German submarine U-70 (1940)

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For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-70.
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-70
Ordered: 30 May 1938
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Cost: 4,439,000 Reichsmark
Yard number: 605
Laid down: 19 December 1939
Launched: 12 October 1940
Commissioned: 23 November 1940
Fate: Sunk, 7 March 1941 by British warships[1]
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:
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[2][3]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Joachim Matz
  • 23 November 1940 – 7 March 1941
Operations: 20 February – 7 March 1941
Victories:
  • One commercial ship sunk (820 GRT)
  • three commercial ships damaged (20,484 GRT)

German submarine U-70 was a Type VIIC submarine of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

The U-boat was laid down on 19 December 1939 at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft shipyard at Kiel as yard number 604, launched on 12 October 1940, and commissioned on 23 November under the command of Kapitänleutnant Joachim Matz to serve with the 7th U-boat Flotilla from 23 November 1940 until she was sunk on 7 March 1941.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-70 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[4] 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).[4]

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).[4] 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-70 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.[4]

Service history[edit]

U-70's first and only patrol began on 20 February 1941. On 26 February she sank the 820 ton Swedish merchant ship Göteborg, south of Iceland.[5]

U-70 joined U-47, U-99, and U-A[6] in a wolfpack that attacked Convoy OB 293 south-east of Iceland on 7 March 1941. In her first attack at 04:45 U-70 damaged the 6,568 ton British tanker Athelbeach (later sunk by U-99),[7] and the 6,423 ton British merchant vessel Delilian.[8]

At 07:25 U-70 struck again and hit the 7,493 ton Dutch tanker Mijdrecht. However the Master spotted the periscope of U-70, rammed the submerged U-boat at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph), damaging the conning tower and reported its position to the convoy escorts.[9]

Fate[edit]

At 08:15, the British corvette HMS Camellia sighted U-70, which promptly dived. Until 10:30 Camellia and her sister ship HMS Arbutus attacked five times with depth charges, then Arbutus made another four attacks. In total the two corvettes dropped 48 depth charges. Finally, at 12:44, U-70 was forced to the surface and was abandoned by her crew at 60°15′N 14°00′W / 60.250°N 14.000°W / 60.250; -14.000Coordinates: 60°15′N 14°00′W / 60.250°N 14.000°W / 60.250; -14.000. Twenty-five survivors of her crew of forty-five,[2] were picked up and taken prisoner.[9][1]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[10]
26 February 1941 Goteborg  Sweden 820 Sunk
7 March 1941 Athelbeach  United Kingdom 6,568 Damaged
7 March 1941 Delilian  United Kingdom 6,423 Damaged
7 March 1941 Mijdrecht  Netherlands 7,493 Damaged

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kemp, p. 68.
  2. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-70". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-70 from 20 February 1941 to 7 March 1941". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43–46.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Göteborg (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Convoy OB-293". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Athelbeach (Motor tanker)". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  8. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Delilian (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  9. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "Mijdrecht (Motor tanker)". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  10. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-70". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. 

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. 
  • Bishop, Chris (2006). Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939–45. Amber Books. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1997). U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-70". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 70". Deutsche U-Boote 1935–1945 – u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.