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German submarine U-104 (1940)

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-104.
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-104
Ordered: 24 May 1938[1]
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 967[1]
Laid down: 10 November 1939[1]
Launched: 25 May 1940[1]
Commissioned: 19 August 1940[1]
Fate: Missing since 28 November 1940 northwest of Ireland. All 49 of her crew are presumed lost[2]
General characteristics [3][4]
Class and type: German Type IXB submarine
Displacement: 1,051 t (1,034 long tons) surfaced
1,178 t (1,159 long tons) submerged
Length: 76.5 m (251 ft) o/a
58.75 m (192 ft 9 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draft: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
Speed: 18.2 kn (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
Range: 12,000 nmi (22,000 km; 14,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
64 nmi (119 km; 74 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Service record[2][5]
Part of: 2nd U-boat Flotilla
(19 August 1940–31 October 1940)
2nd U-boat Flotilla
(1 November 1940–28 November 1940)
Commanders: Kptlt. Harald Jürst
(19 August 1940–28 November 1940)

German submarine U-104 was a Type IXB U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 24 May 1938 as part of the German naval rearmament program Plan Z. Her keel was laid down by DeSchiMAG AG Weser in Bremen in November 1939. Following about six and a half months of construction, she was launched in May 1940 and formally commissioned into the Kriegsmarine in August 1940.

U-104 had a very short career, sinking just one enemy vessel and damaging one other during one war patrol. In the middle of her first patrol, U-104 was posted missing off the north coast of Ireland on 28 November 1940 and was presumed sunk in minefield SN 44, which was laid a few days prior to her arrival in the area.

Construction and design[edit]


U-104 was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 24 May 1938 (as part of Plan Z and in violation of the Treaty of Versailles). Her keel was laid down on 10 November 1939 by DeSchiMAG AG Weser in Bremen as yard number 967. U-104 was launched on 25 May 1940 and commissioned on 19 August of that year under the command of Kapitänleutnant Harald Jürst.[2]


U-123–an identical U-boat to U-104–leaving Lorient on 8 June 1941

Like all Type IXB submarines, U-104 had a total output of 1,000 PS (986 shp; 735 kW) while submerged and 4,400 PS (4,340 shp; 3,236 kW) when surfaced. As a result, she could travel at a maximum speed of 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) while surfaced and 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) while submerged. U-104 had a range of 12,000 nautical miles (22,000 km; 14,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) while on the surface and 64 nmi (119 km; 74 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) while submerged. She was equipped with six torpedo tubes (four in the bow, two in the stern) and carried a total of 22 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedoes. The submarine could also be equipped with 44 TMA mines instead of torpedoes. U-104‍ '​s main deck gun was a 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun on a Utof mounting with 180 rounds. U-104 also carried the standard 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun. She had a crew of 49 men, but could carry up to 56 crew members at any given time. After being commissioned and deployed, U-104 was stationed in the German port city of Wilhelmshaven.[4]

Service History[edit]

During her short career, U-104 sank one enemy vessel and damaged another on her first and only war patrol in the North Sea, off the northern coast of Ireland and Great Britain.[2] She went to sea on her first and only war patrol on 12 November 1940. For a period of 17 days, she roamed the North Sea and eventually the northern coast of Scotland and Ireland in search of any Allied convoys heading to Great Britain. During that time she attacked two enemy vessels, sinking one and damaging the other.[6] On 27 November 1940, U-104 torpedoed and sank the British merchant vessel Diplomat, a straggler of convoy HX 88, with the loss of 14 of her crew.[7] The other merchant vessel was the British motor tanker Charles F. Meyer, of convoy HX 87, which survived the attack. The next day, U-104 went missing just north of neutral Ireland. She is presumed to have been sunk by a mine from the SN 44 minefield, which was laid on 8 November 1940, just 20 days prior to U-104‍ '​s disappearance.[6] All of her crew are presumed dead.[2]

Summary of raiding career[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
27 November 1940 Charles F. Meyer  United Kingdom 10,516 Damaged
27 November 1940 Diplomat  United Kingdom 8,240 Sunk


  1. ^ a b c d e "U-104 Type IXB". Retrieved 8 June 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXB boat U-104". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 105-7.
  4. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "Type IXB". U-Boat War in World War II - Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by U-104". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol info for U-104 (First patrol)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Diplomat (Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 8 June 2010. 


  • 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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXB boat U-104". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 104". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-06. 

Coordinates: 55°30′N 8°0′W / 55.500°N 8.000°W / 55.500; -8.000