SM UB-55

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UB 148 at sea 2.jpeg
UB-148 at sea, a U-boat similar to UB-55.
History
German Empire
Name: UB-55
Ordered: 20 May 1916[1]
Builder: AG Weser, Bremen
Cost: 3,276,000 German Papiermark
Yard number: 267
Launched: 9 May 1917[2]
Commissioned: 1 July 1917[2]
Fate: sunk 22 April 1918 at 50°59′N 01°20′E / 50.983°N 1.333°E / 50.983; 1.333Coordinates: 50°59′N 01°20′E / 50.983°N 1.333°E / 50.983; 1.333 by mines, 30 dead[2]
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: German Type UB III submarine
Displacement:
  • 516 t (508 long tons) surfaced
  • 646 t (636 long tons; 712 short tons) submerged
Length: 55.85 m (183 ft 3 in) (o/a)
Beam: 5.80 m (19 ft)
Draught: 3.72 m (12 ft 2 in)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 13.4 knots (24.8 km/h; 15.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.8 knots (14.4 km/h; 9.0 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 9,020 nmi (16,710 km; 10,380 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:
  • Flandern Flotilla
  • 30 August 1917 – 22 April 1918
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Ralph Wenninger
  • 1 July 1917 – 22 April 1918
Operations: 7 patrols
Victories:
  • 21 merchant ships sunk (26,598 GRT)
  • 2 merchant ships damaged 12,809 GRT

SM UB-55 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 Flanders Flotilla of the German Imperial Navy on 1 July 1917 as SM UB-55.[Note 1]

She operated as part of the Flanders Flotilla based in Zeebrugge. UB-55 was sunk at 05:05 on 22 April 1918 at 51°01′N 01°20′E / 51.017°N 1.333°E / 51.017; 1.333 after striking a mine, 30 crew members lost their lives in the event.[2]

Construction[edit]

She was built by AG Weser, Bremen and following just under a year of construction, launched at Bremen on 9 May 1917. UB-55 was commissioned later that same year under the command of Kptlt. Ralph Wenninger. Like all Type UB III submarines, UB-55 carried 10 torpedoes and was armed with a 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun. UB-55 would carry a crew of up to 3 officer and 31 men and had a cruising range of 9,020 nautical miles (16,710 km; 10,380 mi). UB-55 had a displacement of 516 t (508 long tons) while surfaced and 646 t (636 long tons; 712 short tons) when submerged. Her engines enabled her to travel at 13.4 knots (24.8 km/h; 15.4 mph) when surfaced and 7.8 knots (14.4 km/h; 9.0 mph) when submerged.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 2] Fate[3]
5 November 1917 Clan Cumming  United Kingdom 4,808 Damaged
7 December 1917 Proba  United Kingdom 105 Sunk
8 December 1917 Corinto  Norway 999 Sunk
11 December 1917 Argus  Portugal 100 Sunk
11 December 1917 Ligeiro  Portugal 25 Sunk
11 December 1917 A Portuguesa  Portugal 107 Sunk
11 December 1917 Vigneira  Portugal 25 Sunk
16 December 1917 Foylemore  United Kingdom 3,831 Sunk
25 January 1918 Eastlands  United Kingdom 3,113 Sunk
26 January 1918 Manhattan  United Kingdom 8,001 Damaged
29 January 1918 Addax  United Kingdom 40 Sunk
29 January 1918 General Leman  United Kingdom 57 Sunk
29 January 1918 Ibex  United Kingdom 42 Sunk
29 January 1918 Perriton  United Kingdom 90 Sunk
29 January 1918 Perseverance  United Kingdom 51 Sunk
30 January 1918 Wellholme  United Kingdom 113 Sunk
14 March 1918 A. A. Raven  United States 2,459 Sunk
21 March 1918 Begonia  United Kingdom 3,070 Sunk
23 March 1918 Chattahoochee  United States 8,007 Sunk
23 March 1918 Madame Midas  United Kingdom 1,203 Sunk
23 March 1918 Mar Baltico  Spain 2,023 Sunk
23 March 1918 Venborg  Norway 1,065 Sunk
24 March 1918 Fileur  France 73 Sunk

References[edit]

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.
  2. ^ Tonnages are in gross register tons

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Rössler 1979, p. 55.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Gröner 1991, pp. 25-30.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by UB-55". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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.