|Ordered:||16 October 1939|
|Laid down:||3 April 1940|
|Launched:||10 July 1941|
|Commissioned:||21 August 1941|
|Nickname(s):||U.S.S.R. Michael Roscoe|
|Status:||Missing since 13 April 1943|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
|Victories:||Two merchant ships sunk (10,146 GRT)|
U-376 was attached to the 6th U-boat Flotilla, and was ready for front-line service from 1 March 1942. Operating from Norwegian bases, from July 1942 she served with the 11th U-boat Flotilla, and was transferred to the 3rd U-boat Flotilla, based in France, in early 1943.
Construction and Design
U-376 was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 16 October 1939. She was laid down about six months later at the Howaldtswerke yard in Kiel, on 3 April 1940. Just over a year and three months later, U-376 was launched in Kiel on 10 July 1941. She was formally commissioned into the Kriegsmarine later that year on 21 August.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-376 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), 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 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).
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-376 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, and a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
U-376, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Friedrich-Karl Marks, left Kiel on 11 March 1942, arriving at Heligoland in the North Sea the next day. She sailed on her first combat patrol on the 15th, heading north into the Barents Sea. There, on 30 March she torpedoed and sank the 5,086 ton British merchant ship Induna, part of the Arctic convoy PQ-13, en -route to Murmansk.
Forty-one survivors, from the crew of 66, abandoned ship in two lifeboats in temperatures around -20°C and freezing winds. Only 30 were still alive on 2 April when they were picked up by a Russian minesweeper, two subsequently died of exposure.
2nd and 3rd patrols
U-376 left Bergen on 7 June 1942, sailing to the waters north of Iceland before returning to the Barents Sea. where on 10 July, she sank the 5,060 ton American Hog Islander Hoosier, en route to Arkhangelsk with a cargo of 5,029 tons of machinery and explosives, and tanks as deck cargo. Part of Convoy PQ 17, the ship had been bombed the previous day by several Junkers Ju 88 aircraft of KG 30, which had disabled the engines. Taken in tow by HMS La Malouine she was abandoned when U-255 was sighted in pursuit. The drifting wreck of Hoosier was hit by two torpedoes from U-376 and sank.
The U-boat arrived at Narvik on 15 July, sailing to Bergen after three days, before spending August to October at Wilhelmshaven and Kiel. She returned to Bergen on 25 October, then sailed to Skjomenfjord on 3 November 1942.
U-376 left Skjomenfjord on 5 November to patrol the Barents Sea once more, arriving at Narvik on 8 December, having had no success.
She returned to Bergen before setting out once more on 26 January 1943, but was attacked by Allied aircraft the next day and was forced to return to base with several crewmen wounded.
The U-boat left Bergen on 30 January, but during the night her third watch officer was washed overboard. U-376 returned to Bergen to embark a replacement and departed the same day. This patrol took her out into the Atlantic, south of Greenland, before she arrived at her new home port of La Pallice in France on 13 March.
8th patrol and loss
U-376 sailed from La Pallice on 6 April 1943 on a mission codenamed Operation Elster ("Magpie"), to take on board German Naval officers who had escaped from a POW camp at North Point on Prince Edward Island, Canada. U-376 was preceded by the mission's backup boat, U-262, which had left from the same port on 27 March, but had had to return due to a defective air vent, and sailed again on 7 April.
While some[who?]believe that U-376 was sunk on 7 May 1943 off Prince Edward Island, the U-boat failed to send the mandatory radio signal to report that she had successfully exited the Bay of Biscay and was listed as having been lost on 13 April 1943.[clarification needed]
U-376 took part in nine wolfpacks, namely.
- Zieten (23–29 March 1942)
- Eiswolf (29–31 March 1942)
- Robbenschlag (7–14 April 1942)
- Blutrausch (15–19 April 1942)
- Strauchritter (29 April – 5 May 1942)
- Eisteufel (1–4 July 1942)
- Eisteufel (6–12 July 1942)
- Boreas (19 November – 7 December 1942)
- Neptun (18 February – 2 March 1943)
Summary of raiding history
|30 March 1942||Induna||United Kingdom||5,086||Sunk|
|10 July 1942||Hoosier||United States||5,060||Sunk|
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- Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-376". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
- Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-376 from 15 March 1942 to 1 April 1942". U-boat patrols - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
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- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Hoosier". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
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- Hadley, Michael L. (1990). U-Boats Against Canada: German Submarines in Canadian Waters. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. p. 170. ISBN 0-7735-0801-5.
- 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.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-376". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.