German submarine U-457
|Ordered:||16 January 1940|
|Builder:||Deutsche Werke, Kiel|
|Laid down:||26 October 1940|
|Launched:||4 October 1941|
|Commissioned:||5 November 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk northeast of the North Cape by a British warship, September 1942|
|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 three patrols, on which she sank two ships and damaged one more.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-457 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-457 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 26 October 1941 in the Deutsche Werke, Kiel as yard number 288, launched on 4 October 1941 and commissioned on 5 November under the command of Korvettenkapitän Karl Brandenburg.
U-457's first patrol was preceded by two short journeys from Kiel to Trondheim in Norway. The patrol itself commenced with her departure from Trondheim on 28 June 1942.
She sank the Christopher Newport 35 nautical miles (65 km; 40 mi) east of Bear Island on 4 July. The ship, from the ill-fated convoy PQ-17, had already been hit by an aerial torpedo in the Barents Sea. A 'coup de grace' torpedo from the British submarine P-614 failed to sink the ship; but one from U-457 succeeded.
The boat then went on to sink the Aldersdale on 7 July 1942; after the merchantman, also a member of PQ-17, had been bombed. U-457 came across the abandoned tanker and after firing 75 rounds from her deck gun, finished the wreck off with a single torpedo.
Her second foray was relatively uneventful - starting in Narvik on 8 August 1942 and finishing in Trondheim on 7 September.
3rd patrol and loss
The submarine damaged the Atheltemplar of the Convoy PQ-18 on 14 September 1942 south of Spitsbergen (Svalbard). U-457 was sunk on the 16th by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Impulsive.
Forty-five men died in U-457; there were no survivors.
U-457 took part in two wolfpacks, namely.
- Eisteufel (30 June - 12 July 1942)
- Trägertod (12–16 September 1942)
Summary of raiding history
|4 July 1942||Christopher Newport||United States||7,191||Sunk|
|7 July 1942||Aldersdale||Royal Fleet Auxiliary||8,402||Sunk|
|14 September 1942||Atheltemplar||United Kingdom||8,939||Damaged|
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- 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.
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