German submarine U-325

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-325
Ordered: 16 July 1942
Builder: Flender Werke, Lübeck
Yard number: 325
Laid down: 13 April 1943
Launched: 25 March 1944
Commissioned: 6 May 1944
Fate: Sunk, 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 14 343
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Erwin Dohrn
  • 6 May 1944 – 20 April 1945
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 1–4 December 1944
  • 2nd patrol: 9 December 1944 – 14 February 1945
  • 3rd patrol: 20 March – 20 April 1945
Victories: None

German submarine U-325 was a Type VIIC/41 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

The submarine was laid down on 13 April 1943 at the Flender Werke at Lübeck, launched on 25 March 1944, and commissioned on 6 May 1944 under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Erwin Dohrn.[2]

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC/41 submarines were preceded by the heavier Type VIIC submarines. U-325 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-325 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-325's first patrol took her from Kiel in Germany to Horten Naval Base in Norway, between 1 and 4 December 1944.[5] She then sailed from Horten on 9 December 1944, and around the British Isles into the western English Channel, before returning to Trondheim on 14 February 1945, although she recorded no successes.[6]

Loss[edit]

U-325 sailed from Trondheim on 20 March 1945 for her third and final patrol and was ordered to return to the waters off Lands End. Even though her last report was received on 7 April,[2] when Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945 U-325 was still considered operational by the U-boat High Command. However it soon became apparent that the submarine was lost.

The British initially attributed the loss of U-325 to a depth charge attack by the destroyers HMS Hesperus and Havelock on 30 April 1945. However, after later analysis of German records that submarine was re-identified as U-242, and U-325's fate was officially classified as "unknown".[7]

Discovery[edit]

The wreck of U-325 was finally discovered by Scuba divers in 2006, 17 kilometres (11 mi) South of Lizard Point at position 49°48′17″N 5°12′23″W / 49.804717°N 5.206383°W / 49.804717; -5.206383. To counter the increasing number of schnorkel-fitted U-boats in UK coastal waters, the First Sea Lord ordered a heavy anti-U-boat mining programme to be undertaken in the Western Approaches, Plymouth and Portsmouth Commands on 15 January 1945. By April 1945, nine different fields (Serial B1, part 1 to 4, Serial B2, part 1 to 4, and Serial B3, part 1), comprising 900 Mk XVII/XVII(8) mines were laid off Lizard Head. U-325 struck a mine in field B3, part 1. This field was laid by the coastal minelayer HMS Plover escorted by the minesweepers HMS lfracombe and Shippigan.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 255.
  2. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC/41 boat U-325". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-325". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-325 from 1 Dec 1944 to 4 Dec 1944". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-325 from 9 Dec 1944 to 14 Feb 1945". U-boat patrols - uboat.net. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  7. ^ "War Mystery Solved". www.cix.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  8. ^ Niestlé, A. 2010. The ‘Atlas’ Survey Zone: Deep-sea Archaeology & U-boat Loss Reassessments. PDF

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]