German submarine U-241
|Ordered:||10 April 1941|
|Builder:||Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel|
|Laid down:||4 September 1942|
|Launched:||25 June 1943|
|Commissioned:||24 July 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk 18 May 1944 north-east of the Faeroes, by a British aircraft. 51 died (all hands lost).|
|General characteristics |
|Class & type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Displacement:||769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
|Length:||67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draft:||4.72 m (15 ft 6 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × supercharged Germaniawerft, 6-cylinder, 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesels totalling 2,800–3,200 hp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490|
|Speed:||17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
|Range:||15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)
Calculated crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
|Complement:||44-52 officers and ratings|
|Armament:||• 5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
• 14 × torpedoes or 26 TMA or 39 TMB mines
• 1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun with 220 rounds
• Various FLAK weaponry (see main article)
An order was placed for U-241 on 10 April 1941 and construction began on 4 September 1942 at Germaniawerft, Kiel, as werk 675. She was launched the following year on 25 June 1943 and commissioned under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Arno Werr a month later on 24 July.
Four days into her first patrol, she shot down an attacking flying boat but was sunk with all hands the next day.
U-241 began training with the 5th U-boat Flotilla on 24 July 1943, the day that the U-boat was commissioned. U-241 remained with the 5th U-boat Flotilla until 31 March 1944, when her training was complete.
U-241 began the first and only patrol of her career on 1 April 1944. She was assigned as a front (operational) boat to the 3rd U-boat Flotilla and left her original home port of Kiel on 23 April of that year. She arrived in Kristiansand in occupied Norway the next day, on 24 April. On 30 April, U-241 left Kristiansand for her new home port of Bergen, which she arrived at on 4 May 1944. On 13 May, U-241 left Norway for the North Sea.
On 17 May, just four days after leaving port, the boat came under attack from a Norwegian Catalina flying boat from No. 333 Squadron RAF. The incident occurred at 10:21 p.m. about 125 miles west of Ålesund, Norway. Anti-aircraft fire from the submarine hit the aircraft during its attack run and caused the Catalina's depth charges to miss their intended target. One of the AA gunners also managed to shoot a large hole in the hull of the aircraft. Although the plane was able to return to Britain the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in the River Tay in Scotland before he could reach his base at Woodhaven, Fife. During the landing the plane suffered damage beyond all possible repair and the pilot was forced to beach it.
Although U-241 defended herself on that occasion, she was attacked with depth charges by another Catalina, this time from 210 Squadron, the following day. This resulted in the sinking of the submarine with the loss of all 51 crew members.
According to a book Steurmann durch Krieg und Frieden ('Helmsman through War and Peace') by Hans Schmid, the author and two other men survived the sinking, were rescued and taken prisoner. All sources for 'uboat.net' state that there were no survivors.
- "U-241 Type VIIC". ubootwaffe.net. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "U-241". Uboat.net. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Type VIIC". U-Boat War in World War II. Uboat.net. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- "Patrols for U-241". Uboat.net. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1999, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 190.
- Williamson, Gordon; Ian Palmer (2002). Kriegsmarine U-boats 1939-45: Vol 2. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-364-0.