SM U-9

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For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-9.
U9Submarine.jpg
U-9 ready for patrol.
History
German Empire
Name: U-9
Ordered: 15 July 1908
Builder: Kaiserliche Werft, Danzig
Cost: 2,140,000 Goldmark
Launched: 22 February 1910
Commissioned: 18 April 1910
Fate: Surrendered 26 November 1918. Broken up at Morecambe in 1919.
General characteristics
Class and type: German Type U 9 submarine
Displacement:
  • 493 tonnes (485 long tons) surfaced
  • 611 tonnes (601 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6 m (19 ft 8 in) (o/a)
  • 3.65 m (12 ft) (pressure hull)
Height: 7.05 m (23.1 ft)
Draught: 3.13 m (10 ft 3 in)
Installed power:
  • 2 × Körting 6-cylinder and 2 × Körting 8-cylinder two stroke paraffin motors with a total of 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 hp)
  • 2 × SSW electric motors with 1,160 PS (850 kW; 1,140 shp)
  • 550 rpm surfaced
  • 460 rpm submerged
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 14.2 knots (26.3 km/h; 16.3 mph) surfaced
  • 8.1 knots (15.0 km/h; 9.3 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 1,800 nmi (3,300 km; 2,100 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph)
Test depth: 50 m (160 ft)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
1 dinghy
Complement: 4 officers, 25 enlisted
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
  • I Flotilla
  • 1 August 1914 – 7 July 1915
  • Baltic Flotilla
  • 7 July 1914 – 29 April 1916
  • Training Flotilla
  • 20 April 1916 – 11 November 1918
Commanders:
Operations: 7 patrols
Victories:
  • 14 merchant ships sunk (9,715 GRT)
  • 4 warships sunk (43,350 tons)
Awards: Iron Cross

SM U-9 was a German Type U 9 U-boat. She was one of 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy, and engaged in commerce raiding (Handelskrieg) during World War I.

Construction[edit]

Her construction was ordered on 15 July 1908 and her keel was laid down by Kaiserliche Werft in Danzig. She was launched on 22 February 1910 and commissioned on 18 April 1910.

Design[edit]

U-9 had an overall length of 57.38 m (188 ft 3 in), her pressure hull was 48 m (157 ft 6 in) long. The boat's beam was 6 m (19 ft 8 in) (o/a), while the pressure hull measured 3.65 m (12 ft 0 in). She had a draught of 3.13 m (10 ft 3 in) with a total height of 7.05 m (23 ft 2 in). The boat displaced 493 t (485 long tons) when surfaced and 611 t (601 long tons) when submerged.[3]

U-9 was fitted with two Körting 8-cylinder plus two Körting 6-cylinder two-stroke petrol engines with a total of 1,000 metric horsepower (735 kW; 986 bhp) for use on the surface and two Siemens-Schuckert double-acting electric motors plus two electric motors with a total of 1,160 PS (853 kW; 1,144 shp) for underwater use. These engines powered two shafts each with a 1.45 m (4.8 ft) propeller, which gave the boat a top surface speed of 14.2 knots (26.3 km/h; 16.3 mph), and 8.1 knots (15.0 km/h; 9.3 mph) when submerged. Cruising range was 1,800 nautical miles (3,300 km; 2,100 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) on the surface, and 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) under water. Diving depth was 50 m (164 ft 1 in).[3]

The U-boat was armed with four 50 cm (20 in) torpedo tubes, two fitted in the bow and two in the stern, and carried 6 torpedoes. Originally, the boat was equipped with a machine gun, which was augmented with a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) Hotchkiss gun when war broke out in 1914. In 1915, an additional 5 cm (2.0 in) gun was fitted. When U-9 underwent a major refit in 1916, two mine-laying rails were added, which were later removed again. The boat's complement was 4 officers and 31 enlisted.[3]

Service History[edit]

Action of 22 September 1914

On 16 July 1914, the crew of U-9 reloaded her torpedo tubes while submerged, the first time any submarine had succeeded in doing so. On 1 August 1914, Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen took command. On 22 September, while patrolling the Broad Fourteens, a region of the southern North Sea, U-9 found a squadron of three obsolescent British Cressy-class armoured cruisers (HMS Aboukir, HMS Hogue, and HMS Cressy), (sardonically nicknamed the "Live Bait Squadron") which had been assigned to prevent German surface vessels from entering the eastern end of the English Channel. She fired four of her torpedoes, reloading while submerged, and sank all three in less than an hour. 1,459 British sailors died.[4] It was one of the most notable submarine actions of all time. Members of the Admiralty who had considered submarines mere toys no longer expressed that opinion after this event.[5]

Versenkung der britischen Panzerkreuzer CRESSY, HOUGE und ABOUKIR durch U 9 am 22. September 1914 vor der niederländischen Küste. Nach einer Originalzeichnung von Hans Bohrdt

On 15 October, U-9 sank the protected cruiser HMS Hawke. On 12 January 1915, Johannes Spieß relieved Weddigen, and commanded U-9 until 19 April 1916. During this period, she sank 13 ships totalling 8,635 GRT: 10 small fishing vessels and three British steamers (Don, Queen Wilhelmina and Serbino).

After April 1916, she was withdrawn from front-line duties to be used for training.

U-9 and the raider SMS Emden were the only ships which Kaiser Wilhelm II awarded the Iron Cross.

The men of U-9.
Propaganda postcard depicting victories of U-9.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[6]
22 September 1914 HMS Aboukir  Royal Navy 12,000 Sunk
22 September 1914 HMS Cressy  Royal Navy 12,000 Sunk
22 September 1914 HMS Hogue  Royal Navy 12,000 Sunk
15 October 1914 HMS Hawke  Royal Navy 7,350 Sunk
3 May 1915 Bob White  United Kingdom 191 Sunk
3 May 1915 Coquet  United Kingdom 176 Sunk
3 May 1915 Hector  United Kingdom 179 Sunk
3 May 1915 Hero  United Kingdom 173 Sunk
3 May 1915 Iolanthe  United Kingdom 179 Sunk
3 May 1915 Northward Ho  United Kingdom 180 Sunk
3 May 1915 Progress  United Kingdom 273 Sunk
4 May 1915 Rugby  United Kingdom 205 Sunk
5 May 1915 Straton  United Kingdom 198 Sunk
6 May 1915 Merrie Islington  United Kingdom 147 Sunk
8 May 1915 Don  United Kingdom 939 Sunk
8 May 1915 Queen Wilhelmina  United Kingdom 3,590 Sunk
16 August 1915 Serbino  United Kingdom 2,205 Sunk
5 November 1915 Dagö (n.4)  Imperial Russian Navy 1,080 Sunk

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Otto Weddigen (Pour le Mérite)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Johannes Spieß (Royal House Order of Hohenzollern)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Gröner 1991, pp. 4-5.
  4. ^ "Sinking of HMS Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue by U-9". World War 1 Naval Combat. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  5. ^ Farquharson-Roberts, Mike (2014). A History of the Royal Navy: World War I. I.B.Tauris. p. 8. ISBN 9781780768380. Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 9". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Beesly, Patrick (1982). Room 40: British Naval Intelligence 1914–1918. London: H Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-10864-2. 
  • Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare, "U-Boats (1905–18), Volume 23, p. 2534. London: Phoebus Publishing, 1978.
  • 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. *Halpern, Paul G. (1995). A Naval History of World War I. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-85728-498-0. 
  • Koerver, Hans Joachim (2008). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914–1918. Vol I., The Fleet in Action. Steinbach: LIS Reinisch. ISBN 978-3-902433-76-3. 
  • Koerver, Hans Joachim (2009). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914–1918. Vol II., The Fleet in Being. Steinbach: LIS Reinisch. ISBN 978-3-902433-77-0. 
  • Rössler, Eberhard (1985). U-Bootbau bis Ende des 1. Weltkriegs, Konstruktionen für das Ausland und die Jahre 1935–1945. Die deutschen U-Boote und ihre Werften (in German). I. Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 3-7637-5213-7. 
  • Roessler, Eberhard (1997). Die Unterseeboote der Kaiserlichen Marine. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3-7637-5963-7. 
  • Schroeder, Joachim (2002). Die U-Boote des Kaisers. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3-7637-6235-4. 
  • Spindler, Arno (1966) [1932]. Der Handelskrieg mit U-Booten. 5 Vols. Berlin: Mittler & Sohn. Vols. 4+5, dealing with 1917+18, are very hard to find: Guildhall Library, London, has them all, also Vol. 1-3 in an English translation: The submarine war against commerce. 

External links[edit]