German submarine U-803

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-803
Ordered: 7 December 1940
Builder: DeSchiMAG Seebeckwerft, Bremerhaven
Yard number: 712
Laid down: 30 June 1942
Launched: 1 April 1943
Commissioned: 7 September 1943
Fate: Sunk by a mine, 27 April 1944
General characteristics [1]
Class and 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 PS (4,340 shp; 3,236 kW)
2 × SSW GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 PS (986 shp; 735 kW)
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
Range: 13,850 nmi (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
63 nmi (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
Service record
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
Commanders: Kptlt. Karl Schimpf
(July 1943–April 1944)
Operations: None
Victories: None

German submarine U-803 was a Type IXC/40 U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II at Bremerhaven. This Type had long range cruising capacity and six torpedo tubes. She was completed in September 1943 and spent the next seven months on working up cruises in the Baltic Sea near Swinemunde in order to get the crew and boat ready for operational cruising in the Battle of the Atlantic, which was at a critical stage.

As the boat worked up on 27 April 1944, just days off its intended first cruise, she struck a sea mine in the bay and sank, nine of her crew going down with the boat, and 35 being rescued by nearby ships. The boat was salvaged in August 1944, but was too badly damaged to repair, and was broken up for components for use in other U-boats. Her surviving crew were largely transferred to other units, principally U-3009, on which they surrendered in May 1945. The mine had been air-dropped over the bay by the Royal Air Force, who had realised the use that the area was being put to through photo-reconnaissance flights. The air-dropping of mines was a frequent tactic of the RAF, and achieved dividends off many German harbours.


  1. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 105-7.


  • 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 (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC/40 boat U-803". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 803". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - (in German). Retrieved 2 February 2015. 

Coordinates: 53°55′N 14°17′E / 53.917°N 14.283°E / 53.917; 14.283