List of all U-boats

U-53

Type

VIIB

 
Ordered15 May 1937
Laid down13 Mar 1937 F. Krupp Germaniawerft AG, Kiel (werk 588)
Launched6 May 1939
Commissioned24 Jun 1939Oblt. Dietrich Knorr
Commanders
24 Jun 1939 - Aug, 1939  Oblt. Dietrich Knorr
Aug, 1939 - 14 Jan 1940   Ernst-G√ľnter Heinicke
Dec, 1939 - Jan, 1940  Oblt. Heinrich Schonder (Knights Cross)
15 Jan 1940 - 23 Feb 1940  KrvKpt. Harald Grosse
Career
3 patrols
24 Jun 1939-31 Dec 1939  7. Flottille (training)
1 Jan 1940-23 Feb 1940  7. Flottille (active service)
Successes7 ships sunk, total tonnage 27,316 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 8,022 GRT
Fate

Sunk 23 Feb 1940 in the North Sea in the mid Orkneys, in position 60.32N, 06.14W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Gurkha. 42 dead (all hands lost).

Loss position

See the 8 ships hit by U-53 - View the 3 war patrols

Attacks on this boat and other events

17 Sep 1939
Swordfish torpedo bombers from the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous fired on the boat and forced her to dive. Some gunners who were left topside perished. Later that day HMS Courageous was sunk by U-29. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 90)

1 recorded attack on this boat.

Men lost from the boat

17 Sep 1939
Swordfish torpedo bombers from the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous fired on the boat and forced her to dive. Some gunners who were left topside perished. Later that day HMS Courageous was sunk by U-29.

  Related: For more info on such losses see - Men lost from U-boats -

U-boat Emblems

We have 2 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.


Heart with WC pierced by a Torpedo

Gent with Umbrella pointing down

Media links


U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth


German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel


Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

There was another U-53 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 1 Feb 1916 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 22 Apr 1916. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 53 during WWI.