Convoy battles


17 Feb 1940 - 18 Feb 1940

The Convoy24 ships
First sightingOn 17 Feb 1940 by U-53

French destroyer Bourrasque and auxiliary patrol vessel Leoville
Joining with convoy 10-RS from Oran:
French minesweeper Chevreuil and armed trawlers L’Ajaccienne, La Setoise and La Toulonnaise


U-26 (Scheringer), U-37 (Hartmann) *, U-53 (Grosse) *

* U-boats that fired torpedo or used the deck gun

The battle

On 14 February, the convoy 65-KS had left Casablanca with 16 ships and was combined with the eight ships of convoy 10-RS coming from the Mediterranean off St. Vincent on 15 February. When the German radio intelligence reported that this convoy would be off Porto on 17 February, the BdU ordered U-26, U-37 and U-53 to search it. However, U-26 could not participate in the operation as she was low on fuel, so only U-37 could operate on the convoy when it was sighted by U-53 at 20.51 hours on 17 February.

Early on 18 February, the shadower sank the neutral Banderas astern of the convoy, apparently assuming that she was a straggler from the convoy. At 10.24 hours, U-53 attacked the convoy itself but her last torpedo detonated prematurely behind the Belgian steam merchant Garonne in station #31 and the U-boat was then chased away by La Setoise and La Toulonnaise. U-37 did not find the convoy, but sank a straggler.

Article compiled by Rainer Kolbicz

Ships hit from convoy 65-KS

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat.Map
18 Feb 1940U-37Werner Hartmann P.L.M. 153,754frA

1 ship sunk (3,754 tons).

2 convoys on route 65 were hit by U-boats in the war. Read more about them.

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