German submarine U-821

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Name: U-821
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: Oderwerke, Stettin
Laid down: 2 October 1941
Launched: 26 June 1943
Commissioned: 11 October 1943
Fate: Sunk by aircraft, 10 June 1944
General characteristics
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
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 × 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: 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)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44–52 officers & ratings
Armament: 5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (4 bow, 1 stern)
14 × torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun (220 rounds)
Various AA guns
Service record
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(11 October–1 November 1943)
24th U-boat Flotilla
(1 November–31 December 1943)
4th U-boat Flotilla
(1 January–29 February 1944)
1st U-boat Flotilla
(1 March–10 June 1944)
Commanders: Ltn. Ludwig Fabricius
(11 October–1 December 1943)
Oblt.z.S. Ernst Fischer
(2 December–31 December 1943)
Oblt.z.S. Ulrich Knackfuss
(1 January 1944–10 June 1944)
Operations: 1st patrol: 19 March–12 April 1944
2nd patrol: 6 June–10 June 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-821 was a short-lived Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine, built by Oderwerke in Stettin during World War II for service in the Battle of the Atlantic. She only participated in two brief combat patrols, one of which ended after four days when she was sunk by allied aircraft. U-821 was built in Stettin at a small shipyard, and thus took eighteen months to complete, being ready by October 1943. The boat was of the VIIC Type, which possessed long range cruising capabilities as well as five torpedo tubes.

War patrols[edit]

Following her sea trials and warming-up period, U-821 departed Bergen, Norway in March 1944 for her first war patrol, during which she spent 24 fruitless days in the North Atlantic before returning to Brest, France for resupply. Her second patrol was more eventful, as just four days out from Brest and not far from Ushant, Royal Air Force aircraft spotted and attacked the U-boat on the surface. Her captain made the decision to battle it out rather than dive, and engaged in a running firefight with three Mosquito aircraft of 248 Squadron and a large Consolidated Liberator bomber of 206 Squadron. One Mosquito was shot down in the clash, but rockets and depth charges took their toll on the submarine which soon sank, taking with her 50 sailors, in position 48°31′N 05°11′W / 48.517°N 5.183°W / 48.517; -5.183. One survivor was pulled from the sea by small German Naval units a few hours later.


See also[edit]