Operation Kurfürst (ii)


'Kurfürst' (ii) was a U-boat wolfpack operation in the Atlantic against the OG.73 convoy (1/18 September 1941).

The wolfpack comprised U-77, U-96, U-206, U-553, U-563, U-567 and U-568, and neither lost any of its own number nor sank any ship.

Established on 23 August to the west of the North Channel, the wolfpack was instructed to attack the OG.73 convoy. At the same time the 'Bosemüller' wolfpack was created with U-71, U-83, U-95, U-557, U-558, U-561, U-562 and U-751 in the area to the west and south-west of Ireland. The 'Bosemüller' boats were ordered directed to intercept and attack the SL.84 convoy, which had been sighted by the returning U-73, but the visibility was poor and the U-boats found nothing.

First sighted and reported by a Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor long-range maritime reconnaissance bomber of Hauptmann Daser’s I/Kampfgeschwader 40, the OG.73 convoy of 23 ships was bound from Liverpool to Gibraltar with an escort of 20 warships. On 2 September Korvettenkapitän Ottokar Arnold Paulssen’s U-557 encountered the OG.73 convoy in the mist, Kapitänleutnant Hans-Werner Kraus’s U-83 sighted a corvette of the escort, and the convoy was also reported by air reconnaissance. The 'Kurfürst' (ii) and 'Bosemülle' packs were therefore ordered into amalgamation as the 'Seewolf' (i) wolfpack and directed to this convoy. However, the boats found neither this convoy nor another convoy sighted by Kapitänleutnant Robert Gysae’s U-98 on 3 September.

Korvettenkapitän Theodor Fahr’s U-567 meanwhile sank an independently routed ship, the 3,485-ton British Fort Richepanse.