German submarine U-321

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-321
Ordered: 14 October 1942
Builder: Flender Werke, Lübeck
Yard number: 321
Laid down: 21 January 1943
Launched: 27 November 1943
Commissioned: 20 April 1944
Fate: Sunk by a Polish aircraft, southwest of Ireland, April 1945[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][3]
Part of:
Identification codes: M 44 228
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Ulrich Drews
  • 20 January – August 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Fritz Berends
  • August 1944 – 2 April 1945
Operations:
  • Two patrols:
  • 1–9 March 1945
  • 15 March – 2 April 1945
Victories: None

German submarine U-321 was a Type VIIC/41 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She carried out two patrols, but did not sink any ships.

The boat was sunk in April 1945 by a Polish aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean.[1]

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC/41 submarines were preceded by the heavier Type VIIC submarines. U-321 had a displacement of 759 tonnes (747 long tons) when at the surface and 860 tonnes (850 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-321 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]

The submarine was laid down on 21 January 1943 by the Flender Werke yard at Lübeck as yard number 321, launched on 27 November 1943 and commissioned on 20 January 1944 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Ulrich Drews.

She served with the 4th U-boat Flotilla for training, from 20 January 1944 to 28 February 1945 and the 11th flotilla for operations until her sinking on 2 April 1945.

1st patrol[edit]

U-320 departed Kiel on 1 March 1945 and arrived in Horten Naval Base (south of Oslo), on the 9th.

2nd patrol and loss[edit]

The boat left Horten on 15 March 1945. On 2 April she was sunk by a Polish Vickers Wellington of No. 304 Squadron RAF southwest of Ireland.[1]

Forty-one men died; there were no survivors.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kemp 1999, p. 243.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC/41 boat U-321". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-321". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  • 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-321". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 321". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-06.