List of all U-boats




Ordered8 Jan 1940
Laid down25 Sep 1940 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (werk 557)
Launched12 Jun 1941
Commissioned31 Jul 1941Kptlt. Werner Pfeifer
31 Jul 1941 - 2 Feb 1942  Kptlt. Werner Pfeifer
2 patrols
31 Jul 1941-30 Nov 1941  5. Flottille (training)
1 Dec 1941-2 Feb 1942  7. Flottille (active service)
Successes1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 364 GRT

Sunk on 2 February 1942 in the North Atlantic south-east of Horta, Azores, in position 38.24N, 28.30W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Westcott. 4 dead and 42 survivors.

Loss position

See the 1 ships hit by U-581 - View the 2 war patrols

General notes on this boat

2 Feb 1942. U-581 was sunk off the island of Pico in the Azores by the British destroyer HMS Westcott. Leutnant Walter Sitek, the II. WO, managed to swim 6 km (4 miles) to shore at a point near the village of Guidaste, where he was rescued by the local inhabitants. He then managed to make his way to neutral Spain and in May 1942 returned to Germany, after which he served again in the U-Bootwaffe.

Oblt. Sitek went on to command three boats - U-17, U-981 and U-3005 - and survived the war.

The other survivors from U-581 were rescued by HMS Westcott and HMS Croome and ended up as prisoners of war, not being released until 1947.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-581 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.

Spider in Circle

Media links

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

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

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

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