German submarine U-45 (1938)

German submarine U-45 was a Type VIIB U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

 of the German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. She was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on November 21, 1936 and laid down February 23, 1937 at F. Krupp Germaniawerft AG in Kiel as werk 580. She was launched on April 27, 1938 and comissioned on June 25, 1938 under the command of Kptlt. Alexander Gelhaar.

During her service in the German Kriegsmarine, U-45 conducted only two war patrols and sank two vessels for a loss of 19,313 GRT
Gross Register Tonnage
Gross register tonnage a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of . It is calculated from the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel. The ship's net register tonnage is obtained by reducing the volume of non-revenue-earning spaces i.e...


While operating with others
Hartmann's wolfpack
Hartmann’s wolfpack was a formation of the German Navy in World War II, a "wolfpack" of U-boats that operated during the early stages of the Battle of the Atlantic.-Background:...

 in an attack on an Allied convoy, U-45 was sunk by depth charges from British destroyers , , and on 14 October 1939 southwest of Ireland.

First War Patrol

Her training exercises completed, U-45 left Kiel on her first war patrol on August 19, 1939 (prior to the outbreak of World War II) under the command of Kptlt. Alexander Gelhaar. During 28 days at sea no enemy vessels were attacked and the submarine returned to her base at Kiel on 15 September, 1939.

Second War Patrol

Sailing again on October 9, 1939 under the command of Kptlt. Alexander Gelhaar U-45 began her second and final war patrol. On October 14, the U-boat sighted and attacked convoy KJF-3 about 230 miles southwest of Ireland. This attack yielded the only two successes by U-45, the 9,205 British freighter Lochavon and the 10,108 French merchant Bretagne. U-45 also attacked but failed to damage the 10,350 ton British steam merchant Karamea; the single torpedo fired at this ship detonated prematurely (a common problem early in the war). Survivors of this attack were picked up by and landed at Plymouth. U-45 was depth-charged and sunk by other escorts; all 38 crew members went down with the submarine.

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