List of all U-boats




Ordered15 Aug 1940
Laid down31 May 1941 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (werk 593)
Launched14 Feb 1942
Commissioned9 Apr 1942Kptlt. Albrecht Brandi (Knights Cross)
9 Apr 1942 - 12 Sep 1943  Kptlt. Albrecht Brandi (Knights Cross)
7 patrols
9 Apr 1942-31 Aug 1942  5. Flottille (training)
1 Sep 1942-30 Nov 1942  7. Flottille (active service)
1 Dec 1942-12 Sep 1943  29. Flottille (active service)
Successes8 ships sunk, total tonnage 25,879 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 810 GRT
2 warships sunk, total tonnage 3,700 tons

Badly damaged on 12 September 1943 in the Mediterranean Sea north-west of Melilla, in position 35.38N, 03.27W, by depth charges from two British Wellington aircraft (179 Sqn RAF/P & J).

Beached west of Cape Tres Forcas, in position 35.13N, 03.21W. The wreck was subsequently attacked by British Hudson aircraft (48 and 233 Sqn RAF) and two British Swordfish aircraft (833 and 886 Sqn FAA) and finally destroyed by gunfire from the British corvette HMS Hyacinth and the Australian minesweeper HMAS Wollongong. 49 survivors (no casualties).

Loss position

See the 11 ships hit by U-617 - View the 7 war patrols

Photo taken by the crew of a Hudson aircraft of 48 Sqn RAF which attacked the wreck of U-617 on 12 Sep, 1943:

U-617 on fire and lying on her port side after being beached off the Moroccan coast near Melilla. The wreck was
eventually destroyed by further air attacks and naval gunfire. Photo from Imperial War Museum, CNA-4091

Wolfpack operations

U-617 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Pfeil (12 Sep 1942 - 22 Sep 1942)
   Blitz (22 Sep 1942 - 26 Sep 1942)
   Tiger (26 Sep 1942 - 30 Sep 1942)
   Delphin (4 Nov 1942 - 10 Nov 1942)
   Wal (10 Nov 1942 - 15 Nov 1942)

Attacks on this boat and other events

12 Sep 1943
The sinking of U-617: At 0150hrs a British Wellington bomber (179 Sqn RAF/P, pilot S/L D.B. Hodgkinson, RCAF) dropped depth charges in a Leigh Light attack off the Moroccan coast. Another Wellington (179 Sqn RAF/J, pilot P/O W.H. Brunini) was homed in and dropped its depth charges in another Leigh Light attack at 35°17N/03°20W. The aircraft was hit by flak in several places, fatally wounding the rear gunner, but this remained undiscovered during the action. The Wellington crew saw flames in the conning tower of U-617 and circled the boat for 45 minutes until she beached herself near Melilla, Spanish Morocco.

The entire crew of 49 abandoned ship and were interned by Spain and later repatriated to Germany. U-617 was finished off by several air attacks of British aircraft from Gibraltar (Hudsons of 48 and 233 Sqdn RAF and two Swordfish of 833 and 886 Sqdn FAA) and the wreck was finally destroyed by gunfire from HMS Hyacinth and HMAS Wollongong.

(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

1 recorded attack on this boat.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-617 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 2 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.

The Wild Onager - U-338

Coat of Arms of Austria

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 2

Wynn, Kenneth

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay