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German submarine U-850
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-850
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 1056
Laid down: 17 March 1942
Launched: 7 December 1942
Commissioned: 17 April 1943
Fate: Sunk west of Madeira on 20 December 1943 by US aircraft in position 32°54′N 37°1′W / 32.9°N 37.017°W / 32.9; -37.017Coordinates: 32°54′N 37°1′W / 32.9°N 37.017°W / 32.9; -37.017
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Type IXD2 submarine
Displacement: 1,610 t (1,580 long tons) surfaced
1,804 t (1,776 long tons) submerged
Length: 87.58 m (287 ft 4 in) o/a
68.5 m (224 ft 9 in) pressure hull
Beam: 7.5 m (24 ft 7 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 10.2 m (33 ft 6 in)
Draft: 5.35 m (17 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines
2 × MWM GmbH RS 24,5 S 6-cylinder diesel engines, totaling 9,000 hp (6,711 kW)
2 × SSW 2 GU 345/34 double acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Speed: 19.2 knots (35.6 km/h; 22.1 mph) surfaced
6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph) submerged
Range: 12,750 nautical miles (23,610 km; 14,670 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
115 nautical miles (213 km; 132 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 66
Service record
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla (17 April - 31 October 1943)
12th U-boat Flotilla (1 November - 20 December 1943)[2]
Identification codes: M 41 858
Operations: 1st patrol:

German submarine U-850 was a long-range Type IXD2 U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Service history[edit | edit source]

The U-boat was ordered in January 1941 and laid down at the DESCHIMAG AG Weser shipyard on 17 March 1942. Assigned yard number 1056, she was launched on 7 December of that year. Commissioned on 17 April 1943 under the command of Korvettenkapitän Klaus Ewerth (Crew 25), who had previously commanded U-26. U-850 served with the 4th U-boat Flotilla until the end of October when she transferred to the 12th U-boat Flotilla for front-line service. U-850 left Kiel on 18 November 1943 destined for the Indian Ocean in order to join Monsoon Group,[3] she was, however, spotted and attacked by US aircraft from USS Bogue west of Madeira on 20 December ans successfully attacked.

Fate[edit | edit source]

On 20 December 1943, while en route to the Indian Ocean, U-850 was spotted by aircraft of Squadron VC-19. The first aircraft, an Avenger piloted by Lieutenant W.A. La Fleur, attacked the U-boat with depth charges which missed their target. After La Fleur reported the sighting via radio, two Wildcats accompanied by two more Avengers - T18 and T19 - arrived on the scene. While the Wildcats strafed U-850, T19, piloted by Ensign G.C. Goodwin, made another attack with depth charges which hit their target. The U-boat tried to evade by crash diving, but T18, piloted by Lieutenant H.G. Bradshaw, dropped two FIDO torpedoes, which both hit the U-boat on the starboard side. USS George E. Badger and Du Pont later recovered some dead bodies, body parts, and pieces of wreakage. There were no survivors.[4]

Successes[edit | edit source]

U-850 did not sink or damage any ships while in service.

References[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1997) (in German). Der U-Boot-Bau auf deutschen Werften. II. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0509-6. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999) (in German). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985) (in German). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. III. Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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