|Ordered||20 Oct 1939|
|Laid down||21 Feb 1941||Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg (werk 307)|
|Launched||22 Sep 1941|
|Commissioned||8 Dec 1941||Kptlt. Friedrich Steinhoff|
|Successes||5 ships sunk, total tonnage 41,373 GRT|
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 8,773 GRT
Sold to Japan at Kure, Japan on 16 Sept 1943 and became the Japanese submarine RO 500.
Surrendered at Maizuru in August 1945. Scuttled in the Gulf of Maizuru by the US Navy on 30 April, 1946.
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
12 Feb 1943
The boat was damaged by convoy escorts off Cape Finisterre and was forced to abort her attack. (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, the boat 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 12 meters. 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.