U-boat Types

Type XXI

118 boats commissioned

Construction history of type XXI

U-boats ShipyardWerk #Built during
U-2501 - U-253131  Blohm & Voss, Hamburg2501 - 2531 1943 - 1945
U-2533 - U-2536 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg2533 - 2536 1943 - 1945
U-2538 - U-2546 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg2538 - 2546 1943 - 1945
U-2548  Blohm & Voss, Hamburg2548 1943 - 1945
U-2551 - U-2552 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg2551 - 2552 1943 - 1945
U-3001 - U-303535  AG Weser, Bremen1160 - 1194 1943 - 1945
U-3037 - U-3041 AG Weser, Bremen1196 - 1200 1943 - 1945
U-3044  AG Weser, Bremen1203 1943 - 1945
U-3501 - U-353030 F Schichau GmbH, Danzig1646 - 16751943 - 1945

This was the boat that perhaps could have won the war in the Atlantic for the Germans had she been in the water maybe 2 years earlier. She was the first real combat submarine that was meant to dwell in the deep and not just retreat to it once in danger.

These boats had much better crew facilities than previous classes, much more silent underwater, freezer for foodstuffs, a shower and a basin and little things like that. Also they had hydraulic torpedo reload system that enabled the commander to reload all 6 tubes in something like 10 minutes which was even less than it took to reload one tube on the VIIC normally.

3-times the electrical power of the VIIC gave the boat enormous underwater range compared to the older types and this boat could submerge far beyond the Bay of Biscay from the French bases so the Valley of Death was a thing of the past for them really. It took the boat 3-5 hours to re-charge the batteries with the Schnorchel once every 2-3 days if travelling at moderate 4-8 knots and was thus much less in danger from aircraft which sank about 56% of all U-boats lost in the war.

If the boat carried TMC mines she could also carry 14 torpedoes.


U-2540, now called Wilhelm Bauer, as seen in Bremerhaven.


Read about the Elektro boat development.

All type XXI U-boats

Below you can see the 118 commissioned U-boats of this type.

U-2501, U-2502, U-2503, U-2504, U-2505, U-2506, U-2507, U-2508, U-2509, U-2510, U-2511,
U-2512, U-2513, U-2514, U-2515, U-2516, U-2517, U-2518, U-2519, U-2520, U-2521, U-2522,
U-2523, U-2524, U-2525, U-2526, U-2527, U-2528, U-2529, U-2530, U-2531, U-2533, U-2534,
U-2535, U-2536, U-2538, U-2539, U-2540, U-2541, U-2542, U-2543, U-2544, U-2545, U-2546,
U-2548, U-2551, U-2552, U-3001, U-3002, U-3003, U-3004, U-3005, U-3006, U-3007, U-3008,
U-3009, U-3010, U-3011, U-3012, U-3013, U-3014, U-3015, U-3016, U-3017, U-3018, U-3019,
U-3020, U-3021, U-3022, U-3023, U-3024, U-3025, U-3026, U-3027, U-3028, U-3029, U-3030,
U-3031, U-3032, U-3033, U-3034, U-3035, U-3037, U-3038, U-3039, U-3040, U-3041, U-3044,
U-3501, U-3502, U-3503, U-3504, U-3505, U-3506, U-3507, U-3508, U-3509, U-3510, U-3511,
U-3512, U-3513, U-3514, U-3515, U-3516, U-3517, U-3518, U-3519, U-3520, U-3521, U-3522,
U-3523, U-3524, U-3525, U-3526, U-3527, U-3528, U-3529, and U-3530.


Technical information for type XXI


Displacement:
(tons)
1621 (sf)
1819 (sm)
2100 (total)
Length: (m) 76,70 oa
60,50 ph
Beam: (m) 8,00 oa
5,30 ph
Draught: (draft)6,32 m
Height:11,30 m
Power: (hp)4000 (sf)
4400 (sm)
Speed:
(knots)
15,6 (sf)
17,2 (sm)
Range:
(miles / knots)
15500/10 (sf)
340/5 (sm)
Torpedoes:23
6/0 (bow / stern tubes)
Mines: 12 TMC
Deck gun: No deck gun
Crew: 57-60 men
Max depth: ca. 280 m
(919 feet)
sm = submerged, sf = surfaced, ph = pressure hull,
oa = overall, hp = horsepower.

See all U-boat types