Kapitänleutnant (Crew 37a)
2 warships sunk, total tonnage 2,181 tons
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 17,754 GRT
|Born||6 Aug 1917||Siebitz, Bautzen|
|Died||17 May 2002||(84)|
|U-7||16 Jan 1942||7 Oct 1942||No war patrols|
|U-616||8 Oct 1942||17 May 1944||9 patrols (204 days)|
Oblt. Siegfried Koitschka after patrol
Siegfried Koitschka began his naval career in April 1937. After some months on the cruiser Admiral Hipper and in a training unit he transferred to the U-boat force in June 1940.
Six months later he became second watch officer (II WO) on the newly commissioned U-552, the famous "Red Devil Boat". He accompanied the U-boat on her first six patrols under the command of Erich Topp. He left U-552, certainly with a lot of combat experience, in December 1941.
After the commander training course in the 26th Flotilla, he became commander of the school boat U-7. But in December of the same year he took command of his own front boat, the Type VIIC U-boat U-616. After one patrol in the North Atlantic he managed to break through the Straits of Gibraltar in May 1943.
After six patrols in the Mediterranean, where he sank a US destroyer in October 1943 and damaged two ships in May 1944 with a total of more than 17,000 tons (he claimed more sinkings, but they were not confirmed successes), he left Toulon on 30 April for his last patrol.
Two weeks later, east of Cartagena, Spain, one of the longest U-boat hunting operations of the war took place. After torpedoing two ships, Kptlt. Koitschka with U-616 was located by US destroyers on 14 May, 1944. The next three days U-616 was attacked by the destroyer and also British Wellington aircraft before being forced to surface on the 17 May. All the crew survived the scuttling of the U-boat (Niestlé, 1998).
Siegfried Koitschka spent more than two years in Allied captivity before he was released in June 1946.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Patrol info for Siegfried Koitschka
|1.||U-616||6 Feb 1943||Kiel||26 Mar 1943||St. Nazaire||Patrol 1,||49 days|
|2.||U-616||19 Apr 1943||St. Nazaire||17 May 1943||La Spezia||Patrol 2,||29 days|
|3.||U-616||28 Jul 1943||La Spezia||18 Aug 1943||Toulon||Patrol 3,||22 days|
|4.||U-616||8 Sep 1943||Toulon||18 Sep 1943||Toulon||Patrol 4,||11 days|
|5.||U-616||3 Oct 1943||Toulon||15 Oct 1943||Toulon||Patrol 5,||13 days|
|6.||U-616||20 Nov 1943||Toulon||12 Dec 1943||Toulon||Patrol 6,||23 days|
|7.||U-616||3 Jan 1944||Toulon||15 Jan 1944||Toulon||Patrol 7,||13 days|
|8.||U-616||19 Feb 1944||Toulon||15 Mar 1944||Toulon||Patrol 8,||26 days|
|9.||U-616||30 Apr 1944||Toulon||17 May 1944||Sunk||Patrol 9,||18 days|
|9 patrols, 204 days at sea|
Ships hit by Siegfried Koitschka
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|9 Oct 1943||U-616||USS Buck (DD 420)||1,570||am|
|11 Oct 1943||U-616||HMS LCT-553||611||br|
|14 May 1944||U-616||Fort Fidler (d.)||7,127||br||GUS-39|
|14 May 1944||U-616||G.S. Walden (d.)||10,627||br||GUS-39|
2 ships sunk (2,181 tons) and 2 ships damaged (17,754 tons).
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.