German submarine U-541
|Ordered:||5 June 1941|
|Builder:||Deutsche Werft, Hamburg|
|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|
|Class and type:||Type IXC/40 submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)|
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 44 enlisted|
|Identification codes:||M 51 083|
|Victories:||One ship sunk, (2,140 GRT).|
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.
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. 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).
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). 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.
She entered Lorient, on the French Atlantic coast, on 9 January 1944.
2nd and 3rd patrols
For her second foray, U-541 headed toward the eastern seaboard of North America.
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.
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.
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
|3 September 1944||Livingston||United Kingdom||2,140||Sunk|
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- 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.
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