German submarine U-615

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-615
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 591
Laid down: 20 May 1941
Launched: 8 February 1942
Commissioned: 26 March 1942
Fate: Sunk in the Caribbean Sea, 7 August 1943
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 t (757 long tons)
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
  • 1,070 t (1,053 long tons) total
Length:
  • 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in) total
  • 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) total
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion:
  • Diesel-electric
  • 3,200 PS (2,354 kW; 3,156 shp) surfaced
  • 750 PS (552 kW; 740 shp) submerged
Speed:
  • 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.66 knots (14.19 km/h; 8.81 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 13,700 nmi (25,400 km; 15,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 125 nmi (232 km; 144 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 220 m (721 ft 9 in)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted44-52 men
Armament:
Service record
Commanders: Kptlt. Ralph Kapitzky

German submarine U-615 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II.[1]

Commissioned in 1942, and commanded by Kptlt. Ralph Kapitzky, she was depth charged and sunk in the Caribbean Sea, north of Porlamar, on 7 August 1943,[2] in position 12°38′N 64°15′W / 12.633°N 64.250°W / 12.633; -64.250Coordinates: 12°38′N 64°15′W / 12.633°N 64.250°W / 12.633; -64.250, by US 6 Mariner and 1 Ventura aircraft. It was the largest aircraft hunt ever mounted for a single U-boat. Of her crew 4 (including her captain) were killed, and 43 survived.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-615 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[3] 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).[3]

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).[3] 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-615 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.[3]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-615 took part in 10 wolfpacks, namely.

  • Pfeil (12–22 September 1942)
  • Blitz (22–26 September 1942)
  • Tiger (26–30 September 1942)
  • Wotan (5–19 October 1942)
  • Draufgänger (1–11 December 1942)
  • Ungestüm (11–30 December 1942)
  • Burggraf (25 February – 5 March 1943)
  • Raubgraf (7–20 March 1943)
  • Seewolf (24–30 March 1943)
  • Adler (7–13 April 1943)

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage (GRT) Fate[4]
11 October 1942 El Lago  Panama 4,221 Sunk
23 October 1942 Empire Star  United Kingdom 12,656 Sunk
11 April 1943 Edward B. Dudley  United States 7,177 Sunk
28 July 1943 Rosalia  Netherlands 3,177 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kelshell, Gaylord T. M. (2003), "Ralph Kapitsky – Battle in the Caribbean and the Death of U-615", in Savas, Theodore P., Contemporary Conflict Resolution, Naval Institute Press, pp. 43–73, ISBN 1591148170. 
  2. ^ Heden, Karl E. (2006), Sunken Ships World War II: US Naval Chronology, Including Submarine Losses of the United States, England, Germany, Japan, Italy, Branden Books, p. 76, ISBN 0828321183. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "U-615". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  • 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. p. 139. 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]