Siegfried Koitschka

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)Lohra / Hessen, Germany

Siegfried Koitschka


3 Apr 1937 Offiziersanwärter
21 Sep 1937 Seekadett
1 May 1938 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jul 1939 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Aug 1939 Leutnant zur See
1 Sep 1941 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jun 1944 Kapitänleutnant


8 May 1941 Iron Cross 2nd Class
8 May 1941 U-boat War Badge 1939
7 Oct 1941 Iron Cross 1st Class
19 Nov 1943 German Cross in Gold
27 Jan 1944 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

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 (Training) 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

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
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 1943U-616 USS Buck (DD 420)1,570am
11 Oct 1943U-616 HMS LCT-553611br
14 May 1944U-616 Fort Fidler (d.)7,127brGUS-39
14 May 1944U-616 G.S. Walden (d.)10,627brGUS-39

2 ships sunk (2,181 tons) and 2 ships damaged (17,754 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

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.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Aces of the Reich

Williamson, Gordon

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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