|Ordered:||1914 Peacetime order|
|Builder:||AG Vulcan Stettin, Germany|
|Launched:||23 December 1914|
|Commissioned:||31 October 1915|
|Class and type:||V25-class torpedo boat|
|Displacement:||1,106 t (1,089 long tons)|
|Length:||79.6 m (261 ft 2 in)|
|Beam:||8.32 m (27 ft 4 in)|
|Draft:||3.61 m (11 ft 10 in)|
|Speed:||34.5 knots (63.9 km/h; 39.7 mph)|
|Range:||1,270 nmi (2,350 km; 1,460 mi)at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|Complement:||88 officers and sailors|
Ordered from AG Vulcan on 22 April 1914 as part of the 1914 construction programme of high-seas torpedo-boats (with a half-flotilla of 6 ordered from Germaniawerft and a second half-flotilla from Vulcan), she was launched from AG Vulcan's Stettin, (now Szczecin in Poland) on 23 December 1914 and commissioned on 31 October 1915. The "V" in V46 denoted the shipbuilder who constructed her.
V46 was 79.6 metres (261 ft 2 in) long overall and 78.8 metres (258 ft 6 in) at the waterline, with a beam of 8.32 metres (27 ft 4 in) and a draught of 3.61 metres (11 ft 10 in). Displacement was 852 tonnes (839 long tons) normal and 1,106 tonnes (1,089 long tons) deep load. Three oil-fired water-tube boilers fed steam to 2 sets of AEG-Vulcan steam turbines rated at 24,000 metric horsepower (24,000 shp; 18,000 kW), driving two propeller shafts via Föttinger hydraulic couplings giving a speed of 34.5 knots (63.9 km/h; 39.7 mph). 296 tonnes (291 long tons) of fuel oil was carried, giving a range of 1,750 nautical miles (3,240 km; 2,010 mi) at 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) and 1,270 nautical miles (2,350 km; 1,460 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph).
Armament originally consisted of three 8.8 cm SK L/45 naval guns in single mounts, together with six 50 cm (19.7 in) torpedo tubes with two fixed single tubes forward and 2 twin mounts aft. Up to 24 mines could be carried. The ship had a complement of 87 officers and men.
V46 was assigned to the Sixth Torpedo Boat Flotilla, Twelfth Half-Flotilla, of the High Seas Fleet of the Imperial German Navy when she participated in the Battle of Jutland. The 12th Half Flotilla attempted a torpedo attack against the battlecruisers of the British 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron at about 19:00 CET (i.e. 18:00 GMT), but while V69 fired two torpedoes and S50 and V45 both fired a single torpedo, V46 did not fire any torpedoes in this engagement, as she was avoiding two torpedoes from the British destroyer Shark and one from S50 which was running in circles. None of the torpedoes from this attack, or one immediately afterwards from the 9th Flotilla, hit their targets. Later that evening, the 12th Half Flotilla was sent to the rear of the retiring German fleet, in order to carry out night torpedo attacks on the British fleet. They were fired on by the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron at about 21:52 CET and turned away, with S50 being damaged by a British shell. V46 and V69 later returned to their search for the British battleships, but although they spotted flashes of the night battles, they encountered no British ships.
In January 1917, the 6th Flotilla was transferred to Flanders to reinforce the German torpedo boat forces based in the Belgian ports. The Flotilla set out from Helgoland for Flanders on 22 January, but decoding of German radio signals by Room 40 warned the British of the German intentions, and the Harwich Force of cruisers and destroyers sent to intercept the German torpedo boats. During the night of 22–23 January, the 6th Flotilla encountered three British light cruisers (Aurora, Conquest and Centaur). In a confused engagement, V69 was hit by a shell and collided with G41, with both badly damaged, although both survived the encounter, while S50 lost contact with the remainder of the flotilla and, after an encounter with a separate group of British destroyers in which Simoom was sunk, returned to Germany. The remaining eight ships of the flotilla reached Zeebrugge unharmed on 23 January. On the night of 25/26 February, the Flanders-based torpedo boats launched a three-pronged attack against Allied shipping in the English Channel and the Dover Barrage. Six ships of the 6th Flotilla, including V46 were to attack the Dover Barrage, while other torpedo boats were to attack shipping on The Downs and off the mouth of the River Maas. The 6th Flotilla ran into the British destroyer Laverock which was patrolling the Barrage. While the German ships attacked Laverock with heavy gunfire and torpedoes (one of which hit the British destroyer but failed to explode), the British destroyer only received light damage, and the 6th Flotilla turned back for Zeebrugge, with the drifters of the Dover Barrage unharmed. The Flanders-based flotillas attacked again on the night of 17/18 March. Seven torpedo boats of the 6th Flotilla (S49, G86, G87, G37, V43, V45 and V46) were to attack the Dover Barrage north of the Sandettie Bank, with five torpedo boats of the 1st Zeebrugge Half-Flotilla attacking south of the Sandettie Bank, and four ships of the 2nd Zeebrugge Half-Flotilla operating against the Downs. The 6th Flotilla met the British destroyer Paragon on crossing the Dover Barrage. Paragon challenged the German torpedo boats, which replied with gunfire and torpedoes, Paragon being struck by torpedoes from S49 and G46 and sunk. The 12th Half-Flotilla (including V46) became separated from the rest of the 6th Flotilla and therefore returned to base, while the remaining three ships of the flotilla continued on, torpedoing and badly damaging the destroyer Llewellyn before returning to base, while a merchant ship was sunk by the 2nd Zeebrugge Half-Flotilla east of the Downs. The 6th Flotilla returned to Germany on 29 March 1917.
In October 1917, Germany launched Operation Albion, an invasion of islands in the West Estonian archipelago to secure the left flank of the German Army following the German capture of Riga. The Germans assembled a powerful naval force to support the operation, reinforced by forces detached from the High Seas Fleet, including the 6th Torpedo Boat Flotilla. V46 carried out operations in Tagga Bay in support of Operation Albion on 14 October.
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