SM U-32 (Germany)

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-32.
History
German Empire
Name: U-32
Ordered: 29 March 1912
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Laid down: 8 November 1912
Launched: 28 January 1914
Commissioned: 3 September 1914
Fate: Sunk 8 May 1918 north-west of Malta. 41 dead.
General characteristics
Class & type: German Type U 31 submarine
Displacement:
  • 685 t (674 long tons) (surfaced)
  • 878 t (864 long tons) (submerged)
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in) (o/a)
  • 4.05 m (13 ft 3 in) (pressure hull)
Draught: 3.56 m (11 ft 8 in)
Installed power:
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 16.4 knots (30.4 km/h; 18.9 mph) (surfaced)
  • 9.7 knots (18.0 km/h; 11.2 mph) (submerged)
Range:
  • 8,790 nmi (16,280 km; 10,120 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) (surfaced)
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) (submerged)
Test depth: 50 m (164 ft 1 in)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
1 dinghy
Complement: 4 officers, 31 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
  • Imperial German Navy
  • IV Flotilla
  • 3 September 1914 – 8 November 1916
  • Pola Flotilla
  • 8 November 1916 – 8 May 1918
Commanders:
Operations: 11 patrols
Victories:
  • 37 merchant ships sunk (106,034 GRT)
  • 3 merchant ships damaged (18,554 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship taken as a prize (1,115 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (14,000 tons)

SM U-32 was a German Type U 31 U-boat of the Imperial German Navy.

Cornwallis sinking in the Mediterranean Sea on 9 January 1917 after being torpedoed by the U-32.

Her construction was ordered on 29 March 1912 and her keel was laid down on 8 November 1912 by Germaniawerft of Kiel. She was launched on 28 January 1914 and commissioned on 3 September 1914 under the command of Edgar von Spiegel von und zu Peckelsheim. On 1 February 1916 Spiegel was relieved by Kurt Hartwig who commanded the boat until 16 February 1918 when Karl Albrecht took over. Albrecht commanded her until her loss.

U-32 conducted 11 patrols, sinking 37 ships totalling 106,034 gross register tons (GRT). On 9 January 1917, to the East of Malta, U-32 sank the British pre-dreadnought HMS Cornwallis, with the loss of 15 lives.

Design[edit]

German Type U 31 submarines were double-hulled ocean-going submarines similar to Type 23 and Type 27 subs in dimensions and differed only slightly in propulsion and speed. They were considered very good high sea boats with average manoeuvrability and good surface steering.[4]

U-32 had an overall length of 64.70 m (212 ft 3 in), her pressure hull was 52.36 m (171 ft 9 in) long. The boat's beam was 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in) (o/a), while the pressure hull measured 4.05 m (13 ft 3 in). Type 31s had a draught of 3.56 m (11 ft 8 in) with a total height of 7.68–8.04 m (25 ft 2 in–26 ft 5 in). The boats displaced a total of 971 tonnes (956 long tons); 685 t (674 long tons) when surfaced and 878 t (864 long tons) when submerged.[4]

U-32 was fitted with two Germania 6-cylinder two-stroke diesel engines with a total of 1,850 metric horsepower (1,361 kW; 1,825 bhp) for use on the surface and two Siemens-Schuckert double-acting electric motors with a total of 1,200 PS (883 kW; 1,184 shp) for underwater use. These engines powered two shafts each with a 1.60 m (5.2 ft) propeller, which gave the boat a top surface speed of 16.4 knots (30.4 km/h; 18.9 mph), and 9.7 knots (18.0 km/h; 11.2 mph) when submerged. Cruising range was 8,790 nautical miles (16,280 km; 10,120 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) on the surface, and 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) under water. Diving depth was 50 m (164 ft 1 in).[4]

The U-boat was armed with four 50 cm (20 in) torpedo tubes, two fitted in the bow and two in the stern, and carried 6 torpedoes. Additionally U-32 was equipped in 1915 with two 8.8 cm (3.5 in) deck guns. The boat's complement was 4 officers and 31 enlisted.[4]

Fate[edit]

SM U-32 (Germany) is located in Mediterranean
SM U-32 (Germany)
Wreck location

On 8 May 1918 north-west of Malta she was shelled and then depth charged by HMS Wallflower and sunk with all hands, 41 dead.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[5]
8 April 1915 Chateaubriand  France 2,247 Sunk
11 April 1915 Wayfarer  United Kingdom 9,599 Damaged
22 June 1915 Kiew  Denmark 1,115 Captured as a prize
4 March 1916 Teutonian  United Kingdom 4,824 Sunk
5 March 1916 Rothesay  United Kingdom 2,007 Sunk
6 March 1916 Trois Freres  France 106 Sunk
7 March 1916 Ville Du Havre  France 3,109 Sunk
18 October 1916 Athene  Norway 1,847 Sunk
30 October 1916 Marquis Bacquehem  United Kingdom 4,396 Sunk
30 October 1916 Vertunno  Kingdom of Italy 3,239 Sunk
27 November 1916 City of Birmingham  United Kingdom 7,498 Sunk
27 November 1916 Karnak  France 6,816 Sunk
30 November 1916 S. Antonio  Kingdom of Italy 611 Sunk
1 December 1916 Cuore Di Gesu  Kingdom of Italy 199 Sunk
1 December 1916 Lampo  Kingdom of Italy 59 Sunk
2 December 1916 Angela Madre G.  Kingdom of Italy 155 Sunk
3 December 1916 Lucellum  United Kingdom 5,184 Damaged
6 December 1916 Campania  Kingdom of Italy 4,297 Sunk
8 December 1916 Carmelina Dominici  Kingdom of Italy 94 Sunk
12 December 1916 Saint Ursula  United Kingdom 5,011 Sunk
7 January 1917 Rosalia L.  Kingdom of Italy 7,186 Sunk
9 January 1917 HMS Cornwallis  Royal Navy 14,000 Sunk
10 April 1917 Porto Di Rodi  Kingdom of Italy 2,480 Sunk
12 April 1917 Kildale  United Kingdom 3,830 Sunk
17 April 1917 Costante  Kingdom of Italy 3,479 Sunk
18 April 1917 Rinaldo  United Kingdom 4,321 Sunk
21 April 1917 Giosue  Kingdom of Italy 140 Sunk
12 May 1917 Locksley Hall  United Kingdom 3,635 Sunk
24 May 1917 Biarritz  France 2,758 Sunk
16 July 1917 Khephren  United Kingdom 2,774 Sunk
16 July 1917 Porto Di Adalia  Kingdom of Italy 4,073 Sunk
17 July 1917 Virent  United Kingdom 3,771 Damaged
19 July 1917 Varvara  Greece 1,316 Sunk
20 September 1917 Kurdistan  United Kingdom 3,720 Sunk
22 September 1917 Caroline  France 107 Sunk
24 September 1917 Iriston  United Kingdom 3,221 Sunk
29 September 1917 Sanwen  United Kingdom 3,689 Sunk
4 October 1917 Constantinos Embiricos  Greece 2,611 Sunk
4 October 1917 Nicolaos Roussos  Greece 2,421 Sunk
10 October 1917 Transporteur  France 1,812 Sunk
21 April 1918 Bellview  United Kingdom 3,567 Sunk
1 May 1918 Era  Australia 2,379 Sunk

Original documents from Room 40[edit]

The following is a verbatim transcription of the recorded activities of SM U-32 known to British Naval Intelligence, Room 40 O.B.:[6]


"SM U-32.

Oberlt.z.S. Spiegel von und zu Peckelsheim, later to U-93. Kaptlt. Hartwig October 1916 to Sept/October 1918, then to U-63. Kaptlt. Karl Albrecht, lost with her. Came off the stocks at Kiel about the end of October 1914 and did trials at Kiel School, leaving for the North Sea on 27th November. In December 1914 and January 1915, and February 1915, she was occasionally employed on patrol in the Bight, and was twice in dockyard hands with engine or other trouble. She was attached to the 4th Half Flotilla.

  • 3rd April – 17th April 1915. Channel via Dover. Home northabout 1 S.S., 1 sailing vessel sunk, in Channel.
  • 12th June – 24th June 1915. North Sea, 1 prize taken in.
  • 9th August – 13th August 1915. Bight patrol.
  • 14th – ? 16th August 1915. Bight anti-air raid patrol.
  • 22nd – 27th August 1915. North Sea. Returned owing to compass failure.
  • 11th September – 13th September 1915. To Flanders (Ostend).
  • 19th September – 21st September 1915. Ostend to Emden.
  • ? 2nd October 1915 – ? 4th October 1915. Bight patrol.
  • 20th October 1915. Emden to List.
  • 24th October – 27th October 1915. North Sea.
  • 29th December 1915 – 2nd January 1916. ? North Sea patrol.
  • 17th January 1916. On Bight patrol.
  • 23rd January – 3rd February 1916. On Bight patrol.
  • 11th February – 14th February 1916. On Bight patrol.
  • 26th February – 17th March 1916. Northabout to Channel approach. Sank 2 S.S., 2 sailing vessels.
  • 16th April – 18th April 1916. Bight patrol.
  • 22nd April 1916. Bight patrol.
  • 27th April – 8th May 1916. North Sea patrol.
  • 16th May – 3rd June 1916. North Sea patrol (Jutland Battle).
  • 24th August – 25th August 1916. Bight patrol.
  • 28th August – 1st September 1916. North Sea patrol.
  • 20th September – 1st October 1916. ? North Sea.
  • 16th October – 7/8th November 1916. Northabout to Mediterranean. Arrived Cattaro 7/8th November. Sank 2 S.S. and was fired at by S.S. ARLINGTON COURT on 30th October. When in Mediterranean she was with Pola-Cattaro Flotilla.
  • End of November – Middle of December 1916. Proceeded out from Cattaro and cruised in Mediterranean (central). Sank 6 S.S., 9 sailing vessels (including the French S.S. KARNAK). U-32 with another submarine seems to have been concerned in attack on British S.S. NAGOYA but was driven off by gunfire.
  • 2nd January 1917 – 18th January 1917. On a cruise in central Mediterranean. Sank 2 S.S., 1 sailing vessel, and H.M.S. CORNWALLIS.
  • February 1917 – March 1918. Operating in Mediterranean.
  • 16th April 1918. Left Cattaro and cruised in western Mediterranean. Sank 1 S.S. and missed another by torpedo. On 24th April was sighted 50 miles N. of Algiers. She was sunk on May 8th, 1918 by H.M.S. WALLFLOWER in 36°8'N., 13°30'E., apparently while returning from this cruise."

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

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. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Edgar von Spiegel von und zu Peckelsheim". German and Austrian U-Boats of World War I – Kaiserliche Marine – Uboat.net. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Kurt Hartwig (Pour le Merite)". German and Austrian U-Boats of World War I – Kaiserliche Marine – Uboat.net. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Kurt Albrecht (Pour le Merite)". German and Austrian U-Boats of World War I – Kaiserliche Marine – Uboat.net. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 6.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-32". German and Austrian U-Boats of World War I – Kaiserliche Marine – Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  6. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914-1918 (Published below – Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918)

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. *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. (1995). 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]

Coordinates: 36°04′N 13°17′E / 36.07°N 13.28°E / 36.07; 13.28