German submarine U-262
|Ordered:||15 August 1940|
|Builder:||Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack|
|Laid down:||29 May 1941|
|Launched:||10 March 1942|
|Commissioned:||15 April 1942|
|Struck:||2 April 1945|
|Fate:||Bombed, December 1944
Broken up, 1947
|Type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Displacement:||769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
|Length:||67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Draft:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470–490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296.
|Speed:||17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
|Range:||15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
|Complement:||44–52 officers and ratings|
|Part of:||5th U-boat Flotilla
(15 April–30 September 1942)
3rd U-boat Flotilla
(1 Oct 1942 – 9 November 1944)
33rd U-boat Flotilla
(10 November 1944 – 2 April 1945)
|Commanders:||Kptlt. Günther Schiebusch
(15 April–26 October 1942)
Oblt. Siegfried Atzinger
Kptlt. Heinz Franke
(26 October 1942 – 25 January 1944)
Oblt. Helmut Wieduwilt
(25 January–24 November 1944)
Kptlt. Karl-Heinz Laudahn
(25 November 1944 – 2 April 1945)
|Operations:||1st patrol: 24–28 September 1942
2nd patrol: 3–9 October 1942
3rd patrol: 5 November–9 December 1942
4th patrol: 16 January–15 February 1943
5th patrol: 27 March–25 May 1943
6th patrol: 24 July–2 September 1943
7th patrol: 14 October–7 December 1943
8th patrol: 3 February–29 April 1944
9th patrol: 6–15 June 1944
10th patrol: 23 August–5 November 1944
|Victories:||Three commercial ships sunk (13,010 GRT)
One warship sunk (925 tons)
The submarine was laid down on 29 May 1941 at the Bremer Vulkan yard at Bremen-Vegesack as 'werk' 27. She was launched on 10 March 1942 and commissioned on 15 April under the command of Kapitänleutnant Günther Schiebusch.
1st and 2nd patrols
Having moved from Kiel in Germany to Bergen in Norway in September 1942, U-262's first patrol was marked by an unsuccessful attack by two Lockheed Hudsons, but the damage inflicted was serious enough to warrant an early return to Bergen.
The U-boat sailed from Narvik on 5 November 1942, now under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Heinz Franke, and headed out to the waters east of Newfoundland, sailing first west from Narvik then north, parallel to the eastern Greenland coast; after that turning about, negotiating the Denmark Strait (between Greenland and Iceland.
On 18 November, as part of wolf pack Kreuzotter, she attacked the Convoy ONS-144, firing a spread of three torpedoes, one of which hit the Norwegian Flower class corvette HNoMS Montbretia, fatally damaging the vessel. The commander ordered the crew to abandon ship, U-262 hit her with another torpedo, breaking the ship in two.
She also sank the 7,178 ton British cargo ship Ocean Crusader, a straggler from Convoy HX-216 northeast of St Johns on 26 November. U-262 arrived at her new home port of La Pallice on the French Atlantic coast on 9 December 1942.
The U-boat departed La Pallice on 16 January 1943 for a patrol out into the mid-Atlantic. On 6 February she fired five torpedoes at a tanker and a steamer, sinking the 2,864 ton Polish cargo ship Zagloba, 600 nmi (1,100 km) east southeast of Cape Farewell (Greenland), a straggler of Convoy SC 118. There were no survivors.
U-262 returned to La Pallice on 15 February.
U-262 sailed again on 27 March 1943 and headed across the Atlantic to Prince Edward Island to pick up German POWs that were to escape from their camp in Operation Elster. On 15 April, while en route, she was shadowing Convoy HX-233, when the U-boat was attacked by depth charges and gunfire from the convoy escorts, forcing her to break off the attack. The U-boat then completed her mission, but no escaped POWs showed up at the rendezvous. She returned to La Pallice on 25 May.
U-262 left La Pallice next on 24 July 1943, commanded by the newly promoted Kapitänleutnant Heinz Franke, and headed across the Atlantic. On 8 August U-262 was waiting to refuel from U-664 while U-760 was being supplied, when an Avenger/Wildcat team from the aircraft carrier USS Card located the boats and attacked U-262. While attempting to drop depth charges, the Avenger was hit by flak and caught fire, but managed to drop two charges, severely damaging U-262, before ditching into the sea. The Wildcat was also shot down by U-262 during a strafing run. The damage received forced the U-boat to abort her patrol, she returned home on 2 September.
The U-boat sailed on 14 October 1943 for the waters northeast of the Azores. There she was involved in attacks on three Allied convoys. On 31 October during the attack on SL 138/MKS 28, she sank the Norwegian 2,968 ton merchant ship Hallfried. Francke's actions in this patrol were marked by efficient shadowing and determined attacks, for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
U-262 returned to La Pallice on 7 December.
8th and 9th patrol
Under a new commander, Oblt. Helmut Wieduwilt, U-262 covered the area southwest of Iceland on 3 February 1944, but had no success. She returned home on 29 April after 87 days at sea. U-262's next patrol was similarly uneventful, but lasted only 10 days from 6–15 June. She did not leave the Bay of Biscay. She returned to La Pallice to be fitted with a Schnorchel underwater-breathing apparatus.
After an air raid killed three and wounded one of her crew, the U-boat sailed from La Pallice on 23 August 1944, north to the area south of Iceland, before heading east and south through the North Sea to Flensburg, arriving on 5 November after 75 days.
Damage and disposal
Summary of raiding history
|18 November 1942||HNoMS Montretia||Norway||925||Sunk|
|26 July 1942||Ocean Crusader||United Kingdom||7,178||Sunk|
|6 February 1943||Zagloba||Poland||2,864||Sunk|
|31 October 1943||Hallfried||Norway||2,968||Sunk|
- "The Type VIIC boat U-262 - German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "War Patrols by German U-boat U-262 - Boats - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "HNoMS Montbretia (K 208) (Corvette) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Ocean Crusader (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Zagloba (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Patrol of U-boat U-262 from 16 Jan 1943 to 15 Feb 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Patrol of U-boat U-262 from 27 Mar 1943 to 25 May 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Patrol of U-boat U-262 from 24 Jul 1943 to 2 Sep 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Hallfried (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Patrol of U-boat U-262 from 14 Oct 1943 to 7 Dec 1943 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Patrol of U-boat U-262 from 3 Feb 1944 to 29 Apr 1944 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Patrol of U-boat U-262 from 6 Jun 1944 to 15 Jun 1944 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- "Patrol of U-boat U-262 from 23 Aug 1944 to 5 Nov 1944 - U-boat patrols - uboat.net". www.uboat.net. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- U-262 at u-boot-archiv.de (German)