German submarine U-176 was a  Type IX c[turm II]of the German Kriegsmarine built for service during WW II Built at the AG Weser shipyard in Bremen, U-176 was laid down on 6 February 1941, launched on 12 September 1941, and commissioned on 15 December 1941, under the command of Kapitaninleutenant Reiner Dierksen. U-176 served with 4.U-boat flotilla while training, and from 1 August 1942 with 10.unterseeboot flotilla , a long-range operations unit. U-176 completed three patrols, sinking 11 ships totalling 53,307 gross register tons before she was sunk off Cuba on 15 May 1943.

Power plant and armament:

Her two turbo supercharged MAN 9-cylinder diesels, had a nominal power rating of 2,200 hp at 470 rpm but could be overloaded to 2,470 hp for about half an hour, enabling a top speed of more than 18 knots on the surface. When cruising at 10 knots, the surface range was an impressive 13,850 nautical miles. Max diving depth was around 230-250 meters and the two SSW electric motors provided a top speed of 7 knots when submerged, cruising range underwater was 128 nautical miles at two knots.

U-176 kit

Main armaments were the standard G7a, G7e and G7s torpedoes, the latter being the famous Zaunköning acoustic anti-escort homing torpedo, all fired through four bow and two aft torpedo tubes. Normally a total of 18 torpedoes were carried, one reload for each torpedo tube below deck and two extra torpedoes in stowage tubes at the rear base of the conning tower. A further four spare torpedoes were carried in water-tight containers below the aft decking.

The antiaircraft armament was quite extensive, consisting of one 37mm M42 autocannon on the lower Wintergarten and two twin 20mm FlaK 38 autocannons on the upper platform. Usually about 3,050 37mm rounds and 10,750 20mm rounds were carried.

The Kit:

Mirage has released a range of different German U-boat kits in 1/400 and 1/350scale lately, both the well-known type II and VII as well as the larger ocean-going type IX. This is really great, as model kits of the type IX U-boats are especially rare (in any scale).

This kit (Mirage No. 350501) is molded in a light gray styrene, detailing is impressive and mayhaps just a tad soft. No flash and only a few minor sink marks were present on my example. Some of the tiniest parts are a bit too thick, especially the propeller blades and the propeller masts. This really is just a nitpick, as I guess it would be quite hard to mold the details any better due to the small scale. PE parts are done very nice and they are very easy to bend to shape.

Decals are supplied for one boat, U-176. The instructions are written in Polish with some minor English translations but this really is not a problem as the construction drawings are pretty clear and easy to follow.

Painting instructions are a bit vague, though; I recommend using external references for the specific U-boat you are modeling, U-176 in this case.

Most of the late-war type IXC[turm II] uboats were painted light grey on the upper hull and command tower, with a darker, almost black, grey colour below the waterline. Some uboats differed by having a dark red underwater hull, instead.

Nenad Blagojevic

Sample kit is provided by Piotr Zieliński V-ce President of Mirage Hobby