German submarine U-545

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-545
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 366
Laid down: 6 August 1942
Launched: 3 March 1943
Commissioned: 19 May 1943
Fate: Scuttled,10 February 1944 west of the Hebrides after an attack by Allied aircraft[1][2]
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXC/40 submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,144 t (1,126 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,257 t (1,237 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) o/a
  • 4.44 m (14 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Installed power:
  • 4,400 PS (3,200 kW; 4,300 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) surfaced
  • 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 13,850 nmi (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 63 nmi (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 44 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Gert Manesmann
  • 19 May 1943 – 10 February 1944
Operations: 9 December 1943 – 10 February 1944
Victories: One ship damaged, 7,359 GRT

German submarine U-545 was a Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She was laid down at the Deutsche Werft (yard) in Hamburg as yard number 366 on 1 August 1942, launched on 3 March 1943 and commissioned on 19 May with Kapitänleutnant Gert Mannesmann in command.

U-545 began her service career with training as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla from 19 May 1943. She was reassigned to the 2nd flotilla for operations on 1 December.

She carried out one patrol and damaged one ship. She was a member of five wolfpacks.

She was scuttled 10 February 1944 west of the Hebrides after an attack by Allied aircraft.

Design[edit]

German Type IXC/40 submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXCs. U-545 had a displacement of 1,144 tonnes (1,126 long tons) when at the surface and 1,257 tonnes (1,237 long tons) while submerged.[3] The U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW; 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS; 750 kW) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph).[3] When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 13,850 nautical miles (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-545 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.[3]

Service history[edit]

Patrol and loss[edit]

The boat departed Kiel on 9 December 1943, moved through the North Sea, negotiated the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and entered the Atlantic Ocean.

She damaged Empire Housman on 31 December. This ship was later sunk on 3 January 1944 by U-744.

The first Watch Officer (1WO), Oberleutnant zur See Hans Wilkening, was swept overboard on 26 January 1944.

On 10 February 1944 U-545 was scuttled following damage from an attack by a Vickers Wellington of No. 612 Squadron RAF. A Canadian Wellington from 407 Squadron RCAF was also involved, but was shot down.[2]

One man died in the U-boat; there were 56 survivors.[2] They were picked up by U-714 and taken to St. Nazaire in France.[1]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[4]
30 December 1943 Empire Housman  United Kingdom 7,359 Damaged

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kemp 1997, pp. 168-169.
  2. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC/40 boat U-545". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 68.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-545". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 January 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. Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]