|Ordered||25 Jan 1939|
|Laid down||11 May 1940||Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack (werk 9)|
|Launched||22 Feb 1941|
|Commissioned||26 Apr 1941||Oblt. Friedrich Guggenberger|
|Successes||24 ships sunk, total tonnage 41,784 GRT|
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 1,150 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 22,600 tons
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 6,671 GRT
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 7,472 GRT
Sunk at 1130hrs on 9 Jan 1944 in the Mediterranean at Pola, in position 44.52N, 13.51E by US bombs. Raised on 22 April, 1944. Broken up. 2 dead, unknown number of survivors.
Attacks on this boat
30 Oct 1941
The boat was attacked by a British Catalina aircraft (Sqdn 209/Z, pilot Denis E. Ryan) southwest of Brest while enroute to cross the Straits of Gibraltar. A Hudson aircraft (Sqdn 53, F/O Henry) also appeared and dropped its charges onto the boat. The boat was severely damaged and had to abort to Brest, France. The boat was repaired in a hurry and then sailed for the Mediterranean. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 396)
13 Nov 1941
U-81, having recently entered the Mediterranean, learned of the British Force H heading to Gibraltar. She managed to intercept the force and fired from extreme range to sink the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. The destroyer escort delivered a punishing depth charge attack with 130 depth charges counted, but the boat got away. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 396)
27 Jun 1943
U-81 had to retreat when shelled by coastal artillery after sinking Michalios three miles west of Latakia, Syria.
3 recorded attacks on this boat.
Men lost from U-boats
Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-81 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.
We have 1 emblem entry for this boat! See the emblem page for this boat or view each one below.
There was another U-81 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 24 Jun 1916 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 22 Aug 1916. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about the U 81 during WWI.