German submarine U-432
|Ordered:||5 June 1941|
|Laid down:||14 January 1940|
|Launched:||3 February 1941|
|Commissioned:||26 April 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk in mid-Atlantic by a French ship, March 1943|
|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|
She carried out eight patrols.
She sank 20 ships and one warship. Two ships were damaged.
She was a member of seven wolfpacks.
She was sunk by a French warship in mid-Atlantic, in March 1943.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-432 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 AEG GU 460/8–27 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-432 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.
The submarine was laid down on 14 January 1940 at Schichau-Werke in Danzig (now Gdansk) as yard number 1473, launched on 3 February 1941 and commissioned on 26 April 1941 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Heinz-Otto Schultze.
She served with the 3rd U-boat Flotilla from 26 April 1941 for training and stayed with that organization from 1 August for operations until her loss.
U-432's first patrol was preceded by short 'hops' from Kiel in Germany to Horten Naval Base then Trondheim in Norway. Her first patrol proper began with her departure from Trondheim on 25 August 1941 and headed for the Atlantic Ocean via the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
The boat sank the Winterwijk on 10 September east of Greenland. She went on to sink the Stargad close-by on the same date. The next day she sank the Garm northeast of the previous successes.
She docked at Brest in occupied France on 19 September.
2nd and 3rd patrols
The boat's third sortie commenced with her departure from St. Nazaire on 10 December 1941. This was not only the shortest patrol of her career but the only time she returned to France, (this time to La Pallice where she would be based for the rest of her time), without success, on the 23rd.
Her fourth patrol was carried out on the eastern seaboard of Canada and the United States, where she sank a number of ships, including the-then neutral Brazilian vessels Buarque and the Olinda on 15 and 18 February 1942 respectively. She also sent the Miraflores and the Azolea City to the bottom on the 19th and 21st.
U-432 had departed La Pallice on 30 April 1942. On 2 May, she was slightly damaged in an air attack on 2 May west of the Bay of Biscay. She returned to her earlier hunting grounds across the Atlantic where she sank ships such as the Zurichmoor (on the 23rd) and the Malayan Prince on 9 June.
The submarine encountered some resistance when she came across the Pennmar off Cape Farewell (Greenland) on 24 September 1942. A torpedo fired from the starboard quarter was avoided by evasive action. On surfacing, the U-boat was engaged by Pennmar's 4 in gun. U-432 submerged again and fired a spread of four torpedoes, one of which hit and sank the American ship.
For her seventh effort, the boat headed towards Africa. She sank the Poitou off Morocco on 17 December 1942.
8th patrol and loss
U-432 sank HMS Harvester on 11 March 1943 after the British destroyer was badly damaged while ramming U-444. The French corvette Aconit came to Harvester's assistance. She depth charged and sank the U-boat in mid-Atlantic.
Twenty-six men went down with U-432; there were 20 survivors.
U-432 took part in seven wolfpacks, namely.
- Markgraf (28 August – 14 September 1941)
- Reissewolf (21–28 October 1941)
- Pfadfinder (21–27 May 1942)
- Lohs (23 August – 22 September 1942)
- Sturmbock (23–26 February 1943)
- Wildfang (26 February – 5 March 1943)
- Westmark (6–11 March 1943)
Summary of raiding history
|10 September 1941||Muneric||United Kingdom||5,229||Sunk|
|10 September 1941||Stargard||Norway||1,113||Sunk|
|10 September 1941||Winterswijk||Netherlands||3,205||Sunk|
|11 September 1941||Garm||Sweden||1,231||Sunk|
|17 October 1941||Barfonn||Norway||9,739||Sunk|
|17 October 1941||Bold Venture||Panama||3,222||Sunk|
|17 October 1941||Evros||Greece||5,283||Sunk|
|28 October 1941||Ulea||United Kingdom||1,574||Sunk|
|15 February 1942||Buarque||Brazil||5,172||Sunk|
|18 February 1942||Olinda||Brazil||4,053||Sunk|
|19 February 1942||Miraflores||United Kingdom||2,158||Sunk|
|21 February 1942||Azalea City||United States||5,529||Sunk|
|27 February 1942||Marore||United States||8,215||Sunk|
|17 May 1942||Foam||United States||324||Sunk|
|23 May 1942||Zurichmoor||United Kingdom||4,455||Sunk|
|31 May 1942||Liverpool Packet||Canada||1,188||Sunk|
|3 June 1942||Aeolus||United States||41||Sunk|
|3 June 1942||Ben and Josephine||United States||102||Sunk|
|9 June 1942||Kronprinsen||Norway||7,073||Damaged|
|9 June 1942||Malayan Prince||United Kingdom||8,593||Damaged|
|24 September 1942||Pennmar||United States||5,868||Sunk|
|17 December 1942||Poitou||Free France||310||Sunk|
|11 March 1943||HMS Harvester||Royal Navy||1,340||Sunk|
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- 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.
- Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3.
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