SECRET
BRITISH MOST SECRET
 
15 September, 1943
 
     
 
PRELIMINARY REPORT
 
 
 
 
INTERROGATION OF SURVIVORS FROM
 
 
U-604
 
 
Scuttled by its crew in general area 050 S. - 200 W., 11 August 1943.
 
 
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  I. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.  
     
          U-604 was scuttled by its crew in general area 050 S. - 200 W., 11 August 1943. She was on her 6th patrol. She had sunk a total of 65,000 tons.  
     
          Crew of U-604 was taken aboard U-185 which later transferred 23 to U-EMMERMANN. OF the 23 who remained with U-185, one officer and 8 men survived the sinking of U-185, 24 August 1943, and were available for interrogation in the U.S. 10 September 1943.  
     
          All survivors from U-604 stated on first interrogation that they were members of the crew of U-185 with whom they had been rescued. They obviously had been instructed by their officers to do this.  
     
          The commanding officer of U-604, Kapitänleutnant Horst HÖLTRING, was said by survivors to have shot and killed himself after shooting two wounded crew members of U-185, aboard U-185, a few minutes before she sank.  
     
  II. DETAILS OF U-604.  
 
Number:   604
Tonnage:   500 tons.
Type:   VII C.
C.O.   Kapitänleutnant Horst HÖLTRING (casualty)
Building Yard:   Blohm & Voss, Hamburg.
Flotilla:   9th, at Brest.
Conning Tower Device:   Saw (Sword) fish of the 9th Flotilla.
Armament:   20 mm. AA on Platform I.
    20 mm. AA. on Platform II.
    two M.G. 81 on bridge.
    Two demountable M.G. 15
G.S.R.:   Fitted.
Radar:   Claimed by one prisoner to have been fitted.
Hydrophones:   G.H.G. fitted.
Radar decoy balloons:   50 carried.
S.B.T.:   Probably not fitted.
Diesels:   G.W.
 
     
  III. HISTORY.  
 
Launched:   Probably late October 1941.
 
     
 
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Commissioned:   8 January 1942.
Trials:   January - June 1942, in Baltic.
Final overhaul:   July 1942 at Hamburg.
 
     
  IV. FIRST PATROL.  
          Left Kiel late July 1942. Put into Kristiansand, then proceeded to Atlantic. Sank two ships, 12,000 tons and 5,000 tons, from one convoy on same day. Put into Brest about 20 September 1942.  
     
  V. SECOND PATROL.  
          Left Brest about 26 October 1942. Sank three ships, 9,000 tons, 11,000 tons, 5,000 tons, from one convoy. Returned to Brest about 16 November 1942 with several torpedoes.  
     
  VI. THIRD PATROL.  
          Left Brest and of November 1942. Sank 16,000 ton troop transport in North Atlantic. Returned to Brest early January 1943.  
     
  VII. FOURTH PATROL.  
          Left Brest 1600, 8 February 1943. Sighted convoy about 19 February. Served as contact keeper for Pack. Slightly damaged by 25 depth-charges 21 February. Sank 7,000 ton ship sailing alone, 23 February. Bombed by A/C 24 February, sustained further damage from five bombs. Returned to Brest 9 March 1943.  
     
  VIII. FIFTH PATROL.  
          Departure from Brest, scheduled for 20 April, postponed because of faulty Diesel compressor. Left Brest 22 April. One Diesel developed serious trouble. Returned to Brest 28 April.  
     
  IX. SIXTH AND LAST PATROL.  
          Left Brest 0900, 24 June. Took on oil and provisions from a supply boat about three weeks out. Crossed Equator 22 July. 30 July attacked by a plane. (ONI note: position believed to have been 11.25 S. - 34.55 W.) C.O. wounded in arm. Tanks seriously damaged; I.W.O. and a Bootsmaat killed on bridge by M.G. fire. HÖLTRING told B.d.U. he was unable to bring U-604 home and B.d.U. promised aid.  
     
          3 August about noon, attacked by aircraft. (ONI note: position believed to have been 09.33 S. - 30.37 W. Damage is believed to have been inflicted by six bombs.) U-604 remained submerged, with the exception of a few minutes, from the time of the attack until the following morning. Hydrophone noises were heard. When U-604 surfaced during the night she was fired on by artillery, which survivors believe was aimed by Radar by surface craft which had been holding U-604 down. U-604 released several Radar Decoy Balloons and submerged. U-604 surfaced safely the following morning, 4 August, the men having counted about 17 depth-charges in the course of the night.  
     
          On 11 August U-604 met U-185 and transferred all provisions and oil to the later. U-EMMERMANN (ONI note: believed to be U-172) appeared in time to receive some of U-604's supplies. Shortly before the transfer was completed,  
     
 
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  a single Liberator attacked with bombs. EMMERMANN submerged, but U-604 and U-185 shot the plane down. The crew of U-604 then swam to U-185 while the Engineer Officer scuttled U-604. U-185 started homeward. (ONI note: on 11 August a VLR plane from Natal was sent out to the eastward to locate two U-boats in general area 05 S. - 20 W. This plane never was heard of again, and probably was the one shot down by U-604 and U-185).  
     
          A few days later U-185 met U-EMMERMANN, to which 23 of U-604 survivors were transferred.  
     
          On 24 August 1943 U-185 was sunk by aircraft from U.S.S. CORE in approximately 27 N. - 37.06 W. HÖLTRING is said to have shot two wounded members of the crew of U-185, then to have shot himself. Eight men and one officer from U-604 were rescued with survivors from U-185.  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
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