German submarine U-535

German submarine U-535 was a Type IXC/40 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 6 March 1942 at the Deutsche Werft yard at Hamburg, launched on 8 October 1942, and commissioned on 23 December 1942 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Helmut Ellmenreich. After training with 4th U-boat Flotilla in the Baltic Sea, U-535 was transferred to 10th U-boat Flotilla for front-line service. U-535 completed one patrol, but did not sink any ships.[1]

Nazi Germany
Name: U-535
Ordered: 10 April 1941
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 353
Laid down: 6 March 1942
Launched: 8 October 1942
Commissioned: 23 December 1942
Fate: Sunk, 5 July 1943
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXC/40 submarine
  • 1,144 t (1,126 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,257 t (1,237 long tons) submerged
  • 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) o/a
  • 4.44 m (14 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Installed power:
  • 4,400 PS (3,200 kW; 4,300 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
  • 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) surfaced
  • 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
  • 13,850 nmi (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 63 nmi (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 44 enlisted
Service record[1][2]
Part of:
  • Kptlt. Helmut Ellmenreich
  • 23 December 1942 – 5 July 1943
Operations: 1st patrol: 25 May – 5 July 1943
Victories: None


German Type IXC/40 submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXCs. U-535 had a displacement of 1,144 tonnes (1,126 long tons) when at the surface and 1,257 tonnes (1,237 long tons) while submerged.[3] The U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW; 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS; 750 kW) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph).[3] When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 13,850 nautical miles (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-535 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.[3]

Service history

U-535 sailed from Kiel on 25 May 1943 on her first and only war patrol in the north Atlantic.[4]

On 8 June at about 14:00, the U-boat was attacked with depth charges by a Hudson light bomber from No. 269 Squadron RAF, close to Convoy SC 132. A follow-up attack by another Hudson from the same squadron was aborted when the depth charges failed to release in two attack runs. The aircraft was damaged by the U-boat's flak, and the pilot warned an arriving United States Navy Catalina patrol bomber of Squadron VP-84 that the boat would stay up and fight, so the flying boat shadowed U-535 until it escaped at dusk.[1]


At 16:55 on 5 July 1943, a group of three inbound U-boats; U-170, U-535 and U-536 were attacked by a British Liberator maritime reconnaissance aircraft of No. 53 Squadron RAF, north-east of Cape Finisterre, Spain. The U-boats evaded the first attack, and U-536 was strafed in the second. U-536 gave the signal to crash-dive, but for unknown reasons U-535 remained on the surface. Despite hitting the aircraft with her AA guns, the U-boat was straddled by eight depth charges and sank with all hands in position 43°38′N 09°13′W. Damaged and with one crewman wounded, the aircraft immediately left the area and returned to base.[1]


  1. Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC/40 boat U-535". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  2. Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-535". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  3. Gröner 1991, p. 68.
  4. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-535 from 25 May 1943 to 5 Jul 1943". U-boat patrols - Retrieved 6 February 2010.


  • Bishop, Chris (2006). Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939-45. London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-904687-96-2.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.

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