SM U-108

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Surrendered Hun U-boats at docks in Brest, France. U-boats 108 and U-C56, turned over to French under armistice terms, undergoing motor r(...) - NARA - 45511774 (cropped).jpg
U-boats 108 and U-C56, in Brest docks, 1918. Note six-inch rifle on bow of U-108
History
German Empire
Name: U-108
Ordered: 5 May 1916
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 277
Launched: 11 October 1917
Commissioned: 5 December 1917
Fate: Surrendered to France, 20 November 1918
France
Name: Léon Mignot
Namesake: Léon Mignot
Fate: Broken up, 1935
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: German Type U 93 submarine
Displacement:
  • 798 t (785 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,000 t (980 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.30 m (20 ft 8 in) (o/a)
  • 4.15 m (13 ft 7 in) (pressure hull)
Height: 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)
Draught: 3.90 m (12 ft 10 in)
Installed power:
  • 2 × 2,400 PS (1,765 kW; 2,367 shp) surfaced
  • 2 × 1,200 PS (883 kW; 1,184 shp) submerged
Propulsion:
  • 2 shafts
  • 2 × 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) propellers
Speed:
  • 16.4 knots (30.4 km/h; 18.9 mph) surfaced
  • 8.4 knots (15.6 km/h; 9.7 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 9,280 nmi (17,190 km; 10,680 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced
  • 50 nmi (93 km; 58 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (160 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 32 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
  • IV Flotilla
  • unknown start – 26 January 1918
Commanders:
  • K.Kapt. Martin Nitzsche[2]
  • 7 November 1917 – 26 January 1918
Operations: 1 patrol
Victories: None

SM U-108[Note 1] was a submarine in the Imperial German Navy in World War I, taking part in the First Battle of the Atlantic.[3]

Construction[edit]

The building contract was confirmed 5 May 1916, and was awarded to Germaniawerft, Kiel.[4] A Type 93 boat, she was launched 11 October 1917 and commissioned 5 December. She was under the command of Korvettenkapitän Martin Nitzsche.

Design[edit]

German Type U 93 submarines were preceded by the shorter Type U 87 submarines. U-108 had a displacement of 798 tonnes (785 long tons) when at the surface and 1,000 tonnes (980 long tons) while submerged.[1] She had a total length of 71.55 m (234 ft 9 in), a pressure hull length of 56.05 m (183 ft 11 in), a beam of 6.30 m (20 ft 8 in), a height of 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in), and a draught of 3.90 m (12 ft 10 in). The submarine was powered by two 2,400 metric horsepower (1,800 kW; 2,400 shp) engines for use while surfaced, and two 1,200 metric horsepower (880 kW; 1,200 shp) engines for use while submerged. She had two propeller shafts and two 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 50 metres (160 ft).[1]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 16.4 knots (30.4 km/h; 18.9 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 8.4 knots (15.6 km/h; 9.7 mph).[1] When submerged, she could operate for 50 nautical miles (93 km; 58 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 9,280 nautical miles (17,190 km; 10,680 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-108 was fitted with six 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes (four at the bow and two at the stern), twelve to sixteen torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.1 in) SK L/45 deck gun, and one 8.8 cm (3.5 in) SK L/30 deck gun. She had a complement of thirty-six (thirty-two crew members and four officers).[1]

Fate[edit]

On 20 November 1918, U-108 was surrendered to France where she was commissioned as Léon Mignot and served until 24 July 1935.[3]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "SM" stands for "Seiner Majestät" (English: His Majesty's) and combined with the U for Unterseeboot would be translated as His Majesty's Submarine.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Gröner 1991, pp. 12-14.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Martin Nitzsche". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 108". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Rössler, Eberhard, The U-boat: The evolution and technical history of German Submarines, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1989, p. 66

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 

Coordinates: 50°53′N 1°31′E / 50.883°N 1.517°E / 50.883; 1.517