German submarine U-381

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-381
Ordered: 16 October 1939
Builder: Howaldtswerke AG, Kiel
Laid down: 26 April 1941
Launched: 14 January 1942
Commissioned: 25 February 1942
Fate: Posted missing south of Greenland in May 1943. The cause of her disappearance has never been determined.
General characteristics
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
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × GL RP 137/c electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296
Speed: 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range: 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: 44–52 officers and ratings
Armament:

German submarine U-381 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She failed to return in May 1943 and was declared missing in unknown circumstances.

The boat was laid down on 26 April 1941 at the Howaldswerke in Kiel as yard number 12, launched on 14 January 1942 and commissioned on 25 February; Kapitänleutnant Graf Wilhelm-Heinrich Pückler und Limburg was her CO throughout her career.
She did not sink any ships.

She began her service life in the 5th U-boat Flotilla, a training organization, between 25 February 1942 and 30 September of the same year, before moving on to the 7th flotilla for operations.

Operational history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U381 '​s first sortie took her from Kiel to a point three-quarters of the way across the Atlantic before steaming empty-handed to St. Nazaire in France.

2nd patrol[edit]

Her next patrol was no better, starting and finishing in St. Nazaire between 19 December 1942 and 19 February 1943, (a total of 63 days at sea). She was unsuccessfully attacked on the return leg west of Portugal by a Catalina flying boat of 202 squadron, RAF.

3rd patrol and loss[edit]

U-371 '​s third patrol ended abruptly after 52 days when she was sunk with the loss of all hands on 21 May 1943 (probably). She was lost in mid-Atlantic (south of Greenland) through unknown circumstances.[1]

Wolf Packs[edit]

U-381 took part in 9 wolfpacks, namely.

  • Panther (11 Oct 1942 - 20 Oct 1942)
  • Veilchen (20 Oct 1942 - 5 Nov 1942)
  • Delphin (26 Dec 1942 - 14 Feb 1943)
  • Adler (11 Apr 1943 - 13 Apr 1943)
  • Meise (13 Apr 1943 - 27 Apr 1943)
  • Star (27 Apr 1943 - 4 May 1943)
  • Fink (4 May 1943 - 6 May 1943)
  • Inn (11 May 1943 - 15 May 1943)
  • Donau 1 (15 May 1943 - 21 May 1943)

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "U-381". uboat.net. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
Bibliography
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler). ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. p. 212. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 

External links[edit]