|Ordered||21 Nov 1936|
|Laid down||27 Feb 1937||F. Krupp Germaniawerft AG, Kiel (werk 582)|
|Launched||29 Oct 1938|
|Commissioned||17 Dec 1938||Oblt. Günther Prien|
|Successes||30 ships sunk, total tonnage 162,769 GRT|
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 29,150 tons
8 ships damaged, total tonnage 62,751 GRT
Missing since 7 March 1941 in the North Atlantic south of Iceland, in approximate position 60.00N, 13.00W. 45 dead (all hands lost). (FDS/NHB, June 1991).
U-47 sent its last radio message at 0454hrs on 7 March 1941 while chasing the convoy OB-293 and was then reported missing after it repeatedly failed to report its position. There is presently no convincing explanation for its loss.
Previously recorded fate
- Sunk by the British destroyer HMS Wolverine on 8 March 1941 after depth charges attacks. HMS Wolverine actually attacked Eckermann's U-A instead of U-47. U-A reached base after this attack.
Possible reasons for the loss of U-47 include mines, by its own torpedoes or by an attack by British corvettes HMS Camellia and HMS Arbutus.(Postwar assessment)
U-47 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Prien (12 Jun 1940 - 17 Jun 1940)
Attacks on this boat and other events
5 Dec 1939
After sinking the British steam merchant Navasota U-47 was briefly depth charged by British destroyers, but escaped unharmed. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 120)
17 Apr 1940
The boat fired a torpedo at the British battleship HMS Warspite, which missed (or more likely failed to detonate), and the boat was depth charged by destroyers. Date may be approximate (but before 19 April). (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 154)
26 Feb 1941
U-47 spent the day guiding in Fw 200 Condor aircraft to attack a convoy west of Ireland. The escorts depth charged the boat and an attack by an aircraft was also reported by Kptlt Prien. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 238)
3 recorded attacks on this boat.
General notes on this boat
14 Oct 1939. On 14 Oct 1939 the boat made the incredible raid on Scapa Flow, sinking the British battleship HMS Royal Oak.
Men lost from the boat
5 Sep 1940
The boat lost a man overboard during while the deck gun was being fired. [MtrOGfr Heinrich Mantyk]
Related: For more info on such losses see - Men lost from U-boats -
We have 2 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.
The Snorting Bull - U-47
Skull and Crossbones plus Umbrella
There was another U-47 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 16 Aug 1915 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 28 Feb 1916. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 47 during WWI.
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