|Ordered:||15 September 1915|
|Builder:||AG Weser, Bremen|
|Laid down:||8 August 1916|
|Launched:||9 June 1917|
|Commissioned:||15 July 1917|
|Fate:||Rammed and sunk 12 May 1918 by HMT Olympic. 9 crewmen killed, 31 survived.|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||German Type U 57 submarine|
|Height:||8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)|
|Draught:||3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 shafts, 2 × 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) propellers|
|Test depth:||50 m (164 ft 1 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 32 enlisted|
SM U-103[Note 1] was an Imperial Germany Navy Type U 57 U-boat of the First World War. U-103 was built on AG Weser in Bremen, launched on 9 June 1917 and commissioned 15 July 1917. She completed five tours of duty under Kptlt. Claus Rücker and sank eight ships totalling 15,462 gross register tons (GRT).
In the early hours of 12 May 1918, U-103 prepared to launch torpedoes from her stern tubes at RMS Olympic, a sister ship of RMS Titanic, which was en route for France with US troops on board. The crew was unable to flood the two stern torpedo tubes, and the submarine was sighted on the surface by Olympic, whose gunners opened fire as Olympic turned to ram.
U-103 started to crash dive to 30 m (98 ft) and turned to a parallel course, but almost immediately afterwards was struck just aft of her conning tower and Olympic's port propeller sliced through U-103's pressure hull. The crew of U-103 blew her ballast tanks and scuttled and abandoned their sinking submarine. Nine crewmen lost their lives. Olympic did not stop to pick up the survivors, but continued on to Cherbourg. USS Davis later sighted a distress flare and took 35 survivors to Queenstown.
U-103's wreck lies at position Coordinates: .
Summary of raiding history
|12 September 1917||St. Margaret||United Kingdom||943||Sunk|
|12 November 1917||Depute Pierre Goujon||France||4,121||Sunk|
|16 November 1917||Garron Head||United Kingdom||1,933||Sunk|
|26 January 1918||Cork||United Kingdom||1,232||Sunk|
|29 January 1918||Glenfruin||United Kingdom||3,097||Sunk|
|17 March 1918||Cressida||United Kingdom||150||Sunk|
|17 March 1918||Sea Gull||United Kingdom||976||Sunk|
|18 March 1918||Grainton||United Kingdom||6,042||Damaged|
|20 March 1918||Kassanga||United Kingdom||3,015||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
- Gröner 1991, pp. 12-14.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Claus Rücker (Royal House Order of Hohenzollern)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 103". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- McCartney, Innes; Jak Mallmann-Showell (2002). Lost Patrols: Submarine Wrecks of the English Channel. Periscope Publishing Ltd. p. 36. ISBN 1-904381-04-9.
- Kemp, Paul (1997). U-Boats Destroyed (German submarine losses in the World Wars). London: Arms and Armour Press. p. 49. ISBN 1-85409-321-5.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 103". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- 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.