German submarine U-659

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-659
Ordered: 9 October 1939
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Hamburg
Yard number: 808
Laid down: 12 February 1941
Launched: 14 October 1941
Commissioned: 9 December 1941
Fate: Sunk 4 May 1943 in the North Atlantic in position 43°32′N 13°20′W / 43.533°N 13.333°W / 43.533; -13.333Coordinates: 43°32′N 13°20′W / 43.533°N 13.333°W / 43.533; -13.333 after colliding with U-439.
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
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:
Commanders:
  • K.Kapt. Hans Stock
  • 9 December 1941 – 4 May 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 15 August – 16 September 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 14 October – 5 November 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 12 December 1942 – 5 January 1943
  • 4th patrol: 8 February – 20 March 1943
  • 5th patrol: 25 April – 4 May 1943
Victories:
  • one merchant ship sunk (7,519 GRT)
  • three merchant ships damaged (21,565 GRT)

German submarine U-659 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 12 February 1941 by Howaldtswerke, Hamburg as yard number 808, launched on 14 October 1941 and commissioned on 9 December 1941 under Oberleutnant zur See Hans Stock.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-659 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-659 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 5th U-boat Flotilla on 9 December 1941, followed by active service on 1 September 1942 as part of the 9th Flotilla for the remainder of her service. In five patrols she sank one merchant ships, for a total of 7,519 gross register tons (GRT), and damaged three others.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-659 took part in seven wolfpacks, namely

  • Vorwärts (25 August – 11 September 1942)
  • Streitaxt (20–31 October 1942)
  • Spitz (22–29 December 1942)
  • Neptun (18 February – 3 March 1943)
  • Westmark (6–8 March 1943)
  • Neuland (8–13 March 1943)
  • Drossel (29 April – 4 May 1943)

Fate[edit]

U-659 sunk on 4 May 1943 in the North Atlantic in position 43°32′N 13°20′W / 43.533°N 13.333°W / 43.533; -13.333 after colliding with U-439. There were just 3 survivors, and 44 hands lost.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
10 September 1942 Empire Oil  United Kingdom 8,029 Damaged
30 October 1942 Bullmouth  United Kingdom 7,519 Sunk
30 October 1942 Corinaldo  United Kingdom 7,131 Damaged
30 October 1942 Tasmania  United Kingdom 6,405 Damaged

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-659". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-659". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. pp. 105–107, 117, 123, 124, 189. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • 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. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]