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German submarine U-656

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Title: German submarine U-656  
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Subject: German submarine U-503, U-boats sunk in 1942, 1st U-boat Flotilla, U-boats commissioned in 1941, 1942 in aviation
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German submarine U-656

Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-656
Ordered: 9 October 1939
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Hamburg
Yard number: 805
Laid down: 4 September 1940
Launched: 8 July 1941
Commissioned: 17 September 1941
Fate: Sunk by depth charge, 1 March 1942
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 F46 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 (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 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44–52 officers & ratings
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine:
5th U-boat Flotilla
1st U-boat Flotilla
Commanders: Kptlt. Ernst Kröning (Aug 1941–Mar 1942)
Operations: 2 patrols;
15 January–28 January 1942
4 February–1 March 1942
Victories: None

German submarine U-656 was a German World War II Type VIIC U-boat built for the Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was ordered on 9 October 1939 and the keel laid on 4 September 1940. Construction on U-656 was carried out by Hamburg company Howaldtswerke in Yard 805. She was launched on 8 July 1941 and commissioned on 17 September 1941.

U-656 went into service initially with 5th U-boat Flotilla for training from September 1941 until December 1941. She moved into operational service with 1st U-boat Flotilla on 1 January 1942, and was commanded by Ernst Kröning.

U-656 made two patrols, but did not sink any ships. Her first patrol lasted almost two weeks: after departing Kiel on 15 January 1942, she put in at Brest, France on 28 January. The submarine departed Brest on 4 February, but never completed her second patrol. She was sunk with all hands by depth charges dropped by a United States Navy Lockheed Hudson of patrol squadron VP-82 on 1 March 1942 south of Cape Race, Newfoundland. U-656 became the first U-boat to be sunk by the U.S. Navy in World War II.


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler).  
  • Bishop, Chris (2006). Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939-45. London: Amber Books.  

External links

  • at Uboat.netU 656
  • " Kriegsmarine and U-Boat history". Retrieved 2007-01-18. 

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