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NAME

U-505

CLASS

SUBMARINE (UNDERSEA BOAT) (U-BOAT)

ENT/SERVICE 

AUGUST 26th 1941

BUILT

DEUTSCHE WERFT / HAMBURG / GERMANY

WEIGHT

1,152 TONS

LENGTH

252 FEET

WIDTH

22 FEET

SPEED

18 KNOTS SURFACE / 8 KNOTS SUBMERGED – DIESEL ELECTRIC ENGINES / SINGLE PROPELLER

TORPEDOES

6 - 21 INCH TUBES / GUNS 1 - 4 INCH / 5 - ANTI AIRCRAFT


U-505 was one of 41 IX-C type submarines built for the German Navy during World War Two. This class of submarine completed a test dive of 328 feet. They had a range of 13,450 miles on the surface or 63 miles submerged. Throughout World War Two, Germany built ten different types of submarines, 1,158 in all. U-505 was based at Lorient/France to be operated in the Atlantic attacking Allied convoys. Throughout 1942, U-505 sunk eight Allied merchant ships totaling 47,000 tons. An attack by a British seaplane November 11th 1942 extensively damaged U-505. The explosions from the depth charges also brought down the seaplane with the loss of its crew. After the completion of repairs and returning to service, destroyers picked up U-505 on their sonar’s October 24th 1943.

U-505

The following sustained depth charge assault led to the submarines captain shooting himself with his service revolver. Although U-505 was damaged by that attack and the captain had died, the crew managed to return her to Lorient for repairs. After the British destroyers Aubretia, Bulldog and Broadway captured the German submarine U-110 and her Enigma machine May 9th 1941, British intelligence began working out how to decipher German radio messages. One such message picked up from U-505 June 4th 1944 allowed the British to direct an American taskforce to her position near the Cape Verde Islands. The following depth charge attack forced U-505 to surface and surrender to the US warships. After the war, U-505 was handed over to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. She has been open to the public as a museum since 1954. Germany lost 637 submarines and about 20,000 submariners during the war. They sunk approximately 2,000 Allied ships totaling over 20 million tons with the loss of around 20,000 merchant seamen, navy crew and passengers.

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