|Ordered:||5 June 1941|
|Builder:||Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack|
|Laid down:||7 July 1942|
|Launched:||3 April 1943|
|Commissioned:||15 May 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk, April 1945 by British warships|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
The submarine was laid down on 7 July 1942 at the Bremer Vulkan yard at Bremen-Vegesack as yard number 50. She was launched on 3 April 1943 and commissioned on 15 May under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Otto Walter.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-285 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 AEG GU 460/8–27 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-285 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 two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
U-285 served with the 8th U-boat Flotilla for training from May to July 1944 and operationally with the 7th flotilla from 1 August. She was then reassigned to the 11th flotilla on 1 October. She carried out three patrols, sinking no ships.
1st and 2nd patrols
U-285's first patrol proper took her to northwest Scotland. She docked at Bergen on 18 September 1944.
Her second sortie was west of Ireland and into the St. George's Channel, (between southeast Ireland and southwest Wales). She had passed between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean. The submarine returned to Bergen on 31 January 1945.
3rd patrol and loss
Forty-four men died; there were no survivors.
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