SM U-88

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-88.
Career (German Empire)
Name: U-88
Ordered: 23 June 1915
Builder: Kaiserliche Werft Danzig
Yard number: 32
Laid down: 20 November 1915
Launched: 22 June 1916
Commissioned: 7 April 1917
Fate: 5 September 1917 - Presumably mined off Terschelling. 43 dead (all hands lost)[1]
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: German Type U 87 submarine
Displacement: 757 t (745 long tons) surfaced
998 t (982 long tons) submerged
Length: 65.80 m (215 ft 11 in) (o/a)
50.07 m (164 ft 3 in) (pressure hull)
Beam: 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) (oa)
4.18 m (13 ft 9 in) (pressure hull)
Height: 9.35 m (30 ft 8 in)
Draught: 3.88 m (12 ft 9 in)
Installed power: 2 × 2,400 PS (1,765 kW; 2,367 shp) surfaced
2 × 1,200 PS (883 kW; 1,184 shp) submerged
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 × 1.66 m (5 ft 5 in) propellers
Speed: 16.8 knots (31.1 km/h; 19.3 mph) surfaced
9.1 knots (16.9 km/h; 10.5 mph) submerged
Range: 11,380 nmi (21,080 km; 13,100 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced
56 nmi (104 km; 64 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (164 ft 1 in)
Complement: 4 officers, 32 enlisted
Armament:
  • 4 x 50 cm (19.7 in) torpedo tubes (two bow, two stern)
  • 10-12 torpedoes
  • 1 x 10.5 cm (4.1 in) deck gun
Service record
Part of: Imperial German Navy III Flotilla
Commanders: Kptlt. Walther Schwieger[3]
23 July 1916 – 5 September 1917
Operations: 4 patrols
18 May – 5 September 1917[1]
Victories: 12 merchant ships sunk (39,382 GRT)
2 merchant ships damaged (845 GRT)

SM U-88 was a Type U 87 submarine built for the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) in World War I. U-88 was engaged in the naval warfare and took part in the First Battle of the Atlantic.

U-88 is most notable for sinking and taking with her Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger, responsible for sinking the RMS Lusitania when he was commander of 'U-20. The submarine came to an end on 5 September 1917 when being chased by HMS Stonecrop, hit a British mine and sank north of Terschelling at 53°57′N 4°55′E / 53.950°N 4.917°E / 53.950; 4.917Coordinates: 53°57′N 4°55′E / 53.950°N 4.917°E / 53.950; 4.917. Everyone on board U-88 was killed.[1]

Design[edit]

German Type U 87 submarines were preceded by the shorter Type U 81 submarines. U-88 had a displacement of 757 tonnes (745 long tons) when at the surface and 998 tonnes (982 long tons) while submerged.[2] It had a total length of 215 ft 11 in (65.81 m), a pressure hull length of 164 ft 3 in (50.06 m), a beam of 20 ft 4 in (6.20 m), a height of 30 ft 8 in (9.35 m), and a draught of 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m). The submarine was powered by two 2,400 metric horsepower (1,800 kW; 2,400 shp) engines for use while surfaced, and two 1,200 metric horsepower (880 kW; 1,200 shp) engines for use while submerged. It had two shafts and two 1.66 m (5.4 ft) propellers. It was capable of operating at depths of up to 50 metres (160 ft).[2]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 16.8 knots (31.1 km/h; 19.3 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 9.1 knots (16.9 km/h; 10.5 mph).[2] When submerged, it could operate for 56 nautical miles (104 km; 64 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph); when surfaced, it could travel 11,380 nautical miles (21,080 km; 13,100 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-88 was fitted with four 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes (two at the bow and two at the stern), ten to twelve torpedoes, one 10.5 centimetres (4.1 in) deck machine gun, and one 8.8 centimetres (3.5 in) deck machine gun. It had a complement of thirty-six (thirty-two crew members and four officers).[2]

Summary of raiding career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[4]
23 May 1917 Hector  Norway 1,146 Sunk
25 May 1917 Hilary  United Kingdom 6,329 Sunk
28 May 1917 Roma  Russian Empire 417 Damaged
29 May 1917 Ashleaf  United Kingdom 5,768 Sunk
31 May 1917 Jeanne Cordonnier  France 2,194 Sunk
31 May 1917 Miyazaki Maru  Japan 7,892 Sunk
1 June 1917 Cavina  United Kingdom 6,539 Sunk
6 June 1917 Eemdijk  Netherlands 3,048 Sunk
7 June 1917 John Bakke  Norway 1,611 Sunk
29 June 1917 Escondido  Norway 1,066 Sunk
3 July 1917 Iceland  United Kingdom 1,501 Sunk
7 July 1917 Coral Leaf  United Kingdom 428 Damaged
13 July 1917 Ceres  Denmark 1,166 Sunk
16 July 1917 Vesta  Denmark 1,122 Sunk

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "U88". German and Austrian U-Boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Gröner 1985, pp. 38-39.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Walter Schwieger (Pour le Merite)". German and Austrian U-Boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-88". German and Austrian U-Boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gröner, Erich (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815–1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4.