List of all U-boats

U-56

Type

IIC

 
Ordered17 Jun 1937
Laid down21 Sep 1937 Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel (werk 255)
Launched3 Sep 1938
Commissioned26 Nov 1938Oblt. Wilhelm Zahn
Commanders
26 Nov 1938 - 21 Jan 1940  Kptlt. Wilhelm Zahn
22 Jan 1940 - 13 Oct 1940  Oblt. Otto Harms
14 Oct 1940 - 21 Apr 1941  Kptlt. Werner Pfeifer
22 Apr 1941 - 19 Jan 1942   Wolfgang Römer
20 Jan 1942 - 14 Nov 1942  Oblt. Günther-Paul Grave
15 Nov 1942 - 27 Feb 1944  Oblt. Hugo Deiring
28 Feb 1944 - 30 Jun 1944  Oblt. Werner Sausmikat
1 Jul 1944 - 22 Feb 1945  Ltn. Heinrich Miede
9 Jan 1945 - 5 Feb 1945  Ltn. Walter Kaeding (in deputize) (Knights Cross) -- acting
23 Feb 1945 - Apr, 1945  Oblt. Joachim Sauerbier
Career
12 patrols
26 Nov 1938-31 Dec 1939  5. Flottille (training)
1 Jan 1940-31 Oct 1940  1. Flottille (active service)
1 Nov 1940-18 Dec 1940  24. Flottille (training)
19 Dec 1940-30 Jun 1944  22. Flottille (school boat)
1 Jul 1944-28 Apr 1945  19. Flottille (school boat)
Successes3 ships sunk, total tonnage 8,860 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 16,923 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 3,829 GRT
Fate

Sunk on 28 Apr, 1945 at Kiel, in position 54.19N, 10.10E, by bombs from British aircraft. 6 dead and 19 survivors.

Loss position

See the 5 ships hit by U-56 - View the 12 war patrols

Attacks on this boat and other events

6 Sep 1940
The British submarine HMS Tribune launched torpedoes at a submarine about 15 nautical miles NE of St. Kilda, Hebrides in position 57º58N, 08º14W. All missed. There is little doubt that the target was U-56, since that was the only u-boat passing through that area on that day. No attack was reported, however.

1 recorded attack on this boat.

General notes on this boat

30 Oct 1939. Out of four U-boats vectored west of the Orkneys, U-56 located the British battleships HMS Nelson, Rodney and Hood operating with a screen of ten destroyers. Torpedo failure scotched chances of success from a favourable attack position.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-56 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

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


A Molar or an Iceberg

Gent with Umbrella and Bag

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-56 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 18 Apr 1916 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 23 Jun 1916. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about the U 56 during WWI.