German submarine U-297

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-297
Ordered: 14 October 1941
Builder: Bremer Vulkan Werft, Bremen-Vegesack
Yard number: 62
Laid down: 27 January 1943
Launched: 9 October 1943
Commissioned: 17 November 1943
Fate: Sunk, December 1944, by a British aircraft[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC/41 submarine
Displacement:
  • 759 tonnes (747 long tons) surfaced
  • 860 t (846 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:
  • 250 m (820 ft)
  • Crush depth: 275–325 m (902–1,066 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[2]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Wolfgang Aldermann
  • 17 November 1943 – 6 December 1944
Operations: One patrol: 25 November – 6 December 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-297 was a Type VIIC/41 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She was laid down on 27 January 1943 by the Bremer Vulkan Werft (yard) at Bremen-Vegesack as yard number 62, launched on 9 October 1943 and commissioned on 17 November with Oberleutnant zur See Wolfgang Aldermann in command.

In one patrol, she did not sink or damage any ships.

She was sunk by a British aircraft in December 1944. Fifty men died; there were no survivors.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC/41 submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-297 had a displacement of 759 tonnes (747 long tons) when at the surface and 860 tonnes (850 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-297 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]

The boat's service life began with training with the 8th U-boat Flotilla in November 1943. She was then transferred to the 11th flotilla for operations on 1 November 1944.

She made the short journey from Kiel in Germany to Horten Naval Base in Norway, arriving on 18 November 1944.

Patrol and loss[edit]

U-297's only patrol began from Horten; it took her through the 'gap' between the Faroe and the Shetland Islands.

She was sunk by a Sunderland flying boat of No. 201 Squadron RAF on 6 December 1944, 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi) west of Yesnaby in the Orkney Islands.

Previously recorded fate and wreck discovery[edit]

U-297 was originally thought to have been sunk on 6 December 1944 by depth charges dropped by the British frigates HMS Loch Inch and Goodall. She had also been listed as missing since 3 January 1945 probably in the Pentland Firth.

The wreck of U-297 was found and identified in May 2000. It lies at a depth of 285 ft (87 m).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 225.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC/41 boat U-297". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 VII/C41 boat U-297". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 297". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-06.