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German submarine U-156 (1941)
Turmabzeichen von U 156.jpg
Conning tower emblem of U-156
Career (Germany)
Name: U-156
Ordered: 25 September 1939
Builder: AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 998
Laid down: 11 October 1940
Launched: 21 May 1941
Commissioned: 4 September 1941
Fate: Sunk on 8 March 1943
General characteristics
Type: Type IXC submarine
Displacement: 1,120 t (1,100 long tons) surfaced
1,232 t (1,213 long tons) submerged
Length: 76.8 m (252 ft 0 in) overall
58.7 m (192 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) overall
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)
Draft: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,000 hp (2,983 kW)
2 × SSW GU345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Speed: 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h) submerged
Range: 24,880 nmi (46,080 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced
117 nmi (217 km) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 48 to 56
Armament: 6 × torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern)
22 × 55 cm (22 in) torpedoes
1 × 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun[1] (110 rounds)
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine
4th U-boat Flotilla
(September 4–December 31, 1941)
2nd U-boat Flotilla (January 1, 1942–March 8, 1943)
Commanders: Werner Hartenstein
Operations: Five patrols
Victories: 20 ships sunk for a total of 97,504 gross register tons (GRT)
Three ships damaged for a total of 18,811 GRT
One warship damaged for a total of 1,190 tons

German submarine U-156 was a Type IXC U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II. The keel for this boat was laid on 11 October 1940 at the AG Weser yard in Bremen, Germany as 'werk' 998. She was commissioned on 4 September 1941 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Werner Hartenstein (Knight's Cross) and took part in five patrols which included attacks on shipping and the refinery on the island of Aruba, as well as the sinking of the ocean liner Laconia west of Africa and torpedoing and damaging the American destroyer USS Blakeley'. The city of Plauen, Hartenstein's home city, adopted the submarine within the then popular sponsorship programme (Patenschaftsprogramm), organising gifts and holidays for the crew.

Service history[]

Built and commissioned in Bremen, the boat conducted her first patrol during which her crew trained from September 1941, at the end of which she arrived at her operations base in Lorient, France, in December 1941.

Three-quarter front view over the bow from the conning tower of another submarine with numerous people standing on both vessels

U-156 (foreground) and U-507 (background) on 15 September 1942

During her three operational patrols in 1942, U-156 sank 20 ships for a total of 97,504 gross register tons (GRT), three ships were damaged for a total of 18,811 GRT and one warship was damaged for a total of 1,190 tons. Matrosengefreiter (equivalent to Able Seaman or Leading Seaman) Heinrich Bussinger was killed when the deck gun he was manning exploded because the cap or tampion in the muzzle of the gun preventing water from entering the barrel was not removed before firing. This occurred at the beginning of the attack on the Lago Oil and Transport Company refinery in Aruba. It was this freak accident that saved what was then the world’s largest refinery. Gunnery Officer Dietrich von dem Borne lost his right leg in the explosion. He was taken below and the boat submerged and left the waters off the coast of Aruba. Von dem Borne was put ashore on the island of Martinique for medical treatment and survived the war.

Fate[]

During her fifth patrol, in which she sank no shipping and made no attacks, U-156 was attacked twice, during the second of which she was sunk east of the island of Barbados, in position 12°38′N 54°39′W / 12.633°N 54.65°W / 12.633; -54.65Coordinates: 12°38′N 54°39′W / 12.633°N 54.65°W / 12.633; -54.65, by depth charges dropped from a PBY Catalina (VP-53/P-1) on 8 March 1943. All 53 hands were lost.

Ships attacked[]

U-156 is credited with the sinking of 20 ships (including the motor boat Letitia Porter on board Koenjit), for a total of 97,504 GRT, further damaging three ships of 18,811 GRT and damaging one warship, the USS Blakeley, of 1,190 tons.[2]

Raiding history[]

Date Time Name of Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate and location
16 February 1942 08.01 Pedernales  Great Britain 4,317 damaged at 12°25′N 69°55′W / 12.417°N 69.917°W / 12.417; -69.917 (Pedernales (ship))
16 February 1942 08.03 Oranjestad  Great Britain 2,396 sunk at 12°25′N 69°55′W / 12.417°N 69.917°W / 12.417; -69.917 (Oranjestad (ship))
16 February 1942 09.43 Arkansas United States 6,452 damaged at 12°30′N 70°00′W / 12.5°N 70°W / 12.5; -70 (Arkansas (ship))
20 February 1942 11.31 Delplata United States 5,127 sunk at 14°55′N 62°10′W / 14.917°N 62.167°W / 14.917; -62.167 (Delplata (ship))
25 February 1942 02.19 La Carrière  Great Britain 5,685 sunk at 16°53′N 67°05′W / 16.883°N 67.083°W / 16.883; -67.083 (La Carriere (ship))
27 February 1942 10.35 Macgregor  Great Britain 2,498 sunk at 19°50′N 69°40′W / 19.833°N 69.667°W / 19.833; -69.667 (Macgregor (ship))
28 February 1942 11.17 Oregon United States 7,017 sunk at 20°44′N 67°52′W / 20.733°N 67.867°W / 20.733; -67.867 (Oregon (ship))
13 May 1942 03.58 Koenjit  Netherlands 4,551 sunk at 15°30′N 52°40′W / 15.5°N 52.667°W / 15.5; -52.667 (Koenjit (ship))
13 May 1942 03.58 Letitia Porter  Netherlands 15 sunk at 15°30′N 52°40′W / 15.5°N 52.667°W / 15.5; -52.667 (Letitia Porter (ship))
13 May 1942 22.05 City of Melbourne  Great Britain 6,630 sunk at 15°00′N 54°40′W / 15°N 54.667°W / 15; -54.667 (City of Melbourne (ship))
15 May 1942 02.54 Siljestad  Norway 4,301 sunk at 15°20′N 52°40′W / 15.333°N 52.667°W / 15.333; -52.667 (Siljestad (ship))
15 May 1942 20.59 Kupa  Yugoslavia 4,382 sunk at 14°50′N 52°20′W / 14.833°N 52.333°W / 14.833; -52.333 (Kupa (ship))
17 May 1942 21.04 Barrdale  Great Britain 5,072 sunk at 15°15′N 52°27′W / 15.25°N 52.45°W / 15.25; -52.45 (Barrdale (ship))
18 May 1942 10.18 Quaker City United States 4,961 sunk at 15°47′N 53°12′W / 15.783°N 53.2°W / 15.783; -53.2 (Quaker City (ship))
18 May 1942 18.52 San Eliseo  Great Britain 8,042 damaged at 15°30′N 54°16′W / 15.5°N 54.267°W / 15.5; -54.267 (San Eliseo (ship))
21 May 1942 18.29 Presidente Trujillo  Dominican Republic 1,668 sunk at 14°38′N 61°11′W / 14.633°N 61.183°W / 14.633; -61.183 (Presidente Trulillo (ship))
25 May 1942 15.52 USS Blakeley United States 1,190 damaged at 14°36′N 61°11′W / 14.6°N 61.183°W / 14.6; -61.183 (USS Blakeley (ship))
29 May 1942 01.03 Norman Prince  Great Britain 1,913 sunk at 14°40′N 62°15′W / 14.667°N 62.25°W / 14.667; -62.25 (Norman Prince (ship))
1 June 1942 23.51 Alegrete  Brazil 5,970 sunk at 13°40′N 61°30′W / 13.667°N 61.5°W / 13.667; -61.5 (Alegrete (ship))
3 June 1942 09.26 Lillian  Great Britain 80 sunk at 12°25′N 59°30′W / 12.417°N 59.5°W / 12.417; -59.5 (Lillian (ship))
24 June 1942 08.10 Willimantic  Great Britain 4,857 sunk at 25°55′N 51°58′W / 25.917°N 51.967°W / 25.917; -51.967 (Willimantic (ship))
27 August 1942 01.00 Clan Macwhirter  Great Britain 5,941 sunk at 35°45′N 18°45′W / 35.75°N 18.75°W / 35.75; -18.75 (Clan Macwhirter (ship))
12 September 1942 22.07 Laconia  Great Britain 19,695 sunk at 05°05′S 11°38′W / 5.083°S 11.633°W / -5.083; -11.633 (Laconia (ship))
19 September 1942 15.46 Quebec City  Great Britain 4,745 sunk at 02°12′S 17°36′W / 2.2°S 17.6°W / -2.2; -17.6 (Quebec City (ship))

See also[]

References[]

Citations
  1. Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp.248&249
  2. Röll 2011, pp. 153–154
Bibliography
  • Röll, Hans-Joachim (2011). Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartenstein: Mit U 156 auf Feindfahrt und der Fall "Laconia" (in German). Würzburg, Germany: Flechsig. ISBN 978-3-8035-0012-0.

External links[]


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