List of all U-boats




Ordered16 Jan 1940
Laid down17 Dec 1940 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (werk 569)
Launched3 Sep 1941
Commissioned23 Oct 1941Kptlt. Gerd Kelbling (Knights Cross)
23 Oct 1941 - 13 Dec 1943  Kptlt. Gerd Kelbling (Knights Cross)
16 patrols
23 Oct 1941-28 Feb 1942  8. Flottille (training)
1 Mar 1942-31 Oct 1942  7. Flottille (active service)
1 Nov 1942-13 Dec 1943  29. Flottille (active service)
Successes9 ships sunk, total tonnage 38,290 GRT
4 warships sunk, total tonnage 2,954 tons
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 4,853 GRT
2 warships damaged, total tonnage 1,677 tons
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 8,426 GRT
1 warship a total loss, total tonnage 1,625 tons

Sunk on 13 December 1943 in the Mediterranean Sea north-east of Bougie, in position 37.38N, 05.58E, by depth charges from the US destroyer USS Wainwright and the British escort destroyer HMS Calpe. 51 survivors (no casualties).

Loss position

See the 18 ships hit by U-593 - View the 16 war patrols

U-593 was hunted in a Swamp operation after sinking HMS Tynedale in the morning of 12 December 1943. It managed to sink HMS Holcombe, but the crew was eventually forced to surface and abandon their boat after a chase of 32 hours.

Wolfpack operations

U-593 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Steinbrinck (3 Aug 1942 - 11 Aug 1942)
   Lohs (11 Aug 1942 - 17 Aug 1942)
   Tümmler (3 Oct 1942 - 11 Oct 1942)

Attacks on this boat and other events

11 Mar 1942
21.26 hrs, approx three miles ahead of convoy PQ 13: gunfire from HMS Lamerton forced the boat to dive, after which she was kept submerged until darkness by four attacks using 25 depth charges from HMS Lamerton and HNoMS Newport. The boat escaped with minor damage. (Sources: Ritschel/ADM199-1782)

12 Mar 1942
12.06 hrs, Atlantic, west of Isle of Lewis, Scotland: the boat dived on being attacked by a British Hudson bomber (224 Sqn RAF/E) in the vicinity of convoy PQ 13. Three 250lb depth charges that were dropped ahead of the diving U-boat caused no damage. (Sources: Ritschel/ADM 199-1782)

12 Nov 1942
The boat sank the British freighter Browning and was hunted for 16 hours by Allied escorts for her efforts. She nonetheless escaped. (Clay Blair lists this in his book as due to U-595, but U-593 was responsible). (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 99)

19 Apr 1943
09.37 hrs, Mediterranean: the boat was damaged by bombs from an Australian Hudson aircraft (459 Sqn RAAF). (Sources: Rohwer)

5 Aug 1943
14.55 hrs, the Mediterranean, off Sardinia: the boat was attacked by three American P-40 Warhawks from the 325th Fighter Group. The bridge area was damaged by machine gun fire, and the boat returned to Toulon three days later. (Sources: Book "Checkertail Clan, the 325th Fighter Group in North Africa and Italy": pages 28-29.
Dr. Axel Niestle via e-mail on 23 April, 2006.)

3 Nov 1943
After U-593 sank Mont Viso of convoy KMS 30, she was forced to dive when another ship in the convoy opened fire on her. The U-boat then reloaded the torpedo tubes, but was located at 02.30 hrs on returning to periscope depth by HMS Bryony, collecting survivors astern of the convoy. The corvette immediately dropped eight well-aimed depth charges and was shortly thereafter joined in the hunt by HMS Haydon. They were unable to regain contact and soon rejoined the convoy. U-593 inadvertently plunged to a depth of 220m (722ft) and was later forced to break off the patrol due to leaks and problems with the torpedo tubes. (Sources: KTB U-593/ADM 199-976)

13 Dec 1943
00.30 hrs, Mediterranean, NE of Bougie, Algeria: the boat was attacked by Wellington aircraft MP816 (36 Sqn RAF/B, pilot F/O C.F. Parker) during the Swamp operation that followed the sinking of HMS Tynedale and HMS Holcombe by U-593 on 12 December. The aircraft approached the U-boat after radar contact but the Leigh Light failed and it was hit in the port wing and tailplane by very accurate AA fire. The tail gunner fired 600 rounds at U-593 and a sighting report was made that led to her sinking by the US destroyer USS Wainwright and the British escort destroyer HMS Calpe. The damaged Wellington landed safely at Bone. (Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

7 recorded attacks on this boat.

General notes on this boat

12 Dec 1993. The survivors of the sinking of the British destroyer HMS Tynedale by U-593 in 1943 invited ex-commander Kptlt. Gerd Kelbling and one of his former crew to attend a 50th anniversary commemoration of the event in Hexham, England. They were welcomed with friendship and respect.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-593 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 3 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.

The Snorting Bull - U-47

White Stripe

Flower on Shield

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

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 2

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

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