German submarine U-971
|Ordered:||5 June 1941|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||15 June 1942|
|Launched:||22 February 1943|
|Commissioned:||1 April 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk on 24 June 1944 in position Coordinates:|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
German submarine U971 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 15 June 1942 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 171, launched on 22 February 1943 and commissioned on 1 April 1943 under Oberleutnant zur See Walter Zeplien.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-971 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. 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).
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). 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-971 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 one twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The vessel had a complement of between 44 and 60.
U-971 did not succeed in sinking or damaging any Allied ships.
On 24 June 1944 she was just west of the English Channel on her first patrol when she was depth charged by Liberator C Mk VI heavy bomber FL961/O of the Czechoslovak-manned No. 311 Squadron RAF and two Tribal-class destroyers: the Royal Navy's HMS Eskimo and Royal Canadian Navy's HMCS Haida.
U-971 was sunk with the loss of one member of her crew. 51 men survived and were rescued.
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