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German submarine U-850
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-850
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 1056
Laid down: 17 March 1942
Launched: 7 December 1942
Commissioned: 17 April 1943
Fate: Sunk west of Madeira on 20 December 1943 by US aircraft in position 32°54′N 37°1′W / 32.9°N 37.017°W / 32.9; -37.017Coordinates: 32°54′N 37°1′W / 32.9°N 37.017°W / 32.9; -37.017
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Type IXD2 submarine
Displacement: 1,610 t (1,580 long tons) surfaced
1,804 t (1,776 long tons) submerged
Length: 87.58 m (287 ft 4 in) o/a
68.5 m (224 ft 9 in) pressure hull
Beam: 7.5 m (24 ft 7 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 10.2 m (33 ft 6 in)
Draft: 5.35 m (17 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines
2 × MWM GmbH RS 24,5 S 6-cylinder diesel engines, totaling 9,000 hp (6,711 kW)
2 × SSW 2 GU 345/34 double acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Speed: 19.2 knots (35.6 km/h; 22.1 mph) surfaced
6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph) submerged
Range: 12,750 nautical miles (23,610 km; 14,670 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
115 nautical miles (213 km; 132 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 66
Service record
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla (17 April - 31 October 1943)
12th U-boat Flotilla (1 November - 20 December 1943)[2]
Identification codes: M 41 858
Operations: 1st patrol:

German submarine U-850 was a long-range Type IXD2 U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Service history

The U-boat was ordered in January 1941 and laid down at the DESCHIMAG AG Weser shipyard on 17 March 1942. Assigned yard number 1056, she was launched on 7 December of that year. Commissioned on 17 April 1943 under the command of Korvettenkapitän Klaus Ewerth (Crew 25), who had previously commanded U-26. U-850 served with the 4th U-boat Flotilla until the end of October when she transferred to the 12th U-boat Flotilla for front-line service. U-850 left Kiel on 18 November 1943 destined for the Indian Ocean in order to join Monsoon Group,[3] she was, however, spotted and attacked by US aircraft from USS Bogue west of Madeira on 20 December ans successfully attacked.


On 20 December 1943, while en route to the Indian Ocean, U-850 was spotted by aircraft of Squadron VC-19. The first aircraft, an Avenger piloted by Lieutenant W.A. La Fleur, attacked the U-boat with depth charges which missed their target. After La Fleur reported the sighting via radio, two Wildcats accompanied by two more Avengers - T18 and T19 - arrived on the scene. While the Wildcats strafed U-850, T19, piloted by Ensign G.C. Goodwin, made another attack with depth charges which hit their target. The U-boat tried to evade by crash diving, but T18, piloted by Lieutenant H.G. Bradshaw, dropped two FIDO torpedoes, which both hit the U-boat on the starboard side. USS George E. Badger and Du Pont later recovered some dead bodies, body parts, and pieces of wreakage. There were no survivors.[4]


U-850 did not sink or damage any ships while in service.



  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1997) (in German). Der U-Boot-Bau auf deutschen Werften. II. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0509-6. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999) (in German). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985) (in German). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. III. Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links

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