Military Wiki
German submarine U-543
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-543
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 364
Laid down: 3 July 1942
Launched: 3 February 1943
Commissioned: 21 April 1943
Fate: Sunk, July 1944 southwest of Tenerife by an American aircraft[1]
General characteristics
Type: Type IXC/40 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: 6.9 m (22 ft 8 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 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: 19 knots (35 km/h) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h) submerged
Range: 25,620 nmi (47,450 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 × Utof 105 mm/45 deck gun (110 rounds)
• AA guns
Service record
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(21 April–31 October 1943)
10th U-boat Flotilla
(1 November 1943–2 July 1944))
Commanders: Kptlt. Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel
(21 April 1943–2 July 1944)
Operations: 1st patrol:
9 November 1943–24 January 1944
2nd patrol:
28 March–2 July 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-543 was a Type IXC U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She was laid down at the Deutsche Werft (yard) in Hamburg as 'werk' 364 on 3 July 1942, launched on 3 February and commissioned on 21 April with Kapitänleutnant Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel in command.

U-543 began her service career with training as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla from 21 April 1943. She was re-assigned to the 10th flotilla for operations on 1 November.

She carried out two patrols, but did not sink any ships. She was a member of three wolfpacks. She was sunk in July 1944 southwest of Tenerife by an American aircraft.

Operational career

1st patrol

The boat departed Kiel on 9 November 1943, moved through the North Sea, negotiated the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean. She entered Lorient, on the French Atlantic coast, on 24 January 1944.

2nd patrol and loss

Her second foray took her west of Portugal where she found a small convoy on 9 April 1944, but she was driven off by depth charges from the escorts.
After refuelling from U-488, the boat was attacked on 19 April by a TBM Avenger with rockets and a FIDO homing torpedo. The aircraft had come from the USS Tripoli. The submarine escaped undamaged and sailed to the west coast of Africa, then across the central Atlantic to the waters off Brazil.

She was sunk on 2 July 1944 on the return leg west of Portugal by an Avenger, this time from USS Wake Island. The same mix of rockets and a FIDO were used, but were successful.

Fifty-eight men died; there were no survivors.[2]



  1. Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 200
  2. Kemp, p. 200

External links

Coordinates: 25°34′N 21°36′W / 25.567°N 21.6°W / 25.567; -21.6

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