German submarine U-87 (1941)
German submarine U-87 was a Type VIIB U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

 of the German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The submarine was laid down on 9 June 1938 at the Flender Werke yard at Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

; launched on 21 June 1941, and commissioned on 21 June 1941 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Joachim Berger. U-87 trained with 6th U-boat Flotilla  until 1 December 1941, when it was put on front-line service.

U-87 sank five ships in its one-year career, and was sunk off the coast of Leixões
Leixões is located 4 km to the north of Douro River mouth, in Matosinhos municipality, near the city of Porto. Leixões is one of Portugal's major seaports. Leixões Sport Club, commonly knows simply as Leixões, is Matosinhos' sports club....

 in Portugal, during her fifth combat patrol, by the Canadian Navy.

1st patrol

U-87 sailed from Kiel on 24 December 1941, and headed out into the Atlantic via the North Sea. On the evening 31 December, U-87 encountered the Cardita, which was straggling behind convoy HX-166, bound for Shellhaven. A single torpedo hit the vessel, resulting in the deaths of twenty-seven crew members. The thirty-three survivors were finally picked up on 3 January by and .

Meanwhile, U-87 completed its voyage around the British isles and crossed the Atlantic, where on 17 January, the submersible struck again. A Norwegian vessel, the Nyholt was nearing the completion of convoy ON-52s journey from Reykjavik to New York. While passing the Newfoundland coast, the Nyholt was struck amidship after she left the safety of her convoy, which had been harassed by and over the previous two days. Attempting to divert further from their course to reach Newfoundland, U-87 reacted poorly to the movement and for subsequent torpedoes missed. Another two hits failed to sink the tanker, and U-87 was forced to surface for its crew to fire the deck gun as the ship's crew abandoned to their lifeboats, not to be saved for another nine days.

U-87 was damaged by gunfire from the tanker, and re-crossed the Atlantic, to arrive at La Pallice on 30 January 1942 after 38 days at sea.

2nd patrol

U-87 sailed on 22 February 1942 for a second trip to the east coast of North America, but was held in the Western Approaches
Western Approaches
The Western Approaches is a rectangular area of the Atlantic ocean lying on the western coast of Great Britain. The rectangle is higher than it is wide, the north and south boundaries defined by the north and south ends of the British Isles, the eastern boundary lying on the western coast, and the...

 to support an attack by the on convoy PQ 12
Arctic convoys of World War II
The Arctic convoys of World War II travelled from the United Kingdom and North America to the northern ports of the Soviet Union—Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. There were 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945...

. Neither Tirpitz nor U-87 sank any ships; and the submarine returned to port on 27 March 1942.

3rd patrol

U-87 sailed on 19 May 1942 and laid a field of 15 TMB mines
Naval mine
A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, an enemy vessel...

 off Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. No ships were lost in the minefield; and the allies remained unaware of the mines until after the war. After reloading tubes with torpedoes, U-87 sank the 8,400-ton British freighter Port Nicholson and the 5,900-ton American cargo liner Cherokee from convoy XB 25 on 15 June. Eighty-six military personnel drowned aboard Cherokee. On 22 June U-87 was damaged off Halifax Harbour
Halifax Harbour
Halifax Harbour is a large natural harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality.-Harbour description:The harbour is called Jipugtug by the Mi'kmaq first nation, anglisized as Chebucto...

 by depth charge
Depth charge
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by either surface ships, patrol aircraft, or from...

s from Canadian Air Force 11 Squadron Lockheed Hudson
Lockheed Hudson
The Lockheed Hudson was an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built initially for the Royal Air Force shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and primarily operated by the RAF thereafter...

 aircraft. The boat was unable to continue the patrol, and returned to port on 8 July.

4th patrol

U-87 sailed on 31 August 1942 to patrol off Freetown
Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean located in the Western Area of the country, and had a city proper population of 772,873 at the 2004 census. The city is the economic, financial, and cultural center of...

, where she sank the 7,400-ton British freighter Agapenor before returning to port on 20 November 1942.

5th patrol

U-87 sailed on 9 January 1943, and was sunk by and the destroyer during an unsuccessful 4 March 1943 attack on convoy KMS 10G.
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