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German submarine VIIC/41  

RVLS0545 German submarine VIIC/41 1/125 $80.75
The first of a total of 91 type VII C/41 submarines went into service in the summer of 1943. At that time the operating conditions for the submarine crews had totally changed. The tactic of "hunting in packs" used in 1941-42 only rarely led to the successful tracking of convoys and the sinking of individual ships. Modern escort protection forces were successful in shielded the ships and special sub-chaser fighter planes widely patrolled the sea areas where there were submarines. In order to be better able to defend themselves on the surface against surprise attacks from the air, the VII C/41s received an enlarged fin superstructure known as the "large glasshouse". The so-called fin IV had aft on its upper platform two 20 mm twin anti-aircraft guns and on a lower platform one 37 mm M42U anti-aircraft cannon. Another feature of these submarines was a snorkel mast that could be brought up from the deck when surfaced to take in fresh air and let out the waste air. Thus the accumulators could also be operated at higher speed under water and with a full load in daytime. There were 5-man life rafts stored in four water-tight containers on the fore-deck. Thanks to the improvements to structural steel, submarine VII C/41 could dive down to 250 m. With losses of 44 submarines, by the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, type VII C/41 submarines had damaged or sunk 38 Allied ships with a total GRT of 138,622. 1444 members of VII C/41 crews were killed in battle or in accidents

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