SM U-6 (Germany)

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SM U 6 800px.jpg
History
German Empire
Name: U-6
Ordered: 8 April 1908
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Cost: 2,540,000 Goldmark
Yard number: 148
Laid down: 24 August 1908
Launched: 18 May 1910
Commissioned: 12 August 1910
Fate: 15 September 1915 - Torpedoed by HMS E16 off Stavanger 59°10′N 5°9′E / 59.167°N 5.150°E / 59.167; 5.150Coordinates: 59°10′N 5°9′E / 59.167°N 5.150°E / 59.167; 5.150. 24 dead and 4 survivors.
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: German Type U 5 submarine
Displacement:
  • 505 t (497 long tons) surfaced
  • 636 t (626 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 5.60 m (18 ft 4 in) (o/a)
  • 3.75 m (12 ft 4 in) (pressure hull)
Draught: 3.55 m (11 ft 8 in)
Installed power:
  • 2 × Körting 6-cylinder and 2 ×  Körting 8-cylinder two stroke paraffin motors with 900 PS (660 kW; 890 shp)
  • 2 × SSW electric motors with 1,040 PS (760 kW; 1,030 shp)
  • 550 rpm surfaced
  • 600 rpm submerged
Propulsion:
  • 2 shafts
  • 2 × 1.30 m (4 ft 3 in) propellers
Speed:
  • 13.4 knots (24.8 km/h; 15.4 mph) surfaced
  • 10.2 knots (18.9 km/h; 11.7 mph) submerged
Range: 3,300 nmi (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) at 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph)
Test depth: 30 m (98 ft)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
1 dingi
Complement: 4 officers, 24 men
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Oblt.z.S. Wilhelm-Friedrich Starke[2]
  • 5 August – 28 September 1914
  • Oblt.z.S. Otto Steinbrinck[3]
  • 29 September – 4 November 1914
  • Oblt.z.S. Reinhold Lepsius[4]
  • 5 November 1914 – 5 January 1915
  • Oblt.z.S. Otto Steinbrinck
  • 6 January 1915 – 21 January 1915
  • Oblt.z.S. Reinhold Lepsius
  • 22 January – 15 September 1915
Operations: 4 patrols
Victories:
  • 16 merchant ships sunk (9,614 GRT)
  • 3 merchant ships taken as prizes (2,337 GRT)

SM U-6 was one of the 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. U-6 was engaged in naval warfare and took part in the First Battle of the Atlantic. Torpedoed by HMS E16 off Stavanger, Norway on 15 September 1915.

War Service[edit]

On 25 February 1915 U-6 left Germany for operations in the English Channel. She reached Cap Gris Nez on 27 February, and on 28 February was preparing to carry out an attack on the British steamer Thordis off Beachy Head, when the submarine's periscope was spotted by the merchant ship, which rammed U-6, damaging U-6's periscope. This forced the submarine to abandon her patrol and return to base.[5]

U-6 operated in the North Sea between 7 and 20 April 1915. Based in Heligoland, she left for the British east coast. On 11 April she launched two torpedo attacks against a steamer off Aberdeen; both attacks failed. For the next three days U-6 observed shipping in the area until she successfully attacked and sank two steamers on 14 April. On 18 April she took the British trawler Glencarse (188 tons) as a prize and headed back to base, arriving in Heligoland on 21 April 1915.

Leaving Heligoland again on 17 July 1915, U-6 sank a Swedish sailing ship of 422 tons carrying timber to Britain on 19 July. On 21 July she took two Swedish steamers as prizes and set two more sailing ships (757 tons) carrying timber to Britain on fire. Three Norwegian sailing ships were burnt on 25 July. After a brief brush with a Q ship the next day, a Swedish steamer and three Danish sailing ships were burned. When she ran low on fuel, U-6 returned to base on 29 July reaching Heligoland the next day.

On 9 September 1915 U-6 sailed for what would be her final cruise. Burning two Norwegian sailing ships carrying timber to Britain on 10 September, U-6 took a Norwegian steamer as prize. Two days later a Norwegian motor vessel was searched and sunk off Kristiansand. On 14 September U-6 met with U-20.

Fate[edit]

In the afternoon on 15 September 1915, U-6 was attacked by a British submarine with two torpedoes. Evasive manoeuvres were only partly successful. While the first torpedo missed, the second struck U-6 right in front of the conning tower, sinking her instantly. Except for five men on the conning tower all of U-6's crew perished. According to Oberleutnant z.S. Beyer, officer of the watch at the time of her sinking, the smoke from U-6's paraffin engines made the commander of the Royal Navy submarine aware of her presence and enabled him to get into launching position.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage (GRT) Fate[6]
14 April 1915 Folke  Sweden 1,352 Sunk
14 April 1915 Glencarse  United Kingdom 188 Captured as prize
14 April 1915 Vestland  Denmark 3,392 Sunk
19 April 1915 Capella  Sweden 422 Sunk
21 July 1915 Anvers  Norway 862 Captured as prize
21 July 1915 Madonna  Sweden 455 Sunk
22 July 1915 Fortuna  Sweden 203 Sunk
25 July 1915 G. P. Harbitz  Norway 673 Sunk
25 July 1915 Harboe  Norway 388 Sunk
25 July 1915 Sognedalen  Norway 644 Sunk
26 July 1915 Elna  Denmark 78 Sunk
26 July 1915 Emma  Sweden 687 Sunk
26 July 1915 Marie  Denmark 173 Sunk
26 July 1915 Neptunus  Denmark 143 Sunk
10 September 1915 Presto  Norway 206 Sunk
11 September 1915 Wansbeck  Norway 462 Sunk
11 September 1915 Randulf Hansen  Norway 1,287 Captured as prize
12 September 1915 Bien  Norway 120 Sunk
13 September 1915 Norte  Norway 216 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gröner 1991, pp. 4-6.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Wilhelm-Friedrich Starke". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Otto Steinbrinck (Pour le Mérite)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Reinhold Lepsius". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  5. ^ Naval Staff Monograph No. 29 1925, pp. 86–87
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 6". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 19 February 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.
  • Monograph No. 29: Home Waters—Part IV. From February to July 1915 (PDF). Naval Staff Monographs (Historical). XIII. The Naval Staff, Training and Staff Duties Division. 1925.
  • Rössler, Eberhard (1985). U-Bootbau bis Ende des 1. Weltkriegs, Konstruktionen für das Ausland und die Jahre 1935-1945. Die deutschen U-Boote und ihre Werften (in German). I. Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 3-7637-5213-7.
  • Spindler, Handelskrieg, Vol.II, pp. 75, 133-4, 246-7