German submarine U-334

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-334
Ordered: 23 September 1939
Builder: Nordseewerke, Emden
Yard number: 206
Laid down: 16 March 1940
Launched: 15 August 1941
Commissioned: 9 October 1941
Fate: Sunk, 14 June 1943 by British warships[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. Hilmar Siemon
  • 9 October 1941 – 31 March 1943
  • Oblt.z.S. Heinz Ehrich
  • 1 April – 14 June 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 18 March – 14 April 1942
  • 18 March – 14 April 1942
  • 2nd patrol:
  • a. 7–10 June 1942
  • b. 15 June – 6 July 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 31 October – 1 December 1942
  • 4th patrol: 5–14 June 1943
Victories: Sank two ships for a total of 14,372 GRT

German submarine U-334 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 16 March 1941 at the Nordseewerke yard at Emden as yard number 206, launched on 15 August and commissioned on 9 October under the command of Kapitänleutnant Hilmar Siemon. During her career, the U-boat sailed on four combat patrols, sinking two ships of 14,372 gross register tons (GRT), before she was sunk on 14 June 1943.[2]

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-334 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-334 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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 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, she moved to the 3rd flotilla for front-line service in March 1942. She was reassigned to the 11th flotilla in July.

1st patrol[edit]

U-334's maiden patrol saw the U-boat sail into the Greenland Sea; it was then marred by the loss overboard of 19-year-old Matrosengefreiter Otto Mayerhof in the Barents Sea on 13 April 1942, a day before the submarine docked at Trondheim in Norway.

2nd patrol[edit]

Her second foray was split into two parts. During the second, longer portion, the boat sank the William Hopper, a former member of the notorious convoy PQ 17 on 4 July 1942. The ship had already been badly damaged in an air attack. In a scuttling attempt, she was fired-on by a British escort vessel, but stubbornly refused to sink. Later that same day, U-334 fired two 'coup de grâce' torpedoes at the ship; the first was defective, the second missed. The wreck was eventually sunk by fire from the boat's deck gun.

The following day (5 July 1942), she sank the Earlston, also a member of the ill-fated convoy. She too, had already been damaged by bombs. U-334 was also subject to attack from the air that day; a Ju 88 damaged the steering gear and rendered the U-boat unable to dive. U-456 was obliged to escort U-334 to Neidenfjord.

She then sailed from Neidenfjord to Trondheim, arriving on 14 July.

3rd patrol[edit]

Sortie number three took the boat north of Iceland and into the Norwegian Sea, finishing at Narvik.

4th patrol and loss[edit]

Following short trips from Narvik to Trondheim and Trondheim to Bergen, the submarine commenced her fourth patrol from Bergen on 5 June 1943. She passed through the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. She was sunk by depth charges from the British frigate HMS Jed and the sloop HMS Pelican southwest of Iceland.

Forty-seven men died; there were no survivors.[5]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-334 took part in three wolfpacks, namely.

  • Naseweis (31 March - 10 April 1942)
  • Bums (10–12 April 1942)
  • Eisteufel (21 June - 5 July 1942)

Ships attacked[edit]

Date Ship Tons Nationality Fate[6]
4 July 1942 William Hooper 7,177  United States Sunk
5 July 1942 Earlston 7,195  United Kingdom Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 125.
  2. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-334". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-334". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  5. ^ Hofmann, Markus. "U 334". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-334". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 23 January 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. 
  • 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-334". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 334". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 58°16′N 28°20′W / 58.267°N 28.333°W / 58.267; -28.333