German submarine U-421

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-421
Ordered: 10 April 1941
Builder: Danziger Werft, Danzig
Yard number: 122
Laid down: 20 January 1942
Launched: 24 September 1942
Commissioned: 13 January 1943
Fate: Sunk 29 April 1944 in the Mediterranean in position 43°07′N 05°55′E / 43.117°N 5.917°E / 43.117; 5.917 in an air raid by US aircraft.
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
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[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Lt.z.S. Hans Kolbus
  • 13 January 1943 – 29 April 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 6 November 1943 – 8 January 1944
  • 2nd patrol: 19 February – 1 April 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-421 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 20 January 1942 by Danziger Werft, Danzig as yard number 122, launched on 24 September 1942 and commissioned on 13 January 1943 under Leunant zur See Hans Kolbus.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-421 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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 Siemens-Schuckert GU 343/38-8 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).[2]

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).[2] 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-421 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 two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history[edit]

The boat's career began with training at 8th U-boat Flotilla on 13 January 1943, followed by active service on 1 November 1943 as part of the 9th Flotilla. On 1 April 1944, she transferred to 29th Flotilla for operations in the Mediterranean for the remainder of her service. In two patrols she sank no ships.[1]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-421 took part in six wolfpacks, namely

  • Coronel (4–8 December 1943)
  • Coronel 1 (8–14 December 1943)
  • Coronel 2 (14–17 December 1943)
  • Föhr (18–23 December 1943)
  • Rügen 6 (23–26 December 1943)
  • Hela (28 December 1943 – 1 January 1944)

Fate[edit]

U-421 was sunk on 29 April 1944 in the Mediterranean in position 43°07′N 05°55′E / 43.117°N 5.917°E / 43.117; 5.917 at the military port of Toulon, France, in an air raid by US aircraft.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-421". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]