German submarine U-285

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-285
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack
Yard number: 50
Laid down: 7 July 1942
Launched: 3 April 1943
Commissioned: 15 May 1943
Fate: Sunk, April 1945 by British warships[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
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: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 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)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[2][3]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Walter Otto
  • 15 May – 16 April 1943
  • Oblt.z.S. Konrad Bornhaupt
  • 17 April 1944 – 15 April 1945
Operations:
  • Three patrols:
  • 24 August – 18 September 1943
  • 20 December 1944 – 31 January 1945
  • 26 March – 15 April 1945
Victories: None

German submarine U-285 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

The submarine was laid down on 7 July 1942 at the Bremer Vulkan yard at Bremen-Vegesack as yard number 50. She was launched on 3 April 1943 and commissioned on 15 May under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Otto Walter.[2]

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-285 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[4] 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).[4]

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).[4] 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-285 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.[4]

Service history[edit]

U-285 served with the 8th U-boat Flotilla for training from May to July 1944 and operationally with the 7th flotilla from 1 August. She was then reassigned to the 11th flotilla on 1 October.[2] She carried out three patrols, sinking no ships.

The boat's first patrol was preceded by a short voyage from Kiel on 15 August 1944 to Kristiansand in Norway, arriving there on 20 August.

1st and 2nd patrols[edit]

U-285's first patrol proper took her to northwest Scotland. She docked at Bergen on 18 September 1944.

Her second sortie was west of Ireland and into the St. George's Channel, (between southeast Ireland and southwest Wales). She had passed between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean. The submarine returned to Bergen on 31 January 1945.

3rd patrol and loss[edit]

The boat was attacked and sunk by depth charges dropped from the British frigates HMS Grindall and Keats on 15 April 1945 southwest of Ireland.

Forty-four men died; there were no survivors.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, pp. 249-50.
  2. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-285". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-285". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-285". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 285". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 50°13′N 12°48′W / 50.217°N 12.800°W / 50.217; -12.800