U 570.jpg
U-570 Type VIIC submarine that was captured by the British in 1941. This U-boat is almost identical to U-963.
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-963
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 163
Laid down: 20 April 1942
Launched: 30 December 1942
Commissioned: 17 February 1943
Fate: Scuttled on 20 May 1945
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:
  • 220 m (720 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 44–52 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Karl Boddenberg[1]
  • 17 February 1943 – December 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Werner Müller[2]
  • 13 August 1944 – 21 August 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Rolf-Werner Wentz[3]
  • December 1944 – 20 May 1945
Operations: 10 patrols
Victories: None

German submarine U-963 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She was ordered on 5 June 1941, and was laid down on 20 April 1942 at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg, as yard number 163. She was launched on 30 December 1942 and commissioned under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Karl Boddenberg on 17 February 1943.[4]

Design

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-963 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[5] 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 Garbe, Lahmeyer & Co. RP 137/c 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).[5]

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).[5] 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-963 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes or 26 TMA mines, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and one twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between 44 — 52 men.[5]

Service history

U-963 had a recorded five attacks on her. The first two during her fourth war patrol. On 5 February 1944, when she shot down a British B-24 Liberator of 53 Squadron/T RAF. Then on 26 March 1944, off of Brest, France, she came under attack by an unidentified Allied airplane. This attack left nine men wounded, with two of them being badly injured. U-963 docked at Brest the next day.[4]

Shortly after U-963 left Brest on 7 June 1944, on her fifth war patrol, she came under attack by another British B-24 of 53 Squadron RAF, piloted by John William Carmichael. The bomber was able to damage U-963 so severely that she had to return to Brest less than 24 hours after leaving for her patrol.[4]

On 12 August 1944, the submarine base in Brest was bombed, killing one man during the air raid and so severely wounding another that he died the next day.[4]

The last attack came on 21 August 1944, in the Bay of Biscay. Just after midnight U-963 was forced into a crash dive and one man was lost overboard.[4]

On 20 May 1945, the crew of U-963 scuttled her off of Nazaré, Portugal. The entire crew survived.[4]

The wreck is located at 39°36′N 09°05′W / 39.600°N 9.083°W / 39.600; -9.083Coordinates: 39°36′N 09°05′W / 39.600°N 9.083°W / 39.600; -9.083.[4]

Wolfpacks

U-921 took part in eight wolfpacks, namely.[4]

  • Siegfried (22 — 27 October 1943)
  • Siegfried 2 (27 — 30 October 1943)
  • Körner (30 October 1943 — 2 November 1943)
  • Tirpitz 2 (2 — 8 November 1943)
  • Eisenhart 5 (9 — 15 November 1943)
  • Igel 2 (3 — 17 February 1944)
  • Hai 2 (17 — 22 February 1944)
  • Preussen (22 February 1944 — 14 March 1944)

References

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Karl Boddenberg". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Werner Müller". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Rolf-Werner Wentz". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Helgason, Guðmundur. "U-963". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

Bibliography

  • 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.

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrols by U-963". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net.