Convoy battles


Outward, northbound (North Atlantic and UK coastal waters)

29 Jul 1942 - 3 Aug 1942

The Convoy41 ships
First sightingOn 29 Jul 1942 by U-210
EscortsThe Canadian escort group C3 (Cdr Wallace) consisting of the destroyers Saguenay and Skeena and the 4 corvettes Agassiz, Sackville, Louisville and Wetaskiwin.


The wolfpack Pirat of 6 boats:
U-164 (KorvKpt Fechner), U-210 (KorvKpt Lemcke), U-217 (KptLt Reichenback-Klinke) *, U-511 (KptLt Steinhoff), U-553 (KorvKpt Thurmann) *

The wolfpack Wolf of 7 boats:
U-43 (Oblt Schwantke), U-71 (Oblt von Roithberg) *, U-454 (Kptlt Hacklander), U-552 (Kptlt Topp) *, U-597 (Kptlt Bopst) *, U-607 (KptLt Mengersen) *, U-704 (KptLt Kessler)

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

The battle

U-210 brings up 5 other boats: U-164, U-217, U-511, U-553 en U-588. All their attacks on the 30th and 31st are repulsed by the escort. On the 31st U-588 is sunk by the Skeena and Wetaskiwin.

During the night of the 31st contact is lost. The two destroyers are short on fuel and depart for St-John's at Newfoundland. The 5 remaining boats form a patrol line together with the 7 replenished boats of the "Wolf"-pack.

On the 2nd Aug the escort is reinforced with the destroyers Hamilton and Witch (RN) and the corvette Galt. The Wetaskiwin is short on fuel after several pursuits and leaves the convoy. U-552 locates the convoy and vectors in the other boats.

The convoy commodore tries to escape with ordering sharp course changes, but the only result is that one column cannot follow the movement and romps away from the convoy. The U-boats focus on this group: U-552 torpedoes 2 ships and U-553 sinks one. U-607 finishes off one of the damaged ships. The other one is taken in tow by the Agassiz. Attacks by U-71, U-217, U-597 and again U-552 fail.

Next day on the 3rd, the operation is broken off because of the bad visibility.

Article compiled by Tom Linclau

Ships hit from convoy ON-115

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat.Map
3 Aug 1942U-552Erich Topp G.S. Walden (d.)10,627brA
3 Aug 1942U-552Erich Topp Lochkatrine9,419brB
3 Aug 1942U-553Karl Thurmann Belgian Soldier (d.)7,167beC
4 Aug 1942U-607Ernst Mengersen Belgian Soldier7,167beD
5 Aug 1942U-458Kurt Diggins Arletta4,870brE

3 ships sunk (21,456 tons) and 2 ships damaged (17,794 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

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

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