German submarine U-1 (1935)
Prewar picture of U-1
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||2 February 1935|
|Builder:||Deutsche Werke, Kiel|
|Laid down:||11 February 1935|
|Launched:||15 June 1935|
|Commissioned:||29 June 1935|
|Identification:||M 27 893|
|Fate:||Probably sunk 6 April 1940 west of Helgoland by a British mine. 24 dead|
|Class & type:||IIA|
|Displacement:||254 t (250 long tons) surfaced
303 t (298 long tons) submerged
|Length:||40.9 m (134 ft 2 in)|
|Beam:||4.08 m (13 ft 5 in)|
|Draft:||3.83 m (12 ft 7 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × propeller shafts
2 × MWM four-stroke diesel engines, 700 shp (520 kW)
2 × Siemens-Schuckert double-acting electric motor, 360 shp (270 kW)
|Speed:||13 knots (24 km/h) surfaced
6.9 knots (12.8 km/h) submerged
|Range:||1,050 nautical miles (1,940 km; 1,210 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
35 nmi (65 km; 40 mi) at 4 knots submerged
|Test depth:||80 m (260 ft)|
|Complement:||3 officers, 22 men|
U-Boat training flotilla
|Identification codes:||M 27 893|
|Commanders:||Kptlt. Klaus Ewerth
(29 June 1935–30 September 1936)
Kptlt. Alexander Gelhaar
(1 October 1936–2 February 1938)
K.Kapt. Jürgen Deecke
(29 October 1938–6 April 1940)
15–29 March 1940
4–6 April 1940
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.
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 completed on 29 June 1935 after a very rapid construction, and was manned by crews trained in the Netherlands.
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 sisters of the Type II class 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).
U-1 sent a brief radio signal on 6 April, giving her position, before she disappeared. The cause of her loss is unknown, but she was scheduled to sail through a minefield laid unknown to the Germans by the British submarine Narwhal that same day. U-1 may have also been sunk by the British submarine Porpoise, which reported launching a torpedo at an unidentified enemy submarine (subsequently thought to be U-3), on 16 April following the invasion.
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.
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