|German submarine U-404|
|Ordered:||23 September 1939|
|Builder:||Danziger Werft, Danzig|
|Yard number:||Werk 105|
|Laid down:||4 June 1940|
|Launched:||4 June 1941|
|Commissioned:||6 August 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk on 28 July 1943 by depth charges from two American and one B-24 Liberator|
|Type:||Type VIIC submarine|
769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced|
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a|
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a|
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Draft:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490|
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296
17.7 knots (20.4 mph; 32.8 km/h) surfaced|
7.6 knots (8.7 mph; 14.1 km/h) submerged
15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced|
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
230 m (750 ft)|
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
|Complement:||44–52 officers and ratings|
• 5 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four bow, one stern)|
• 14 × G7e torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
• 1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun (220 rounds)
• Various AA guns
Kapitänleutnant Otto von Bülow|
Oberleutnant Adolf Schönberg
Sank 14 merchant ships and one warship
|Awards||The Knight's Cross to von Bulow|
She was laid down at the Danziger Werft in the city of the same name on 4 June 1940 as 'werk' 105, launched a year later on 4 June 1941 and was commissioned on 6 August 1941, with Kapitänleutnant Otto von Bülow in command.
The boat commenced her career with the 6th U-boat Flotilla, a training organization on 6 August 1941, before moving on to operations on 1 October 1941. U-404 carried out seven combat patrols, sinking 14 merchantmen and one warship for a total of over 70,000 GRT during the Second World War. She also damaged two other ships. The submarine was a member of 13 wolfpacks.
For his numerous successes, von Bülow received the Knight's Cross.
1st and 2nd patrols
No ships were sunk during her first patrol which lasted from 17 January to 1 February 1942. U-404 sailed from the German port of Kiel; the only excitement she encountered was when a periscope was damaged in an air attack. The submarine sailed into Lorient in France, after 16 otherwise uneventful days.
On her second patrol, when she departed Lorient on 14 February 1942, U-404 had more success, sinking three ships off the eastern American coast. One of them, the Lemuel Burrows, was close enough to land when she was sunk that the second engineer, who survived, reported that "the lights of a New Jersey beach resort doomed his vessel and that they would continue [the German U-boats] to cause daily torpedoings until a blackout is ordered along the coast." This situation was repeated many times due to American unpreparedness so soon after that country's entry into the war. She returned to Brest, also in France, on 4 April 1942 .
3rd and 4th patrols
The achievements of her second patrol was repeated on her third, with the Operation Drumbeat submarine accounting for another four ships off the American coast. This time she returned to St. Nazaire.
For her fourth sortie, she left St. Nazaire on 23 August 1942 and returned on 13 October, having spent 52 days at sea and sinking three more ships, but this time in mid-Atlantic.
5th and 6th patrols
It was a different story on her fifth patrol; she spent 44 fruitless days looking for targets, having departed St. Nazaire on 21 December 1942, returning on 6 February 1943.
Her sixth foray was better, she sank three ships, totalling 17,736 GRT (Gross Register Tons).
7th patrol and loss
U-404 left St. Nazaire with a new commander on 24 July 1943. Five days later, she was sent to the bottom with all hands, thanks to the efforts and depth charges of three Liberator aircraft, two American and one British. They did not emerge from the action unscathed; all three planes lost an engine due to the accurate anti-aircraft fire from the U-boat.
|5 March 1942||Collamer||USA||5,112||Sunk|
|13 March 1942||Tolten||Chile||1,858||Sunk|
|14 March 1942||Lemuel Burrows||USA||7,610||Sunk|
|17 March 1942||San Demitro||Great Britain||8,073||Sunk|
|30 May 1942||Aloca Shipper||USA||5,491||Sunk|
|1 June 1942||West Notus||USA||5,492||Sunk|
|3 June 1942||Anna||Sweden||1,345||Sunk|
|24 June 1942||Ljubica Matokovic||Yugoslavia||3,289||Sunk|
|25 June 1942||Manuda||USA||4,772||sunk|
|25 June 1942||Nordal||Panama||3,845||sunk|
|27 June 1942||Moldanger||Norway||6,827||Sunk|
|11 September 1942||Marit II||Norway||7,141||Damaged|
|12 September 1942||Daghild||Norway||9,272||Damaged|
|26 September 1942||HMS Veteran||Great Britain||1,120||Sunk|
|29 March 1943||Nagara||Great Britain||8,791||Sunk|
|30 March 1943||Empire Bowman||Great Britain||7,031||Sunk|
|12 April 1943||Lancastrian Prince||Great Britain||1,914||Sunk|
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 135.
- Kemp, p. 135.
- Gannon, Michael - Operation Drumbeat - the dramatic true story of Germany's first U-boat attacks along the American coast in World War II, Harper and Row publishers, ISBN 0-060161155-8
- Blair, Clay (1996). Hitler's U-Boat War - The Hunters 1939-1942. Random House. ISBN 0-394-58839-8.
- Blair, Clay (1998). Hitler's U-Boat War The Hunted 1942-1945. Random House. ISBN 0-679-45742-9.
- Lenton, H.T. (1976). German Warships of the Second World War. Arco Publishing Company. ISBN 0-668-04037-8.
- Waters, John M. Jr., CAPT USCG (December 1966). "Stay Tough". United States Naval Institute Proceedings.
- Gannon, Michael (1990). Operation Drumbeat - the dramatic true story of Germany's first U-boat attacks along the American coast in World War II. Harper and Row. ISBN 0-060161155-8.
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