German submarine U-2342

German submarine U-2342

U-Boat Infobox
type=XXIII
fieldpost number=
yard number=
order date=
keel=August 29, 1944
launch=October 13, 1944
commission=November 11, 1944
yard=Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
U-Boat Patrol
startdate=Start Date
enddate=End Date
assigned unit=Assigned Unit
U-Boat Patrol
startdate=No Patrols
enddate=
assigned unit=32nd Flotilla
U_Boat Command
startdate=April, 1944
enddate=July, 1944
name=Kptlt. Berchtold Schad von Mittelbiberbach
U_Boat Sink
type=Type of Ship Sunk
total=Number of Ships Sunk
tonnage=Gross Registered Tonnage
U_Boat Sink
type=Commercial Vessels
total=None
tonnage=0
U_Boat Sink
type=Military Vessels
total=None
tonnage=0

Unterseeboot 2342 (usually abbreviated to U-2342) was a short-lived German submarine during the Second World War. She was built at Hamburg during 1944 as a modern German Type XXIII submarine, a small coastal class designed to strike ships along the coastlines of Britain and liberated Europe, particularly the English Channel, although none ever served there. "U-2342" was placed under the command of Kptlt. Berchtold Schad von Mittelbiberbach, an ex-marine sergeant major who received a rapid promotion in the final months of 1944. She was his first submarine experience.

The fate of "U-2342" was not unusual, as the seas around the German coastline were subject to very heavy allied air attack during the final two years of the war, with the Royal Air Force seeking to restrict German movement by sowing thousands of air-dropped naval mines. This tactic delayed the production and training of new boats and disrupted coastal shipping. It also wrecked a number of new boats, including "U-2342", before they had a chance to enter the Second Battle of the Atlantic.

"U-2342" was travelling in a convoy of ten boats taking essential supplies and personnel to Norway on Boxing Day 1944. The operation was highly secret, and submarines were used to disguise it from any prying reconnaissance aircraft. Whilst just north of Swinemünde, "U-2342" activated an air-dropped mine and fell out of the convoy, slowly sinking as the other boats carried on their passage northwards. Rescue vessels found some of the crew, but seven sailors, including the boat's captain were not found, lost in the explosion.

Demolitions experts blew up the wreck in 1954 to clear the seaway, and parts were taken to shore, where they were broken up for scrap.

References

* Sharpe, Peter, "U-Boat Fact File", Midland Publishing, Great Britain: 1998. ISBN 1-85780-072-9.
* [http://www.uboat.net/boats/u2342.htm U-boat.net webpage for "U-2342"]

ee also

*List of U-boats


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