German submarine U-533

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-533
Ordered: 10 April 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 351
Laid down: 17 February 1942
Launched: 11 September 1942
Commissioned: 25 November 1942
Fate: Sunk, 16 October 1943[1]
General characteristics [2]
Type: Type IXC/40 submarine
Displacement: 1,144 t (1,126 long tons) surfaced
1,257 t (1,237 long tons) submerged
Length: 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in) o/a
58.75 m (192 ft 9 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) o/a 4.44 m (14 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 hp (3,281 kW)
2 × SSW GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
Range: 13,850 nmi (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
63 nautical miles (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 44 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[3][4]
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(25 November 1942–30 April 1943)
10th U-boat Flotilla
(1 May–16 October 1943)
Commanders: Kptlt. Helmut Hennig
(25 November 1942–16 October 1943)
Operations: 1st patrol: 15 April–24 May 1943
2nd patrol: 5 July–16 October 1943
Victories: None

German submarine U-533 was a Type IXC/40 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 17 February 1942 at the Deutsche Werft yard at Hamburg as yard number 351, launched on 11 September 1942 and commissioned on 25 November 1942 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Helmut Hennig. After training with the 4th U-boat Flotilla in the Baltic Sea, U-533 was transferred to the 10th flotilla for front-line service on 1 May 1943.

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-533 departed Kiel on 15 April 1943, and sailed out into the Atlantic, but came under repeated attack from Allied aircraft, giving it very little opportunity to cause any damage to shipping.

On 24 April U-533 was attacked by a Hudson light bomber of No. 269 Squadron RAF. The U-boat was moderately damaged by the attack, defending itself with its AA guns. The next day, 25 April, the submarine was attacked again from the air, this time by an American PBY-5A Catalina of United States Navy squadron VP-84. Three of the U-boat's gunners were injured, but the U-boat was not severely damaged. On 20 May U-533 was attacked by a Halifax heavy bomber of No. 502 Squadron RAF, without suffering any serious damage. The U-boat arrived at her new home port of Lorient in occupied France, on 24 May after 40 days at sea.[5]

2nd patrol[edit]

On 5 July 1943 the U-boat sailed from Lorient, through the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope, into the Indian Ocean, and up to the mouth of the Persian Gulf.[6]

Operating as part of the Monsun Gruppe, she was sunk in the Gulf of Oman on 16 October, in position 25°28′N 56°50′E / 25.467°N 56.833°E / 25.467; 56.833Coordinates: 25°28′N 56°50′E / 25.467°N 56.833°E / 25.467; 56.833, by depth charges dropped from a British Bisley (Blenheim) light bomber of No. 244 Squadron RAF,[3] piloted by Lewis William Chapman.[7] Of the crew of 53, only one survived; Matrosengefreiter Günther Schmidt, who was with an officer in the conning tower. The officer succeeded in opening the hatch, even though the submarine had sunk to a depth of 60 metres (200 ft). Without escape sets, the water pressure shot both men to the surface. Schmidt kept the unconscious officer afloat for an hour before he died, and Schmidt swam and stayed afloat without a life jacket for 28 hours until he was rescued by HMIS Hiravati near Khor Fakkan.[8] Schmidt spent the remainder of the war as a POW. Chapman received the Distinguished Flying Medal for his action.[8]

Wreck[edit]

In 2009, divers found the wreck of U-533 at a depth of 108 metres (354 ft) some 25 nautical miles (46 km; 29 mi) off the coast of Fujairah.[8] The U-boat slid nose-first into the sandy bottom, leaving her bow partially submerged and stern and propeller exposed.[9]

Wolf Packs[edit]

U-533 took part in 3 wolfpacks, namely.

  • Star (27 Apr 1943 - 4 May 1943)
  • Fink (4 May 1943 - 6 May 1943)
  • Monsun (5 July 1943 – 10 October 1943)

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, pp. 150-151.
  2. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 105-7.
  3. ^ a b "The Type IXC/40 boat U-533 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "War Patrols by German U-boat U-533 - Boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-533 from 15 Apr 1943 to 24 May 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-533 from 5 Jul 1943 to 16 Oct 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Submarine Casualties Booklet". U.S. Naval Submarine School. 1966. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  8. ^ a b c "Untergang vorm Morgenland". Spiegel Online (in German). 18 December 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  9. ^ "What lies beneath: Nazi wreck off Fujairah". Gulf News. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
Bibliography
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler). ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 

External links[edit]