German submarine U-488

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-488
Ordered: 17 July 1941
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 557
Laid down: 3 January 1942
Launched: 17 October 1942
Commissioned: 1 February 1943
Fate: Sunk, 26 April 1944[1]
General characteristics
Type: Ocean-going submarine tanker
Displacement:
  • 1,688 t (1,661 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,932 t (1,901 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 9.35 m (30 ft 8 in) o/a
  • 4.90 m (16 ft 1 in) pressure hull
Height: 11.70 m (38 ft 5 in)
Draught: 6.51 m (21 ft 4 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:
  • 14.4–14.9 knots (26.7–27.6 km/h; 16.6–17.1 mph) surfaced
  • 6.2 knots (11.5 km/h; 7.1 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 12,350 nmi (22,870 km; 14,210 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 55 nmi (102 km; 63 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 240 m (790 ft)
Complement: 6 officers and 47 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[2][3]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Erwin Bartke
  • 1 February 1943 – February 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Bruno Studt
  • February – 26 April 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 18 May – 10 July 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 7 September – 12 December 1943
  • 3rd patrol:22 February – 26 April 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-488 was a Type XIV supply and replenishment U-boat ("Milchkuh") of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Its keel was laid down on 3 January 1942 by Germaniawerft in Kiel as yard number 557, it was launched on 17 October 1942 and commissioned on 1 February 1943, with Leutnant zur See Erwin Bartke in command. Bartke was promoted to Oberleutnant zur See by February 1944; he was relieved by Oblt.z.S. Bruno Studt.[2]

The boat's service began with training under the 4th U-boat Flotilla and culminated with the 12th flotilla for operations.

Design[edit]

German Type XIV submarines were shortened versions of the Type IXDs they were based on. U-488 had a displacement of 1,688 tonnes (1,661 long tons) when at the surface and 1,932 tonnes (1,901 long tons) while submerged;[4] the U-boat had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 48.51 m (159 ft 2 in), a beam of 9.35 m (30 ft 8 in), a height of 11.70 m (38 ft 5 in), and a draught of 6.51 m (21 ft 4 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft supercharged four-stroke, six-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 2,800–3,200 metric horsepower (2,060–2,350 kW; 2,760–3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/38-8 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 propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 240 metres (790 ft).[4]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 14.4–14.9 knots (26.7–27.6 km/h; 16.6–17.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 6.2 knots (11.5 km/h; 7.1 mph).[4] When submerged, the boat could operate for 120 nautical miles (220 km; 140 mi) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 12,350 nautical miles (22,870 km; 14,210 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-488 was not fitted with torpedo tubes or deck guns, but had two 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 anti-aircraft guns with 2500 rounds as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 guns with 3000 rounds. The boat had a complement of fifty-three.[4]

Operational career[edit]

U-488 conducted three patrols; as a supply boat, it avoided combat.[2]

1st patrol[edit]

U-488's first patrol commenced when it left Kiel on 18 May 1943. It cleared the British Isles, sailing through the gap between the Faroe Islands and Iceland and out into the central Atlantic. On the return journey, it passed to the north-west of the Azores and reached Bordeaux in occupied France on 10 July 1943.

2nd patrol[edit]

It was attacked on its second patrol on 12 October 1943 by two Avengers from the escort carrier USS Card. The aircraft claimed a sinking, but U-488 was able to continue its mission.

On 15 October, Maschinenmaat Karl Bergmann died of an illness. On 25 November, Matrosenobergefreiter Heinz Heinlein fell overboard, he was rescued, but died of heart failure shortly afterwards.[2]

The U-boat returned to Bordeaux on 12 December 1943.

3rd patrol and loss[edit]

The boat departed Bordeaux for the last time on 22 April 1944. U-488 was sunk with all hands (64 dead) on the 26th in the mid-Atlantic west of Cape Verde by depth charges from the American destroyer escorts USS Frost, Huse, Barber and Snowden.[2]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-488 took part in one wolfpack, namely:

  • Trutz (6–12 June 1943)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 185.
  2. ^ a b c d e Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type XIV boat U-488". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-488". German U-boats of WWII – uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 79.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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.
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed – German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°54′N 38°05′W / 17.900°N 38.083°W / 17.900; -38.083