History
Nazi Germany
NameU-704
Ordered9 October 1939[1]
BuilderHC Stülcken & Sohn, Hamburg
Yard number763
Laid down26 August 1940[1]
Launched28 August 1941[1]
Commissioned18 November 1941[1]
FateScuttled on 30 April 1945[1]
General characteristics
Class and typeType 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
Height9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught4.74 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)
Complement4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. / Kptlt. Horst Wilhelm Kessler
  • 18 November 1941 – April 1943
  • Oblt.z.S. Karl-Heinz Hagenau
  • 12 Jun 1943 – April 1944
  • Lt.z.S. Gerhard Ady
  • April – July 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Wolfgang Schwarzkopf
  • 6 August – 18 December 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Gerhard Nolte
  • 19 December 1944 – 24 March 1945
Operations:
  • 5 patrols:[1]
  • 1st patrol:
  • 30 June – 16 August 1942
  • 2nd patrol:
  • 9 – 15 September 1942
  • 3rd patrol:
  • 5 October – 23 November 1942
  • 4th patrol:
  • a. 1 – 2 January 1943
  • b. 7 January – 12 February 1943
  • 5th patrol:
  • a. 14 March – 5 April 1943
  • b. 6 – 11 April 1943
Victories: 1 merchant ship sunk
(6,942 GRT)[1]

German submarine U-704 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II.

Commissioned on 18 November 1941 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Horst Wilhelm Kessler, U-704 carried out training operations as part of the 8th U-boat Flotilla until 30 June 1942.[1]

Design

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-704 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 AEG GU 460/8–27 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-704 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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history

U-704 set out on its first patrol, a transit to its operational base at Saint-Nazaire on 30 June 1942.[3] During this patrol, U-704 formed part of wolfpack "Wolf" which was to patrol between Iceland and Greenland, out of the range of allied air cover. On 26 July 1942, U-704 torpedoed the 6,942 GRT British freighter Empire Rainbow, part of convoy Convoy ON-113. Empire Rainbow had already been damaged by a torpedo from U-607, and U-704's torpedo sank the freighter.[3][4]

U-704 carried out a further four operational patrols under the command of Kessler from Saint Nazaire and La Pallice, sinking no further ships.[3] U-704 did fire four torpedoes at the troopship Queen Elizabeth on 9 November 1942, with Kessler claiming a hit, although Queen Elizabeth was undamaged.[5]

Fate

U-704 then served as a training submarine in the Baltic sea for the rest of the war, and was scuttled at Vegesack on 30 April 1945.[1]

Wolfpacks

U-704 took part in seven wolfpacks, namely:

Summary of raiding history

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage (GRT) Fate[6]
26 July 1942 Empire Rainbow  United Kingdom 6,942 Sunk

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-704". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43–46.
  3. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-704". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  4. ^ Blair Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunters 1939–1942 2000, p. 655.
  5. ^ Blair Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunted 1942–1945 2000, p. 107.
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-704". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 9 February 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). Vol. 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. Vol. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
  • Blair, Clay (2000). Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunters 1939–1942. London: Cassell. ISBN 0-304-35260-8.
  • Blair, Clay (2000). Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunted, 1942–1945. New York: Modern Library. ISBN 0-679-64033-9.
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. pp. 75, 83, 89. ISBN 0-304-35203-9.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Chesneau, Roger (1980). Conway's All The World's Fighting Warships 1922–1946. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.