German submarine U-263

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-263
Ordered: 15 August 1941
Builder: Bremer-Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen
Yard number: 28
Laid down: 8 June 1941
Launched: 18 March 1942
Commissioned: 6 May 1942
Fate: Sunk, in January 1944 in the Bay of Biscay during a deep dive trial[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
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 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1][2]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • K.Kapt. Kurt Nölke
  • 6 May – December 1942
  • 1943 – 20 January 1944
Operations:
  • Two patrols:
  • 27 October – 29 November 1942
  • 19–20 January 1942
Victories: Two

German submarine U-263 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 8 June 1941 at the Bremer-Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft (yard) in Bremen as yard number 28. She was launched on 18 March 1942 and commissioned on 6 May under the command of Kapitänleutnant Kurt Nölke.[1]

In two patrols, she sank two ships of 12,376 gross register tons (GRT). She was a member of one wolfpack.

She was sunk in January 1944 in the Bay of Biscay, during a deep dive trial.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-263 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[3] She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[3] When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-263 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[3]

Service history[edit]

After training with the 8th U-boat Flotilla, the boat became operational on 1 November 1942 when she was transferred to the 1st flotilla.

1st patrol[edit]

U-263's first patrol began when she departed Kiel on 27 October 1942. She entered the Atlantic Ocean after negotiating the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. There followed a series of attacks west of Gibraltar, first by the U-boat on two freighters, then on the submarine by surface ships (on 20 November), aircraft (on 24 November) and a submarine (on 26 November), all of which she was lucky to survive. Even so, the damage sustained needed 13 months of repairs. She arrived at La Pallice / La Rochelle in occupied France on 29 November.

2nd patrol and loss[edit]

The boat departed La Pallice on 19 January 1942. She was sunk the next day in the Bay of Biscay during a deep dive trial.

Fifty-one men died; there were no survivors.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Displacement Fate[4]
20 November 1942 Grangepark  United Kingdom 5,132 Sunk
20 November 1942 Prins Harald  Norway 7,244 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-263". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-263". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-263". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-263". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 263". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.