German submarine U-636

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-636
Ordered: 20 January 1941
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Yard number: 612
Laid down: 2 October 1941
Launched: 25 June 1942
Commissioned: 20 August 1942
Fate: Sunk 21 April 1945 in the North Atlantic in position 55°50′N 10°31′W / 55.833°N 10.517°W / 55.833; -10.517Coordinates: 55°50′N 10°31′W / 55.833°N 10.517°W / 55.833; -10.517, by depth charges from HMS Bazely, HMS Drury and HMS Bentinck.
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
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:
  • Kptlt. Hans Hildebrandt
  • 20 August 1942 – 14 February 1944
  • Oblt.z.S. Eberhard Schendel
  • 15 February 1944 – 21 April 1945
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 2 May – 8 June 1943
  • 2nd patrol: 31 July – 7 August 1943
  • 3rd patrol: 17–30 August 1943
  • 4th patrol: 6–17 November 1943
  • 5th patrol: 23 November – 27 December 1943
  • 6th patrol: 30 December 1943 – 8 January 1944
  • 7th patrol: 26 January – 2 February 1944
  • 8th patrol: 8 April – 3 May 1944
  • 9th patrol: 27 June – 23 July 1944
  • 10th patrol: 25 August – 12 September 1944
  • 11th patrol: 25 September – 3 October 1944
  • 12th patrol: 6 October – 12 November 1944
  • 13th patrol: 4–16 December 1944
  • 14th patrol: 25 December 1944 – 30 January 1945
  • 15th patrol: 1–21 April 1945
Victories: 1 merchant ship sunk (7,169 GRT)

German submarine U-636 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 2 October 1941 by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg as yard number 612, launched on 25 June 1942 and commissioned on 20 August 1942 under Oberleutnant zur See Hans Hildebrandt.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-636 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-636 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 one twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 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 20 August 1942, followed by active service on 1 April 1943 as part of the 11th Flotilla, operating from Bergen, Norway. Just six months later, she transferred to 13th Flotilla stationed in Trondheim, Norway, for the remainder of her service.

In 15 patrols she sank one merchant ship, for a total of 7,169 gross register tons (GRT).

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-636 took part in eleven wolfpacks, namely

  • Iller (12–15 May 1943)
  • Donau 1 (15–26 May 1943)
  • Isegrim (1–7 January 1944)
  • Donner (11–20 April 1944)
  • Donner & Keil (20 April – 2 May 1944)
  • Trutz (28 June – 10 July 1944)
  • Dachs (1–5 September 1944)
  • Zorn (26 September – 1 October 1944)
  • Grimm (1–2 October 1944)
  • Panther (16 October – 10 November 1944)
  • Stier (4–15 December 1944)

Fate[edit]

U-636 was sunk on 21 April 1945 in the North Atlantic in position 55°50′N 10°31′W / 55.833°N 10.517°W / 55.833; -10.517, by depth charges from HMS Bazely, HMS Drury and HMS Bentinck. All hands were lost.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[3]
6 September 1943 Tbilisi  Soviet Union 7,169 Sunk

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-636". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-636". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 31 August 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]