German submarine U-663

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-663
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 812
Laid down: 31 March 1941
Launched: 26 March 1942
Commissioned: 14 May 1942
Fate: Sunk 8 May 1943 in the Bay of Biscay in position 46°50′N 10°00′W / 46.833°N 10.000°W / 46.833; -10.000Coordinates: 46°50′N 10°00′W / 46.833°N 10.000°W / 46.833; -10.000, by depth charges from a RAAF Sunderland.
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
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:
  • Kptlt. Heinrich Schmid
  • 14 May 1942 – 8 May 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 5 November – 31 December 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 4–6 March 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 5–8 May 1943
Victories: 2 merchant ships sunk (10,924 GRT)

German submarine U-663 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 31 March 1941 by Deutsche Werft, Hamburg as yard number 812, launched on 26 March 1942 and commissioned on 14 May 1942 under Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Schmid.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-663 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 Siemens-Schuckert GU 343/38–8 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-663 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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history[edit]

The boat's career began with training at 5th U-boat Flotilla on 14 May 1942, followed by active service on 1 October 1942 as part of the 11th Flotilla. After only one month, she transferred to the 9th Flotilla on 1 November 1942, for the remainder of her service.

In 3 patrols she sank 2 merchant ships, for a total of 10,924 gross register tons (GRT).

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-663 took part in four wolfpacks, namely

  • Drachen (22 November – 3 December 1942)
  • Panzer (3–9 December 1942)
  • Büffel (9–14 December 1942)
  • Seeteufel (21–30 March 1943)

Fate[edit]

U-663 was sunk on 8 May 1943 in the Bay of Biscay in position 46°50′N 10°00′W / 46.833°N 10.000°W / 46.833; -10.000, by depth charges from RAAF Sunderland. All hands were lost.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
26 November 1942 Barberrys  United Kingdom 5,170 Sunk
18 March 1943 Clarissa Radcliffe  United Kingdom 5,754 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-663". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-663". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 22 August 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]