SM U-41 (Germany)

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For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-41.
History
German Empire
Name: U-41
Ordered: 12 June 1912
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number: 201
Laid down: 22 April 1913
Launched: 10 October 1914
Commissioned: 1 February 1915
Fate: 24 September 1915 – Sunk by gunfire from Q-Ship Baralong in Western Approaches 49.10N 07.23W.. 35 dead and 2 survivors.
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 (5.2 ft) 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:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Claus Hansen[1]
  • 1 February – 24 September 1915
Operations: 4 patrols
Victories:
  • 28 merchant ships sunk (58,648 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship damaged (4,409 GRT)
  • 1 ship taken as a prize (355 GRT)

SM U-41[Note 1] was one of the 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. U-41 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-41 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-41 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).[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-41 was equipped in 1915 with one 8.8 cm (3.5 in) deck gun. The boat's complement was 4 officers and 31 enlisted.[2]

Fate[edit]

U-41 was sunk by British Q-ship on 24 September 1915 in the Second Baralong Incident. At this stage in the war, U-boat commanders were under orders to scrupulously observe the rules of war (the "cruiser rules"). After spotting merchant targets, submarines surfaced nearby, boarded the ships, and searched for contraband. This prevented the sinking of neutral vessels, but exposed the submarines to great risk.

SS Urbino[edit]

After stopping 6,651 gross register tons (GRT) merchantman Urbino, U-41 sent a boarding party aboard to inspect the cargo. After finding war material on board, the Germans put the merchant crew off the ship in the lifeboats. U-41 was in the process of sinking Urbino with gunfire when HMS Wyandra (in the guise of the American-flagged merchantman Baralong) arrived on the scene, flying an American flag. When U-41 approached, Wyandra, fired on and sank the U-boat without striking the American flag. This was a violation of the rules of war; while the use of a False Flag was allowed,[3] it was required that a belligerent identify itself before initiating hostilities.

The event generated widespread outrage in Germany, especially among Kriegsmarine officers. The sinking was also commemorated in a propaganda medal designed by the German medallist Karl Goetz.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 2] Fate[4]
2 May 1915 America  Norway 3,706 Sunk
2 May 1915 Cruiser  United Kingdom 146 Sunk
2 May 1915 Martaban  United Kingdom 148 Sunk
2 May 1915 Mercury  United Kingdom 222 Sunk
2 May 1915 St. George  United Kingdom 215 Sunk
3 May 1915 Oscar  Norway 107 Sunk
3 May 1915 Roxane  Sweden 355 Captured as a prize
25 May 1915 Nebraskan  United States 4,409 Damaged
26 May 1915 Morwenna  United Kingdom 1,414 Sunk
27 May 1915 Cadeby  United Kingdom 1,130 Sunk
28 May 1915 Ethiope  United Kingdom 3,794 Sunk
28 May 1915 Spennymoor  United Kingdom 2,733 Sunk
28 May 1915 Tullochmoor  United Kingdom 3,520 Sunk
29 May 1915 Cysne  Portugal 623 Sunk
29 May 1915 Dixiana  United Kingdom 3,329 Sunk
29 May 1915 Glenlee  United Kingdom 4,140 Sunk
16 July 1915 Balva  Russian Empire 1,165 Sunk
17 July 1915 General Radetzky  Russian Empire 2,118 Sunk
24 July 1915 Grangewood  United Kingdom 3,422 Sunk
25 July 1915 Celtic  United Kingdom 264 Sunk
25 July 1915 Cydonia  United Kingdom 259 Sunk
25 July 1915 Emblem  United Kingdom 157 Sunk
25 July 1915 Gadwall  United Kingdom 192 Sunk
25 July 1915 Honoria  United Kingdom 179 Sunk
25 July 1915 Leelenaw  United States 1,923 Sunk
28 July 1915 Trondhjemsfjord  Norway 4,350 Sunk
23 September 1915 Anglo-Colombian  United Kingdom 4,792 Sunk
23 September 1915 Chancellor  United Kingdom 4,586 Sunk
23 September 1915 Hesione  United Kingdom 3,363 Sunk
24 September 1915 Urbino  United Kingdom 6,651 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: Claus Hansen". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 6.
  3. ^ deHaven-Smith, Lance (2013). Conspiracy Theory in America. Austin: University of Texas Press. p. 225. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 41". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 12 January 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]

Coordinates: 49°10′N 7°20′W / 49.167°N 7.333°W / 49.167; -7.333