German submarine U-523

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Career
Name: U-523
Ordered: 14 February 1940
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 338
Laid down: 4 August 1941
Launched: 15 April 1942
Commissioned: 25 June 1942
Fate: Sunk, 25 August 1943[1]
General characteristics
Type: Type IXC submarine
Displacement: 1,120 t (1,100 long tons) surfaced
1,232 t (1,213 long tons) submerged
Length: 76.8 m (252 ft 0 in) o/a
58.7 m (192 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)
Draft: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 hp (3,281 kW)
2 × SSW GU345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Speed: 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h) surfaced
7.7 knots (14.3 km/h) submerged
Range: 24,880 nmi (46,080 km; 28,630 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced
117 nautical miles (217 km; 135 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 48 to 56
Armament: 6 × torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern)
22 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedoes
1 × 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun[2] (110 rounds)
AA guns
Service record[3][4]
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(25 June 1942–31 January 1943)
10th U-boat Flotilla
(1 February–25 August 1943)
Commanders: Kptlt. Werner Pietzsch
(25 June 1942–25 August 1943)
Operations: 1st patrol: 9 February–16 April 1943
2nd patrol: 22–26 May 1943
3rd patrol: 1–3 August 1943
4th patrol: 16–25 August 1943
Victories: One commercial ship sunk (5,848 GRT)

German submarine U-523 was a Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 4 August 1941 at the Deutsche Werft yard in Hamburg as 'werk' 338. She was launched on 15 April 1942, and commissioned on 25 June under the command of Kapitänleutnant Werner Pietzsch. After training with the 4th U-boat Flotilla in the Baltic Sea, the U-boat was transferred to the 10th flotilla for front-line service on 1 February 1943.[3]

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-523 departed Kiel on 9 February 1943 and sailed out into the mid-Atlantic.[5] On the morning of 19 March the 5,848 ton American merchant ship SS Mathew Luckenbach, part of Convoy HX-229 en route to the UK from New York, was hit by two torpedoes fired by U-527. The crew of eight officers, 34 crewmen and 26 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4 in (100 mm) gun, one 3 in (76 mm) gun, and eight 20 mm guns) abandoned ship in three lifeboats and two rafts, and were picked up later by USCGC Ingham. Around 20:00 that evening, U-523 discovered the drifting wreck of the Mathew Luckenbach and hit her with a single torpedo, sinking the ship within seven minutes.[6] The U-boat arrived at her new home port of Lorient, in occupied France, on 16 April 1943 after 67 days at sea.[4]

2nd patrol[edit]

U-523 sailed from Lorient on 22 May 1943, but on the 24th, still in the Bay of Biscay, she was bombed by a British Whitley medium bomber of No. 10 Squadron RAF. The U-boat was severely damaged and was forced to return to Lorient.[7]

3rd and 4th patrols[edit]

U-523 sailed from Lorient briefly on 1 August 1943, for a voyage lasting only three days,[8] before setting out once more on 16 August, and headed south-west.[9]

The U-boat was sunk on 25 August, west of Vigo, Spain, in position 42°03′N 18°02′W / 42.050°N 18.033°W / 42.050; -18.033Coordinates: 42°03′N 18°02′W / 42.050°N 18.033°W / 42.050; -18.033, by depth charges from the destroyer HMS Wanderer and the corvette HMS Wallflower. Seventeen of U-523's crew were killed and 37 survived the attack.[3]

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[10]
19 March 1943 Mathew Luckenbach  United States 5,848 Sunk

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 144.
  2. ^ Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp.248&249
  3. ^ a b c "The Type IXC boat U-523 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "War Patrols by German U-boat U-523 - Boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-523 from 9 Feb 1943 to 16 Apr 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Mathew Luckenbach (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-523 from 22 May 1943 to 26 May 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-523 from 1 Aug 1943 to 3 Aug 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-523 from 16 Aug 1943 to 25 Aug 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "U-523 successes". Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
Bibliography