Spanish submarine G-7

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Submarino S01.jpg
S-01 in Cartagena, Spain
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-573
Ordered: 24 October 1939
Builder: Blohm & Voss of Hamburg
Laid down: 8 June 1940
Launched: 17 April 1941
Commissioned: 5 June 1941
Decommissioned: 2 August 1942
Fate: Damaged by aircraft and interned at Cartagena on 2 May 1942. Sold to Spain on 2 August 1942.[1]
Career (Spain)
Name: G-7
Acquired: 1942
Commissioned: 2 August 1942
Decommissioned: 2 May 1970
Renamed: S-01 (1961)
Struck: 1970
Fate: Broken up
General characteristics
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 M6V 40/46 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 (20.4 mph; 32.8 km/h) surfaced
7.6 knots (8.7 mph; 14.1 km/h) 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 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
• 14 × torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
• 1 × C35 88mm gun/L45 deck gun (220 rounds)
• Various AA guns

Spanish submarine G-7 was a submarine of the Spanish Navy from 1942 to 1970. She was originally the U-573, a Type VIIC submarine of the German Kriegsmarine.


On 2 May 1942, U-573 limped into Cartagena harbour, badly damaged after being attacked with two depth charges by an RAF Lockheed Hudson bomber. Realizing that repair was impractical, the Kriegsmarine sold the boat to Spain for 1.5 million Reichsmark. The Spanish Navy was interested in the submarine as, at the time , was trying to locally produce six Type VIIC-class submarines designated G Class, but was unable to due to technical reasons. On August 2, she was commissioned into the Spanish Navy as G-7.

Service history[edit]

Work started in August 1943 but took four years to complete. The damage caused by the British attack was found to be more extensive than was first thought; also German technical assistance and parts were difficult to obtain in the last years of World War II and after. In addition, Spain’s economy was weak following the Spanish Civil War. Repairs were completed in early 1947 and on 5 November 1947 G-7 was re-commissioned. The bow's net cutter and the 20mm antiaircraft cannon were removed.

Despite the Type VII being out-dated by the end of World War II, G-7 was the most modern of Spain’s submarine fleet; her other vessels (two ex-Italian, and four home-built boats) dating from the early 1930s. G-7 lacked radar and did not possess a Schnorkel. In 1951 development was started on a schnorkel design by Empresa Nacional Bazán, the Spanish shipbuilding company, but these came to nothing when the Spanish Navy bought the former US Navy submarine USS Kraken.

In 1958, as one of the few U-boats still in existence, G-7 was used in the German war film U 47 – Kapitänleutnant Prien about Gunther Prien and his U-47.

In 1961 the Spanish Navy’s submarine force was re-numbered, and G-7 became S-01.

On 2 May 1970 she was de-commissioned after 23 years service. She was auctioned for 3,334,751 Pts (about US$26,500), after which, despite efforts to save and preserve her as a museum, the submarine was broken up for scrap.


  1. ^ Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 81.

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