German submarine U-2321
|Ordered:||20 September 1943|
|Builder:||Deutsche Werft, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||10 March 1944|
|Launched:||17 April 1944|
|Commissioned:||12 June 1944|
|Fate:||Sunk as a target, 27 November 1945|
|Class and type:||Type XXIII submarine|
|Operations:||1 patrol: 9 March – 13 April 1945|
|Victories:||1 ship sunk for a total of 1,406 GRT|
German submarine U-2321 was the first of the highly advanced Type XXIII U-boats built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine in 1944 and 1945. As the first of this class, U-2321 was one of a handful of such boats to undertake an operational patrol, in March 1945. She was successful in this operation, and sank a British freighter, one of just five ships sunk by the new fully submarine (as opposed to just submersible) boats.
She was constructed as an experiment in Hamburg and her small size meant that she was completed in just four months, following which she conducted extensive trials in the Baltic Sea and off the Norwegian coast in an effort to gain an idea of the capabilities of the boat. In this duty, and through her entire life, U-2321 was commanded by Kptlt. Hans-Heinrich Barschkis. By the first few months of 1945, with the war drawing to a close, it was hoped new lessons could be learnt, and defeat potentially delayed by the insertion of some of these boats into the coastal waters of the United Kingdom. To this end, U-2321 and a few of her sisters were dispatched to the Eastern coast of Scotland.
The boats were unsuccessful, largely because of the professional nature of veteran Allied naval commanders in their construction of convoys and their preparation of escorts. The North Sea proved largely barren, as most shipping was concentrated in the heavily defended English Channel, as so it was nearly a month after leaving Horten Naval Base in Norway that U-2321 scored her first and only victory, torpedoing the unescorted 1,400 ton steamship Gasray.
Four days later, U-2321 was back in port at Kristiansand, where she was still berthed when Germany surrendered on 9 May. Sailed to Loch Ryan in Scotland, U-2321 was allowed to rust and rot, the decaying hull destroyed as a naval gunfire target on 27 November 1945 along with all the other surrendered Norwegian U-boats.
Summary of raiding history
|5 April 1945||Gasray||United Kingdom||1,406||Sunk|
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Gasray (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- 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.
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.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type XXIII boat U-2321". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 December 2014.