|Ordered:||6 January 1915|
|Builder:||AG Vulkan, Hamburg|
|Launched:||31 October 1915|
|Commissioned:||26 January 1916|
|Fate:||1 November 1918 - Scuttled during the evacuation of Cattaro in position |
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||German Type UE I submarine|
|Height:||8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)|
|Draught:||4.86 m (15 ft 11 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 shafts, 2× 1.38 m (4 ft 6 in) propellers|
|Test depth:||50 m (164 ft 1 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 28 enlisted|
German Type UE I submarines were preceded by the longer Type U 66 submarines. U-72 had a displacement of 755 tonnes (743 long tons) when at the surface and 832 tonnes (819 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 56.80 m (186 ft 4 in), a pressure hull length of 46.66 m (153 ft 1 in), a beam of 5.90 m (19 ft 4 in), a height of 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in), and a draught of 4.86 m (15 ft 11 in). The submarine was powered by two 900 metric horsepower (660 kW; 890 shp) engines for use while surfaced, and two 900 metric horsepower (660 kW; 890 shp) engines for use while submerged. She had two propeller shafts. She was capable of operating at depths of up to 50 metres (160 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 10.6 knots (19.6 km/h; 12.2 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.9 knots (14.6 km/h; 9.1 mph). When submerged, she could operate for 83 nautical miles (154 km; 96 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 7,880 nautical miles (14,590 km; 9,070 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). U-72 was fitted with two 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes (one at the port bow and one starboard stern), four torpedoes, and one 8.8 centimetres (3.46 in) deck gun. She had a complement of thirty-two (twenty-eight crew members and four officers).
U-72 left the stocks at Hamburg (AG Vulcan) in March 1916, joined the Kiel School, and first entered North Sea on 11 April 1916. Attached 1st Half Flotilla, under the command of Kaptlt. Krafft.
- 15–21 April 1916. Cruise in North Sea. Returned with defects.
- 23–2 May 1916. ? Cruise in North Sea.
- 21 June to 4 July 1916. Northabout. Laid mines off Cape Wrath.
- 20 August - ? 15 September 1916. Northabout to Mediterranean. Laid mines off Lisbon, Oran and Cape Blanc. On arriving at Cattaro joined the Pola-Cattaro Flotilla.
- Of U-72's operations in the Mediterranean, little is known after her arrival in September 1916.
- On a cruise from the middle of February 1917 until 6 March 1917, she sank 4 steamers and stopped British hospital ship, Dunluce Castle. She damaged SS Megantic and was later unsuccessfully attacked by armed trawlers.
- U-72 was reported as not having cruised, with the above exception, after January 1917, and was regarded as a lame duck. Indeed of her class, U-71 to U-80 (all minelayers), U-80 was the only boat not continually in dockyard hands. At the end of October 1918, U-72 was blown up at evacuation of Cattaro.
Summary of raiding history
|7 September 1916||Achaia||United Kingdom||2,733||Sunk|
|7 September 1916||Hiso||Norway||1,562||Sunk|
|7 September 1916||Doreen||Royal Navy||9||Sunk|
|7 September 1916||Allegro||Royal Navy||7||Sunk|
|7 September 1916||Griffin||Royal Navy||10||Sunk|
|7 September 1916||Puffin||Royal Navy||10||Damaged|
|19 November 1916||Maria Di Pompei||Kingdom of Italy||286||Sunk|
|23 November 1916||Margherita F.||Kingdom of Italy||44||Sunk|
|26 November 1916||Christoforos||Greece||3,674||Sunk|
|27 November 1916||Salvatore Ciampa||Kingdom of Italy||1,728||Sunk|
|2 December 1916||Palermo||Kingdom of Italy||9,203||Sunk|
|11 December 1916||Jeanne||Kingdom of Italy||534||Sunk|
|14 December 1916||Caledonia||United Kingdom||7,572||Damaged|
|3 June 1917||Manin B.||Kingdom of Italy||249||Sunk|
|7 June 1917||Errington Court||United Kingdom||4,461||Damaged|
|8 June 1917||Cheltonian||United Kingdom||4,426||Sunk|
|8 June 1917||Felicina||Kingdom of Italy||165||Sunk|
|9 June 1917||Bravore||Norway||1,650||Sunk|
|9 June 1917||General Laurie||United Kingdom||238||Sunk|
|9 June 1917||Montebello||Kingdom of Italy||2,603||Sunk|
|13 June 1917||Santo||Kingdom of Italy||622||Sunk|
|13 June 1917||Biagio||Kingdom of Italy||276||Sunk|
|25 June 1917||Southern||United Kingdom||5,694||Damaged|
|7 July 1917||Shigizan Maru||Japan||2,828||Sunk|
|1 August 1917||Rokeby||United Kingdom||3,786||Damaged|
|4 August 1917||British Monarch||United Kingdom||5,749||Sunk|
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 72". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Gröner 1991, pp. 10-11.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Ernst Krafft (Royal House Order of Hohenzollern)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Johannes Feldkirchner". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Erich Schulze". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Hermann Bohm". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914-1918. National Archives, Kew.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 72". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- 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.