German submarine U-612

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-612
Ordered: 15 August 1940[1]
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Laid down: 21 April 1941
Launched: 9 January 1942
Commissioned: 5 March 1942[2]
Fate: Rammed and sunk by U-444 on 6 August 1942, scuttled on 2 May 1945
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: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Paul Siegmann
  • 5 March 1942 - 6 August 1942
  • Oblt.z.S. Theodor Petersen
  • 31 May 1943 - 20 February 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Hans-Peter Dick
  • 21 February 1944 - 2 May 1945

German submarine U-612 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was ordered on 15 August 1940 and laid down at Blohm & Voss, Hamburg, on 21 April 1941. She was launched on 9 January 1942 and commissioned 5 March 1942[3] Oberleutnant zur See Paul Siegmann was her first commanding officer. He was joined in May 1942 by Herbert Werner, author of the book “Iron Coffins”, as First Officer.[4]

While still on trials in the Baltic U-612 was sunk in collision with U-444 on 6 August 1942. She was later salvaged and served as a training boat until the end of the war, when she was scuttled on 2 May 1945.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-612 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[5] 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).[5]

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).[5] 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-612 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.[5]

Service history[edit]

After commissioning, U-612 was engaged in working up and sea trials in the eastern Baltic, assigned to 5th U-boat Flotilla and based at Königsberg. On 6 August 1942 she was at sea off Danzig when she was accidentally rammed by U-444.[2][6][7] Werner describes the event in his book; he states neither boat was aware of the other and that the captain of U-444 was unaware he had struck U-612.[8] He describes in detail the struggle to get out of the rapidly sinking U-boat, and the crew's rescue by two other U-boats, one of which he states was the hapless U-444[9] Two men died in the incident.[3][10]

Siegman and his crew undertook to salvage U-612 and put her back into action; the hull was raised in during August but found to be too water-damaged for them to continue. The U-boat was handed over to the dockyard at Danzig and Seigmann and his crew were re-assigned to another boat, U-230.[11]

U-612 completed repairs the following year and was re-commissioned 31 May 1942. However she was deemed unsuitable as a "Front-boat" and was confined to training in the Baltic. On commissioning, under Oblt. T Petersen she joined 24 Flotilla, a training unit. In February 1944 she joined 31 Flotilla, another training unit, under the command of Oblt.z.S. HP Dick.[3]

On 2 May 1945 she was caught at Warnemunde by the advancing Red Army and was scuttled to avoid seizure.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Neistle p27
  2. ^ a b c Neistle p75
  3. ^ a b c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC Uboat U-612". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Werner p73
  5. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  6. ^ Blair p619
  7. ^ Kemp p86
  8. ^ Werner p77
  9. ^ Werner p75-7
  10. ^ Neistle and Kemp both give one casualty only
  11. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "P Seigmann". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 

Sources[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 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]

Coordinates: 54°11′00″N 12°05′00″E / 54.1833°N 12.0833°E / 54.1833; 12.0833