German submarine U-456
|Ordered:||16 January 1940|
|Builder:||Deutsche Werke, Kiel|
|Laid down:||3 September 1940|
|Launched:||21 June 1941|
|Commissioned:||18 September 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk, after being depth charged, on 12 May 1943 at position 46°39′N 26°54′W / 46.650°N 26.900°W by HMS Opportune and a RAF Liberator bomber of 86 Squadron, operating out of Northern Ireland.|
|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|
German submarine U-456 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 3 September 1940 by Deutsche Werke in Kiel as yard number 287, launched on 21 June 1941 and commissioned on 18 September 1941 under Kapitänleutnant Max-Martin Teichert (Knight’s Cross).
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-456 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 Siemens-Schuckert GU 343/38–8 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).
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-456 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 an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
The boat's service began on 28 September 1941 with training as part of the 6th U-boat Flotilla. She was transferred to the 11th flotilla on 1 July 1942 and then to the 1st flotilla on 1 December 1942.
In 11 patrols she sank six ships for a total of 31,528 gross register tons (GRT), plus two ships damaged.
In the late afternoon of 30 April 1942, during the attack on the Arctic Convoy QP 11, two of her torpedoes struck and crippled the Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Edinburgh. At the time Edinburgh was carrying many tons of gold bullion from the USSR destined for the UK.
She took part in ten wolfpacks, namely,
- Umbau (4–15 February 1942)
- Umhang (10–16 March 1942)
- Eiswolf (29–31 March 1942)
- Robbenschlag (7–14 April 1942)
- Blutrausch (15–19 April 1942)
- Strauchritter (29 April – 3 May 1942)
- Eisteufel (27 June – 5 July 1942)
- Boreas (27–30 November 1942)
- Landsknecht (19–28 January 1943)
- Dressel (29 April – 12 May 1943)
In the early morning light U-456 was caught on the surface by an RAF Coastal Command Liberator bomber of 86 Squadron operating out of Northern Ireland, as she circled ahead of convoy HX 237. U-456 dived at once, but not before the aircraft had launched the new American Fido acoustic homing torpedo at the submerged submarine. The aircraft, low on fuel, was unable to press home the attack. U-456 was badly damaged and forced to re-surface. On the following day she was depth charged and sunk on 12 May 1943 at position 46°39′N 26°54′W / 46.650°N 26.900°WCoordinates: 46°39′N 26°54′W / 46.650°N 26.900°W by HMS Opportune.
Summary of raiding history
|30 March 1942||Effingham||United States||6,421||Damaged|
|30 April 1942||HMS Edinburgh||Royal Navy||11,500||Damaged|
|5 July 1942||Honomu||United Kingdom||6,977||Sunk|
|22 August 1942||Chalka||Soviet Union||80||Sunk|
|2 February 1943||Jeremiah Van Rensselaer||United States||7,177||Sunk|
|3 February 1943||Inverilen||United Kingdom||9,456||Sunk|
|23 February 1943||Kyleclare||Ireland||700||Sunk|
|12 May 1943||Fort Concord||United Kingdom||7,138||Sunk|
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