|Ordered:||7 August 1939|
|Builder:||Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack|
|Laid down:||2 October 1940|
|Launched:||5 July 1941|
|Commissioned:||30 August 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk by depth charges from a French warship, 11 July 1942|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
Her service career began with the commencement of crew training with the 6th U-boat Flotilla on her commissioning date. She became operational on 1 January 1942, also with the 6th flotilla.
She sank five ships, with a total of 23,649 gross register tons (GRT) and two warships totalling 1,850 tons. She also damaged one ship of 8,955 GRT.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-136 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN 6-cylinder 4-stroke M6V 40/46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two Brown, Boveri & Cie GG UB 720/8 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-136 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
Her first patrol was unusual in that it was divided into three parts. Part one saw the boat depart Kiel on 22 January 1942 and arrive at Kristiansand in Norway on the 24th. Part two was from Kristiansand to Bergen, also in Norway. Part three involved the boat crossing the North Sea and negotiating the passage between the Faroe and Shetland Islands into the Atlantic Ocean. While doing so, she sank HMS Arbutus on 5 February and HMCS Spikenard on the 11th. She also sank 'MV Empire Comet' on the 17th. She then sailed to St. Nazaire in occupied France, arriving on 1 March.
During U-136'es second patrol, the boat damaged Axtell J. Byles off the US North Carolina coast on 19 April 1942 and sink Empire Drum about 280 nmi (520 km; 320 mi) southeast of New York on the 24th. All the crew survived; one of them, the third engineer, was found floating with a part of the ship's cargo tucked under each arm - it was TNT.
3rd patrol and loss
The boat's third and last patrol began with her departure from St. Nazaire on 29 June 1942. On 11 July, she was sunk with all hands (45 men), by depth charges from the Free French destroyer Léopard, the British frigate HMS Spey and the British sloop HMS Pelican west of Madeira.
U-136 took part in two wolfpacks, namely,
- Schlei (1–12 February 1942)
- Hai (3–11 July 1942)
Summary of raiding history
|5 February 1942||HMS Arbutus||Royal Navy||925||Sunk|
|11 February 1942||Heina||Norway||4,028||Sunk|
|11 February 1942||HMCS Spikenard||Royal Canadian Navy||925||Sunk|
|17 February 1942||Empire Comet||United Kingdom||6,914||Sunk|
|19 April 1942||Axtell J. Byles||United States||8,955||Damaged|
|24 April 1942||Empire Drum||United Kingdom||7,244||Sunk|
|28 April 1942||Arundo||Netherlands||5,163||Sunk|
|8 May 1942||Mildred Pauline||Canada||300||Sunk|
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