History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-971
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 171
Laid down: 15 June 1942
Launched: 22 February 1943
Commissioned: 1 April 1943
Fate: Sunk on 24 June 1944 in position 49°01′N 05°53′W / 49.017°N 5.883°W / 49.017; -5.883Coordinates: 49°01′N 05°53′W / 49.017°N 5.883°W / 49.017; -5.883
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
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:

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.[1]

Design

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.[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 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).[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-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.[2]

Service history

U-971 did not succeed in sinking or damaging any Allied ships.[1]

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.[3][4]

U-971 was sunk with the loss of one member of her crew. 51 men survived and were rescued.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "U-971". uboat.net. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43–46.
  3. ^ Gough & Wood 2001[page needed]
  4. ^ Vančata 2013, p. 68.

Bibliography

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II: a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis: 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.
  • Gough, Barry M; Wood, James A (2001). ""One More for Luck". The Destruction of U971 by HMCS Haida and HMS Eskimo 24 June 1944". Canadian Military History. 10 (3).
  • 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.
  • Vančata, Pavel (2013). 311 Squadron. Sandomierz: Stratus, for Mushroom Model Publications. p. 63. ISBN 978-83-61421-43-6.