SM U-37

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History
German Empire
Name: U-37
Ordered: 12 June 1912
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 197
Laid down: 2 January 1913
Launched: 25 August 1914
Commissioned: 9 December 1914
Fate: Struck mine on 30 April 1915 in Straits of Dover
General characteristics
Class and 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:
  • 2 × shafts
  • 2 × 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in) propellers
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:
  • II Flotilla
  • unknown start – 30 April 1915
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Erich Wilcke[1]
  • 9 December 1914 – 30 April 1915
Operations: 1 patrol
Victories:
  • 2 merchant ships sunk (2,811 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship damaged (3,459 GRT)

SM U-37[Note 1] was one of the 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. U-37 was engaged in naval warfare and took part in the First Battle of the Atlantic.

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.[2]

U-37 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.[2]

U-37 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).[2]

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-37 was equipped in 1915 with two 8.8 cm (3.5 in) Uk L/30 deck guns. The boat's complement was 4 officers and 31 enlisted.[2]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 2] Fate[3]
25 March 1915 Delmira  United Kingdom 3,459 Damaged
31 March 1915 Emma  France 1,617 Sunk
1 April 1915 Seven Seas  United Kingdom 1,194 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. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Erich Wilcke". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 6.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 37". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 

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 37". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.