List of all U-boats




Ordered25 Sep 1939
Laid down6 Dec 1940 Deutsche Schiff und Maschinenbau AG, Bremen (werk 705)
Launched1 Nov 1941
Commissioned23 Mar 1942Oblt. Hans-Günther Kuhlmann
23 Mar 1942 - 30 Jul 1942  Oblt. Hans-Günther Kuhlmann
2 patrols
23 Mar 1942-31 May 1942  4. Flottille (training)
1 Jun 1942-30 Jul 1942  10. Flottille (active service)
Successes4 ships sunk, total tonnage 7,593 GRT

Sunk on 30 July 1942 in the Gulf of Mexico south-east of New Orleans, in position 28.40N, 88.30W, by depth charges from the US patrol craft USS PC-566. 52 dead (all hands lost). (, June 2001).

Loss position

See the 4 ships hit by U-166 - View the 2 war patrols

Previously recorded fate

  • Sunk on 1 August, 1942 in the Gulf of Mexico, in position 28.37N, 90.45W, by a single depth charge from a US J4F-1 Grumman aircraft (USCG V-212/Y). (Dr. Axel Niestlé, 1998)
    Notes. This may have been an attack on U-171.

General notes on this boat

The discovery of U-166 (June 10, 2001)
This boat was finally discovered and documented in late May 2001 after many years of unsuccessful research and wreck-hunting. The wreck was located some 45 miles south of the mouth of Mississippi River, by C & C Technologies, with their AUV, during oil survey work for BP Amoco and Shell.

Unraveling the Mystery: The Discovery of the U-166

This changes the boat's official fate, since it's now certain that she was lost immediately after sinking her fourth and last victim, the Robert E. Lee on July 30 1942. Their wrecks are less than one mile from each other.

She is of course a war grave now, and cannot be disturbed - and is protected by some 5000ft of water in this regard. had published a theory on the wreck's location a long time ago, and that theory is now proven correct, although most did not subscribe to it :)

May 2015.

Amazing videos of the wreck of U-166
Below are links to external websites with news about its discovery and a NOVA documentary first shown in May 2015
Discovery of the U-166
NOVA documentary about U-166

Annoucements related to this boat

U-166 wreck located (9 Jun 2001)

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-166 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

Media links

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

Torpedoes in the Gulf

Wiggins, Melanie

There was another U-166 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 6 Sep 1918 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 21 Mar 1919. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 166 during WWI.

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