To the end of 1939, U-boats had sunk 114 merchant ships (421,000 tons) but nine U-boats had been sunk.The Navy was reasonably encouraged as nine U-boats represented about 20% of Germany’s operational U-boat fleet. She arrived in Chesapeake Bay on 21 May where she laid mines off the Delaware capes, and cut the submerged telegraph cables which connected New York with Nova Scotia. , Throughout September and October 1916, the main task of the submarines UB-42 and UB-14 was patrolling the Russian and Romanian coasts, from Constanța to Sevastopol. They were also assembling three Type UC I minelaying submarines, which were ordered converted into transports to carry small quantities of critical supplies to Turkey. She had just delivered a convoy to Rimouski and was returning to Gaspe. From March 5, 1942 to August 31, 1943, the Coastal Patrol flew 86,865 missions, sighted 173 U-boats, reported 91 ships in distress and 17 floating mines and rescued 363 survivors of U-boat attacks. Even if the "disorganized and undisciplined" Americans did intervene, Holtzendorff assured the Kaiser, "I give your Majesty my word as an officer, that not one American will land on the Continent. In October 270,000 tons were lost, and in December 170,000 tons were lost. Two of the ten U-boats were lost. The American government brought pressure to bear on Germany and demanded an end to sinking without warning. On 31 January, the Kaiser duly signed the order for unrestricted submarine warfare to resume effective 1 February; Bethmann-Hollweg, who had opposed the decision, said "Germany is finished". Later in the month, the U-boats achieved success, when U-21 sank the cruiser HMS Pathfinder. Its disadvantages were less obvious, but became apparent during the campaign. While they had little effect when attacking (only one U-boat was confirmed as sunk by air attack) the presence of aircraft forced the U-boat to dive, becoming blind and immobile, or risk the air patrol summoning hunting warships to the scene. BICKERTON (1,300t, 17/10/43), sunk by U-boat torpedo, Barents Sea, Arctic, August 22, 1944 (Casualty List) BLACKWOOD (1,150t, 29/3/43), sunk by U-boat torpedo, English Channel, June 15, 1944 . Ships Sunk or Damaged 1939 to 1941 due to war causes. Holtzendorff proposed breaking Britain's back by sinking 600,000 tons of shipping per month, based on a February 1916 study by Dr. Richard Fuss, who had postulated that if merchant shipping was sunk at such a rate, Britain would run out of shipping and be forced to sue for peace within six months, well before the Americans could act. The depth charge, or "dropping mine" as it was initially named, was first mooted in 1910, and developed into practicality when the British Royal Navy's Commander in Chief, Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Callaghan, requested its production in 1914. , UB-45 was lost in November 1916 and UB-46 in December, both sunk by Russian mines. Meanwhile, the German navy was bottled up in its home port of Kiel, and the British blockade had caused a food scarcity that was in turn causing deaths due to malnutrition. Germany used total 382 U-boats in WWI, 2 of which were captured ones from the Allied forces, to sink 12,850,814 tons of Allied and Neutral shipping in the 52 months. (There are more details on the Lusitania towards the bottom of this page) The most successful year was 1942 when over 6 million tons of shipping were sunk in the Atlantic. The Allies stipulated that all seaworthy submarines were to be surrendered to them and those in shipyards be broken up. , In 1918 the USN embarked on a mammoth scheme to create a barrage across the routes exiting the North Sea. So many ships were attacked that, in time, the waters near Cape Hatteras earned a nickname: “ Torpedo Junction. In August 1914, a flotilla of nine U-boats sailed from their base in Heligoland to attack Royal Navy warships in the North Sea in the first submarine war patrol in history. It was decided the same month that further reinforcements were called for, and a further large U-boat, U-38 sailed for Cattaro.  Three ships—Justicia, Celtic, and Southland—appear on the list twice. The first U-boats sent, U-21 and the two small coastal boats, UB-7 and UB-8, achieved initial success, U-21 sinking the Royal Navy pre-dreadnought battleships HMS Triumph and HMS Majestic on 25 and 27 May, respectively, on her way to Constantinople, but ran into severe limitations in the Dardanelles, where swarms of small craft and extensive anti-submarine netting and booms restricted their movements. The U-boat Campaign from 1914 to 1918 was the World War I naval campaign fought by German U-boats against the trade routes of the Allies. U-Boats, Submarines, and Naval Ships. However, on 2 July the small coaster Cottingham accidentally ran down the small coastal U-boat UC-2 off Great Yarmouth, and when she was salvaged she was found to be a submarine minelayer, fitted with twelve mines in six launching chutes.. Now they are in a race against time to learn the secrets hidden in their watery graves. U-9’s torpedo tore into the Aboukir. Only one attack was carried out, when U-15 fired a torpedo (which missed) at HMS Monarch. Several of these operations were staged, in March and April 1916, but with no success. At 2:30 a.m., the first of three torpedoes struck the ship. The German Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, felt that such a submarine blockade, based on "shoot without warning", would antagonise the United States and other neutrals. Two of the seven subs in the Japanese picket line had previously returned to …  On 30 September 1916, near the port of Sulina, UB-42 launched a torpedo at the Romanian torpedo boat Smeul, but missed. With the establishment of a comprehensive convoy system, Allied shipping losses fell to non-critical levels, while U-boat losses increased alarmingly. The North Sea Mine Barrage saw the laying of over 70,000 mines during the summer of 1918. Ironically, the major fleet action which did take place, the Battle of Jutland, in May 1916, saw no U-boat involvement at all; the fleets met and engaged largely by chance, and there were no U-boat patrols anywhere near the battle area. Flower Class Corvette HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN September 11th, 1942 Torpedoed and sunk in the St. Lawrence, near Cap Chat Quebec, by U517. Attempts were also made to close routes like the Straits of Dover with boom nets and minefields, the so-called Dover Barrage; to lay minefields around U-boat bases, and station submarines on patrol to catch them leaving or entering port. At the start of hostilities, the Austro-Hungarian Navy had seven U-boats in commission; five operational, two training; all were of the coastal type, with limited range and endurance, suitable for operation in the Adriatic. July 21, 2013— -- British archaeologists recently discovered more than 40 German U-boats sunk during World War I off the coast of England. , On 10 April 1915 the British steamer Harpalyce, a Belgian relief ship and clearly marked as such, was torpedoed without warning by SM UB-4 near the North Hinder lightship, just outside the strip of sea declared safe by von Pohl. Other successes followed. After refuelling at Newport, Rhode Island, Rose raided Allied shipping off the coast of Canada and the United States. Beginning in April 1917, Japan, an ally of the United Kingdom, sent a total of 14 destroyers to the Mediterranean with cruiser flagships which were based at Malta and played an important part in escorting convoys to guard them against enemy submarines. How the Allies 'Sunk' Germany's Deadly U-boats. , The Constantinople Flotilla was established in May 1915 and operated U-boats in the Black Sea. Feb 2, 2016 Nick Knight. Because the U-boats were much slower than the battle fleet, these operations required U-boat patrol lines to be set up in advance; then the battle fleet manoeuvred to draw the Grand Fleet onto them.. Royal Navy submarine losses in World War II were 79. , 150,000 tons of purely British shipping were lost in January 1917, and 300,000 tons in February; Allied and neutral losses increased in a similar proportion. 24 boats were lost in 1940. The German navy used the Unterseeboot, or U-boat, to sink 5,000 ships measuring more than 13 million gross register tons during the war. In August, 1914, 10 German U-boats sailed from a base in northern Germany to attack British ships in the north Atlantic Ocean. ", On 9 January 1917, the Kaiser met with Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg and military leaders at Schloss Pless to discuss measures to resolve Germany's increasingly grim war situation; its military campaign in France had bogged down, and with Allied divisions outnumbering German ones by 190 to 150, there was a real possibility of a successful Allied offensive. , In April, US Rear Admiral William Sims arrived in London as US Naval Liaison. The campaign got underway in October 1915, when U-33 and U-39, followed later by U-35, were ordered to attack the approaches to Salonika and Kavalla. In 1916 the Germans completed two submarine merchant vessels, to be used as blockade runners. , The RN also developed the R-class submarine, designed as a hunter-killer vessel, with a high underwater speed and sophisticated hydrophone system. Many contacts and attacks were made in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, though only two U-boats were sunk or disabled by American action. In January 1917, prior to the campaign, Britain lost 49 ships; in February, after it opened, 105; and in March, 147. The DNOG sailed on 31 July 1918 from Fernando de Noronha for Sierra Leone, arriving at Freetown on 9 August, and sailing onwards to its new base of operations, Dakar, on 23 August. Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, and the start of World War I in Europe that August, American and German relations went from crisis to crisis due to Germany's insistence on submarine warfare to defeat the Allies. Ships listed are presented in descending order on the tonnage figure. For the Allies it was a major disaster, for the U-boat commander… When the year ended 9 of them had been lost. Records of wrecked or sunken Royal Navy and merchant ships are held separately and the Royal Navy records are generally more detailed and extensive. So did some of the biggest. This proved unacceptable to the Naval High Command, and on 18 September the High Seas flotillas were withdrawn from the commerce war. The U-boat arm did not succeed in World War I in developing such a response. , The Allied Maritime Transport Council was established on 3 November 1917, bringing together representatives from the British Empire, the United States, France and Italy to provide an ‘international administration’ for more efficient management of shipping. The U-boats were under orders to submerge at the sight of an aircraft. Essentially all available American destroyers and much of the submarine force were deployed in 1917–18, with bases including Queenstown, Bantry Bay, the Azores, and other locations. However, to start with, shipping losses against the U-boats were encouraging. The British were well aware of the risk of U-boat traps to the Grand Fleet, although they had no means of knowing where these might lie. Overseen by Rear Admiral Sir Reginald Tyrwhitt, commanding officer of the Harwich fleet, the German crews were loaded on to transport ships to be sent home without being allowed to set foot on British soil. On 2 June 1918, known to some historians as "Black Sunday", U-151 sank six US ships and damaged two others off the coast of New Jersey in the space of a few hours. From 48 boats lost in the years up to February 1917, a further 61 were lost by the end of the year. In World War II Germany built 1,162 U-boats, of which 785 were destroyed and the remainder surrendered (or were scuttled to avoid surrender) at the capitulation. Before sinking the ship, the captain of the U-boat allowed the ship's crew to take refuge in his submarine, then later he handed over the crew to a Russian sailing ship which took them to Vardø. Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière (three times) who sank the most tonnage of any submarine commander ever, and Linienschiffsleutnant Georg Ritter von Trapp of the Austro-Hungarian Navy (two times), known as the patriarch of the family made famous in The Sound of Music and its subsequent film adaptation. The Germans regarded this as a blatant attempt to starve the German people into submission and wanted to retaliate in kind, and in fact the severity of the British blockade did not go over well in America either. The new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare was initially a success.  Their aim was to sink capital ships of the British Grand Fleet, and so reduce the Grand Fleet's numerical superiority over the German High Seas Fleet.  The first three victims of UB-14's career—the Italian armored cruiser Amalfi, the British troopship Royal Edward, and the troopship Southland (which was seriously damaged) in July, August, and September 1915, respectively—were all on the list. Database of all ships hit by U-boats in WWII For Kapitänleutnan Otto Weddigen, the fish were in the barrel.  Some of the U-boats were sent to places such as Liverpool or Brighton to be put on display whilst others were left on the beach. Three more Americans were killed when the U 24 sunk the Passenger liner Arabic on 19-Aug-1915. The vast majority was commissioned between 1920 and 1921. Ships Sunk or Damaged 1939 to 1941. The U-boats were under orders to submerge at the sight of an aircraft. But the Austro-Hungarian boats were unable to offer any interference to allied traffic in the Mediterranean beyond the Straits of Otranto.  Other naval theatres saw U-boats operating in both the Far East and South East Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean and North Seas. Wolfgang Steinbauer sank three ships on the list in UB-47 and damaged a fourth in UB-48. The graves of German sailors shot while attempting to come ashore surrendering. It was not until 27 April that the Admiralty endorsed the convoy system, the first convoy sailing from Gibraltar on 10 May. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan considered Wilson's second note too provocative and resigned in protest after failing to have it moderated. 12,547 were sunk around 1500 were out of action How many ships were destroyed by Bismark Battleship during the World War 2? There were thousands of ships sunk by U-boats in WWI. As a result, the Germans sailed directly for Spain where they scuttled their boat. The following step was to arm and man ships with hidden guns to do so, the so-called Q ship. In 1915, two U-boats were sunk by Q-ships, and two more by submarines accompanying trawlers. The new orders stated that until further notice, all passenger ships could only be sunk after warning and the saving of passengers and crews. After surviving 21 attacks over 30 hours, the RO-105 was sunk by the England 's Hedgehogs. In August, 1914, 10 German U-boats sailed from a base in northern Germany to attack British ships in the north Atlantic Ocean . The high point of the RMS Olympic‘s career was on May 12, 1918, when it intentionally rammed and sank the German submarine U-103, which attempted to torpedo the Olympic. Anti-submarine vessels initially carried only two depth charges, to be released from a chute at the stern of the ship. In March a full 25% of all Britain-bound shipping was sunk. Pictured: The UB-106 arches up on the rocks after being wrecked on the Falmouth coast. Following the incident, the German government attempted to justify it with a range of arguments; nevertheless there was massive outrage in Britain and America, and the British felt that the Americans had to declare war on Germany. UC-19 and UB-29 were the only other submarines sunk by depth charges during 1916. These measures required a huge expenditure of effort and material, but met with little success. 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