German submarine U-604

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-604
Ordered: 22 May 1940
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 580
Laid down: 27 February 1941
Launched: 16 November 1941
Commissioned: 8 January 1942
Fate: Scuttled on 11 August 1943 at position 04°30′S 21°20′W / 4.500°S 21.333°W / -4.500; -21.333 in the South Atlantic after being depth charged by two US aircraft, a Ventura and a Liberator.
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
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: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 4 August – 8 September 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 14 October – 5 November 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 26 November – 31 December 1942
  • 4th patrol: 8 February – 9 March 1943
  • 5th patrol: 22–26 April 1943
  • 6th patrol: 24 June – 11 August 1943
Victories: 6 merchant ships sunk (39,891 GRT)

German submarine U-604 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 27 February 1941 by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg as yard number 580, launched on 16 November 1941 and commissioned on 8 January 1942 under Kapitänleutnant Horst Höltring (German Cross in Gold).

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-604 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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 Brown, Boveri & Cie GG UB 720/8 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).[2]

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).[2] 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-604 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 an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history[edit]

The boat's service began on 8 January 1942 for training as part of the 5th U-boat Flotilla. After training was completed she transferred to the 9th flotilla on 1 August 1942 for active service.

In 6 patrols she sank 6 ships for a total of 39,891 gross register tons (GRT).

Wolfpacks[edit]

She took part in five wolfpacks, namely,

  • Vorwärts (28 August – 1 September 1942)
  • Streitaxt (20–31 October 1942)
  • Draufgänger (1–11 December 1942)
  • Ungestüm (11–22 December 1942)
  • Knappen (19–25 February 1943)

Fate[edit]

She was scuttled on 11 August 1943 at position 04°30′S 21°20′W / 4.500°S 21.333°W / -4.500; -21.333 in the South Atlantic after being depth charged by two US aircraft, a Ventura and a Liberator. Her crew was rescued by U-172.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
25 August 1942 Abbekerk  Netherlands 7,906 Sunk
27 October 1942 Anglo Maersk  United Kingdom 7,705 Sunk
30 October 1942 Président Doumer  United Kingdom 11,898 Sunk
30 October 1942 Baron Vernon  United Kingdom 3,642 Sunk
2 December 1942 Coamo  United States 7,057 Sunk
23 February 1943 Stockport  United Kingdom 1,683 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-604". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-604". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6. 
  • 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. London, UK: Cassell Military Classics. pp. 104, 117, 119, 124, 159. 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. 

External links[edit]