SM UB-18

SM UB-18 was a German Type UB II submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The U-boat was ordered on 30 April 1915 and launched on 21 August 1915. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 11 December 1915 as SM UB-18.[Note 1] The submarine sank 126 ships in 31 patrols for a total of 129,782 gross register tons (GRT)[3] making her the 13th most successful U-boat in both world wars.[4] UB-18 was rammed by the trawler Ben Lawer and sunk in the English Channel at 49°17′N 5°47′W on 9 December 1917.[2]

SM UB-45, a U-boat similar to UB-18
History
German Empire
Name: UB-18
Ordered: 30 April 1915[1]
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg[1]
Yard number: 248[1]
Launched: 21 August 1915[1]
Completed: 10 December 1915[1]
Commissioned: 11 December 1915
Fate: Rammed and sunk, 9 December 1917
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: German Type UB II submarine
Displacement:
  • 263 t (259 long tons) surfaced
  • 292 t (287 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 4.36 m (14 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 3.85 m (13 ft) pressure hull
Draught: 3.70 m (12 ft 2 in)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 9.15 knots (16.95 km/h; 10.53 mph) surfaced
  • 5.81 knots (10.76 km/h; 6.69 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 6,650 nmi (12,320 km; 7,650 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) surfaced
  • 45 nmi (83 km; 52 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (160 ft)
Complement: 2 officers, 21 men
Armament:
Notes: 45-second diving time
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Franz Wäger
  • 11 December 1915 – 15 February 1916
  • Oblt.z.S. Otto Steinbrinck
  • 16 February – 27 October 1916
  • Oblt.z.S. Claus Lafrenz
  • 28 October 1916 – July 1917
  • Oblt.z.S. Ulrich Meier
  • 8 July – 21 September 1917
  • Oblt.z.S. Georg Niemeyer
  • 22 September – 9 December 1917
Operations: 31 patrols
Victories:
  • 126 merchant ships sunk (129,782 GRT)
  • 4 merchant ships sunk (7,418 GRT)
  • 2 warships sunk (1,783 tons)

Design

A German Type UB II submarine, ‘’UB-18’’ had a displacement of 263 tonnes (259 long tons) when at the surface and 292 tonnes (287 long tons) while submerged. They had a length overall of 36.13 m (118 ft 6 in), a beam of 4.54 m (14 ft 11 in), and a draught of 3.70 m (12 ft 2 in). The submarine was powered by two Daimler six-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines each producing 142 metric horsepower (104 kW; 140 shp) (a total of 284 metric horsepower (209 kW; 280 shp)), two Siemens-Schuckert electric motors producing 280 metric horsepower (210 kW; 280 shp), and one propeller shaft. She had a dive time of 45 seconds and was capable of operating at a depth of 50 metres (160 ft).[2]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 9.15 knots (16.95 km/h; 10.53 mph) and a submerged speed of 5.81 knots (10.76 km/h; 6.69 mph). When submerged, she could operate for 45 nautical miles (83 km; 52 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph); when surfaced she could travel 6,650 nautical miles (12,320 km; 7,650 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph). UB-18 was fitted with two 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes in the bow, four torpedoes, and one 5 cm (2.0 in) Tk L/40 deck gun. Her complement was twenty-three crew members.[2]

Service history

Oberleutnant zur See (Oblt.z.S.) Franz Wäger took command of UB-18 upon commissioning on 11 December 1915. Wäger handed over command to Oblt.z.S. Otto Steinbrinck,[Note 2] who sailed her to Zeebrugge, arriving on 16 February, the first U-boat of the type to be based there.[5]

1st War Patrol

At the end of February 1916, UB-18 left Zeebrugge for the approaches to Le Havre. On 26 February she launched a torpedo hitting the French steamer SS Charbutier, whose sinking was not observed. The attack on the French minesweeper Au Revoir was more successful, sinking the 20-year-old ship of 1,058 LT (1,075 t), killing 18 crew members. UB-18 returned to base arriving there 29 February 1916.[5]

2nd War Patrol

On 4 March 1916 UB-18 provided flank cover for a German fleet sortie against the English east coast.[5]

3rd War Patrol

From 7–11 March 1916, UB-18 operated against Allied shipping off Boulogne and Le Havre. On 8 March, she sunk a British steamer, SS Harmatris, and the following day, a Norwegian freighter, the Silius, and a French steamer, SS Louisane, fell victims to UB-18's torpedoes.[5]

4th War Patrol

On 21 March 1916, UB-18 left Zeebrugge again for the Le Havre area, where she successfully attacked ships lying in the roads. Two ships, the British freighter SS Kelvinbank, and the Norwegian steamer SS Kannik were hit by torpedoes and sank. The two reloads did not show any hits. UB-18 returned to Zeebrugge, arriving on 29 March 1916. That day, the Flanders Flotilla was formed, and Steinbrinck was awarded the coveted Pour le Mérite order.[6]

Loss

Sailing on her last patrol, she was seen off Start Point, Devon by U 84 on 4 December 1917, bound for the Western Approaches. Early on the morning of 9 December she inadvertently surfaced close to the trawler Ben Lawer, which was escorting a coal convoy. The trawler immediately rammed her just aft of the conning tower, sinking her; there were no survivors. The impact was substantial, with the Ben Lawer so badly damaged that she only just made port.[7]

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 3] Fate[8]
26 February 1916 Au Revoir  French Navy 1,058 Sunk
8 March 1916 Harmatris  United Kingdom 4,863 Sunk
9 March 1916 Louisiane  France 5,109 Sunk
9 March 1916 Silius  Norway 1,559 Sunk
22 March 1916 Kelvinbank  United Kingdom 4,209 Sunk
23 March 1916 Kannik  Norway 2,397 Sunk
5 April 1916 Baus  Norway 1,287 Sunk
5 April 1916 Jeannette  France 160 Sunk
7 April 1916 Clyde  United Kingdom 204 Sunk
7 April 1916 Eemdijk  Netherlands 3,048 Damaged
25 April 1916 HMS E22  Royal Navy 725 Sunk
26 April 1916 Alfred  United Kingdom 24 Sunk
17 May 1916 Research  United Kingdom 44 Sunk
15 July 1916 Bertha  Norway 203 Sunk
15 July 1916 Dina  Netherlands 164 Sunk
17 July 1916 Gertrude  United Kingdom 57 Sunk
17 July 1916 Glance  United Kingdom 60 Sunk
17 July 1916 Loch Nevis  United Kingdom 58 Sunk
17 July 1916 Loch Tay  United Kingdom 44 Sunk
17 July 1916 V.M.G.  United Kingdom 59 Sunk
17 July 1916 Waverley  United Kingdom 59 Sunk
2 August 1916 G. C. Gradwell  United Kingdom 156 Sunk
2 August 1916 Margaret Sutton  United Kingdom 197 Sunk
2 August 1916 S.D.  United Kingdom 131 Sunk
3 August 1916 Badger  United Kingdom 89 Sunk
3 August 1916 Fortuna  United Kingdom 131 Sunk
3 August 1916 Ivo  United Kingdom 56 Damaged
3 August 1916 Jacques Cartier  France 259 Sunk
3 August 1916 Sphene  United Kingdom 740 Sunk
4 August 1916 Demaris  United Kingdom 98 Sunk
4 August 1916 Ermenilda  United Kingdom 94 Sunk
5 August 1916 Spiral  United Kingdom 1,342 Sunk
9 August 1916 Henri Elisa  France 822 Sunk
10 August 1916 Marie  France 784 Sunk
10 August 1916 Credo  Norway 728 Sunk
10 August 1916 Saint Pierre  France 149 Sunk
10 August 1916 Sora  Norway 1,052 Sunk
10 August 1916 Annette Marie  France 118 Sunk
3 September 1916 Netta  United Kingdom 370 Sunk
3 September 1916 Teesborough  United Kingdom 308 Sunk
5 September 1916 City of Ghent  United Kingdom 199 Sunk
5 September 1916 Marcel  Belgium 1,433 Sunk
8 September 1916 Gamen  Sweden 2,619 Sunk
9 September 1916 Georges Andre  France 229 Sunk
9 September 1916 Lodsen  Norway 1,247 Sunk
9 September 1916 Myosotis  France 64 Sunk
9 September 1916 Carrigan Head  United Kingdom 4,201 Damaged
10 September 1916 Furu  Norway 2,029 Sunk
10 September 1916 Marechal De Villars  France 1,908 Sunk
10 September 1916 Polynesia  Norway 4,064 Sunk
11 September 1916 Assimacos  Greece 2,898 Sunk
11 September 1916 Kong Ring  Norway 1,611 Sunk
11 September 1916 Luis Vives  Spain 2,160 Sunk
12 September 1916 Antwerpen  Netherlands 7,955 Sunk
13 September 1916 Ariel  France 49 Sunk
13 September 1916 Hans Jensen  Denmark 1,824 Sunk
13 September 1916 J. N. Madvig  Denmark 1,762 Sunk
13 September 1916 Tolosa  Norway 1,833 Sunk
14 September 1916 Ethel  Norway 1,122 Sunk
20 October 1916 Cliburn  United Kingdom 440 Sunk
20 October 1916 The Duke  United Kingdom 376 Sunk
20 October 1916 The Marchioness  United Kingdom 553 Sunk
21 October 1916 Brizeux  France 2,197 Sunk
21 October 1916 Condor  France 740 Sunk
21 October 1916 Fulvio  Norway 309 Sunk
21 October 1916 Rabbi  Norway 878 Sunk
24 October 1916 Cannebiere  France 2,454 Sunk
26 October 1916 Pan  Norway 796 Sunk
23 November 1916 Hendrick  France 35 Sunk
24 November 1916 Øifjeld  Norway 1,988 Sunk
25 November 1916 Emlynverne  United Kingdom 544 Sunk
27 November 1916 Borø  Norway 819 Sunk
27 November 1916 Perra  Norway 1,682 Sunk
27 November 1916 Rhona  United Kingdom 640 Sunk
28 November 1916 Auguste Marie  France 63 Sunk
28 November 1916 Lucienne  Spain 1,046 Sunk
30 November 1916 Aud  Norway 1,102 Sunk
30 November 1916 Christabel  United Kingdom 175 Sunk
30 November 1916 E.L.G.  United Kingdom 25 Sunk
30 November 1916 Egholm  Denmark 1,348 Sunk
30 November 1916 Marie Marguerite  France 135 Sunk
30 November 1916 Njaal  Norway 718 Sunk
30 November 1916 Saint Ansbert  France 275 Sunk
1 December 1916 T. And A.C.  United Kingdom 23 Sunk
1 December 1916 Indiana  France 178 Sunk
1 December 1916 Saint Joseph  France 182 Sunk
2 December 1916 Skjoldulf  Norway 502 Sunk
3 December 1916 Mizpah  United Kingdom 57 Sunk
3 December 1916 Seeker  United Kingdom 74 Sunk
3 December 1916 Yrsa  Denmark 879 Sunk
31 December 1916 Eva  Norway 1,081 Sunk
31 December 1916 Flora  Norway 1,033 Sunk
2 January 1917 Bestik  Norway 2,185 Sunk
2 January 1917 Ellik  Norway 603 Sunk
4 January 1917 Næsborg  Denmark 1,547 Sunk
5 January 1917 Danevirke  Denmark 1,433 Sunk
1 February 1917 Wellhome  United Kingdom 113 Damaged
3 February 1917 Confiante  France 85 Sunk
3 February 1917 Goeland  France 305 Sunk
3 February 1917 Lars Kruse  Denmark 1,460 Sunk
3 February 1917 Sainte Marie  France 60 Sunk
4 February 1917 Cerera  Russian Empire 3,512 Sunk
28 February 1917 Harriet Williams  United Kingdom 157 Sunk
1 March 1917 Chatburn  United Kingdom 1,942 Sunk
12 March 1917 Topaz  United Kingdom 696 Sunk
15 March 1917 Adieu Va  France 64 Sunk
16 March 1917 Sir Joseph  United Kingdom 84 Sunk
17 March 1917 Marie Louise  France 291 Sunk
17 March 1917 Marie Louise  France 426 Sunk
18 March 1917 Marie Louise  France 33 Sunk
1 May 1917 C. A. Jaques  United Kingdom 2,105 Sunk
2 May 1917 Juno  United Kingdom 1,384 Sunk
2 May 1917 Tela  United Kingdom 7,226 Sunk
11 May 1917 Tarpeia  United Kingdom 538 Sunk
14 May 1917 Elizabeth Hampton  United Kingdom 108 Sunk
15 May 1917 Panaghi Lykiardopoulo  Greece 3,193 Sunk
6 June 1917 Cornelia  Netherlands 170 Sunk
8 June 1917 Cariad  United Kingdom 38 Sunk
8 June 1917 Ocean’s Pride  United Kingdom 42 Sunk
8 June 1917 Onward  United Kingdom 39 Sunk
8 June 1917 Torbay Lass  United Kingdom 38 Sunk
9 June 1917 Marjorie  United Kingdom 119 Sunk
5 July 1917 Bjerkø  Norway 1,871 Sunk
22 July 1917 Breda  Netherlands 257 Sunk
22 July 1917 Nereus  Netherlands 110 Sunk
24 July 1917 Oostzee  Netherlands 199 Sunk
24 July 1917 Montevideo 488  Uruguay unknown Sunk
25 July 1917 Janna  Netherlands 145 Sunk
25 July 1917 Spes Mea  Netherlands 75 Sunk
16 September 1917 Facto  Norway 2,372 Sunk
12 October 1917 Peebles  United Kingdom 4,284 Sunk
8 December 1917 Nonni  Russian Empire 4,105 Sunk

Notes

  1. "SM" stands for "Seiner Majestät" (English: His Majesty's) and combined with the U for Unterseeboot would be translated as His Majesty's Submarine.
  2. Steinbrinck was the most successful of the Flanders U-boat commanders. After the war he joined the Flick group and became a leading industrialist. In 1933 he joined the Freundeskreis Reichsführer SS. He was indicted in the Flick Trial at Nuremberg in 1947 and found guilty of membership in a criminal organisation.
  3. Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

References

  1. Rössler 1979, p. 64.
  2. Gröner 1991, pp. 23-25.
  3. Bendert 2000, p. 195.
  4. Most Successful U-boats.
  5. Bendert 2000, p. 67.
  6. Bendert 2000, pp. 67-68.
  7. McCartney, I. (2003). Lost patrols: Submarine wrecks of the English Channel. 24-25. Penzance: Periscope Books. ISBN 1904381049
  8. Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: UB-18". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 17 December 2014.

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.
  • Bendert, Harald (2000). Die UB-Boote der Kaiserlichen Marine, 1914-1918. Einsätze, Erfolge, Schicksal (in German). Hamburg: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn GmbH. ISBN 3-8132-0713-7.
  • Rössler, Eberhard (1979). U-Bootbau bis Ende des 1. Weltkrieges, Konstruktionen für das Ausland und die Jahre 1935 – 1945. Die deutschen U-Boote und ihre Werften (in German). I. Munich: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 3-7637-5213-7.
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: Most Successful U-boats". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
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