Source: Gentile, Gary, Shipwrecks of North Carolina: From Hatteras Inlet North, Gary Gentile Productions, 1993
Name: U-85 Type: Submarine (VII-B)
Date Sunk: 4/14/1942 Cause: Depth-charged by USS Roper
Size (ft.): 218 x 20 x 15 Tonnage: 1040 displacement tons submerged, fully loaded and crewed
Propulsion: Two diesel engines/two electric motors Location

Constructed between 1936-1940, the VIIB boats were slightly larger than their predecessor, the type VII, but had a much greater surface range. (9400 nautical miles to 6800 nautical miles, at 10 knots, combined diesel/electric drive) Their maximum surface speed was 17.2-17.9 knots and their maximum submerged speed was 8 knots. The type VIIB carried 14 torpedoes (4 in forward tubes, 8 in forward torpedo compartment, 1 in aft torpedo tube and 1 aft torpedo compartment) and unlike type VIIs, the aft torpedo tube was inside the pressure hull casing and was thus reloadable. The orginal VIIB design included a 88mm deck gun mounted forward of conning tower. This was removed in surviving type VIIBs after 1942 due to the increased danger from enemy air attack. The boat was designed to carry 48 men (4 officers and 44 enlisted men) There were only 24 of the VIIB boats built.
SHIP HISTORY: (Westwood, Wynn)
Built: Flenderwerft, Lübeck
Keel laid: 12/18/1939
Launched: 4/10/1941
Commissioned: 6/7/1941
Commander: Oberleutnant Eberhard Greger (6/1941 to 4/14/1942
Patrols: 4
Ships Sunk: 3 (15,060 gross registered tons)

Diving Depths: 90-100 ft.
Visibility: I suspect usually less than 30 ft.
Current: n/a
Summer Temperature: warm at the surface; hi 50s on the bottom
Points of Interest:Hey! It's a U-Boat! What more needs to be said?
Fish/Animal Life: More of the fish species which frequent the colder water climates of NC
Description: My first and only dive on this wreck was in August, 1979 and it was a trip I will never forget. First it was my birthday. Second, there were approximately 70 divers on the boat making the dive! Yes, 70! I have never (or since) seen such a variety and amount of gear. We all gathered on a large head-fishing boat called the Crystal Dawn. I felt sorry for the divemaster. It took a couple of hours for everyone to have their assigned "dive window" on the wreck. Third, there was bad viz (less than 10 ft) and it was cold! We were used to the warm Gulf Stream waters south of Hatteras Inlet. Little did we know what awaited us down on the wreck. The temp dropped 25 to 30 degrees! Our heads ached--no hoods!--and those in shorties had our legs turn blue! Needless to say, as new baby diver, I learned a lot that day. I don't remember much about the wreck, except that it appeared to be less intact than the U-352. I would like to go back, this time with a camera....and more neoprene!
A hatch from the U-85 on display at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse museum, Buxton, North Carolina

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