List of all U-boats




Ordered15 Aug 1940
Laid down8 Jun 1941 Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack (werk 28)
Launched18 Mar 1942
Commissioned6 May 1942Kptlt. Kurt Nölke
6 May 1942 - Dec 1942  Kptlt. Kurt Nölke
1943 - 20 Jan 1944  KrvKpt. Kurt Nölke
2 patrols
6 May 1942-31 Oct 1942  8. Flottille (training)
1 Nov 1942-20 Jan 1944  1. Flottille (active service)
Successes2 ships sunk, total tonnage 12,376 GRT

Sank on 20 January 1944 in the Bay of Biscay south-west of La Rochelle, France, in approx. position 45.40N, 03.00W, in an accident after a deep dive trial. 51 dead (all hands lost).

Loss position

See the 2 ships hit by U-263 - View the 2 war patrols

U-263 sailed for its second patrol after lengthy repairs that had taken more than a year to complete, but one day after leaving port the boat reported that its external portside No. 2 fuel tank had collapsed during a deep dive trial and that it was returning to La Pallice in need of immediate assistance. However, the transmission of its last radio message was incomplete and U-263 failed to answer thereafter. A search for the boat and its crew found nothing.

This boat is a dive site

This site is at 27m depth near La Rochelle.

Depth: 95 feet (29 meters)
Position (lat, long): 46.06, -1.36

See more U-boat dive sites.

Wolfpack operations

U-263 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Westwall (8 Nov 1942 - 24 Nov 1942)

Attacks on this boat and other events

20 Nov 1942
After an attack on two freighters convoy escorts dropped 119 depth charges on the boat. Serious damage forced U-263 to return to port. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 114.)

24 Nov 1942
Four days after being seriously damaged by convoy escorts while inbound to France, four depth charges from a British Hudson bomber (Sqdn 233, pilot Eric Smith) west of Gibraltar left U-263 seriously damaged and unable to dive. BdU gave the option of sailing for Spain, but the boat managed to reach France on 29 Nov, afterwards needing 13 months of repairs. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 114)

26 Nov 1942
The damaged inbound U-263 met an enemy submarine, which fired two torpedoes, but both missed their target.

3 recorded attacks on this boat.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-263 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.

Battle Club breaking Ship

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 1

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

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