The Type VII U-boat was the most numerous submarine type used by the German navy (Kriegsmarine) in the Atlantic during World War II. U-570 was built as a Type VIIC by Blohm & Voss at Hamburg being commisioned in May 1941. Under the command of Kapitanleutnant Hans-Joachim Rahmlow operating with the 3rd U-boat Flotilla it was captured on its first war patrol after surrendering in the Atlantic in August 1941 following bomb damage inflicted by a Lockheed Hudson aircraft of 269 Squadron RAF. It was towed to Iceland, repaired and commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Graph.

Rahmlow and his IWO (second in command) Leutnant z.See Bernhard Berndt were treated harshly by their fellow POWs and were accused of cowardice. Berndt escaped from a POW camp in England after facing an illegal POW 'court of honour' in an attempt to savage his reputation and sabotage U-570 at Barrow. He was recaptured and shot dead when he attempted to run from the soldiers returning him to the POW camp. The capture of U-570 provided the British with a wealth of technical information which was passed on to the US Navy. HMS Graph was subsequently used on several operational patrols by the Royal Navy in the Atlantic but ran aground on the island of Islay in Scotland on 20 March 1944 while being towed to a scrapyard.

More Information