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German submarine U-511 was a Type IXC U-boat of the German Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II. She was commissioned on 8 December 1941. U-511 served with 4. Unterseebootflottille (U-Boat Flotilla) for training and later with 10. Unterseebootflottille from 1 August 1942 to 1 September 1943.

In the summer of 1942 U-511 was used for testing the possibility of launching Wurfkörper 42 Spreng artillery rockets from U-Boats. A rack of six rockets were mounted to U-511’s deck, and were successfully launched on the surface and submerged up to 12-metres. However, as the rockets were not particularly accurate, and the racks on the deck had a negative effect on the U-Boat’s underwater handling and performance, the project was abandoned.

U-511 completed four patrols, sunk five ships totalling 41,373 Gross Registered Tonnage or GRT, and damaged one ship totalling 8,773 GRT. On U-511’s last patrol she was used to transport personnel from Lorient, France to Penang, Malaya, including the German ambassador to Tokyo, the Japanese Naval Attaché in Berlin, and German scientists and engineers. U-511 was sold to Japan on 16 September 1943 and became Japanese submarine RO-500. She surrendered at Maizuru in August 1945 and was scuttled in Maizuru Bay on 30 April 1946 by U.S. Navy.


  • Kptlt. Friedrich Steinhoff (December 1941 to December 1942)
  • Kptlt. Fritz Schneewind (December 1942 to November 1943)


  • Bishop, C. Kriegsmarine U-Boats, 1939-45. Amber Books, 2006.


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