SM U-15 (Austria-Hungary)
|Builder:||AG Weser, Bremen|
|Commissioned:||6 October 1915|
|Fate:||Handed over to Italy as war reparations and scrapped, 1920|
|Victories:||5 ships (8,044 GRT) sunk
1 warship (745 GRT) sunk
|Displacement:||125.5 long tons (127.51 t) surfaced
140.25 long tons (142.50 t) submerged
|Length:||92 ft 2 in (28.09 m)|
|Beam:||16 ft 10 in (5.13 m)|
|Draft:||8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)|
|Propulsion:||1 × shaft
1 × Daimler diesel engine, 60 bhp (45 kW)
1 × electric motor, 120 shp (89 kW)
|Speed:||6.5 knots (12.0 km/h) surfaced
5.5 knots (10.2 km/h) submerged
|Range:||1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km) @ 5 kn (9.3 km/h) surfaced
45 nautical miles (83 km) @ 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
|Armament:||2 × 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes (both in front); 2 torpedoes
1 × 37 mm/23 (1.5 in) QF gun, Oct 1916
1 × 47 mm/23 (1.9 in) QF gun, Nov 1917
SM U-15 or U-XV was a U-10-class submarine or U-boat of the Austro-Hungarian Navy (German: Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine or K.u.K. Kriegsmarine) during World War I. U-15 was constructed in Germany and shipped by rail to Pola where she was assembled and launched in April 1915. She was commissioned in October 1915. U-15 was the most successful boat of the U-10 class, sinking six ships totaling more than 8,000 gross register tons (GRT). The boat survived the war and was handed over to Italy as a war reparation and scrapped in 1920.
Design and construction
U-15 was constructed at AG Weser in Bremen for the Austro-Hungarian Navy and then shipped by rail in sections to Pola, where the sections were riveted together. Though there is no specific mention of how long it took for U-15 's sections to be assembled, a sister boat, the German Type UB I submarine UB-3, shipped to Pola from Germany in mid-April 1915, was assembled in about two weeks.[Note 1] U-15 was launched in April.
U-15 was a small, coastal submarine that displaced 125.5 long tons (127.5 t) surfaced and 140.25 long tons (142.50 t) submerged. She featured a single shaft, a single 60 bhp (45 kW) Daimler diesel engine for surface running, and a single 120 shp (89 kW) electric motor for submerged travel. U-15 was capable of up to 6.5 knots (12.0 km/h) while surfaced and 5.5 knots (10.2 km/h) while submerged at a diving depth of up to 50 metres (160 ft). She was designed for a crew of 17 officers and men.
U-15 was equipped with two 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes located in the front and carried a complement of two torpedoes. In October 1916, U-15 's armament was supplemented with a 37 mm/23 (1.5 in) quick-firing (QF) gun. This gun was replaced by a 47 mm/23 (1.9 in) QF gun in November 1917.
SM U-15 was commissioned into the Austro-Hungarian Navy on 6 October under the command of Linienschiffsleutnant Friedrich Schlosser. On 28 November, Linienschiffsleutnant Friedrich Fähndrich was assigned to the first of two stints in command of the boat. On 18 December, Fähndrich and U-15 attacked and sank two Albanian sailing vessels near Lezhë. The Erzen, of 25 GRT, and the Figlio Preligiona, of 80 GRT, were both sunk at position .
After being relieved by Linienschiffsleutnant Franz Rzemenowsky von Trautenegg from late March to early May 1916, Fähndrich resumed command on 10 May. One week later, on 17 May, U-15 torpedoed and sank the 2,237 GRT Italian steamer Stura in the Adriatic some 18 nautical miles (33 km) east of Brindisi.[Note 2]
The following month, Fähndrich and the crew of U-15 scored their second double kill when they sank the Italian auxiliary cruiser Cittá di Messina (3,495 GRT) and the French destroyer Fourche (745 GRT). While about 20 nautical miles (37 km) east of Otranto on 23 June, U-15 torpedoed and sank Cittá di Messina. The escorting destroyer Fourche began a depth charge attack on U-15 and assumed success when an oil slick appeared on the surface. After the captain of Fourche turned his attentions to the rescue Cittá di Messina 's survivors, U-15 launched a single torpedo that struck Fourche amidships and sank her.
On 25 October, U-15, back under the command of von Trautenegg, sank the 2,207 GRT Italian steamer Polcevera, a sister ship to Stura (sunk by U-15 in May). Polcevera was the last ship sunk by U-15.
From October 1916 to the end of the fighting in November 1918, U-15 's activities are unknown. U-15 was at Pola at the end of the war when Austria-Hungary handed her over to Italy. U-15 was scrapped at Pola by 1920.
- Gardiner, p. 343.
- Baumgartner and Sieche, as excerpted here (reprinted and translated into English by Sieche). Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- Gibson and Pendergast, p. 385.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U KUK U15". U-Boat War in World War I. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
- Gardiner, p. 180.
- Messimer, p. 126–27.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Erzen". U-Boat War in World War I. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Figlio Preligiona". U-Boat War in World War I. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- Google (4 November 2008). "SM U-15 (Austria-Hungary)". Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Stura". U-Boat War in World War I. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Citta Di Messina". U-Boat War in World War I. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Fourche". U-Boat War in World War I. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- Compton-Hall, p. 230.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: Polceverra". U-Boat War in World War I. Retrieved 4 November 2008. Helgason refers to the ship as "Polceverra", but Haworth, and Swiggum & Kohli identify the ship as "Polcevera".
For Haworth, see: "Polcevera". Miramar Ship Index. R.B.Haworth. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
For Swiggum & Kohli, see: Swiggum, S.; M. Kohli (13 October 2006). "Società Italiana di Transporti Marittimi Raggio & Co., Genoa 1882-1885". TheShipsList.com. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- Swiggum, S.; M. Kohli (13 October 2006). "Società Italiana di Transporti Marittimi Raggio & Co., Genoa 1882-1885". TheShipsList.com. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
- Gibson and Pendergast, p. 388.
- Baumgartner, Lothar; Erwin Sieche (1999). Die Schiffe der k.(u.)k. Kriegsmarine im Bild = Austro-Hungarian warships in photographs (in German). Wien: Verlagsbuchhandlung Stöhr. ISBN 978-3-901208-25-6. OCLC 43596931.
- Compton-Hall, Richard (2004) . Submarines at War, 1914–18. Penzance: Periscope Publishing. ISBN 978-1-904381-21-1. OCLC 57639764.
- Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-907-8. OCLC 12119866.
- Gibson, R. H.; Maurice Prendergast (2003) . The German Submarine War, 1914–1918. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-314-7. OCLC 52924732.
- Immigration Information Bureau (1987) . Morton Allan directory of European passenger steamship arrivals for the years 1890 to 1930 at the Port of New York and for the years 1904 to 1926 at the ports of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8063-0830-2. OCLC 16464579.
- Messimer, Dwight R. (2002). Verschollen: World War I U-boat Losses. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-475-3. OCLC 231973419.