The modern conventional submarine
The nuclear submarine
The Type VIIC submarine
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 grounded and exhibited 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 conning tower we can see four 20-millimeter cannons, installed in two C/38 twin mountings, and one
Rheinmetall-Borsig LM 43 U 37-millimeter cannon. Such powerful antiaircraft batteries were the response against the increasing
presence of Allied antisubmarine aircraft during the second half of the Second World War.
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.
Inside the U-995
Life onboard a submarine was marked by the privation of any kind of comfort. But despite the lack of space, the rarefied air that
they had to breathe, the hygienic conditions reduced to the minimal expression and the isolation for months from their homes or
any port, the crew members were rugged combatants bound by an uncommon camaradery.
1 - Rear torpedo tube.
2 - Compressor.
3 - Electric controls and auxiliary rudder.
The electric batteries installed on the submarine comprised a total of 127 elements of the type 33MAL800W of lead plates and
493 kilograms per item; 63 elements were placed in the rear battery room and another 64 in the fore battery room.
4 - MAN Diesel engines.
The two engines, either of model MAN or Germaniawerft M6V 40/46, had six cylinders and developed 1600 shaft horsepower each.
5 - Bunk beds in petty officer's room.
6 - Electric kitchen.
Seawater was used for washing and cooking, whereas fresh water was reserved for drinking.
7 - Valves and cranks of immersion tanks.
A myriad of cranks and stopcocks were used to control the emptying and filling of the tanks, which allowed a quick immersion of the submarine.
8 - Steering wheels and depth indicators.
Large steering wheels were used for maneuvering the hydroplanes, to control the depth at which the submarine navigated.
9 - Surveillance periscope in command room.
The commander had at his disposal a surveillance periscope to search for targets, whereas during combat a complex electric attack
periscope was used, in combination with a fire control system which armed the torpedoes and calculated their course. Orders
were transmitted through electric loudspeakers or air hoses.
10 - Entrance to officers' room.
11 - Officers' room.
This was the most spacious habitation on the submarine, but the commander's cabin was the only space which offered a certain degree of
privacy, being separated by a thick curtain from the rest of the submarine; a desk fitted with a washbasin, a chair, a bed and wooden
lockers granted the best comfort possible to the topmost ranked officer.
12 - Radio and listening room.
In front of the commander's cabin was intentionally placed the radio and listening room, where a diversity of devices occupied the
space: the telegraph, the radio, the encryption machine known as Enigma, the hydrophones, the radar, the loudspeakers system, the typewriter
and also the phonograph, which was used to transmit music through the loudspeakers system.
13 - Entrance to toilet.
This second toilet located in the prow was fitted with a seawater shower. Despite the dubious hygienic conditions, this space was
occasionally used as pantry.
14 - Entrance to fore torpedo room.
15 - Fore torpedo room.
The torpedo room located in the prow was occupied by four 533-millimeter torpedo tubes, the crane for handling the torpedoes and
the pressurized air tanks used for launching them, besides other mechanisms. There was also space for twelve bunk beds and the
corresponding lockers for the crew.
16 - Fore torpedo tubes.
The submarine carried up to 14 torpedoes: five ready to use in the very launching tubes, six stored in the lower storey located
beneath the fore torpedo room, one stored in the lower storey located between the electric motors and another two stored in
watertight containers outside the pressure hull, in the prow and the stern respectively.