German submarine U-464

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German submarine U-464 was a Type XIV supply and replenishment U-boat ("Milchkuh") of the of the German Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Her keel was laid down on 18 March 1941, by Deutsche Werke of Kiel. She was commissioned on 30 April 1942 with Kapitänleutnant Otto Harms in command. Harms commanded her for her entire career.[1]


U-464 was lost on her first patrol. As a supply boat, she avoided combat. On 20 August 1942, south-east of Iceland, she was attacked by a US PBY Catalina aircraft. Although the aircraft dropped all its bombs without sinking the boat, two crewmen were killed during the attack, and the boat was left unable to dive. While U-464 could still make some eight knots, it was only a matter of time before another aircraft or ship would find and destroy her. Harms spotted a ship nearby and decided to scuttle U-464.[1]

The 60 ton Icelandic merchant vessel Skaftfellingur sighted the distressed U-boat and began rescue operations. The seven-man Icelandic crew placed the 52 German survivors in the bow of their ship and guarded them with a machine gun on the bridge. Later that same day the ship rendezvoused with a pair of British destroyers and turned the German prisoners over to them.[1]

The Kriegsmarine officially published a different version: the U-boat crew boarded the trawler by force, captured its crew, and was heading for Germany when they were intercepted by the destroyers and taken prisoner.[1]

In July 1999 a squadron of Deutsche Marine submarines visited Reykjavík to honor the Icelandic seamen who rescued the U-boat crew.[1]


See also

U-459 · U-460 · U-461 · U-462 · U-463 · U-464 · U-487 · U-488 · U-489 · U-490

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