German submarine U-618

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-618
Ordered: 15 August 1940
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 594
Laid down: 29 May 1941
Launched: 20 February 1942
Commissioned: 16 April 1942
Fate: Sunk 14 August 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 47°22′N 04°39′W / 47.367°N 4.650°W / 47.367; -4.650, by depth charges from HMS Duckworth, HMS Essington and RAF Liberator.
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[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Kurt Baberg
  • 16 April 1942 – 15 April 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Erich Faust
  • 16 April – 14 August 1944
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 1 September – 28 October 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 25 November 1942 – 18 January 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 21 February – 7 May 1943
  • 4th patrol: 8 June – 5 September 1943
  • 5th patrol: 11 November 1943 – 4 January 1944
  • 6th patrol: 23 February – 8 April 1944
  • 7th patrol: 25 May 1944
  • 8th patrol: 26–30 July 1944
  • 9th patrol: 2–4 August 1944
  • 10th patrol: 11–14 August 1944
Victories: 3 merchant ships sunk (15,788 GRT)

German submarine U-618 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 29 May 1941 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 594, launched on 20 February 1942 and commissioned on 16 April 1942 under Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Baberg.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-618 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 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).[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-618 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]

Service history[edit]

The boat's career began with training at 5th U-boat Flotilla on 16 April 1942, followed by active service on 1 September 1942 as part of the 7th Flotilla for the remainder of her service.

In ten patrols she sank three merchant ships, for a total of 15,788 gross register tons (GRT).

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-618 took part in 18 wolfpacks, namely

  • Pfeil (12–22 September 1942)
  • Blitz (22–26 September 1942)
  • Tiger (26–30 September 1942)
  • Wotan (5–19 October 1942)
  • Neuland (4–6 March 1943)
  • Ostmark (6–11 March 1943)
  • Stürmer (11–20 March 1943)
  • Seewolf (21–30 March 1943)
  • Adler (11–13 April 1943)
  • Meise (13–20 April 1943)
  • Specht (21–25 April 1943)
  • Schill 3 (18–22 November 1943)
  • Weddigen (22 November-7 December 1943)
  • Coronel (7–8 December 1943)
  • Coronel 2 (8–14 December 1943)
  • Coronel 3 (14–17 December 1943)
  • Borkum (18–26 December 1943)
  • Hela (28 December 1943 – 1 January 1944)

1943[edit]

On 20 November 1943, U-618 shot down a RAF Liberator bomber of 53 Squadron near to Convoy SL 139.

On 30 December 1943, U-618 rescued 21 survivors from German destroyer Z27.[3] and its escort. Earlier U-505 had rescued 34,[4] and MV Kerlogue (Ireland) had rescued 164.

1944[edit]

On 19 March 1944, U-618, while trying to enter the Mediterranean Sea, sustained a week log sustained Allied attack from both aircraft and surface ships before being forced to return to France with heavy battle damage.

On 6 April 1944, U-618 was attacked by a RCAF Liberator bomber. She was able to return fire and damage the aircraft sufficiently that the air attack was broken off.

On 30 July 1944, U-618 shot down a RAF Wellington bomber in the Bay of Biscay. All six of the aircrew were killed when the bomber crashed into the sea.

Fate[edit]

U-618 was sunk on 14 August 1944 in the North Atlantic in position 47°22′N 04°39′W / 47.367°N 4.650°W / 47.367; -4.650Coordinates: 47°22′N 04°39′W / 47.367°N 4.650°W / 47.367; -4.650, by depth charges from HMS Duckworth, HMS Essington and RAF Liberator. All hands were lost.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[5]
14 October 1942 Empire Mersey  United Kingdom 5,791 Sunk
18 October 1942 Angelina  United States 4,772 Sunk
2 July 1943 Empire Kohinoor  United Kingdom 5,225 Sunk

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-618". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "General notes on this boat". U-618. Uboat.net. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol info for U-505 (Eleventh patrol)". U-Boat Patrols. Uboat.net. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-618". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 

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. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]