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German submarine U-512
Name: U-512
Ordered: 20 October 1939
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 308
Laid down: 24 February 1941
Launched: 9 October 1941
Commissioned: 20 December 1941
Fate: Sunk by aircraft, 2 October 1942[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) o/a
58.7 m (192 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) o/a
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, 4,400 hp (3,281 kW)
2 × SSW GU345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Speed: 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h) surfaced
7.7 knots (14.3 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 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedoes
• 1 × 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun[2] (110 rounds)
• AA guns
Service record[3][4]
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(20 December 1941–31 August 1942)
10th U-boat Flotilla
(1 September–2 October 1942)
Commanders: Kptlt. Wolfgang Schultze
(December 1941–October 1942)
Operations: 1st patrol: 15 August–2 October 1942
Victories: 3Three commercial ships sunk (20,619 GRT)

German submarine U-512 was a Type IXC U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II. Although she was short-lived, U-512 was quite a successful boat, making full use of the time she enjoyed in the entrance to the Caribbean Sea, during the Second Happy Time. She was commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Schultze, an admiral's son and previously training captain of U-17.

The Deutsche Werft shipyard in Hamburg built her during 1941, she was completed in December, ready for her working-up period in the Baltic Sea to train her crew and iron out any engineering problems. Following this, she was detailed to cross the Atlantic Ocean and operate off the northern coast of South America in order to catch unescorted Allied shipping heading for or leaving the Panama Canal.

Service history

Departing from Kiel on the 15 August 1942, U-512 headed into the Atlantic via the Norwegian coast and the gap between Iceland and the Faeroe Islands and then to the southwest, arriving in her designated patrol zone by the second week in September. She was almost immediately successful, sinking the slow, unescorted 10,000-ton American tanker SS Patrick J. Hurley with her deck gun, claiming 17 lives.[5] A week later, a second ship was found, the lone Spanish freighter SS Monte Gorbea, which was sunk with 52 lives, despite her neutral status. This act would undoubtedly have led to Schultze's court-martial, had he returned from the patrol.[6] U-512's final victory came on the 24 September, when another American ship, the 6,000-ton SS Antinous was sunk by two torpedoes off Venezuela.[7]

On the 2 October, while still lurking off the South American coast, U-512 was spotted off Cayenne by a B-18 Bolo aircraft belonging to the 99th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. The aircraft flew low and dropped its bomb load directly on the boat, sinking her and 51 of her crew instantly.[8] Only one man, Matrosengefreiter Franz Machon (Polish: Franciszek Machoń) escaped the boat and was rescued from his raft by the Wickes class destroyer USS Ellis ten days later.[3]

Raiding career

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
13 September 1942 SS Patrick J Hurley  USA 10,865 Sunk
19 September 1942 SS Monte Gorbea  Spain 3,720 Sunk
24 September 1942 SS Antionus  USA 6,034 Sunk



See also

Coordinates: 6°50′N 52°25′W / 6.833°N 52.417°W / 6.833; -52.417

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