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German submarine U-154 (1941)
Career (Germany)
Name: U-154
Ordered: 25 September 1939
Builder: AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 996
Laid down: 21 September 1940
Launched: 21 April 1941
Commissioned: 1 August 1941
Fate: Sunk on 3 July 1944[1]
General characteristics
Type: Type IXC submarine
Displacement: 1,120 t (1,100 long tons) surfaced
1,232 t (1,213 long tons) submerged
Length: 76.8 m (252 ft 0 in) overall
58.7 m (192 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) overall
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)
Draft: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,000 hp (2,983 kW)
2 × SSW GU345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Speed: 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h) submerged
Range: 24,880 nmi (46,080 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced
117 nmi (217 km) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 48 to 56
Armament: 6 × torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern)
22 × 55 cm (22 in) torpedoes
1 × 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun[2] (110 rounds)
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine
4th U-boat Flotilla
(4 August 1941–31 January 1942)
2nd U-boat Flotilla (1 February 1942–3 July 1944)
Commanders: Krvkpt. Walter Kolle
(2 August–7 October 1942)
Heinrich Schuh (7 October 1942–8 February 1943)
Oblt. Oskar-Heinz Kusch
(8 February 1943–21 January 1944
Oblt. Gerth Cemeiner
(22 January–3 July 1944)
Operations: Eight patrols
Victories: Ten ships sunk for a total of 49,288 gross register tons (GRT), two ships damaged for a total of 15,771 tons and one ship declared a total loss, for 8,166 tons

German submarine U-154 was a Type IXC U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II. The keel for this boat was laid down on 21 September 1940 at the AG Weser yard in Bremen, Germany as 'werk' 996. She was launched on 21 April 1941 and commissioned on 2 August under the command of Korvettenkapitän Walter Kolle.

The submarine began her service life with training as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla; moving on to the 2nd flotilla for operations. She conducted eight patrols, sinking ten ships.

She was sunk by American destroyers in July 1944.

Operational history

1st patrol

The boat's first patrol began with her departure from Kiel on 7 February 1942. She headed for the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland via the gap between the Faroe and Shetland Islands. She docked at Lorient in occupied France, on 1 March.

2nd patrol

For her second sortie, she sailed to the Caribbean, sinking the Como Rico on 4 April 1942, about 225 mi (362 km) north of St. Juan, in Puerto Rico. Her success continued with the sinking of the Catahoula, the Delvalle, the Empire Amethyst and the Vineland, all near Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

3rd, 4th and 5th patrols

Her third patrol saw her cross the Atlantic once more. She sank the Tillie Lykes on 28 June 1942, about 100 mi (160 km) south of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and the Lalita, using the deck gun, in the Yucatan Channel on 6 July.

One of the boat's victims on this, her fourth patrol, was the Nurmahal. She was sunk on 9 November 1942 300 mi (480 km) east of Martinique "in less than thirty seconds."[3] Another was the Tower Grange, sunk 250 mi (400 km) off Cayenne in French Guiana.

Having made the short trip from Lorient to Brest, the submarine's fifth foray was her longest (109 days) and second most successful. Amongst many others, she attacked the Florida. Although the ship had her back broken on 28 May 1943, she was eventually repaired.

6th, 7th and 8th patrols and loss

She departed on patrol number six on 2 October 1943. U-154 was attacked by an unidentified PBY Catalina flying boat on 3 November; she was also twice attacked on the 22nd. None caused any damage. The boat returned to Lorient on 20 December.

She was then attacked on 13 March 1944, possibly by the US Navy patrol boat PC 469 north of the Panama Canal; only minor damage was sustained. She returned to France, again to Lorient, on 28 April.

U-154 was sunk by the US destroyers Inch and Frost northwest of Madeira on 3 July 1944.


Oblt Oskar-Heinz Kusch, who had commanded the boat in 1943 and the first month of 1944 and successfully attacked three ships, was court-martialled and shot in 1944, having been reported by his first officer for "Wehrkraftzersetzzung" (sedition and defeatism). It was not until the 1990s that Kusch's legal record was wiped clean and a memorial to his memory was erected.

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
4 April 1942 Comol Rico  USA 5,034 Sunk
5 April 1942 Catahoula  USA 5,030 Sunk
12 April 1942 Delvalle  USA 5,032 Sunk
13 April 1942 Empire Amethyst  United Kingdom 8,032 Sunk
20 April 1942 Vineland  Canada 5,587 Sunk
28 June 1942 Tillie Lykes  USA 2,572 Sunk
6 July 1942 Lalita  Panama 65 Sunk
8 November 1942 D'Entrecasteaux  United Kingdom 7,291 Sunk
9 November 1942 Nurmahal  United Kingdom 5,419 Sunk
18 November 1942 Tower Grange  United Kingdom 5,226 Sunk
28 May 1943 Cardinal Gibbons  USA 7,191 Damaged
28 May 1943 Florida  USA 8,580 Damaged
28 May 1943 John Worthington  USA 8,166 Total loss

See also


  1. Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, pp. 200-201
  2. Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp. 248 and 249

External links

Coordinates: 34°00′N 19°18′W / 34°N 19.3°W / 34; -19.3

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