History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-666
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
Yard number: 815
Laid down: 16 September 1941
Launched: 18 July 1942
Commissioned: 26 August 1942
Status: Missing since 10 February 1944
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Herbert Engel
  • 26 August 1942 – 9 December 1943
  • Oblt.z.S. Ernst Wilberg
  • 10 December 1943 – 10 February 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 25 February – 10 April 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 6 May – 9 July 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 31 August – 16 October 1943
  • 4th patrol: 25 December 1943 – 10 February 1944
Victories:
  • 1 merchant ships damaged (5,234 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (1,370 tons)

German submarine U-666 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 16 September 1941 by Deutsche Werft, Hamburg as yard number 815, launched on 18 July 1942 and commissioned on 26 August 1942 under Kapitänleutnant Herbert Engel. Oberleutnant zur See Ernst Wilberg took over command on 10 December 1943.

Design

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-666 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert GU 343/38–8 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[2]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[2] When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-666 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history

The boat's career began with training at 5th U-boat Flotilla on 26 August 1942, followed by active service on 1 March 1943 as part of the 6th Flotilla for the remainder of her service.

In four patrols she damaged 1 merchant ship, for a total of 5,234 gross register tons (GRT) and sunk one warship (1,370 tons).

Convoy SC 122

On 19 March 1943, after damaging the Greek freighter Carras, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber from No. 220 Squadron RAF hit the boat with four depth charges, causing sufficient damage as to force her to return to France.

Wolfpacks

U-666 took part in 14 wolfpacks, namely

  • Ostmark (6–11 March 1943)
  • Stürmer (11–20 March 1943)
  • Seewolf (21–30 March 1943)
  • Oder (17–19 May 1943)
  • Mosel (19–24 May 1943)
  • Trutz (1–16 June 1943)
  • Trutz 2 (16–29 June 1943)
  • Leuthen (15–24 September 1943)
  • Rossbach (24 September - 6 October 1943)
  • Hela (28 December 1943 – 1 January 1944)
  • Rügen 6 (5–7 January 1944)
  • Rügen (7–26 January 1944)
  • Stürmer (26 January – 3 February 1944)
  • Igel 1 (3–10 February 1944)

Fate

Sunk on 10 February 1944 in the North Atlantic west of Ireland, in position 53.56N, 17.16W, by depth charges from a Swordfish aircraft (842 Sqn FAA/A) of the British escort carrier HMS Fencer. 51 dead (all hands lost).[3]

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[4]
19 March 1943 Carras  Greece 5,234 Damaged
23 September 1943 HMS Itchen  Royal Navy 1,370 Sunk

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-666". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ <http://uboat.net/boats/u666.html>
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-666". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 14 September 2014.

Bibliography

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9.

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-666". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014.