German submarine U-409

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-409
Ordered: 30 October 1939
Builder: Danziger Werft, Danzig
Yard number: 110
Laid down: 26 October 1940
Launched: 23 September 1941
Commissioned: 21 January 1942
Fate: Sunk 12 July 1943 in the Mediterranean in position 37°12′N 04°00′E / 37.200°N 4.000°E / 37.200; 4.000, by depth charges from HMS Inconstant.
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. Hanns-Ferdinand Massmann
  • 21 January 1942 – 12 July 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 18 August – 9 September 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 13 October – 5 November 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 7 December 1942 – 5 January 1943
  • 4th patrol: 14 February – 12 April 1943
  • 5th patrol: 18–21 May 1943
  • 6th patrol: 29 June – 12 July 1943
Victories:
  • 4 merchant ships sunk (24,961 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship damaged (7,519 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (10 tons) – lost aboard transport ship

German submarine U-409 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine in World War II. She was laid down on 26 October 1940 by Danziger Werft, Danzig as yard number 110, launched on 23 September 1941 and commissioned on 31 January 1942 under Oberleutnant zur See Hanns-Ferdinand Massmann.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-409 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-409 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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 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 5th U-boat Flotilla on 21 January 1942, followed by active service on 1 September 1942 as part of the 9th Flotilla. The following year, she transferred to 29th Flotilla for operations in the Mediterranean.

In six patrols she sank four merchant ships, for a total of 24,961 gross register tons (GRT), 1 merchant ship damaged 7,519 GRT, and one warship sunk whilst being transported.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-409 took part in six wolfpacks, namely

  • Vorwärts (25 August – 2 September 1942)
  • Streitaxt (20 October – 1 November 1942)
  • Raufbold (11–18 December 1942)
  • Sturmbock (21–26 February 1943)
  • Wildfang (26 February – 5 March 1943)
  • Westmark (6–11 March 1943)

Fate[edit]

U-409 was sunk on 12 July 1943 in the Mediterranean NE of Algiers, in position 37°12′N 04°00′E / 37.200°N 4.000°E / 37.200; 4.000Coordinates: 37°12′N 04°00′E / 37.200°N 4.000°E / 37.200; 4.000, by depth charges from the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Inconstant.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[3]
30 October 1942 Bullmouth  United Kingdom 7,519 Damaged
30 October 1942 Silverwillow  United Kingdom 6,373 Sunk
9 March 1943 Malantic  United States 3,837 Sunk
9 March 1943 Rosewood  United Kingdom 5,989 Sunk
4 July 1943 City of Venice  United Kingdom 8,762 Sunk
4 July 1943 HMS LCE-14  Royal Navy 10 Sunk (transported on board City of Venice)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-409". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-409". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 

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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. pp. 117, 123, 171. 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]