|Ordered||15 Aug 1940|
|Laid down||18 Mar 1941||Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel (werk 295)|
|Launched||20 Dec 1941|
|Commissioned||30 Apr 1942||Kptlt. Otto Harms|
|Successes||No ships sunk or damaged|
Sunk on August 20 1942 south-east of Iceland in position 61.25N, 14.40W by a US Catalina flying boat. 2 dead and 52 survivors.
Attacks on this boat and other events
20 Aug 1942
Milch cow boat U-464 was surprised by an American Catalina flying boat from squadron VP-73 during rough weather, and the five depth charges it dropped left the boat unable to dive. Although the boat could still manage eight knots on the surface, it was a sitting duck for further attacks from Allied forces nearby. Kptlt. Harms decided to scuttle the boat and make for an Icelandic trawler that was nearby. The Skaftfellingur then rescued the crew and they were afterwards interned as POWs in England.
1 recorded attack on this boat.
General notes on this boat
20 Aug 1942.
On 20 Aug 1942 U-464 was surprised by a Catalina flying boat of squadron VP-73 in rough weather, whose five depth charges left the boat unable to dive. Although the boat could still manage 8 knots (15 kph)on the surface, it was a sitting duck for further attacks from Allied forces nearby. Kptlt. Harms decided to scuttle the boat and make for an Icelandic trawler that was close by. What happened next is available in two versions:
- The Skaftfellingur approached the sinking U-boat and commenced rescue operations. The Germans seemed hesitant to leave their boat, but after one of them had been pulled over to the trawler after being thrown a line, rest of the crew jumped into the water. The trawler's crew of seven (reduced for hazardous waters) then brought the 52 German survivors on board, put them on the foredeck by the bows, and told them to stay there. A machine gun on the bridge enforced the order. Two British destroyers arrived later that day and captured the Germans. (English and Icelandic sources)
- The U-boat crew boarded the boat, subdued the crew and headed for Germany. They were only prevented from doing so by two British destroyers. (German sources)
How a wet and exhausted crew could board a trawler sailing at 10 knots is anyone's guess. The former explanation is more likely and better supported by verifiable facts. The Icelandic captain was even given the 3rd degree by a British court in Fleetwood, Lancs. about this event.
In July 1999 the German Navy gave formal thanks to the Icelandic seamen who rescued the German U-boat men on that day. This took place in Reykjavik during a visit by a group of U-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-464 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.