History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-956
Ordered: 10 April 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 1588
Laid down: 20 February 1942
Launched: 14 November 1942
Commissioned: 6 January 1943
Fate: Surrendered on 13 May 1945 at Loch Eriboll
General characteristics
Class and 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
Draught: 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:
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:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
Operations: 2 patrols
Victories:
  • 1 merchant ship total loss (7,176 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship sunk (1,190 GRT)

German submarine U-956 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 20 February 1942 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 1588, launched on 14 November 1942 and commissioned on 6 January 1943 under Oberleutnant zur See Gerhard Stoelker.

Design

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-956 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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 Brown, Boveri & Cie GG UB 720/8 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).[2]

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).[2] 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-956 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 one twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history

The boat's career began with training at 5th Flotilla on 6 January 1943, followed by active service on 1 July 1943 as part of the 1st Flotilla.

Fate

U-956 surrendered on 13 May 1945 at Loch Eriboll. She was then transferred to Lisahally, Northern Ireland on 29 May 1945 as part of Operation Deadlight and sunk by naval gunfire on 17 December 1945.

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
30 December 1944 Tblisi  Soviet Union 7,176 Total loss
16 January 1945 Dejatelnyj  Soviet Union 1,190 Sunk

References

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Gerhard Stoelker". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-956". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 March 2015.

Bibliography

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9.

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC U-boat U-956". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 March 2015.

Coordinates: 55°50′N 10°05′W / 55.833°N 10.083°W / 55.833; -10.083