German submarine U-356

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-356
Ordered: 26 October 1939
Builder: Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, Flensburg
Yard number: 475[1]
Laid down: 4 May 1940
Launched: 16 September 1941
Commissioned: 20 December 1941
Fate: Sunk by Canadian warships on 27 December 1942
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:
  • 6th U-boat Flotilla, (Training)
  • 20 December 1941 – 1 September 1942
  • 6th U-boat Flotilla, (Operational) Boat
  • 1 September 1942 – 27 December 1942
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Georg Wallas
  • 20 December 1941 – 2 December 1942
  • Oblt.z.S. Günther Ruppelt
  • 3 December 1942 – 27 December 1942
Operations:
  • Two patrols
  • 1st patrol: 2 September 1942 – 4 November 1942 (63 days)
  • 2nd patrol: 5 December 1942 – 27 December 1942 (23 days)
Victories: Three commercial ships sunk and one damaged - 20,700 GRT

German submarine U-356 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down in May 1940 at the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft yard at Flensburg, launched on 16 September 1941, and commissioned on 20 December 1941.[4]

Design[edit]

A cross-section of a Type VIIC submarine

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-356 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[5] 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 460/8-276 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).[5]

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).[5] 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-356 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.[5]

Service history[edit]

U-356 was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 26 October 1939. She was laid down about six months later at the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft yard at Flensburg, on 4 May 1940. The next year, U-356 was launched on 16 September 1941.[6] She was formally commissioned on 20 December 1941.

Loss[edit]

U-356 was attacked by HMS Cygnet, HMCS Chilliwack, HMCS Battleford and HMCS Napanee north of the Azores at 45°30′N 25°40′W / 45.500°N 25.667°W / 45.500; -25.667Coordinates: 45°30′N 25°40′W / 45.500°N 25.667°W / 45.500; -25.667 on 27 December 1942 and sunk by depth charges. All 46 crew members died in the event.[6]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-356 took part in six wolfpacks, namely.

  • Pfeil (12–22 September 1942)
  • Blitz (22–26 September 1942)
  • Tiger (26–30 September 1942)
  • Wotan (5–19 October 1942)
  • Raufbold (11–22 December 1942)
  • Spitz (22–27 December 1942)

Summary of Raiding History[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Convoy Fate
27 December 1942 Empire Union  United Kingdom 5,952 ONS 154 Sunk
27 December 1942 Melrose Abbey  United Kingdom 2,473 ONS 154 Sunk
27 December 1942 Soekaboemi  Netherlands 7,051 ONS 154 Damaged
27 December 1942 King Edward  United Kingdom 5,224 ONS 154 Sunk
Total: 20,700

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gröner 1991, p. 45.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-356". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-356". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Gröner, p. 87.
  5. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  6. ^ a b Gröner 1991, p. 54.

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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-356". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 356". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.