Operation Delphin (i)

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This was a U-boat wolfpack operation in the western Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic off the Strait of Gibraltar (10/17 November 1942).

The wolfpack comprised U-259, U-380, U-407, U-440, U-595, U-596, U-617, U-662 and U-755, and for the loss of Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Quaet-Faslem’s U-595 sank the 11,069-ton Dutch Nieuw Zeeland of the ‘Torch’ invasion convoys.

At 12.42 on 11 November this troop ship was struck by one of four torpedoes fired by Kapitänleutnant Josef Röther’s U-380 at a point about 80 miles (130 km) from Gibraltar and sank following a second hit at 13.08. The ship was returning from the ‘Torch’, and carried 214 crew members, 29 gunners and 13 service passengers. The survivors were picked up by the Dutch destroyer Isaac Sweers and British destroyer Porcupine, and landed at Gibraltar.

U-595 was badly damaged on 14 November in the area to the north-east of Oran by depth charges from two Lockheed Hudson aircraft of the RAF’s No. 608 Squadron, and was beached and subsequently blown up by its crew later in the same day off Cape Khamis after further attacks by five Hudson aircraft of the RAF’s No. 500 Squadron. The U-boat suffered no casualties.