Wolf pack Hecht

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Hecht (English : "Pike") was a "wolfpack" of German U-boats that operated during the World War II Battle of the Atlantic from 8 May to 18 June 1942. They primarily attacked the Liverpool to Halifax convoys ONS-92 and ONS-100, and sank 14 ships for a total of 62,709 gross register tons (GRT).[1]

It should not to be confused with another wolf pack also code-named Hecht (comprising U-352, U-435, and U-455) that operated east of Iceland from 27 January to 4 February 1942.[2]

The wolf pack was the theme of the song "Wolfpack" by Swedish power metal band Sabaton.

U-boats, commanders and dates[edit]

Ships hit by this Wolfpack[edit]

From convoy ONS-92[edit]

Empire Dell & Llanover[edit]

Around 02:00 on 12 May 1942, U-124 fired three torpedoes and hit the 7,065 ton British CAM ship Empire Dell and the 4,959 ton British collier Llanover. The Master, 38 crew and seven RAF personnel from the Empire Dell were rescued before she sank. Two crew members were lost.[3] The badly damaged Llanover was scuttled by HMCS Arvida. Her crew of 46; Master, 39 men, and 6 gunners were rescued.

Cocle[edit]

At 03:40 on 12 May the 5,630 ton Panamanian merchant ship Cocle was torpedoed and sunk by U-94. Only 38 survivors from her crew of 42 were picked up by the British rescue ship Bury.[4]

Cristales & Mount Parnes[edit]

At 03:55 on 12 May U-124 attacked again, firing two torpedoes and hitting the 5,389 ton British merchant ship Cristales and the 4,371 ton Greek merchant ship Mount Parnes. The crew of Cristales abandoned ship, and all 65, plus 7 gunners and 10 passengers were rescued, while their ship was later sunk by gunfire by HMCS Shediac.[5] After her 33 crew abandoned ship, the Mount Parnes was also scuttled by an escort vessel.[6]

Batna[edit]

At 03:51 on 13 May, the 4,399 ton British collier Batna was torpedoed and sunk by U-94. One crew member was lost while the Master, 34 crewmen and six gunners were picked up by the British rescue ship Bury.[7]

Tolken[edit]

At 06:18 on 13 May, the 4,471 ton Swedish merchant ship Tolken was hit by a single torpedo from U-94. The U-boat was driven off by the convoy escorts, but returned at 09:30. Approaching the damaged ship on the surface, the U-boat was shot by the ship's machine guns. At 10:20 the U-boat attacked again with torpedoes. The first failed to explode, but the second five minutes later hit and sank the ship. There were no losses amongst the ship's crew of 34, and all were picked up by the British rescue ship Bury.[8]

Maria da Gloria[edit]

At 22:10 on 5 June U-94 shelled an unmarked sailing ship. The ship stopped after being hit by two rounds, the U-boat ceased fire, and the crew abandoned ship. Then at 22:50 the schooner was sunk by U-boat's gunfire. She turned out to be the 320-ton neutral Portuguese fishing boat Maria da Gloria, and only 8 from her crew of 44 survived.[9]

From convoy ONS-100[edit]

FFL Mimosa[edit]

At 04:10 on 9 June, the Free French Navy Flower class corvette Mimosa (J6254) was hit by one of two torpedoes fired by U-124, and sank immediately after the boilers exploded. The commander, 58 French sailors and 6 British sailors, were lost. The four survivors were picked up by HMCS Assiniboine.[10]

Empire Clough & Ramsay[edit]

At 03:40 hours on 10 June, U-94 fired three torpedoes at a group of three ships from the convoy, and hit and sank two British merchant ships; the 6,147 ton Empire Clough,[11] and the 4,855 ton Ramsay.[12]

Pontypridd[edit]

At 14:46 on 11 June, the 4,458 ton British merchant ship Pontypridd was hit by two torpedoes fired by U-569, seriously damaging her. At 16:06, U-94 fired the coup de grâce at the straggling ship, which sank an hour later. Two crew members were lost, and the Master was taken prisoner by U-569, and was confined to the Milag Nord POW camp, while 42 crewmen and three gunners were later picked up by HMCS Chambly.[13]

Dartford[edit]

At 06:12 on 12 June the 4,093 ton British merchant ship Dartford was torpedoed and sunk by U-124 south of Cape Race. The Master, 25 crewmen and four gunners were lost, while 14 crewmen and three gunners were picked up by the British rescue ship Gothland.[14]

Seattle Spirit[edit]

At about 06.20 on 18 June, U-124 fired two spreads of two torpedoes at three ships of Convoy ONS-102, en route from Murmansk to New York. One torpedo struck the 5,627 ton American merchant ship Seattle Spirit, causing flooding and a boiler explosion which killed one officer and two men below. The remaining 9 officers, 28 men, 11 armed guards (the ship was armed with a 4-inch (100 mm) gun, four .50 caliber and four .30 caliber machine guns) and 7 passengers abandoned ship in lifeboats. They were picked up by the corvette HMCS Agassiz, and the Seattle Spirit was shelled and sunk at 20:30 by the Agassiz after it was determined she could not be salvaged.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wolfpack Hecht - Wolfpacks - U-boat Operations - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Wolfpack Hecht - Wolfpacks - U-boat Operations - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Empire Dell (Catapult armed merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Cocle (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Cristales (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Mount Parnes (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Batna (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "Tolken (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "Maria da Gloria (Sailing ship) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "FFL Mimosa (J 6254) (Corvette) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "Empire Clough (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "Ramsay (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "Pontypridd (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Dartford (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  15. ^ "Seattle Spirit (Steam merchant) - Ships hit by U-boats - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 28 January 2010.