List of all U-boats

U-464

Type

XIV

 
Ordered15 Aug 1940
Laid down18 Mar 1941 Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel (werk 295)
Launched20 Dec 1941
Commissioned30 Apr 1942Kptlt. Otto Harms
Commanders
30 Apr 1942 - 20 Aug 1942  Kptlt. Otto Harms
Career
1 patrol
30 Apr 1942-1 Aug 1942  4. Flottille (training)
1 Aug 1942-20 Aug 1942  10. Flottille (active service)
SuccessesNo ships sunk or damaged
Fate

Sunk on August 20, 1942 south-east of Iceland in position 61.25N, 14.40W by a US Catalina aircraft. 2 dead and 52 survivors.

Loss position

View the 1 war patrol

General notes on this boat

20 Aug 1942.

U-464 was surprised by a Catalina flying boat of squadron VP-73 in rough weather, whose 5 depth charges rendered the boat unable to dive. Although the boat could still manage 8 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 close by. What happens next is available in two versions:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.


Media links


The Milk Cows

John F White


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

Wynn, Kenneth


German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel


U-Boat Tankers, 1941-1945

White, John F.


Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay