German submarine U-297
|Ordered:||14 October 1941|
|Builder:||Bremer Vulkan Werft, Bremen-Vegesack|
|Laid down:||27 January 1943|
|Launched:||9 October 1943|
|Commissioned:||17 November 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk, December 1944, by a British aircraft|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC/41 submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
|Operations:||One patrol: 25 November – 6 December 1944|
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.
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. 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).
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). 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.
Patrol and loss
Previously recorded fate and wreck discovery
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).
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