German submarine U-79 (1941)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-79.
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-79
Ordered: 25 January 1939
Builder: Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack
Yard number: 7
Laid down: 17 April 1940
Launched: 25 January 1941
Commissioned: 13 March 1941
Fate: Sunk on 23 December 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
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Wolfgang Kaufmann
  • 13 March – 23 December 1941
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 5 June – 5 July 1941
  • 2nd patrol: 21 July – 16 August 1941
  • 3rd patrol: 14–18 September 1941
  • 4th patrol: 28 September – 23 October 1941
  • 5th patrol: 29 November – 8 December 1941
  • 6th patrol: 21–23 December 1941
Victories:
  • Two ships sunk – 2,983 GRT;
  • one ship damaged – 10,356 GRT;
  • one warship a total loss

German submarine U-79 was a Type VIIC U-boat of the Kriegsmarine built by the Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack. Her keel was laid down on 17 April 1940, by Bremer Vulkan of Bremen-Vegesack, Germany as yard number 7. She was launched on 25 January 1941 and commissioned on 13 March, with Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Kaufmann in command until the U-boat's loss.[2]

The boat was sunk on 23 December 1941 north of Sollum, by two British warships.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-79 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[3] 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 MAN 6-cylinder 4-stroke M 6 V 40/46 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 Brown, Boveri & Cie GG UB 720/8 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).[3]

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).[3] 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-79 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.[3]

Service history[edit]

U-79 conducted three patrols whilst serving with 1st U-boat Flotilla from 13 March 1941 to 30 September. She was then reassigned to the 23rd U-boat Flotilla from 1 October until she was sunk.

1st patrol[edit]

The boat's first patrol began with her departure from Kiel on 5 June 1941. Her route took her north 'up' the North Sea and through the gap separating Iceland and the Faroe Islands toward the Atlantic Ocean.

She sank the Havtor west of Iceland on the 11th and damaged the Tibia at 59°55′N 39°00′W / 59.917°N 39.000°W / 59.917; -39.000 (southwest of the island), on the 27th.

U-79 then docked at the newly captured port of Lorient on the French Atlantic coast on 5 July.

2nd and 3rd patrols[edit]

The boat's second foray was further south than her first. She was with a group of seven other U-boats that attacked Convoy OG 69 and sank the British freighter Kellwyn about 350 nmi (650 km; 400 mi) northwest of Cape Finisterre in Spain on 27 July 1941.

She was unsuccessfully attacked with depth charges by convoy escorts near the Portuguese coast on 12 August.

U-79's third sortie hardly left the Bay of Biscay and only lasted five days (14–18 September 1941).

4th and 5th patrols[edit]

Patrol number four necessitated the boat getting past the heavily defended British base at Gibraltar to reach the Mediterranean Sea which she had by 5 October 1941. She then negotiated the Straits of Messina [between Sicily and the Italian mainland] and moved toward the North African coast. There she encountered the British gunboat HMS Gnat and sank her 30 nmi (56 km; 35 mi) northeast of Bardia (Al Burdi) on 21 October. She reached Salamis in Greece on 23 October 1941. However HMS Gnat was salved and returned to serve as a gun platform.

U-79 returned to the North African coast for her fifth patrol at the end of November but her luck had deserted her. She returned to Salamis with nothing to show for her efforts on 8 December.

6th patrol and loss[edit]

Leaving Salamis for the last time on 21 December 1941, she was sunk a couple of days later (on the 23rd), by depth charges dropped by the British destroyers HMS Hasty and Hotspur in position 32°15′N 25°19′E / 32.250°N 25.317°E / 32.250; 25.317. All U-79's crewmembers (44 men) survived the attack.[1]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-79 took part in one wolfpack, namely.

  • Goeben (28 September – 5 October 1941)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[4]
11 June 1941 Havtor  Norway 1,524 Sunk
27 June 1941 Tibia  Netherlands 10,356 Damaged
27 July 1941 Kellwyn  United Kingdom 1,459 Sunk
21 October 1941 HMS Gnat  Royal Navy 625 Sunk. Later salved and served as a stationary gun platform

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kemp 1999, p. 77.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-79". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-79". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bishop, Chris (2006). Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939-45. London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-904687-96-2. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-79". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 79". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.