Wolfpack Seewolf

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Wolfpack Seewolf 1
Active 2–15 September 1941
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Kriegsmarine
Size 17 submarines
Engagements Convoy ON 14
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Wilhelm Zahn
Heinrich Schonder
Hans-Werner Kraus
Otto Ites
Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock
Robert Gysae
Karl Thurmann
Günther Krech
Robert Bartels
Klaus Bargsten
Gerhard Bigalk
Wolfpack Seewolf 2
Active 21–30 March 1943
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Kriegsmarine
Size 19 submarines
Wolfpack Seewolf 3
Active 12–23 April 1945
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Kriegsmarine
Size 7 submarines
Engagements Operation Teardrop
Actions of 5/6 May 1945

Seewolf was a wolfpack of German U-boats that operated during the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II.

Seewolf was the name of three separate wolfpacks that operated in 1941, 1943 and 1945, respectively.

1941[edit]

This wolfpack operated in the North Atlantic, from 2 to 15 September 1941,[1] and comprised the following boats:-

U-Boats Involved[edit]

U-Boat Commander Date Joined Date Left Comments
U-69 Wilhelm Zahn 4 September 1941 15 September 1941
U-71 Walter Flachsenberg 2 September 1941 3 September 1941
U-77 Heinrich Schonder 2 September 1941 7 September 1941
U-83 Hans-Werner Kraus 2 September 1941 7 September 1941
U-94 Otto Ites 5 September 1941 15 September 1941 Empire Eland
Newbury
Pegasus
U-95 Gerd Schreiber 2 September 1941 14 September 1941 Trinidad
U-96 Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock 2 September 1941 10 September 1941
U-98 Robert Gysae 3 September 1941 15 September 1941
U-206 Herbert Opitz 2 September 1941 7 September 1941
U-553 Karl Thurmann 2 September 1941 13 September 1941
U-557 Ottokar Arnold Paulssen 2 September 1941 15 September 1941
U-558 Günther Krech 2 September 1941 12 September 1941
U-561 Robert Bartels 2 September 1941 15 September 1941
U-563 Klaus Bargsten 2 September 1941 7 September 1941
U-567 Theodor Fahr 2 September 1941 9 September 1941 Fort Richepanse
U-568 Joachim Preuss 2 September 1941 8 September 1941
U-751 Gerhard Bigalk 2 September 1941 5 September 1941

Five merchant ships were sunk for a total of 20,396 GRT.

1943[edit]

This wolfpack operated in the North Atlantic, from 21 to 30 March 1943,[2] and comprised the following boats:-

U-Boats Involved[edit]

U-Boat Commander Date Joined Date Left Comments
U-84 Horst Uphoff 24 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-86 Walter Schug 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-257 Heinz Rahe 25 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-305 Rudolf Bahr 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-333 Werner Schwaff 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-336 Hans Hunger 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-373 Paul-Karl Loeser 21 March 1943 28 March 1943
U-440 Hans Geissler 21 March 1943 29 March 1943
U-441 Klaus Hartmann 21 March 1943 28 March 1943
U-527 Herbert Uhlig 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-530 Kurt Lange 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-590 Heinrich Müller-Edzards 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-591 Hans-Jürgen Zetzsche 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-615 Ralph Kapitzky 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-618 Kurt Baberg 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-631 Jürgen Krüger 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-641 Horst Rendtel 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-642 Herbert Brünning 21 March 1943 30 March 1943
U-666 Herbert Engel 21 March 1943 30 March 1943

No ships were sunk or damaged

1945[edit]

Seewolf was formed in March 1945[3] in an effort to re-establish the U-boat offensive in American waters; it was the last wolfpack of the Atlantic campaign. Seven of the nine boats that sailed to the Americas were in Seewolf; a further two sailed independently.

Coincidentally, Allied Intelligence formed the view that the Germans were planning to mount a missile attack on the United States, using V-1 or V-2 missiles adapted for launch at sea by submarines. This led to a vigorous response by the United States Navy, code-named Operation Teardrop, to find and destroy the Seewolf boats. This was successful; Of the five boats in American waters by April (two boats had returned to base for repairs, and were still in transit at the end of April) Four boats were sunk during the month:

Seewolf boats had one success; U-546 sank USS Frederick C. Davis, shortly before she herself was sunk.

The fifth boat U-881 was detected and destroyed on 6 May 1945, the last boat in American waters to be destroyed. The two boats in transit when Germany surrendered were given up to the USN on 8 May 1945.

U-Boats Involved[edit]

U-Boat[4] Commander Date Joined Date Left Comments
U-518 Hans-Werner Offermann 14 April 1945 22 April 1945
U-546 Paul Just 14 April 1945 24 April 1945 USS Frederick C. Davis sunk 24 Apr 1945
U-805 Richard Bernardelli 14 April 1945 1 May 1945
U-858 Thilo Bode 14 April 1945 1 May 1945
U-880 Gerhard Schtözau 14 April 1945 16 April 1945
U-1235 Franz Barsch 14 April 1945 15 April 1945

One US warship was sunk by this wolfpack.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Wolf Pack Seewolf 1941". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Wolf Pack Seewolf 1943". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Blair p686-688
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Wolfpack Seewolf 1945". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Blair, Clay (1998). Hitler's U-Boat War [Volume 2]: The Hunted 1942-1945. ISBN 0-304-35261-6. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. pp. 117, 119, 123–125. ISBN 0-304-35203-9.