German submarine U-365
|Ordered:||20 January 1941|
|Builder:||Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, Flensburg|
|Laid down:||21 April 1942|
|Launched:||9 March 1943|
|Commissioned:||8 June 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk, 13 December 1944|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
German submarine U-365 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She served exclusively against the Arctic Convoys from Britain to Murmansk and Archangelsk, principally targeting the Soviet forces which greeted the convoys in the Barents Sea.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-364 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. 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).
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). 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-364 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.
The boat was built in Flensburg in 1942 and 1943, U-365 was a Type VIIC U-boat, with five torpedo tubes and a deck gun for smaller targets. She was captained by Kptlt. Heimar Wedemeyer, an efficient if slightly cautious officer, who worked his boat and crew up before being dispatched to the 9th Flotilla based at Bergen, Norway, from which she conducted her first three patrols.
U-365's early operations were in support of clandestine operations in the North Sea and Arctic Ocean, in the course of which she saw no action against Allied shipping or positions. Not until her fifth patrol, following a shift in patrol zones to the frozen seas around Novaya Zemlya and transfer to the 13th U-boat Flotilla, that U-365 experienced success. In this region, on the 12 August, the boat spotted a small Soviet convoy and in rapid order sank a 5,000-ton freighter and the two 600-ton minesweepers intended to protect it.
However, due to the remoteness of the U-365's patrol zones, the cautiousness of her commander and the efficiency of Allied submarine defences by the autumn of 1944, Wedemeyer was unable to score another victory for his boat in the next two patrols, and was eventually replaced by Kptlt. Diether Todenhagen, who had previously served on the enormously successful U-48, and had a reputation as an aggressive submariner. This seemed deserved as on his first patrol, on the 6 December, he sank the tiny Soviet patrol ship BO-2 in the Barents Sea. This was followed five days later with a determined attack on an Allied convoy in which the British destroyer HMS Cassandra was seriously damaged. However, in orchestrating the attack the U-boat's position was revealed, and just two days later two Fairey Swordfish aircraft from 813 Squadron flying from the escort carrier HMS Campania spotted the submarine and sank her near the Lofoten Islands with bombs. All 50 of the U-boat's crew perished in the wreck.
U-365 took part in six wolfpacks, namely.
- Trutz (28 June – 10 July 1944)
- Greif (5–18 August 1944)
- Zorn (29 September – 1 October 1944)
- Grimm (1–2 October 1944)
- Panther (18 October – 8 November 1944)
- Stier (25 November – 13 December 1944)
Summary of raiding history
|12 August 1944||Marina Raskova||Soviet Union||5,685||Sunk|
|12 August 1944||T-118||Soviet Navy||625||Sunk|
|12 August 1944||T-114||Soviet Navy||625||Sunk|
|6 December 1944||BO-2||Soviet Navy||240||Sunk|
|11 December 1944||HMS Cassandra||Royal Navy||1,710||Damaged|
- Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
- 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.
- Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9.