SM U-96

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.[3] U-96 survived the war.[4]

History
German Empire
Name: U-96
Ordered: 15 September 1915
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 260
Laid down: 12 January 1916
Launched: 15 February 1917
Commissioned: 11 April 1917
Status: Surrendered 20 November 1918
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: German Type U 93 submarine
Displacement:
  • 837 t (824 long tons) surfaced
  • 998 t (982 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.30 m (20 ft 8 in) (o/a)
  • 4.15 m (13 ft 7 in) (pressure hull)
Height: 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)
Draught: 3.94 m (12 ft 11 in)
Installed power:
  • 2 × 2,300 PS (1,692 kW; 2,269 shp) surfaced
  • 2 × 1,200 PS (883 kW; 1,184 shp) submerged
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 × 1.66 m (5 ft 5 in) propellers
Speed:
  • 16.9 knots (31.3 km/h; 19.4 mph) surfaced
  • 8.6 knots (15.9 km/h; 9.9 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 8,290 nmi (15,350 km; 9,540 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced
  • 47 nmi (87 km; 54 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (160 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 32 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Heinrich Jeß[2]
  • 24 May 1917 – 11 November 1918
Operations: 9 patrols
Victories:
  • 31 merchant ships sunk (95,253 GRT)
  • 3 ships damaged (16,220 GRT)

Design

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.[1] 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).[1]

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).[1] 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).[1]

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[5]
2 June 1917 Shamrock  United Kingdom 170 Sunk
2 June 1917 St. Bernard  United Kingdom 186 Sunk
8 June 1917 Orator  United Kingdom 3,563 Sunk
9 June 1917 Baron Cawdor  United Kingdom 4,316 Sunk
14 July 1917 Emanuel  Denmark 203 Sunk
21 July 1917 Paddington  United Kingdom 5,084 Sunk
23 July 1917 Radioleine  France 4,029 Damaged
29 July 1917 Anitra  Norway 593 Sunk
1 October 1917 Carrabin  United Kingdom 2,739 Sunk
3 October 1917 Hurst  United Kingdom 4,718 Sunk
4 October 1917 Rupee  United Kingdom 39 Sunk
4 October 1917 Young Clifford  United Kingdom 47 Sunk
6 October 1917 Bedale  United Kingdom 2,116 Sunk
8 October 1917 Greldon  United Kingdom 3,322 Sunk
8 October 1917 Memphian  United Kingdom 6,305 Sunk
9 October 1917 Champagne  Royal Navy 5,360 Sunk
9 October 1917 Peshawur  United Kingdom 7,634 Sunk
23 November 1917 La Blanca  United Kingdom 7,479 Sunk
24 November 1917 Sabia  United Kingdom 2,807 Sunk
26 November 1917 Drot  Norway 2,923 Sunk
28 November 1917 Agenoria  United Kingdom 2,977 Damaged
28 November 1917 Apapa  United Kingdom 7,832 Sunk
30 November 1917 Derbent  United Kingdom 3,178 Sunk
20 March 1918 Custodian  United Kingdom 9,214 Damaged
25 March 1918 Destro  United Kingdom 859 Sunk
28 March 1918 Inkosi  United Kingdom 3,661 Sunk
30 March 1918 Geraldine  United Kingdom 61 Sunk
30 March 1918 St. Michan  United Kingdom 43 Sunk
31 March 1918 Conargo  United Kingdom 4,312 Sunk
27 May 1918 Michiel Taal Johsz  Netherlands 86 Sunk
5 June 1918 Polwell  United Kingdom 2,013 Sunk
9 June 1918 Vandalia  United Kingdom 7,333 Sunk
4 August 1918 Reinhard  Russian Empire 239 Sunk
7 August 1918 Highland Harris  United Kingdom 6,032 Sunk

Original documents from Room 40

The following is a verbatim transcription of the recorded activities of SM U-96 known to British Naval Intelligence, Room 40 O.B.:[6]

"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.

See also

References

Notes

  1. Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations

  1. Gröner 1991, pp. 12-14.
  2. 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.
  3. "UC 69". Uboat.net. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  4. Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 96". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  5. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 96". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  6. National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914-1918 (Published below - Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918)

Bibliography

  • 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) [1932]. 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.

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