German submarine U-344

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-344
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: Nordseewerke, Emden
Yard number: 216
Laid down: 7 May 1941
Launched: 29 January 1943
Commissioned: 26 March 1943
Fate: Sunk by a British aircraft, 22 August 1944[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. Ulrich Pietsch
  • 26 March 1943 – 22 August 1944
Operations:
  • 20–27 May 1944
  • 31 May – 8 July 1944
  • 3–22 August 1944
Victories: One warship sunk, 1,350 tons

German submarine U-344 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She was a member of two wolfpacks.

She was on her third patrol when she was sunk by a British aircraft in August 1944.

She sank one warship.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-344 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-344 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]

The submarine was laid down on 7 May 1941 at the Nordseewerke yard at Emden as yard number 216, launched on 29 January 1943 and commissioned on 26 March under the command of Kapitänleutnant Ulrich Pietsch.

U-342 served with the 8th U-boat Flotilla, for training and the 3rd flotilla for operations from 1 April 1944. She was reassigned to the 11th flotilla on 1 June 1944.

1st patrol[edit]

U-344 had sailed from Kiel in Germany to Flekkefjord (west of Kristiansand) and then Bergen in Norway in April and May 1944, but her first patrol began when she departed Bergen on 20 May and followed the Norwegian coastline. She arrived at Narvik on the 27th.

2nd patrol[edit]

Her second foray involved criss-crossing the Norwegian Sea. At one point she passed east of Jan Mayen Island. She arrived at Bogenbucht (west of Narvik) on 8 July 1944.

3rd patrol and loss[edit]

Having departed Bogenbucht on 3 August 1944, she sank the British sloop HMS Kite in the Barents Sea on the 21st. Of 226 crew, nine men survived the icy water. The next day, a British Fairey Swordfish of 825 Naval Air Squadron from HMS Vindex, dropped a pattern of depth charges on the U-boat, sinking her. Fifty men died in the sinking; there were no survivors.[5]

Previously recorded fate[edit]

U-344 was thought to have been sunk on 24 August 1944 in the Barents Sea off the North Cape by British warships: i.e. the sloops HMS Mermaid and Peacock, the frigate HMS Loch Dunvegan and the destroyer Keppel. U-354 was the victim.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-344 took part in two wolfpacks, namely.

  • Trutz (2 June - 6 July 1944)
  • Trutz (17–22 August 1944)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Tons Nationality Fate[6]
21 August 1944 HMS Kite 1,350  Royal Navy Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, pp. 214-5.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-344". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-344". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  5. ^ Hofmann, Markus. "U 344". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-344". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 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-344". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 344". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 74°54′N 15°26′E / 74.900°N 15.433°E / 74.900; 15.433