German submarine U-653

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-653
Ordered: 9 October 1939
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Hamburg
Yard number: 802
Laid down: 9 April 1940
Launched: 22 March 1941
Commissioned: 25 May 1941
Fate: Sunk 15 March 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 53°46′N 24°35′W / 53.767°N 24.583°W / 53.767; -24.583Coordinates: 53°46′N 24°35′W / 53.767°N 24.583°W / 53.767; -24.583, by depth charges from Fleet Air Arm Swordfish, HMS Starling and HMS Wild Goose.
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
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:
Speed:
  • 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Identification codes: M 44 257
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Gerhard Feiler
  • 25 May 1941 - 30 September 1943
  • Oblt.z.S. Hans-Albrecht Kandler
  • 1 October 1943 - 15 March 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 13 December 1941 - 13 January 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 31 January 1942 - 30 March 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 25 April 1942 - 6 July 1942
  • 4th patrol: 5 August 1942 - 31 August 1942
  • 5th patrol: 27 October 1942 - 29 December 1942
  • 6th patrol: 28 January 1943 - 31 March 1943
  • 7th patrol: 10 June 1943 - 11 September 1943
  • 8th patrol: 21 November 1943 - 13 January 1944
  • 9th patrol: 2 March 1944 - 15 March 1944
Victories:
  • 3 merchant ships sunk (14,983 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship damaged (9,382 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (840 tons)

German submarine U-653 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 9 April 1940 by Howaldtswerke, Hamburg as yard number 802, launched on 22 March 1941 and commissioned on 25 May 1941 under Kapitänleutnant Gerhard Feiler.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-653 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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).[2]

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).[2] 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-653 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.[2]

Service history[edit]

The boat's career began with training at 1st U-boat Flotilla on 25 May 1941, followed by active service on 1 December 1941 as part of the 1st Flotilla for the remainder of her service.

In nine patrols she sank three merchant ships, for a total of 14,983 gross register tons (GRT), and one warship of 840 tons.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-653 took part in 15 wolfpacks, namely

  • Pfadfinder (21 May 1942 – 27 May 1942)
  • Blücher (14 August 1942 – 18 August 1942)
  • Natter (2 November 1942 – 8 November 1942)
  • Westwall (8 November 1942 – 16 December 1942)
  • Hartherz (3 February 1943 – 7 February 1943)
  • Ritter (11 February 1943 – 26 February 1943)
  • Burggraf (4 March 1943 – 5 March 1943)
  • Raubgraf (7 March 1943 – 15 March 1943)
  • Coronel (4 December 1943 – 8 December 1943)
  • Coronel 1 (8 December 1943 – 14 December 1943)
  • Coronel 2 (14 December 1943 – 17 December 1943)
  • Föhr (18 December 1943 – 23 December 1943)
  • Rügen 6 (23 December 1943 – 28 December 1943)
  • Rügen 7 (28 December 1943 – 2 January 1944)
  • Rügen 6 (2 January 1944 – 5 January 1944)
  • Preussen (4 March 1944 – 15 March 1944)

Convoy ON 166[edit]

In a determined attack, between 22:00 on 23 February 1943 and daybreak the following morning, U-653, together with U-92, U-600 and U-628, came in one after the other against Convoy ON 166.

U-653 fired seven torpedoes at, and missed, the British freighter Delilian, but succeeded in striking the 9,382-GRT Dutch motor vessel Madoera. Against the odds, Madoera stayed afloat and reached St. John’s seven days later, but not before some of her crew had abandoned ship and made for the lifeboats. This resulted in the Dutch ship’s chief officer being captured by U-591.

Fate[edit]

U-653 was sunk on 15 March 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 53°46′N 24°35′W / 53.767°N 24.583°W / 53.767; -24.583, by depth charges from Fleet Air Arm Swordfish, HMS Starling and HMS Wild Goose. All hands were lost.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[3]
28 February 1942 Leif  Norway 1,582 Sunk
17 May 1942 Peisander  United Kingdom 6,225 Sunk
7 June 1942 USS Gannet  United States Navy 840 Sunk
24 February 1943 Madoera  Netherlands 9,382 Damaged
12 March 1943 Thomas Hooker  United States 7,176 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-653". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-653". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 August 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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. pp. 161, 168. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]