German submarine U-188

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-188
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: DeSchiMAG, Bremen
Yard number: 1028
Laid down: 18 August 1941
Launched: 31 March 1942
Commissioned: 5 August 1942
Fate: Scuttled 26 August 1944 in Bordeaux, later raised and broken up in 1947
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXC/40 submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,144 t (1,126 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,257 t (1,237 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) o/a
  • 4.44 m (14 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Installed power:
  • 4,400 PS (3,200 kW; 4,300 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Range:
  • 13,850 nmi (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 63 nmi (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 44 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1][2]
Part of:
Identification codes: M 10 459
Commanders:
Operations:
  • Three
  • 1st patrol:
  • 4 March – 4 May 1943
  • 2nd patrol:
  • 30 June – 30 October 1943
  • 3rd patrol:
  • 1 January – 19 June 1944
Victories:
  • Eight commercial ships sunk (49,725 GRT);
  • One warship sunk 1,190 tons;
  • One ship damaged (9,977 GRT)

German submarine U-188 was a Type IXC/40 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II.

Laid down on 18 August 1941 by Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG (DeSchiMAG) of Bremen as yard number 1028, she was launched on 31 March 1942 and commissioned on 5 August under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Siegfried Lüdden.

The boat carried out three patrols and she was a member of three wolfpacks. She sank eight ships and one warship; she also damaged one ship.

She was scuttled at Bordeaux, France in August 1944. The wreck was broken up in 1947.

Design[edit]

German Type IXC/40 submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXCs. U-188 had a displacement of 1,144 tonnes (1,126 long tons) when at the surface and 1,257 tonnes (1,237 long tons) while submerged.[4] The U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.67 m (15 ft 4 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW; 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS; 750 kW) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[4]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph).[4] When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 13,850 nautical miles (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-188 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.[4]

Service history[edit]

1st patrol[edit]

U-188 sailed from Kiel on 27 October 1942.[5] She steamed through the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, into the Northern Atlantic Ocean.

The boat's first victim was an old 'four stacker' destroyer, HMS Beverley in mid-Atlantic on 11 April. Less than a month later, the inbound submarine was attacked by an Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley of No. 612 Squadron RAF in the Bay of Biscay on 2 May. The Commander and one crewman were wounded. The crewman died in hospital in Paris on 12 May.

U-188 docked at Lorient in occupied France on 4 May.

2nd patrol[edit]

Having left Lorient on 30 June 1943, U-188 headed for the Indian Ocean. She sank Cornelia P. Spencer about 300 nmi (560 km; 350 mi) off the coast of Somalia on 21 September.

She was also successful when she damaged Britannia in the Gulf of Oman on 5 October. This ship was held together by wires and chains on the orders of the master who was known as the 'crazy Norwegian' by the British naval authorities in Bombay. The ship loaded 6,000 tons of oil in Abädän, Iran.[6] She was eventually repaired in Baltimore in March 1944.

The boat crossed the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal before docking at Penang in Malaya (now Malaysia) on 30 October.

3rd patrol[edit]

U-188's third and final foray was her longest and most successful. Operating off the Horn of Africa, she sank seven ships in a 171-day patrol. Two of them, Fort la Maune and Samouri were sent to the bottom with no casualties. It was a different story concerning the fate of the Chinese registered Chung Cheng. Twenty men out of seventy-one were lost. The ship sank quickly, probably due to her cargo of 8,350 tons of ilmenite ore.

The boat returned to France, but to Bordeaux on 19 June 1944.[7]

Fate[edit]

U-188 was scuttled in Bordeaux to prevent her being captured by the advancing Allies on 20 August 1944. The wreck was broken up in 1947.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[8]
11 April 1943 HMS Beverley  Royal Navy 1,190 Sunk
21 September 1943 Cornelia P. Spencer  United States 7,176 Sunk
5 October 1943 Britannia  Norway 9,977 Damaged
20 January 1944 Fort Buckingham  United Kingdom 7,122 Sunk
25 January 1944 Fort la Maune  United Kingdom 7,130 Sunk
26 January 1944 Samouri  United Kingdom 7,219 Sunk
26 January 1944 Surada  United Kingdom 5,427 Sunk
29 January 1944 Olga E. Embiricos  Greece 4,677 Sunk
3 February 1944 Chung Cheng  China 7,176 Sunk
9 February 1944 Viva  Norway 3,798 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC/40 boat U-188". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-188". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Siegfried Lüdden (Knight's Cross)". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 68.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-188 from 4 Mar 1943 to 4 May 1943". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  6. ^ The Times Atlas of the World - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 41
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol of U-boat U-188 from 1 Jan 1944 to 19 Jun 1944". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-188". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC/40 boat U-188". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 188". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 7 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 44°50′N 00°34′W / 44.833°N 0.567°W / 44.833; -0.567