German submarine U-964

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Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-964
Ordered: 5 June 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 164
Laid down: 21 April 1942
Launched: 30 December 1942
Commissioned: 18 February 1943
Fate: Sunk
General characteristics [1]
Class and 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
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke F46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 PS (2,800–3,200 bhp; 2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 PS (740 shp; 550 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: 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) 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 & ratings
Service record
Part of: 5th U-boat Flotilla
(18 February–30 September 1943)
6th U-boat Flotilla
(1–16 October 1943)
Commanders: Oblt.z.S. Emmo Hummerjohann
(18 February–16 October 1943)
Operations: 1st patrol: 5–16 October 1943[2]
Victories: None

German submarine U-964 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II. A short-lived boat, U-964 is most noted for being one of three new boats ordered by the Kriegsmarine to attack Convoy ON 206 in the Western Approaches. To do this, the three boats had to travel a long distance on the surface during daylight hours in a region patrolled by Allied aircraft. This had fatal consequences for all U-boats involved.

U-964 was built by the Blohm & Voss shipyards in Hamburg during 1942 as a Type VIIC boat designed to fight in the waters of the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Her construction was rapid and smooth, and following her completion in February 1943 she was taken for training and working-up patrols in the Baltic Sea and off the Norwegian coast. Her commander during this period was veteran submariner Kapitänleutnant Emmo Hummerjohann, who was experienced in combat operations and was still in charge when she departed Bergen, Norway in early October 1943 for her maiden combat patrol in the North Atlantic.[3]

War patrol[edit]

Following her departure from Norway, she passed into the Atlantic and headed southwards towards the Western Approaches. After eleven days sailing, she was still well within allied air cover when she received a radio message to link with U-470 and U-844 and attack an important convoy several hundred miles to the south. Realising that the only feasible method of reaching the area on time was to travel on the surface, the three boats proceeded south in full daylight.


Luck ran out fast as a patrolling aircraft spotted the boats and called in Consolidated Liberator aircraft from several different squadrons. A fierce battle followed, in which two Royal Air Force Liberators were shot down before all three boats were sunk. U-964 was seriously damaged by bombs from aircraft of 86 Squadron (particularly from the plane of Flying Officer George Gamble), and began to sink, her crew scrambling over the side into the sea as she settled. Of the approximately 35 men who escaped the submarine, only five survived to be collected by U-231 several days later. Only three of these men subsequently recovered from their ordeal.


  1. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 72-74.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-964". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-964". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 2009-08-28. 


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler). ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°27′N 28°17′W / 57.450°N 28.283°W / 57.450; -28.283