German submarine U-870

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-870
Ordered: 25 August 1941
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 1078
Laid down: 29 April 1943
Launched: 29 October 1943
Commissioned: 3 February 1944
Fate: Sunk on 30 March 1945
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXC/40 submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,144 t (1,126 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,257 t (1,237 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) o/a
  • 4.44 m (14 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Installed power:
  • 4,400 PS (3,200 kW; 4,300 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) surfaced
  • 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 13,850 nmi (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 63 nmi (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 44 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
Operations:
  • 1st patrol:
  • 10 November 1944 – 20 February 1945
Victories:
  • 2 merchant ships sunk (11,844 GRT)
  • 2 warships sunk (1,960 tons)
  • 1 warship damaged (1,400 tons)

German submarine U-870 was a Type IXC/40 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built for service during the Second World War. She was ordered on 25 August 1941, and laid down on 29 April 1943 at Bremen, Germany. She was launched on 29 October 1943 and commissioned on 3 February 1944.

Design[edit]

German Type IXC/40 submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXCs. U-870 had a displacement of 1,144 tonnes (1,126 long tons) when at the surface and 1,257 tonnes (1,237 long tons) while submerged.[2] The U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW; 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS; 750 kW) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 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 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph).[2] When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 13,850 nautical miles (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-870 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.[2]

Service history[edit]

For her two patrols, she had one commander, Korvettenkapitän Ernst Hechler, who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

Over her career she claimed two warships sunk, total tonnage 1,960 tons, one warship damaged for a total tonnage 1,400 tons, and two ships a total loss, total tonnage 11,844 gross register tons (GRT).[1] On 20 December 1944, U-870 attacked a small group of landing ships, damaging USS Fogg and sinking the 1,625 ton vessel USS LST-359. The U-boat was then attacked by a British aircraft from No. 220 Squadron RAF but got away, also evading two hunter-killer groups of vessels.[1]

Fate[edit]

She was sunk on 30 March 1945 at Bremen by US bombs.[1]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name of Ship Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate
20 December 1944 USS Fogg  United States Navy 1,400 Damaged at 43°02′N 19°19′W / 43.033°N 19.317°W / 43.033; -19.317 (USS Fogg (ship))
20 December 1944 USS LST-359  United States Navy 1,188 Sunk at 42°04′N 19°08′W / 42.067°N 19.133°W / 42.067; -19.133 (USS LST-359 (ship))
3 January 1945 Henry Miller  United States 7,207 Sunk at 35°51′N 06°24′W / 35.850°N 6.400°W / 35.850; -6.400 (Henry Miller (ship))
9 January 1945 FFL L´Enjoue  Free French Naval Forces 335 Sunk at 35°56′N 05°49′W / 35.933°N 5.817°W / 35.933; -5.817 (FFL L´Enjoue (W 44) (ship))
10 January 1945 Blackheath  United Kingdom 4,637 Sunk at 35°49′N 06°03′W / 35.817°N 6.050°W / 35.817; -6.050 (Blackheath (ship))

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 c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC/40 boat U-870". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 68.

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. 
  • 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]