German submarine U-98 (1940)
|Ordered:||30 May 1938|
|Laid down:||27 September 1939|
|Launched:||31 August 1940|
|Commissioned:||12 October 1940|
|Fate:||Sunk, 15 November 1942, by a British warship|
|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|
She was launched on 31 August 1940 and commissioned on 12 October, with a crew of 46 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Robert Gysae, operating from St. Nazaire in France. In March 1942 command was transferred to Korvettenkapitän Wilhelm Schulze. Her final commander was Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Eichmann, who took over in October 1942. She was a member of six wolfpacks.
- 1 Design
- 2 Service history
- 3 Summary of raiding history
- 4 Previously recorded fate
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 External links
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-98 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-98 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.
U-98 sailed from Kiel under the command of Robert Gysae on 12 March 1941, and out into the Atlantic south of Iceland. On 27 March she sank the British 6,695 ton Koranton, a straggler from Convoy SC 25, with a single torpedo south southwest of Reykjavík. The ship sank quickly; she was loaded with 8,769 tons of pig iron. On 4 April U-98 joined a wolfpack in an attack on Convoy SC 26. She sank the Norwegian 2,467 ton Helle, and the British 5,122 ton Wellcombe. On 9 April she sank the Dutch 1,304 ton Prins Willem II, from Convoy HX 117. The U-boat then arrived at Lorient on the French Atlantic coast on 14 April.
Sailing from Lorient on 1 May 1941, U-98 headed once more out into the Atlantic, this time to the waters south of Cape Farewell, Greenland. There at 04:00 hours on 13 May, she spotted the British 10,549 ton armed merchant cruiser (AMC) HMS Salopian, escorting Convoy SC 30 in fog. U-98's first attack, with two torpedoes missed, as did her second at 06:20. A third attack an hour later was more successful, hitting the AMC amidships and in the bow, although not preventing the ship from opening fire on the submarine, which forced the boat to dive. However, these hits fractured brought down Salopian's radio antenna and fractured a steam line, shutting down her engines.
At 08:00 and 08:50, two more torpedoes hit Salopian in the engine room. Finally at 10:43, a single torpedo hit the stricken vessel amidships. She broke in two, and sank within two minutes. In all, nine torpedoes had been used. Former merchant vessels such as Salopian, when converted for naval use, had their cargo holds filled with buoyant material such as empty barrels, so they could withstand a considerable number of torpedo hits and remain afloat.
On 20 May 1941 U-98 sank the British 5,356 ton Rothermere, part of convoy HX-126, which had scattered. The next day she sank the British 7,402 ton Marconi, part of another dispersed convoy, OB-322. U-98 arrived at her new homeport at St. Nazaire on 29 May 1941.
Sailing from St. Nazaire on 23 June 1941, U-98 attacked Convoy OB 341 northwest of the Azores on 9 July and sank the British 5,945 ton Designer, she also destroyed the British 4,897 ton Inverness. She returned to St. Nazaire on 23 July.
Departing from St. Nazaire on 31 August 1941, U-98 patrolled the waters west of the British Isles, and on 16 September fired four single torpedoes at Convoy SC 42 north-west of St. Kilda, sinking the British 4,392 ton Jedmoor. She returned to St. Nazaire on 26 September.
U-98 left St. Nazaire on 29 October 1941, and returned on 29 November, after a patrol in the Atlantic, north of the Azores, lasting 32 days, but with no results.
U-98 sailed on 18 January 1942, for her last patrol under the command of Robert Gysae, and headed across the Atlantic to the east coast of Canada. There, on 15 February 1942, she torpedoed the British 5,298 ton Biela, originally from Convoy ON 62, sinking her about 400 miles southeast of Cape Race (on the eastern tip of Newfoundland). There were no survivors, even though the ship's crew had taken to the boats. The U-boat returned to St. Nazaire on 27 February.
On 31 March 1942, now commanded by Korvettenkapitän Wilhelm Schulze, U-98 sailed from St. Nazaire. However, at 00:47 on 2 April, still in the Bay of Biscay the U-boat was attacked by a Whitley bomber of 502 Squadron RAF Coastal Command with six 250-pound (110 kg) depth charges. U-98 crash-dived and escaped with minor damage. She then sailed for the coast of Florida, but had no success, returning to port on 6 June 1942.
U-98 next patrol began on 17 July 1942, it took her back to the Florida coast to lay mines, one of which damaged the American 185 ton minesweeper Bold (AMc-67) on 10 August 1942. She returned home on 16 September.
9th and final patrol
U-98' s ninth and final patrol was under the command of Oblt.z.S. Kurt Eichmann. The U-boat departed St. Nazaire on 22 October 1942, and after a voyage out to the mid-Atlantic without result was sunk on 15 November west of the Strait of Gibraltar at Coordinates: , by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Wrestler, all 46 hands were lost.
U-98 took part in six wolfpacks, namely.
- West (8–27 May 1941)
- Seewolf (3–15 September 1941)
- Störtebecker (5–19 November 1941)
- Gödecke (19–22 November 1941)
- Natter (30 October – 8 November 1942)
- Westwall (8–15 November 1942)
Summary of raiding history
|27 March 1941||Koranton||United Kingdom||6,695||Sunk|
|4 April 1941||Helle||Norway||2,467||Sunk|
|4 April 1941||Welcombe||United Kingdom||5,122||Sunk|
|9 April 1941||Prins Wellen II||Netherlands||1,304||Sunk|
|13 May 1941||HMS Salopian||Royal Navy||10,549||Sunk|
|20 May 1941||Rothermere||United Kingdom||5,356||Sunk|
|21 May 1941||Marconi||United Kingdom||7,402||Sunk|
|9 July 1941||Designer||United Kingdom||5,945||Sunk|
|9 July 1941||Inverness||United Kingdom||4,897||Sunk|
|16 September 1941||Jedmoor||United Kingdom||4,392||Sunk|
|15 February 1942||Biela||United Kingdom||5,298||Sunk|
|10 August 1942||USS Bold||United States Navy||185||Damaged|
Previously recorded fate
U-98 was originally thought to have been sunk on 19 November 1942 southwest of Cape St. Vincent (southwest Portugal), by a Lockheed Hudson of 608 Squadron. U-413 was the victim – she was severely damaged.
- Kemp, Paul (1997). U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. Arms and Armour. p. 96. ISBN 1-85409-515-3.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-98". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-98". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Koranton (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Convoy SC-26 - Convoy Battles - U-boat Operations - uboat.net". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Helle (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Welcombe (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Prins Willem II (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Morgan, Taylor (2011), pp 96-100
- Morgan, Taylor (2011), p. xxix
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "HMS Salopian (F 94) (Armed Merchant Cruiser)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Rothermere (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Marconi (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Designer (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Inverness (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Jedmoor (Motor merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-98 from 29 Oct 1941 to 29 Nov 1941". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Biela (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-98 from 31 Mar 1942 to 6 Jun 1942". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "USS Bold (AMc 67) (Coastal minesweeper)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-98 from 22 October 1942 to 15 November 1942". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-98". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- 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.
- Daniel Morgan; Bruce Taylor (9 November 2011). U-Boat Attack Logs: A Complete Record of Warship Sinkings from Original Sources 1939-1945. Seaforth Publishing. pp. 96–100. ISBN 978-1-84832-118-2.