German submarine U-572

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-572
Ordered: 24 October 1939
Builder: Blohm & Voss of Hamburg
Yard number: 548
Laid down: 8 June 1940
Launched: 5 April 1941
Commissioned: 29 May 1941
Fate: Sunk 3 August 1943 off Trinidad
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]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Heinz Hirsacker
  • 29 May 1941 – 18 December 1942
  • Oblt.z.S. Heinz Kummetat
  • 18 December 1942 – 3 August 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 2 September – 2 October 1941
  • 2nd patrol: 30 October – 29 November 1941
  • 3rd patrol: 7 January – 10 February 1942
  • 4th patrol: 14 March – 14 May 1942
  • 5th patrol: 30 June – 3 September 1942
  • 6th patrol: 12 October – 22 November 1942
  • 7th patrol: 23 December 1942 – 11 February 1943
  • 8th patrol: 10 March – 18 April 1943
  • 9th patrol: 2 June – 3 August 1943
Victories:
  • 6 merchant ships sunk (19,323 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship damaged (GRT 6,207)

German submarine U-572 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. Her keel was laid down 8 June 1940 at the Blohm & Voss yard in Hamburg as yard number 548. She was launched on 5 April 1941 and commissioned on 29 May.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-572 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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 BBC GG UB 720/8 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).[2]

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).[2] 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-572 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.[2]

Service history[edit]

U-572 undertook 9 patrols. The boat made an attempt to enter the Mediterranean but the commander gave up after a long period submerged in the heavy defences at Gibraltar and stated that he considered that his boat had been damaged and therefore he could not continue. Kapitänleutnant Heinz Hirsacker was reported by his senior watch officer for alleged cowardice, tried by courts martial and eventually shot for cowardice on 24 April 1943.[3] The boat was depth charged and sunk by a US Mariner aircraft of VP-205 NE of Trinidad on 3 August 1943, in position 11°35′N 54°05′W / 11.583°N 54.083°W / 11.583; -54.083. 47 crew members died in the event.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-572 took part in eleven wolfpacks, namely.

  • Brandenburg (15 September – 1 October 1941)
  • Störtebecker (5–19 November 1941)
  • Gödecke (19–26 November 1941)
  • Hai (3–21 July 1942)
  • Streitaxt (20 October – 2 November 1942)
  • Schlagetot (9–16 November 1942)
  • Falke (28 December 1942 – 19 January 1943)
  • Landsknecht (19–28 January 1943)
  • Hartherz (3–7 February 1943)
  • Seeteufel (21–30 March 1943)
  • Löwenherz (1–10 April 1943)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[4]
4 April 1942 Ensis  United Kingdom 6,207 Damaged
16 April 1942 Desert Light  Panama 2,368 Sunk
20 April 1942 Empire Dryden  United Kingdom 7,164 Sunk
7 August 1942 Delfshaven  Netherlands 5,281 Sunk
22 June 1943 Lot  Free French Naval Forces 4,220 Sunk
14 July 1943 Harvard  United Kingdom 114 Sunk
15 July 1943 Gilbert B. Walters  United Kingdom 176 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-572". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Sharpe (1998) p.118-119
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U572". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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; 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. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Earl Shilton: Midland Counties. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 11°35′N 54°05′W / 11.583°N 54.083°W / 11.583; -54.083