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German submarine U-462

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Title: German submarine U-462  
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Subject: Clive Gwinner, German Type XIV submarines, Maritime incidents in June 1943, HMS Woodpecker (U08), Shipwrecks of the Biscay coast
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German submarine U-462

U-462 and U-461 taking evasive action during an air attack on 30 July 1943
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-462
Ordered: 14 May 1940
Builder: Deutsche Werke, Kiel
Yard number: 293
Laid down: 2 January 1941
Launched: 29 November 1941
Commissioned: 5 March 1942
Fate: Sunk, 30 July 1943[1]
General characteristics [2]
Class & type: German Type XIV submarine
Displacement: 1,688 t (1,661 long tons) surfaced
1,932 t (1,901 long tons) submerged
Length: 67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a
48.51 m (159 ft 2 in) pressure hull
Beam: 9.35 m (30 ft 8 in) o/a
4.9 m (16 ft 1 in) pressure hull
Height: 11.7 m (38 ft 5 in)
Draft: 6.51 m (21 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: 2 × Germaniawerft F46 supercharged 6-cylinder diesel engines, 3,200 hp (2,400 kW)
2 × SSW Gu343/388-8 double-acting electric motors 750 hp (560 kW)
Speed: 14.9 knots (27.6 km/h; 17.1 mph) surfaced
6.2 knots (11.5 km/h; 7.1 mph) submerged
Range: 12,350 nmi (22,870 km; 14,210 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
55 nautical miles (102 km; 63 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 240 m (790 ft)
Complement: 53–60 men
Armament: 2 × 37 mm AA guns
2 × 20 mm AA guns
Service record[3][4]
Part of: 4th U-boat Flotilla
(5 March–31 July 1942)
10th U-boat Flotilla
(1 August–31 October 1942)
12th U-boat Flotilla
(1 November 1942–30 July 1943)
Commanders: Lt. Bruno Vowe
(5 March 1942–30 July 1943)
Operations: 1st patrol: 23 July–21 September 1942
2nd patrol: 18 October–7 December 1942
3rd patrol: 20–22 January 1943
4th patrol: 19 February–11 March 1943
5th patrol: 1–24 April 1943
6th patrol: 17–23 June 1943
7th patrol: 28 June–6 July 1943
8th patrol: 27–30 July 1943
Victories: None

German submarine U-462 was a Type XIV supply and replenishment U-boat ("Milchkuh") of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Her keel was laid down on 2 January 1941, by Deutsche Werke in Kiel. She was launched on 29 November 1941 and commissioned on 5 March 1942 with Oberleutnant zur See Bruno Vowe in command. Vowe commanded the boat until she was lost.[3] She served, first as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla while carrying out training, then as part of the 10th and 12th flotillas while taking part in operations.


  • Operational career 1
    • 1st patrol 1.1
    • 2nd and 3rd patrols 1.2
    • 4th and 5th patrols 1.3
    • 6th patrol 1.4
    • 7th patrol 1.5
    • Loss 1.6
    • Wolf packs 1.7
  • References 2
  • External links 3

Operational career

U-462 conducted eight patrols. As a supply boat, she avoided combat.[3]

1st patrol

For her first patrol, U-462 departed Kiel on 23 July 1942 and arrived at St. Nazaire in occupied France on 21 September of the same year, having travelled by way of the gap between Iceland and the Faeroe Islands and out into the Atlantic. The latter part of the voyage took her past the Azores on her way to her new base.

2nd and 3rd patrols

The U-boat's second effort took her to a point west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands which she reached on 9 November 1942. She arrived back at St. Nazaire on 7 December 1942.

Her third outing was very short. She left Bordeaux on 20 January 1943, but returned on the 22nd.

4th and 5th patrols

The submarine's fourth sortie took her out into the Atlantic once again. The most westerly spot of this patrol was recorded on 27 February 1943. She returned to France, but this time it was to Bordeaux, on 11 March.

The boat's fifth patrol was also routine.

6th patrol

She did not leave the Bay of Biscay, being attacked by Mosquito aircraft of 151 and 156 squadrons, RAF on 21 June 1943. One man was killed (Matrosengefreiter Ferdinand Brunnbaur), and four more were wounded. The patrol was aborted, the boat returned to Bordeaux on the 23rd.[3]

7th patrol

U-462 '​s seventh patrol was also cut short. She had barely cleared the northwest Spanish coast when she was attacked by a British B-24 Liberator of 224 squadron, RAF. After sustaining sufficient damage to force a return, she entered Bordeaux harbour on 6 July 1943.


On 30 July 1943, U-462 was sunk by a British Halifax bomber of 502 Squadron RAF and gunfire from the British Black Swan-class sloops HMS Wren, Kite, Woodpecker, Wild Goose and Woodcock, in the Bay of Biscay. One of these ships, Kite, registered a hit at 13,050 yd (11,930 m).[5] One crewman was killed, the other 64 survived.[3]

Wolf packs

U-462 took part in 1 wolfpack, namely.

  • Lohs (29 Aug 1942 - 2 Sep 1942)


  1. ^ Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, pp. 136-137.
  2. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 118-9.
  3. ^ a b c d e "The Type XIV boat U-462 - German U-boats of WWII -". Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  4. ^ "War Patrols by German U-boat U-462 - Boats -". Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  5. ^ Kemp, p. 137.
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. pp. 103, 153, 154.  
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler).  
  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945 (in German) III (Koblenz:  

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type XIV boat U-462". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  • U-462 at

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