List of all U-boats




Ordered20 Jan 1941
Laid down26 Aug 1942 Howaldtswerke AG, Kiel (werk 30)
Launched6 Nov 1943
Commissioned18 Dec 1943Korvkpt. Johann Reckhoff
18 Dec 1943 - 8 Nov 1944  KrvKpt. Johann Reckhoff
9 Nov 1944 - 17 Apr 1945  Oblt. (R) Wilhelm Cranz
2 patrols
18 Dec 1943-31 Jul 1944  5. Flottille (training)
1 Aug 1944-31 Oct 1944  3. Flottille (active service)
1 Nov 1944-17 Apr 1945  33. Flottille (active service)
SuccessesNo ships sunk or damaged

Missing since 17 April 1945 in the North Sea or North Atlantic. No explanation exists for its loss. 43 dead (all hands lost).

Loss position

View the 2 war patrols

U-398 was ordered to operate west of the English Channel and was not seen or heard of after sailing from Kristiansand in the evening of 17 April 1945. It was posted as missing after failing to return to port or signal its position after the cessation of hostilities.

There is a chance that U-398 was sunk instead of U-1017 by a British Liberator aircraft (120 Sqn RAF) on 29 April 1945. Both boats disappeared without a trace en route to the same operational area.

Schnorchel-fitted U-boat
This boat was fitted with a Schnorchel underwater-breathing apparatus in June 1944. Read more about the Schnorchel and see list of fitted boats.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-398 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

Media links

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

Related page:
U-boats Missing in Action.