List of all U-boats




Ordered10 Apr 1941
Laid down24 Dec 1941 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (werk 624)
Launched16 Sep 1942
Commissioned12 Nov 1942Oblt. Peter-Arthur Stahl
12 Nov 1942 - 23 Nov 1943  Oblt. Peter-Arthur Stahl
3 patrols
12 Nov 1942-30 Apr 1943  5. Flottille (training)
1 May 1943-23 Nov 1943  6. Flottille (active service)
SuccessesNo ships sunk or damaged

Missing since 22 November 1943 in the North Atlantic west of Spain. There is no explanation for its loss. 50 dead (all hands lost). (Axel Niestlé, January 1998).

Loss position

View the 3 war patrols

U-648 sent its last radio message early on 22 November 1943 from approx. position 45.09N, 19.45W. The boat was posted as missing after failing to report its position or to arrive at the rendezvous point off St. Nazaire.

Previously recorded fate

  • Sunk by the British frigates HMS Bazely, HMS Blackwood and HMS Drury on 23 Nov, 1943 in position 42.40N, 20.73W. (Postwar assessment)
    Notes. These attacks were instead targeted against U-424, U-714 and U-843 causing no damage.

Wolfpack operations

U-648 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Meise (25 Apr 1943 - 27 Apr 1943)
   Star (27 Apr 1943 - 4 May 1943)
   Fink (4 May 1943 - 6 May 1943)
   Siegfried (25 Oct 1943 - 27 Oct 1943)
   Siegfried 3 (27 Oct 1943 - 30 Oct 1943)
   Jahn (30 Oct 1943 - 2 Nov 1943)
   Tirpitz 5 (2 Nov 1943 - 8 Nov 1943)
   Eisenhart 10 (9 Nov 1943 - 10 Nov 1943)
   Eisenhart 8 (10 Nov 1943 - 11 Nov 1943)
   Eisenhart 7 (11 Nov 1943 - 15 Nov 1943)
   Schill 2 (17 Nov 1943 - 22 Nov 1943)
   Weddigen (22 Nov 1943 - 23 Nov 1943)

Attacks on this boat and other events

16 May 1943
1140hrs, Bay of Biscay, inbound: a British Whitley bomber (10 OTU RAF/E) dropped four depth charges on the boat. No damage. (Sources: Franks/Rohwer)

16 May 1943
1455hrs, Bay of Biscay, inbound: British Liberator FL948 (224 Sqn RAF/M, pilot F/S J.S. Powell) was hit by flak when making a first attack run, and the six depth charges dropped undershot. While it was turning to make a second attack, U-648 dived, and the remaining four depth charges were dropped into the wake without damaging the boat. The Liberator reached base despite the flak damage. (Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

17 May 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: British Whitley Z9438 (10 OTU RAF/J, pilot Sgt J.H. Casstles)

1424hrs, Bay of Biscay, inbound: The Whitley was shot down after dropping four depth charges, none of which caused any damage. The crew of six were all killed.

(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

20 Nov 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: Canadian Sunderland W6031 (422 Sqn RCAF/G, pilot F/O J.D. B. Ulrichson, RCAF)

1745hrs, in the vicinity of combined convoy SL-139/MKS-30: forewarned by the Naxos radar detector, U-648 fought off the Sunderland with accurate AA fire. Approx. one hour later the aircraft sent a distress call saying it was about to ditch at 42°40N/19°30W. The crew of 11 were never found.

(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

21 Nov 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: British Liberator BZ819 (53 Sqn RAF/A, pilot W/C H.R.A. Edwards, AFC)

0412hrs, vicinity of convoy SL-139: the aircraft was apparently hit by flak in making a strafing run using the Leigh Light, and its depth charges fell wide. On the return flight three engines failed and the pilot was forced to ditch. He was the sole survivor, rescued on 22 November by HMS Lincolnshire.

(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

5 recorded attacks on this boat.

General notes on this boat

5 May 1943. On 5 May, 1943 U-648 had to return to base to due severe technical difficulties.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-648 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

Media links

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 2

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel