Convoy battles


Outward, northbound (North Atlantic and UK coastal waters)

15 Dec 1942 - 21 Dec 1942

The Convoy43 ships
First sightingOn 15 Dec 1942 by U-609
EscortsThe British escort group B7 consisting of the destroyers Firedrake and Ripley, and the corvettes Sunflower, Loosestrife, Alisma and Pink.


The wolfpack Raufbold of 13 boats U-135 (Oblt Schutt), U-203 (KptLt Kottmann), U-211 (KptLt Hause) *, U-356 (Oblt Ruppelt) *, U-409 (Oblt Massmann), U-410 (KptLt Sturm), U-439 (KptLt Spam), U-600 (KptLt Zurmuhlen), U-609 (KptLt Rudloff) *, U-610 (Kptlt von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen ) *, U-621 (KptLt Schunemann) *, U-623 (Oblt Schroder), U-664 (Oblt Graef) *,

* U-boats that fired torpedo or used the deck gun

The battle

After the first sighting, U-609 keeps contact until the evening of the 16th and in spite of heavy seas, brings up U-356, U-610, U-621 and U-664.

As soon as darkness falls, the boats attack. First U-356 sinks a tanker, then U-610 torpedoes another tanker and U-621 sinks a freighter with 2 torpedoes. The ship damaged by U-610 is taken in tow and reaches a harbour.

During night, U-211 attacks from the front and sinks the leading destroyer Firedrake, who has to be scuttled by the corvette Sunflower.

Further attacks are frustrated by a strong gale reaching 10 Beauport. U-609 manages to keep contact in turns with U-621, but an attack fails in the gale and they get no more boats to the convoy. Finally, U-621 sinks 2 stragglers.

Article compiled by Tom Linclau

Ships hit from convoy ON-153

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat.Map
16 Dec 1942U-610Walter Freiherr von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen Bello6,125nwA
16 Dec 1942U-610Walter Freiherr von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen Regent Lion (d.)9,551brB
16 Dec 1942U-664Adolf Graef Emile Francqui5,859beC
17 Dec 1942U-211Karl Hause HMS Firedrake (H 79)1,350brD
20 Dec 1942U-621Max Kruschka Otina6,217brE

4 ships sunk (19,551 tons) and 1 ship damaged (9,551 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

49 convoys on route ON were hit by U-boats in the war. Read more about them.

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