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German submarine U-354
Name: U-354
Ordered: 9 October 1939
Builder: Flensburger Schiffsbau, Flensburg
Yard number: 473
Laid down: 15 April 1940
Launched: 10 January 1942
Commissioned: 22 April 1942
Fate: Sunk by British warships in the Barents Sea August 1944[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 (four bow, one stern)
• 14 × G7e torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
• 1 × C35 88mm gun/L45 deck gun (220 rounds)
• Various AA guns
Service record[2][3]
Part of: 5th U-boat Flotilla
(22 August–30 September 1942)
1st U-boat Flotilla
(1–14 October 1942)
11th U-boat Flotilla
(15 October 1942–31 May 1943)
13th U-boat Flotilla
(1 June 1943–24 August 1944)
Commanders: Kptlt. Karl-Heinz Herbschleb
(22 April 1942–22 February 1944)
Oblt. Hans-Jürgen Sthamer
(22 February 1944–24 August 1944)
Operations: 1st patrol:
29 October–30 November 1942
2nd patrol:
19 December 1942–15 January 1943
3rd patrol:
11 March–4 April 1943
4th patrol:
9 May–12 June 1943
5th patrol:
4 August–22 September 1943
6th patrol:
a. 22 October–23 October 1943
b. 25 October–6 December 1943
7th patrol:
7 December 1943–1 January 1944
8th patrol:
8 March–12 April 1944
9th patrol:
8 April–3 May 1944
10th patrol:
a. 30 June–3 July 1944
b. 4 July–28 July 1944
11th patrol:
21 August–24 August 1944
Victories: One ship sunk, 7,176 GRT
one warship sunk, of 1,300 tons
one ship damaged, 3,771 GRT
one warship a total loss of 11,420 tons

German submarine U-354 was a Type VIIC U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She carried out 11 patrols before being sunk in the Barents Sea by British warships in 1944.

She sank one ship and one warship, damaged a commercial vessel and caused a warship to be declared a total loss.

Service history[]

The submarine was laid down on 15 April 1940 at the Flensburger Schiffsbau yard at Flensburg as 'werk' 473, launched on 10 January 1942 and commissioned on 22 April under the command of Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinz Herbschleb.

U-354 served with the 5th U-boat Flotilla, for training and then with the 1st flotilla for operations from 1 October 1942. She came under the command of the 11th flotilla on 15 October and was reassigned to the 13th flotilla on 1 June 1943; she stayed with that organization until her sinking.

U-348 made short trips from Kiel in Germany to Bergen and Skjomenfjord in Norway between April and October 1942.

1st and 2nd patrols[]

Her first patrol began with her departure from Skjomenfjord on 29 October 1942. On 4 November she sank the William Clark off Jan Mayen Island. This ship had already possibly been damaged by bombs from Ju 88 aircraft. A crewman was lost overboard on the 11th. The boat put into Narvik on the 30th.

The submarine's second foray over Christmas and New year's Eve took her from Narvik, as far as Bear Island and back to Narvik.

3rd and 4th patrols[]

U-354's third patrol was marred by the suicide of Maschinenmaat Helmut Ricther on 12 March 1943.

Her fourth sortie took the boat north of Bear Island; she returned to Narvik on 12 June 1943.

5th patrol[]

It was during this patrol that she attacked and damaged the Soviet Petrovskij in the eastern Kara Sea on 27 August 1943.

6th patrol[]

This patrol was split in two: the first part, which was rather brief, was over 22 and 23 October 1943. The second part was longer; between 25 October and 6 December. The boat finished up in Hammerfest in the far north of Norway.

7th, 8th and 9th patrols[]

U-354 continued to patrol northern waters, without success.

10th patrol[]

By now moored in Bogenbucht (west of Narvik), the next sally was also divided in two. The boat sailed west of Svalbad and Zemlya Frantsa-Josifa, (Franz Josef Land),[4] but targets continued to elude her.

11th patrol and loss[]

U-354 sank HMS Bickerton with a torpedo intended as a 'coup de grǎce' for the escort carrier HMS Nabob (which was subsequently declared to be a total loss), northwest of the North Cape on 22 August 1944.

The U-boat was sunk on 24 August by the British sloops HMS Mermaid and Peacock, the frigate Loch Dunvegan and the destroyer Keppel.

Summary of raiding history[]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
4 November 1942 William Clark  USA 7,176 Sunk
27 August 1943 Petrovskij  Soviet Union 3,771 Damaged
22 August 1944 HMS Bickerton  United Kingdom 1,300 Sunk
22 August 1944 HMS Nabob  United Kingdom 11,420 Total loss

Previously recorded fate[]

U-354 was originally thought to have been sunk by a Fairey Swordfish of No. 825 Naval Air Squadron from the escort carrier HMS Vindex on 22 August 1944. This was U-344.


  1. Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 214
  2. "The Type VIIC boat U-354 - German U-boats of WWII -". Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  3. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-348 - Boats -". Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  4. The Times Atlas of the World - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 22

External links[]

See also[]

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