SM U-151

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German submarine activities on the Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada (1920) (14596181448).jpg
U-151 at sea
History
German Empire
NameU-151
Ordered29 November 1916
BuilderReiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfabrik, Hamburg
Yard number303
Launched4 April 1917
Commissioned21 July 1917
CapturedSurrendered to France at Cherbourg
FateSunk as target ship at Cherbourg, 7 June 1921
General characteristics [1]
Class and typeGerman Type U 151 submarine
Displacement
  • 1,512 tonnes (1,488 long tons) (surfaced)
  • 1,875 tonnes (1,845 long tons) (submerged)
  • 2,272 tonnes (2,236 long tons) (total)
Length
Beam
  • 8.90 m (29 ft 2 in) (o/a)
  • 5.80 m (19 ft) (pressure hull)
Height9.25 m (30 ft 4 in)
Draught5.30 m (17 ft 5 in)
Installed power
  • 800 PS (590 kW; 790 bhp) (surfaced)
  • 800 PS (590 kW; 790 bhp) (submerged)
Propulsion2 × shafts, 2 × 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in) propellers
Speed
  • 12.4 knots (23.0 km/h; 14.3 mph) surfaced
  • 5.2 knots (9.6 km/h; 6.0 mph) submerged
Range25,000 nmi (46,000 km; 29,000 mi) at 5.5 knots (10.2 km/h; 6.3 mph) surfaced, 65 nmi (120 km; 75 mi) at 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) submerged
Test depth50 metres (160 ft)
Complement6 officers, 50 enlisted
Armament
Service record
Part of:
  • U-Kreuzer Flotilla
  • 21 July 1917 – 11 November 1918
Commanders:
Operations: 4 patrols
Victories:
  • 34 merchant ships sunk
    (88,395 GRT)
  • 6 merchant ships damaged
    (13,267 GRT)
  • 1 warship damaged
    (1,025 tons)

SM U-151 or SM Unterseeboot 151 ( ex U Oldenburg) was a World War I U-boat of the Imperial German Navy, constructed by Reiherstieg Schiffswerfte & Maschinenfabrik at Hamburg and launched on 4 April 1917. From 1917 until the Armistice in November 1918 she was part of the U-Kreuzer Flotilla, and was responsible for 34 ships sunk (88,395 GRT) and 7 ships damaged (13,267 GRT and 1,025 tons).[2]

Background[edit]

U-151 was originally one of seven Deutschland class U-boats designed to carry cargo between the United States and Germany in 1916. Five of the submarine freighters were converted into long-range cruiser U-boats (U-kreuzers) equipped with two 15 cm (5.9 in) SK L/45 deck guns, including U-151 which was originally to have been named Oldenburg. The Type U 151 class were the largest U-boats of World War I.

Service history[edit]

U-151 was commissioned on 21 July 1917. From 21 July to 26 December 1917 she was commanded by Waldemar Kophamel who took U-151 on a long-range cruise which eventually covered a total of 12,000 miles. On 19 September 1917 U-151 claimed her first victim, the 3,104 GRT French sailing ship Blanche in the Atlantic Ocean. On 2 or 12 October 1917 (sources differ), she collided with the Royal Navy Q-ship HMS Begonia in the Atlantic Ocean off Casablanca, French Morocco, sinking Begonia.[3][4] On 20 November 1917 U-151 captured the steamship Johan Mjelde, and scuttled her on 26 November after transferring 22 tons of her cargo of copper.

American cruise[edit]

U-151 in French hands after the war, circa 1920

U-151 left Kiel on 14 April 1918 commanded by Korvettenkapitän Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff, her mission to attack American shipping. She arrived off the United States East Coast on 21 May, laid mines off the Delaware Capes and cut the submerged telegraph cables which connected New York City with Nova Scotia. On 25 May she stopped three American schooners off Virginia, took their crews prisoner, and sank the three ships by gunfire.

On 2 June 1918, known to some historians as "Black Sunday", U-151 sank six American ships and damaged one off the coast of New Jersey in the space of a few hours. The next day the tanker Herbert L. Pratt struck a mine previously laid by U-151 in the area but was later salvaged.[5] Thirteen people died in the seven sinkings, their deaths caused by a capsized lifeboat from SS Carolina.[6]

On 9 June 1918, U-151 stopped the Norwegian cargo ship Vindeggen off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Scuttling charges were rigged aboard her, then she was escorted outside the shipping lane under a prize crew. Von Nostitz then transferred 70 tons of copper ingots from Vindeggen to U-151.[7]

On 14 June, U-151 sank the Norwegian barque Samoa, en route from Walvis Bay, South-West Africa, to Perth Amboy, New Jersey, with a cargo of copper ore, by gunfire 90 miles off the Virginia coast. There were no casualties.[8]

On the 18 June, U-151 sank the steamship SS Dwinsk, and then loitered near Dwinsk′s lifeboats in the hopes that more Allied shipping would be attracted to them.[9] Through this ruse, she launched torpedoes at the U.S. Navy auxiliary cruiser and troopship USS Von Steuben (ID-3017), but missed and was instead depth charged by Von Steuben.

On 28 June 1918, U-151 captured the SS Dictator and made its crew prisoners of war. Among those taken were four men from Newfoundland: Thomas Fiander, Edgar Banfield, Charles Blagdon, and Thomas Bowdridge.

U-151 returned to Kiel on 20 July 1918 after a 94-day cruise in which she had covered a distance of 10,915 nmi (20,215 km; 12,561 mi). Her commander reported that she had sunk 23 ships totalling 61,000 tons and had laid mines responsible for the sinking of another four vessels.[10]

Fate[edit]

At the end of the war U-151 surrendered to France at Cherbourg. The French Navy sank her as a target on 7 June 1921.[11]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[2]
19 September 1917 Blanche  France 3,104 Sunk
1 October 1917 Etna  Kingdom of Italy 5,604 Sunk
2 October 1917 Viajante  Portugal 377 Sunk
4 October 1917 Bygdønes  Norway 2,849 Sunk
12 October 1917 HMS Parthian  Royal Navy 1,025 Damaged
13 October 1917 Caprera  Kingdom of Italy 5,040 Sunk
19 October 1917 Harpon  France 1,484 Damaged
20 October 1917 Moyori Maru  Empire of Japan 3,746 Sunk
21 October 1917 Gryfevale  United Kingdom 4,437 Sunk
2 November 1917 Acary  Brazil 4,275 Sunk
2 November 1917 Guahyba  Brazil 1,891 Sunk
16 November 1917 Margaret L. Roberts  United States 535 Sunk
21 November 1917 Sobral  Norway 1,075 Sunk
22 November 1917 Tijuca  France 2,543 Sunk
23 November 1917 Trombetas  Portugal 235 Sunk
26 November 1917 Johan Mjelde  Norway 2,049 Sunk
4 December 1917 Claudio  Spain 2,588 Damaged
24 May 1918 Edna  United States 325 Damaged
25 May 1918 Hattie Dunn  United States 435 Sunk
25 May 1918 Hauppauge  United States 1,446 Damaged
2 June 1918 Carolina  United States 5,093 Sunk
2 June 1918 Edward H. Cole  United States 1,791 Sunk
2 June 1918 Edward R. Baird Jr  United States 279 Damaged
2 June 1918 Isabel B. Wiley  United States 776 Sunk
2 June 1918 Jacob M. Haskell  United States 1,778 Sunk
2 June 1918 Texel  United States 3,210 Sunk
2 June 1918 Winneconne  United States 1,869 Sunk
3 June 1918 Samuel C. Mengel  United States 915 Sunk
3 June 1918 Herbert L. Pratt  United States 7,145 Damaged
4 June 1918 Eidsvold  Norway 1,570 Sunk
5 June 1918 Harpathian  United Kingdom 4,588 Sunk
5 June 1918 Vinland  Norway 1,143 Sunk
8 June 1918 Pinar Del Rio  United States 2,504 Sunk
10 June 1918 Henrik Lund  Norway 4,226 Sunk
10 June 1918 Vindeggen  Norway 3,179 Sunk
14 June 1918 Kringsjaa  Norway 1,750 Sunk
14 June 1918 Samoa  Norway 1,138 Sunk
18 June 1918 Dwinsk  United Kingdom 8,173 Sunk
22 June 1918 Chilier  Belgium 2,966 Sunk
23 June 1918 Augvald  Norway 3,406 Sunk
28 June 1918 Dictator  United Kingdom 125 Sunk

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

Bibliography[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Gröner 1991, pp. 20–21.
  2. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 151". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  3. ^ "BRITISH NAVAL VESSELS LOST AT SEA Part 1 of 2 - Abadol (oiler) to Lynx (destroyer)". Naval History. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  4. ^ "HMS BEGONIA". Clydebuilt. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ Evening Public Ledger 1918, p. 1
  6. ^ ""Black Sunday" – Victims of U-151". Scuba Diving – New Jersey & Long Island New York. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009.
  7. ^ Hadley, Michael L.; Roger Flynn Sarty (1991). Tin-pots and Pirate Ships. McGill-Queen's Press. pp. 244–245. ISBN 0-7735-0778-7.
  8. ^ http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?19943
  9. ^ "S/S C. F. Tietgen, Scandinavian America Line". Norway-Heritage. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
  10. ^ Gibson 2002, p. 308.
  11. ^ McCartney 2002.

References

External links[edit]