Wolfpack Prien
Active12–17 June 1940
Country Nazi Germany
BranchKriegsmarine
Size7 submarines
Commanders
Current
commander
Korvettenkapitän Günther Prien
Notable
commanders
Heinrich Liebe
Günter Kuhnke
Fritz-Julius Lemp
Hans Jenisch

Prien was a wolfpack of German U-boats that operated during the World War II Battle of the Atlantic from 12 June to 17 June 1940.

The group was named after its leader Korvettenkapitän Günther Prien.[1]

Area of operation

This wolfpack operated south of Ireland in the North Atlantic, attacking convoy HX 47 – en route from Halifax to Liverpool.

Ships hit by this wolfpack

They sank five ships for a total of 40,494 gross register tons (GRT).

HMS Scotstoun

U-25 struck the stern of the armed merchant cruiser with one torpedo on 13 June 1940, approximately 80 nautical miles (150 km) west of Barra, Outer Hebrides. The hit didn't sink her, so just 10 hours later a second torpedo hit just aft of the funnel and caused the ship to sink by the stern. Seven crew members were killed. The survivors were picked up by HMS Highlander.[2]

Balmoralwood and Mount Myrto

At 19.44 hours on 14 June 1940 the Balmoralwood, a straggler from convoy HX 47, was hit amidships by one stern torpedo from U-47 and sank after two hours about 70 nautical miles (130 km) south-southwest of Cape Clear. The master, 39 crew members and one gunner were picked up by Germanic.[3]

At 19.11 hours on 14 June 1940 the Mount Myrto was shelled by 53 rounds from the surfaced U-38. After the shelling, the U-boat dived and struck the ship with a torpedo, but the ship did not sink due to her load of timber. Liebe decided to break off the attack on the damaged vessel because the convoy HX 47 came in sight.[4]

Erik Boye and Italia

On 15 June 1940, in the space of four minutes, U-38 fired torpedoes at and sank both the Italia and Erik Boye of convoy HX 47, about 60 nautical miles (110 km) W of the Scilly Isles. The survivors of Erik Boye were picked up by HMS Fowey.[5]

The Italia was struck by a torpedo near the engine room, killing nearly all the engine crew. The ship finally sank in 50°41′00″N 08°52′30″W / 50.68333°N 8.87500°W / 50.68333; -8.87500 in shallow waters. The survivors were picked up by HMS Fowey.[6]

Raiding Summary

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nationality Convoy
13 June 1940 U-25 Heinz Beduhn HMS Scotstoun 17,046  Royal Navy
14 June 1940 U-47 Günther Prien Balmoralwood 5,834  United Kingdom HX 47
14 June 1940 U-38 Heinrich Liebe Mount Myrto 5,403  Greece
15 June 1940 U-38 Heinrich Liebe Erik Boye 2,238  Canada HX 47
15 June 1940 U-38 Heinrich Liebe Italia 9,973  Norway HX 47

U-Boats

U-boat Commander From To
U-25 Heinz Beduhn 12 June 1940 17 June 1940
U-28 Günter Kuhnke 12 June 1940 17 June 1940
U-30 Fritz-Julius Lemp 15 June 1940 17 June 1940
U-32 Hans Jenisch 12 June 1940 17 June 1940
U-38 Heinrich Liebe 12 June 1940 17 June 1940
U-47 Günther Prien 12 June 1940 17 June 1940
U-51 Dietrich Knorr 12 June 1940 17 June 1940

References

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Wolfpack Prien". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "HMS Scotstoun". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Balmoralwood". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Mount Myrto". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Erik Boye". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Italia". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 19 October 2014.