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. The submarine sank 126 ships in 31 patrols for a total of 129,782 gross register tons (GRT) making her the 13th most successful U-boat in both world wars. 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.
SM UB-45, a U-boat similar to UB-18
|Ordered:||30 April 1915|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Launched:||21 August 1915|
|Completed:||10 December 1915|
|Commissioned:||11 December 1915|
|Fate:||Rammed and sunk, 9 December 1917|
|Class and type:||German Type UB II submarine|
|Draught:||3.70 m (12 ft 2 in)|
|Test depth:||50 m (160 ft)|
|Complement:||2 officers, 21 men|
|Notes:||45-second diving time|
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).
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.
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, who sailed her to Zeebrugge, arriving on 16 February, the first U-boat of the type to be based there.
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.
2nd War Patrol
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.
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.
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.
Summary of raiding history
|26 February 1916||Au Revoir||1,058||Sunk|
|8 March 1916||Harmatris||4,863||Sunk|
|9 March 1916||Louisiane||5,109||Sunk|
|9 March 1916||Silius||1,559||Sunk|
|22 March 1916||Kelvinbank||4,209||Sunk|
|23 March 1916||Kannik||2,397||Sunk|
|5 April 1916||Baus||1,287||Sunk|
|5 April 1916||Jeannette||160||Sunk|
|7 April 1916||Clyde||204||Sunk|
|7 April 1916||Eemdijk||3,048||Damaged|
|25 April 1916||HMS E22||725||Sunk|
|26 April 1916||Alfred||24||Sunk|
|17 May 1916||Research||44||Sunk|
|15 July 1916||Bertha||203||Sunk|
|15 July 1916||Dina||164||Sunk|
|17 July 1916||Gertrude||57||Sunk|
|17 July 1916||Glance||60||Sunk|
|17 July 1916||Loch Nevis||58||Sunk|
|17 July 1916||Loch Tay||44||Sunk|
|17 July 1916||V.M.G.||59||Sunk|
|17 July 1916||Waverley||59||Sunk|
|2 August 1916||G. C. Gradwell||156||Sunk|
|2 August 1916||Margaret Sutton||197||Sunk|
|2 August 1916||S.D.||131||Sunk|
|3 August 1916||Badger||89||Sunk|
|3 August 1916||Fortuna||131||Sunk|
|3 August 1916||Ivo||56||Damaged|
|3 August 1916||Jacques Cartier||259||Sunk|
|3 August 1916||Sphene||740||Sunk|
|4 August 1916||Demaris||98||Sunk|
|4 August 1916||Ermenilda||94||Sunk|
|5 August 1916||Spiral||1,342||Sunk|
|9 August 1916||Henri Elisa||822||Sunk|
|10 August 1916||Marie||784||Sunk|
|10 August 1916||Credo||728||Sunk|
|10 August 1916||Saint Pierre||149||Sunk|
|10 August 1916||Sora||1,052||Sunk|
|10 August 1916||Annette Marie||118||Sunk|
|3 September 1916||Netta||370||Sunk|
|3 September 1916||Teesborough||308||Sunk|
|5 September 1916||City of Ghent||199||Sunk|
|5 September 1916||Marcel||1,433||Sunk|
|8 September 1916||Gamen||2,619||Sunk|
|9 September 1916||Georges Andre||229||Sunk|
|9 September 1916||Lodsen||1,247||Sunk|
|9 September 1916||Myosotis||64||Sunk|
|9 September 1916||Carrigan Head||4,201||Damaged|
|10 September 1916||Furu||2,029||Sunk|
|10 September 1916||Marechal De Villars||1,908||Sunk|
|10 September 1916||Polynesia||4,064||Sunk|
|11 September 1916||Assimacos||2,898||Sunk|
|11 September 1916||Kong Ring||1,611||Sunk|
|11 September 1916||Luis Vives||2,160||Sunk|
|12 September 1916||Antwerpen||7,955||Sunk|
|13 September 1916||Ariel||49||Sunk|
|13 September 1916||Hans Jensen||1,824||Sunk|
|13 September 1916||J. N. Madvig||1,762||Sunk|
|13 September 1916||Tolosa||1,833||Sunk|
|14 September 1916||Ethel||1,122||Sunk|
|20 October 1916||Cliburn||440||Sunk|
|20 October 1916||The Duke||376||Sunk|
|20 October 1916||The Marchioness||553||Sunk|
|21 October 1916||Brizeux||2,197||Sunk|
|21 October 1916||Condor||740||Sunk|
|21 October 1916||Fulvio||309||Sunk|
|21 October 1916||Rabbi||878||Sunk|
|24 October 1916||Cannebiere||2,454||Sunk|
|26 October 1916||Pan||796||Sunk|
|23 November 1916||Hendrick||35||Sunk|
|24 November 1916||Øifjeld||1,988||Sunk|
|25 November 1916||Emlynverne||544||Sunk|
|27 November 1916||Borø||819||Sunk|
|27 November 1916||Perra||1,682||Sunk|
|27 November 1916||Rhona||640||Sunk|
|28 November 1916||Auguste Marie||63||Sunk|
|28 November 1916||Lucienne||1,046||Sunk|
|30 November 1916||Aud||1,102||Sunk|
|30 November 1916||Christabel||175||Sunk|
|30 November 1916||E.L.G.||25||Sunk|
|30 November 1916||Egholm||1,348||Sunk|
|30 November 1916||Marie Marguerite||135||Sunk|
|30 November 1916||Njaal||718||Sunk|
|30 November 1916||Saint Ansbert||275||Sunk|
|1 December 1916||T. And A.C.||23||Sunk|
|1 December 1916||Indiana||178||Sunk|
|1 December 1916||Saint Joseph||182||Sunk|
|2 December 1916||Skjoldulf||502||Sunk|
|3 December 1916||Mizpah||57||Sunk|
|3 December 1916||Seeker||74||Sunk|
|3 December 1916||Yrsa||879||Sunk|
|31 December 1916||Eva||1,081||Sunk|
|31 December 1916||Flora||1,033||Sunk|
|2 January 1917||Bestik||2,185||Sunk|
|2 January 1917||Ellik||603||Sunk|
|4 January 1917||Næsborg||1,547||Sunk|
|5 January 1917||Danevirke||1,433||Sunk|
|1 February 1917||Wellhome||113||Damaged|
|3 February 1917||Confiante||85||Sunk|
|3 February 1917||Goeland||305||Sunk|
|3 February 1917||Lars Kruse||1,460||Sunk|
|3 February 1917||Sainte Marie||60||Sunk|
|4 February 1917||Cerera||3,512||Sunk|
|28 February 1917||Harriet Williams||157||Sunk|
|1 March 1917||Chatburn||1,942||Sunk|
|12 March 1917||Topaz||696||Sunk|
|15 March 1917||Adieu Va||64||Sunk|
|16 March 1917||Sir Joseph||84||Sunk|
|17 March 1917||Marie Louise||291||Sunk|
|17 March 1917||Marie Louise||426||Sunk|
|18 March 1917||Marie Louise||33||Sunk|
|1 May 1917||C. A. Jaques||2,105||Sunk|
|2 May 1917||Juno||1,384||Sunk|
|2 May 1917||Tela||7,226||Sunk|
|11 May 1917||Tarpeia||538||Sunk|
|14 May 1917||Elizabeth Hampton||108||Sunk|
|15 May 1917||Panaghi Lykiardopoulo||3,193||Sunk|
|6 June 1917||Cornelia||170||Sunk|
|8 June 1917||Cariad||38||Sunk|
|8 June 1917||Ocean’s Pride||42||Sunk|
|8 June 1917||Onward||39||Sunk|
|8 June 1917||Torbay Lass||38||Sunk|
|9 June 1917||Marjorie||119||Sunk|
|5 July 1917||Bjerkø||1,871||Sunk|
|22 July 1917||Breda||257||Sunk|
|22 July 1917||Nereus||110||Sunk|
|24 July 1917||Oostzee||199||Sunk|
|24 July 1917||Montevideo 488||unknown||Sunk|
|25 July 1917||Janna||145||Sunk|
|25 July 1917||Spes Mea||75||Sunk|
|16 September 1917||Facto||2,372||Sunk|
|12 October 1917||Peebles||4,284||Sunk|
|8 December 1917||Nonni||4,105||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.
- 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.
- Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.
- Rössler 1979, p. 64.
- Gröner 1991, pp. 23-25.
- Bendert 2000, p. 195.
- Most Successful U-boats.
- Bendert 2000, p. 67.
- Bendert 2000, pp. 67-68.
- McCartney, I. (2003). Lost patrols: Submarine wrecks of the English Channel. 24-25. Penzance: Periscope Books. ISBN 1904381049
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: UB-18". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 17 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.
- 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.