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The U-86

The German submarine that sank the USS Covington


The German U-boat that sank the USS COVINGTON was a Mittel U type boat built by the Germaniawerft Shipyards in Kiel, Germany. She was ordered on 23 June, 1915 and Laid down on 5 November, 1916 and was launched 7 November, 1916 and Commissioned 30 November 1916. Her Commanders were: 30 Nov, 1916-22 Jun, 1917 Friedrich Crüsemann; 23 Jun, 1917-25 Jan, 1918 Alfred Götze; 26 Jan, 1918-11 Nov, 1918 Helmut Patzig.

During her career she had 12 war patrols from 21 Feb, 1917 - 11 Nov, 1918 and was in the IV Flotilla. Her successes 33 ships sunk for a total of 125,580 tons (warships excluded). U-86 became infamous on 27 June, 1918, when it sank the Hospital ship Llandovery Castle in violation of international law and standing orders of the Imperial German Navy. The captain, Oblt.z.S. Helmut Patzig, then allegedly ordered his crew to machine gun survivors in the water and ram the lifeboats. Because of this, Patzig and his watch officers were tried for war crimes in a German court after the war and sentenced to four years imprisonment. On 1 July, 1918 she sank the US troopship USS Covington in the North Atlantic. The fate of the U-86 ended on 20 November, 1918 when she surrendered. She sank while being towed off the English East coast on the way to be broken up in 1921. 

A view of U-86 underway at sea. Officers can be seen on the bridge and crewmen at attention on the after-deck. Photo of U-86 at Devonport, England tied along side British Submarine K-14 on 8 March 1919. She was being commissioned into the Royal Navy for experimental work. U-86 surrendered to the Royal Navy about November 22, 1918 at Harwich.
The German U-boat U-86 that sank the USS Covington on 1 July, 1918. Contributed by Russ Davis

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This page was created on 5 January, 2004 and last modified on: Sun, Jun 24, 2007

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