SM U-79

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For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-79.
German submarines Cherbourg NH 43779.jpg
U-79 in Cherbourg after the war, around 1920, together with U-105 and UB-94
History
German Empire
Name: U-79
Ordered: 6 January 1915
Builder: AG Vulkan, Hamburg
Yard number: 61
Launched: 31 October 1915
Commissioned: 26 January 1916
Fate: Surrendered to France, 21 November 1918[1]
France
Name: Victor Réveille
Acquired: 21 November 1918
Fate: Broken up in 1933 or 1935[1]
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: German Type UE I submarine
Displacement:
  • 755 t (743 long tons) surfaced
  • 832 t (819 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 5.90 m (19 ft 4 in) (o/a)
  • 5.00 m (16 ft 5 in) (pressure hull)
Height: 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.86 m (15 ft 11 in)
Installed power:
  • 2 × 900 PS (662 kW; 888 shp) surfaced
  • 2 × 900 PS (662 kW; 888 shp) submerged
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2× 1.41 m (4 ft 8 in) propellers
Speed:
  • 9.9 knots (18.3 km/h; 11.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.9 knots (14.6 km/h; 9.1 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 7,880 nmi (14,590 km; 9,070 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) surfaced
  • 83 nmi (154 km; 96 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (164 ft 1 in)
Complement: 4 officers, 28 enlisted
Armament:
  • 2 × 50 cm (19.7 in) torpedo tubes (one starboard bow, one starbord stern)
  • 4 torpedoes
  • 1 × 8.8 cm (3.5 in) deck guns
Service record
Part of: I Flottille (30 July 1916 – 11 November 1918)
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Heinrich Jeß[3]
  • (25 May 1916 – 20 February 1917)
  • Kptlt. Otto Rohrbeck[4]
  • (21 February – 26 October 1917)
  • Kptlt. Otto Dröscher[5]
  • (27 October – 23 November 1917)
  • Oblt.z.S. Karl Thouret[6]
  • (24 November 1917 – 15 April 1918)
  • Oblt.z.S. Rudolf (i.V.) Zentner[7]
  • (16 April – 17 August 1918)
  • Oblt.z.S. Martin Hoffmann[8]
  • (18–26 August 1918)
  • Lt.z.S. Rudolf (i.V.) Haagen[9]
  • (27 August – 15 September 1918)
  • Kptlt. Woldemar Petri[10]
  • (16 September – 14 October 1918)
  • Oblt.z.S. Kurt Slevogt[11]
  • (15 October – 11 November 1918)
Operations: 11 patrols
Victories:
  • 21 commercial ships sunk (34,030 GRT)
  • 2 commercial ship damaged (7,474 GRT)
  • 1 commercial ship taken as prize (1,125 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (14,300 GRT)
  • 1 warship damaged (790 GRT)[1]

SM U-79 was one of the 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy (Imperial German Navy) in World War I. U-79 was engaged in the combat in the First Battle of the Atlantic.

After the war she was transferred to the French Navy, in which she served as Victor Réveille.

Imperial German Navy[edit]

SM U-79 was commissioned by Kaptlt. Jess, who was replaced by Kaptlt. Rohrbeck in January 1917.[12] Rohrbeck would be replaced by Kaptlt. Stevogt.[13] U-79 came off the stocks at Hamburg (Vulcan) in 1916, and joined the Kiel School, where she is known to have been in July, and left Kiel for Wilhelmshaven about the end of July to join the 1st Half Flotilla.

Between 6 and 26 August 1916, she laid 34 mines off the south coast of Ireland.[13] She fired on a special service vessel north-west of Ireland on the night[clarification needed] of 19 August; the torpedo missed.[13] In the period 26 September to 14 October 1916, she laid mines in the Firth of Clyde.

Patrolling off Portugal, via the English Channel, between 21 December 1916 and 28 January 1917, she sank eight steamers and one sailing ship, as well as capturing the Norwegian steamer Nanna on 24 January. On her return journey, by way of the Irish Channel,[13] U-79 compelled Nanna to take her under tow to the Danish coast,[13] likely as a result of engine damage she reported 26 January.[13]

On 1 April 1917, she departed to lay mines in Inishtrahull Sound, but could not complete her task due to engine trouble, and returned on 21 April.[13] She made three more minelaying patrols in 1917, one off the Butt of Lewis between 6 June and 4 July;[13] one in Rathlin Sound and off Inishtrahull Island,[13] between 12 September and 15 October, during which she also sank the armoured cruiser HMS Drake off Rathlin Island, 11 October, avoiding Heligoland Bight (per a 10 October general order)[14] on her return; and one between 17 and 20 December, off the Dutch coast, transiting Heligoland Bight inbound and outbound on this occasion.[13] She departed for a repeat of this mission 1 January 1918, but was forced to return 5 January due to compass trouble.[13]

She carried out training off Augustenhof Lighthouse, in the Baltic Sea, from 5 to 9 February, before departing on her next patrol,[15] to lay mines off the Netherlands, returning 19 February, again avoiding Heligoland.[13]

British Naval Intelligence (better known as Room 40) records her at Norderney on 2 May 1918, and possibly in the Elbe on 9 November. On 21 November 1918, she was surrendered at Harwich.[13]

Original documents from Room 40[edit]

The following is a verbatim transcription of the recorded activities of SM U-79 known to British Naval Intelligence, Room 40 O.B.:[16]SM U-79.

Kaptlt. Jess, to U-96 in January 1917, Kaptlt. Rohrbeck; then Kaptlt. Stevogt. Came off the stocks at Hamburg (Vulcan) in 1916, joined the Kiel School, where she is known to have been in July, and left Kiel for Wilhelmshaven about the end of July to join the 1st Half Flotilla.

  • 6th August – 26th August 1916. Went northabout, and laid 34 mines off the S. coast of Ireland. She missed by torpedo a special service vessel N.W. of Ireland on the night of 19th of August
  • 26th September – 14th October 1916. Northabout. Laid mines in the Firth of Clyde.
  • 21st December 1916 – 28th January 1917. Went via the Channel to west of Portugal and probably went through the Irish Channel on return journey. Sank 8 S.S., 1 sailing vessel. On the 24th January captured Norwegian S.S. NANNA and made her tow her to Danish coast. On the 26th submarine reported engine damage.
  • 1st April – 21st April 1917. Northabout. Laid mines in Inishtrahull Sound, but could not complete her task owing to engine damage.
  • 6th June – 4th July 1917. Northabout. Laid mines off Butt of Lewis.
  • 12th September – 15th October 1917. Northabout. Laid mines near Inishtrahull and in Rathlin Sound. Sank HMS Drake off Rathlin Island on the 11th October (Note. This submarine returned by the Sound, instead of the Bight, in accordance with the general order of 10th October 1917).
  • 17th December – 20th December 1917. Left by the Bight, laid mines off the Dutch coast and returned to Bight.
  • 1st January – 5th January 1918. Same as previous cruise. Returned with compass defect.
  • 5th February – 9th February 1918. Was practising at Augustenhof Lighthouse (Baltic).
  • ? 10th February – 19th February 1918. Mines off the Dutch coast. Out by Belts, back by Sound.
  • After this cruise she is mentioned as at Norderney on the 2nd May, and possibly in the Elbe on the 9th November. On the 21st November 1918 was surrendered at Harwich."

Note:
S.S. = Steam Ship
S.V. = Sailing Vessel
Northabout, Muckle Flugga, Fair I. = around Scotland
Sound, Belts, Kattegat = via North of Denmark to/from German Baltic ports
Bight = to/from German North Sea ports
Success = sinking of ships

Koerver, Hans Joachim (2009). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918. Vol II., The Fleet in Being. 

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[17]
14 September 1916 Counsellor  United Kingdom 4,958 Sunk
26 December 1916 Johan  Denmark 828 Sunk
27 December 1916 Copsewood  United Kingdom 599 Sunk
27 December 1916 Ida  Norway 1,300 Sunk
30 December 1916 Danmark  Denmark 1,875 Sunk
1 January 1917 Laupar  Norway 1,407 Sunk
2 January 1917 Older  Norway 2,256 Sunk
3 January 1917 Angela  Kingdom of Italy 2,422 Sunk
3 January 1917 Valladares  Portugal 124 Sunk
4 January 1917 Chinto Maru  Japan 2,592 Sunk
10 January 1917 Brookwood  United Kingdom 3,093 Sunk
24 January 1917 Nanna  Norway 1,125 Captured as a prize
14 June 1917 Carthaginian  United Kingdom 4,444 Sunk
22 June 1917 Maggie  Norway 1,118 Sunk
23 June 1917 HMT Corientes  Royal Navy 280 Sunk
26 June 1917 HMT Charles Astie  Royal Navy 295 Sunk
26 June 1917 Serapis  United Kingdom 1,932 Sunk
30 June 1917 Bröderna  Sweden 39 Sunk
30 June 1917 Lancaster  Sweden 77 Sunk
30 June 1917 Preceptor  Sweden 55 Sunk
13 August 1917 Camito  United Kingdom 6,611 Damaged
2 October 1917 HMS Brisk  Royal Navy 790 Damaged
2 October 1917 HMS Drake  Royal Navy 14,300 Sunk
2 October 1917 Lugano  United Kingdom 3,810 Sunk
23 October 1917 HMT Earl Lennox  Royal Navy 226 Sunk
12 January 1918 Caledonia  Netherlands 863 Damaged
15 January 1918 Westpolder  Netherlands 749 Sunk

French Navy[edit]

After she surrendered, U-79 was transferred to France as a war prize. She served in the French Navy with the name Victor Réveille.

On 23 November 1923, Victor Réveille ran aground at Boulogne, Pas de Calais, France.[18] She was refloated, repaired, and returned to service.

Sources differ on Victor Réveille′s final disposition. Some state that she was scrapped in 1933.[19] According to others, she was stricken on 29 July 1935,[20] and subsequently scrapped that year.[1][21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 79". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Gröner 1991, pp. 10-11.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Heinrich Jeß (Royal House Order of Hohenzollern)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Otto Rohrbeck". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Otto Dröscher (Royal House Order of Hohenzollern)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Karl Thouret". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Rudolf (i.V.) Zentner". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Martin Hoffmann". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Rudolf (i.V.) Haagen". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Woldemar Petri". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Kurt Slevogt". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Jess was transferred to U-96. National Archives.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m National Archives.
  14. ^ It's likely this was a product of British minelaying and German minesweeping efforts. National Archives.
  15. ^ Her departure date is uncertain, perhaps 10 February. National Archives.
  16. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914-1918 (Published below - Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918)
  17. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 79". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "French submarine aground". The Times (43507). London. 24 November 1923. col C, p. 11. 
  19. ^ Conway′s 1922-1946, p. 258.
  20. ^ Conway′s 1906-1921, p. 213.
  21. ^ Gröner, p. 11.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gardiner, Robert (1985). Conway′s All the World′s Fighting Ships 1906-1921. New York: Mayflower Books. ISBN 0-8317-0303-2. 
  • Gardiner, Robert (1985). Conway′s All the World′s Fighting Ships 1922-1946. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-907-3. 
  • 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) [1932]. 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. (1995). 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. 

External links[edit]