German submarine U-621

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-621
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 597
Laid down: 1 July 1941
Launched: 19 March 1942
Commissioned: 7 May 1942
Fate: Sunk on 18 August 1944 near La Rochelle at position 45°52′N 02°36′W / 45.867°N 2.600°W / 45.867; -2.600 by depth charges from Canadian destroyers Ottawa, Kootenay and Chaudiere.
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
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
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:
  • Kptlt. Horst Schünemann
  • 7 May – 4 December 1942
  • Oblt.z.S. Max Kruschka
  • 4 December 1942 – 7 May 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Hermann Stuckmann
  • 15 May – 18 August 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 29 September – 5 November 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 5 December 1942 – 5 January 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 1 February – 23 March 1943
  • 4th patrol: 22 April – 3 June 1943
  • 5th patrol: 22 August – 28 September 1943
  • 6th patrol: 6–23 January 1944
  • 7th patrol: 21 February – 19 April 1944
  • 8th patrol: 6–23 June 1944
  • 9th patrol: 15 July – 11 August 1944
  • 10th patrol: 13–18 August 1944
Victories:
  • 4 merchant ships sunk (20,159 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship damaged (10,048 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (2,938 tons)
  • 1 warship damaged (1,625 tons)

German submarine U-621 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 1 July 1941 by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg as yard number 597, launched on 19 March 1942 and commissioned on 7 May 1942 under Kapitänleutnant Horst Schünemann.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-621 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 Brown, Boveri & Cie GG UB 720/8 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-621 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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history[edit]

The boat's service began on 7 May 1942 for training as part of the 8th U-boat Flotilla. After training was completed she transferred to the 9th flotilla on 1 October 1942 for active service.

In ten patrols she sank four merchant ships for a total of 20,159 gross register tons (GRT), plus one auxiliary warship. She also damaged two more ships.

Wolfpacks[edit]

She took part in eleven wolfpacks, namely,

  • Panther (10–16 October 1942)
  • Puma (16–29 October 1942)
  • Raufbold (11–18 December 1942)
  • Hartherz (3–7 February 1943)
  • Ritter (11–26 February 1943)
  • Burggraf (4–5 March 1942)
  • Raubgraf (7–15 March 1943)
  • Amsel 1 (3–6 May 1943)
  • Elbe (7–10 May 1943)
  • Elbe 2 (10–14 May 1943)
  • Mosel (19–24 May 1943)

Fate[edit]

She was sunk by a depth charges dropped by three Royal Canadian Navy destroyers, HMCS Ottawa, HMCS Kootenay and HMCS Chaudiere on 18 August 1944 near La Rochelle at position 45°52′N 02°36′W / 45.867°N 2.600°W / 45.867; -2.600Coordinates: 45°52′N 02°36′W / 45.867°N 2.600°W / 45.867; -2.600.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[3]
23 October 1942 Empire Turnstone  United Kingdom 6,113 Sunk
18 December 1942 Oropos  Greece 4,474 Sunk
20 December 1942 Otina  United Kingdom 6,217 Sunk
11 March 1943 Baron Kinnaird  United Kingdom 3,355 Sunk
15 June 1944 USS LST-133  United States Navy 1,625 Damaged
29 July 1944 HMS Prince Leopold  Royal Navy 2,938 Sunk
30 July 1944 Ascanius  United Kingdom 10,048 Damaged

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-621". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-621". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 3 May 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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs – The U-Boats at War. London, UK: Cassell Military Classics. p. 161. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • 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]