SM U-33 (Germany)
|Ordered:||29 March 1912|
|Laid down:||7 November 1912|
|Launched:||19 May 1914|
|Commissioned:||27 September 1914|
|Fate:||Surrendered at the end of the war broken up at Blyth in 1919-20|
|Class and type:||German Type U 31 submarine|
|Draught:||3.56 m (11 ft 8 in)|
|Test depth:||50 m (164 ft 1 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 31 enlisted|
|Part of:||Imperial German Navy|
German Type U 31 submarines were double-hulled ocean-going craft similar to Type 23 and Type 27 boats in dimensions, differing only slightly in propulsion and speed. They were considered very good high sea boats with average manoeuvrability and good surface steering.
U-33 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.
U-33 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 ft 3 in) 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).
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 six torpedoes. Additionally U-33 was equipped in 1915 with one 8.8 cm (3.5 in) Uk L/30 deck gun, which was later replaced with a 10.5 cm (4.1 in) gun. The boat's complement was four officers and 31 enlisted.
On 28 March 1915, U-33 ordered the Great Eastern Railway's SS Brussels to stop. Instead of doing so, her captain, Charles Fryatt, ordered full steam ahead and attempted to ram U-33, which only just managed to dive in time.
Sinking of hospital ship
On 30 March, 1916 the Russian hospital ship Portugal was towing a string of small flat-bottomed boats to ferry wounded from the shore to the ship. Off Rizeh, on the Turkish coast of the Black Sea she had stopped as one of the small boats was sinking and repairs were being made. The ship was not carrying wounded at the time, but had a staff of Red Cross workers on board, as well as her usual crew. | The ship's crew saw a periscope approaching the vessel but as the ship was a hospital ship and protected by the Hague conventions no evasive actions were taken. Without warning SM U-33 fired a torpedo which missed. The submarine came around again fired a torpedo from a depth of 30 feet, which hit near the engine room, breaking the ship into two pieces. Of 273 persons on board, 158 were rescued.
SM U-33 Kptlt. Gausser till Autumn 1917, then to U-156; next C.O. probably Kptlt. Siess. Came off the stocks at Kiel about the end of November 1914, and joined the Kiel School for trials, proceeding to Emden on 12 January 1915. She was attached to the 4th Half Flotilla.
24–25 January 1915. On Bight patrol to an area where enemy battle cruisers were reported.
30 January 1915 ? Special anti-submarine patrol. Returned owing to engine trouble.
? 18–20 February 1915. Bight patrol.
21–22 February 1915. Bight patrol.
27 February – 10 April 1915. Through Channel to Atlantic. 2 S.S., 2 sailing vessels sunk.
29–30 May 1915. North Sea returned owing to defective W/T.
4–24 June 1915. Northabout to west coast of Scotland. Sank 2 S.S., 1 prize.
14–17 August 1915. Bight Anti-air raid patrol.
28 August – 15 September 1915. To Mediterranean northabout. Sank 5 S.S. Arrived Cattaro about 15 September and joined the Constantinople Half Flot.
28 September – 9 October 1915. Cruise in eastern Mediterranean. Sank 10 S.S.
16 November – 6 December 1915. Cruise in central Mediterranean. Sank 13 S.S. On 5 December was in action with drifter HOLLIBANK in the Straits of Otranto. Took prisoner Capt Wilson, King’s messenger.
April 1916 – November 1916. U-33 was operating chiefly in the eastern Black Sea and was based on Constantinople or Varna. By April 1917 she was back in the Adriatic.
12 January – 10 February 1918. Left Cattaro and operated in eastern Mediterranean. Sank 2. S.S., 2 sailing vessels, and damaged but did not sink 2 S.S.
1–17 May 1918. Left Cattaro for the east, and on 7 May was in area off Port Said. Sank 1 S.S., 1 sailing vessel, and attacked 2 ships and a convoy unsuccessfully. On May 8 was in action, and on 15 May broke off undertaking owing to defects.
2 September to about 26 September. Left Cattaro for the east. Sank 1 S.S., 12 sailing vessels.
On 19 October 1918. U-33 left Cattaro for Kiel. The only incident of the voyage was that she was attacked by a trawler on 1 November in about 36°35'E. She steered northabout and by the Sound, at some time with UB-51 and UB-105.
Surrendered at Harwich January 16, 1919.
Summary of raiding history
|2 April 1915||Paquerette||France||399||Sunk|
|4 April 1915||Hermes||Russian Empire||1,019||Sunk|
|4 April 1915||Olivine||United Kingdom||634||Sunk|
|5 April 1915||Northlands||United Kingdom||2,776||Sunk|
|10 June 1915||Dania||Russian Empire||2,648||Sunk|
|14 June 1915||Davanger||Norway||2,256||Sunk|
|21 June 1915||Sigurd Hund||Norway||453||Captured as a prize|
|1 September 1915||Whitefield||United Kingdom||2,422||Sunk|
|4 September 1915||Cymbeline||United Kingdom||4,505||Sunk|
|4 September 1915||Glimt||Norway||955||Sunk|
|4 September 1915||Mimosa||United Kingdom||3,466||Sunk|
|4 September 1915||Storesand||Norway||1,639||Sunk|
|6 September 1915||John Hardie||United Kingdom||4,372||Sunk|
|30 September 1915||Tobia||Kingdom of Italy||185||Sunk|
|1 October 1915||Provincia||France||3,523||Sunk|
|2 October 1915||Arabian||United Kingdom||2,744||Sunk|
|2 October 1915||Sainte Marguerite||France||3,908||Sunk|
|3 October 1915||Antonie||France||2,698||Sunk|
|4 October 1915||Craigston||United Kingdom||2,617||Sunk|
|4 October 1915||Yunnan||France||6,474||Damaged|
|5 October 1915||Burrsfield||United Kingdom||4,037||Sunk|
|5 October 1915||X130||United Kingdom||160||Sunk|
|6 October 1915||Dimitrios||Greece||2,508||Sunk|
|6 October 1915||Scawby||United Kingdom||3,658||Sunk|
|6 October 1915||Silverash||United Kingdom||3,753||Sunk|
|7 October 1915||Amiral Hamelin||France||5,051||Sunk|
|18 November 1915||Enosis||United Kingdom||3,409||Sunk|
|19 November 1915||Senju Maru||Japan||4,340||Sunk|
|20 November 1915||Merganser||United Kingdom||1,905||Sunk|
|23 November 1915||Tafna||France||1,444||Damaged|
|24 November 1915||Liguria||Kingdom of Italy||3,199||Sunk|
|25 November 1915||Algerien||France||1,767||Sunk|
|26 November 1915||Tringa||United Kingdom||2,154||Sunk|
|27 November 1915||Kingsway||United Kingdom||3,647||Sunk|
|27 November 1915||Omara||France||435||Sunk|
|27 November 1915||Tanis||United Kingdom||3,655||Sunk|
|29 November 1915||Malinche||United Kingdom||1,868||Sunk|
|29 November 1915||Zarifis||Greece||2,904||Sunk|
|30 November 1915||Colenso||United Kingdom||3,861||Sunk|
|30 November 1915||Langton Hall||United Kingdom||4,437||Sunk|
|1 December 1915||Clan Macleod||United Kingdom||4,796||Sunk|
|1 December 1915||Umeta||United Kingdom||5,312||Sunk|
|2 December 1915||Commodore||United Kingdom||5,858||Sunk|
|30 March 1916||Portugal||Imperial Russian Navy||5,358||Sunk|
|31 March 1916||Roi Albert||Belgium||2,853||Damaged|
|31 March 1916||Unidentified Sailing Vessel||Russian Empire||7||Sunk|
|3 April 1916||Enrichetta||Russian Empire||442||Sunk|
|28 April 1916||Lyusya||Russian Empire||50||Sunk|
|28 April 1916||Anzhelika||Russian Empire||170||Sunk|
|28 April 1916||Unidentified sailing vessel||Russian Empire||300||Sunk|
|18 September 1916||Unidentified Small Fishing Vessel (1 of 2)||Russian Empire||unknown||Sunk|
|18 September 1916||Unidentified Small Fishing Vessel (2 of 2)||Russian Empire||unknown||Sunk|
|15 April 1917||Cameronia||United Kingdom||10,963||Sunk|
|16 April 1917||Sontay||France||7,247||Sunk|
|22 April 1917||Blaatind||Norway||1,641||Sunk|
|22 April 1917||Maria S.||Kingdom of Italy||133||Sunk|
|22 April 1917||Unione||Kingdom of Italy||207||Sunk|
|26 April 1917||Monitor||United Kingdom||138||Sunk|
|27 April 1917||Mafalda||Kingdom of Italy||162||Sunk|
|27 April 1917||Margaret B. Rouss||United States||701||Sunk|
|28 April 1917||Lisetta||Kingdom of Italy||40||Sunk|
|30 April 1917||Chrisomalli Th. Sifneo||Greece||2,415||Sunk|
|27 May 1917||Beatrice||Kingdom of Italy||106||Sunk|
|27 May 1917||Michele Costantino||Kingdom of Italy||51||Sunk|
|3 June 1917||Greenbank||United Kingdom||3,881||Sunk|
|3 June 1917||Islandmore||United Kingdom||3,046||Sunk|
|7 June 1917||Il Dionisio||Kingdom of Italy||97||Sunk|
|7 June 1917||San Antonio||Kingdom of Italy||13||Sunk|
|26 July 1917||Blanchette||Kingdom of Italy||280||Sunk|
|26 July 1917||Gesu E Maria||Kingdom of Italy||196||Sunk|
|27 July 1917||Frigido||Kingdom of Italy||59||Sunk|
|27 July 1917||Genova||Kingdom of Italy||3,486||Sunk|
|28 July 1917||Splendor||Kingdom of Italy||6,507||Damaged|
|1 August 1917||Llandudno||United Kingdom||4,187||Sunk|
|4 August 1917||Angelina T.||Kingdom of Italy||146||Sunk|
|8 August 1917||Llanishen||United Kingdom||3,837||Sunk|
|9 August 1917||Flora||Kingdom of Italy||125||Sunk|
|9 August 1917||Industria||Spain||51||Sunk|
|15 August 1917||Bandai Maru||Japan||3,227||Sunk|
|23 January 1918||Capri||Kingdom of Italy||3,899||Damaged|
|24 January 1918||Antonios J. Dracoulis||Greece||3,301||Sunk|
|25 January 1918||Apostoles Andreas||United Kingdom||50||Sunk|
|29 January 1918||Taxiarchis||United Kingdom||160||Sunk|
|31 January 1918||Eggesford||United Kingdom||4,414||Damaged|
|1 February 1918||Glenamoy||United Kingdom||7,269||Damaged|
|4 February 1918||Ravenshoe||United Kingdom||3,592||Damaged|
|4 February 1918||Standish Hall||United Kingdom||3,996||Sunk|
|20 March 1918||Saint Dimitrios||United Kingdom||3,359||Sunk|
|20 March 1918||Samoset||United Kingdom||5,251||Sunk|
|20 March 1918||Yochow||United Kingdom||2,127||Sunk|
|20 March 1918||Antonios M. Theophilatos||Greece||2,282||Sunk|
|31 March 1918||La Loire||France||5,343||Sunk|
|5 May 1918||Aghios Johannis||Greece||20||Sunk|
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 33". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- Gröner 1991, p. 6.
- "Charles Fryatt". Southern Life. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- The Great Eastern Railway Magazine, September 1916, p218-26
- "Sinking of Portugal branded as piracy" (PDF). The New York Times. 5 April 1916. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
- The War on hospital ships, from the narratives of eye-witnesses (1917) (1917 ed.). London : T. Fisher Unwin. p. 1. - Call number: SRLF_UCLA:LAGE-3563453
- National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914-1918 (Published below - Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918)
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 33". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- 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) . 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. (1933). 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.
- Photos of cruises of German submarine U-54 in 1916-1918. Great photo quality, comments in German.
- A 44 min. film from 1917 about a cruise of the German submarine U-35. A German propaganda film without dead or wounded; many details about submarine warfare in World War I.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 33". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.
- Room 40: original documents, photos and maps about World War I German submarine warfare and British Room 40 Intelligence from The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, UK.