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German submarine U-98 (1940)

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German submarine U-98 (1940)

History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-98
Ordered: 30 May 1938
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 603
Laid down: 27 September 1939
Launched: 31 August 1940
Commissioned: 12 October 1940
Fate: Sunk, 15 November 1942, by a British warship[1]
General characteristics
Class & type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
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)
Draft: 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:
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[2][3]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Robert Gysae
  • (12 October 1940 – 23 March 1942)
  • Kptlt. Wilhelm Schulze
  • (24 March – October 1942)
  • Oblt.z.S. Kurt Eichmann
  • (October – 15 November 1942)
Operations:
  • Nine
  • 1st patrol:
  • 12 March – 14 April 1941
  • 2nd patrol:
  • 1 – 29 May 1941
  • 3rd patrol:
  • 23 June – 23 July 1941
  • 4th patrol:
  • 31 August – 26 September 1941
  • 5th patrol:
  • 29 October – 29 November 1941
  • 6th patrol:
  • 18 January – 27 February 1942
  • 7th patrol:
  • 31 March – 6 June 1942
  • 8th patrol:
  • 17 July – 16 September 1942
  • 9th patrol:
  • 22 October – 15 November 1942
Victories:
  • 10 commercial ships sunk (48,878 GRT)
  • one auxiliary warship sunk - 10,549 GRT
  • one warship damaged – 185 tons

German submarine U-98 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II, operating from March 1941 until she was sunk in November 1942.

She was launched on 31 August 1940 and commissioned on 12 October, with a crew of 46 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Robert Gysae, operating from St. Nazaire in France. In March 1942 command was transferred to Korvettenkapitän Wilhelm Schulze. Her final commander was Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Eichmann, who took over in October 1942.[2] She was a member of six wolfpacks.

Contents

  • Design 1
  • Service history 2
    • 1st patrol 2.1
    • 2nd patrol 2.2
    • 3rd patrol 2.3
    • 4th patrol 2.4
    • 5th patrol 2.5
    • 6th patrol 2.6
    • 7th patrol 2.7
    • 8th patrol 2.8
    • 9th and final patrol 2.9
    • Wolfpacks 2.10
  • Summary of raiding history 3
  • Previously recorded fate 4
  • References 5
  • Bibliography 6
  • External links 7

Design

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-98 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[4] It 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 AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 shaft horsepower (760 PS; 560 kW) for use while submerged. It had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. It was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[4]

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).[4] When submerged, it could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, it could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-98 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at its bow and one at its stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. It had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[4]

Service history

1st patrol

U-98 sailed from Kiel under the command of Robert Gysae on 12 March 1941, and out into the Atlantic south of Iceland. On 27 March she sank the British 6,695 ton Koranton, a straggler from Convoy SC 25, with a single torpedo south southwest of Reykjavík. The ship sank quickly; she was loaded with 8,769 tons of pig iron.[5] On 4 April U-98 joined a wolfpack in an attack on Convoy SC 26.[6] She sank the Norwegian 2,467 ton Helle,[7] and the British 5,122 ton Wellcombe.[8] On 9 April she sank the Dutch 1,304 ton Prins Willem II, from Convoy HX 117.[9] The U-boat then arrived at Lorient on the French Atlantic coast on 14 April.

2nd patrol

Sailing from Lorient on 1 May 1941, U-98 headed once more out into the Atlantic, this time to the waters south of [10]

At 08:00 and 08:50, two more torpedoes hit Salopian in the engine room. Finally at 10:43, a single torpedo hit the stricken vessel amidships. She broke in two, and sank within two minutes. In all, nine torpedoes had been used.[10] Former merchant vessels such as Salopian, when converted for naval use, had their cargo holds filled with buoyant material such as empty barrels, so they could withstand a considerable number of torpedo hits and remain afloat.[11]

The next day Salopian‍ '​s commander, Captain Sir John Meynell Alleyne and 277 officers and ratings were picked up by the destroyer HMS Impulsive. One officer and two ratings were lost.[12]

On 20 May 1941 U-98 sank the British 5,356 ton Rothermere, part of convoy HX-126, which had scattered.[13] The next day she sank the British 7,402 ton Marconi, part of another dispersed convoy, OB-322.[14] U-98 arrived at her new homeport at St. Nazaire on 29 May 1941.

3rd patrol

Sailing from St. Nazaire on 23 June 1941, U-98 attacked Convoy OB 341 northwest of the Azores on 9 July and sank the British 5,945 ton Designer,[15] she also destroyed the British 4,897 ton Inverness.[16] She returned to St. Nazaire on 23 July.

4th patrol

Departing from St. Nazaire on 31 August 1941, U-98 patrolled the waters west of the British Isles, and on 16 September fired four single torpedoes at Convoy SC 42 north-west of St. Kilda, sinking the British 4,392 ton Jedmoor.[17] She returned to St. Nazaire on 26 September.

5th patrol

U-98 left St. Nazaire on 29 October 1941, and returned on 29 November, after a patrol in the Atlantic, north of the Azores, lasting 32 days, but with no results.[18]

6th patrol

U-98 sailed on 18 January 1942, for her last patrol under the command of Robert Gysae, and headed across the Atlantic to the east coast of Canada. There, on 15 February 1942, she torpedoed the British 5,298 ton Biela, originally from Convoy ON 62, sinking her about 400 miles southeast of Cape Race (on the eastern tip of Newfoundland). There were no survivors, even though the ship's crew had taken to the boats.[19] The U-boat returned to St. Nazaire on 27 February.

7th patrol

On 31 March 1942, now commanded by Korvettenkapitän Wilhelm Schulze,[2] U-98 sailed from St. Nazaire. However, at 00:47 on 2 April, still in the Bay of Biscay the U-boat was attacked by a Whitley bomber of 502 Squadron RAF Coastal Command with six 250-pound (110 kg) depth charges. U-98 crash-dived and escaped with minor damage.[2] She then sailed for the coast of Florida, but had no success, returning to port on 6 June 1942.[20]

8th patrol

U-98 next patrol began on 17 July 1942, it took her back to the Florida coast to lay mines, one of which damaged the American 185 ton minesweeper Bold (AMc-67) on 10 August 1942.[21] She returned home on 16 September.

9th and final patrol

U-98‍ '​ s ninth and final patrol was under the command of Oblt.z.S. Kurt Eichmann. The U-boat departed St. Nazaire on 22 October 1942, and after a voyage out to the mid-Atlantic without result[22] was sunk on 15 November west of the Strait of Gibraltar at , by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Wrestler, all 46 hands were lost.[2]

Wolfpacks

U-98 took part in six wolfpacks, namely.

  • West (8–27 May 1941)
  • Seewolf (3–15 September 1941)
  • Störtebecker (5–19 November 1941)
  • Gödecke (19–22 November 1941)
  • Natter (30 October – 8 November 1942)
  • Westwall (8–15 November 1942)

Summary of raiding history

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate[23]
27 March 1941 Koranton  United Kingdom 6,695 Sunk
4 April 1941 Helle  Norway 2,467 Sunk
4 April 1941 Welcombe  United Kingdom 5,122 Sunk
9 April 1941 Prins Wellen II  Netherlands 1,304 Sunk
13 May 1941 HMS Salopian  Royal Navy 10,549 Sunk
20 May 1941 Rothermere  United Kingdom 5,356 Sunk
21 May 1941 Marconi  United Kingdom 7,402 Sunk
9 July 1941 Designer  United Kingdom 5,945 Sunk
9 July 1941 Inverness  United Kingdom 4,897 Sunk
16 September 1941 Jedmoor  United Kingdom 4,392 Sunk
15 February 1942 Biela  United Kingdom 5,298 Sunk
10 August 1942 USS Bold  United States Navy 185 Damaged

Previously recorded fate

U-98 was originally thought to have been sunk on 19 November 1942 southwest of Cape St. Vincent (southwest Portugal), by a Lockheed Hudson of 608 Squadron. U-413 was the victim – she was severely damaged.

References

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Morgan, Taylor (2011), pp 96-100
  11. ^ Morgan, Taylor (2011), p. xxix
  12. ^
  13. ^ }
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^

Bibliography

External links

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