioned on 17 September under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Rudolf Bahr.

During her career, the U-boat sailed on four combat patrols, sinking four ships, before she was sunk in January 1944 in mid-Atlantic, southwest of Ireland.

She was part of eight wolfpacks.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-305 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[3] 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 Garbe, Lahmeyer & Co. RP 137/c 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).[3]

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).[3] 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-305 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 two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[3]

Service history[edit]

The boat's service life began with training with the 8th U-boat Flotilla in September 1942. She was then transferred to the 1st flotilla for operations on 1 March.

1st patrol[edit]

The submarine's first patrol began with her departure from Kiel on 27 February 1943. She passed through the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the north Atlantic Ocean. On 17 March she sank Port Auckland and Zouave southeast of Cape Farewell (Greenland), the latter foundering in five minutes. The boat arrived in Brest in occupied France, on 12 April 1943.

2nd and 3rd patrols[edit]

U-305's second foray was relatively uneventful, starting and finishing in Brest, as would all her remaining patrols, on 12 May and 1 June 1943.

On her third sortie, she sank HMCS St. Croix on 20 September 1943. The Canadian warship was one of the first victims of a GNAT acoustic torpedo.

4th patrol and loss[edit]

The boat's final patrol commenced on 8 December 1943. She successfully attacked HMS Tweed southwest of Ireland. This ship sank in just two minutes, with the loss of 83 men.

U-305 was lost in January 1944. Fifty-one men died; there were no survivors.

U-305 was originally thought to have been sunk by the British destroyer HMS Wanderer and the frigate HMS Glenarm at 49°00′N 18°00′W / 49.000°N 18.000°W / 49.000; -18.000Coordinates: 49°00′N 18°00′W / 49.000°N 18.000°W / 49.000; -18.000 on 17 January 1944.[4][5][6] but recent research suggests this attack sank U-377, and U-305 was lost by unknown cause, possibly a victim of one of her own torpedoes.[1]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-305 took part in eight wolfpacks, namely.

  • Stürmer (11–20 March 1943)
  • Seewolf (21–30 March 1943)
  • Mosel (19–23 May 1943)
  • Leuthen (15–24 September 1943)
  • Rossbach (25 September - 5 October 1943)
  • Borkum (18 December 1943 - 3 January 1944)
  • Borkum 1 (3–13 January 1944)
  • Rügen (13–16 January 1944)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[7]
17 March 1943 Port Auckland  United Kingdom 8,789 Sunk
17 March 1943 Zouave  United Kingdom 4,256 Sunk
20 September 1943 HMCS St. Croix  Royal Canadian Navy 1,190 Sunk
7 January 1944 HMS Tweed  Royal Navy 1,370 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-305". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrols by U-305". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  4. ^ Whinney 1986, p.11-18
  5. ^ Paul Kemp, U-Boats Destroyed (1997) ISBN 1 85409 515 3, p165
  6. ^ Axel Niestle, U-Boat Losses during World War II (1998) ISBN 1 85367 352 8, p54
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-305". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 1 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Whinney, Bob. The U-Boat Peril: a fight for survival. Cassell Military Classics, London, 1998. ISBN 0-304-35132-6.  Originally published by Poole in 1986.
  • Bercuson, David J. (with H. Holger). Deadly Seas: The Story of the St.Croix, the U305 and the Battle of the Atlantic. Random House of Canada, Toronto, 1997. ISBN 978-0679309277. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-305". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 305". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.