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The Boat

U-47: Build Details and Technical Specifications

The following information covers the basic technical specifications of the Type VIIB U-boat in general, and U-47 in particular.

A. Build Details

Type: VIIB
Works: Krupp Germaniawerft, Kiel
Series: U45 - U55
Build Commissioned: 21.11.1936
Build Number: 538
Completed: 25.02.1937
First Launch: 29.10.1938
Handed over for Service: 17.12.1938
Field Post Number: 18837

B. Technical Specifications

Type VIIB Submarine

A side view of the Type VIIB U-Boat. The torpedo tubes are indicated in red.

Washington 517 metric tons
Surfaced (dry) 704 metric tons
Surfaced (fuel and water tanks full) 753 metric tons
Submerged 857 metric tons
Submerged (fully crewed and loaded) 1040 tons
Casing 66.5m (218.2')
Pressure hull 48.8m (160.1')
Casing 6.2m (20.3')
Pressure hull 4.7m (15.4')
4.7m (15.4')
9.5m (31.6')
Two Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesels with superchargers totalling 2800 - 3200bhp
Two AEG GU 460/8-276 electric motors totalling 750shp
Two rooms with 62 lead-acid AFA 27 MAK 800 battery cells producing 7500 amp hours
Fuel oil:
Maximum 108.3 metric tons
Normal load 99.7 metric tons (57.3 tons within pressure hull)
Surfaced 17.2-17.9 knots
Submerged 8.0 knots
Range (surfaced):
3850nm at 17.2 knots
6500nm at 12 knots
8700nm at 10 knots
combined diesel/electric drive range 9400nm
Range (submerged):
90nm at 4 knots
Diving depth:
Operational - 100m (328')
Crush - 200m (656')
Maximum sustainable depth - c. 220m (733.3')
Diving time
30 seconds
Sky - Standserohr C/2 with fixed eyepiece
Attack and night - Binokulare Nacht-Luftziel-Seerohr(NLSR)
Gruppenhorchgerat (GHG) (fixed hydrophone array) - 11 hydrophones per side, above forward dive planes
Two underwater telephone membranes fitted on either side, above GHG (one for transmission and one for receipt of sound waves)
» more info
88mm deck gun
20mm Flak gun
Torpedo tubes:
Bow - 4 x 21" (53.3cm) tubes
Stern - 1 x 21" (53.3cm) tube
Torpedo types:
» more info
G7a compressed air torpedo
G7e wakeless torpedo
Torpedo numbers:
Forward tubes - 4
Forward torpedo compartment - 6
Aft tube - 1
Aft torpedo compartment - 1
Between pressure hull and forward deck casing - 1
Between pressure hull and aft deck casing - 1
Total - 14. NB. Space was allocated in the deck casing for two additional torpedoes - one in the forward deck casing and one in the aft deck casing.
» more info
26 x TMA or 39 x TMB
1 dinghy, stored under forward casing forward of the torpedo loading hatch
December 1938 - 39
October 1939 - 40
February 1941 - 44

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