SM U-28 (Germany)

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SM U-28 as seen from SS Batavier V, a ship she captured as a prize in March 1915.
SM U-28 as seen from SS Batavier V, a ship she captured as a prize in March 1915.
History
German Empire
Name: U-28
Ordered: 19 February 1912
Builder: Kaiserliche Werft, Danzig
Yard number: 18
Launched: 30 August 1913
Commissioned: 26 June 1914
Fate: Sunk 2 September 1917. 39 dead.
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: German Type U 27 submarine
Displacement:
  • 675 t (664 long tons) surfaced
  • 878 t (864 long tons) submerged
Length: 64.70 m (212 ft 3 in) (o/a)
Beam: 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in)
Draught: 3.48 m (11 ft 5 in)
Speed:
  • 16.7 knots (30.9 km/h; 19.2 mph) surfaced
  • 9.8 knots (18.1 km/h; 11.3 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 8,420 nmi (15,590 km; 9,690 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced
  • 85 nmi (157 km; 98 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (164 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 31 enlisted
Armament:
  • 4 × 50 cm (19.7 in) torpedo tubes
  • 1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun
Service record
Part of:
  • Imperial German Navy
  • IV Flotilla
  • 1 August 1914 - unknown end
  • Training Flotilla
  • Unknown start – 10 May 1917
  • IV Flotilla
  • 10 May – 2 September 1917
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Freiherr Georg-Günther von Forstner[2]
  • 1 August 1914 – 14 June 1916
  • Kptlt. Otto Rohrbeck[3]
  • 15 June – 4 August 1916
  • Kptlt. Freiherr von Loë-Degenhart[4]
  • 5 August 1916 – 14 January 1917
  • Kptlt. Georg Schmidt[5]
  • 15 January – 2 September 1917[6]
Operations: 5 patrols
Victories:
  • 40 merchant ships sunk (90,126 GRT)
  • 2 merchant ships damaged (11,188 GRT)
  • 2 merchant ships taken as prize (3,226 GRT)

SM U-28[Note 1] was a Type U 27 U-boat that served in the First World War. It conducted 5 patrols, sinking 40 ships totalling 90,126 tons.

Career[edit]

U-28 was commissioned into the Imperial German Navy on 26 June 1914, with Freiherr Georg-Günther von Forstner (1882-1940) in command.[2] Commander von Forstner was relieved on 15 June 1916 by Otto Rohrbeck, who was in turn relieved on 5 August by Freiherr von Loe-Degenhart. On 15 January 1917, Georg Schmidt took command.

On 30 July 1915, U-28 sunk the British steamer Iberian. According to Commander von Forstner's account of the incident, the wreckage remained under the water for about 25 seconds until an explosion sent some of the debris flying up. It is said that along with the debris, a creature described as a "gigantic aquatic animal" resembling a crocodile was seen, which quickly disappeared from sight.[7]

Sinking[edit]

U-28's final patrol began on 19 August 1917, when it departed from Emden for the Arctic Sea. On 2 September, at 11:55 am, it encountered the armed English steamer Olive Branch, 85 nautical miles (157 km; 98 mi) north-by-northeast of North Cape, Norway. U-28 scored a torpedo hit, and closed in to finish the steamer with gunfire. The shells detonated Olive Branch's cargo of munitions, which it had been carrying from England to Arkhangelsk, Russia, and the subsequent explosion so badly damaged the U-boat that it sank along with the steamer. All 39 of its crew were lost; some were seen swimming, but were not picked up by Olive Branch's lifeboats.[8]

An alternative description of the event states that when the ammunition detonated, a truck carried as deck cargo was blown into the air and fell from a great height on the U-boat, sinking it.[9]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 2] Fate[10]
17 March 1915 Leeuwarden  United Kingdom 990 Sunk
18 March 1915 Zaanstrom  Netherlands 1,657 Captured as a prize
18 March 1915 Batavier V  Netherlands 1,569 Captured as a prize
25 March 1915 Medea  Netherlands 1,235 Sunk
27 March 1915 Aguila  United Kingdom 2,114 Sunk
27 March 1915 South Point  United Kingdom 3,837 Sunk
27 March 1915 Vosges  United Kingdom 1,295 Sunk
28 March 1915 Falaba  United Kingdom 4,806 Sunk
29 March 1915 Flaminian  United Kingdom 3,500 Sunk
29 March 1915 Theseus  United Kingdom 6,723 Damaged
30 March 1915 Crown of Castile  United Kingdom 4,505 Sunk
30 July 1915 Iberian  United Kingdom 5,223 Sunk
31 July 1915 Nugget  United Kingdom 405 Sunk
31 July 1915 Turquoise  United Kingdom 486 Sunk
1 August 1915 Benvorlich  United Kingdom 3,381 Sunk
1 August 1915 Clintonia  United Kingdom 3,830 Sunk
1 August 1915 Koophandel  Belgium 1,736 Sunk
1 August 1915 Ranza  United Kingdom 2,320 Sunk
2 August 1915 Portia  United Kingdom 494 Sunk
3 August 1915 Costello  United Kingdom 1,591 Sunk
4 August 1915 Midland Queen  Canada 1,993 Sunk
26 March 1916 Norne  Norway 1,224 Sunk
28 March 1916 Rio Tiete  United Kingdom 3,042 Sunk
30 March 1916 Trewyn  United Kingdom 3,084 Sunk
30 March 1916 Saint Hubert  France 232 Sunk
31 March 1916 Vigo  Spain 1,137 Sunk
1 April 1916 Bengairn  United Kingdom 2,127 Sunk
29 May 1917 Fridtjof Nansen  Norway 2,190 Sunk
29 May 1917 Karna  Norway 210 Sunk
29 May 1917 Kodan  Norway 217 Sunk
3 June 1917 Merioneth  United Kingdom 3,004 Sunk
4 June 1917 Algol  Russian Empire 2,088 Sunk
5 June 1917 Alaska  Norway 90 Sunk
5 June 1917 Duen  Norway 30 Sunk
5 June 1917 Sydkap  Norway 40 Sunk
8 June 1917 Manchester Engineer  United Kingdom 4,465 Damaged
8 June 1917 Sverre II  Norway 44 Sunk
10 June 1917 Marie Elsie  United Kingdom 2,615 Sunk
10 June 1917 Perla  United Kingdom 5,355 Sunk
28 August 1917 Hidalgo  United Kingdom 4,271 Sunk
28 August 1917 Whitecourt  United Kingdom 3,680 Sunk
28 August 1917 Marselieza  Russian Empire 3,568 Sunk
1 September 1917 Dront  Russian Empire 3,488 Sunk
2 September 1917 Olive Branch  United Kingdom 4,649 Sunk

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.
  2. ^ Tonnages are in gross register tons

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Gröner 1991, pp. 6-7.
  2. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Freiherr Georg-Günther von Forstner (Friedrich-August Cross (Oldenburg))". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Otto Rohrbeck". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Freiherr von Loë-Degenhart". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Georg Schmidt". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 28". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. 
  7. ^ Hearst Magazines (September 1934). Popular Mechanics. Hearst Magazines. pp. 398–401, 118A. ISSN 0032-4558. 
  8. ^ Spindler, Arno (1932). Der Krieg zur See: Der Handelskrieg mit U-Booten. Mittler.
  9. ^ Gwatkin-Williams, R. S. (1922). Under the Black Ensign. Hutchinson & Co.
  10. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 28". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 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]


Coordinates: 72°34′N 27°56′E / 72.567°N 27.933°E / 72.567; 27.933