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German submarine U-456
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-456
Ordered: 16 January 1940
Builder: Deutsche Werke, Kiel
Yard number: 287
Laid down: 3 September 1940
Launched: 21 June 1941
Commissioned: 18 September 1941
Fate: Sunk, after being depth charged, on 12 May 1943 at position 46°39′N 26°54′W / 46.65°N 26.9°W / 46.65; -26.9 by HMS Opportune and a RAF Liberator bomber of 86 Squadron, operating out of Northern Ireland.
General characteristics
Class & type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
  • 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
  • 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
  • Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
  • Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
    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:
  • 2 shafts
  • 2 × diesel engines
  • 2 × electric motors
  • 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)
  • Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
    Armament:
    Service record[1]
    Part of:
    Commanders:
    Operations:
    • 1st patrol: 31 January – 15 February 1942
    • 2nd patrol: 24 February – 22 March 1942
    • 3rd patrol: 29 March – 2 April 1942
    • 4th patrol: 7–20 April 1942
    • 5th patrol: 29 April – 4 May 1942
    • 6th patrol: 7–12 May 1942
    • 7th patrol: 25 June - 6 July 1942
    • 8th patrol: 4–10 August 1942
    • 9th patrol: 15 August – 19 September 1942
    • 10th patrol: 14 January – 26 February 1943
    • 11th patrol: 24 April – 12 May 1943
    Victories:
    • 6 merchant ships sunk (31,528 GRT)
    • 1 merchant ship damaged (6,421 GRT)
    • 1 warship damaged (11,500 tons)

    German submarine U-456 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 3 September 1940 by Deutsche Werke in Kiel as yard number 287, launched on 21 June 1941 and commissioned on 18 September 1941 under Kapitänleutnant Max-Martin Teichert (Knight’s Cross).

    Design

    German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-456 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 Siemens-Schuckert GU 343/38–8 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-456 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.[2]

    Service history

    The boat's service began on 28 September 1941 with training as part of the 6th U-boat Flotilla. She was transferred to the 11th flotilla on 1 July 1942 and then to the 1st flotilla on 1 December 1942.

    In 11 patrols she sank six ships for a total of 31,528 gross register tons (GRT), plus two ships damaged.

    HMS Edinburgh

    In the late afternoon of 30 April 1942, during the attack on the Arctic Convoy QP 11, two of her torpedoes struck and crippled the Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Edinburgh. At the time Edinburgh was carrying many tons of gold bullion from the USSR destined for the UK.

    Wolfpacks

    She took part in ten wolfpacks, namely,

    • Umbau (4–15 February 1942)
    • Umhang (10–16 March 1942)
    • Eiswolf (29–31 March 1942)
    • Robbenschlag (7–14 April 1942)
    • Blutrausch (15–19 April 1942)
    • Strauchritter (29 April – 3 May 1942)
    • Eisteufel (27 June – 5 July 1942)
    • Boreas (27–30 November 1942)
    • Landsknecht (19–28 January 1943)
    • Dressel (29 April – 12 May 1943)

    Fate

    In the early morning light U-456 was caught on the surface by an RAF Coastal Command Liberator bomber of 86 Squadron operating out of Northern Ireland, as she circled ahead of convoy HX 237. U-456 dived at once, but not before the aircraft had launched the new American Fido acoustic homing torpedo at the submerged submarine. The aircraft, low on fuel, was unable to press home the attack. U-456 was badly damaged and forced to re-surface. On the following day she was depth charged and sunk on 12 May 1943 at position 46°39′N 26°54′W / 46.65°N 26.9°W / 46.65; -26.9Coordinates: 46°39′N 26°54′W / 46.65°N 26.9°W / 46.65; -26.9 by HMS Opportune.

    Summary of raiding history

    Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[3]
    30 March 1942 Effingham  United States 6,421 Damaged
    30 April 1942 HMS Edinburgh  Royal Navy 11,500 Damaged
    5 July 1942 Honomu  United Kingdom 6,977 Sunk
    22 August 1942 Chalka  Soviet Union 80 Sunk
    2 February 1943 Jeremiah Van Rensselaer  United States 7,177 Sunk
    3 February 1943 Inverilen  United Kingdom 9,456 Sunk
    23 February 1943 Kyleclare  Ireland 700 Sunk
    12 May 1943 Fort Concord  United Kingdom 7,138 Sunk

    References

    Notes

    1. Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

    Citations

    1. Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-456". http://uboat.net/boats/u456.html. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
    3. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-456". http://uboat.net/boats/successes/u456.html. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 

    Bibliography

    • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6. 
    • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999) (in German). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
    • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs – The U-Boats at War. London, UK: Cassell Military Classics. pp. 141, 208, 210, 211. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
    • Gröner, ErichExpression error: Unexpected < operator. (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. 2. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4. 

    External links

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