German submarine U-664

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-664
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: Howaldtswerke, Hamburg
Yard number: 813
Laid down: 11 July 1941
Launched: 28 April 1942
Commissioned: 17 June 1942
Fate: Sunk 9 August 1943 in the North Atlantic in position 40°12′N 37°29′W / 40.200°N 37.483°W / 40.200; -37.483Coordinates: 40°12′N 37°29′W / 40.200°N 37.483°W / 40.200; -37.483, by depth charges from USN Grumman Avenger aircraft.
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 ratings
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Identification codes: M 05 024
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Adolf Graef
  • 17 June 1942 – 9 August 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 20 October – 10 November 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 5 December 1942 – 13 January 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 14 February – 28 March 1943
  • 4th patrol: 29 April – 9 June 1943
  • 5th patrol: 21 July 1942 – 9 August 1943
Victories: three merchant ships sunk (19,325 GRT)

German submarine U-664 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 11 July 1941 by Howaldtswerke, Hamburg as yard number 813, launched on 28 April 1942 and commissioned on 17 June 1942 under Oberleutnant zur See Adolf Graef.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-664 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-664 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 career began with training at 8th U-boat Flotilla on 17 June 1942, followed by active service on 1 November 1942 as part of the 9th Flotilla for the remainder of her service.

In five patrols she sank three merchant ships, for a total of 19,325 gross register tons (GRT).

First Patrol[edit]

On her first day of active service she was attacked by a US Catalina. The depth charge attack was so effective that she had to return to base in France.

Convoy ONS 167[edit]

Outward bound from Biscay on her second patrol, U-664 made a chance sighting of the slow convoy and radioed its position to base. Karl Dönitz ordered Graef to shadow the convoy while other boats were rounded up to form Wolfpack Sturmbock. However the boats were well scattered and failed to make contact with the convoy, so on the night of 21 February 1943, Graef became impatient with waiting and decided to attack alone.

With one spread of torpedoes, Graef sank the 4,659 GRT American steamer Rosario and the 8,807 GRT Panamanian tanker H H Rogers.

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-664 took part in eight wolfpacks, namely

  • Raufbold (11–22 December 1942)
  • Spitz (22–31 December 1942)
  • Sturmbock (21–26 February 1943)
  • Wildfang (26 February – 5 March 1943)
  • Raubgraf (7–20 March 1943)
  • Without name (5–10 May 1943)
  • Lech (10–15 May 1943)
  • Donau 2 (15–26 May 1943)

Fate[edit]

On 8 August 1943 U-664 fired three torpedoes at the escort carrier USS Card in a surprise attack, before USS Card was able to respond and forced her to dive. The following day, on 9 August 1943, USS Card got her revenge. U-664 was sunk in the North Atlantic in position 40°12′N 37°29′W / 40.200°N 37.483°W / 40.200; -37.483, by depth charges from USN Grumman Avenger aircraft launched from the carrier. Seven crew members were killed or drowned; 44 others were rescued by USS Borie after seven hours in the water.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
16 December 1942 Emile Francqui  Belgium 8,859 Sunk
21 February 1943 H H Rogers  Panama 8,807 Sunk
21 February 1943 Rosario  United States 4,659 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-664". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-664". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. p. 156. 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. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-664". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 664". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 29 December 2014.