German submarine U-49 (1939)

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For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-49.
U 52.jpg
U-52, a typical Type VIIB boat
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-49
Ordered: 21 November 1936
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Cost: 4,439,000 Reichsmark
Yard number: 584
Laid down: 15 September 1938
Launched: 24 January 1939
Commissioned: 12 August 1939
Fate: Sunk, 15 April 1940, near Narvik
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIB U-boat
Displacement:
  • 753 t (741 long tons) surfaced
  • 857 t (843 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:
Range:
  • 8,700 nmi (16,112 km; 10,012 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)surfaced
  • 90 nmi (170 km; 100 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph)
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Calculated crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
Gruppenhorchgerät
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Identification codes: M 06 383
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Kurt von Goßler[1]
  • 12 August 1939 – 15 April 1940
Operations: Four
Victories: One ship sunk for a total of 4,258 GRT

German submarine U-49 was a Type VIIB U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was ordered on 21 November 1936 and laid down on 15 September 1938 at the yards of Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft AG in Kiel as yard number 584. Launched on 24 June 1939, she was commissioned on 12 August and assigned to the 7th U-Boat Flotilla under the command of Kurt von Goßler.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIB submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIA submarines. U-49 had a displacement of 753 tonnes (741 long tons) when at the surface and 857 tonnes (843 long tons) while submerged.[2] She had a total length of 66.50 m (218 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 48.80 m (160 ft 1 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.50 m (31 ft 2 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 BBC GG UB 720/8 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 17.9 knots (33.2 km/h; 20.6 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph).[2] When submerged, the boat could operate for 90 nautical miles (170 km; 100 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,700 nautical miles (16,100 km; 10,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-49 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 one 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history[edit]

First patrol[edit]

Following training exercises, U-49 departed on her first active patrol on 9 November 1939. She was attacked by allied forces twice during this time. On 13 November she was bombed by British aircraft and forced down to 160 meters (520 feet), suffering minor damage. Three days later, she was located by the British destroyers HMS Echo and Wanderer and depth charged. The submarine was forced to dive to 170 metres (558 ft) to escape.

At 09:35 on 19 November U-49 came into contact with the 4,258-ton British merchant ship SS Pensilva carrying a cargo of 6,985 tons of maize. A bow torpedo at 11:15 hours and a stern shot at 11.24 both missed their mark, but a third fired at 12:19 hit, and the ship sank slowly by the stern at position 46°51′N 11°36′W / 46.850°N 11.600°W / 46.850; -11.600. The ship's master and crew were picked up by HMS Echo and later landed at Plymouth by HMS Wanderer.

Second patrol[edit]

U-49's second patrol began 29 February 1940 at Kiel and lasted only six days in the North Sea. No ships were attacked on this patrol, and she made port at Wilhelmshaven on 5 March 1940.

Third patrol[edit]

On 11 March 1940, U-49 departed Wilhelmshaven for the Norwegian coast, in 19 days at sea, no ships were attacked and the submarine returned to Wilhelmshaven on 29 March 1940.

Fourth patrol[edit]

3 April 1940 saw the beginning of U-49's fourth and final patrol. In 13 days off the Norwegian coast, no ships were attacked.

Fate[edit]

On 15 April 1940, U-49 was sunk near Harstad, Norway in position 68°53′N 16°59′E / 68.883°N 16.983°E / 68.883; 16.983 by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Fearless and Brazen. Of her crew of 42, one man died but there were 41 survivors.

Wreck Site[edit]

The wreck of U-49 was found on 3 March 1993 by the Norwegian submarine Skolpen. She lies at a depth of 300 metres (980 ft).

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
19 November 1939 Pensilva  United Kingdom 4,258 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Kurt von Goßler". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43–44.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-49". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 September 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. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • 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 (1997). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. p. 65. ISBN 1-85409-321-5. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIB boat U-49". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U49". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 8 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 68°53′N 16°59′E / 68.883°N 16.983°E / 68.883; 16.983