SM UC-52

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History
German Empire
Name: UC-52
Ordered: 12 January 1916[1]
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel[2]
Yard number: 268[1]
Launched: 23 January 1917[1]
Commissioned: 15 March 1917[1]
Fate: surrendered, January 1919; broken up[1]
General characteristics [3]
Class and type: German Type UC II submarine
Displacement:
  • 434 t (427 long tons), surfaced
  • 511 t (503 long tons), submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 5.22 m (17 ft 2 in) o/a
  • 3.65 m (12 ft) pressure hull
Draught: 3.64 m (11 ft 11 in)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 11.8 knots (21.9 km/h; 13.6 mph), surfaced
  • 7.2 knots (13.3 km/h; 8.3 mph), submerged
Range:
  • 8,820–9,450 nmi (16,330–17,500 km; 10,150–10,870 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) surfaced
  • 56 nmi (104 km; 64 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 50 m (160 ft)
Complement: 26
Armament:
  • 6 × 100 cm (39.4 in) mine tubes
  • 18 × UC 200 mines
  • 3 × 50 cm (19.7 in) torpedo tubes (2 bow/external; one stern)
  • 7 × torpedoes
  • 1 × 8.8 cm (3.46 in) Uk L/30 deck gun
Notes: 30-second diving time
Service record
Part of:
  • Pola Flotilla
  • 8 July 1917 – 11 November 1918
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Ludwig Karl Sahl[4]
  • 15 March – 27 September 1917
  • Oblt.z.S. Hellmuth von Doemming[5]
  • 28 September 1917 – 17 July 1918
  • Oblt.z.S. Carl Heinrich Saß[6]
  • 18 July – 11 November 1918
Operations: 7 patrols
Victories:
  • 20 merchant ships sunk (17,217 GRT)
  • 4 merchant ships damaged (13,580 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk (1,013 tons)

SM UC-52 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 12 January 1916 and was launched on 23 January 1917. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 15 March 1917 as SM UC-52.[Note 1] In seven patrols UC-52 was credited with sinking 21 ships, either by torpedo or by mines laid. She notably sank the Italian troopship Verona, killing 880 soldiers. UC-52 was surrendered on 16 January 1919 and broken up at Morecambe.[1]

Design[edit]

A German Type UC II submarine, UC-52 had a displacement of 434 tonnes (427 long tons) when at the surface and 511 tonnes (503 long tons) while submerged. She had a length overall of 52.69 m (172 ft 10 in), a beam of 5.22 m (17 ft 2 in), and a draught of 3.64 m (11 ft 11 in). The submarine was powered by two six-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines each producing 290–300 metric horsepower (210–220 kW; 290–300 shp) (a total of 580–600 metric horsepower (430–440 kW; 570–590 shp)), two electric motors producing 620 metric horsepower (460 kW; 610 shp), and two propeller shafts. She had a dive time of 48 seconds and was capable of operating at a depth of 50 metres (160 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 11.8 knots (21.9 km/h; 13.6 mph) and a submerged speed of 7.2 knots (13.3 km/h; 8.3 mph). When submerged, she could operate for 56 nautical miles (104 km; 64 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,820 to 9,450 nautical miles (16,330 to 17,500 km; 10,150 to 10,870 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). UC-52 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 centimetres (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[7]
13 September 1917 Arlequin  Tunisia 6 Sunk
13 September 1917 Chere Rose  Tunisia 28 Sunk
13 September 1917 Ortigia  Tunisia 17 Sunk
13 September 1917 Vittoria  Tunisia 24 Sunk
18 September 1917 Cachalot  Tunisia 17 Sunk
31 March 1918 San Nicola  United Kingdom 24 Sunk
6 April 1918 Madona Belle Grazie  Kingdom of Italy 105 Sunk
9 April 1918 Sunik  United Kingdom 5,017 Damaged
10 April 1918 Airedale  United Kingdom 3,044 Damaged
11 May 1918 Gigilla  Kingdom of Italy 120 Sunk
11 May 1918 Verona  Kingdom of Italy 8,261 Sunk
14 May 1918 Woolston  United Kingdom 2,986 Sunk
17 May 1918 Pietro Brizzolari  Kingdom of Italy 445 Sunk
18 May 1918 HMS Chesterfield  Royal Navy 1,013 Sunk
18 May 1918 Ninetta  Kingdom of Italy 17 Sunk
22 June 1918 Metamorphosis  Greece 130 Sunk
24 June 1918 Maria  Greece 25 Sunk
24 June 1918 Sofia  Greece 24 Sunk
4 July 1918 Cordova  Kingdom of Italy 4,933 Sunk
7 July 1918 Vergine Di Lourdes  Kingdom of Italy 55 Sunk
7 July 1918 Stalheim  Norway 1,469 Damaged
23 October 1918 Ischia  Kingdom of Italy 4,050 Damaged

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. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: UC 52". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 23 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Tarrant, p. 173.
  3. ^ a b c Gröner 1991, pp. 31-32.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Ludwig Karl Sahl". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Hellmuth von Doemming". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Carl Heinrich Saß". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by UC 52". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 1 March 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. 
  • Tarrant, V. E. (1989). The U-Boat Offensive: 1914–1945. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-764-7. OCLC 20338385.