|Ordered||17 Jun 1937|
|Laid down||21 Sep 1937||Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel (werk 255)|
|Launched||3 Sep 1938|
|Commissioned||26 Nov 1938||Oblt. Wilhelm Zahn|
|Successes||3 ships sunk, total tonnage 8,860 GRT|
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 16,923 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 3,829 GRT
Decommissioned after being badly damaged on 3 Apr 1945 at Kiel by US bombs.
Scuttled on 3 May 1945 at Kiel. Wreck broken up.
Attacks on this boat and other events
6 Sep 1940
The British submarine HMS Tribune launched torpedoes at a submarine about 15 nautical miles (28 km) NE of St. Kilda, Outer 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.
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
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 SM U 56 during WWI.