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German submarine U-589
Name: U-589
Ordered: 16 January 1940
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 565
Laid down: 31 October 1940
Launched: 6 August 1941
Commissioned: 25 September 1941
Fate: Sunk in the Arctic Ocean by a British warship, September 1942[1]
General characteristics
Type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement: 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296.
Speed: 17.7 knots (20.4 mph; 32.8 km/h) surfaced
7.6 knots (8.7 mph; 14.1 km/h) submerged
Range: 15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44–52 officers and ratings
Armament: • 5 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
• 14 × G7e torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
• 1 × C35 88mm gun/L45 deck gun (220 rounds)
• Various AA guns
Service record[2]
Part of: 6th U-boat Flotilla
(25 September 1941–1 February 1942)
7th U-boat Flotilla
(1 February–30 June 1942)
11th U-boat Flotilla
(1 July–14 September 1942)
Commanders: Krvkpt. Hans-Joachim Horrer
(25 September 1941–14 September 1942)
Operations: 1st patrol:
28 February–21 March 1942
2nd patrol:
24 March–2 April 1942
3rd patrol:
8–20 April 1942
4th patrol:
29 April–6 May 1942
5th patrol:
17 July–12 August 1942
6th patrol:
23 August–1 September 1942
7th patrol:
9–14 September 1942
Victories: One auxiliary warship sunk, 417 GRT;
one ship damaged - 2,847 GRT

German submarine U-589 was a Type VIIC U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine during World War II.

She carried out seven patrols, was a member of ten wolfpacks, sank one ship of 417 GRT and damaged one other of 2,847 GRT. The boat was sunk by depth charges from a British warship assisted by a British aircraft, in September 1942.

Service history[]

The submarine was laid down on 31 October 1940 at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as 'werk' 565, launched on 6 August 1941 and commissioned on 25 September under the command of Korvettenkapitän Hans-Joachim Horrer.

She served with the 6th U-boat Flotilla from 26 June 1941 for training and stayed with that organization for operations from 1 February 1942. She was reassigned to the 11th flotilla on 1 July.

1st and 2nd patrols[]

U-589's first patrol was preceded by a short trip from Kiel to the German-controlled island of Helgoland, (also known as Heligoland), in February 1942. The patrol itself commenced on the 28th. She steamed through the Norwegian Sea and arrived at Kirkenes in the far north of Norway on 21 March. For her second foray, she was involved in firing four torpedoes at the minesweeper HMS Niger; but the tracks were seen, evasive action was carried out, followed by an unsuccessful depth charge attack which caused no damage to the U-boat.

3rd patrol[]

She left Kirkenes on 8 April 1942 and covered the Barents Sea. She returned to her start point on the 20th.

4th patrol[]

U-589 damaged the Soviet merchant vessel Tsiolkovskij on 1 May 1942. This ship was later sunk by the German destroyers Z-24 and Z-25.

5th patrol[]

After more short voyages from Kirkenes to Skjomenfjord (south of Narvik), then Narvik itself and Bergen in May 1942, she carried out a relatively uneventful patrol which culminated in her arrival at Skjomenfjord on 12 August.

6th patrol[]

The boat set out for her sixth sortie on 23 August 1942. She travelled as far east as Nova Zemlya[3] and returned to Narvik on 1 September.

7th patrol and loss[]

U-589 set out from Narvik on 9 September 1942. On the 14th, she was sunk by depth charges, first from a Fairey Swordfish of 825 Naval Air Squadron from HMS Avenger, then the British destroyer HMS Onslow.

Forty-four men died with U-589; there were no survivors.

Summary of raiding history[]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
1 May 1942 Tsoilkovskij  Soviet Union 2,847 Damaged
11 October 1942 Musson (No 23)  Soviet Union 417 Sunk (Mine)


  1. Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, pp. 89-90
  2. "The Type VIIC boat U-589 - German U-boats of WWII -". Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  3. The Times Atlas of the World - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 24

See also[]

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