SM U-96 was a Type U 93 submarine and one of the 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. U-96 was engaged in the naval warfare and took part in the First Battle of the Atlantic. She was launched in 1917. On 6 December 1917, she collided with the submarine SM UC-69 at Barfleur, France (49°47′N 1°10′W); UC-69 sank with the loss of eleven of her crew. U-96 survived the war.
|Ordered:||15 September 1915|
|Laid down:||12 January 1916|
|Launched:||15 February 1917|
|Commissioned:||11 April 1917|
|Status:||Surrendered 20 November 1918|
|Class and type:||German Type U 93 submarine|
|Height:||8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)|
|Draught:||3.94 m (12 ft 11 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 shafts, 2 × 1.66 m (5 ft 5 in) propellers|
|Test depth:||50 m (160 ft)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 32 enlisted|
German Type U 93 submarines were preceded by the shorter Type U 87 submarines. U-96 had a displacement of 838 tonnes (825 long tons) when at the surface and 1,000 tonnes (980 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 71.55 m (234 ft 9 in), a pressure hull length of 56.05 m (183 ft 11 in), a beam of 6.30 m (20 ft 8 in), a height of 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in), and a draught of 3.94 m (12 ft 11 in). The submarine was powered by two 2,300 metric horsepower (1,700 kW; 2,300 shp) engines for use while surfaced, and two 1,200 metric horsepower (880 kW; 1,200 shp) engines for use while submerged. She had two propeller shafts. She was capable of operating at depths of up to 50 metres (160 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 16.8 knots (31.1 km/h; 19.3 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 8.6 knots (15.9 km/h; 9.9 mph). When submerged, she could operate for 47 nautical miles (87 km; 54 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,290 nautical miles (15,350 km; 9,540 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-96 was fitted with six 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes (four at the bow and two at the stern), twelve to sixteen torpedoes, and one 8.8 cm (3.5 in) SK L/30 deck gun. She had a complement of thirty-six (thirty-two crew members and four officers).
Summary of raiding history
|2 June 1917||Shamrock||170||Sunk|
|2 June 1917||St. Bernard||186||Sunk|
|8 June 1917||Orator||3,563||Sunk|
|9 June 1917||Baron Cawdor||4,316||Sunk|
|14 July 1917||Emanuel||203||Sunk|
|21 July 1917||Paddington||5,084||Sunk|
|23 July 1917||Radioleine||4,029||Damaged|
|29 July 1917||Anitra||593||Sunk|
|1 October 1917||Carrabin||2,739||Sunk|
|3 October 1917||Hurst||4,718||Sunk|
|4 October 1917||Rupee||39||Sunk|
|4 October 1917||Young Clifford||47||Sunk|
|6 October 1917||Bedale||2,116||Sunk|
|8 October 1917||Greldon||3,322||Sunk|
|8 October 1917||Memphian||6,305||Sunk|
|9 October 1917||Champagne||5,360||Sunk|
|9 October 1917||Peshawur||7,634||Sunk|
|23 November 1917||La Blanca||7,479||Sunk|
|24 November 1917||Sabia||2,807||Sunk|
|26 November 1917||Drot||2,923||Sunk|
|28 November 1917||Agenoria||2,977||Damaged|
|28 November 1917||Apapa||7,832||Sunk|
|30 November 1917||Derbent||3,178||Sunk|
|20 March 1918||Custodian||9,214||Damaged|
|25 March 1918||Destro||859||Sunk|
|28 March 1918||Inkosi||3,661||Sunk|
|30 March 1918||Geraldine||61||Sunk|
|30 March 1918||St. Michan||43||Sunk|
|31 March 1918||Conargo||4,312||Sunk|
|27 May 1918||Michiel Taal Johsz||86||Sunk|
|5 June 1918||Polwell||2,013||Sunk|
|9 June 1918||Vandalia||7,333||Sunk|
|4 August 1918||Reinhard||239||Sunk|
|7 August 1918||Highland Harris||6,032||Sunk|
Original documents from Room 40
"SM U-96. Kaptlt Jess, from U-79, in September 1918 to U-90. Came off the stocks at Kiel early in 1917, joined the Kiel School and remained there until about the end of May, when she left for the North Sea, being attached to the 4th Flotilla.
- 29 May – 21 June 1917. To S.W. of Ireland, northabout both ways, with U-95 on the way North as far as Shetlands. Claimed 8,000 tons.
- 10–30 July 1917. To S.W. of Ireland northabout both ways. Claimed 7,600 tons. Reported periscope damaged by a collision.
- 24 September – 16 October 1917. Went through Channel and operated in western approaches and Irish Sea. Returned northabout and by Sound. Sank 9 vessels of which Lloyds Registered Tonnage was 34,881 tons. Submarine claimed 37,000 tons.
- 21 November – 9 December 1917. To Irish Sea by Channel both ways. Claimed 35,000 tons. While returning from this cruise U-96 rammed UC-69 off Barfleur, an officer and 10 men of UC-69 being drowned.
- 14–20 February 1918. Went north but returned with defects.
- 14 March – 8 April 1918. To Irish Sea. Northabout both ways. Back via Sound. Claimed 19,000 tons. Seems to have been used in attempt to cut off transports from England to north of France.
- 25 May – 22 June 1918. To Irish Sea and south of Ireland via Bight and northabout. Back northabout and Sound. Sank 2 S.S. and fired on fishing fleet. Attacked 2 U.S. destroyers unsuccessfully, also 4 S.S. Was depth-charged on 4 June in Irish Sea, and returned with various defects. (Possibly depth-charged by HMS Viola on 18 June in 61°49′N 0°20′W.)
- 30 July – 23 August 1918. Went northabout, found North Channel unsafe and proceeded to St. George’s Channel. Sank 1 S.S. only, and returned with starboard engine out of order, and bearings of port engine damaged.
- 20 November 1918. Surrendered at Harwich."
Note: S.S. = Steam Ship; S.V. = Sailing Vessel; northabout, Muckle Flugga, Fair I. = around Scotland; Sound, Belts, Kattegat = via North of Denmark to/from German Baltic ports; Bight = to/from German North Sea ports; success = sinking of ships
Koerver, Hans Joachim (2009). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918. Vol II., The Fleet in Being. Steinbach: LIS Reinisch. ISBN 978-3-902433-77-0.
- Gröner 1991, pp. 12-14.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Heinrich Jeß (Royal House Order of Hohenzollern)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "UC 69". Uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 96". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 96". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914-1918 (Published below - Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918)
- 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.
- Spindler, Arno (1966) . Der Handelskrieg mit U-Booten. 5 Vols. Berlin: Mittler & Sohn. Vols. 4+5, dealing with 1917+18, are very hard to find: Guildhall Library, London, has them all, also Vol. 1-3 in an English translation: The submarine war against commerce.
- Beesly, Patrick (1982). Room 40: British Naval Intelligence 1914-1918. London: H Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-10864-2.
- Halpern, Paul G. (1995). A Naval History of World War I. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-85728-498-0.
- Roessler, Eberhard (1997). Die Unterseeboote der Kaiserlichen Marine. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3-7637-5963-7.
- Schroeder, Joachim (2002). Die U-Boote des Kaisers. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3-7637-6235-4.
- Koerver, Hans Joachim (2008). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918. Vol I., The Fleet in Action. Steinbach: LIS Reinisch. ISBN 978-3-902433-76-3.
- Koerver, Hans Joachim (2009). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918. Vol II., The Fleet in Being. Steinbach: LIS Reinisch. ISBN 978-3-902433-77-0.
- Photos of cruises of German submarine U-54 in 1916-1918.
- A 44 min. German film from 1917 about a cruise of the German submarine U-35.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 96". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.
- Room 40: original documents, photos and maps about World War I German submarine warfare and British Room 40 Intelligence from The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, UK.