German submarine U-466

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Career Kriegsmarine Ensign
Name: U-466
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel
Yard number: 297
Laid down: 24 May 1941
Launched: 30 March 1942
Commissioned: 17 June 1942
Homeport: Kiel
Identification: M 06 641
Fate: Scuttled on 19 August 1944 at Toulon[1]
General characteristics
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 F46 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
Armament: 5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)
14 × G7e torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun (220 rounds)
Various AA guns
Service record
Part of:  Kriegsmarine:
5th U-boat Flotilla
3rd U-boat Flotilla
29th U-boat Flotilla
Commanders: Kapitänleutnant Gerhard Thäter
Operations: 5 patrols:
17 June – 31 December 1942
1 January 1943 – 31 March 1944
1 April – 19 August 1944
Victories: None

German submarine U-466 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was scuttled at sea on 19 August 1944.

She was laid down on 24 May 1941 by Deutsche Werke AG in Kiel as 'werk' 297, launched on 30 March 1942 and commissioned under Kapitänleutnant Gerhard Thäter, who remained with her for the rest of her career. U-466 bore a "heart & sunburst" emblem on her conning tower.

She began her service life in the 5th U-boat Flotilla, a training organization, before moving on to the 3rd and 29th flotillas for operational duties.

U-466 undertook five war patrols, spending a total of 182 days at sea, with no ships sunk or damaged. She was a member of five wolfpacks.

Operational career[edit]

1st and 2nd patrols[edit]

The U-boat departed Kiel for her first patrol on 12 January 1943. She made her way to the Atlantic from Kiel through the so-called Faeroes gap - the stretch of water between Iceland and the Faeroe Islands. She arrived in La Pallice in occupied France via a spot southeast of Greenland on the 29th.

Her second sortie also took her out into the mid-Atlantic. She departed La Pallice on 17 April 1943 and returned to the same place on 26 May after 40 days at sea.

3rd and 4th patrols[edit]

Her third foray took her to a point off Suriname in South America. She was unsuccessfully attacked by US B-18 'Bolo' and B-24 Liberator aircraft on 23 July 1943. A day later, she was attacked by a B-24 which dropped five depth charges. This time the boat sustained damage. Five men were wounded, including the first officer.

The boat's fourth patrol was cut short when she was badly damaged following an attack by escort vessels from Convoy MKS 29. The submarine returned to her French base on 19 November 1943 after only 35 days away.

5th patrol[edit]

Her fifth patrol involved the U-boat's passage to Toulon in southern France. This voyage included trafficking the heavily defended Strait of Gibraltar. She passed the Rock on 22 March 1944 and arrived in Toulon on the 30th, having been attacked by the British submarine HMS Uproar. The vessel fired four torpedoes at the U-boat; they all missed.

Loss[edit]

U-466 was severely damaged in a USAAF raid on Toulon. As a result, she was scuttled on 19 August 1944 following the Allied invasion of southern France (Operation Dragoon). She was the last U-boat to be scuttled in the Mediterranean.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 212.