German submarine U-973

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-973
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Laid down: 26 June 1942
Launched: 10 March 1943
Commissioned: 15 April 1943
Fate: Sunk, 6 March 1944
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
Part of: Kriegsmarine: 5th U-boat flotilla
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Klaus Paepenmöller
  • 15 April 1943 – 6 March 1944
Operations:
  • 2 patrols
  • 2–12 February 1944
  • 1–6 March 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-973 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for service in Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during Second World War. The submarine did not sink or damage any craft.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-973 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[1] 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).[1]

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).[1] 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-973 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 an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[1]

Fate[edit]

On the 6 March 1944 U-973 was sighted by Fairey Swordfish 816/'X' operating from the British escort carrier HMS Chaser, crewed by Sub-Lt(A) Bennett, Sub-Lt(A) Horsfield and PO Vines. Chaser was escorting convoys through Arctic waters. As they approached the submarine began firing with four 20 mm guns. Bennett fired three pairs of rockets, one of which struck the submarine just below the conning tower. The attack left 51 dead and 15 survivors.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-973 took part in three wolfpacks, namely.

  • Werwolf (4–11 February 1944)
  • Boreas (2–5 March 1944)
  • Taifun (5–6 March 1944)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 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]

Coordinates: 70°40′N 5°48′E / 70.667°N 5.800°E / 70.667; 5.800