Ship ClassType VII-class Submarine
BuilderFriedrich Krupp Germaniawerft
Yard Number581
Slip/Drydock NumberIII
Ordered21 Nov 1937
Laid Down26 Feb 1937
Launched11 Jun 1938
Commissioned6 Aug 1938


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Submarine U-51 Interactive Map

U-51 Operational Timeline

20 Jun 1940 At 1533 hours, German submarine U-51 (Kapitänleutnant Dietrich Knorr) attacked the 4,876-ton British merchant steamer Otterpool of convoy HG-34F, carrying 8,180 tons of iron ore; the attack missed the target.
25 Jun 1940 German submarine U-51 hit 12,049-ton British steam tanker Saranac in Allied convoy OA-172 with one torpedo about 270 miles west-southwest of Lands End at the southwestern tip of Britain at 1551 hours. The ships' crew immediately abandoned the ship. At 1737 hours, the submarine surfaced and failed to sink the tanker by gunfire. At 1915 hours, another torpedo was fired, finally sinking Saranac. Four crew members were lost in this sinking. 31 survivors, including the master Vernon Horace Alcock, were picked up by British destroyer HMS Hurricane (H 06) commanded by Lieutenant Commander H. C. Simms, RN and landed at Plymouth in southern Britain. 9 survivors were picked up by British trawler Caliph and landed at Berehaven, County Cork, Ireland.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
17 Jul 2019 02:18:07 AM

On 13 April 1940 the submarine U-51 was in Narvik harbour when HMS Warspite and her destroyers attacked. Thinking, at first, that it was an air raid, the Captain took the boat to the bottom and, sometime later, slid quietly out pf the fjord undetected. The only German vessel to escape destruction.

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