German submarine U-612
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 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.
|Ordered:||15 August 1940|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||21 April 1941|
|Launched:||9 January 1942|
|Commissioned:||5 March 1942|
|Fate:||Rammed and sunk by U-444 on 6 August 1942, scuttled on 2 May 1945|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
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.
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. 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-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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
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. 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. 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 Two men died in the incident.
Siegman and his crew undertook to salvage U-612 and put her back into action; the hull was raised 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.
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.
On 2 May 1945 she was caught at Warnemunde by the advancing Red Army and was scuttled to avoid seizure.
- Neistle p27
- Neistle p75
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC Uboat U-612". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- Werner p73
- Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.
- Blair p619
- Kemp p86
- Werner p77
- Werner p75-7
- Neistle and Kemp both give one casualty only
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "P Seigmann". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- Clay Blair, Hitler’s U-Boat War Vol I (1996). ISBN 0-304-35260-8
- Erich Gröner German Warships 1815-1945 Vol II (1990). Conway Maritime Press ISBN 0-85177-593-4
- Paul Kemp : U-Boats Destroyed ( 1997) . ISBN 1-85409-515-3
- Axel Neistle : German U-Boat Losses during World War II (1998). ISBN 1-85367-352-8
- Herbert Werner Iron Coffins (1969) Cassel & Co. ISBN 0-304-35330-2
- 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.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-612". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 December 2014.