SM UC-21 was a German Type UC II minelaying submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The U-boat was ordered on 26 August 1915 and was launched on 1 April 1916. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 12 September 1916 as SM UC-21.[Note 1]

History
German Empire
Name: UC-21
Ordered: 26 August 1915[1]
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg[2]
Yard number: 271[1]
Launched: 1 April 1916[1]
Commissioned: 12 September 1916[1]
Status: Missing since September 1917[1]
General characteristics [3]
Class and type: German Type UC II submarine
Displacement:
  • 417 t (410 long tons), surfaced
  • 493 t (485 long tons), submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 5.22 m (17 ft 2 in) o/a
  • 3.65 m (12 ft) pressure hull
Draught: 3.68 m (12 ft 1 in)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 11.6 knots (21.5 km/h; 13.3 mph), surfaced
  • 7.0 knots (13.0 km/h; 8.1 mph), submerged
Range:
  • 9,430 nmi (17,460 km; 10,850 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph), surfaced
  • 55 nmi (102 km; 63 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph), submerged
Test depth: 50 m (160 ft)
Complement: 26
Armament:
Notes: 35-second diving time
Service record[1]
Part of:
  • Flandern Flotilla
  • 14 November 1916 – 30 September 1917
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Reinhold Saltzwedel[4]
  • 15 September 1916 – 9 June 1917
  • Oblt.z.S. Werner von Zerboni di Sposetti[5]
  • 10 June – 30 September 1917
Operations: 11 patrols
Victories:
  • 98 merchant ships sunk (134,063 GRT)
  • 5 merchant ships damaged (11,826 GRT)
  • 1 ship captured as a prize (148 GRT)
  • 1 warship damaged (778 tons)

In eleven patrols UC-21 was credited with sinking 100 ships, either by torpedo or by mines laid. They included the British hospital ship Donegal, which UC-21 torpedoed in the English Channel on 17 April 1917, killing 29 already wounded soldiers and 12 crew.[6]

UC-21 disappeared after departing Zeebrugge for the Bay of Biscay on 13 September 1917.[1]

DesignEdit

Like all pre-UC-25 German Type UC II submarines, UC-21 had a displacement of 417 tonnes (410 long tons) when at the surface and 493 tonnes (485 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 49.35 m (161 ft 11 in), a beam of 5.22 m (17 ft 2 in), and a draught of 3.65 m (12 ft). The submarine was powered by two six-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines each producing 250 metric horsepower (180 kW; 250 shp) (a total of 500 metric horsepower (370 kW; 490 shp)), two electric motors producing 460 metric horsepower (340 kW; 450 shp), and two propeller shafts. She had a dive time of 35 seconds and was capable of operating at a depth of 50 metres (160 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 11.6 knots (21.5 km/h; 13.3 mph) and a submerged speed of 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). When submerged, she could operate for 55 nautical miles (102 km; 63 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 9,430 nautical miles (17,460 km; 10,850 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). UC-21 was fitted with six 100 centimetres (39 in) mine tubes, eighteen UC 200 mines, three 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes (one on the stern and two on the bow), seven torpedoes, and one 8.8 cm (3.5 in) Uk L/30 deck gun. Her complement was twenty-six crew members.[3]

Summary of raiding historyEdit

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 2] Fate[7]
28 November 1916 Clematis   United Kingdom 22 Sunk
28 November 1916 Lady of the Lake   United Kingdom 91 Sunk
28 November 1916 Vulcan   United Kingdom 27 Sunk
28 November 1916 Pelagia   United Kingdom 84 Sunk
30 November 1916 Draupner   Norway 1,126 Sunk
30 November 1916 Eggesford   United Kingdom 4,414 Damaged
30 November 1916 Therese   France 165 Sunk
1 December 1916 King Bleddyn   United Kingdom 4,387 Sunk
2 December 1916 Demetrios Inglesis   Greece 2,088 Sunk
2 December 1916 Robinson   France 186 Sunk
2 December 1916 Uribitarte   Spain 1,756 Sunk
3 December 1916 Aiglon   France 280 Sunk
3 December 1916 Louise   France 155 Sunk
3 December 1916 Verdun   France 184 Sunk
4 December 1916 Pallas   Russian Empire 1,202 Sunk
5 December 1916 Nexos   Denmark 1,013 Sunk
6 December 1916 Gerona   Spain 1,328 Sunk
7 December 1916 Avristan   United Kingdom 3,818 Sunk
8 December 1916 Dagon   United Kingdom 250 Sunk
8 December 1916 Falk   Norway 1,379 Sunk
8 December 1916 Marjolaine   France 163 Sunk
8 December 1916 Modum   Norway 2,937 Sunk
17 December 1916 Margaret   United Kingdom 54 Sunk
18 January 1917 HMS Ferret   Royal Navy 778 Damaged
19 January 1917 Joseph Rosalie   France 138 Sunk
19 January 1917 Marietta Di Giorgio   Norway 988 Sunk
19 January 1917 Tremeadow   United Kingdom 3,653 Sunk
20 January 1917 Kisagata Maru No. 3   Japan 2,588 Sunk
20 January 1917 Jotunfjell   Norway 2,492 Damaged
21 January 1917 Victoire   France 290 Damaged
21 January 1917 Leontine   France 124 Sunk
21 January 1917 Saint Pierre   France 127 Sunk
22 January 1917 Bearnais   France 301 Sunk
22 January 1917 Precurseur   France 364 Sunk
22 January 1917 Stenimachos   Greece 1,175 Sunk
24 January 1917 Dan   Denmark 1,869 Sunk
24 January 1917 Gladiateur   France 23 Sunk
24 January 1917 Loire III   France 27 Sunk
24 January 1917 Marie 3   France 25 Sunk
24 January 1917 Quebec   France 3,346 Sunk
24 January 1917 Vega   Denmark 195 Sunk
25 January 1917 Myrdal   Norway 2,631 Sunk
1 February 1917 Sainte Helene   France 2,128 Sunk
10 February 1917 Beechtree   United Kingdom 1,277 Sunk
11 February 1917 Dernes   Norway 738 Sunk
12 February 1917 Nordcap   Norway 332 Sunk
13 February 1917 Progreso   Norway 1,620 Sunk
14 February 1917 Longscar   United Kingdom 2,777 Sunk
14 February 1917 Mar Adriatico   Spain 2,410 Sunk
15 February 1917 Aline   France 30 Sunk
15 February 1917 Marion Dawson   United Kingdom 2,300 Sunk
16 February 1917 Niobe   France 1,319 Sunk
16 February 1917 Pollcrea   United Kingdom 1,209 Damaged
17 February 1917 Cabo   Norway 1,254 Sunk
17 February 1917 Silene   France 171 Sunk
18 February 1917 Triumph   United Kingdom 52 Sunk
19 February 1917 Rutenfjell   Norway 1,844 Sunk
10 March 1917 Asbjørn   Norway 3,459 Sunk
12 March 1917 Alice Charles   France 41 Sunk
12 March 1917 Arethuse   France 40 Sunk
13 March 1917 Girda   Norway 1,824 Sunk
13 March 1917 Vivina   Spain 3,034 Sunk
14 March 1917 Blaamanden   Norway 954 Sunk
14 March 1917 La Marne   France 133 Sunk
15 March 1917 Eugene Robert   France 98 Sunk
15 March 1917 Fleur D’Esperance   France 24 Sunk
15 March 1917 Frimaire   United Kingdom 1,778 Sunk
15 March 1917 Petit Jean   France 21 Sunk
16 March 1917 Anais   France 130 Sunk
16 March 1917 Madeleine Davoust   France 148 Sunk
16 March 1917 Ronald   Norway 3,021 Sunk
18 March 1917 Illinois   United States 5,225 Sunk
17 April 1917 HMHS Donegal   Royal Navy 1,885 Sunk
19 April 1917 Cilurnum   United Kingdom 3,126 Sunk
20 April 1917 Georgios   Greece 3,124 Sunk
21 April 1917 Emile Et Charlotte   France 41 Sunk
21 April 1917 Ville De Dieppe   Norway 1,254 Sunk
22 April 1917 Capenor   United Kingdom 2,536 Sunk
22 April 1917 Percy Birdsall   United States 1,127 Sunk
22 April 1917 Valerie   Norway 2,140 Sunk
24 April 1917 Barnton   United Kingdom 1,858 Sunk
25 April 1917 Baigorry   France 2,161 Sunk
26 April 1917 Boy Denis   United Kingdom 41 Sunk
22 May 1917 Jeune Albert   France 25 Sunk
23 May 1917 Harwood Palmer   United States 2,885 Sunk
23 May 1917 Lesto   United Kingdom 1,940 Sunk
26 May 1917 Aristides   Greece 2,179 Sunk
26 May 1917 Norhaug   Norway 1,245 Sunk
27 May 1917 Efstathios   Greece 3,847 Sunk
28 May 1917 Hiram   Norway 598 Sunk
28 May 1917 Urna   Norway 2,686 Sunk
28 May 1917 Waldemar   Norway 1,267 Sunk
30 May 1917 Sørland   Norway 2,472 Sunk
2 June 1917 Tonawanda   United Kingdom 3,421 Damaged
7 June 1917 Hafnia   Denmark 1,619 Sunk
29 June 1917 Lauwerzee   Netherlands 47 Sunk
4 July 1917 Bestevaer   Netherlands 1,044 Sunk
4 July 1917 Roelfina   Netherlands 148 Captured as a prize
11 July 1917 Coquimbo   France 1,759 Sunk
15 August 1917 Phoebe   France 3,956 Sunk
17 August 1917 Pontoporos   Greece 4,049 Sunk
19 August 1917 Therese & Marie   France 1,615 Sunk
31 August 1917 Marques De Mudela   Spain 1,930 Sunk
16 September 1917 Ann J. Trainer   United States 426 Sunk
23 September 1917 St. Dunstan   United Kingdom 730 Sunk

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "SM" stands for "Seiner Majestät" (English: His Majesty's) and combined with the U for Unterseeboot translates as His Majesty's Submarine.
  2. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: UC 21". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  2. ^ Tarrant 1989, p. 173
  3. ^ a b c Gröner 1991, pp. 31-32.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Reinhold Saltzwedel (Pour le Mérite)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Werner von Zerboni di Sposetti". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  6. ^ The War on Hospital Ships, With Narratives of Eye-Witnesses and British and German Diplomatic Correspondence (Second and Revised ed.). New York and London: Harper and Brothers. 1918. p. 16.
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by UC 21". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 12 December 2014.

BibliographyEdit

  • Bendert, Harald (2001). Die UC-Boote der Kaiserlichen Marine 1914-1918. Minenkrieg mit U-Booten (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0758-7.
  • 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.
  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-907-8. OCLC 12119866.
  • Tarrant, V. E. (1989). The U-Boat Offensive: 1914–1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-764-7. OCLC 20338385.