German submarine U-410

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-410
Ordered: 30 October 1939
Builder: Danziger Werft, Danzig
Yard number: 111
Laid down: 9 January 1941
Launched: 14 October 1941
Commissioned: 23 February 1942
Fate: Sunk on 11 March 1944 by US aircraft[1]
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement: 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296
Speed: 17.7 kn (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 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44–52 officers and ratings
Armament:

German submarine U-410 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II, operating mainly in the Mediterranean. Her Insignia was a Sword & Shield,[3] she did not suffer any casualties until she was sunk.

U-410 was first commanded by Kapitänleutnant Kurt Sturm during her working up/training period and on her first patrol before being commanded by Horst-Arno Fenski for her six combat patrols. U-410 sank eight merchantmen, a Landing ship, Tank (LST); and a light cruiser during the Second World War. For his successes, Fenski received the Knights Cross.

Construction and Design[edit]

A cross-section of a Type VIIC submarine

U-410 was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 30 October 1939. She was laid down at the Danziger Werft yard in Danzig, on 9 January 1941 and launched on 14 October 1941. She was formally commissioned into the Kriegsmarine, on 23 February 1942.

Weapons

Like all type VIIC submarines, U-410 carried five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four located in the bow, one in the stern) and a C35 88mm/L45 deck gun with 220 rounds. Anti-Aircraft (AA) protection consisted of a twin 20-mm, on Platform I, a 37-mm, on Platform II and 2 MG 15 machine guns on the bridge.

Propulsion

Two supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines with a total of 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Her maximum rpm was 490. She was also equipped with two electric motors totaling 750 shp (560 kW) with a maximum rpm of 296. This power-train enabled U-380 to achieve a top speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) while on the surface and 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) when submerged.

Specification

She had a range of 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) when surfaced and 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) when submerged. Her test depth was 230 m (750 ft); her crush depth was 250–295 m (820–968 ft). She carried 2 eight-man, 1 six-man and 58 one-man, rubber boats.

Patrol history[edit]

1st and 2nd patrols

U-410 departed Kiel on 27 August 1942 for her first patrol. The U-boat, under Kapitänleutnant Kurt Sturm, sank the British Newton Pine in mid-Atlantic. She then arrived in St. Nazaire in France on 28 October 1942, after 63 days at sea.

Her second outing was not so productive; after 33 days she returned to her French base empty-handed.

3rd and 4th patrols

Her third foray was more productive and included the sinking of the British ship, the Fort Battle River on 6 March 1943.[4] She also damaged another British vessel in the same engagement, the Fort Paskoyac. Both of these ships were attacked southwest of Portugal. The U-boat returned to St. Nazaire on 27 March 1943.

Her fourth sortie included transiting the heavily defended Strait of Gibraltar. She arrived in La Spezia in Italy on 13 May 1943, having left St. Nazaire on 26 April.

5th and 6th patrols

U-410 left La Spezia on 7 August 1943 and attacked the convoy UGS-14 off the Algerian coast. Firing three torpedoes in a 'spread', she hit and sank two American ships, the John Bell and the Richard Henderson on 26 August 1943. She then sailed to Toulon in France, arriving on 30 August.

The U-boat tried to disrupt the landings at Anzio, sinking a British light cruiser and an American LST (see below).

Combat History[edit]

Commanders[edit]

  • 23 February 1942 - 4 February 1943 Kapitänleutnant Kurt Sturm.
  • 5 February 1943 - 11 March 1944 Oberleutnant zur See Horst-Arno Fenski

Flotillas[edit]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-410 was part of the following "wolfpacks":

Name From To Notes
Lohs 13 September 1942 22 September 1942
Blitz 22 September 1942 26 September 1942
Tiger 26 September 1942 29 September 1942
Letzte Ritter 28 September 1942 1 October 1942
Wotan 8 October 1942 17 October 1942
Raufbold 11 December 1942 20 December 1942
Robbe 16 February 1943 13 March 1943

Rescue of survivors from MV Rhakotis[edit]

On 2 January 1943, U-410 rescued 80 survivors from the German blockade-runner MV Rhakotis after she was sunk by HMS Scylla. The survivors were returned to St. Nazaire the next day.[5] Among the survivors were two Englishmen who received a special guard.[6]

Sinking of Penelope[edit]

HMS Penelope

On 18 February 1944, HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSO, DSC, AM, RN), was leaving Naples to return to the Anzio area when she was torpedoed at 40°33′N 13°15′E / 40.55°N 13.25°E / 40.55; 13.25 by U-410. A torpedo struck the British cruiser in the aft engine room; sixteen minutes later, U-410 fired another torpedo that hit Penelope in her boiler room, causing her immediate sinking. 415 of the crew, including the captain, went down with the ship. There were 206 survivors. The remarkable point of the attack by U-410 was that the cruiser was making 26 kn (48 km/h; 30 mph) when she was hit. As far as can be ascertained, in the history of submarine attacks during World War II, no other ship running at such speed was ever successfully attacked.[7] On 11 March 1944, a USAAF during an air raid on the Port of Toulon, U-410 along with U-380 were so seriously damaged, they were declared no longer operational.[1] Oberleutnant zur See Fenski and his crew transferred to U-371, which was lost around 04:00 on 4 May 1944 in a battle with Allied warships. The Engineering Officer and a control room petty officer were killed, as they scuttled their boat, but Fenski and his remaining crew survived and spent 2 years in a US POW camp.[8]

Sinking of USS LST-348[edit]

On 20 February 1944 LST-348 (Landing Ship, Tank) was returning from Sicily, supporting Operation Shingle and roughly 40 miles South of Naples when she was spotted by U-410, who fired two torpedoes at around 02:00 hrs. Both hit the vessel on her port side, she sank 20 minutes later.[9]

Loss[edit]

On 11 March 1944, a USAAF during an air raid on the Port of Toulon, U-410 along with U-380 were so seriously damaged, they were declared no longer operational.[1] Oberleutnant zur See Fenski and his crew transferred to U-371, which was lost around 04:00 on 4 May 1944 in a battle with Allied warships. The Engineering Officer and a control room petty officer were killed, as they scuttled their boat, but Fenski and his remaining crew survived and spent 2 years in a US POW camp.[8]

Raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[10]
11 October 1942 Newton Pine  United Kingdom 4,212 Sunk
6 March 1943 Fort Battle River  United Kingdom 7,133 Sunk
6 March 1943 Fort Paskoyac  United Kingdom 7,134| Damaged
26 August 1943 John Bell  United States 7,242 Sunk
26 August 1943 Richard Henderson  United States 7,194 Sunk
26 September 1943 Christian Michelsen  Norway 7,176 Sunk
1 October 1943 MV Empire Commerce  United Kingdom 3,722 Total loss
1 October 1943 Fort Howe  United Kingdom 7,133 Sunk
15 February 1944 Fort St. Nicholas  United Kingdom 7,154 Sunk
18 February 1944 HMS Penelope (97)  Royal Navy 5,270 Sunk
20 February 1944 USS LST-348  United States Navy 1,625 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kemp 1999, p. 176.
  2. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  3. ^ U-Boat Insignia & Emblems http://www.uboataces.com/ref-insignia32.shtml#U-410
  4. ^ http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?15144
  5. ^ http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?58439%7C MV Rhakotis at wrecksite
  6. ^ http://www.ubootwaffe.net/ops/boat.cgi?boat=410%7C U-410 at ubootwaffe.net[dead link]
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "HMS Penelope (97) of the Royal Navy - British Light cruiser of the Arethusa class". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  8. ^ a b U-Boat Iron Cross document group and photos. U-410 and U-371
  9. ^ http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/16/160348.htm NavSource Online NavSource Online
  10. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit U-410". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

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 (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]