German submarine U-359

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-359
Ordered: 6 August 1940
Builder: Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, Flensburg
Yard number: 478
Laid down: 9 June 1941
Launched: 11 June 1942
Commissioned: 5 October 1942
Fate: Sunk by US aircraft, July 1943, in Caribbean Sea[1]
General characteristics
Class & 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]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Heinz Förster
  • 5 October 1942 – 26 July 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 4 February – 18 March 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 19 April – 20 May 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 29 June – 26 July 1943
Victories: None

German submarine U-359 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She carried out three patrols. She did not sink or damage any ships.

She was sunk by an American aircraft in the Caribbean Sea in July 1943.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-359 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 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).[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-359 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.[3]

Service history[edit]

The submarine was laid down on 19 June 1941 at the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft yard at Flensburg as yard number 478, launched on 11 June 1942 and commissioned on 5 October under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Heinz Förster.

She served with the 8th U-boat Flotilla from 5 October 1942 and the 7th flotilla from 1 March 1943.

1st patrol[edit]

U-359's first patrol took her from Kiel on 4 February 1943, through the Iceland / Faroe Islands 'gap' and south of Greenland. She arrived at St. Nazaire in occupied France, on 18 March.

2nd patrol[edit]

During her second foray she crossed the Bay of Biscay and then turned in a southwesterly direction. The boat accordingly headed south before sailing northwest across the Atlantic.

3rd patrol and loss[edit]

U-359 left St. Nazaire for the last time on 29 June 1943. On 26 July, she was sunk by depth charges dropped from a US Navy PBM Mariner aircraft in the Caribbean off Santo Domingo, Haiti.[1]

47 men died; there were no survivors.[2]

Previously recorded fate[edit]

U-359 was originally noted as sunk on 28 July 1943 by a Mariner aircraft P-1 of USN Squadron VP-32. (Postwar assessment). This attack sank U-159.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-359 took part in seven wolfpacks, namely.

  • Neptun (18–28 February 1943)
  • Wildfang (28 February - 5 March 1943)
  • Westmark (6–11 March 1943)
  • Amsel (26 April - 3 May 1943)
  • Amsel 4 (3–6 May 1943)
  • Rhein (7–10 May 1943)
  • Elbe 2 (10–12 May 1943)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kemp 1999, p. 135.
  2. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-359". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

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-359". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 359". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.