German submarine U-264
|Ordered:||15 August 1941|
|Builder:||Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen|
|Laid down:||21 June 1941|
|Launched:||2 April 1942|
|Commissioned:||22 May 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk, on 19 February 1944 in the Atlantic by British warships|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
German submarine U-264 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. The submarine was laid down on 21 June 1941 at the Bremer-Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft (yard) in Bremen as yard number 29. She was launched on 2 April 1942 and commissioned on 22 May under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Hartwig Looks.
In five patrols, she sank three ships of 16,843 gross register tons (GRT).
She was sunk on 19 February 1944 by British warships but the entire crew survived and were taken prisoner.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-264 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8–27 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-264 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
1st and 2nd patrols
U-264's first patrol began when she departed Kiel on 3 November 1942. She entered the Atlantic Ocean after negotiating the gap between the Faroe and the Shetland Islands. On 17 November, she sank the Mount Taurus. She was attacked by a Norwegian corvette, HNoMS Potentilla, on the 20th. No damage was sustained. She entered St. Nazaire in occupied France, on 4 December.
The boat's second sortie was relatively uneventful.
On 26 February 1943 just off Cape Finisterre she fired a salvo of four torpedoes at HMS Sussex but all four missed; Sussex had just attacked and sunk the German Tanker Hohenfriedburg. On 17 April 1943, she was in the process of attacking Convoy HX 233 when she was attacked by the escorts. The boat was badly damaged, but was repaired by the crew and the patrol continued. She then sank the Harperley and the West Maximus 500 nautical miles (930 km; 580 mi) south of Cape Farewell (Greenland) on 5 May. She docked at Lorient, on the French Atlantic coast, on 1 June.
There then followed a pair of short 'hops' between Lorient and St. Nazaire in August and September 1943.
While on her fourth patrol, U-264 and two other U-boats were re-fuelling from the supply submarine U-460 on 4 October 1943 when they were surprised by aircraft from the American carrier USS Card. The more nimble Type VIIs escaped, but the 'milch cow' was sunk by the Avengers. U-264 did not remain unscathed for long; later that day she was attacked, the damage inflicted forced a return to base.
5th patrol and loss
For her final sortie, she was again in the North Atlantic. She was damaged by depth charges dropped by the British sloops HMS Woodpecker and HMS Starling and forced to the surface on 19 February 1944 in position . Starling opened fire on the submarine, scoring several hits, as the crew abandoned the boat and it then sank.
The entire crew of 52 officers and men were taken prisoner.
U-264 took part in eleven wolfpacks, namely.
- Kreuzotter (15–20 November 1942)
- Delphin (23 January - 9 February 1943)
- Rochen (9–20 February 1943)
- Without name (15–18 April 1943)
- Specht (19 April - 4 May 1943)
- Fink (4–6 May 1943)
- Naab (12–15 May 1943)
- Donau 2 (15–19 May 1943)
- Mosel (19–23 May 1943)
- Igel 2 (15–17 February 1944)
- Hai 1 (17–19 February 1944)
Summary of raiding history
|17 November 1942||Mount Taurus||Greece||6,696||Sunk|
|5 May 1943||Harperley||United Kingdom||4,586||Sunk|
|5 May 1943||West Maximus||United States||5,561||Sunk|
The captain of U-264, Captain Hartwig Looks, appears in the 1977 BBC televisions series The Secret War episode 7; "The Battle of the Atlantic".
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- Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
- "HMS Sussex, British heavy cruiser, WW2".
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-264". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
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- Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
- Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. p. 198. ISBN 0-304-35203-9.
- Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-264". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Hofmann, Markus. "U 264". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 26 December 2014.