German submarine U-608

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-608
Ordered: 22 May 1940
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Laid down: 27 March 1941
Launched: 11 December 1941
Commissioned: 5 February 1942
Fate: Scuttled, 10 August 1944
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
Height: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
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:
  • As U-441 : 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
  • As U-flak 1 : 67 officers & ratings
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Rolf Struckmeier
  • 5 February 1942 – 12 January 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Wolfgang Reisener
  • 21 January – 10 August 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 20 August – 24 September 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 20 October – 9 December 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 20 January – 29 March 1943
  • 4th patrol: 8 May – 18 July 1943
  • 5th patrol: 23–25 September 1943
  • 6th patrol: 29 January – 3 April 1944
  • 7th patrol: 6–14 June 1944
  • 8th patrol: 22–23 July 1944
  • 9th patrol: 7–10 August 1944
Victories:
  • 4 merchant ships sunk (35,539 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (291 tons)

German submarine U-608 was a Type VIIC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. During the Battle of the Atlantic, she was commanded by Rolf Struckmeier as a unit of Wolfpack Vorwärts (2–15 September 1942).

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-608 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 BBC 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-608 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.[2]

Fate[edit]

She was scuttled in the Bay of Biscay on 10 August 1944 after being attacked by a RAF Liberator aircraft with depth charges. The damaged boat surfaced unnoticed and was scuttled by her crew, which was rescued by HMS Wren six hours later suffering no losses.[3]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-608 took part in 19 wolfpacks, namely.

  • Stier (29 August – 2 September 1942)
  • Vorwärts (2–15 September 1942)
  • Pfeil (1–9 February 1943)
  • Neptun (18 February – 3 March 1943)
  • Neuland (8–13 March 1943)
  • Dränger (14–20 March 1943)
  • Trutz (1–16 June 1943)
  • Trutz 1 (16–29 June 1943)
  • Geier 1 (30 June – 15 July 1943)
  • Schlieffen (14–22 October 1943)
  • Siegfried (22–27 October 1943)
  • Siegfried 1 (27–30 October 1943)
  • Jahn (31 October – 2 November 1943)
  • Tirpitz 2 (2–8 November 1943)
  • Eisenhart 7 (9–11 November 1943)
  • Schill 2 (17–22 November 1943)
  • Igel 2 (9–17 February 1944)
  • Hai 1 (17–22 February 1944)
  • Preussen (22 February – 14 March 1944)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[4]|- 12 September 1942 Hektoria  United Kingdom 13,797 Sunk
12 September 1942 Empire Moonbeam  United Kingdom 6,849 Sunk
16 November 1942 Irish Pine  Ireland 5,621 Sunk
8 February 1943 Daghild  Norway 9,272 Sunk
8 February 1943 HMS LCT-2335  Royal Navy 291 Sunk (while being transported)

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 VIIC boat U-608". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Busch & Röll, p. 273-4.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-608". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bishop, Chris (2006). Kriegsmarine U-boats 1939-45. London: Amber Books. ISBN 1904687962. 
  • 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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. Cassell Military Classics. pp. 105, 107, 108, 148. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • 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]

Coordinates: 46°30′N 03°08′W / 46.500°N 3.133°W / 46.500; -3.133