SM U-30 (Germany)
SM U-30 was one of 329 U-boat submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. She engaged in commerce warfare as part of the First Battle of the Atlantic. U-30 is significant for the torpedoing of the US tanker Gulflight on 1 May 1915 20 nautical miles (37 km; 23 mi) west of Scilly.
|Ordered:||19 February 1912|
|Builder:||Kaiserliche Werft Danzig|
|Launched:||15 November 1913|
|Commissioned:||26 August 1914|
|Fate:||Surrendered 22 November 1918. Broken up at Blyth in 1919-20.|
|Class and type:||German Type U 27 submarine|
|Length:||64.70 m (212 ft 3 in) (o/a)|
|Beam:||6.32 m (20 ft 9 in)|
|Draught:||3.48 m (11 ft 5 in)|
|Test depth:||50 m (164 ft)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 31 enlisted|
Torpedoing of Gulflight
The particular mission when Gulflight was attacked commenced 24 April 1915. On 28 April U-30 intercepted the 1,950 GRT collier Mobile which she sank by gunfire after allowing the crew to escape. On 29 April she similarly sank the 3,200 GRT Cherbourg. 30 April she ordered the steamer Fulgent to halt, but when the ship failed to do so fired a shot into the ship's bridge, which killed the captain and quartermaster. The ship stopped and the rest of the crew were allowed to escape before the ship was sunk by explosive charges placed inside. That afternoon, the 3,100 GRT Svorno was stopped and sunk. On 1 May the grain carrier Edale and French ship Europe were sunk. A Dutch ship was stopped and, as a neutral, permitted to continue at a point some 45 nautical miles (83 km; 52 mi) north west of the Scilly Isles, but the submarine was spotted at this point by a steam drifter, Clara Alice which reported her position to a naval patrol.
The patrol ships HMS Iago and Filey started to hunt for the submarine, but succeeded only in intercepting the US-flagged Gulflight, which they took under escort. The escort proved something of a disadvantage to Gulflight because she was obliged to slow down for the patrol and then, under international law, as a ship escorted by armed vessels became a legitimate target for attack. U-30 spotted the convoy and fired one torpedo at Gulflight, before noticing that she was flying an American flag. The submarine then broke off the attack in accordance with her instructions not to attack neutral vessels.
Gulflight survived the attack, although two members of the crew drowned while evacuating the ship and the master Captain Gunter died later that night from a heart attack. The ship was towed to Crow Bay and later repaired. News of the event would be overshadowed a few days later by the sinking of RMS Lusitania but the incident, together with the attack on Lusitania and another ship, Cushing, formed the basis of a formal complaint from the US government to Germany. Although the United States remained officially neutral in the ongoing hostilities, it reached agreement with the German government that further attacks by submarine would be strictly in accordance with "cruiser Rules" as defined by international law.
Summary of raiding history
|20 February 1915||Cambank||3,112||Sunk|
|20 February 1915||Downshire||337||Sunk|
|28 April 1915||Mobile||1,905||Sunk|
|29 April 1915||Cherbury||3,220||Sunk|
|30 April 1915||Fulgent||2,008||Sunk|
|30 April 1915||Svorono||3,102||Sunk|
|1 May 1915||Edale||3,110||Sunk|
|1 May 1915||Europe||1,887||Sunk|
|1 May 1915||Gulflight||5,189||Damaged|
|3 May 1915||Minterne||3,018||Sunk|
|26 October 1916||Lysland||1,745||Sunk|
|1 November 1916||Brierley Hill||1,168||Sunk|
|11 April 1917||Saxo||711||Sunk|
|11 April 1917||Nancy||1,325||Sunk|
|11 April 1917||Star||818||Sunk|
|11 April 1917||Sylfiden||796||Sunk|
|12 April 1917||Kolaastind||2,368||Sunk|
|13 April 1917||Bokn||336||Sunk|
|13 April 1917||Frixos||2,471||Sunk|
|13 April 1917||Gama||107||Sunk|
|13 April 1917||Glenlora||805||Sunk|
|13 April 1917||Zara||1,331||Sunk|
|14 April 1917||Fjeldli||954||Sunk|
|15 April 1917||Paris||1,634||Sunk|
|16 May 1917||Middlesex||7,265||Sunk|
|23 May 1917||Freden||166||Sunk|
|16 July 1917||Cyrus||293||Sunk|
|28 July 1917||Atlas||2,068||Sunk|
- "SM" stands for "Seiner Majestät" (English: His Majesty's) and combined with the U for Unterseeboot would be translated as His Majesty's Submarine.
- Tonnages are in gross register tons
- Gröner 1991, pp. 6-7.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 30". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Gulfight". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.
- Simpson, Colin (1972). Lusitania. Book club associates.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 30". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.