German submarine U-243
U-243 under attack by a Sunderland of No. 10 Squadron RAAF
|Ordered:||10 April 1941|
|Laid down:||28 October 1942|
|Launched:||2 September 1943|
|Commissioned:||2 October 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk in July 1944 in the Bay of Biscay|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.72 m (15 ft 6 in)|
|Complement:||4 officer, 40-48 enlisted|
An order was placed for U-243 on 10 April 1941 and construction began on 28 October 1942 at Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel, as yard number 677. She was launched the following year on 2 September 1943 and commissioned on 2 October under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Hans Märtens. Three days into her only patrol, she shot a German aircraft down.
She was sunk in the Bay of Biscay in July 1944
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-243 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. 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 AEG GU 460/8–27 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).
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). 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-243 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 an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
Her only patrol was preceded by a short voyage from Kiel to Flekkefjord in southern Norway in May 1944. On 11 June, she mistakenly shot a German JU 88 down 40 nautical miles (74 km; 46 mi) southwest of Bergen while making for that city.
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