:: A TYPE VIIC SUBMARINE: THE U-995 ::

The U-995, launched the 22nd July 1943, was a Type VIIC/41 submarine, this is, an upgrade of the standard version Type VIIC, built with a stronger pressure hull to allow a deeper depth test and fitted with lighter machinery to compensate the weight of the extra steel added in the reinforced hull. The only remaining U-995 in the world is currently in exposition in the Laboe Naval Memorial, north of Kiel.

The wartime records of the U-995 account for six sinkings and end with the surrender to Britain the 8th May 1945. The U-995 was eventually transferred to Norway (country invaded by Germany during the war) where she entered service the 1st December 1952, renamed as Kaura. Decommissioned in 1965, the submarine was returned to Germany, where, perched on a sand beach, she finally became a museum vessel in October 1971, being known again as U-995.

In the following view of the bridge we can see four 20-millimeter cannons, installed in two twin mountings C38, and one 37-millimeter cannon LM43U. Powerful antiaircraft batteries like these were the response against the increasing presence of Allied antisubmarine aircraft during the second half of the Second World War.

U-995 bridge
Displacement: 781 tonnes while surfaced, 885 tonnes while submerged.

Length: 67.2 meters in external hull, 50.9 meters in pressure hull.

Beam: 6.85 meters in external hull, 5 meters in pressure hull.

Draft: 5 meters.

Propulsion plant: two 6-cylinder 4-stroke Diesel engines Germaniawerft M6V 40/46 of 1600 shaft horsepower each and two electric motors of 375 shaft horsepower each.

Speed: 17.7 knots while surfaced, 7.6 knots while submerged.

Range: 15170 kilometers at 10 knots while surfaced, 150 kilometers at 4 knots while submerged.

Test depth: 230 meters.

Crush depth: from 250 meters.

Complement: 44-52 including officers.

Armament: five 533-millimeter torpedo tubes (four at prow and one astern) with fourteen torpedoes carried, one 88-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, one 37-millimeter cannon and four 20-millimeter cannons.

U-995 submarine plans


Aft torpedo tube
1 - Aft torpedo tube.

Compressor
2 - Compressor.

Electric controls and auxiliary rudder
3 - Electric controls and auxiliary rudder. The electric batteries installed on the submarine were a total of 127 elements of the type 33MAL800W of lead plates and 493 kilograms per item; 63 elements were placed in the battery room astern and the other 64 in the battery room at prow.

Diesel engines Germaniawerft M6V 40/46
4 - Diesel engines Germaniawerft M6V 40/46 of six cylinders and 1600 shaft horsepower each.

Bunk beds in foremen room
5 - Bunk beds in the foremen room.

Electric kitchen
6 - Electric kitchen. For washing and cooking seawater was used, while fresh water was reserved for drinking.

Valves and cranks for immersion tanks
7 - Valves and cranks used to empty and fill the immersion tanks.

Steering wheels and depth indicators
8 - Steering wheels (for maneuvering the hydrofoils) and depth indicators.

Exploration periscope
9 - Exploration periscope. Higher up, in the war room, a circular and vaulted chamber less than two meters tall, located just below the bridge, the commander gave orders through electric megaphones or air hoses, assisted in his task by a complex electric attack periscope, a computer for computing headings and trajectories and the fire control system to arm and aim the torpedoes. The war room served as well as bedroom for the Lieutenant engineer and a table covered in linoleum served for dining and meeting place for the officers.

Entrance to officers room
10 - Entrance to officers room.

Officers room
11 - Officers room. This room was the most spacious one on the submarine. However the commander's cabin was the only space which had a certain degree of privacity, separated from the rest by a thick curtain; a desk fitted with a washbasin, a chair, a bed and wooden lockers, gave this space the best comfort possible.

Radio and listening room
12 - Radio and listening room. In front of the commander's cabin was placed, intentionally, the radio and listening room; here diverse devices occupied the space: the telegraph, the radio, the encrypter machine known as Enigma, the hydrophones, the radar, megaphones and even a phonograph used as mere entertainment.

Entrance to toilet
13 - Entrance to toilet. This second toilet located in the prow was fitted with a shower using seawater and this space could be occasionally used as pantry... which seems not very hygienic.

Entrance to bow torpedo room
14 - Entrance to bow torpedo room.

Bow torpedo room
15 - Bow torpedo room. The torpedo room located in the prow is occupied by four 533-millimeter torpedo tubes, the devices required for launching (operating with pressured air) and balancing the torpedoes, the crane for loading and moving the torpedoes, and twelve bunk beds and lockers for the crew.

Torpedo launching system
16 - Torpedo launching system. The submarine carried up to 14 torpedoes: five ready to use contained in the launching tubes, six placed in the lower part at prow, one placed in the lower part astern between the engines and another two placed externally to the pressure hull, in watertight containers in the prow and astern.

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