German submarine U-574

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-574
Ordered: 24 October 1939
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 550
Laid down: 15 June 1940
Launched: 12 April 1941
Commissioned: 12 June 1941
Fate: Sunk by a British warship, December 1941[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[2]
Part of:
  • 1st U-boat Flotilla
  • 12 June – 1 November 1941
  • 1st U-boat Flotilla
  • 1 November – 19 December 1941
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Dietrich Gengelbach
  • 12 June – 9 December 1941
Operations: 8 November – 19 December 1941
Victories: One warship sunk, 1,190 tons

German submarine U-574 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She carried out one war patrol (partaking in two wolfpacks) and sank one warship of 1,190 tons. The U-boat was sunk west of Portugal, in December 1941.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-574 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 Brown, Boveri & Cie 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).[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-574 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]

The submarine was laid down on 15 June 1940 at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 550, launched on 12 April 1941 and commissioned on 12 June under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Dietrich Gengelbach.

She served with the 1st U-boat Flotilla from 12 June 1941 for training and stayed with that organization for operations until her loss, from 1 November 1941 to 19 December.

Operational career[edit]

Patrol and loss[edit]

The boat departed Kiel on 8 November 1941, moved through the North Sea, negotiated the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and entered the Atlantic Ocean.

Just after sinking her only victim, the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Stanley, she was sunk near Punta Delgada by depth charges and ramming by the British sloop HMS Stork. The boat was scuttled; the captain, Dietrich Gengelbach, refused to leave the submarine and went down with her.

Twenty-eight men died; there were 16 survivors.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-574 took part in two wolfpacks, namely.

  • Steuben (14 November - 1 December 1941)
  • Seeräuber (14–19 December 1941)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate
19 December 1941 HMS Stanley  Royal Navy 1,190 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp 1997, p. 76.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-574". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

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. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1997). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]