German submarine U-486

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Career (Nazi Germany) Kriegsmarine Ensign
Name: U-486
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werke, Kiel
Laid down: 8 May 1943
Launched: 12 February 1944
Commissioned: 22 March 1944
Fate: Sunk 12 April 1945 in the North Sea north-west of Bergen, Norway.
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement: 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 PS (2,800–3,200 bhp; 2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 PS (740 shp; 550 kW) and max rpm: 296
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: 44–52 officers and ratings
Service record
Part of:

5th U-boat Flotilla (Training)

11th U-boat Flotilla (Front Boat)
Commanders: Oblt.z.S. Gerhard Meyer
Operations: Two

2 commercial ships sunk (17,651 GRT)
1 warship sunk (1,085 tons)

1 warship a total loss (1,085 tons)

German submarine U-486 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down at the Deutsche Werke in Kiel as yard number 321, launched on 12 February 1944 and commissioned on 22 March with Oberleutnant zur See Gerhard Meyer in command.

The boat began training on 22 March with the 5th U-boat Flotilla but moved on to the 11th flotilla for operations.

She was one of nine Type VIIs that the Kriegsmarine fitted with an experimental synthetic rubber skin of anechoic tiles known as Alberich, which had been designed to counter the Allies' asdic/sonar devices.

Her remains were positively identified in March 2013 after they were found during oil exploration operations off the coast of Norway, not far from the remains of U-864.

Operational career[edit]

The submarine moved to Horten in Norway between 6 and 9 November 1944 and then Egersund, (also in Norway, on the southwest coast, between Stavanger and Kristiansand), arriving there on 20 November.

1st patrol[edit]

She departed Egersund on her first patrol on 26 November 1944, taking a circuitous route around the British Isles to the Western Approaches. The U-boat claimed her first victim south of the Eddystone Lighthouse by sinking the Silverlaurel on 18 December. She then attacked the 11,509 GRT SS Leopoldville on 24 December five miles off the coast of Cherbourg, France. This resulted in the death of over 750 Allied soldiers (819 total deaths). The Leopoldville sank about two hours later.[2] She crippled the US-built but British manned frigate HMS Affleck on the 26th. She also sank HMS Capel, another frigate, on the same day.[3]

She was unsuccessfully attacked by a Canadian Vickers Wellington of 407 Squadron, RCAF on 30 December.

She returned to Norway, this time to Bergen, on 15 January 1945.

2nd patrol[edit]

The boat departed Bergen on 9 April 1945, but was sunk by torpedoes from the British submarine HMS Tapir on 12 April.

Summary of raiding career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
18 December 1944 Silverlaurel  United Kingdom 6,142 (GRT) Sunk
24 December 1944 Leopoldville  Belgium 11,509 (GRT) Sunk
26 December 1944 HMS Affleck  Royal Navy 1,085 (disp) Total loss
26 December 1944 HMS Capel  Royal Navy 1,085 (disp) Sunk

Discovery of wreck[edit]

In early 2013, the wreck of U-486 was discovered by the Norwegian petroleum company Statoil at a depth of 250 metres (820 ft), off the coast of Western Norway. The wreck of U-486 is located c. 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from that of the fellow German submarine U-864.[5]


  1. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  2. ^ Accessed February 10, 2009.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-486". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-486". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Nazi submarine wreck found off Norway". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 


  • 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 (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 60°44′N 4°39′E / 60.733°N 4.650°E / 60.733; 4.650

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