SM UB-53

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-53.
UB 148 at sea 2.jpeg
UB-148 at sea, a U-boat similar to UB-53.
Career (German Empire)
Name: UB-53
Ordered: 20 May 1916[1]
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Cost: 3,276,000 German Papiermark<
Yard number: 298
Launched: 9 March 1917[2]
Commissioned: 21 August 1917[2]
Fate: sunk 3 August 1918 at 39°40′N 18°40′E / 39.667°N 18.667°E / 39.667; 18.667Coordinates: 39°40′N 18°40′E / 39.667°N 18.667°E / 39.667; 18.667 by mines, 10 dead[2]
General characteristics [3]
Class and type: German Type UB III submarine
Displacement: 516 t (508 long tons) surfaced
651 t (641 long tons) submerged
Length: 55.3 m (181 ft 5 in) (o/a)
Beam: 5.8 m (19 ft)
Draught: 3.68 m (12 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: 2 × propeller shaft
2 × MAN four-stroke 6-cylinder diesel engines, 1,085 bhp (809 kW)
2 × Siemens-Schuckert electric motors, 780 shp (580 kW)
Speed: 13.6 knots (25.2 km/h; 15.7 mph) surfaced
8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged
Range: 9,040 nmi (16,740 km; 10,400 mi) at 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph) surfaced
55 nmi (102 km; 63 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (160 ft)
Complement: 3 officers, 31 men[2]
Armament:
Service record
Part of: Pola/Mittelmeer I Flotilla
1 November 1917 - 3 August 1918
Commanders: Kptlt. Robert Sprenger
21 August 1917 - 3 August 1918
Operations: 5 patrols
Victories: 14 merchant ships sunk (16,586 GRT)

SM UB-53 was a German Type UB III submarine or U-boat in the Imperial German Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. She was commissioned into the Pola Flotilla of the German Imperial Navy on 21 August 1917 as SM UB-53.[nb 1]

She operated as part of the Pola Flotilla based in Cattaro. UB-53 was sunk by mines of the Otranto Barrage on 3 August 1918 at 39°40′N 18°40′E / 39.667°N 18.667°E / 39.667; 18.667 in the Otranto Strait, 10 crew members died.[2]

Construction[edit]

UB-53 was ordered by the GIN on 20 May 1916. She was built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg and following just under a year of construction, launched at Hamburg on 9 March 1917. UB-53 was commissioned later that same year under the command of Kptlt. Robert Sprenger.

Like all Type UB III submarines, UB-53 carried 10 torpedoes and was armed with a 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun. UB-53 would carry a crew of up to 3 officer and 31 men and had a cruising range of 9,040 nautical miles (16,740 km; 10,400 mi). UB-53 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.

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
(GRT)
Fate[4]
17 December 1917 Nina  Greece 126 Sunk
31 December 1917 Lily  Greece 2,993 Sunk
20 February 1918 Taxiarchis  Greece 292 Sunk
26 February 1918 Saida  France 82 Sunk
2 March 1918 Euxeinos  Greece 2,891 Sunk
6 March 1918 Kalgan  United Kingdom 1,862 Sunk
9 April 1918 Aveiro  Portugal 2,209 Sunk
22 April 1918 Kheda Moulekar  France 40 Sunk
22 April 1918 Marshalla  United Kingdom 77 Sunk
22 April 1918 Sadika  France 45 Sunk
22 April 1918 Welbeck Hall  United Kingdom 5,643 Sunk
24 April 1918 Mabrouska  France 256 Sunk
27 April 1918 Azizeh  France 30 Sunk
27 April 1918 Nemaat Kheda  France 40 Sunk

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "SM" stands for "Seiner Majestät" (English: His Majesty's) and combined with the U for Unterseeboot would be translated as His Majesty's Submarine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rössler, p.65
  2. ^ a b c d e Gröner 1985, p. 53.
  3. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 52-53.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by UB-53 successes". German and Austrian U-Boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]