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This is the place to discuss general issues related to the U-boat war or the war at sea in WWII. 
Re: Loss of U665
Posted by: ARANTALES ()
Date: April 03, 2022 06:38PM

Dear all,

As USS HERRING's action on March 21, 1943, might have an effect on the data in our DUIKBOOT-database (https://historisches-marinearchiv.de/projekte/duikboot/eingabe.php?lang=2&active_duik=search), a closer look at the action was taken.

As already suggested by Platon Alexiades, an encounter with U665 was most unlikely, and an encounter with U66 could have been possible if one (or both) of the protagonists made an error in position…

The data for USS HERRING's war patrol (available at [catalog.archives.gov]) states she was in position 44°13'N-08°23'W when firing 2 torpedoes at 0040A on March 21, 1943. This is some 39 nautical miles from the midnight position of U66 (BF8412 = 44°39'N-07°42'W), a distance that would have increased by the time of USS HERRING's attack as U66 was running eastwards (BF8412 -> BF8413 -> BF8421), away from USS HERRING's attack-position.

USS HERRING identified the target as a German 530-ton submarine, running on the surface (her foredeck gun was seen) with a estimated speed of 10 knots, and fired 2 torpedoes at a range of 2500 yards. See her patrol report, images 46 and 47)

U66 was a Type IXC, and had a far greater displacement than 530 ton.

The KTB U66 (war diary) documents the U-boat submerged on March 20, 1943, at 2059, only to re-surface on March 21 at 0542. At the time of USS HERRING's attack, U66 was running submerged, NOT on the surface.

Estimated speed 10 knots? The War Diary of U66 learns us that the boat between 1200 on the 20th and 1200 on the 21st March covered 76 nautical miles (23 submerged, 53 surfaced). One would expect a greater distance covered had U66 been running at 10knots during the slightly more than 10 hours surface running in the aforementioned 24-hour period.

The USS HERRING's patrol report (see image 62 at [catalog.archives.gov]) refers to the British Admiralty Assessment Board, session of May 17, 1943, assessing the attack as "B" – probably sunk. No higher assessment was given as there was no tracking room evidence to support the sinking of a U-boat in that particular area at that time...

While the Admiralty War Diary for April 12, 1943 (available at www.fold3.com, micro serial number K-5-D, image 869) writes that crediting USS HERRING with the sinking of a U-boat 'is believed to be warranted', later Admiralty documents like TNA ADM199/1789 no longer list USS HERRING's action as credited with the sinking of a U-boat. Certainly not U66 as she reached Lorient on March 24th.

A last point that attracted attention comes from USS HERRING's summary of the submarine attack (image 65):"Dove after firing because of the presence of Spanish trawlers in the vicinity."

All taken together, imho there is no real evidence to link the torpedoes fired by USS HERRING at 'a German submarine' to the 2 explosions – assumed to be depth charges - heard by U66 on March 21st, 0045.

At this time, DUIKBOOT will not be modified to document USS HERRING (possibly) attacked U66.

Best regards,
Walter

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Subject Written By Posted
Loss of U665 wh1skea 03/21/2022 11:40PM
Re: Loss of U665 Platon Alexiades 03/24/2022 01:11PM
Re: Loss of U665 wh1skea 03/24/2022 03:44PM
Re: Loss of U665 Platon Alexiades 03/24/2022 04:29PM
Re: Loss of U665 t-geronimo 03/24/2022 05:09PM
Re: Loss of U665 ARANTALES 04/03/2022 06:38PM


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