List of all U-boats




Ordered15 Aug 1940
Laid down15 Mar 1941 AG Weser, Bremen (werk 1021)
Launched30 Dec 1941
Commissioned9 May 1942Kptlt. Wolfgang Lüth (Knights Cross)
9 May 1942 - 31 Oct 1943  KrvKpt. Wolfgang Lüth (Knights Cross)
1 Nov 1943 - 5 May 1945  Kpt. Kurt Freiwald
4 patrols
9 May 1942-30 Sep 1942  4. Flottille (training)
1 Oct 1942-31 Oct 1942  10. Flottille (active service)
1 Nov 1942-30 Sep 1944  12. Flottille (active service)
1 Oct 1944-5 May 1945  33. Flottille (active service)
Successes27 ships sunk, total tonnage 138,779 GRT

Taken over by Japan at Singapore on 5 May 1945 and became the Japanese submarine I 501 on 15 July 1945.

Post war information (see more post-war boats):
On 15 Feb 1946 (GMT), towed by HM Tug Assiduous to the Straits of Malacca, off Singapore, where U-181 (I-501) was scuttled (alongside I 502 / U-862) by the frigate HMS Loch Glendhu.

Loss position

See the 27 ships hit by U-181 - View the 4 war patrols

Wolfpack operations

U-181 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Without name (27 Mar 1943 - 30 Mar 1943)

Men lost from the boat

11 Apr 1943
The new 37mm anti-aircraft cannon on U-181 exploded in action while on patrol in the South Atlantic killing one man and wounding two more. [Matrosengefreiter Wilhelm Williger]

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

U-boat Emblems

We have 4 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.

Swastika on Shield



Coat of Arms

Media links

Lifeboat #6

Kevin Gomm
(£ 13.60)

U-Boat Ace: The Story of Wolfgang Lüth

Vause, Jordan

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, Vol II

Blair, Clay

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

Boarding Party

Leasor, James

Shooting the War

Giese, Otto and Wise, Capt. James E. Jr. (Ret.)

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