German submarine U-960

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-960
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 160
Laid down: 20 March 1942
Launched: 3 December 1942
Commissioned: 28 January 1943
Fate: Sunk 19 May 1944 in the Mediterranean in position 37°20′N 01°35′E / 37.333°N 1.583°E / 37.333; 1.583Coordinates: 37°20′N 01°35′E / 37.333°N 1.583°E / 37.333; 1.583, by depth charges from USS Niblack, USS Ludlow plus Wellington and Ventura aircraft.
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
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 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)
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Günther Heinrich
  • 28 January 1943 – 19 May 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 18 August – 1 September 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 14 September – 10 October 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 4 December 1943 – 3 February 1944
  • 4th patrol: 19–27 March 1944
  • 5th patrol: 27 April – 19 May 1944
Victories:
  • 2 merchant ships sunk (9,656 GRT)
  • 1 auxiliary warship sunk (611 tons)

German submarine U-960 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 20 March 1942 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 160, launched on 3 December 1942 and commissioned on 28 January 1943 under Oberleutnant zur See Günther Heinrich.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-960 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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 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).[2]

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).[2] 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-960 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 one twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history[edit]

The boat's career began with training at 5th U-boat Flotilla on 28 January 1943, followed by active service on 1 August 1943 as part of the 3rd Flotilla for the remainder of her service.

In five patrols she sank two merchant ships, for a total of 9,656 gross register tons (GRT), plus one auxiliary warship of 611 tons.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-960 took part in five wolfpacks, namely

  • Wiking (20 September – 3 October 1943)
  • Coronel 1 (15–17 December 1943)
  • Amrum (18–23 December 1943)
  • Rügen 4 (23–28 December 1943)
  • Rügen 3 (28–31 December 1943)

Fate[edit]

U-960 was sunk on 19 May 1944 in the Mediterranean NW of Algiers, in position 37°20′N 01°35′E / 37.333°N 1.583°E / 37.333; 1.583, by depth charges from USS Niblack, USS Ludlow plus Wellington and Ventura aircraft.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[3]
30 September 1943 Arkhangel’sk  Soviet Union 2,480 Sunk
1 October 1943 T-896 (No 42)  Soviet Navy 611 Sunk
16 January 1944 Sumner I. Kimball  United States 7,176 Sunk

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. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-960". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-960". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 

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. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-960". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 960". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 29 December 2014.