German submarine U-709

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-709
Operator: Kriegsmarine
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: H. C. Stülcken Sohn, Hamburg
Yard number: 773
Laid down: 5 May 1941
Launched: 14 April 1942
Commissioned: 12 August 1942
Fate: sunk 1 March 1944 north of the Azores at 49°10′N 26°00′W / 49.167°N 26.000°W / 49.167; -26.000Coordinates: 49°10′N 26°00′W / 49.167°N 26.000°W / 49.167; -26.000
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 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44–60 officers & ratings
Armament:

German submarine U-709 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Ordered 15 August 1940, she was laid down on 5 May 1941 and launched 14 April 1942. From 12 August 1942 to 2 December 1943, she was commanded by Oberleutnant Karl-Otto Weber, then captained by Oberleutnant Rudolf Ites from 3 December 1943 till 1 March 1944.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-709 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[1] 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 Garbe, Lahmeyer & Co. RP 137/c 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).[1]

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).[1] 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-709 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.[1]

Service history[edit]

U-709 had five patrols, from 12 August 1942 to 1 March 1944, in which time she sunk no ships. She was sunk while on patrol North of the Azores, by depth charges from the US destroyer escorts USS Thomas, USS Bostwick and USS Bronstein. Lost with all hands, 52 dead.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-709 took part in 15 wolfpacks, namely.

  • Westmark (6–11 March 1943)
  • Amsel (22 April – 3 May 1943)
  • Amsel 3 (3–6 May 1943)
  • Rhein (7–10 May 1943)
  • Elbe 1 (10–14 May 1943)
  • Without name (11–29 July 1943)
  • Siegfried (22–27 October 1943)
  • Siegfried 3 (27–30 October 1943)
  • Jahn (30 October – 2 November 1943)
  • Tirpitz 4 (2–8 November 1943)
  • Eisenhart 6 (9–13 November 1943)
  • Schill 2 (17–22 November 1943)
  • Igel 2 (3–17 February 1944)
  • Hai 1 (17–22 February 1944)
  • Preussen (22 February – 1 March 1944)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-709". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Oberleutnant zur See Rudolf Ites". German U-boat commanders of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 709". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 29 December 2014.