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U-576 file photo [23038]


Ship ClassType VII-class Submarine
BuilderBlohm und Voss
Slip/Drydock NumberX
Laid Down1 Aug 1940
Launched30 Apr 1941
Commissioned26 Jun 1941
Sunk15 Jul 1942
Displacement769 tons standard; 871 tons submerged
Length220 feet
Beam16 feet
Draft18 feet
MachineryTwo supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cyl 4-stroke F46 diesel engines (3,200bhp), two electric motors (750shp)
Speed18 knots
Range8,500nm at 10 knots surfaced, 80nm at 4 knots submerged
Armament4x53.3cm bow torpedo tubes, 1x53.3cm stern torpedo tube, 14 torpedoes or 26 TMA mines, 1x8.8cm deck gun
Submerged Speed7.6 knots


ww2dbaseU-576 was commissioned into service in Jun 1941. She sank her first target, a British catapult aircraft merchant (CAM) ship, in Feb 1942 during her second war patrol, and would go on to sink four additional ships flying the flags of Norway, Nicaragua, Panama, and the United States. On 15 Jul, after sinking Nicaraguan cargo ship Bluefields and Panamanian tanker J. A. Mowinckel just off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States, she was sunk by depth charges from two US Kingfisher aircraft and gunfire from merchant ship Unicoi. All 45 aboard were killed in the sinking, including the commanding officer Kapitänleutnant Hans-Dieter Heinicke. The wreck was discovered by a US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expedition, and the identification was announced on 21 Oct 2014. The wreck was located about 240 yards (about 220 meters) away from the wreck of Bluefields.


Last Major Revision: Dec 2014

Submarine U-576 Interactive Map

U-576 Operational Timeline

1 Aug 1940 U-576 was laid down by the firm Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany.
30 Apr 1941 U-576 was launched at Hamburg, Germany.
26 Jun 1941 U-576 was commissioned into service under the command of Kapit√§nleutnant Hans-Dieter Heinicke. She was assigned to the 7th Submarine Flotilla.
6 Oct 1941 U-576 began her first war patrol.
5 Nov 1941 U-576 completed her first war patrol.
11 Dec 1941 U-576 began her second war patrol.
23 Dec 1941 U-576 arrived at Saint-Nazaire, France, ending her second war patrol.
20 Jan 1942 U-576 departed Saint-Nazaire, France, starting her third war patrol.
14 Feb 1942 German submarine U-576 sank British catapult armed merchant (CAM) ship Empire Spring southeast of Nova Scotia, Canada at 0337 hours, killing all 53 aboard.
28 Feb 1942 U-576 arrived at Saint-Nazaire, France, ending her third war patrol.
29 Mar 1942 U-576 departed Saint-Nazaire, France, starting her fourth war patrol.
21 Apr 1942 German submarine U-576 sank US freighter Pipestone County 450 kilometers east of Virginia, United States at 1854 hours; all 35 aboard survived and were rescued by US Coast Guard cutter Calypso.
30 Apr 1942 U-576 sank Norwegian ship Taborfjell about 95 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, United States at 0737 hours; 17 were killed, 3 survived.
16 May 1942 U-576 arrived at Saint-Nazaire, France, ending her fourth war patrol.
16 Jun 1942 U-576 departed Saint-Nazaire, France, starting her fifth war patrol.
13 Jul 1942 Kapit√§nleutnant Hans-Dieter Heinicke of U-576 sent a radio message back to base, noting that his submarine sustained light damage and would soon head back to Saint-Nazaire, France.
15 Jul 1942 At 2025 hours, U-576 attacked Allied convoy KS-520 with four torpedoes 30 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States, sinking Nicaraguan ship Bluefields, damaging US ship Chilore, and damaging Panamanian ship J. A. Mowinckel; two US Navy Kingfisher aircraft counterattacked with depth charges as well as motor vessel Unicoi with deck guns, sinking U-576, killing all 45 aboard.
21 Oct 2014 The wreck of a German submarine found 30 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States was announced to be U-576.

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