German submarine U-473
|Ordered:||20 January 1941|
|Builder:||Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel|
|Laid down:||1 December 1941|
|Launched:||17 April 1943|
|Commissioned:||16 June 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk by British warships west southwest of Ireland, May 1944|
|Type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Displacement:||769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
|Length:||67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Draft:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296.
|Speed:||17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
|Range:||15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
|Complement:||44–52 officers and ratings|
|Armament:||5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
14 × G7e torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun (220 rounds)
Various AA guns
|Part of:||5th U-boat Flotilla
(16 June–31 December 1943)
9th U-boat Flotilla
(1 January–6 May 1944)
|Commanders:||Kptlt. Heinz Sternberg
(16 June 1943–6 May 1944)
27 March–18 April 1944
24 April–6 May 1944
|Victories:||One warship a total loss, 1,400 tons|
She carried out two patrols. She caused a warship to be declared a total loss..
She was sunk by British warships west southwest of Ireland, in May 1944.
U-473's first patrol was preceded by a short journey from Kiel in Germany to Bergen in Norway. The patrol itself began when the boat departed Bergen on 27 March 1944. She passed through the gap separating Iceland and the Faroe Islands and out into the Atlantic Ocean. She docked at Lorient in occupied France on 18 April.
2nd patrol and loss
The U-boat departed Lorient on 24 April 1944 for her second foray. On the 28th, she was attacked by a Handley Page Halifax of No. 58 Squadron RAF. No damage was inflicted on U-473 but the aircraft was hit five times before only just returning to base.
She was attacked again by a Polish-manned Vickers Wellington of 304 Squadron a day later. The boat was not damaged in this inconclusive encounter, but kept the aircraft at a respectful distance for an hour.
The boat's luck ran out on 6 May when she was sunk by depth charges (some 345 of them), from the British sloops HMS Starling, Wren and Wild Goose. U-473 had been abandoned; the deserted U-boat, still running at high speed, headed straight for Starling which was obliged to take evasive action. Two explosions, possibly scuttling charges, finished the submarine off.
Summary of Raiding Career
|3 May 1944||USS Donnell||United States Navy||1,400||Total loss|
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, pp. 187-188
- "The Type VIIC boat U-473 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Kemp, pp. 187-188
- Kemp, pp. 187-188.