SM U-19 (Germany)

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For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-19.
U-Boote Kiel 1914.jpg
SM U-19 (first row, second from the right)
History
Germany
Name: U-19
Ordered: 25 November 1910
Builder: Kaiserliche Werft Danzig
Cost: 2,450,000 Goldmark
Yard number: 13
Laid down: 20 October 1911
Launched: 10 October 1912
Commissioned: 6 July 1913
Fate: Surrendered 24 November 1918.
General characteristics
Class and type: German Type U 19 submarine
Displacement:
  • 650 t (640 long tons) surfaced
  • 837 t (824 long tons) submerged
Length: 64.15 m (210 ft 6 in)
Beam: 6.10 m (20 ft 0 in)
Height: 7.30 m (23 ft 11 in)
Draught: 3.58 m (11 ft 9 in)
Propulsion:
  • 2 shafts
  • 2 × MAN 8-cylinder two stroke diesel motors with 1,700 PS (1,677 bhp; 1,250 kW)
  • 2 × AEG double modyn with 1,200 PS (1,184 shp; 883 kW)
  • 320 rpm submerged
Speed:
  • 15.4 knots (28.5 km/h; 17.7 mph) surfaced
  • 9.5 knots (17.6 km/h; 10.9 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 9,700 nmi (18,000 km; 11,200 mi) at 8 kn surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 5 kn submerged
Test depth: 50 m (164 ft 1 in)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
1 dingi
Complement: 4 officers, 31 men
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
  • Imperial German Navy
  • III Flottille
  • 1 August 1914 – 19 September 1916
  • Baltic Flotilla
  • 19 September 1916 - 1 May 1917
  • III Flottille
  • 1 May 1917 – 11 November 1918
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Constantin Kolbe[1]
  • 1 August 1914 – 15 March 1916
  • Kptlt. Raimund Weisbach[2]
  • 16 March – 10 August 1916
  • Oblt.z.S. Johannes Spiess[3]
  • 11 August 1916 – 4 July 1917
  • Lt.z.S. Heinrich Koch[4]
  • 5 July 1917 – 15 October 1917
  • Oblt.z.S. Hans Albrecht Liebeskind[5]
  • 25 October – 16 November 1917
  • Kptlt. Johannes Spiess
  • 17 November 1917 – 31 May 1918
  • Oblt.z.S. Hans Albrecht Liebeskind
  • 1 June – 11 November 1918
Operations: 12 patrols
Victories:
  • 57 merchant ships (97,921 GRT)
  • 3 merchant ships damaged (4,224 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship taken as a prize (733 GRT)
  • 3 auxiliary warships sunk (13,220 GRT)

SM U-19 was a German Type U 19 U-boat built for the Imperial German Navy. Her construction was ordered on 25 November 1910, and her keel was laid down on 20 October 1911, at the Kaiserliche Werft Danzig. She was launched on 10 October 1912, and commissioned into the Imperial German Navy on 6 July 1913.

Service[edit]

From 1 August 1914, to 15 March 1916, U-19 was commanded by Constantin Kolbe. During this period she had the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first U-boat casualty of World War I when she was rammed by HMS Badger on 24 October 1914.[6] Her hull was badly damaged, but she survived and was repaired.

On the 22nd of January 1915 the Durward was near the Maas lightship when they saw the U19 on the surface. They tried to escape, but as they could only manage 12 knots they were unable to do so. The mate of the Durward, who was later interviewed by the Daily Mail's special correspondent in Rotterdam [7] related how the second officer, who spoke excellent English, had ordered them to lower a boat and come to talk to them. The captain and crew were given ten minutes to leave the ship. The mate asked the second officer whether he could return to the ship to collect his clothes. He replied 'Sorry, old man, it can't be done. I am in the mercantile marine myself, having been in the North German Lloyd service but now I am doing a bit for my country.' The commander of the U-boat towed the lifeboat to within 100 yards of the Maas lightship, even stopping at one stage to repair the tow when it parted,after which the crew of the Durward said goodbye to the submarine and rowed to the lightship.

Kolbe was relieved by Raimund Weisbach, who had previously served as torpedo officer on U-20 and had (on Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger's orders) launched the torpedo that sank RMS Lusitania. During his brief command, Weisbach carried out an unusual mission: he delivered the revolutionary Roger Casement and two other agents to Banna Strand in Ireland in hopes that they would foment an uprising that would distract the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from World War I.

Weisbach was relieved on 11 August 1916, by Johannes Spiess, who was relieved in turn on 1 June 1917, by Heinrich Koch. Koch turned the boat over on 25 October 1917, to Hans Albrecht Liebeskind, who commanded for less than a month before being relieved on 17 November 1917, by Johannes Spiess again. On 1 June 1918, Hans Albrecht Liebeskind took over again and commanded U-19 until the end of the war.

U-19 conducted 12 patrols, sinking 46 ships totalling 64,816 tons, including Santa Maria (5,383 tons) off Lough Swilly on 25 February 1918, Tiberia (4,880 tons) off Black Head near Larne on 26 February 1918, and HMS Calgarian (17,500 tons) off Rathlin Island on 1 March 1918.

Fate[edit]

U-19's gun today

On 11 November 1918, U-19 was surrendered to the British, and was broken up at Blyth sometime in 1919 or 1920.

The main gun of U19 was donated to the people of Bangor, Co. Down and today sits near the War Memorial in the town's Ward Park. It was donated by the Admiralty in recognition of the valorious conduct of Commander The Hon. Edward Bingham whilst on board HMS Nestor while fighting in the Battle of Jutland in July 1916, for which he received the Victoria Cross.

To commemorate the centenary of the arrest of Roger Casement, an Irish Republican floral tribute, known as an Easter Lily, was left at the base of the gun on Good Friday morning 2016.[8]

Original documents from Room 40[edit]

The following is a verbatim transcription of the recorded activities of SM U-19 known to British Naval Intelligence (better known as Room 40) during 1914-1918:[9]

SM U-19

Note: S.S. = Steam Ship; S.V. = Sailing Vessel; northabout, Muckle Flugga, Fair I. = around Scotland; Sound, Belts, Kattegat = via North of Denmark to/from German Baltic ports; Bight = to/from German North Sea ports; success = sinking of ships

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[10]
21 January 1915 Durward  United Kingdom 1,301 Sunk
2 June 1915 Salvador  Denmark 165 Sunk
3 June 1915 Chrysoprasus  United Kingdom 119 Sunk
3 June 1915 Dogberry  United Kingdom 214 Sunk
3 June 1915 Ena May  United Kingdom 90 Sunk
3 June 1915 Iona  United Kingdom 3,344 Sunk
3 June 1915 Kathleen  United Kingdom 92 Sunk
3 June 1915 Strathbran  United Kingdom 163 Sunk
4 June 1915 Cortes  United Kingdom 174 Sunk
4 June 1915 Dunnet Head  United Kingdom 343 Sunk
4 June 1915 Ebenezer  United Kingdom 113 Sunk
4 June 1915 Evening Star  United Kingdom 120 Sunk
4 June 1915 Explorer  United Kingdom 156 Sunk
4 June 1915 Petrel  United Kingdom 182 Sunk
5 June 1915 Adolf  Russian Empire 169 Sunk
5 June 1915 Bardolph  United Kingdom 215 Sunk
5 June 1915 Curlew  United Kingdom 134 Sunk
5 June 1915 Gazehound  United Kingdom 138 Sunk
5 June 1915 Persimon  United Kingdom 255 Sunk
5 June 1915 Star of the West  United Kingdom 197 Sunk
6 June 1915 Japonica  United Kingdom 145 Sunk
6 June 1915 Dromio  United Kingdom 208 Sunk
9 June 1915 Svein Jarl  Norway 1,135 Sunk
11 June 1915 Otago  Sweden 1,410 Sunk
11 June 1915 Plymouth  United Kingdom 165 Sunk
11 June 1915 Waago  United Kingdom 154 Sunk
16 July 1915 Cameo  United Kingdom 172 Damaged
21 April 1916 Feliciana  United Kingdom 4,283 Sunk
22 April 1916 Jozsef Agost Foherzeg  Kingdom of Italy 2,680 Sunk
22 April 1916 Ross  United Kingdom 2,666 Sunk
23 April 1916 Parisiana  United Kingdom 4,763 Sunk
23 April 1916 Ribston  United Kingdom 3,048 Sunk
25 April 1916 Carmanian  Norway 1,840 Sunk
12 September 1916 Elizabeth  Imperial Russian Navy 4,444 Sunk
12 September 1916 Ije (N-18)  Imperial Russian Navy 1,261 Sunk
22 September 1916 Kennett  United Kingdom 1,679 Sunk
12 May 1917 Wirral  United Kingdom 4,207 Sunk
17 May 1917 Vesterland  Sweden 3,832 Sunk
20 May 1917 Arnfinn Jarl  Norway 1,097 Sunk
26 May 1917 Norway  Norway 1,447 Sunk
27 May 1917 Debora  Denmark 159 Sunk
20 June 1917 Fido  Norway 1,459 Sunk
21 June 1917 Black Head  United Kingdom 1,898 Sunk
21 June 1917 Laatefos  Norway 1,458 Sunk
22 June 1917 Bolette  Norway 1,431 Sunk
31 August 1917 Miniota  United Kingdom 6,422 Sunk
1 September 1917 Akaroa  Norway 1,348 Sunk
12 September 1917 Agricola  United Kingdom 65 Sunk
28 December 1917 Maxton  United Kingdom 5,094 Sunk
28 December 1917 Santa Amalia  United Kingdom 4,309 Sunk
2 January 1918 Nadejda  Russian Empire 3,849 Sunk
25 February 1918 Santa Maria  United States 5,383 Sunk
25 February 1918 Appalachee  United Kingdom 3,767 Damaged
26 February 1918 Tiberia  United Kingdom 4,880 Sunk
1 March 1918 HMS Calgarian  Royal Navy 12,515 Sunk
1 March 1918 Thomas Collard  United Kingdom 215 Sunk
1 March 1918 Lord Lister  United Kingdom 285 Damaged
6 April 1918 Sterne  Netherlands 108 Sunk
21 April 1918 Delta A  Belgium 241 Sunk
23 April 1918 Peregrine  United Kingdom 79 Sunk
23 April 1918 Tyne Wave  United Kingdom 121 Sunk
25 April 1918 Hollandia I  Netherlands 733 Captured as a prize

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Constantin Kolbe". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Raimund Weisbach". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Johannes Spiess (Royal House Order of Hohenzollern)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Heinrich Koch". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Hans Albrecht Liebeskind". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Preston 1977, p. 29
  7. ^ http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000452/19150123/149/0006
  8. ^ Belfast Newsletter Tuesday 29 March 2016
  9. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914-1918 (Published below - Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918)
  10. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 19". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Preston, Antony (1977). Destroyers (1977 ed.). Hamlyn. ISBN 9780600329558.  - Total pages: 224
  • 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. 
  • Spindler, Arno (1966) [1932]. 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. 
  • Beesly, Patrick (1982). Room 40: British Naval Intelligence 1914-1918. London: H Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-10864-2. 
  • Halpern, Paul G. (1919). 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]