Operation Stier (ii)


'Stier' (ii) was a U-boat wolfpack operation in the Arctic against the JW.63 convoy (30 December 1944/21 January 1945).

The wolfpack comprised U-293, U-299, U-310, U-636, U-956, U-995 and U-997, and neither lost any of its own number nor sank any ship.

The JW.63 convoy of 38 laden ships departed Loch Ewe supported by Vice Admiral Sir Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton’s force comprising the escort carrier Vindex, light anti-aircraft cruiser Diadem, and destroyers Myngs, Savage, Scorpion, Scourge, Serapis, Zambesi, Zebra, Canadian Algonquin and Sioux, and Free Norwegian Stord of Admiral Sir Henry Moore’s Home Fleet, and from the 8th and 20th Escort Groups the destroyers Keppel, Walker and Westcott, sloops Cygnet, Lapwing and Lark, and corvettes Allington Castle, Alnwick Castle and Bamborough Castle.

The U-boats were deployed in two groups, U-299, U-956, U-995 and U-997 in the Bjørnøya Passage, and U-293, U-310 and U-636 off the mouth of the Kola inlet. On 8 January the convoy arrived in the Kola inlet and the White Sea without being discovered, and on 11 January the homebound bound RA.63 convoy of 31 ships departed the Kola inlet with the same escort as the JW.63 convoy to arrive in Loch Ewe on 21 January, again without being located by the Germans.