|German submarine U-596|
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||4 January 1941|
|Commissioned:||13 November 1941|
|Fate:||Scuttled on 24 September 1944 in the Mediterranean in Skaramanga Bay, near Salamis in position , after being damaged by US bombs|
|Type:||Type VIIC submarine|
769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced|
871 t (857 long tons) submerged
67.1 m (220 ft 2 in) o/a|
50.5 m (165 ft 8 in) pressure hull
6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a|
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Draft:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6-cylinder 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines, totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW). Max rpm: 470-490|
2 × electric motors, totalling 750 shp (560 kW) and max rpm: 296
17.7 knots (20.4 mph; 32.8 km/h) surfaced|
7.6 knots (8.7 mph; 14.1 km/h) submerged
15,170 km (8,190 nmi) at 10 kn (19 km/h) surfaced|
150 km (81 nmi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
230 m (750 ft)|
Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
|Complement:||44–52 officers & ratings|
• 5 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (4 bow, 1 stern)|
• 14 × torpedoes or 26 TMA mines
• 1 × C35 88mm gun/L45 deck gun (220 rounds)
• Various AA guns
German submarine U-596 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for the Nazi German Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 4 January 1941 by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg as 'werk' 572, launched on 17 September 1941 and commissioned on 13 November under Kapitänleutnant Gunter Jahn. He was replaced on 28 July 1943 by Oberleutnant Victor-Whilhelm Noon who was superseded by Oblt. Hans Kolbus in July 1944.
In 12 patrols she sank 12 ships, including one warship for a total of 41,411 GRT.
Her initial sortie from Kiel was cut short by a battery explosion on 28 June 1942. She was obliged to put into Bergen in Norway.
Her first patrol saw her depart Bergen on 8 August 1942, cross the North Sea and move through the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands into the Atlantic. There she sank the Suecia with a torpedo on 16 August, having first checked the ships' papers. She also sank the Empire Hartebeeste on 20 September, but was attacked by HNoMS Potentilla and HMS Viscount on 24 August. No damage was sustained. U-596 lost a man overboard on 30 August in mid-Atlantic. The boat then docked at St. Nazaire in occupied France on 3 October.
Her next foray from St. Nazaire took the U-boat as part of group 'Delphin' to La Spezia in northern Italy. Her route involved passing the heavily defended Strait of Gibraltar, which she successfully accomplished in the darkness during the period of the new moon from 8–10 November 1942.
3rd and 4th patrols
U-596's third patrol took her past the Balearic Islands to the Algerian coast near Oran. It was unsuccessful.
Her fourth foray yielded some reward. Between Algiers and Oran she damaged the Fort Norman and the Empire Standard, both on 9 March 1943.
5th and 6th patrols
Her fifth outing, in the same area as her third and fourth patrols, was rewarded with the sinking of the Fort a la Corne west of Algiers on 30 March 1943.
Her home port was moved from La Spezia to Pola in Croatia; she sailed from there on her sixth patrol, but it was uneventful.
7th and 8th patrols
Patrol number seven was marked by the sinking of several Egyptian, a Palestinian and British-registered sailing ships off the Lebanon coast with her deck gun in August and September 1943.
During her eighth patrol, she sank the Marit off the Libyan coast on 4 October, but was attacked by the British corvette HMS Gloxina. Although slightly damaged, the U-boat escaped.
9th, 10th and 11th patrols
U-596 departed Pola on 30 November but it was not until many days later that she sank the Troop Transport Cap Padaran off Cape Spartivento in Italy on 9 December. She returned to Pola on 28 December 1943.
Another unsuccessful patrol passed between 12 February and 11 March 1944.
The boat barely left the Adriatic for patrol number eleven.
What turned out to be the last complete patrol by a U-boat in the Mediterranean began with U-596's departure from Pola on 29 July 1944. Her route was to the Gulf of Sirte on the Libyan coast. Her arrival at Salmis in Greece was followed by the USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) bombing the port on 29 September (USAAF records say the 25th). The boat was sufficiently damaged that the crew were forced to abandon her and join the general retreat through Athens.
The submarine was scuttled on 24 September 1944 in Skaramanga Bay, near Salamis in position . 1 person died; the number of survivors is unknown.
|16 August 1942||Suecia||Sweden||SC-95||4,966||Sunk|
|20 September 1942||Empire Hartebeeste||United Kingdom||SC-100||5,676||Sunk|
|7 February 1943||HMS LCI (L) 162||United Kingdom||246||Sunk|
|9 March 1943||Empire Standard||United Kingdom||KMS-10||7,047||Damaged|
|30 March 1943||Fort Norman||United Kingdom||KMS-10||7,133||Damaged|
|30 March 1943||Fort a la Corne||United Kingdom||ET-16||7,133||Sunk|
|30 March 1943||Hallanger||Norway||ET-16||9,551||Sunk|
|20 August 1943||El Sayeda||Egypt||68||Sunk|
|21 August 1943||Lily||Palestine||132||Sunk|
|21 August 1943||Namaz||United Kingdom||50||Sunk|
|21 August 1943||Panikos||United Kingdom||21||Sunk|
|30 August 1943||Nagwa||Egypt||183||Sunk|
|7 September 1943||Hamidieh||Egypt||80||Sunk|
|4 October 1943||Marit||Norway||XT-4||5,542||Sunk|
|9 December 1943||Cap Padaran||United Kingdom||HA-11||8,009||Sunk|
- Paterson, Lawrence - U-Boats in the Mediterranean 1941-1944, 2007, Chatham Publishing, ISBN 13: 9781861762900, p. 92.
- Paterson, p. 175
- Paterson, p. 178
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