German submarine U-537

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Career (Germany)
Name: U-537
Ordered: 10 April 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg-Finkenwerder
Yard number: 355
Laid down: 10 April 1942
Launched: 7 November 1942
Commissioned: 27 January 1943
Fate: Sunk in the Java sea, 9 November 1944
General characteristics [1]
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: 138,500 nmi (256,500 km; 159,400 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h) 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[2][3]
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla (Training)
(27 January–31 July 1943)
10th U-boat Flotilla (front Boat)
(1 August 1943–30 September 1944)
33rd U-boat Flotilla (front Boat)
(1 October–9 November 1944)
Commanders: Kptlt. Peter Schrewe
(27 January 1943–9 November 1944)
Operations: 3 patrols
Victories: None

German submarine U-537 was a Type IXC/40 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. Her keel was laid down on 10 April 1942 by Deutsche Werft in Hamburg. She was commissioned on 27 January 1943 with Kapitänleutnant Peter Schrewe in command. Schrewe commanded the boat for nearly two years, until her loss.[2]

U-537 conducted three patrols, and holds the distinction of making the only armed German landing in North America during World War II — installing the automatic Weather Station Kurt in Martin Bay, Labrador on 22 October 1943.[4] She was then sent to the Far East. On 10 November 1944 in the Java Sea east of Surabaya, U-537 was sunk with all hands — 58 officers and men — by torpedoes from USS Flounder (SS-251).[2]

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-537 left Kiel on 18 September 1943 and sailed to Bergen, Norway, from where she departed on her first patrol on 30 September. She sailed across the North Atlantic where on 22 October she set up Wetter-Funkgerät Land-26 (code-named "Kurt") automatic weather station in Martin Bay, Labrador. The weather station was not discovered by Canadian authorities until 1981.[5]

While on anti-shipping patrol off Newfoundland on 31 October the U-boat was attacked by a Canadian Hudson aircraft from No. 11 Squadron RCAF with eight rockets, all of which missed. On 10 November a Canadian Catalina aircraft from No. 5 Squadron RCAF attacked her with four depth charges off Cape Race. The U-boat escaped unharmed, but the next day another Catalina of 5 Squadron attacked with four depth changes which slightly damaged the U-boat. Surface ships joined the hunt, but failed to locate U-537 and she arrived safely at Lorient on 8 December.[6]

2nd patrol[edit]

U-537 sailed from Lorient on 25 March 1944 and sailed around Africa, across the Indian Ocean, to Batavia by 2 August after a voyage of 131 days.[7]

3rd patrol[edit]

The U-boat left Batavia for Soerabaja on 1 October 1944, and sailed on her third and final patrol on 9 November[8] and on that day was sunk with all hands — 58 officers and men — in the Java Sea, in position 7°13′S 115°17′E / 7.217°S 115.283°E / -7.217; 115.283Coordinates: 7°13′S 115°17′E / 7.217°S 115.283°E / -7.217; 115.283, by torpedoes from USS Flounder (SS-251).[2]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Gröner, p. 105-7.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Type IXC/40 boat U-537 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "War Patrols by German U-boat U-537 - Boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Thorne, R.G. (2004). A Cherished Past: Newfoundland's Front Row Seat to History. St. John's, NL/Thorton Publishing Ltd. (pp. 82-88)
  5. ^ "Weather station Kurt erected in Labrador in 1943". U-boat.net. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  6. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-537 from 30 Sep 1943 to 8 Dec 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-537 from 25 Mar 1944 to 2 Aug 1944 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Patrol of U-boat U-537 from 9 Nov 1944 to 9 Nov 1944 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
Bibliography
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). "U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher". Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 III (Koblenz: Bernard&Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]