German submarine U-426
|Ordered:||5 June 1941|
|Builder:||Danziger Werft, Danzig|
|Laid down:||20 June 1942|
|Launched:||6 February 1943|
|Commissioned:||12 May 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk by an Australian aircraft, January 1944|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
|Victories:||One ship sunk; 6,625 GRT|
She carried out two patrols. She was a member of seven wolfpacks. She sank one ship.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-426 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. 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).
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). 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-426 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 two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
The submarine was laid down on 20 June 1942 at the Danziger Werft (yard) at Danzig (now Gdansk), as yard number 127, launched on 6 February 1943 and commissioned on 12 May under the command of Kapitänleutnant Christian Reich.
Patrols and loss
The boat's first patrol was preceded by a trip from Kiel in Germany to Bergen in Norway. U-426 then left Bergen on 5 October 1943 and headed for the Atlantic Ocean via the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. She sank the British ship Essex Lance on 15 October 408 nautical miles (756 km; 470 mi) east of Cape Farewell (Greenland). The submarine arrived in Brest in occupied France on 29 November.
Fifty-one men went down with the U-boat; there were no survivors.
U-426 took part in seven wolfpacks, namely.
- Schlieffen (16–22 October 1943)
- Siegfried (22–27 October 1943)
- Siegfried 2 (27–30 October 1943)
- Jahn (30 October - 2 November 1943)
- Tirpitz 4 (2–8 November 1943)
- Eisenhart 9 (9–10 November 1943)
- Schill 1 (16–21 November 1943)
Summary of raiding history
|15 October 1943||Essex Lance||United Kingdom||6,625||Sunk|
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