History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-391
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Kiel
Yard number: 23
Laid down: 9 January 1942
Launched: 5 March 1943
Commissioned: 24 April 1943
Fate: Sunk, December 1943, by a British aircraft northwest of Cape Ortegal, Spain
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:
  • Oblt.z.S. Gert Dültgen
  • 24 April – 13 December 1943
Operations: 23 October – 13 December 1943
Victories: None

German submarine U-391 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She carried out one patrol. She did not sink or damage any ships.

She was sunk by a British aircraft northwest of Cape Ortegal in Spain in October 1943.[1]

Design

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-391 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 Garbe, Lahmeyer & Co. RP 137/c 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-391 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.[2]

Service history

The submarine was laid down on 9 January 1942 at the Howaldtswerke (yard) at Flensburg as yard number 23, launched on 5 March and commissioned on 24 April 1943 under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Gert Dültgen.

The boat was a member of three wolfpacks.

She served with the 5th U-boat Flotilla from 24 April 1943 and the 3rd flotilla from 1 October of the same year.

Patrol and loss

The boat departed Kiel on 23 October 1943. Passing through the gap that separates Iceland and the Faroe Islands, she was attacked by a Vickers Wellington of No. 179 Squadron RAF on 28 November.

On 13 December, she was attacked and sunk by depth charges dropped from a British B-24 Liberator of 53 Squadron on the western edge of the Bay of Biscay, northwest of Cape Ortegal in Spain.

51 men died in the U-boat; there were no survivors.

Wolfpacks

U-391 took part in three wolfpacks, namely.

  • Eisenhart 1 (9–15 November 1943)
  • Schill 3 (18–22 November 1943)
  • Weddigen (22 November - 7 December 1943)

References

  1. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-391". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

Bibliography

  • 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

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-391". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.