List of all U-boats




Ordered20 Oct 1939
Laid down21 Feb 1941 Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg (werk 307)
Launched22 Sep 1941
Commissioned8 Dec 1941Kptlt. Friedrich Steinhoff
8 Dec 1941 - 17 Dec 1942  Kptlt. Friedrich Steinhoff
18 Dec 1942 - 20 Nov 1943  Kptlt. Fritz Schneewind (German Cross in Gold)
4 patrols
8 Dec 1941-31 Jul 1942  4. Flottille (training)
1 Aug 1942-1 Sep 1943  10. Flottille (active service)
Successes5 ships sunk, total tonnage 41,373 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 8,773 GRT

Handed over to Japan on 16 September 1943 at Kure as donation from Germany to the Emperor and became the Japanese submarine RO-500 (offsite link).

Post war information (see more post-war boats):
Surrendered at Maizuru in August 1945. Scuttled in the Gulf of Maizuru by the US Navy on 30 April, 1946.

Loss position

See the 6 ships hit by U-511 - View the 4 war patrols

In June 2018 the wreck of RO-500 was located by an ROV of the Society La Plongée for Deep Sea Technology at the depth of 90 meters off Kanmuri Jima in Wakasa Bay.

Wolfpack operations

U-511 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Pirat (29 Jul 1942 - 3 Aug 1942)
   Schlagetot (9 Nov 1942 - 21 Nov 1942)
   Delphin (3 Jan 1943 - 14 Feb 1943)
   Robbe (16 Feb 1943 - 5 Mar 1943)

Attacks on this boat and other events

12 Feb 1943
Damage caused by escorts prevented the boat continuing an attack on a convoy off Finisterre, France (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 195)

1 recorded attack on this boat.

General notes on this boat

31 May 1942. During the summer of 1942, when under the command of Kptlt. Friedrich Steinhoff, U-511 took part in one of the most interesting experiments of the entire war. Steinhoff's brother, Dr. Erich Steinhoff, was working at Peenemünde on the rocket program, and between them they arranged for U-511 to be used for rocket trials.

A rack for six 30 cm rockets was installed and extensive tests carried out. These concluded with the successful launch of rockets from a depth of 12m (40ft). These amazing tests failed to convince Dönitz's staff of the merit of this innovatory weapon system, and it was not put into service. The rocket in question, the 30cm Wurfkörper 42 Spreng, was not advanced enough to target ships, but it might have been used to bombard shore installations such as oil refineries in the Caribbean. This idea was developed in late 1944 with a proposal for Type XXI electro boats to tow V-2 launchers which would attack shore bases. Neither the launchers nor the type XXI boats became available before the war ended.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-511 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.


Media links

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 2

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

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