German submarine U-861

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-861
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 1067
Laid down: 15 July 1942
Launched: 29 April 1943
Commissioned: 2 September 1943
Fate: Surrendered, 5 May 1945
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXD2 submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,610 t (1,580 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,799 t (1,771 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 7.50 m (24 ft 7 in) o/a
  • 4.40 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 10.20 m (33 ft 6 in)
Draught: 5.40 m (17 ft 9 in)
Installed power:
  • 9,000 PS (6,620 kW; 8,880 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 20.8 knots (38.5 km/h; 23.9 mph) surfaced
  • 6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 12,750 nmi (23,610 km; 14,670 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 57 nmi (106 km; 66 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 55 to 64
Armament:
Service record[1][2]
Part of:
Commanders:
Operations:
  • 1st patrol:
  • 20 April – 23 September 1944
  • 2nd patrol
  • 15 January – 19 April 1945
Victories:
  • 3 merchant ships sunk (20,311 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship damaged (8,139 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (1,737 tons)

German submarine U-861 was a long-range Type IXD2 U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. Laid down in Bremen and launched on 29 April 1943. She was equipped with two stern torpedo tubes and 24 mines.

She was commanded throughout her service life by Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Oesten (Knight’s Cross).

Design[edit]

German Type IXD2 submarines were considerably larger than the original Type IXs. U-861 had a displacement of 1,610 tonnes (1,580 long tons) when at the surface and 1,799 tonnes (1,771 long tons) while submerged.[3] The U-boat had a total length of 87.58 m (287 ft 4 in), a pressure hull length of 68.50 m (224 ft 9 in), a beam of 7.50 m (24 ft 7 in), a height of 10.20 m (33 ft 6 in), and a draught of 5.35 m (17 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines plus two MWM RS34.5S six-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines for cruising, producing a total of 9,000 metric horsepower (6,620 kW; 8,880 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 1.85 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 200 metres (660 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 20.8 knots (38.5 km/h; 23.9 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph).[3] When submerged, the boat could operate for 121 nautical miles (224 km; 139 mi) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 12,750 nautical miles (23,610 km; 14,670 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-861 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 24 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 150 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) with 2575 rounds as well as two 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft guns with 8100 rounds. The boat had a complement of fifty-five.[3]

Service History[edit]

She joined 4th Flotilla for training on 2 September 1943, where she remained until 31 March 1944. She then joined 12th Flotilla for active service until 30 September 1944. For her last assignment, she joined 33rd Flotilla, as part of Monsoon Group operating out of Penang in the Indian Ocean, on 1 October 1944 until the end of the war. On her final long trip back to Norway carrying vital supplies from the Far East, she struck an iceberg south of Greenland, but reached Trondheim safely on 19 April 1945, with very little fuel remaining.

Fate[edit]

U-861 surrendered on 9 May 1945 at Trondheim, Norway. She was transferred to Lisahally, Northern Ireland shortly afterwards.

She was sunk by the Royal Navy on 31 December 1945 in position 55°25′N 07°15′W / 55.417°N 7.250°W / 55.417; -7.250Coordinates: 55°25′N 07°15′W / 55.417°N 7.250°W / 55.417; -7.250 as part of Operation Deadlight.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
20 July 1944 Vital de Oliveira  Brazil 1,737 Sunk
24 July 1944 William Gaston  United States 7,177 Sunk
20 August 1944 Berwickshire  United Kingdom 7,464 Sunk
20 August 1944 Daronia  United Kingdom 8,139 Damaged
5 September 1944 Ioannis Fafalios  Greece 5,670 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXD2 boat U-861". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-861". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 74-75.

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]