German submarine U-325
|Ordered:||16 July 1942|
|Builder:||Flender Werke, Lübeck|
|Laid down:||13 April 1943|
|Launched:||25 March 1944|
|Commissioned:||6 May 1944|
|Fate:||Sunk, April 1945|
|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|
|Identification codes:||M 14 343|
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. 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).
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-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.
U-325's first patrol took her from Kiel in Germany to Horten Naval Base in Norway, between 1 and 4 December 1944. 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.
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, 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".
The wreck of U-325 was finally discovered by Scuba divers in 2006, 17 kilometres (11 mi) South of Lizard Point at position . 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.
- Kemp 1999, p. 255.
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