German submarine U-263
|Ordered:||15 August 1941|
|Builder:||Bremer-Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen|
|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|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
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.
She was sunk in January 1944 in the Bay of Biscay, during a deep dive trial.
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. 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).
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). 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.
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
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
|20 November 1942||Grangepark||United Kingdom||5,132||Sunk|
|20 November 1942||Prins Harald||Norway||7,244||Sunk|
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-263". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-263". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-263". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
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- 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.
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