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|Ordered:||20 May 1916|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Cost:||3,276,000 German Papiermark|
|Launched:||6 January 1917|
|Commissioned:||28 June 1917|
|Fate:||Handed over to the United Kingdom 16 January 1919 and broken up in Swansea 1922.|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||German Type UB III submarine|
|Length:||55.30 m (181 ft 5 in) o/a|
|Beam:||5.80 m (19 ft)|
|Draught:||3.68 m (12 ft 1 in)|
|Test depth:||50 m (160 ft)|
|Boats & landing
|Complement:||3 officers, 31 men|
|Part of:||Imperial German Navy|
|Victories:||40 ships (81,486 GRT), 1 escort|
SM UB-49 was a German Type UB III submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 28 June 1917 as SM UB-49.[nb 1]
UB-49 served mainly in the Mediterranean. In the Austro-Hungarian Navy she was listed as SM U-80. In eight wartime patrols she sank 40 ships totaling 81,486 gross register tons (GRT) and one escort. After the Armistice with Germany UB-49 returned to Kiel via Norway. Handed over to the United Kingdom on 16 January 1919, she was broken up in Swansea in 1922.
UB-49 was ordered by the German Imperial Navy on 20 May 1916. She was built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg and following just under a year of construction, launched at Hamburg on 6 January 1917. UB-49 was commissioned later that same year under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Kptlt.) Hans-Joachim von Mellenthin. Like all Type UB III submarines, UB-49 carried 10 torpedoes and was armed with an 8.8 centimetres (3.5 in) deck gun. UB-49 could carry a crew of up to 34 men and had a cruising range of 9,040 nautical miles (16,740 km; 10,400 mi). UB-49 had a displacement of 516 t (508 long tons) while surfaced and 651 t (641 long tons) when submerged. Her engines enabled her to travel at 13.6 knots (25.2 km/h; 15.7 mph) when surfaced and 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) when submerged.
First War Patrol
On 22 August 1917, UB-49 left Kiel for Cattaro to join the Pola Flotilla passing the Orkney-Shetland barrier four days later. Before breaking through the Strait of Gibraltar, UB-49 sank six ships, damaging one further. On 9 September 1917 loss of fuel forced UB-49 to change course and make for Cadiz in neutral Spain.
Second War Patrol
While Spanish authorities planned to intern UB-49 for the duration of the war, her crew managed to repair the damage to the fuel tanks and bunker enough oil to reach Cattaro. On 6 October 1917, UB-49 slipped out of the harbour and reached Cattaro nine days later with no fuel left. After refuelling UB-49 sailed for Pola where the boat was repaired.
Third War Patrol
On 11 December 1917, UB-49 left Pola for a cruise in the Gulf of Genoa. Already on the first day, UB-49 was attacked by an enemy submarine. The next day, two Italian sailing ships were sunk, while exchanging fire with a coastal battery at the same time. On 15 December 1917, UB-49 managed to sink three steamers out of a convoy leaving Genoa, followed by two more the next day. On 22 December 1917, another two steamers were hit by torpedoes of UB-49. The last torpedo on this cruise UB-49 used on a British steamer off Naples.
Fourth War Patrol
Between 23 January and 13 February 1918 UB-49 operated in the Gulf of Genoa again, sinking several Italian sailing ships, a British steamer and an Italian escort vessel, G 32. On the way back to Cattaro, UB-49 experienced problems with her ballast tanks east of Malta and dived uncontrolled to a depth of 67 metres (220 ft). Using compressed air to blow out all ballast tanks simultaneously, UB-49 was able to surface again and continue her journey to Cattaro.
Fifth War Patrol
On 5 March 1918, UB-49 left Cattaro again to operate in the Tyrrhenian Sea. From 13 March 1918 UB-49 pursued a convoy leaving Genoa for Naples and in two days managed to sink three out of four steamers. East of Sardinia, an Italian steamer and a French tug boat fell victim to UB-49. Between 19 and 21 March 1918, UB-49 operated in the Gulf of Naples, sinking several Italian sailing ships and shelling the fortifications of Civitavecchia. A fire in one of the dynamos forced UB-49 to return to base on 25 March 1918.
Sixth War Patrol
UB-49 sailed on 11 May 1918 for her sixth war patrol, which led her into the Gulf of Lion and the Western Mediterranean. In the last week of May, UB-49 successfully attacked Allied shipping south of the Balearic Islands, sinking three steamers. On 2 June, UB-49 - running low on fuel - turned back to Pola for a major overhaul. When she arrived there on 12 June 1918, Kptlt. von Mellenthin handed over command of UB-49 to Oberleutnant zur See (Oblt.z.S.) Alfred Ehrensberger.
Seventh War Patrol
After three months in port, UB-49 went to sea again on 11 September 1918. Headed for the Western Mediterranean, Ehrensberger was less successful than von Mellenthin. A strong Allied presence of escorts pressed UB-49 under the surface more and more often. Nevertheless, UB-49 sank two ships off the Spanish coast. UB-49 made port again on 12 October 1918.
Eighth War Patrol
When it became apparent that Austria-Hungary's situation was untenable, UB-49 was ordered to return to Kiel. Leaving Pola on 29 October 1918 she reached the Norwegian port of Lervik in the last week of November 1918. Together with most of the other u-boats from the Mediterranean, UB-49 arrived in Kiel on 29 November 1918.
The Armistice with Germany required that all u-boats had to be surrendered to the Allies. UB-49 was handed over to the United Kingdom on 16 January 1919. In 1922 the u-boat was broken up in Swansea.
Summary of raiding history
|2 September 1917||Caracas||Norway||1,077||Sunk|
|4 September 1917||Theodora||Greece||2,899||Sunk|
|6 September 1917||Moina||France||168||Sunk|
|7 September 1917||Brodmead||United Kingdom||5,646||Damaged|
|7 September 1917||Clan Ferguson||United Kingdom||4,808||Sunk|
|7 September 1917||Hunsbridge||United Kingdom||3,424||Sunk|
|7 September 1917||Casa Blanca||Portugal||31||Sunk|
|16 December 1917||San Francesco di Paola||Kingdom of Italy||51||Sunk|
|16 December 1917||New York||Kingdom of Italy||442||Sunk|
|18 December 1917||Giuilo S||Kingdom of Italy||151||Damaged|
|20 December 1917||Attualita||Kingdom of Italy||4,791||Sunk|
|20 December 1917||Regin||Norway||1,845||Sunk|
|20 December 1917||Suruga||United States||4,374||Damaged|
|21 December 1917||Stromboli||Kingdom of Italy||5,356||Sunk|
|21 December 1917||Monte Bianco||Kingdom of Italy||6,968||Damaged|
|22 December 1917||Caboto||Kingdom of Italy||4,418||Sunk|
|22 December 1917||Piemonte||Kingdom of Italy||2,395||Damaged|
|25 December 1917||Umballa||United Kingdom||5,310||Sunk|
|26 January 1918||Caterina||Kingdom of Italy||21||Sunk|
|28 January 1918||Lysi||Kingdom of Italy||247||Sunk|
|29 January 1918||Paolo Meriga||Kingdom of Italy||127||Sunk|
|29 January 1918||Lavoro||Kingdom of Italy||160||Sunk|
|29 January 1918||Elsa||Kingdom of Italy||165||Sunk|
|29 January 1918||Ada||Kingdom of Italy||179||Sunk|
|29 January 1918||Lucia Martini||Kingdom of Italy||160||Sunk|
|29 January 1918||Fanny||Kingdom of Italy||74||Sunk|
|4 February 1918||General Church||United Kingdom||6,600||Damaged|
|7 February 1918||G 32||Regia Marina||237||Sunk|
|7 February 1918||Mette||Denmark||118||Sunk|
|13 March 1918||San Francesco di Paolo||Kingdom of Italy||25||Sunk|
|13 March 1918||Umta||United Kingdom||5,422||Damaged|
|14 March 1918||Principessa Laetitia||Kingdom of Italy||4,011||Sunk|
|15 March 1918||Clan McDougall||United Kingdom||4,710||Sunk|
|17 March 1918||Tripoli||Kingdom of Italy||1,743||Sunk|
|18 March 1918||Utrecht||France||293||Sunk|
|19 March 1918||San Francesco di Paola||Kingdom of Italy||70||Sunk|
|19 March 1918||Giovanni Albonese||Kingdom of Italy||497||Sunk|
|20 March 1918||Angelo Raffaele||Kingdom of Italy||53||Sunk|
|21 March 1918||Dante C||Kingdom of Italy||129||Sunk|
|25 March 1918||Carlo Splendor||Kingdom of Italy||105||Sunk|
|26 May 1918||Le Gard||France||1,458||Sunk|
|27 May 1918||Uganda||United Kingdom||5,431||Sunk|
|27 May 1918||Carmela||Kingdom of Italy||128||Sunk|
|28 May 1918||Pietro Maroncelli||Kingdom of Italy||5,134||Sunk|
|3 June 1918||Mecanicien Donzel||France||8,227||Sunk|
|27 September 1918||Hatasu||United Kingdom||3,193||Sunk|
|1 October 1918||Francoli||Spain||1,241||Sunk|
- "SM" stands for "Seiner Majestät" (English: His Majesty's) and combined with the U for Unterseeboot would be translated as His Majesty's Submarine.
- Tonnages are in gross register tons
- Bendert, Harald (2000). Die UB-Boote der Kaiserlichen Marine, 1914-1918. Einsätze, Erfolge, Schicksal (in German). Hamburg: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn GmbH. ISBN 3-8132-0713-7.
- 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.
- Rössler, Eberhard (1979). U-Bootbau bis Ende des 1. Weltkrieges, Konstruktionen für das Ausland und die Jahre 1935 – 1945. Die deutschen U-Boote und ihre Werften (in German). I. Munich: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 3-7637-5213-7.