German submarine U-616
|Ordered:||15 August 1940|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||20 May 1941|
|Launched:||8 February 1942|
|Commissioned:||2 April 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk 17 May 1944 in the Mediterranean in position , by depth charges from USS Nields, USS Gleaves, USS Ellyson, USS Macomb, USS Hambleton, USS Rodman, USS Emmons and a RAF Wellington bomber.|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
German submarine U-616 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 20 May 1941 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 592, launched on 8 February 1942 and commissioned on 2 April 1942 under Oberleutnant zur See (Oblt.z.S.) Johann Spindlegger.
On 8 October 1943, Spindlegger was replaced by Oblt.z.S. Siegfried Koitschka, who commanded her until she was sunk in 1944.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-616 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. 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).
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). 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-616 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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
The boat's career began with training at 8th U-boat Flotilla on 2 April 1942, followed by active service on 1 January 1943 as part of the 6th Flotilla. On 1 June 1943 she transferred to operations in the Mediterranean as part of 29th Flotilla until her sinking in 1944.
In 9 patrols she sank 2 warships and damaged 2 merchant ships, for a total of 2,181 tons and 17,754 gross register tons (GRT), respectively.
U-616 took part in two wolfpacks, namely
- Burggraf (24 February – 5 March 1943)
- Westmark (6–11 March 1943)
- Stürmer (11–20 March 1943)
U-616 was sunk on 17 May 1944 in the Mediterranean in position Coordinates: , by depth charges from USS Nields, USS Gleaves, USS Ellyson, USS Macomb, USS Hambleton, USS Rodman, USS Emmons and a RAF Wellington bomber of 36 Squadron
Summary of raiding history
|9 October 1943||USS Buck||United States Navy||1,570||Sunk|
|11 October 1943||HMS LCT-553||Royal Navy||6,409||Sunk|
|14 May 1944||Fort Fidler||United Kingdom||7,127||Damaged|
|14 May 1944||G S Walden||United Kingdom||10,627||Damaged|
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