U 575

2. war patrol

from November 9th to December 17th, 1941

Operational area: North-Atlantic/Canada and Newfoundland,

later west from Gibraltar

U 575


plan 2.war patrol

At first they sailed to Canada/Newfoundland. After they were arrived and had recognized for profitable targets, before they began the attack they got the new order immediatly, to sailed to Gibraltar to support Rommels and the Italians in North-Africa.

On 1.12.1941 „U 575“ runs across on the American tanker “Astral” by 35°40´N/24°00´W (ca. grid square CF75-79). He came from Aruba in Venezuela und was sailed to Lissabon with a cargo from 78.200 barrel benzine and kerosine.  U 575 hunted many hours the Astral to come in a good shot position, but when he recognized the American national badge, Heydemann let the Astral going on. At that time, there was no war between USA and Germany. Altough, the formally neutral US-Navy escorted the convoys and hunted and battled generally the U-Boats under breach of neutrality. Basically the U-Boats observance the neutrality of the US war ships and vessels. In a few times, the U-Boats defends themself. Naturally it was a problem, to recognize the nationality of an attacked Destroyer or a vessel in a convoy by heavy seas or in the night.

A few times later in the first morning hours of the December 2nd attacked “U43” (Luth) the Astral, but his shot was off target. The tanker was going zig-zag-courses. Luth hunted the tanker during the night and the following day and sank the tanker with two torpedo hits. From 37 men of the crew was not one survived. 

On the first view, it seems to be curios, that Heydemann recognized the neutrality and Luth not, but it is possible. The first attack was in the night. The following hunting was in great distance every time at the border of view. If the Astral see the U-Boat, she will call definitely for help. In December the weather was normally bad and the recognizing was often a problem, also by day.

On the way back to home port they got supplement in Spain from the vessel „Wessel“. The Boat had for on-board means irreparable damages and must back to St. Nazaire.  

Part of the group „Steuben“ (U 43, U 105, U 372, U 434, U 574 und U 575) in the grid squares AL-BC-BD-CE-CF-CG from 17.11.-13.12.41. No attacks and no losses at the boats.

Summary of the Interrogation Report (US O.N.I.)


        U-575 left St. Nazaire for her second war patrol in mid-November 1941.  Her operational area was in the North Atlantic.  Her officers were the same as previously.

        U-575 belonged to no group this time.  She sank nothing, was herself never attacked, and was not supplied.  She returned to St. Nazaire about 20 December 1941, after a patrol lasting 5 weeks.


Tanker Astral

detailed informations in German available

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war patrols