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German submarine U-443

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German submarine U-443

Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-443
Ordered: 13 April 1940
Builder: F Schichau GmbH, Danzig
Laid down: 10 February 1941
Launched: 31 January 1942
Commissioned: 18 April 1942
Fate: U-443 was sunk on 23 February 1943 in the Mediterranean near Algiers by three escort destroyers[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 (4 bow, 1 stern)
• 14 × torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
• 1 × C35 88mm gun/L45 deck gun (220 rounds)
• Various AA guns

German submarine U-443 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for the Nazi German Kriegsmarine for service during World War II.

She was laid down at F Schichau Danzig in the Polish city on 10 February 1941, launched on 14 January 1942 and commissioned on 18 April with Oberleutnant Konstantin von Puttkamer in command. She served with the 8th U-boat Flotilla for training, then with the 9th flotilla from 1 October 1942 to 31 December 1942, and the 29th flotilla from 1 January 1943 to 23 February for operations.

U-443 completed three patrols, sinking three merchant ships totalling 19,435 gross register tons (GRT) and one warship of 1,087 GRT.
She served in two wolfpacks.

Operational career

1st patrol

U-443 began her operational service when she departed Kiel on 1 October 1942 and sailed out into the Atlantic, clearing the northern coast of Scotland. On 9 October in rough weather, a lookout broke his arm. The U-boat sank two ships from Convoy ON 139 in mid-Atlantic on 22 October, but was then forced to submerge where she was held by the escort ships until the convoy had escaped. She subsequently steamed into Brest in occupied France, arriving on 4 November.

2nd patrol

Her second sortie saw her leave Brest on 29 November 1942, penetrate the heavily defended Strait of Gibraltar, sink two more ships in the western Mediterranean and arrive at the Italian port of La Spezia on 22 December.

3rd patrol and loss

The U-boat left La Spezia on 16 February 1943 and headed southwest. She was sunk with all hands on 23 February northwest of Algiers by depth charges from the escort destroyers HMS Bicester, Lamerton and Wheatland.[2]

Raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate
22 October 1942 Donax  United Kingdom 8,036 Sunk
22 October 1943 Winnipeg II  United Kingdom 9,807 Sunk
11 December 1942 HMS Blean  United Kingdom 1,087 Sunk
14 December 1942 Edencrag  United Kingdom 1,592 Sunk

References

  • Bishop, C. Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939-45. Amber Books, 2006.
  • uboat.net webpage for U-443

Coordinates: 36°55′N 2°25′E / 36.917°N 2.417°E / 36.917; 2.417

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