German submarine U-563
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||24 October 1939|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||30 March 1940|
|Launched:||15 February 1941|
|Commissioned:||27 March 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk in the Bay of Biscay by Allied aircraft, May 1943|
|General characteristics |
|Class & 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
|Height:||9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|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:||8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
|Complement:||44–52 officers and ratings|
|Part of:||5th U-boat Flotilla
(27 September 1941–31 January 1942)
7th U-boat Flotilla
(1 February–30 June 1942)
11th U-boat Flotilla
(1 July–31 August 1942)
6th U-boat Flotilla
(1 September 1942–26 May 1943)
|Commanders:||Oblt.z.S. Klaus Bargsten
(27 March 1941–15 March 1942)
Kptlt. Gotz von Hartmann
(1 April 1942–16 May 1943)
Oblt. Gustav Borchardt
(21–31 May 1943)
31 July–10 September 1941
4 October–1 November 1941
29 November–3 December 1941
21 January–3 February 1942
1 October–6 November 1942
9 December 1942–14 January 1943
20 March–18 April 1943
29–31 May 1943
|Victories:||Three ships sunk, total 14,689 GRT;
one warship sunk - 1,870 tons;
two ships damaged, total 16,266 GRT.
German submarine U-563 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She carried out eight patrols and sank three ships, totalling 14,689 gross register tons (GRT), as well as one warship of 1,870 GRT. Two ships were damaged, totalling 16,266 GRT. She was a member of nine wolfpacks, and was sunk by Allied aircraft in the Bay of Biscay, in May 1943.
The submarine was laid down on 30 March 1940 at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 539, launched on 5 February 1941 and commissioned on 27 March under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Klaus Bargsten.
She served with the 1st U-boat Flotilla from 27 March 1941 for training and stayed with that organization for operations.
She arrived at Brest in occupied France, on 10 September 1941.
She then sank the British destroyer HMS Cossack west of Gibraltar on 24 October 1941, but was attacked by another British ship, the corvette HMS Heliotrope west of Cape St. Vincent on the 25th. Although forced to submerge, the boat did not sustain any damage.
On 30 November 1941, U-563 was attacked by an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley of No. 502 Squadron RAF in the Bay of Biscay. The damage was serious enough that the submarine could not dive and the commander was wounded, obliging the boat to return to Germany for repairs.
4th and 5th patrols
For her fourth sortie, U-563 again put out into the Atlantic, sailing west of Ireland. She then turned northeast for the gap between the Faroe and Shetland Islands. She arrived at Bergen in Norway on 3 February 1942.
Her fifth patrol, following short trips to Hamburg and Kiel, was in many respects, her fourth outing in reverse - starting in Kiel and finishing in Brest.
She departed Brest on 9 December 1942 and sank the Bretalda about 330 nautical miles (610 km; 380 mi) west northwest of Cape Finisterre (northwest Spain) on the 18th. The boat returned to Brest on 14 January 1943.
U-563 was attacked by a Bristol Beaufighter on 22 March 1943 which caused only slight damage. The boat damaged the Sunoil with a torpedo on 5 April; this ship was subsequently sunk by U-530. U-563 was then attacked on the 7th by a B-24 Liberator of 86 Squadron. Damage was slight, but two men were lost when the submarine crash-dived.
On her most successful day, 12 April 1943, the boat sank the Pacific Grove and damaged the Fresno City southeast of Cape Farewell (Greenland). The Fresno City was sunk later that day by U-706. U-563 also sank the Dutch ship Ulysses in the same area.
8th patrol and loss
Forty-nine men died with U-563; there was the only ony survivor, Klaus Bargsten.
U-563 took part in 9 wolfpacks, namely.
- Grönland (10 - 23 August 1941)
- Kurfürst (23 August - 2 September 1941)
- Seewolf (2 - 7 September 1941)
- Breslau (4 - 29 October 1941)
- Panther (11 - 16 October 1942)
- Puma (16 - 29 October 1942)
- Falke (28 December 1942 - 5 January 1943)
- Löwenherz (1 - 10 April 1943)
- Lerche (10 - 16 April 1943)
Summary of Raiding Career
|24 October 1941||HMS Cossack||Royal Navy||1,870||Sunk|
|18 December 1942||Bretwalda||United Kingdom||4,906||Sunk|
|5 April 1943||Sunoil||United States||9,005||Damaged|
|12 April 1943||Fresno City||United Kingdom||7,261||Damaged|
|12 April 1943||Pacific Grove||United Kingdom||7,117||Sunk|
|12 April 1943||Ulysses||Netherlands||2,666||Sunk|
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 122
- Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-563". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- The Times Atlas of the World - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 15
- The Times Atlas of the World, p. 15
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U563". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- 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.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. 3.html "The Type VIIC boat U-563". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- U-563 at ubootwaffe.net[dead link]