German submarine U-1 (1935)

German submarine U-1 was the first U-boat (or submarine) built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine following Adolf Hitler's abrogation of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles in 1935, which banned Germany possessing a submarine force.

U 1 Kriegsmarine.jpg
Prewar picture of U-1
History
Nazi Germany
NameU-1
Ordered2 February 1935[2]
BuilderDeutsche Werke, Kiel[1]
Cost1,500,000 Reichsmark
Yard number236[1]
Laid down11 February 1935[1]
Launched15 June 1935[1]
Commissioned29 June 1935[1]
FateSunk 6 April 1940 north of Terschelling by a British mine[3]
General characteristics
Class and typeType IIA coastal submarine
Displacement
  • 254 t (250 long tons) surfaced
  • 303 t (298 long tons) submerged
  • 381 t (375 long tons) total
Length
Beam
  • 4.08 m (13 ft 5 in) (o/a)
  • 4.00 m (13 ft 1 in) (pressure hull)
Height8.60 m (28 ft 3 in)
Draught3.83 m (12 ft 7 in)
Installed power
  • 700 PS (510 kW; 690 shp) (diesels)
  • 360 PS (260 kW; 360 shp) (electric)
Propulsion
Range
  • 1,050 nmi (1,940 km; 1,210 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
  • 35 nmi (65 km; 40 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth80 m (260 ft)
Complement3 officers, 22 men
Armament
Service record
Part of:
Identification codes: M 27 893
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Klaus Ewerth
  • 29 June 1935 – 30 September 1936
  • Kptlt. Alexander Gelhaar
  • 1 October 1936 – 2 February 1938
  • Unknown
  • 3 February – 28 October 1938
  • K.Kapt. Jürgen Deecke
  • 29 October 1938 – 6 April 1940[4]
Operations:
  • 2 patrols:
  • 1st patrol:
  • 15 – 29 March 1940
  • 2nd patrol:
  • 4 – 6 April 1940
Victories: None

A Type IIA U-boat, she was built at the Deutsche Werke shipyards in Kiel, yard number 236, her keel being laid on 11 February 1935 amid celebration. She was commissioned on 29 June 1935 after a very rapid construction, and was manned by crews trained in the Netherlands.

DesignEdit

German Type II submarines were based on the Finnish submarine Vesikko. U-1 had a displacement of 254 tonnes (250 long tons) when at the surface and 303 tonnes (298 long tons) while submerged. Officially, the standard tonnage was 250 long tons (250 t), however.[5] The U-boat had a total length of 40.90 m (134 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 27.80 m (91 ft 2 in), a beam of 4.08 m (13 ft 5 in), a height of 8.60 m (28 ft 3 in), and a draught of 3.83 m (12 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two MWM RS 127 S four-stroke, six-cylinder diesel engines of 700 metric horsepower (510 kW; 690 shp) for cruising, two Siemens-Schuckert PG VV 322/36 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 360 metric horsepower (260 kW; 360 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 0.85 m (3 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 80–150 metres (260–490 ft).[5]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph).[5] When submerged, the boat could operate for 35 nautical miles (65 km; 40 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 1,600 nautical miles (3,000 km; 1,800 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-1 was fitted with three 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes at the bow, five torpedoes or up to twelve Type A torpedo mines, and a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of 25.[5]

Service historyEdit

Her pre-war service was unremarkable, but she did gain a reputation as a poor ship. Her rapid construction, combined with the inadequacy of the technology which was used to create her, made her uncomfortable, leaky and slow. When war came, there were already plans to shelve her and her immediate sister boats for use as training boats only.

Despite this however, owing to a shortage of available units she sailed on 29 March 1940 against British shipping operating off Norway, close to the limit of her effective operating range. She failed to find a target, but was sent out again on 4 April, in preparation for Operation Weserübung (the invasion of Norway).

FateEdit

U-1 sent a brief radio signal on 6 April, giving her position, before she disappeared. She was struck by a mine in British minefield Field No. 7 in the North Sea north of Terschelling at position 54°14′N 05°07′E / 54.233°N 5.117°E / 54.233; 5.117Coordinates: 54°14′N 05°07′E / 54.233°N 5.117°E / 54.233; 5.117. The entire aft section of the boat was blown off and all hands lost. In June 2007, the wreck of U-1 was located by divers.

She was the first of over 1,000 U-boats to serve during the Battle of the Atlantic, and one of over 700 to be lost at sea.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Rössler 1979, p. 99.
  2. ^ Busch & Röll 1999a, p. 15.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IIA U-boat U-1". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  4. ^ Busch & Röll 1999b, p. 283.
  5. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 39–40.

BibliographyEdit

  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1997). Der U-Boot-Bau auf deutschen Werften. Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939-1945 (in German). Vol. II. Hamburg: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0509-6.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999a). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). Vol. IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999b). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. Vol. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
  • Kemp, Paul (1997). U-Boats Destroyed, German submarine losses in the World Wars. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3.
  • 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). Vol. I. Munich: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 3-7637-5213-7.
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9.

External linksEdit

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IIA boat U-1". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 1". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 30 January 2015.