German submarine U-376

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-376
Ordered: 16 October 1939
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Kiel
Yard number: 7
Laid down: 3 April 1940
Launched: 10 July 1941
Commissioned: 21 August 1941
Nickname(s): U.S.S.R. Michael Roscoe
Fate: Listed as missing, 13 April 1943
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[1][2]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Friedrich-Karl Marks
  • 21 August 1941 – 13 April 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 15 March – 1 April 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 7–20 April 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 29 April – 6 May 1942
  • 4th patrol: 7 June – 15 July 1942
  • 5th patrol: 5 November – 8 December 1942
  • 6th patrol: 26–28 January 1943
  • 7th patrol: 30 January – 13 March 1943
  • 8th patrol: 6–13 April 1943
Victories: Two merchant ships sunk (10,146 GRT)

German submarine U-376 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

The submarine was laid down in April 1940 in Kiel, launched in July 1941, and commissioned in August 1941 under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Friedrich-Karl Marks.[1]

U-376 was attached to the 6th U-boat Flotilla, and was ready for front-line service from 1 March 1942. Operating from Norwegian bases, from July 1942 she served with the 11th U-boat Flotilla, and was transferred to the 3rd U-boat Flotilla, based in France, in early 1943.[1]

U-376 sailed on eight combat patrols, sinking only two merchant ships totalling 10,146 tons before she went missing in the Bay of Biscay in April 1943.[1][2]

Construction and Design[edit]

Construction[edit]

A cross-section of a Type VIIC submarine

U-376 was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 16 October 1939. She was laid down about six months later at the Howaldtswerke yard in Kiel, on 3 April 1940. Just over a year and three months later, U-376 was launched in Kiel on 10 July 1941. She was formally commissioned into the Kriegsmarine later that year on 21 August.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-376 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-376 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]

1st patrol[edit]

U-376, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Friedrich-Karl Marks, left Kiel on 11 March 1942, arriving at Heligoland in the North Sea the next day.[2] She sailed on her first combat patrol on the 15th, heading north into the Barents Sea.[4] There, on 30 March she torpedoed and sank the 5,086 ton British merchant ship Induna, part of the Arctic convoy PQ-13, en -route to Murmansk.

Forty-one survivors, from the crew of 66, abandoned ship in two lifeboats in temperatures around -20°C and freezing winds. Only 30 were still alive on 2 April when they were picked up by a Russian minesweeper, two subsequently died of exposure.[5]

The U-boat arrived at Kirkenes in the far northeast of Norway, on 1 April 1942.[2]

2nd and 3rd patrols[edit]

U-376 sailed on two patrols from Kirkenes, from 7 to 20 April, and from 29 April to 6 May, without success, before sailing to Bergen in Norway in early May.[2]

4th patrol[edit]

U-376 left Bergen on 7 June 1942, sailing to the waters north of Iceland before returning to the Barents Sea.[6] where on 10 July, she sank the 5,060 ton American Hog Islander Hoosier, en route to Arkhangelsk with a cargo of 5,029 tons of machinery and explosives, and tanks as deck cargo. Part of Convoy PQ 17, the ship had been bombed the previous day by several Junkers Ju 88 aircraft of KG 30, which had disabled the engines. Taken in tow by HMS La Malouine she was abandoned when U-255 was sighted in pursuit. The drifting wreck of Hoosier was hit by two torpedoes from U-376 and sank.[7]

The U-boat arrived at Narvik on 15 July, sailing to Bergen after three days, before spending August to October at Wilhelmshaven and Kiel. She returned to Bergen on 25 October, then sailed to Skjomenfjord on 3 November 1942.[2]

5th patrol[edit]

U-376 left Skjomenfjord on 5 November to patrol the Barents Sea once more, arriving at Narvik on 8 December, having had no success.[8]

6th patrol[edit]

She returned to Bergen before setting out once more on 26 January 1943, but was attacked by Allied aircraft the next day and was forced to return to base with several crewmen wounded.[9]

7th patrol[edit]

The U-boat left Bergen on 30 January, but during the night her third watch officer was washed overboard. U-376 returned to Bergen to embark a replacement and departed the same day. This patrol took her out into the Atlantic, south of Greenland, before she arrived at her new home port of La Pallice in France on 13 March.[10]

8th patrol and loss[edit]

U-376 sailed from La Pallice on 6 April 1943 on a mission codenamed Operation Elster ("Magpie"), to take on board German Naval officers who had escaped from a POW camp at North Point on Prince Edward Island, Canada. U-376 was preceded by the mission's backup boat, U-262, which had left from the same port on 27 March, but had had to return due to a defective air vent, and sailed again on 7 April.[11]

While some[who?]believe that U-376 was sunk on 7 May 1943 off Prince Edward Island, the U-boat failed to send the mandatory radio signal to report that she had successfully exited the Bay of Biscay and was listed as having been lost on 13 April 1943. [clarification needed]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-376 took part in nine wolfpacks, namely.

  • Ziethen (23–29 March 1942)
  • Eiswolf (29–31 March 1942)
  • Robbenschlag (7–14 April 1942)
  • Blutrausch (15–19 April 1942)
  • Strauchritter (29 April – 5 May 1942)
  • Eisteufel (1–4 July 1942)
  • Eisteufel (6–12 July 1942)
  • Boreas (19 November – 7 December 1942)
  • Neptun (18 February – 2 March 1943)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate
30 March 1942 Induna  United Kingdom 5,086 Sunk
10 July 1942 Hoosier  United States 5,060 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC U-boat U-376". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-376". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-376 from 15 March 1942 to 1 April 1942". U-boat patrols - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Induna". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-376 from 7 June 1942 to 15 July 1942". U-boat patrols - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Hoosier". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-376 from 5 November 1942 to 8 December 1942". U-boat patrols - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-376 from 26 January 1943 to 28 January 1943". U-boat patrols - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-376 from 30 January 1943 to 13 March 1943". U-boat patrols - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  11. ^ Hadley, Michael L. (1990). U-Boats Against Canada: German Submarines in Canadian Waters. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. p. 170. ISBN 0-7735-0801-5. 

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. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°48′N 9°00′W / 46.800°N 9.000°W / 46.800; -9.000