German submarine U-400

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-400
Ordered: 25 August 1941
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Kiel
Yard number: 32
Laid down: 18 November 1942
Launched: 8 January 1944
Commissioned: 18 March 1944
Fate: Sunk, 15 December 1944
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. Horst Creutz
  • 18 March – 15 December 1944
Operations:
  • a. 15–16 November 1944
  • b. 18 November – 15 December 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-400 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

The submarine was laid down on 18 November 1942 at the Howaldtswerke yard in Kiel as yard number 32, launched on 8 January 1944 and commissioned on 18 March under the command of Kapitänleutnant Horst Creutz.[1]

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-400 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 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).[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-400 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), one 3.7 cm (1.5 in) Flak M42 and two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[3]

Service history[edit]

After training with the 5th U-boat Flotilla, U-400 was attached to the 11th U-boat Flotilla for front-line service on 1 November 1944.[1]

The U-boat sailed from Horten Naval Base in Norway for her first war patrol on 15 November 1944, and headed for the waters off Land's End.[2] Despite repeated requests for reports by the German U-boat Command, none were received. The U-boat was eventually listed as "missing" at the end of January 1945. After the war, the Allies attributed the loss of U-400 to a depth charge attack by the frigate HMS Nyasaland on 17 December 1944, about 30 nautical miles (56 km) SE of Kinsale, Ireland.[4]

Discovery[edit]

The wreck of U-400 was finally identified by nautical archaeologist Innes McCartney and historian Axel Niestle in 2006, about 10 miles (16 km) north-west of Padstow, Cornwall, at position 50°39.9′N 5°5′W / 50.6650°N 5.083°W / 50.6650; -5.083Coordinates: 50°39.9′N 5°5′W / 50.6650°N 5.083°W / 50.6650; -5.083[1] close to the wrecks of two other U-boats, U-325 and U-1021. All three submarines were sunk in the Bristol Channel by a deep-trap minefield.[1]

The U-boat sunk by Nyasaland is now believed to have been U-772.[5]

Previously recorded fate[edit]

U-400 was noted as sunk in mid-December 1944 in the British minefield 'HX A1' off the Cornish coast.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-400". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-400". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The loss of U-325, U-400 and U-1021". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  5. ^ "War Mystery Solved". www.cix.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 

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-400". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 400". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.