German submarine U-311

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-311
Ordered: 5 June 1940
Builder: Flender Werke, Lübeck
Yard number: 311
Laid down: 21 March 1942
Launched: 20 January 1943
Commissioned: 23 March 1943
Fate: Sunk, April 1944 by Canadian 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:
  • Kptlt. Joachim Zander
  • 23 March–22 April 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 25 November 1943–26 January 1944
  • 2nd patrol: 7 March–22 April 1944
Victories: One ship sunk, of 10,342 GRT

German submarine U-311 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 21 March 1942 at the Flender Werke yard at Lübeck as yard number 311, launched on 20 January 1943 and commissioned on 23 March under the command of Kapitänleutnant Joachim Zander.

During her short career, the U-boat sailed on two combat patrols, sinking a single ship, before she was sunk on 24 April 1944.[2]

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-311 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 Garbe, Lahmeyer & Co. RP 137/c 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-311 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]

1st patrol[edit]

After training with the 8th U-boat Flotilla at Kiel, U-311 was transferred to the 1st U-boat Flotilla based at Brest in France, for front-line service on 25 November 1943.[2] On that day she departed Kiel and sailed out into the middle of the Atlantic, via the North Sea and the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands.[5] She operated as part of 8 wolfpacks[2] before arriving at Brest on 26 January 1944.[3]

2nd patrol and loss[edit]

U-311 sailed from Brest on 7 March 1944. On the 19th, she sank the Seakay 375 nautical miles (694 km; 432 mi) west of Fastnet. On 22 April, she was sunk by depth charges dropped by the Canadian frigates HMCS Matane and Swansea.[6]

Previously recorded fate[edit]

The boat was previously thought to have been sunk southwest of Ireland on 24 April 1944 by a Canadian Sunderland flying boat of 423 Squadron, RCAF.[7][8]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-311 took part in eight wolfpacks, namely.

  • Coronel (7–8 December 1943)
  • Coronel 1 (8–14 December 1943)
  • Coronel 2 (14–17 December 1943)
  • Amrum (18–23 December 1943)
  • Rügen 5 (23 December 1943 - 2 January 1944)
  • Rügen 4 (2–7 January 1944)
  • Rügen (7–19 January 1944)
  • Preussen (19–22 March 1944)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Displacement Fate[9]
19 March 1944 Seakay  United States 10,342 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, pp. 184-5.
  2. ^ a b c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-311". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-311". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-311 from 25 Nov 1943 to 26 Jan 1944". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-311 from 7 Mar 1944 to 22 Apr 1944". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-311". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Hofmann, Markus. "U 311". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-311". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-311". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 311". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 52°09′N 19°07′W / 52.150°N 19.117°W / 52.150; -19.117