|Ordered:||16 October 1939|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||28 February 1940|
|Launched:||23 January 1941|
|Commissioned:||13 March 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk by torpedoes fired from Royal Navy MTB-81 on 12 July 1943 at position Straits of Messina.in the|
|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-561 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 28 February 1940 by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg as yard number 537, launched on 23 January 1941 and commissioned on 13 March 1941 under Kapitänleutnant Robert Bartels (German Cross in Gold).
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-561 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 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).
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-561 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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
The boat's service began on 13 March 1941 with training as part of the 1st U-boat Flotilla. She was transferred to the 23rd flotilla on 1 February 1942. In 15 patrols she sank five ships for a total of 17,146 gross register tons (GRT), plus one ship damaged and a second a total loss. During late July 1941, U-561, along with 9 other German and Italian submarines, attacked convoy OG 69 en route from Liverpool to Gibraltar. U-561 torpedoed and sank the 1,884 GRT British freighter Wrotham. She was sunk by torpedoes fired from Royal Navy MTB-81 on 12 July 1943 at position in the Straits of Messina.
She took part in two wolfpacks, namely,
- Bosemüller (28 August – 2 September 1941)
- Seewolf (2–15 September 1941)
Summary of raiding history
|28 July 1941||Wrotham||United Kingdom||1,884||Sunk|
|11 November 1941||Meridian||Panama||5,592||Sunk|
|14 November 1941||Crusader||Panama||2,939||Sunk|
|14 May 1942||Fred||Greece||4,043||Damaged (mine)|
|14 May 1942||Hav||Norway||5,062||Total loss (mine)|
|14 May 1942||Mount Olympus||Greece||6,692||Sunk (mine)|
|24 September 1942||Sphinx||Egypt||39||Sunk|
- 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.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-561". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- Hofmann, Markus. "U 561". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 28 December 2014.