German submarine U-744
|Ordered:||5 June 1941|
|Builder:||F Schichau GmbH, Danzig|
|Laid down:||5 June 1942|
|Launched:||11 March 1943|
|Commissioned:||5 June 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk on 6 March 1944|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-744 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. 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 AEG GU 460/8–27 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).
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). 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-744 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 two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
She had two patrols, one from 5 June 1943 to 30 November 1943 and 1 December 1943 to 6 March 1944. She sank two ships in total, SS Empire Housman on 3 January 1944, and the landing ship tank LST 362 on 2 March 1944. The LST 324 was also damaged that day.
U-744 was forced to surface on 6 March 1944, after a 31-hour pursuit by British and Canadian ships. She was depth-charged by HMS Icarus, causing her crew to abandon her. They were picked up by the corvette HMS Kenilworth Castle, the Canadian frigate HMCS St. Catharines, corvettes HMCS Fennel and HMCS Chilliwack and destroyers HMCS Chaudiere and HMCS Gatineau in the North Atlantic. U-744 was then boarded by allied sailors, who retrieved code books and other documents. Most of this was lost while being transferred between the U-Boat and the allied ships. After attempts to tow the submarine into port failed, U-744 was scuttled by the allied warships.
U-744 took part in five wolfpacks, namely.
- Coronel 1 (15–17 December 1943)
- Sylt (18–23 December 1943)
- Rügen 2 (23–28 December 1943)
- Rügen 1 (28 December 1943 - 3 January 1944)
- Preussen (26 February - 6 March 1944)
Summary of raiding history
|3 January 1944||Empire Housman||United Kingdom||7,359||Sunk|
|2 March 1944||HMS LST-324||Royal Navy||1,625||Damaged|
|2 March 1944||HMS LST-362||Royal Navy||1,625||Sunk|
- Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-744". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- "U-744 is boarded" U Boat Archive http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-257-U-744Photos.htm
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-744". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- 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.