Kapitänleutnant (Crew 33)
5 ships sunk, total tonnage 25,390 GRT
4 auxiliary warships sunk, total tonnage 1,666 GRT
4 ships damaged, total tonnage 37,093 GRT
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 1,190 tons
|Born||19 Jul 1913||Münster, Westphalia|
|Died||29 Jan 1996||(82)||Lüneburg, Germany|
|U-701||16 Jul 1941||7 Jul 1942||3 patrols (129 days)|
Horst Degen served as the Second Watch Officer, 2WO, torpedo and radio technical officer on the destroyer Z 10 Hans Lody from Sep 1939 to June 1940. He then joined the U-boat force and underwent training from Jul to Dec 1940. Then U-boat commander training from Jan to Mar 1941.
Degen then went as commander in training on the soon-to-be famous U-552 (Topp) for its second patrol (7 Apr - 6 May 1941) - 3 ships sunk, one damaged.
Horst Degen then went to oversee construction of a U-boat (Baubelehrung) and commissioned his U-701 on 16 Jul 1941. He went out on his first patrol on 27 Dec 1941 (45 days, one ship sunk) and his second on 26 Feb 1942 (35 days, 4 small ships sunk).
Horst Degen‘s third war patrol with the U-701 from May to 7 July 1942, where he operated in American waters, was an exceptional one; sinking 4 ships (21.789 tons) and damaging 5 more (38.283 tons). He boat was sunk while waiting to sink one more ship before going back across the Atlantic (he had seen no ships for 8 days though).
When his boat was sunk by 3 depth charges from an American Hudson aircraft off Cape Hatteras all but 7 men escaped to the surface in two 18-man groups, but although the attacking aircraft dropped 4 life-west and life-raft plus marked the site with a flare the 7 eventual survivors were not found until 49 hours later, 110 miles offshore.
Nothing was found of the other group of 18 men. He and his 6 men then went to POW camp. Degen was released during June 1946.
Blair, C. (1996). Hitler’s U-boat War. The Hunters, 1939-1942.
Busch, R & Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Patrol info for Horst Degen
|1.||U-701||27 Dec 1941||Kiel||9 Feb 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 1,||45 days|
|2.||U-701||26 Feb 1942||St. Nazaire||1 Apr 1942||Brest||Patrol 2,||35 days|
|3.||U-701||19 May 1942||Brest||20 May 1942||Lorient||2 days|
|4.||U-701||20 May 1942||Lorient||7 Jul 1942||Sunk||Patrol 3,||49 days|
|3 patrols, 129 days at sea|
Ships hit by Horst Degen
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|6 Jan 1942||U-701||Baron Erskine||3,657||br||SC-62|
|6 Mar 1942||U-701||Rononia||213||br|
|7 Mar 1942||U-701||Nyggjaberg||349||fa|
|9 Mar 1942||U-701||HMS Notts County (FY 250)||541||br|
|11 Mar 1942||U-701||HMS Stella Capella (FY 107)||507||br|
|15 Jun 1942||U-701||HMS Kingston Ceylonite (FY 214) [Mine]||448||br||KN-109|
|15 Jun 1942||U-701||USS Bainbridge (DD 246) (d.) [Mine]||1,190||am||KN-109|
|15 Jun 1942||U-701||Robert C. Tuttle (d.) [Mine]||11,615||am||KN-109|
|15 Jun 1942||U-701||Esso Augusta (d.) [Mine]||11,237||am||KN-109|
|17 Jun 1942||U-701||Santore [Mine]||7,117||am||KS-511|
|19 Jun 1942||U-701||USS YP-389||170||am|
|26 Jun 1942||U-701||Tamesis (d.)||7,256||nw|
|27 Jun 1942||U-701||British Freedom (d.)||6,985||br||KS-514|
|28 Jun 1942||U-701||William Rockefeller||14,054||am|
9 ships sunk (27,056 tons) and 5 ships damaged (38,283 tons).
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.
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