Kriegsmarine U-552, Unterseeboot Type VIIC
The U-552 was a Type VIIC U-boat laid down by Blohm& Voss, Hamburg on December 1st, 1939; commissioned on December 4, 1940 with Oberleutnant Erich Toop in command.
The U-552 is known for two famous events:
-On October 31st, 1941 the U-522 was attacking the eastbound convoy HX-156 and at roughly 05:25 hours torpedoed one of its escorts. The ship`s magazine exploded and the ship sank quickly and some 115 out of her crew of 144 perished. The ship was the destroyer USS Reuben James DD-245 and it was the first US Navy ship lost in hostile action in WW-II.
The event took place some 6 weeks before war was declared between Germany and the US although US Navy ships had been escorting convoys and attacking U-boats for months before that.
- On her most successful patrol, the eighth, that took place in March-April 1942, U-522 Topp still in command, sank eight ships for a total of 45,731 tons.
U-552 is considered to be a very successful WW-II submarine, nick named `Red Devil Boat`, had 15 war patrols sinking 32 ships for a total of 165,433 tons and damaging 3 more ships. The boat survived the war and she was scuttled on May 2ed, 1945at Wilhelmshaven, in position 53.51N, 08.10E.
||Commander at the periscope.Kapitanleutnant Erich Topp of U-552
||German U-552 (U-562 inscription on stamp incorrect)