Events on this day

17 October

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This is a run-down from several databases on our site. It's meant to give a clear picture of events on this date, all year round.

U-boat Shipyard report

Ordered (0) Laid down (6) Launched (2) Commissioned (1)
No U-boat orders on this date1941: U-637
1942: U-291, U-477, U-989, U-990
1944: U-3525
1942: U-487, U-4881944: U-2514
These are commissioned boats. For more see our Shipyard pages.

Allied Ships hit on this date

 U-boatCommanderName of shipTonsCountryConvoy
 U-37HartmannYorkshire 10,183   brHG-3
 U-46SohlerCity of Mandalay 7,028   brHG-3
 U-48SchultzeClan Chisholm 7,256   brHG-3
 U-38LiebeAenos 3,554   grSC-7
 U-48BleichrodtLanguedoc 9,512   brSC-7
 U-48BleichrodtScoresby 3,843   brSC-7
 U-93KorthDokka 1,168   nwOB-228
 U-93KorthUskbridge 2,715   brOB-228
 U-432SchultzeBarfonn 9,739   nwSC-48
 U-432SchultzeBold Venture 3,222   paSC-48
 U-432SchultzeEvros 5,283   grSC-48
 U-553ThurmannHMS Gladiolus (K 34) 925   brSC-48
 U-558KrechErviken 6,595   nwSC-48
 U-558KrechRym 1,369   nwSC-48
 U-558KrechW.C. Teagle 9,552   brSC-48
 U-568PreussUSS Kearny (DD 432) (d)1,630   amSC-48
 U-97HeilmannPass of Balmaha 758   brCultivate
 U-97HeilmannSamos 1,208   grCultivate
 U-504PoskeEmpire Chaucer 5,970   br
 U-1165HomannBMO-512 53   sj
* Unless otherwise noted the ships listed here were sunk. (d) = damaged

See all Allied ships hit by U-boats during WWII.

Attacks on this day


U-93. During an action against convoy OB 228 U-93 was attacked three times: in the early morning three escorts dropped 19 depth charges, at 1015 hrs another escort dropped seven depth charges, and in the evening a Sunderland flying boat dropped one bomb. U-93 survived completely unscathed.

U-124. 08.55 hrs, mid Atlantic south of Iceland: the boat encountered the British River Class submarine HMS Clyde while acting as a weather boat. Assuming the vessel to be a destroyer, U-124 dived immediately, and remained unaware that the submarine had fired three torpedoes at her at 09.06 hrs. (KTB U-124/Patrol report HMS Clyde)


U-553. After a successful attack on convoy SC 48, the boat dived to 90m (295ft) to avoid a destroyer which approached. Three depth charges were dropped at the diving position, detonating high above the U-boat which escaped further attacks by passing under the convoy. The destroyer was probably USS Kearny, which dropped a single depth charge at 00.22 hrs. (KTB U-553/ADM 237-164)

U-432. At 05.30 hrs the boat was sighted by HMS Broadwater off the port beam of convoy SC 48. The destroyers forward gun was inoperable due to weather damage and the starboard 4in gun jammed when firing a star shell, so she tried to ram U-432, which turned inside the destroyers radius, and then quickly dived after attempting to escape at full speed on the surface. HMS Broadwater immediately launched a pattern of five depth charges. Although two jammed on the rails, the other three temporarily disabled the rudder controls and the electric motors, forcing the boat down from a depth of 45 metres to 70 m (230 ft).
Although Broadwater then lost Asdic contact, HMS Abelia made contact 30 minutes later, and after dropping five depth charges reported oil on the surface at 08.03 hrs. She then dropped two patterns of five and eight depth charges at 08.34 and 08.43 hrs. It is also possible that some of the attacks carried out by USS Livermore and USS Decatur during that morning were against U-432. These attacks kept the U-boat submerged for the whole morning. On surfacing at 13.00 hrs, it was noticed that the contents of a fuel ballast tank had been lost, which would have betrayed their position through a trail of oil. Both compressors were also out of order, and the boat could only reach a speed of 12 knots (22kph) until repairs could be made and she was able to continue her patrol. (KTB U-432/ADM 237-164)

U-568. At 05.49 hrs, mid Atlantic, south of Iceland: the boat was sighted by HMCS Pictou on the port side of the convoy SC 48 and tried to escape at full speed on the surface into a rain squall. The corvette immediately pursued U-568, and fired six rounds from the 4in gun, all of which missed. At 06.02 hrs, the U-boat fired a stern torpedo, which was seen on HMCS Pictou to pass 15ft (5m) to port, and the boat dived shortly thereafter after turning sharply to starboard. U-568 had reached 40m (131ft) when the first pattern of five depth charges detonated at the diving point, and the second pattern of five charges detonated too shallow to cause any damage. No further attacks were carried out because HMCS Pictous Asdic broke down and HMS Highlander and HMCS Wetaskiwin were unable to obtain a contact. U-568 had already surfaced 45 minutes after the attack, sighted two corvettes, and escaped on the surface. (KTB U-568/ADM 237-164)

U-751. At 17.00 hrs the boat was sighted by HMS Veronica, which was en route to rejoin convoy SC 48, and crash dived when the corvette approached. The escort then dropped 34 depth charges during five attacks between 17.18 and 17.53 hrs, observed oil on the surface, and then returned to the convoy because she only had twelve depth charges left. None of the attacks were accurate and U-751 escaped undamaged. Unknown to both, U-502 was nearby after diving to avoid aircraft and heard the depth charges. This U-boat had a problem with an untraceable fuel leak, and it is likely this was the source of the oil observed by HMS Veronica. (KTB U-751 & U-502/ADM 237-164)


U-609. Depth charges from HMS Celandine severely damaged U-609 in the action against convoy ONS 137.


U-281. At 19.10 hrs U-281 was attacked by a B-24 Liberator near convoy ONS 20. The boat put up flak, and the two depth charges dropped fell short, but the II WO and two of the crew were wounded by strafing before the boat escaped by diving. (Ritschel)

U-448. Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
Canadian Sunderland JM712 (RCAF Sqdn 422/S, pilot F/L P.T. Sargent)

The flying boat attacked U-448 at 12.48 hrs after obtaining a radar contact near convoy ONS 20. U-281 was nearby and assisted by putting up flak during the first attack run. The four depth charges dropped fell short, so the aircraft turned around for a second run, exchanging gunfire with both boats. The Sunderland then dropped two depth charges on U-448, but was heavily hit by flak, which killed the nose gunner and mortally wounded the navigator. The pilot had to ditch in heavy seas near the convoy. He and two aircrew died in the crash, but the remaining seven were picked up by HMS Drury. U-448 was seriously damaged by the last two depth charges and was forced to return to base. Strafing killed one man and wounded two. [Oberbootsmaat Fritz Döhler] (Franks/Zimmerman)

U-boats lost

1943: U-540 +, U-631 +, U-841

136 men died when those 3 U-boats were lost on this date. 27 men survived.

Survivors from U-boats almost always landed in allied captivity.
U-boats marked with + were lost with all hands.

- For more information on U-boat losses check out our Fates section.

U-boat Men Lost or Wounded


A lookout broke an arm during heavy weather.

- For more information on Men lost from U-boats check out this page.

Personnel Information

The following men were born on this day:
Harald Bosüner (1913), Karl Brockmann (1914), Kurt Diggins (1912), Hans-Joachim Ebersbach (1918), Harro Müller-Koelbl (1919), Philipp Schüler (1911).

The following men died on this day:
Werner Bender (1943), Hermann Ellerlage (1982), Lorenz Kasch (1943), Jürgen Krueger (1943).

See the entire U-boat commander listing showing all U-boat commanders.
We might include more officers (Allied and Axis) at a later date.

U-boat departures and arrivals on 17 October

This section shows the U-boat departures and arrivals from bases on this day of the year. Current country names shown with harbour names. Boats entering port display days at sea during that patrol.


From Wilhelmshaven, Germany: U-34

U-boats entering base:
To Kiel, Germany: U-20 (19 days)
To Wilhelmshaven, Germany: U-47 (10 days)


From Bergen, Norway: U-59

U-boats entering base:
To Lorient, France: U-137 (9 days)


From Bergen, Norway: U-354, U-606
From Kiel, Germany: U-224, U-383, U-412 (lost 6 days later), U-519
From Lorient, France: U-163, U-508
From Skjomenford: U-378

U-boats entering base:
To Lorient, France: U-175 (64 days)
To St. Nazaire, France: U-461 (41 days)


From Brest, France: U-441, U-450, U-732 (lost days later)
From La Pallice: U-530
From St. Nazaire, France: U-340 (lost 17 days later)
From Trondheim, Norway: U-601


From Flensburg, Germany: U-218, U-804, U-857
From Kiel, Germany: U-1061
From Narvik, Norway: U-312
From Trondheim, Norway: U-957

U-boats entering base:
To Bergen, Norway: U-256 (44 days), U-260 (45 days), U-1060 (6 days), U-1200 (11 days), U-1231 (3 days)
To Danzig, Germany: U-717 (18 days)

U-boats at sea on 17 October

Boats entering port on this day are not counted, but boats departing for patrol are. (+) indicates the boat was lost during this patrol.


U-18, U-19, U-34, U-37, U-46, U-48.
6 boats at sea.


U-28, U-37, U-38, U-43, U-46, U-47, U-48, U-58, U-59, U-65, U-93, U-99, U-100, U-101, U-103, U-123, U-124, U-138.
18 boats at sea.


U-38, U-66, U-68, U-71, U-73, U-75, U-77, U-79, U-82, U-83, U-84, U-85, U-97, U-101, U-103, U-107, U-108, U-109, U-123, U-125, U-126, U-132, U-202, U-204 (+), U-206, U-208, U-371, U-374, U-432, U-502, U-553, U-558, U-559, U-563, U-564, U-568, U-569, U-573, U-576, U-751.
40 boats at sea.


U-43, U-67, U-68, U-69, U-71, U-77, U-81, U-84, U-87, U-89, U-106, U-107, U-117, U-125, U-126, U-128, U-129, U-132 (+), U-134, U-154, U-156, U-159, U-160, U-161, U-163, U-172, U-174, U-177, U-178, U-181, U-183, U-201, U-202, U-203, U-212, U-216 (+), U-221, U-224, U-254, U-257, U-258, U-260, U-301, U-332, U-333, U-356, U-377, U-381, U-382, U-383, U-402, U-409, U-410, U-412 (+), U-431, U-436, U-437, U-438, U-441, U-442, U-443, U-454, U-455, U-459, U-463, U-504, U-505, U-506, U-508, U-509, U-510, U-513, U-514, U-516, U-517, U-518, U-519, U-520 (+), U-521, U-522, U-552, U-559 (+), U-562, U-563, U-571, U-572, U-575, U-586, U-590, U-592, U-599 (+), U-602, U-604, U-606, U-607, U-609, U-610, U-615, U-618, U-620, U-621, U-622, U-624, U-627 (+), U-658 (+), U-659, U-662, U-704, U-706, U-753, U-757, UD-3, UD-5.
113 boats at sea.


U-9, U-23, U-24, U-68, U-73, U-91, U-103, U-123, U-129, U-154, U-155, U-168, U-170, U-183, U-188, U-190, U-193, U-196, U-211 (+), U-212, U-214, U-218, U-220 (+), U-226 (+), U-231, U-256, U-260, U-262, U-267, U-271, U-274 (+), U-275, U-280 (+), U-281, U-282 (+), U-305, U-306 (+), U-309, U-340 (+), U-355, U-360, U-371, U-373, U-378 (+), U-405 (+), U-413, U-420 (+), U-426, U-431 (+), U-437, U-441, U-448, U-450, U-455, U-466, U-488, U-505, U-516, U-518, U-530, U-532, U-536 (+), U-537, U-539, U-552, U-575, U-584 (+), U-592, U-603, U-608, U-641, U-645, U-648 (+), U-709, U-713, U-714, U-731, U-732 (+), U-737, U-758, U-762, U-842 (+), U-843, U-848 (+), U-849 (+), U-952, U-953, U-956, U-963, U-966 (+), U-967, U-969.
92 boats at sea.


U-155, U-170, U-195, U-219, U-245, U-246, U-262, U-267, U-281, U-290, U-293, U-294, U-295, U-299, U-300, U-309, U-310, U-312, U-313, U-315, U-363, U-365, U-370, U-382, U-387, U-425, U-475, U-481, U-483, U-518, U-534, U-541, U-546, U-636, U-668, U-673, U-676, U-714, U-722, U-737, U-745, U-771 (+), U-773, U-802, U-956, U-958, U-968, U-978, U-985, U-991, U-995, U-997, U-1001, U-1003, U-1004, U-1061, U-1163, U-1165, U-1199, U-1221, U-1223, U-1226 (+), U-1227, U-1228, U-1230.
65 boats at sea.

General Events on 17 October


The German Naval Staff authorised the use of all weapons against all enemy merchant ships except passenger ships.

Shortly after midnight U-46 fired three torpedoes at a British cruiser, but all missed.


A flight of four Junkers Ju 88s bombed the Royal Navy home fleet base at Scapa Flow. This was one of the first air attacks on Britain in the war. The obsolete battleship HMS Iron Duke, which was being used as a depot ship, was damaged, and one bomber was lost.


On the way from Gotenhafen to Kiel, U-450 collided with the German ship Peter from Hamburg.


The trial of Kptlt. Eck and officers of U-852 for their actions after the Peleus sinking started.


The French submarine Roland Morrilot (formerly U-2518) was stricken from service. She was broken up in 1968 as Q426.


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