History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-616
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 592
Laid down: 20 May 1941
Launched: 8 February 1942
Commissioned: 2 April 1942
Fate: Sunk 17 May 1944 in the Mediterranean in position 36°46′N 00°52′E / 36.767°N 0.867°E / 36.767; 0.867, by depth charges from USS Nields, USS Gleaves, USS Ellyson, USS Macomb, USS Hambleton, USS Rodman, USS Emmons and a RAF Wellington bomber.
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 6 February – 26 March 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 19 April – 17 May 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 28 July – 18 August 1943
  • 4th patrol: 8–18 September 1943
  • 5th patrol: 3–15 October 1943
  • 6th patrol: 20 November – 12 December 1943
  • 7th patrol: 3–15 January 1944
  • 8th patrol: 19 February – 15 March 1944
  • 9th patrol: 30 April – 17 May 1944
Victories:
  • 2 warships sunk (2,181 tons)
  • 2 merchant ships damaged (17,754 GRT)

German submarine U-616 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine, for service during World War II. She was laid down on 20 May 1941 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 592, launched on 8 February 1942 and commissioned on 2 April 1942 under Oberleutnant zur See (Oblt.z.S.) Johann Spindlegger.

On 8 October 1943, Spindlegger was replaced by Oblt.z.S. Siegfried Koitschka, who commanded her until she was sunk in 1944.

Design

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-616 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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 Germaniawerft F46 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).[2]

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).[2] 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-616 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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history

The boat's career began with training at 8th U-boat Flotilla on 2 April 1942, followed by active service on 1 January 1943 as part of the 6th Flotilla. On 1 June 1943 she transferred to operations in the Mediterranean as part of 29th Flotilla until her sinking in 1944.

In 9 patrols she sank 2 warships and damaged 2 merchant ships, for a total of 2,181 tons and 17,754 gross register tons (GRT), respectively.

Wolfpacks

U-616 took part in two wolfpacks, namely

  • Burggraf (24 February – 5 March 1943)
  • Westmark (6–11 March 1943)
  • Stürmer (11–20 March 1943)

Fate

U-616 was sunk on 17 May 1944 in the Mediterranean in position 36°46′N 00°52′E / 36.767°N 0.867°E / 36.767; 0.867Coordinates: 36°46′N 00°52′E / 36.767°N 0.867°E / 36.767; 0.867, by depth charges from USS Nields, USS Gleaves, USS Ellyson, USS Macomb, USS Hambleton, USS Rodman, USS Emmons and a RAF Wellington bomber of 36 Squadron

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[3]
9 October 1943 USS Buck  United States Navy 1,570 Sunk
11 October 1943 HMS LCT-553  Royal Navy 595 Sunk
14 May 1944 Fort Fidler  United Kingdom 7,127 Damaged
14 May 1944 G S Walden  United Kingdom 10,627 Damaged

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-616". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-616". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 16 August 2014.

Bibliography

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9.

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-616". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014.