German submarine U-479

German submarine U-479 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down at the Deutsche Werke in Kiel on 19 November 1942 as yard number 310, launched on 14 August 1943 and was commissioned on 27 October 1943 with Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Joachim Förster, a Knights Cross winner, in command. He was replaced shortly afterwards by Oberleutnant Friedrich-Wilhelm Sons.

Nazi Germany
Name: U-479
Ordered: 10 April 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel
Yard number: 310
Laid down: 19 November 1942
Launched: 14 August 1943
Commissioned: 27 October 1943
Fate: Sunk by mine in the Gulf of Finland on 27 November 1944.
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
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)
  • 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
  • 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


German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-479 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[1] 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).[1]

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).[1] 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-479 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), one 3.7 cm (1.5 in) Flak M42 and two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[1]

Service history

The boat began her service career as part of the 5th U-boat Flotilla for training, before moving to the 8th flotilla for operations. She sank no ships during her career, but on 18 July 1944 U-479 torpedoed and damaged the Soviet submarine-chaser MO-304 in Vyborg bay.[2]

The U-boat's first patrol was preceded by short voyages from Kiel to Arendal (on the southern Norwegian coast near Kristiansand), back to Kiel and then on to Helsinki in Finland.

1st patrol

Her first foray proper saw her depart Helsinki on 13 July 1944, arrive at Esplanade (on the southern Finnish coast) on 25 July and move back to Helsinki on 1 August.

2nd and 3rd patrols

Her second and third sorties were both launched from Helsinki in August and were uneventful.

4th patrol

The submarine's fourth patrol was only different from her second and third efforts in that it terminated at Danzig, (now Gdansk).


The U-boat was sunk by a Soviet naval mine in the Gulf of Finland on 27 November 1944 and found in the summer of 2014 in position 59°20′N 23°10′E

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate
18 July 1944 MO-304  Soviet Navy 56 Damaged



  1. Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.



  • 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.

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