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German submarine U-548
Name: U-548
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 369
Laid down: 4 September 1942
Launched: 14 April 1943
Commissioned: 30 June 1943
Fate: Sunk, April 1945 by depth charges from American warships southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia
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[1] (110 rounds)
Service record
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(30 June 1943–31 March 1944)
2nd U-boat Flotilla
(1 April–30 September 1944)
33rd U-boat Flotilla
(1 October 1944–19 April 1945)
Commanders: Kptlt. Eberhard Zimmermann
(30 June 1943–8 February 1945)
Kplt. Günther Pfeffer
(August–November 1944)
Oblt.Erich Krempl
(9 February–19 April 1945)
Operations: 1st patrol:
21 March–24 June 1944
2nd patrol:
11 August–25 September 1944
3rd patrol:
7–12 October 1944
4th patrol:
5 March–19 April 1945
Victories: One warship sunk, 1,445 tons

German submarine U-548 was a Type IXC U-boat of the German Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She was laid down at the Deutsche Werft (yard) in Hamburg as 'werk' 369 on 4 September 1942, launched on 14 April 1943 and commissioned on 30 June with Kapitänleutnant Eberhard Zimmermann in command.

U-548 began her service career with training as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla from 30 June 1943. She was re-assigned to the 2nd flotilla for operations on 1 April 1944, then the 33rd flotilla on 1 October.

She carried out four patrols and sank one ship. She was sunk in April 1945 by depth charges from American warships southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Operational career

1st patrol

U-548's first patrol began with her departure from Kiel on 21 March 1944. She passed through the 'gap' separating Iceland and the Faroe Islands before heading out into the Atlantic Ocean. The boat was involved in a rather bizarre incident on the night of 3 May when a B-24 Liberator illuminated HMS Hargood east of Conception Bay, Newfoundland, thinking she was a U-boat. U-548 fired at the aircraft which in turn wrongly assumed they had been engaged by the ship. The real quarry aborted her attack and escaped.

The boat was the target of an unsuccessful hunt by Allied escorts after the sinking of HMCS Valleyfield on 7 May 50 mi (80 km)[2] south of Cape Race, (Newfoundland).

She entered Lorient, on the French Atlantic coast, on 24 June 1944.

2nd and 3rd patrols

On her second foray, U-548 lost a man overboard, (Mechanikergefreiter (A) Walter Heise), during a crash-dive on 30 August 1944. Reversing the course of her first patrol, she arrived at Bergen in Norway, on 25 September.

Having moved to Hölen (southeast of Stavanger) in Norway, the boat began her third sortie on 7 October 1944. She docked at Flensburg on the 12th.

4th patrol and loss

By now, U-548 was based at Horten (south of Oslo) also in Norway, from where she began her fourth and last patrol on 5 March 1945. She crossed the Atlantic once more and was sunk southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia on 19 April by depth charges from the American destroyer escorts USS Reuben James and Buckley.

Fifty-eight men died with the U-boat; there were no survivors.



  1. Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp.248 and 249

External links

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