German submarine U-378

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-378
Ordered: 16 October 1939
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Kiel
Yard number: 9
Laid down: 3 May 1940
Launched: 13 September 1941
Commissioned: 30 October 1941
Fate: Sunk in mid-Atlantic by US aircraft, 20 October 1943[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:
Identification codes: M 34 668
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Alfred Hoschatt
  • 30 October 1941 – 11 October 1942
  • Oblt.z.S. Peter Schrewe
  • 18 June – 10 September 1942
  • Kptlt. Hans-Jürgen Zetzsche
  • 10 September – 11 October 1942[deputizing]
  • Kptlt. Erich Mäder
  • 12 October 1942 – 20 October 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol:
  • a. 11–12 March 1942
  • b. 15 March – 1 April 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 7–20 April 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 29 April – 6 May 1942
  • 4th patrol: 12 September 1942
  • 5th patrol: 11 November – 12 December 1942
  • 6th patrol: 15 March – 1 April 1943
  • 7th patrol: 12 April – 4 June 1943
  • 8th patrol: 6 September – 20 October 1943
Victories: One warship sunk; 1,920 tons

German submarine U-378 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She carried out eight patrols before being sunk by US aircraft on 20 October 1943 in mid-Atlantic at position 47°40′N 28°27′W / 47.667°N 28.450°W / 47.667; -28.450Coordinates: 47°40′N 28°27′W / 47.667°N 28.450°W / 47.667; -28.450.

She was a member of 16 wolfpacks.

She sank one warship.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-378 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 Garbe, Lahmeyer & Co. RP 137/c 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-378 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 3 May 1940 at the Howaldtswerke yard at Kiel as yard number 9, launched on 13 September 1941 and commissioned on 30 October under the command of Kapitänleutnant Alfred Hoschatt.

1st patrol[edit]

The boat's first patrol was in two parts and commenced with her departure from Kiel on 11 March 1942. The second part began from the German island of Helgoland (sometimes spelt 'Heligoland'). She was attacked northeast of Norway's North Cape by the British destroyer HMS Fury. No damage was sustained.

2nd - 6th patrols[edit]

U-378 continued to operate in northern waters such as the Barents, Greenland and Norwegian seas until April 1943 when her sphere of operations changed to the Atlantic Ocean.

7th patrol[edit]

This sortie saw the boat leave Trondheim on 12 April 1943, negotiate the gap separating Iceland and the Faroe Islands and sail as far eastward as Newfoundland and Labrador. She then re-crossed the Atlantic, docking at La Pallice in occupied France on 4 June. At 54 days, this was easily the submarine's longest patrol.

8th patrol and loss[edit]

U-378 sank the Polish destroyer Orkan on 8 October 1943. The Commander, ten officers, 166 ratings and seven British crew members were lost.

On the 13th, the boat was the target of a FIDO homing torpedo that had been dropped from a Grumman TBF Avenger, but the weapon missed.

The submarine was sunk by an Grumman Avenger / Grumman F4F Wildcat pair on 20 October in mid-Atlantic from USS Core.

48 men died in the depth charge attack; there were no survivors.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-378 took part in 16 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)
  • Trägertod (19–22 September 1942)
  • Boreas (19 November – 9 December 1942)
  • Eisbär (27–30 March 1943)
  • Meise (25–27 April 1943)
  • Star (27 April – 4 May 1943)
  • Fink (4–6 May 1943)
  • Naab (12–15 May 1943)
  • Donau 2 (15–19 May 1943)
  • Mosel (19–24 May 1943)
  • Leuthen (15–24 September 1943)
  • Rossbach (24 September – 9 October 1943)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tons Fate
8 October 1943 ORP Orkan  Polish Navy 1,920 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 152.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-378". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-378". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

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. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]