SM U-51

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-51.
Career (German Empire)
Name: U-51
Ordered: 23 August 1914
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Laid down: 19 December 1914
Launched: 25 November 1915
Commissioned: 24 February 1916
Fate: Sunk on 14 July 1916
General characteristics
Class & type: German Type U 51 submarine
Displacement: 712 tons surfaced, 902 tons submerged[1]
Length: 65.2 m (213.9 ft)[2]
Beam: 6.4 m (21.0 ft)[3]
Draught: 3.6 m (11.8 ft)[4]
Speed: •33.1 km/h (17.9 kn) surfaced[5]
• 16.7 km/h (9.0 kn) submerged[6]
Armament: •four 50 cm (19.7 in) torpedo tubes[7] (two bow, two stern, nine torpedoes)[8]
•1 or 2 x 8.8 cm (3.46 in)[9] or 105 mm (4.1 in) deck gun[10]

SM U-51 was a Type U 51 submarine, one of 329 submarines in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. She engaged in commerce warfare during the First Battle of the Atlantic.

She was ordered from Germaniawerft, at Kiel, on 23 August 1914 and laid down there on 19 December. She was launched on 25 November 1915 and commissioned on 24 February 1916. Kapitänleutnant Walter Rumpel was her captain for her entire career.

Operations[edit]

Completed at Kiel about March 1916,[11] she carried out trials at Kiel School until the end of April when she proceeded to Heligoland.[12] British Naval Intelligence (better known as Room 40):[13] monitored and recorded her activities. She was attached to the 2nd Half Flotilla and carried out a patrol in the North Sea between 2 May and 6 May 1916, traveling to Hantsholm in company with SM U-70, escorted by two Zeppelins.[14] She was again in the North Sea between 16 May and 3 June 1916, during the Battle of Jutland. She fired two torpedoes at the battleship HMS Warspite, but missed her.[15]

On 14 July the British submarine HMS H5 spotted U-51 leaving the Ems and torpedoed her. U-51 sank with the loss of 34 of her crew; four survivors were rescued.[16]

The wreck of U 51 was raised and broken up in 1968.[17]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. "U-Boats (1905–18)", in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare, "(Phoebus Publishing, 1978), Volume 23, p.2534.
  2. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  3. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  4. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  5. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  6. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  7. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  8. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  9. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2575; he mistakenly identifies it as 86mm p.2534.
  10. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  11. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914–1918
  12. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914–1918
  13. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914–1918
  14. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914–1918
  15. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914–1918
  16. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914–1918
  17. ^ Uboat.net U-51

Coordinates: 53°56′N 7°55′E / 53.933°N 7.917°E / 53.933; 7.917