Military Wiki
Name: U-163
Ordered: 25 December 1939
Builder: Deutsche Schiff und maschinenbau AG, Bremen
Yard number: 702
Laid down: 8 May 1940
Launched: 1 May 1941
Commissioned: 21 October 1941
Fate: Sunk on 12/13 March 1943 by a Canadian warship[1]
General characteristics
Type: Type IXC submarine
Displacement: 1,120 t (1,100 long tons) surfaced
1,232 t (1,213 long tons) submerged
Length: 76.8 m (252 ft 0 in) overall
58.7 m (192 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) overall
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)
Draft: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,000 hp (2,983 kW)
2 × SSW GU345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Speed: 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h) submerged
Range: 24,880 nmi (46,080 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced
117 nmi (217 km) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 48 to 56
Armament: 6 × torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern)
22 × 55 cm (22 in) torpedoes
1 × 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun[2] (110 rounds)
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine
4th U-boat Flotilla
(8 July–31 December 1941)
2nd U-boat Flotilla
(1 January 1942–27 September 1943)
Commanders: Krvkpt. Kurt-Eduard Englemann
(21 October–13 March 1943)
Operations: Three patrols
Victories: Three ships sunk for a total of 15,011 gross register tons (GRT)
one warship a total loss, (2,000 gross register tons (GRT))

German submarine U-163 was a Type IXC U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II. The keel for this boat was laid down on 8 May 1940 at the Deutsche Schiff und Maschinenbau AG, Bremen yard as 'werk' 700. She was launched on 1 May 1941 and commissioned on 21 November under the command of Korvettenkapitän Kurt-Eduard Engelmann.

The U-boat's service began with training as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla. She then moved to the 10th flotilla on 1 August 1942 for operations. She sank three ships, totalling 15,011 tons and one warship was declared a total loss (1,130 tons).

She was sunk by a Canadian corvette in March 1943.

Operational career

1st patrol

The submarine's first patrol took her from Kiel on 21 July 1942, across the North Sea and through the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. She arrived at Lorient, in occupied France, on 16 January. She would be based at this Atlantic port for the rest of her career. She had crossed the Atlantic Ocean and sailed to the southern Cuban coast.

2nd patrol

Her second foray took her to the area north of South America. Here she sank the La Cordillera on 5 November 1942 85 mi (137 km) east of Barbados. She also damaged an American gunboat, the USS Erie on 12 November and sank the Empire Starling northeast of Barbados on the 21st. Her final victim on this patrol was the Apóide which went down a day later. She returned to Lorient on 6 January 1943.

3rd patrol and loss

The U-boat departed Lorient for the last time on 10 March 1943. On the 13th, she was sunk by depth charges from HMCS Prescott northwest of Cape Finisterre, Spain. 57 men (all hands) died.

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
5 November 1942 La Cordillera  United Kingdom 5,185 Sunk
12 November 1942 USS Erie  USA 2,000 Total loss
21 November 1942 Empire Starling  United Kingdom 6,060 Sunk
22 November 1942 Apalóide  Brazil 3,766 Sunk

See also


  1. Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 107
  2. Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp.248 and 249

External links

Coordinates: 45°05′N 15°00′W / 45.083°N 15°W / 45.083; -15

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