SM UC-20

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History
German Empire
Name: UC-20
Ordered: 26 August 1915[1]
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg[2]
Yard number: 270[1]
Launched: 1 April 1916[1]
Commissioned: 7 September 1916[1]
Fate: surrendered, January 1919; broken up, 1919–20[1]
General characteristics [3]
Class and type: German Type UC II submarine
Displacement:
  • 417 t (410 long tons), surfaced
  • 493 t (485 long tons), submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 5.22 m (17 ft 2 in) o/a
  • 3.65 m (12 ft) pressure hull
Draught: 3.68 m (12 ft 1 in)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 11.6 knots (21.5 km/h; 13.3 mph), surfaced
  • 7.0 knots (13.0 km/h; 8.1 mph), submerged
Range:
  • 9,430 nmi (17,460 km; 10,850 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 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: 26
Armament:
Notes: 35-second diving time
Service record
Part of:
  • Pola Flotilla
  • 11 December 1916 – 11 November 1918
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Franz Becker[4]
  • 8 September 1916 – 8 May 1917
  • Oblt.z.S. Hans Adalbert von der Lühe[5]
  • 9 May – 12 December 1917
  • Oblt.z.S. Otto Kümpel[6]
  • 13 December 1917 – 10 January 1918
  • Oblt.z.S. Heinrich Kukat[7]
  • 1 April – 18 June 1918
  • Oblt.z.S. Hermann Rohne[8]
  • 19 June – 29 November 1918
Operations: 13 patrols
Victories:
  • 21 merchant ships sunk (20,927 GRT)
  • 3 merchant ships damaged (11,554 GRT)

SM UC-20[Note 1] was a German Type UC II minelaying submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The U-boat was ordered on 26 August 1915 and was launched on 1 April 1916. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 7 September 1916 as SM UC-20. In 13 patrols UC-20 was credited with sinking 21 ships, either by torpedo or by mines laid. UC-20 was surrendered on 16 January 1919 and broken up at Preston in 1919–20.[1]

Design[edit]

Like all pre-UC-25 German Type UC II submarines, UC-20 had a displacement of 417 tonnes (410 long tons) when at the surface and 493 tonnes (485 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 49.35 m (161 ft 11 in), a beam of 5.22 m (17 ft 2 in), and a draught of 3.65 m (12 ft). The submarine was powered by two six-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines each producing 250 metric horsepower (180 kW; 250 shp) (a total of 500 metric horsepower (370 kW; 490 shp)), two electric motors producing 460 metric horsepower (340 kW; 450 shp), and two propeller shafts. She had a dive time of 35 seconds and was capable of operating at a depth of 50 metres (160 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 11.6 knots (21.5 km/h; 13.3 mph) and a submerged speed of 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). When submerged, she could operate for 55 nautical miles (102 km; 63 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 9,430 nautical miles (17,460 km; 10,850 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). UC-20 was fitted with six 100 centimetres (39 in) mine tubes, eighteen UC 200 mines, three 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes (one on the stern and two on the bow), seven torpedoes, and one 8.8 cm (3.5 in) Uk L/30 deck gun. Her complement was twenty-six crew members.[3]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 2] Fate[9]
19 October 1916 Frits Emil  Denmark 194 Sunk
17 November 1916 Emilia  Portugal 1,159 Sunk
10 April 1917 Abd Razik  Tunisia 25 Sunk
11 April 1917 Candia  Kingdom of Italy 1,045 Sunk
14 April 1917 Cinque Ottobre  Kingdom of Italy 39 Sunk
14 April 1917 Progresso  Kingdom of Italy 31 Sunk
15 April 1917 Alessio Cocco  Kingdom of Italy 29 Sunk
18 May 1917 Millicent Knight  United Kingdom 3,563 Sunk
25 May 1917 Argentina  Kingdom of Italy 97 Sunk
25 May 1917 Ida  Kingdom of Italy 46 Sunk
25 May 1917 Unione Salvatore  Kingdom of Italy 57 Sunk
26 May 1917 Abd es Salem  France 25 Sunk
26 May 1917 Dandolo  France 50 Sunk
26 May 1917 Manoubia  France 50 Sunk
26 May 1917 Messaouda  France 50 Sunk
26 May 1917 San Francesco  Kingdom of Italy 47 Sunk
27 May 1917 Boldwell  United Kingdom 3,118 Sunk
26 August 1917 Maurizio P.  Kingdom of Italy 558 Sunk
4 January 1918 Regina Elena  Kingdom of Italy 7,940 Sunk
13 April 1918 Giove  Kingdom of Italy 5,037 Damaged
28 April 1918 Verdun  France 2,769 Sunk
4 May 1918 Mergellina  Kingdom of Italy 354 Damaged
4 June 1918 Strombus  United Kingdom 6,163 Damaged
12 June 1918 Poincare  Tunisia 35 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. ^ a b c d e f Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: UC 20". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  2. ^ Tarrant, p. 173.
  3. ^ a b c Gröner 1991, pp. 31-32.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Franz Becker (Royal House Order of Hohenzollern)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Hans Adalbert von der Lühe". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Otto Kümpel". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Heinrich Kukat (Royal House Order of Hohenzollern)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  8. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Hermann Rohne". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  9. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by UC 20". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 10 February 2015.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bendert, Harald (2001). Die UC-Boote der Kaiserlichen Marine 1914-1918. Minenkrieg mit U-Booten (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0758-7.
  • 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.
  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-907-8. OCLC 12119866.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Tarrant, V. E. (1989). The U-Boat Offensive: 1914–1945. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-764-7. OCLC 20338385.