German submarine U-243

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U-243.jpg
U-243 under attack by a Sunderland of No. 10 Squadron RAAF
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-243
Ordered: 10 April 1941
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel[1]
Yard number: 677[1]
Laid down: 28 October 1942[1]
Launched: 2 September 1943[2]
Commissioned: 2 October 1943[2]
Fate: Sunk in July 1944 in the Bay of Biscay[2]
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
  • 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
  • 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.72 m (15 ft 6 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
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)
  • Calculated crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officer, 40-48 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Hans Märtens
  • 2 October 1943 – 8 July 1944
Operations: None
Victories: None

German submarine U-243 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

An order was placed for U-243 on 10 April 1941 and construction began on 28 October 1942 at Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel, as yard number 677. She was launched the following year on 2 September 1943 and commissioned on 2 October under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Hans Märtens.[1] Three days into her only patrol, she shot a German aircraft down.

She was sunk in the Bay of Biscay in July 1944

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-243 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[3] She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[3] When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-243 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[3]

Service history[edit]

Her only patrol was preceded by a short voyage from Kiel to Flekkefjord in southern Norway in May 1944. On 11 June, she mistakenly shot a German JU 88 down 40 nautical miles (74 km; 46 mi) southwest of Bergen while making for that city.[4]

She passed through the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and steamed south, heading for the French Atlantic ports.

She was attacked and sunk by a Sunderland flying boat of No. 10 Squadron RAAF in the Bay of Biscay on 8 July 1944. Eleven men died; there were 38 survivors.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-243". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. 
  2. ^ a b c Kemp 1999, pp. 202-3.
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  4. ^ 12 oclock high

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 
  • Williamson, Gordon; Ian Palmer (2002). Kriegsmarine U-boats 1939-45: Vol 2. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-364-0. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-243". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 243". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 47°06′N 6°40′W / 47.100°N 6.667°W / 47.100; -6.667