German submarine U-961

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-961
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Laid down: 7 April 1942
Launched: 17 December 1942
Commissioned: 4 February 1943
Fate: Sunk 29 March 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: 5th U-boat Flotilla
Commanders: Kptlt. Klaus Fischer
Operations: Sunk 7 days into her first patrol
Victories: None

German submarine U-961 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. U-961 was constructed at Hamburg during 1942 and 1943, completing her working-up cruises in the Baltic Sea in the spring of 1944. Due to extensive modifications and shortages of supplies during her construction and training, U-961 took nearly two years to be ready for active service, an exceptionally long time.

War patrol[edit]

U-961 departed on her only war patrol on the 23 March 1944, under the command of Kptlt. Klaus Fischer, a veteran submariner. After leaving Marviken at Kristiansand in Norway, U-961 headed directly for the North Atlantic Ocean, the main battleground of the Battle of the Atlantic. By 1944 however, the region had become a U-boat graveyard, as drastic improvements in submarine detection and destruction had been made, both by surface shipping and by allied aircraft.

Fate[edit]

The patrol lasted just seven days, ending suddenly and brutally during an attack on convoy JW 58 150 nautical miles (280 km) north of the Faroe Islands on the 29 March. As U-961 approached the convoy, she was discovered underwater by the detection equipment on the convoy escort HMS Starling and immediately destroyed with depth charges, at position 64°31′N 03°19′W / 64.517°N 3.317°W / 64.517; -3.317Coordinates: 64°31′N 03°19′W / 64.517°N 3.317°W / 64.517; -3.317. The boat never even managed to surface, sinking to the bottom with all 49 sailors on board.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Type VIIC Boat U-961". Uboat. Retrieved 15 March 2013.