SM U-38

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-38.
SM U-38
SM U-38 with crew
Career (German Empire)
Name: U-38
Ordered: 12 June 1912
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Laid down: 25 February 1913
Launched: 9 September 1914
Commissioned: 15 December 1914
Fate: Surrendered 23 February 1919.
General characteristics
Class and type: German Type U 31 submarine
Displacement: 685 tons surfaced
878 tons submerged
971 tons (total)
Length: 64.70 m (overall)
52.36 m (pressure hull)
Beam: 6.32 m (overall)
4.05 m (pressure hull)
Height: 7.68 m
Draught: 3.56 m
Propulsion: Diesel (2 x 950 PS)
Electric (2 x 600 PS)
1850 hp surfaced
1200 hp submerged
Speed: 16.4 knots surfaced
9.7 knots submerged
Range: 8790 miles at 8 kn surfaced 80 miles at 5 knsubmerged[1]
Test depth: 50 m
Complement: 4 officers
31 crewmen
Armament:
Service record
Part of: Imperial German Navy
II Flottille
unknown start – 11 Nov 1915
Pola Flotilla
11 Nov 1915 – 22 May 1916
Constantinople Flotilla
22 May 1916 – 7 Sep 1918
Pola/Mittelmeer I Flotilla
7 Sep 1918 – 11 Nov 1918
Commanders: Kptlt Max Valentiner
5 dec 1914 – 15 Sep 1917
Kptlt Wilhelm Canaris
16 Sep 1917 – 15 Nov 1917
Oblt Hans Heinrich Wurmbach
16 Nov 1917 – 18 Jan 1918
Kptlt Clemens Wickel
19 Jan 1918 – 11 Nov 1918
Operations: 17 patrols
Victories: 138 merchant ships sunk (292,848 GRT)
6 merchant ships damaged (26,139 GRT)
3 merchant ships taken as prizes (3,550 GRT)
1 warship sunk (680 tons)
1 warship damaged (10,850 tons)

SM U-38 was a German Type U 31 U-boat which operated in the Mediterranean Sea during World War I. It ended up being the third most successful u-boat participating in the war sinking 138 ships sunk for a total of 299.985 tons.

Its longest serving captain was Kptlt Max Valentiner, who was awarded the Pour le Mérite while in command of U-38. Valentiner was in command of U-38 in November and December 1915 when she sank the passenger liners Ancona and Persia; both were controversial since the ships were sunk by torpedoes without warning, in defiance of the then-current Prize rules, which stated that merchant vessels carrying passengers be given an opportunity to evacuate their passengers before being sunk.

Valentiner was succeeded as commander of U-38 by Kptlt Wilhelm Canaris, who later went on to become an Admiral and head of the Abwehr from 1935 to 1944.

Fate[edit]

After World War I ended, U-38 was surrendered to France and docked in Brest in 1919, and then broken up.

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[4]
18 April 1915 Brilliant  Norway 1,441 Captured as a prize
22 April 1915 Eva  Norway 312 Sunk
22 April 1915 Oscar  Norway 766 Sunk
24 April 1915 Nidaros  Denmark 1,024 Captured as a prize
27 April 1915 Torwald  Sweden 1,085 Captured as a prize
30 April 1915 Elida  Sweden 1,693 Sunk
20 June 1915 HMS Roxburgh  Royal Navy 10,850 Damaged
21 June 1915 Carisbrook  United Kingdom 2,352 Sunk
22 June 1915 Leo  Russian Empire 269 Sunk
23 June 1915 Truma  Norway 1,557 Sunk
23 June 1915 Elizabeth  United Kingdom 94 Sunk
23 June 1915 Four  United Kingdom 84 Sunk
23 June 1915 Josephine  United Kingdom 85 Sunk
23 June 1915 Piscatorial  United Kingdom 84 Sunk
23 June 1915 Research  United Kingdom 89 Sunk
23 June 1915 Uffa  United Kingdom 79 Sunk
23 June 1915 Ugiebrae  United Kingdom 79 Sunk
24 June 1915 Commander  United Kingdom 149 Sunk
24 June 1915 J. M. S.  United Kingdom 78 Sunk
24 June 1915 Lebanon  United Kingdom 111 Sunk
24 June 1915 Monarda  United Kingdom 87 Sunk
24 June 1915 Primrose  United Kingdom 91 Sunk
24 June 1915 Quiet Waters  United Kingdom 63 Sunk
24 June 1915 Star of Bethlehem  United Kingdom 77 Sunk
24 June 1915 Viceroy  United Kingdom 150 Sunk
24 June 1915 Vine  United Kingdom 110 Sunk
5 August 1915 Hans Emil  Denmark 106 Sunk
5 August 1915 Vanadis  Norway 484 Sunk
6 August 1915 Ocean Queen  United Kingdom 185 Sunk
6 August 1915 Westminster  United Kingdom 252 Sunk
9 August 1915 Thrush  United Kingdom 264 Sunk
10 August 1915 Oakwood  United Kingdom 4,279 Sunk
17 August 1915 Bonny  United Kingdom 2,702 Sunk
17 August 1915 George Baker  United Kingdom 91 Sunk
17 August 1915 Glenby  United Kingdom 2,196 Sunk
17 August 1915 Isidoro  Spain 2,044 Sunk
17 August 1915 Kirkby  United Kingdom 3,034 Sunk
17 August 1915 Maggie  United Kingdom 269 Sunk
17 August 1915 Paros  United Kingdom 3,596 Sunk
17 August 1915 Repeat  United Kingdom 107 Sunk
17 August 1915 The Queen  United Kingdom 557 Sunk
17 August 1915 Thornfield  United Kingdom 488 Sunk
19 August 1915 Baron Erskine  United Kingdom 5,585 Sunk
19 August 1915 Restormel  United Kingdom 2,118 Sunk
19 August 1915 Samara  United Kingdom 3,172 Sunk
20 August 1915 Bittern  United Kingdom 1,797 Sunk
20 August 1915 Carterswell  United Kingdom 4,308 Sunk
20 August 1915 Daghestan  Belgium 2,817 Sunk
20 August 1915 Martha Edmonds  United Kingdom 182 Sunk
21 August 1915 Cober  United Kingdom 3,060 Sunk
21 August 1915 Ruel  United Kingdom 4,029 Sunk
21 August 1915 San Melito  United Kingdom 10,160 Damaged
21 August 1915 Windsor  United Kingdom 6,055 Sunk
22 August 1915 Diomed  United Kingdom 4,672 Sunk
22 August 1915 Palmgrove  United Kingdom 3,100 Sunk
23 August 1915 Silvia  United Kingdom 5,268 Sunk
23 August 1915 Trafalgar  United Kingdom 4,572 Sunk
3 November 1915 Woodfield  United Kingdom 3,584 Sunk
3 November 1915 Yasukuni Maru  Japan 5,118 Sunk
4 November 1915 Dahra  France 2,127 Sunk
4 November 1915 Ionia  Kingdom of Italy 1,816 Sunk
4 November 1915 Le Calvados  France 1,658 Sunk, 740 people killed
4 November 1915 Mercian  United Kingdom 6,305 Damaged
5 November 1915 Buresk  United Kingdom 3,673 Sunk
5 November 1915 Sidi Ferruch  France 2,797 Sunk
6 November 1915 Elisa Francesca  Kingdom of Italy 208 Sunk
6 November 1915 Glenmoor  United Kingdom 3,075 Sunk
6 November 1915 Ticino  Kingdom of Italy 1,470 Sunk
6 November 1915 Yser  France 3,545 Sunk
7 November 1915 France IV  France 4,025 Sunk
8 November 1915 Ancona  Kingdom of Italy 8,210 Sunk, 206 people killed
9 November 1915 Firenze  Kingdom of Italy 3,960 Sunk
21 December 1915 Yasaka Maru  Japan 10,932 Sunk
30 December 1915 Clan Macfarlane  United Kingdom 4,823 Sunk
30 December 1915 Persia  United Kingdom 7,951 Sunk, 343 people killed
9 February 1916 Springwell  United Kingdom 5,593 Sunk
23 February 1916 Diadem  United Kingdom 3,752 Sunk
23 February 1916 Roubine  France 327 Sunk
24 February 1916 Denaby  United Kingdom 2,987 Sunk
24 February 1916 Fastnet  United Kingdom 2,227 Sunk
24 February 1916 Torborg  Sweden 1,266 Sunk
29 February 1916 Alexander Wentzel  Russian Empire 2,832 Sunk
29 February 1916 Elisa S  Kingdom of Italy 209 Sunk
1 March 1916 Kilbride  United Kingdom 3,712 Sunk
16 May 1916 Clifford  United Kingdom 487 Sunk
8 June 1916 Malorossija  Russian Empire 893 Damaged
8 June 1916 Cementcrug  Russian Empire 1,086 Sunk
8 June 1916 Ekaterina  Russian Empire 70 Sunk
8 June 1916 Vera  Russian Empire 1,231 Damaged
10 June 1916 Orion  Russian Empire 429 Sunk
2 July 1916 Rockcliffe  United Kingdom 3,073 Sunk
9 July 1916 Vperied  Russian Empire 859 Sunk
10 July 1916 Florida  Russian Empire 3,238 Sunk
14 August 1916 Remembrance  United Kingdom 3,660 Sunk
19 August 1916 Dea  Kingdom of Italy 166 Sunk
23 August 1916 Elios  Kingdom of Italy 190 Sunk
23 August 1916 Maria Brizzolari  Kingdom of Italy 152 Sunk
23 August 1916 Tanina  Kingdom of Italy 138 Sunk
24 August 1916 Isdalen  Norway 2,275 Sunk
24 August 1916 Liegeoise  Belgium 3,895 Sunk
25 August 1916 Leandros  Greece 1,658 Sunk
25 August 1916 Nostra Signora Del Carmine  Kingdom of Italy 1,575 Sunk
26 August 1916 Atlantico  Kingdom of Italy 3,069 Sunk
29 August 1916 Antigoon  Belgium 1,884 Sunk
29 August 1916 Francois Joseph  France 114 Sunk
29 August 1916 Stella Del Mare  Kingdom of Italy 1,166 Sunk
30 August 1916 Nostra Signora Della Guardia  Kingdom of Italy 1,588 Sunk
31 August 1916 Bacchus  France 3,583 Sunk
31 August 1916 Duart  United Kingdom 3,108 Sunk
31 August 1916 Piero Maroncelli  Kingdom of Italy 3,225 Sunk
1 September 1916 San Francesco Di Paola  Kingdom of Italy 68 Sunk
1 September 1916 Swift Wings  United Kingdom 4,465 Sunk
2 September 1916 Strathallan  United Kingdom 4,404 Sunk
2 September 1916 Uranie  France 109 Sunk
3 September 1916 Villa D’Oro  Kingdom of Italy 134 Sunk
4 September 1916 Laristan  United Kingdom 3,675 Sunk
5 September 1916 Saint Marc  France 5,818 Sunk
25 November 1916 Michael  Greece 2,410 Sunk
26 November 1916 Chemung  United States 3,062 Sunk
3 December 1916 Dacia  United Kingdom 1,856 Sunk
3 December 1916 Kanguroo  France 2,493 Sunk
3 December 1916 Surprise  French Navy 680 Sunk
8 December 1916 Brask  Norway 1,464 Sunk
8 December 1916 Britannia  United Kingdom 1,814 Sunk
9 December 1916 Brizella  Portugal 282 Sunk
10 December 1916 Esemplare  Kingdom of Italy 2,595 Sunk
13 December 1916 Angelo Parodi  Kingdom of Italy 3,825 Sunk
13 December 1916 Kaupanger  Norway 3,354 Sunk
15 December 1916 Emmanuele Accame  Kingdom of Italy 3,242 Sunk
17 December 1916 Tripoli  Kingdom of Italy 56 Sunk
20 December 1916 Itonus  United Kingdom 5,340 Sunk
25 January 1917 Sylvie  France 2,591 Sunk
7 February 1917 Aphrodite  France 130 Sunk
14 February 1917 Trowbridge  United Kingdom 3,712 Damaged
14 February 1917 Michele  Kingdom of Italy 41 Sunk
12 May 1917 Egyptian Prince  United Kingdom 3,117 Sunk
13 May 1917 Rio Amazonas  Kingdom of Italy 2,970 Sunk
25 May 1917 Kohinur  United Kingdom 2,265 Sunk
26 May 1917 Holmesbank  United Kingdom 3,051 Sunk
1 July 1917 Corrado  Kingdom of Italy 120 Sunk
1 July 1917 Volto Santo G.  Kingdom of Italy 225 Sunk
7 July 1917 La Resolu  France 186 Sunk
12 July 1917 Claire  Belgium 1,157 Sunk
15 July 1917 Atalante  France 124 Sunk
19 July 1917 Eloby  United Kingdom 6,545 Sunk
20 August 1917 Incemore  United Kingdom 3,060 Sunk
19 April 1918 Salambo  France 248 Sunk
5 May 1918 Alberto Treves  Kingdom of Italy 3,838 Damaged
8 May 1918 Ingleside  United Kingdom 3,736 Sunk

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ type U31
  2. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. "U-Boats (1905-18)", in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare, "(Phoebus Publishing, 1978), Volume 23, p.2534.
  3. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2575; he mistakenly identifies it as 86mm p.2534.
  4. ^ "SM U-38 successes". UBoat.net. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 

References[edit]

  • Eberhard Rössler: Geschichte des deutschen U-Bootbaus - Band 1. Bernard & Graefe Verlag 1996, ISBN 3-86047-153-8
  • Bodo Herzog: Deutsche U-Boote 1906-1966. Manfred Pawlak Verlags GmbH, Herrschingen 1990, ISBN 3-88199-687-7
  • Spindler, Arno (1932,1933,1934,1941/1964,1966). Der Handelskrieg mit U-Booten. 5 Vols. Berlin: Mittler & Sohn. Vols. 4+5, dealing with 1917+18, are very hard to find: Guildhall Library, London, has them all, also Vol. 1-3 in an English translation: The submarine war against commerce.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Beesly, Patrick (1982). Room 40: British Naval Intelligence 1914-1918. London: H Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-10864-2. 
  • Halpern, Paul G. (1938). A Naval History of World War I. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-85728-498-0. 
  • Roessler, Eberhard (1997). Die Unterseeboote der Kaiserlichen Marine. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3-7637-5963-7. 
  • Schroeder, Joachim (2002). Die U-Boote des Kaisers. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3-7637-6235-4. 
  • Koerver, Hans Joachim (2008). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918. Vol I., The Fleet in Action. Steinbach: LIS Reinisch. ISBN 978-3-902433-76-3. 
  • Koerver, Hans Joachim (2009). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918. Vol II., The Fleet in Being. Steinbach: LIS Reinisch. ISBN 978-3-902433-77-0. 

External links[edit]