German submarine U-108 (1940)
U-107 at Lorient in November 1941 which was a near identical vessel to U-108
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||24 May 1938|
|Builder:||AG Weser, Bremen|
|Laid down:||27 December 1938|
|Launched:||15 July 1940|
|Commissioned:||22 October 1940|
|Fate:||Sunk, 11 April 1944|
|Class & type:||Type IXB U-boat|
|Displacement:||1,051 tons surfaced
1,178 tons submerged
|Length:||Overall 76.5 m (251 ft 0 in)
pressure hull 58.7 m (192 ft 7 in)
|Beam:||Overall 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in)
pressure hull 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in)
|Draught:||4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)|
|Propulsion:||Diesel/Electric, 2 x MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9 cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 hp (3,300kW), 2 x SSW GU345/34 double acting electric motors, 1000 hp (740kW)|
|Speed:||18.2 knots (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
|Range:||surfaced 22,200 km (12,000 nmi) at 19 km/h (10 knots)
submerged: 118 km (64 nmi)) at 7 km/h (4 knots)
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)|
|Complement:||48 to 56 officers and ratings|
2nd U-boat Flotilla
|Commanders:||Krvtkptn. Klaus Scholtz
(22 October 1940–14 April 1941)
Kptlt. Erich Hilsenitz
(October 1942–October 1942)
Krvtkptn. Ralph-Reimar Wolfram
(15 October 1942–16 October 1943)
Ltn.z.S. Matthais Brüning
(17 October 1943–11 April 1944)
|Victories:||25 ships sunk for a total of 118,722 gross register tons (GRT)
one auxiliary warship sunk of 16,644 GRT
German submarine U-108 was a Type IXB U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine that operated during World War II. She was laid down at AG Weser in Bremen as 'werk' 971 on 27 December 1938, launched on 15 July 1940 and commissioned on 22 October under Korvettenkapitän Klaus Scholtz.
1st, 2nd and 3rd patrols
The boat's first patrol began with her departure from Wilhelmshaven on 15 February 1941. She crossed the North Sea and entered the Atlantic via the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, sinking the Texelstroom on 22 February. She also sank the Effna on the 28th; both ships met their end south of Iceland. She then docked at Lorient in occupied France on 12 March. She would be based there for most of the rest of her career.
U-108 sank the Michael E., a CAM ship or 'Catapult Armed Merchantman', on the submarine's third patrol on 2 June 1941 in mid-Atlantic. She went on to sink the Baron Nairn west of Cape Race (eastern Newfoundland and Labrador) on the 8th; the Greek ship Dirphys 600 nautical miles (1,100 km; 690 mi) east of Newfoundland, also on 8 July; the Christian Krohg on the 10th; the Ellinco on the 25th; the Nicholas Pateras on the same day and the Toronto on 1 July. The latter was a weather ship situated about 500 nautical miles (930 km; 580 mi) north of the Azores.
4th, 5th and 6th patrols
Patrol number four saw the boat covering the 'gap' between South America and Africa. She departed Lorient on 19 August 1941 and returned on 21 October.
She sank the Cassequel, a neutral vessel, on 14 December 1941, 160 nautical miles (300 km; 180 mi) southwest of Cape St. Vincent, Portugal and the Ruckinge (convoy HG 76) on the 19th, west of Lisbon as part of her fifth sortie.
The boat's sixth patrol, as part of Operation Drumbeat (Paukenschlag), took her to the east coast of North America where she was again successful, sinking the Ocean Venture on 8 February 1942, the Tolosa on the 9th and the Blink on the 12th. The U-boat had chased the Blink, which had been hit by a non-detonating torpedo, the two vessels almost collided; which was only avoided by U-108 diving underneath the merchant ship.
She also sank the Ramapo northwest of Bermuda on 16 February and the Somme on the 18th.
7th, 8th and 9th patrols
The boat's seventh patrol was almost as successful as her sixth, sinking the Modesta on 25 April 1942, the Mobiloil on the 29th (which required a total of six torpedoes and many rounds from the 20mm and 37mm guns), the Afoundria on 5 May, and the Abgara a day later. On the return leg she encountered the Norland on the 25th.
More success pennants were flown after her eighth patrol, which took her almost to the northern South American coast. She sank the Tricula on 3 August 1942, the Breňas on the 7th and the Louisiana on the 17th.
The boat's ninth patrol was carried out in opposition to Operation Torch, (the Allied landings in North Africa). The submarine had not been off Morocco long before being attacked by a destroyer. The damage incurred was serious enough that the boat was obliged to return to France where effective repairs might be carried out.
10th and 11th patrols
In her last operational patrol, she departed Lorient on 1 April 1943. She was attacked by a destroyer on the 22nd but continued to shadow Convoy ON (S) 4 southeast of Greenland. She arrived at Stettin in modern-day Poland on 16 May. Bombed and sunk there 11 April, raised and decommissioned 17 July 1944. Scuttled there 24 April 1945.
Summary of raiding career
|22 February 1941||Texelstroom||Netherlands||1,617||Sunk|
|28 February 1941||Effna||UK||6,461||Sunk|
|13 April 1941||HMS Rajputana||Royal Navy||16,644||Sunk|
|2 June 1941||SS Michael E||UK||7,628||Sunk|
|8 June 1941||Baron Nairn||UK||3,164||Sunk|
|8 June 1941||Dirphys||Greece||4,240||Sunk|
|10 June 1941||Christian Krohg||Norway||1,992||Sunk|
|25 June 1941||Ellinco||Greece||3,059||Sunk|
|25 June 1941||Nicholas Pateras||Greece||4,362||Sunk|
|1 July 1941||Toronto City||UK||2,486||Sunk|
|14 December 1941||Cassequel||Portugal||2,751||Sunk|
|19 December 1941||Ruckinge||UK||2,869||Sunk|
|2 February 1942||Ocean Venture||UK||7,174||Sunk|
|9 February 1942||Tolosa||Norway||1,974||Sunk|
|12 February 1942||Blink||Norway||2,701||Sunk|
|16 February 1942||Ramapo||Panama||2,968||Sunk|
|18 February 1942||Somme||UK||5,265||Sunk|
|25 April 1941||Modesta||UK||3,849||Sunk|
|29 April 1942||Mobiloil||United States||9,925||Sunk|
|5 May 1942||Afoundria||United States||5,010||Sunk|
|6 May 1942||Abgara||Latvia||4,422||Sunk|
|20 May 1942||Norland||Norway||8,134||Sunk|
|3 August 1942||Tricula||UK||6,221||Sunk|
|7 August 1942||Breñas||Norway||2,687||Sunk|
|17 August 1942||Louisiana||United States||8,567||Sunk|
|19 April 1943||Robert Gray||United States||7,176||Sunk|
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. 1997. p. 183. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3
- Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp.248&249
- Gannon, Michael - Operation Drumbeat - the dramatic true story of Germany's first U-boat attacks along the American coast in World War II, 1990, Harper and Row publishers, ISBN 0-060161155-8, p. 202 .
- "U-108". Uboat. Retrieved 11 April 2013.