SM U-139

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For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-139.
German U boats, outlines compared (Warships To-day, 1936).jpg
German U boats, U-161. U-135, U-139
History
German Empire
Name: U-139
Ordered: 1 August 1916
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 300
Launched: 3 December 1917
Commissioned: 18 May 1918
Renamed: Halbronn
Fate: Surrendered to France on 24 November 1918
France
Name: Halbronn
Acquired: 24 November 1918
Decommissioned: 24 July 1935
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: German Type U 139 submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,930 t (1,900 long tons) surfaced
  • 2,483 t (2,444 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 9.12 m (29 ft 11 in) (o/a)
  • 5.75 m (18 ft 10 in) (pressure hull)
Height: 5.27 m (17 ft 3 in)
Draught: 11.20 m (36 ft 9 in)
Installed power:
  • 2 × 3,300 PS (2,427 kW; 3,255 shp)
  • 2 × 450 PS (331 kW; 444 shp) surfaced
  • 2 × 1,780 PS (1,309 kW; 1,756 shp) submerged
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 × 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) propellers
Speed:
  • 15.3 knots (28.3 km/h; 17.6 mph) surfaced
  • 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 12,630 nmi (23,390 km; 14,530 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced
  • 53 nmi (98 km; 61 mi) at 4.5 knots (8.3 km/h; 5.2 mph) submerged
Test depth: 75 m (246 ft 1 in)
Complement: 6 (1) officers, 56 (20) enlisted – (prize crew)
Armament:
Service record[2]
Part of:
  • U-Kreuzer Flotilla
  • unknown start – 11 November 1918
Commanders:
Operations: 1 patrol
Victories:
  • 3 merchant ships sunk (6,301 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship damaged (2,502 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (487 tons)

SM U-139 was the lead ship of her class, one of the submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. She was commissioned on 18 May 1918 under the command of Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, who named the submarine Korvettenkapitän Schwieger, after Walther Schwieger, who had sunk the Lusitania in 1915. She only sailed on one war patrol, during which she sunk five small ships. U-139 surrendered to France on 24 November 1918 and shortly afterwards became French submarine Halbronn (until 24 July 1935 when she was broken up).

Action of 14 October 1918[edit]

On the 14 October 1918, U-139 attacked the Portuguese civilian steamer SS São Miguel, which was being escorted by the Portuguese Navy small naval trawler NRP Augusto de Castilho in the Atlantic Ocean. Augusto Castilho covered the escape of São Miguel by engaging U-139 for several hours, until being destroyed.[3]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[4]
1 October 1918 Bylands  United Kingdom 3,309 Sunk
1 October 1918 Manin  Kingdom of Italy 2,691 Sunk
1 October 1918 Perth  United Kingdom 2,502 Damaged
2 October 1918 Rio Cavado  Portugal 301 Sunk
14 October 1918 Augusto De Castilho  Portuguese Navy 487 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Gröner 1991, pp. 19-21.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 139". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  3. ^ James H. Guill, "the only battle of note that occurred near the Azores during this period took place 14 October 1918 between the German U-139 and Portugal's ships São Miguel and Augusto Castilho.", page 507.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 139". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 

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. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 139". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.