U995 2004 1.jpg
U-995 Type VIIC/41 at the Laboe Naval Memorial. This U-boat is almost identical to U-1278.
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-1278
Ordered: 13 June 1942
Builder: Bremer Vulkan AG, Bremen
Yard number: 73
Laid down: 12 August 1943
Launched: 15 April 1944
Commissioned: 31 May 1944
Fate: Sunk, 17 February 1945
General characteristics
Type: Type VIIC/41 submarine
Displacement:
  • 757 long tons (769 t) surfaced
  • 857 long tons (871 t) 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)
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2 × diesel engines
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
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 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:
  • 250 m (820 ft)
  • Calculated crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44-52 officers & ratings
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Erich Müller-Bethke[1]
  • 31 May 1944 - 17 February 1945
Operations: 1 patrol
Victories: None

German submarine U-1278 was a Type VIIC/41 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She was ordered on 13 June 1942, and was laid down on 12 August 1943, at Bremer Vulkan AG, Bremen, as yard number 73. She was launched on 15 April 1944, and commissioned under the command of Kapitänleutnant Erich Müller-Bethke on 31 May 1944.[2]

Design

German Type VIIC/41 submarines were preceded by the heavier Type VIIC submarines. U-1278 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), an overall 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 460/8–276 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[3]

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). When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-1278 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, (220 rounds), one 3.7 cm (1.5 in) Flak M42 and two 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and fifty-two.[3]

Service history

U-1278 left on her first, and only, war patrol on 11 February 1945. At this time she was, and probably had been prior to, fitted with a Schnorchel underwater-breathing apparatus. Only 7 days into her patrol she was located by the British frigates Bayntun and Loch Eck in the Norwegian Sea north-west of Bergen. She was sunk on 17 February 1945, by depth charges, killing all 48 of her crew.[2]

The wreck now lies at 61°32′N 01°36′E / 61.533°N 1.600°E / 61.533; 1.600Coordinates: 61°32′N 01°36′E / 61.533°N 1.600°E / 61.533; 1.600.[2]

See also

References

Notes

Citations

  1. ^ Helgason.
  2. ^ a b c Helgason & U-1278.
  3. ^ a b Gröner 1991, pp. 43-44.

Bibliography

Books
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
Online sources
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Erich Müller-Bethke". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "U-1278". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 16 March 2016.

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrols by U-1278". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net.