German submarine U-406

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-406
Ordered: 16 October 1939
Builder: Danziger Werft, Danzig
Yard number: 107
Laid down: 6 September 1940
Launched: 16 June 1941
Commissioned: 22 October 1941
Fate: Sunk 18 February 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 48°32′N 23°36′W / 48.533°N 23.600°W / 48.533; -23.600, by depth charges from HMS Spey.
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
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]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Horst Dietrichs
  • 22 October 1941 – 18 February 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 4–19 April 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 5 May – 1 July 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 9 August – 8 October 1942
  • 4th patrol: 14 December 1942 – 12 January 1943
  • 5th patrol: 22 February – 30 March 1943
  • 6th patrol: 25 April – 11 May 1943
  • 7th patrol: 26 June – 15 September 1943
  • 8th patrol: 8–10 December 1943
Victories:
  • 1 merchant ships sunk (7,452 GRT)
  • 3 merchant ships damaged (13,285 GRT)

German submarine U-406 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 6 September 1940 by Danziger Werft, Danzig as yard number 107, launched on 16 June 1941 and commissioned on 22 October 1941 under Oberleutnant zur See Horst Dietrichs.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-406 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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 Siemens-Schuckert GU 343/38–8 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).[2]

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).[2] 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-406 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.[2]

Service history[edit]

The boat's career began with training at 8th U-boat Flotilla on 22 October 1941, followed by active service on 1 May 1942 as part of the 7th Flotilla for the remainder of her service.

In eight patrols she sank one merchant ship, for a total of 7,452 gross register tons (GRT), and three merchant ships for a total of 13,285 GRT.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-406 took part in eleven wolfpacks, namely

  • Hecht (8 May – 18 June 1942)
  • Blücher (14–28 August 1942)
  • Iltis (6–23 September 1942)
  • Spitz (22–31 December 1942)
  • Neuland (4–13 March 1943)
  • Dränger (14–20 March 1943)
  • Drossel (29 April – 5 May 1943)
  • Rügen (14–26 January 1944)
  • Stürmer (26 January – 3 February 1944)
  • Igel 1 (3–17 February 1944)
  • Hai 1 (17–18 February 1944)

Fate[edit]

U-406 was sunk on 18 February 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 48°32′N 23°36′W / 48.533°N 23.600°W / 48.533; -23.600Coordinates: 48°32′N 23°36′W / 48.533°N 23.600°W / 48.533; -23.600, by depth charges from Royal Navy frigate HMS Spey. Twelve of the crew were killed.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
19 August 1942 City of Manila  United Kingdom 7,452 Sunk
28 December 1942 Baron Cochrane  United Kingdom 3,385 Damaged
28 December 1942 Lynton Grange  United Kingdom 5,029 Damaged
28 December 1942 Zarian  United Kingdom 4,871 Damaged

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-406". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-406". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. pp. 66, 137, 173. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • 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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-406". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 406". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.