German Type U 81 submarine

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Class overview
Builders: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Operators:  Kaiserliche Marine
Preceded by: Type UE I
Succeeded by: Type U 87
Cost:
Completed: 6
Lost: 4
General characteristics [1]
Displacement:
  • 808 t (795 long tons) surfaced
  • 946 t (931 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.30 m (20 ft 8 in) (oa)
  • 4.15 m (13 ft 7 in) (pressure hull)
Height: 8.00 m (26 ft 3 in)
Draught: 4.02 m (13 ft 2 in)
Installed power:
  • 2 × 2,400 PS (1,765 kW; 2,367 shp) surfaced
  • 2 × 1,200 PS (883 kW; 1,184 shp) submerged
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 × 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) propellers
Speed:
  • 16.8 knots (31.1 km/h; 19.3 mph) surfaced
  • 9.1 knots (16.9 km/h; 10.5 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 11,220 nmi (20,780 km; 12,910 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced
  • 56 nmi (104 km; 64 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (164 ft 1 in)
Complement: 4 officers, 31 enlisted
Armament:
  • 6 × 50 cm (19.7 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern)
  • 12-16 torpedoes
  • 1 × 10.5 cm (4.1 in) deck gun

Type 81 was a class of U-boats built during World War I by the Kaiserliche Marine.

Type 81 U-boats carried 12 torpedoes and had various arrangements of deck guns. U 81 to U 83 had one 10.5-centimetre (4.1 in) deck gun with 140-240 rounds. U 84 - U 86 were constructed with two 8.8-centimetre (3.5 in) deck guns. In 1917, U 84 - U 86 were converted to a carry one 10.5 cm and one 8.8 cm deck gun[2] and carried 240 rounds.

They carried a crew of four officers and 31 men and had excellent seagoing abilities with a cruising range of around 11,220 nautical miles (20,780 km; 12,910 mi).[2] Many arrangements from the Type 81 and the next two types were also seen on the World War II Type IX U-boats when their design work took place 20 years later.

Compared to the previous type 63, the 81s were 1.7 metres (5 ft 7 in) longer, while the pressure hull remained the same.[3] They were .3 knots (0.56 km/h; 0.35 mph) faster on the surface, and .1 knots (0.19 km/h; 0.12 mph) faster submerged and increased range by 1,030 nautical miles (1,910 km; 1,190 mi) to 11,200  nmi at 8 knots. They carried 12 torpedoes instead of 6, and by 1917 all type 87s had the larger 10.5 cm deck gun versus the twin 8.8 cm on the 63s. Crew size was decreased by 1 to 35.

Compared to the following type 87, the 81s were 4.26 metres (14.0 ft) longer, yet 5 tons lighter.[3] Their range was 180 miles shorter, but speed was 1.2 knots (2.2 km/h; 1.4 mph) faster on the surface and .5 knots (0.93 km/h; 0.58 mph) faster submerged. The most significant difference was the addition of 4 more torpedoes and 2 additional bow tubes on the type 87. Type 87 also got the additional crew member back and numbered 36 again.

Type 81 boats were responsible for sinking 3.537% of all allied shipping sunk during the war, taking a total of 454,484 gross register tons (GRT). They also damaged 63,058 GRT, and captured 3,462 GRT.

Boat Sunk Damaged Captured Total
U-81 88,483 3481 91,964
U-82 110,160 6450 116,610
U-83 32,914 3,207 36,121
U-84 83127 42149 3,462 128,738
U-85 20225 7608 27,883
U-86 119,575 163 119,738
Totals 454,484 63,058 3,462 517,542

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gröner 1991, pp. 12-14.
  2. ^ a b Gröner 1991, p. 12.
  3. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat Types: Type U 63". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4. 


External links[edit]