German submarine U-541

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-541
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 362
Laid down: 5 June 1942
Launched: 5 January 1943
Commissioned: 24 March 1943
Fate: Surrendered, 12 May 1945 at Gibraltar; transferred to Lisahally in Northern Ireland. Sunk, January 1946
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXC/40 submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,144 t (1,126 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,257 t (1,237 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) o/a
  • 4.44 m (14 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Installed power:
  • 4,400 PS (3,200 kW; 4,300 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) surfaced
  • 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 13,850 nmi (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 63 nmi (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 44 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Identification codes: M 51 083
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Kurt Petersen
  • 24 March 1943 – 12 May 1945
Operations:
  • 1st patrol:
  • 4 November 1943 – 9 January 1944
  • 2nd patrol:
  • 29 February – 22 June 1944
  • 3rd patrol:
  • 6 August – 11 November 1944
  • 4th patrol:
  • 7 April – 12 May 1945
Victories: One ship sunk, (2,140 GRT).

German submarine U-541 was a Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She was laid down at the Deutsche Werft (yard) in Hamburg as yard number 362 on 5 May 1942, launched on 5 January 1943 and commissioned on 24 March with Kapitänleutnant Kurt Petersen (Crew 36) in command.

U-541 began her service career with training as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla from 24 March 1943. She was re-assigned to the 10th flotilla for operations on 1 November, then the 33rd flotilla on 1 November 1944.

She carried out four patrols and sank one ship. She was a member of four wolfpacks.

She surrendered on 12 May 1945 at Gibraltar and was transferred to Lisahally in Northern Ireland for Operation Deadlight. She was sunk in January 1946.

Design[edit]

German Type IXC/40 submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXCs. U-541 had a displacement of 1,144 tonnes (1,126 long tons) when at the surface and 1,257 tonnes (1,237 long tons) while submerged.[1] The U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW; 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS; 750 kW) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[1]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph).[1] When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 13,850 nautical miles (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-541 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.[1]

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-541's first patrol began with her departure from Kiel on 4 November 1943. She passed through the gap separating Iceland and the Faroe Islands before heading out into the Atlantic Ocean.

She entered Lorient, on the French Atlantic coast, on 9 January 1944.

2nd and 3rd patrols[edit]

For her second foray, U-541 headed toward the eastern seaboard of North America.

On her third sortie, she sank the Livingston northeast of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.

The boat was preparing to attack a convoy while on the surface in the Gulf of St. Lawrence when HMCS Norsyd opened fire; U-541 was forced to dive. She was then hunted for two days by four frigates, a minesweeper and aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), but escaped.

4th patrol[edit]

Her last patrol began in Horten Naval Base in Norway on 7 April 1945. It ended with her surrender in Gibraltar on 12 May 1945.

Fate[edit]

U-541 was transferred to Lisahally in Northern Ireland for Operation Deadlight. She was sunk on 5 January 1946 at 55°38′N 07°35′W / 55.633°N 7.583°W / 55.633; -7.583.[2]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-541 took part in four wolfpacks, namely.

  • Coronel (4–8 December 1943)
  • Coronel 2 (8–14 December 1943)
  • Coronel 3 (14–17 December 1943)
  • Borkum (18–26 December 1943)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
3 September 1944 Livingston  United Kingdom 2,140 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 68.
  2. ^ Busch & Röll 1999, p. 393.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-541". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 

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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC/40 boat U-541". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 541". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 1 February 2015. 

Coordinates: 55°38′N 7°35′W / 55.633°N 7.583°W / 55.633; -7.583