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German submarine U-454
Name: U-454
Ordered: 20 October 1939
Builder: Deutsche Werke, Kiel
Yard number: 285
Laid down: 4 July 1940
Launched: 30 April 1941
Commissioned: 24 July 1941
Fate: Sunk in the Bay of Biscay by an Australian aircraft, August 1943[1]
General characteristics
Type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement: 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296.
Speed: 17.7 knots (20.4 mph; 32.8 km/h) surfaced
7.6 knots (8.7 mph; 14.1 km/h) submerged
Range: 15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44–52 officers and ratings
Armament: • 5 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
• 14 × G7e torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
• 1 × C35 88mm gun/L45 deck gun (220 rounds)
• Various AA guns
Service record[2]
Part of: 5th U-boat Flotilla
(24 July–3 November 1941)
7th U-boat Flotilla
(1 November1941–1 August 1943)
Commanders: Kptlt. Burkhard Hackländer
(24 July 1941–1 August 1943)
Operations: 1st patrol:
25 December 1941–20 January 1942
2nd patrol:
27 January–3 February 1942
3rd patrol:
24 February–15 March 1942
4th patrol:
24 March–2 April 1942
5th patrol:
8 April–20 April 1942
6th patrol:
4 July–17 August 1942
7th patrol
26 September–7 December 1942
8th patrol:
18 January–8 March 1943
9th patrol:
17 April–23 May 1943
10th patrol:
26 July–1 August 1943
Victories: One ship sunk, 557 GRT;
one warship sunk, 1,870 tons;
one ship damaged, 5,395 GRT

German submarine U-454 was a Type VIIC U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She carried out ten patrols. She sank two ships and damaged one more.

She was a member of 19 wolfpacks.

She was sunk in the Bay of Biscay by an Australian aircraft in August 1943.[3]

Service history

The submarine was laid down on 4 July 1940 in the Deutsche Werke, Kiel as 'werk' 285, launched on 30 April 1941 and commissioned on 24 July under the command of Kapitänleutnant Burkhard Hackländer.

She served with the 5th U-boat Flotilla from 24 July 1941 for training and the 7th flotilla from 1 November for operations.

1st patrol

U-432's first patrol was preceded by the short journey from Kiel in Germany to Kirkenes in Norway not far from the border with Russia. The patrol itself commenced with her departure from Kirkenes on 25 December 1941.

She sank the Soviet trawler RT-68 Enise on 17 January 1942 78 mi (126 km) north of Kanin Nos. That same day, she damaged the British registered Harmatis and sank the British destroyer HMS Matabele. The warship was hit in the stern by a torpedo, which caused her magazines to explode; the vessel sank in two minutes. The loss of life was made worse by the detonation of her depth charges and men freezing to death in the icy water.

2nd and 3rd patrols

Her second sortie terminated in Trondheim on 3 February 14942 and had covered the Barents Sea.

The submarine's third patrol was marred by the loss overboard of Matrosengefreiter Josef Kauerlos on 26 February 1942.

4th and 5th patrols

The boat's fourth patrol was also carried out in the Barents Sea.

Her fifth foray was toward Bear Island between 8 and 20 April 1942.

6th patrol

Two more short trips were carried out from Kirkenes and Bergen and finished in Kiel, from where she proceeded via the 'gap' separating Iceland from the Faroe Islands into the Atlantic Ocean. She went as far west as Newfoundland before arriving at St. Nazaire in occupied France on 17 August 1942.

7th and 8th patrols

Patrol number seven started and finished in St. Nazaire and at 73 days, was the boat's longest.

Her eighth sortie was relatively uneventful; the area negotiated was west of Ireland and north of the Azores.

9th patrol

U-454 left St. Nazaire on 17 April 1943. On 10 May, she encountered a Fairey Swordfish from the escort carrier HMS Biter. No damage was incurred, but the U-boat was forced to dive. She returned to France, but this time to La Pallice, on 23 May.

10th patrol and loss

U-445 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay by depth charges dropped by an Australian Sunderland flying boat of No. 10 Squadron RAAF. The aircraft crashed, the U-boat was on her way to the Mediterranean when she met her fate.[4]

Thirty-two men died; there were 14 survivors.

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
17 January 1942 Harmatris  United Kingdom 5,395 Damaged
17 January 1942 HMS Matebele  United Kingdom 1,870 Sunk
17 January 1942 RT-68 Enisej  Soviet Union 557 Sunk

See also


  1. Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 138
  2. "The Type VIIC boat U-454 - German U-boats of WWII -". Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  3. Kemp, p. 138
  4. Paterson, Lawrence - U-Boats in the Mediterranean 1941-1944, 2007, Chatham Publishing, ISBN 13: 9781861762900, p. 146

See also (German)

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