This record was kindly provided by the generous assistance of Tony Cooper and Roger Griffiths

These photos were taken aboard U-459 and are from the estate of a crewmember.  They appear courtesy of Robin Fin. 






U - 4 5 9
September, 1943.



  Deck Plan
      (a)  Guns
      (b)  Gun Deck Levels
      (c)  Torpedoes
      (d)  Torpedo Tubes
      (a)  Diesels
      (b)  Motors
      (c)  Switchboards
      (d)  Batteries
  Bilge Pumps
  Oil Pumps (for oil transfer)
  Ballast and Fuel Tanks
  Total Fuel Carrying Capacity
  Welding Equipment
  Oxygen Equipment
  W/T Equipment
  W/T Aerial
  Rubber Dinghies
  Conning Tower Badge
  Field Post Number
  U.459 Sails on Last Patrol with U.117
  Sabotage Discovered
  Operational Orders Changed
  An Aircraft Crashes On U.459
  Second Aircraft Attack
  Refueling by Supply U-boats
      (a)  Arranging Rendezvous
      (b)  Accounts of Fuel Supplied
      (c)  Description of Hose
      (d)  Method of Transfer
      (e)  Transfer of Lubricating Oil
  Transfer of Torpedoes at Sea
  Special Bridge Watch in the Bay of Biscay
  Quadruple 20 mm. Gun's Crew
  Gun Drill
  M.G.81 Ammunition
  Diving Course
  M.A.N. Works at Augsburg
  M.A.N. Mechanically-Driven Diesel Supercharger
  Acoustic Torpedoes
  U-boat Batteries
  Experimental U-boats
  1,200-ton U-boats



  Cruiser "KÖLN"
  Cruiser "LEIPZIG"
  Cruiser "NÜRNBERG
  Cruiser "PRINZ EUGEN"
  Narvik Class Destroyers
  Patrol Vessels ("Vorpostenboote")
  Dutch Fishing Boats
      (a)  12th Flotilla
      (b)  13th Flotilla
      (c)  Camouflage numbers
      (d)  U-boat Shelters
      (d)  Services' Prison
      (e)  Sabotage
  St. Nazaire
  Gas against Aircraft
  Air-raid Damage
APPENDIX "A" - Building and Working up of U.459
  APPENDIX "B" - Previous Patrols of U.459
  First Patrol
  Second Patrol
  Third Patrol
  Fourth Patrol
  Fifth Patrol
  APPENDIX "C" - Ship's Company of U-459
  First Lieutenant
  Second Lieutenant
  Junior Officer
  Senior Engineer Officer
  Junior Engineer Officer
  Surgeon Lieutenant
APPENDIX "D" - Nominal Roll of U.459



        U.459, a 1,600-ton supply U-boat commanded by Korvettenkapitän der Reserve George von Wilamowitz-Möllendorf, was sunk at 1750 Zone Time on 24th July, 1943, in position 45047'N., 010038'W., by Wellington Q of 172 Squadron and Wellington V of 547 Squadron.  Five officers, including a Surgeon, and thirty-two ratings were later picked up by O.R.P. "ORKAN".  The ship's company had totaled fifty-nine.  The Captain, probably the oldest U-boat commanding officer, did not survive.  
          U.459 was on her sixth patrol.  Survivors claimed that she had spent 330 days at sea in all, and during this time had supplied U-boats seventy-five times.  
          A feature of this report is further details of fueling U-boats at sea.  (Section V (i)).  
          Equivalent German and Royal Navy ranks used in this report are:  
Lieutenant Commander
Oberleutnant zur See
Leutnant zur See
Junior Sub-Lieutenant.
Oberfähnrich zur See
Senior Midshipman.
Fähnrich zur See
Junior Midshipman.
Surgeon Lieutenant.
          In addition, Marinestabsarzt is the equivalent rank of Surgeon-Lieutenant.  
          The suffix "(Ing.)" after a rank in place of "zur See" denotes an Engineer Officer.  The suffix "der Reserve" denotes an Officer of the Reserve.  
(i) Type: XIV
(ii) Displacement: 1,600 tons.
(iii) Builders: Deutsche Werke, Kiel (Series U.459 to U.464)
(iv)    Deck Plan:        U.459 conformed in main features to U.464 (See C.B. 4051 (50).).  Compartments from stern to stem were:  (1)  Workshop; (2)  Motor Rooms; (3)  Engine Room; (4) Galley; (5)  Control Room with Pumps, Magazine and provisions below; (6)  Captain's and officers cabins on port side - W/T and Hydrophone Room on starboard side. Wardroom port side - with after Battery Room below; (7)  Petty Officers' Mess starboard side Chief Petty Officers' Mess port side with forward battery below; (8)  Bow Compartment and Ratings' Mess.  Provisions were stored below the mess in the bow compartment.  
(v)    Armament:  
        (a):        One 37 mm. (1,45") forward.  
                     Two twin M.G.81's on Bridge, one of these being generally kept below for cleaning.  
                     Two 20 mm. (0.79") single mounting, one each side of the upper bandstand.  
                     One 20 mm. quadruple mounting on lower bandstand.  This was the only mounting to have any armour  
protection/ . . .
- 1 -


protection.  It had shields on each side but not to the rear.  In front, the gunlayer had to rely on the guns themselves for protection.  (N.I.D. Note:  This gun is more fully described in C.B. (74), Section II.)
        The above armament was mounted in U.459 following her fifth patrol.  Previously she had carried one 37 mm. gun forward, one 37 mm. gun aft, and four M.G. C.34's mounted on the bridge as required.
        (b)  Gun Deck Levels:
        The deck of the bandstand was flush with that of the bridge.  The deck of the additional bandstand was 3 feet below that of the bandstand proper.
        (c)  Torpedoes:
        Four had been carried in deck containers on all patrols except the send and the last.
        These were for transfer to other U-boats.  Prior to the last patrol the deck containers were removed.
        (d)  Torpedoes:        None.
(vi)    Propulsion:
        (a)  Diesels:        Two 6-cylinder G.W. Diesels, with Rootes type superchargers.
          A Stoker Petty Officer prisoner said that G.W. Diesels were altogether heavier than M.A.N. Diesels and he considered them much robuster.  They had, however, cracked two cylinder heads on their first patrol.  After the third patrol they had withdrawn a few cylinder liners for inspection, but had replaced them again and had had no trouble since.  
          (b)  Motors:        Two 500 H.P. Siemens.  
          (c)  Switchboards:        Siemens.  
          (d)  Batteries:        Two, each containing sixty-two cells with a total capacity of 13,000 ampere hours.  One Battery was below the Petty Officers' Mess forward and the other below the W/T room.  Maximum discharge rate was 1,200 amperes for one hour and maximum temperature allowed when charging was 460C.  The batteries were manufactured by A.F.A. of Hagen, Westphalia.  
  (vii)    Compressors:        Two Junkers Free Piston Compressors and two electrically driven compressors.  
  (viii)    Bilge Pumps:        One main and one auxiliary bilge pump in the Control Room.  
  (ix)    Oil Pumps (for oil transfer):  
          These supplied at 2 Kg./cm2 (28.4 lbs/sq. in.).  Rate of supply of fuel was about 15/20 m3 (13/17 tons) per hour, the pumps working at 1-1/2 to 2 atmospheres (21/29 lbs/  
  (x)    Ballast and Fuel Tanks:        There were eight external ballast and fuel tanks.  
  (xi)    Total Fuel Carrying Capacity:        740 m3 (629 tons).  
(xii)    Hoses/ . . .
- 2 -


(xii)    Hoses:        One for fuel, one for lubricating oil and two spares.  The diameter of the fuel hose was 15 cm.  (5.91").
(xiii)    Workshops:        This was in the stern and contained a lathe and small boring mill.
(xiv)    Welding Equipment:        Three acetylene bottles under the bridge structure.
(xv)    Oxygen Equipment:        Three groups of four bottles inside the U-boat.
(xvi)    G.S.R.        Metox R.600.A carried with fixed drum-shaped aerial.  The set was fitted with an oscillograph with a scale graduated from 0 to 100.  There was also a Magic Eye, tube Tuna
        U.459's set had previously been intended for a destroyer.  Four spare G.S.R. sets and two or three spare aerials complete with cable were usually carried for supply to other U-boats.
(xvii)    Radar:         None.  A prisoner said that no spare Radar sets were carried for other boats because the weight of one was the equivalent to that of two torpedoes.
(xviii)    W/T Equipment:
        All transmitters and receivers fitted were by Telefunken.  The range of the short wave transmitter was 20 to 80 meters approx. that of long wave transmitter 100 metres upwards.  An emergency transmitter, driven through rotary converter from a battery, worked on wavelengths between 20 and 60 metres.  A normal standard receiving set was carried.
        Some spare receiving sets were carried for supply to other U-boats.
  (xix)    W/T Aerial:        The jumping wire W/T aerial aft only extended to the railing of the lower bandstand owing to the mounting of the quadruple gun.  
  (xx)    Periscopes:        Two.  
  (xxi)    Rubber Dinghies:        About thirty aircraft type, each carrying up to three men, were stowed in various parts of the U-boat.  Only half of these were fir for use at the time of sinking owing to damage.  
  (xxii)    K.D.B.:        None  
  (xxiii)    C.H.G.:        Fitted.  
  (xxiv)    S.B.T.:        Fitted on starboard side in the Motor Room behind a switchboard.  The charges were stowed in the wardroom.  
  (xxv)    R.D.B.:        None.  
  (xxvi)    Provisions:        About 25 tons of provisions intended for supply to other U-boats were carried on the last patrol.  These provisions included such luxuries as fresh strawberries, pears, asparagus and brandy as well as other vegetables, roast chickens and rabbits.  Fresh provisions were stored in a refrigerator.  
          Provisions were transferred in a float in seas up to force 5.  Otherwise by means of a strong manila from bridge to bridge, the U-boats lying about 30 to 40 yards apart, depending on sea conditions.  
  (xxviii)    Conning Tower Badge:        An elephant and two palm trees.  
  (xxviii)    Field Post Number:        M.42590.  
/III. . . .
- 3 -


(i)    U.459 Sails on Last Patrol with U.117.
        U.459 sailed from Bordeaux at 0930 on 21st July, 1943, and after 7 - 8 hours sailing made fast to a buoy in the mouth of the Grionde estuary.  There she remained overnight.  She was stored for a patrol of eight weeks.
        In the forenoon of 22nd July she was joined by U.117, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Hans Neumann, who secured to a second buoy.  U.461, commanded by Korvettenkapitän der Reserve Wolf Stiebler, also arrived but put back almost at once owing to a leak in Diving Tank 6.  (N.I.D. Note:  U.461 was sunk on 30th July, 1943, survivors being captured.)
        At about 1430 U.459 slipped moorings and proceeded to sea.  She was shortly overtaken by U.117.  Escort consisted of one Sperrbrecher, two destroyers and four minesweepers.  The following line ahead formation was taken up:  The Sperrbrecher, one destroyer, U.117, U.459 and the second destroyer astern.  Two minesweepers took station on each beam.  There was no air escort.  Speed of the group was about 10 - 12 knots, the ships being about 500 yards apart.  Shortly after midnight on 23rd July the escort parted company and the two U-boats dived.
(ii)    Sabotage Discovered.
        In U.459 it was found that the air quick release valve had failed to close properly and that the U-boat was shipping water rapidly.  On surfacing it was found that the boat had been very cleverly sabotaged by the insertion of a thick piece of copper wire bound round part of the valve seating.  This piece of wire having been removed, U.459 dived successfully.  The incident was reported by signal to the Bordeaux base.
(iii)    Operational Orders Changed.
        A prisoner said that, prior to diving, a signal was received to the effect that the operational area had been changed and they were to steer south.  Another prisoner said that he had heard that they were to follow another U-boat to the South Atlantic, which would eventually need supplying.
        In pursuance of her orders, U.117 turned south.  Wilamowitz-Möllendorf decided to continue on a westerly course for a few more hours.  U.459 surfaced for a short period on 24th July, diving again at 0800.  She once more surfaced at about 1500.
IV./ . . .
- 4 -


(i)    An Aircraft Crashes On U.459.
        At about 1715 U.459 was surprised and attacked by an aircraft approaching fine on the starboard bow, which, in spite of fire from the single 20 mm. guns, pressed home a very determined attack.  (N.I.D. Note:  This aircraft was Wellington Q of 172 Squadron.)  The aircraft had achieved almost complete surprise, for there was no time to bring the quadruple 20 mm. gun to bear.  Ratings were still trying to get additional ammunition supplies up through the conning tower when there was a tremendous explosion.  Few prisoners have been able to give any coherent account of what actually happened, but it is known that the aircraft struck the bandstand on the starboard side, carrying away the single 20 mm. gun, then slowed round and tore the quadruple gun from its mounting and finally crashed into the sea.  Three depth charges became detached, two falling on the bandstand and one right aft.  All ratings abaft the bridge were killed by the impact of the aircraft.  Because of this fact it has not been possible to establish satisfactorily whether the aircraft was brought down by A/A fire, or by the dry explosion of a depth charge, or whether it crashed owing to an error of judgment of the pilot.
        (N.I.D. Note:  The Air Gunner, sole survivor of Q/172, stated that when attacking, the Captain reported over inter-communication that the U-boat was preparing to fight.  At 1000 yards pieces started to fly off the fuselage when at a height of 100 feet.  There was an explosion and he lost consciousness, coming to in the water to find himself beside a dinghy.)
        At the time of the crash U.459 was proceeding slow ahead.  In the brief moment of panic which ensued, the three depth charges were precipitately thrown overboard, and one at least exploded under the stern, wrecking the steering gear and causing considerable damage in the engine room.  Switchboards in the electric motor room caught fire and the Diesels were jolted from their bases.  Out of control, the U-boat began to turn in circles, and because of this no attempt could be made to rescue the single R.A.F. survivor who was observed floating in a dinghy.  Wilamowitz-Möllendorf was still reluctant to abandon ship.  He believed that a chance remained that the damage could be repaired and possibly that the U-boat could make base on the surface.  Accordingly he ordered a signal to be made requesting air escort at the earliest possible moment.  As a precaution, however, he ordered all the thirty rubber dinghies to be brought on deck.  The fire in the electric motor room was got under control, although acetylene bottles beside the bridge, which had been fired by the aircraft, were still burning.
(ii)    Second Aircraft Attack.
        Hopes were dashed when a second aircraft appeared, dropped two or three depth charges wide of the U-boat and then returned to machine gun the decks.  (N.I.D. Note:  This aircraft was V of 547 Squadron.)  Machine gun fire destroyed a considerable number of the dinghies and penetrated the external tanks.  Some ratings tried to clear away the 37 mm. gun, but they were either killed or wounded by a further burst of fire.  It was this attack which decided Wilamowitz-Möllendorf to abandon ship.  A signal reporting sinking and the shooting down of one aircraft was made, although the transmitter was damaged and working only at very low strength.  It was doubted whether the signal was ever picked up.
        Wilamowitz-Möllendorf then ordered every man into the water.  He himself remained on the bridge and, having saluted his men as they pulled away in the remaining rubber dinghies, went below to scuttle the U-boat.  He was never seen again by survivors and it was thought that he made no attempt to save himself.  The U-boat remained about five minutes above water.  There was then a sharp explosion and black smoke poured from the conning tower.  U.459 then settled rapidly and finally sank by the stern.
        The sinking took place at approximately 1730.  A short while afterwards a third aircraft appeared, dropped two smoke floats and flashed the letters "O.K."
Survivors/ . . .
- 5 -


        Survivors were rescued some 7-1/2 hours later, by O.R.P. "ORKAN".  (N.I.D. Note:  O.R.P. "ORKAN" reported picking up one R.A.F. man and 37 Germans in position 45047'N., 010037'W. at 0230 on 25th July, 1943)
(i)    Refueling by Supply U-boats.
        (a)  Arranging Rendezvous.  U-boats generally signal Control at the latest when their fuel supply is down to about 10 tons, requesting a rendezvous with a supply U-boat.  Control then signals a supply U-boat and the U-boat in need of supply, instructing them to proceed to a certain position.  The use of U/T is forbidden in making rendezvous, and the U-boats have to rely on Aldis lamps for establishing contact.  Under no circumstances must a supply U-boat contact other boats direct.  All instructions must proceed via Control.  No special time is arranged for Control to contact supply U-boats.  The latter must always have their sets manned awaiting incoming signals.
        (b)  Amounts of Fuel Supplied.  U-boat may be supplied with any quantity from 8 to 80 tons of fuel, these being the extremes supplied by U.459.  A prisoner said that he had heard that U.511, when proceeding to Japan, had been supplied with 85 tons of fuel by U.460.
        (c)  Description of Hose.  The hose used for the transfer of fuel is made up of various lengths connected together.  Those have an internal diameter of 3.5".  In the supply boat there is an additional 8 metre length of rubber impregnated linen hose, to which is connected an 8 metre length of armored hose to prevent damage through chafing, where the hose leaves the supply boat.
        Between the supply boat the the U-boat being fueled are connected five 16-metre lengths of non-armored hose, with a further 8 metre armored length, where the hose enters the boat being fueled.
        In the boat being fueled three further 16 metre lengths of non armored hose are used.
        Thus the total length of fueling hose is 152 metres (500 feet).
        When lubricating oil is to be transferred, a similar hose of 2.16" internal diameter is also passed across.
          (d)  Method of Transfer.  The hose is passed round the forward retractable bollards and then back along the deck to the fuel supply valve which is near the galley hatch.  Whilst fueling the U-boats proceed slowly ahead and the hose falls in a catenary, the extreme ends being entirely on the deck of the U-boats.  The two U-boats lie about 50 yards apart, depending on the sea.  The U-boat being supplied lies roughly with her bow abreast the stern of the supply U-boat.  The hose is passed from the supply U-boat using a rubber dinghy.  
          If a non-supply U-boat fuels another the hose is passed through the conning tower hatch and the oil is pumped into an internal tank the then distributed into tanks by hand pump, a very slow procedure.  
          In the event of having to crash-dive, the U-boat being supplied disconnects the hose and puts a cap on it.  This takes only a matter of seconds.  Previously, it had been the practice when fueling, for the supply U-boat to lie ahead, and for a steel hawser with a comparatively light hose stopped to it, to be veered to the U-boat being supplied.  
          It is not infrequent for the hose to get damaged or even wrapped round a screw when a U-boat with an inexperienced commanding officers is being refueled.  
The average/ . . .
- 6 -


        The average time taken between a supply U-boat meeting a U-boat and passing the hose across and connecting it, was said to be half an hour.  Fueling is effected at an average rate of 20 tons an hour.  To disconnect and get clear takes a further half hour.  Thus an average supply will take about three hours.
        (e)  Transfer of Lubricating Oil.  It was formerly the custom to stop the lubricating oil hose to the fuel hose, but now they are normally passed separately, as it is not always necessary to transfer lubricating oil.
         The supply U-boat carried about 15 tons of lubricating oil in internal tanks.
(ii)    Transfer of Torpedoes at Sea.
        A prisoner stated that U.459 only once transferred a torpedo to an operational U-boat.  That was on her third patrol.  The torpedo was hoisted outboard by means of a derrick on the conning tower.  The torpedo had two balloon floats secured to it, one at the head and the other at the tail.  A rubber dinghy supported its centre.
(iii)    Special Bridge Watch in the Bay of Biscay.
        In U.459 a bridge watch of six was on duty in the Bay of Biscay.  This consisted of four men, including the Officer of the Watch, on the bridge itself, and two men to serve the 20 mm. quadruple gun, standing by the helmsman.
(iv)    Quadruple 20 mm. Gun's Crew.
        There was a crew of four for the quadruple 20 mm. mounting.  Number one was the gunlayer and controlled elevation by means of a wheel on a vertical axis.  Number Two was the trainer, operating a wheel on a horizontal axis.  Three and Four were loading members, each man supplying two guns.
(v)    Gun Drill.
          The two 20 mm. guns on the bandstand were the first to be manned by four men of the watch on deck, two to a gun.  
          In the Bay of Biscay two extra men stood alongside the helmsman.  
          Upon an "aircraft alarm", one of the two alarmed the quadruple 20 mm. gun's crews by means of the loudspeaker, while the second man closed up at the gun and removed the housing stop, which was otherwise locked for diving.  While this was being done, the remainder of the gun's crew and supply numbers closed up.  
  (vi)    M.G.81 Ammunition.  
          A prisoner said that all M.G.81 ammunition was tracer.  
  (vii)    Diving Course.  
          A prisoner said that he had completed the normal German Naval Diver's course.  Using a standard rubber diver's suit he had descended to 100 ft.  He had been instructed in underwater cutting with oxy-acetylene lamp and also with the electric arc.  He was not able to say whether the electric arc had been D/C or A/C, but the current used was approximately 500 amps.  He had also experience in underwater electric welding, using covered electrodes with a 5 mm. diameter core and a current of about 250 amps.  
          He stated that he had never carried out any diving from U.459, even with escape apparatus, and that they had had no diving equipment on board.  
          Divers had to requalify every year to be considered proficient.  
(viii)/ . . .
- 7 -


(viii)    M.A.N. Works at Augsburg.
        A prisoner said that he had visited the M.A.N. Works at Augsburg in August, 1941.  At that time they had about twelve U-boat Diesels on the test bed at once.  He had also seen a big opposed piston Diesel, which he presumed was for a German cruiser.
        In an air raid in that year one machine shop had been smashed up, but only one man, an ex-soldier, had been killed.
(ix)    M.A.N. Mechanically-Driven Diesel Supercharger.
        A Stoker Petty Officer said that M.A.N. had developed their own mechanically-driven Diesel supercharger, as they wished to be free of their connection with the Buchi firm.  The M.A.N. superchargers were not yet fitted in any U-boats, as they had given a lot of trouble.
(x)    Acoustic Torpedoes.
       A Stoker Petty Officer said that he had heard of trials with acoustic torpedoes at the Hamburger Schiffsbau Versuchsanstalt.  An air raid had once been made on this station.
(xi)    U-boat Batteries.
          A Stoker Petty Officer said that nickel iron batteries were in future to be fitted to U-boats, although he did not think that any U-boat had yet been fitted with them.  Such batteries had a smaller capacity, weight for weight, than the present type, but they had considerable advantages against depth charge attack and severe overloading.  
  (xii)    Experimental U-boats.  
          A Stoker Petty Officer said that a main trouble with the experimental U-boat driven by liquid air and oil fuel, was that the type of clutch fitted had not been able to stand up to the increased performance of the engines.  A new type of clutch was now being constructed,  (N.I.D. Note:  There is no confirmation that liquid air has been employed in submarines.)  
  (xiii)    1,200-ton U-boats.  
          A prisoner said that 1,200-ton U-boats had been used to supplement Germany's trade with Japan.  Boats of this type which had traveled to the Far East had brought cargoes which chiefly consisted of gold and quinine.  On the outward journey they had taken torpedoes for supply to other U-boats.  
          The U-boats had also been used to bring the technicians of the Japanese two-man U-boat to Germany for consultations with German experts.  Other passengers were allegedly Indian Irredentist leaders.  The transport of the latter had given rise to the rumor that Gandhi had visited Germany.  
VI/ . . .
- 8 -


(i)    Cruiser "KÖLN".
        Stated to be not at present in commission.  (N.I.D. Note:  Reported by reconnaissance at Kiel 31st July, 1943).
(ii)    Cruiser "LEIPZIG".
        Stated to be not at present in commission.  (N.I.D. Note:  Reported at Gdynia 1st August, 1943 (C.3)).
(iii)    Cruiser "NURNBERG".
        At present used as a Cadet's training ship.  (N.I.D. Note:  Reported by reconnaissance to have left Swinemünde between 27th July and 18th August.
(iv)    Cruiser "PRINZ EUGEN".
        Said to be capable of maximum speed of 29.7 knots.  (N.I.D. Note:  Designed speed was 32 knots).
  (v)    Narvik Class Destroyers.  
          Prisoners thought that the destroyers which escorted them when leaving Bordeaux for their last patrol belonged to the Narvik class.  They said that U-boat men had a low opinion of the Bay of Biscay destroyer escorts as they invariably turned back and abandoned the U-boats if the R.A.F. threatened to make things unpleasantly hot for them.  (N.I.D. Note:  The destroyers termed "Narvik" by the Germans as the "Improved Roeder" or "Seetier" Class.)  
  (vi)    Patrol Vessels ("Vorpostenboote").  
          The armament of patrol vessels has been considerably reinforced of late.  They now mount a 105 mm. (4.14") gun forward, and 75 mm. (2.95") gun aft.  
  (vii)    Dutch Fishing Boats.  
          A prisoner said that German units based on Netherlands ports had in the past made money by clandestinely selling part of their fuel sully to Dutch fishing boats.  
VII/ . . .
- 9-


(i)    Bordeaux.
        (a)  12th Flotilla.  The 12th Flotilla, to which all Atlantic supply U-boats belong, is based at Bordeaux, (Field Post Number:  M.47587).  Senior Officer of the flotilla is Korvettenkapitän Claus SCHOLTZ.
        (b)  13th Flotilla.  The 13th Flotilla is in process of formation and will be based on Bordeaux as soon as a sufficient number of U-boat shelters have been built.
        (c)  Camouflage numbers.  Camouflage numbers are now being worn by Bordeaux U-boats.  U.459 was BX 6 in April and BX 24 in June, 1943.  A U-boat never wears the same number twice when entering Bordeaux.
        (d)  U-boat shelters.  On the 17th October, 1942, half one pen had been completed; on 20th April, 1943, four or five pens had been completed; on 3rd June, 1943, eight pens were completed and it was thought that in July, 1943, a total of eleven pens were ready for use.
        French workmen were not allowed in the U-boat shelters during construction, but once they were finished they were admitted if their duties required it.
        (e)  Services' Prison.  There is a special prison for "hard cases" of all three Services in Bordeaux.  Unpleasant conditions were said to obtain there.  Prisoners were chained wrists to ankles and received half rations only.  Food was of inferior quality.  The prison was known in naval slang as the "Löwenkäfig" (Lion's cage).  It was very often full.
        (f)  Sabotage.  In December, 1942, two freighters were said to have been sunk in Bordeaux harbour owing to sabotage.
  (ii)    St. Nazaire.  
          The shelters at St. Nazaire were said to be capable of accommodating two-1600 ton U-boats comfortably in one wet pen.  
  (iii)   Heligoland.  
         The shelters at Heligoland were said to be capable of berthing three or four U-boats.  
  (iv)    Kiel.  
          The C.O. of the Marine Schule at Kiel was said to be Admiral KAUFMANN.  
VIII/ . . .
- 10 -


(i)    Gas against Aircraft.
        One prisoner believed that Germany was employing a new secret weapon by means of which gas shells were fired at aircraft, causing their engines to fail.
(ii)    Air-raid Damage.
        A prisoner said that at Mannheim one factory making tractors, and a second making tyres for tractors and bulldozers had both been burnt to the ground in air-raids.
(iii)    Superstition.
        It was said that a superstition existed among U-boat men that if a boat was sunk, all of her company who had been awarded the Iron Cross First Class were bound to drown.  Before starting on the last patrol, one of U.459's ratings had written a letter to be sent to his relatives should he not come back.  This was regarded as an invitation to disaster.
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Building and Commissioning.
        U.459 was built by the Deutsche Werke, Kiel being one of the series U.459 to U.464.  It is not known when she was laid down or launched but prisoners stated that they were drafted to Kiel to stand by the boat in October, 1941, and that she was finally commissioned on 15th November, 1941.  Korvettenkapitän der Reserve WILAMOWITZ-MÖLLENDORF was in command.  (See also C.B. 4051 (50) Pages 6 and 9.)
Working up in the Baltic.
        Working up was completed in the Baltic by February, 1942.  During this time, U.459 visited both Hel Peninsular and Danzig, but not Rönne, on the island of Bornholm, where silent running tests are usually carried out.
        U.459 returned to Kiel in February for final adjustments.
  (i)    First Patrol.  
          U.459 left Kiel on 20 March, 1942, and reached the North Sea by passing through the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal.  She put into Heligoland for some hours while a faulty oil feed pipe was repaired.  
          Having reached the Atlantic she proceeded to an operational area off the Caribbee Islands and may have penetrated into the Caribbean Sea as far as the Gulf of Mexico.  Among others on this patrol she supplied U-boats commanded by Korvettenkapitän Reinhard SUHREN (U.564), and by Kapitänleutnant BECKER with oil and machine parts.  She also supplied U.432 (Kapitänleutnant Herman ECKHARDT) as that U-boat was returning from the North American coast.  (N.I.D. Note:  U.432 was sunk on 11th March, 1943; see C.B. 04051 (64)).  
          U.459 returned to St. Nazaire early in May, 1942.  
  (ii)    Second Patrol.  
          U.459 left St. Nazaire on 15th June, 1942.  She proceeded to a point about 300 miles E.S.E. of bermuda and supplied four or five U-boats with oil.  She carried no torpedoes.  She gave a complete compressor to one U-boat.  Survivors thought that it was on this patrol that U.552, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Erich TOPP, was supplied.  
          During this patrol the Captain told ship's company that he had intercepted a signal to the effect that a 500-ton U-boat had been about to torpedo a destroyer, but had become fouled in her propellers while submerged.  Later she got away.  
          U.459 returned to St. Nazaire early in August.  
  (iii)    Third Patrol.  
          U.459 left St. Nazaire towards the end of August, 1942, and proceeded to the South Atlantic.  It was claimed that she operated in the Cape Town area and was at one time 310 miles south of the Cape of Good Hope.  
          On her passage home U.459 supplied U.506 with 35 - 40 tons of fuel.  (N.I.D. Note:  U.506, commanded by Kapitänleutnant, Erich WUERDEMANN, was sunk on 12th July, 1943.  See C.B. 04051 (75)).  In the latitude of Madeira she refueled a  
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U-boat commanded by Kapitänleutnant CREMER (U.333).  CREMER's U-boat had been damaged by a destroyer and had lost two men.  These men were replaced by U.459, but they later rejoined in St. Nazaire.  They reported that on passage home CREMER's U-boat had been narrowly missed by a salvo of four torpedoes fired by an enemy submarine.
        At the beginning of November U.459 refueled U.706 (Kapitänleutnant von ZITZEWITZ).  (N.I.D. Note:  U.706 was sunk on 2nd August, 1943.  See also C.B. 04051 (80)).  U.459 was then herself obliged to refuel from another U-boat before returning to base.  She reached St. Nazaire on 10th November, 1942.  She spent a very brief period refitting in dock.
(iv)    Fourth Patrol.
        U.459 left St. Nazaire on December 20th, 1942, for the South Atlantic and again operated in the Cape Town area.  The first boat supplied was the Italian submarine AMMIRAGLIO CAGNI this rendezvous took place off the Island of St. Helena.  The Captain came aboard with a present of wine for WILAMOWITZ-MÖLLENDORF.  U.459 continued south and in January, 1943, met and refueled U-boats commanded by Kapitänleutnant Helmit WITTE, Kapitänleutnant Georg LASSEN and Kapitänleutnant Erich WUERDEMANN (U.506).  (N.I.D. Note:  See C.B. 04051 (75) Appendix B).  U.506 received about 90 tons of oil, provisions and new bearings for her electric motors.  One of the three U-boats later reported the sinking of seven freighters off South Africa.  (N.I.D. Note:  This U-boat was probably that commanded by Kapitänleutnant LASSEN).
        Returning home, U.459 rendezvous with U-202 on 11th-13th February, 1943.  (N.I.D. Note:  U.202 was sunk on 2nd June, 1943.  See also C.B. 04051 (72)).  The rendezvous took place north of the Canaries.  U-202 received 25 tons of fuel and provisions.
        U.459 again rendezvoused with U.202 on the morning of 14th February, to take off Leutnant zur See SCHULSE, U.202's Second Lieutenant who was suffering from appendicitis.
        On 28th February U.459 rendezvoused with U-202 for the third time and transferred 75 tons of fuel to her.  This rendezvous was said to have occurred off the Azores.
        One prisoner said that at this time U.459 also supplied a further nine U-boats, all of which had expended their fuel hunting the same convoy as U.202.  (N.I.D. Note:  This convoy is believed to be U.C.1.  See C.B. 04051 (72) Appendix B).  One of the nine U-boats had been very severely damaged by what was alleged to be the explosion of an ammunition ship.  When she was found by U.459 she was circling at 10 knots.  Her compressors were wrecked.  She was unable to stop engines as she could not have started them again, nor could she dive.  In addition her batteries were smashed.  Orders were received from Control that all but a minimum skeleton crew should be taken off and distributed between U.459 and a 500-tonner who was also present.  The skeleton crew were to attempt to get the disabled U-boat home.  U.459 survivors thought that she could never have made base.
        Before returning home U.459 was refueled by a U-boat bearing the conning-tower device of a black cat multiplied by the number "three".  (N.I.D. Note:  A U-boat with this device sank S.S. SCANIA on 5th August, 1942, in position 24052'N., 59027'W.).
        U.459 returned to Bordeaux, where she arrived on 3rd March, 1943.
          A Propaganda Company man named SILNER took part in the fourth patrol.  
  (v)    Fifth Patrol.  
          U.459 left Bordeaux on 20th April, 1943, for the Central and North Atlantic.  Shortly after casting off it was discovered that one of the vents had been sabotaged by the insertion of a piece of iron and it was necessary to return to base.  
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        U.459 sailed again on 21st April.  When proceeding through the Bay of Biscay a signal was received giving warning of the presence of British submarines in the Bay.  U.459 later saw a submarine and at once submerged.  A short while afterwards WILAMOWITZ-MÖLLENDORF received a U/T signal from the "submarine" which turned out to be a U-boat commanded by Kapitänleutnant Ulrich GRAEF, asking him if he had seen a British submarine.  A German minesweeper was later sighted which claimed to have rammed a British destroyer.  The Captain said that it was so near the destroyer that the latter was unable to bring heavy armament to bear.  The destroyer had developed a list and the minesweeper was severely damaged.
        One prisoner said that up to 24 refuelings were carried out on this patrol.  Another prisoners said that he remembered that U.459 refueled one 740-ton U-boat and sixteen 500-tonners.  U.459 herself refueled by two 500-ton U-boats.  One of these was a Type VII minelayer, which gave them 54 tons of fuel before returning to base.  The other 500-tonner was also returning damaged, having blown tanks when under an iceberg.
        Commanding Officers of U-boats refueled were:  Oberleutnant zur See von TROTHA, Kapitänleutnant PIENING, Kapitänleutnant PRAETORIUS, and Oberleutnant zur See FIEDLER, who was supplied within a day's sail of the Bay of Biscay.  Prisoners said that they heard later in Bordeaux that FIEDLER's U-boat had been sunk, eighteen survivors being picked up by another U-boat.
        On one or two occasions on this patrol U.459 supplied other U-boats with G.S.R. seta and Southern Cross type aerials.
        During this patrol U.459 was attacked when submerged at 120 feet by a destroyer who dropped eleven depth-charges.  No serious damage was caused.  She remained submerged for from four to five hours.
        At the end of May, when returning to base, U.459 was attacked by two aircraft as she was about to enter the Bay of Biscay.  One of these, thought to be a four-engined British Lancaster bomber, was shot down by one of her single 20 mm. guns.  This attack  occurred between 1300 and 1400 about five to six days out from Bordeaux.  Prisoners thought the aircraft had sunk another U-boat shortly before.
        U.459 reached Bordeaux on 3rd June, 1943.  She was docked and her new A.A. armament was mounted.  When she was about to sail on her sixth and last patrol Korvettenkapitän SCHOLTZ, S.O. of the 12th flotilla, remarked to WILAMOWITZ-MÖLLENDORF:  "On the last patrol you had one barrel and you shot down one aircraft; now you have five more barrels, go out and shoot down six".
          The ship's company of U.459, totaling 59; consisted of seven officers, four Chief Petty Officers, eight Petty Officers and forty other ratings.  Of these members, five officers, four Chief Petty Officers, five Petty Officers and twenty-seven other ratings survived.  The officers picked up included a Surgeon-Lieutenant.  
  (i)    Captain.  
          The Captain der Reserve Georg von WILAMOWITZ-MÖLLENDORF, did not survive.  He was born on 7th October, 1893, and at 49 was probably the oldest U-boat Captain.  
          He joined the Imperial German Navy in October, 1914, and after a short time in destroyers, served in the last war U-boats U.46, U.82, U.95 and U.91.  He was demobilized on Boxing Day, 1919.  
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        It is not known when he rejoined the German Navy, but before taking command of U.459 he is known to have had command of U.2, when that U-boat was a School boat in the Baltic.
        WILAMOWITZ-MÖLLENDORF was popular throughout the U-boat arm.
        He was regarded as highly efficient and the best of the supply U-boat Captains, by those he supplied.  In his own ship his popularity amounted almost to hero-worship.  He had a cheerful disposition and was a born humorist.  Survivors considered that it was quite in keeping with his character that he should choose to go down with his ship.
        A number of survivors hinted that von WILAMOWITZ-MÖLLENDORF's career between wars wa a chequered one.  It was said that he had become involved with Jews in a Hamburg banking scandal and had seen the inside of both prisons and concentration camps.  He had allegedly shot a man in the Rhineland and had taken part in the blowing up of a municipal building.  All these deeds were presumably performed before the commencement of the Hitler regime.
        He was a misogynist and a ready tippler.
(ii)    First Lieutenant.
        Oberleutnant zur See Karl KÄMPER, the first Lieutenant, was 32 years old.  Before the outbreak of war he was a merchant navy officer, serving in the liner COLUMBUS.  He joined U.459 for her third patrol, taking the place of a leutnant zur See STOEFFLER who had himself replaced an Oberleutnant zur See HERRING.
        KÄMPER refused all other information regarding his naval career.  He was a man of slight education and an ardent National Socialist.
(iii)    Second Lieutenant.
          Leutnant zur See der Reserve Wilhelm ENGELBRECHT, aged 28, the Second Lieutenant, was also a former merchant navy officer.  He was making his first patrol in U.459 and had relieved Lieutenant zur See STUT.  He was one of the few survivors who said they had no confidence in their Captain because of his age.  He was extremely security-conscious.  
  (iv)    Junior Officer.  
          Leutnant zur See Wolfgang von KIRSCHBAUM, the Junior Executive Officer, aged 22, is of the 1939(B) Term.  He had taken part in U.459's last three patrols.  Previously he had served in the U-boat commanded by Kapitänleutnant COLLMANN.  He had won the Iron Cross Second Class in that U-boat for sighting a salvo of torpedoes, fired by an Allied submarine, in time for his U-boat to avoid them.  He was not communicative.  
  (v)    Senior Engineer Officer.  
          Leutnant (Ing.) GROTZ, the Senior Engineer Officer, did not survive.  He does not appear in the 1940 Navy List and very little is known about him.  He joined U.459 for her third patrol relieving Oberleutnant (Ing.) CHRIST.  
  (vi)    Junior Engineer Officer.  
          Leutnant (Ing.) Klaus ALBERT, the Junior Engineer Officer, aged 21, was making his first patrol in U.459.  He is of the 1939 Term.  He had formerly served in the Bay of Biscay in minesweepers and had lost his ship when mined.  He would give no further information regarding his naval career.  He had relieved Leutnant (Ing.) GOEGE  
  (vii)    Surgeon-Lieutenant.  
        Marinestabsarzt Johannes GEBHARDT, aged 32, who survived, is protected
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personnel and could not be interrogated.  Other prisoners said that he was carried not so much for the ship's company of U.459 as for attending to cases aboard the U-boats she met.  Many rendezvous which were made were less for refueling than for medical attendance.
(viii)  General.
        The remainder of the ship's company appeared to be of average efficiency and intelligence.  Gunnery drill did not appear to be so efficient in this U-boat as in smaller operational U-boats.  Morale was not particularly high.
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Nominal Roll of U.459.
(i)    Survivors:
Name. Rank. English Equivalent. Born.
GEBHARDT, Johannes Marinestabsarzt Surgeon-Lieutenant 22.10.11.
KÄMPER, Karl Oberleutnant zur See Sub-Lieutenant 18.12.10.
von KIRSCHBAUM, Wolfgang, Ernst, Fritz Leutnant zur See Junior Sub-Lieutenant 26. 2.21.
ENGELBRECHT, Wilhelm Alexander           do.           do. 4. 9.13.
ALBERT, Klaus Leutnant (Ing.) Junior Sub-Lieutenant (E) 1. 6.22.
HIRTH, Friedrich Obermaschinist Chief Stoker & Chief Engine Room Artificer 1st or 2nd Class 20. 4.14.
JORDT, Willy           do.           do. 30. 6.14.
LEB, Johann           do.           do. 27. 4.15.
VOIGT, Helmut Obersteuermann C.P.O. (Navigation) 18.12.11.
LÜCK, Paul Oberbootsmannsmaat Acting P.O. (Seaman's Branch) 6. 7.13.
SCHLICK, Hans Obermaschinenmaat Acting Stoker P.O. & Engine Room Artificer 4th Class 12. 2.19.
SRON, Kurt           do.           do. 1. 7. 19.
AMBACH, Walderfried           do.           do. 14. 1.18.
PETSCH, Friedrich           do.           do. 31.12.18.
FISCHER, Walter Maschinenmaat Leading Stoker & Engine Room Artificer 5th Class 22. 4.21.
GRAP, Wilhelm           do.           do. 16. 6.22.
LINDERT, Kurt           do.           do. 1.10.20.
BURKHARDT, Georg Funkmaat Leading Telegraphist 7.11.20.
BECKER, Hartwig           do.           do. 2.12.21.
WÖLLERICH, Willy Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman 26. 8.23.
ZULAUF, Karl           do.           do. 25. 8.23.
OBENDORF, Hans           do.           do. 14. 7.23.
DEGNER, Gerhard           do.           do. 17. 2.24.
SPICHS, Heinz Maschinenobergefreiter Stoker, 1st Class 4. 9.23.
HOPPACH, Albert           do.           do. 26.11.20.
SCHLEMMER, Otto           do.           do. 24. 8.23.
MEHR, Werner           do.           do. 20. 9.21.
GÖBEL, Paul           do.           do. 4. 4.20.
WILLENBERG, Willi           do.           do. 16. 2.24.
PALETTA, Gerhard Funkobergefreiter Telegraphist 29. 4.23.
RÖDER, Rolf Matrosengefreiter Able Seaman 14. 1.24.
TROTT, Walter Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 1st Class 8. 6.24.
MITTENDORF, Gerhard           do.           do. 2. 7.23.
SCHAFER, Kurt           do.           do. 29. 5.24.
WESCHE, Alfred           do.           do. 17. 1.23
SEDLMEIR, Anton           do.           do. 17. 4.24.
SCHMIDTKE, Paul           do.           do. 25. 3.23.
RIXECKER, Kurt           do.           do. 24. 4.23.
JOCHUM, Bernhard           do.           do. 20. 8.23.
DOHLE, Emil Matrose I Ordinary Seaman 15. 5..22.
KAUCZINSKI, Heinz Matrose II Stoker, 2nd Class 17.10.24.
Chief & Petty Officers:
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(ii)    Casualties:
Name. Rank. English Equivalent.
WILAMOWITZ-MÖLLENDORF, Georg Kapitänleutnant Lieutenant
GROTZ, Leutnant (Ing.) Junior Sub-Lieutenant (E)
VÖLZ, Bootsmann P.O. (Seaman's Branch)
WETZEL, Obermaschinist Acting Stoker P.O. & Engine Room Artificer 4th Class
SCHLENZNER,           do.           do.
GRENSEMANN, Karl-Heinz Maschinenmaat Leading Stoker & E.R.A. 5th Class
FRIEDRICH, Eduard Mechanikermaat E.R.A. 5th Class
FISCHER,           do.           do.
SAUER, Erwin Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
REIPERT, Matrosengefreiter           do.
TIMMEL, Hans           do.           do.
GOTTSCHALK, Paul           do.           do.
THIELE,           do.           do.
KIELHOLZ, Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 1st Class
KRAUSE, Fritz Funkgefreiter Telegraphist
LUTZ Matrose Ordinary Seaman
BAAR           do.           do.
ARMBRUST           do.           do.
Chief & Petty Officers:
(iii)    Total Crew:
Chief & Petty Officers:
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