[59], 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. 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. By the end of 1917, 3,170 Allied and neutral ships, totaling nearly six million tons, were sunk. [63] So far, their records have never been surpassed by anyone in any later conflict. Database of all ships hit by U-boats in WWII Convoying was an immediate success; on whichever routes it was introduced it resulted in a drop in shipping losses, with the U-boats seeking out easier prey. 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. By the end of the war, almost 3,000 Allied ships (175 warships; 2,825 merchant ships) were sunk by U-boat torpedoes. For Kapitänleutnan Otto Weddigen, the fish were in the barrel. Just two U-boats were caught in the barrage in all the time it was in operation; meanwhile merchant shipping suffered huge losses. 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 1915 the Lusitania was sunk in the Atlantic by German U-boats. An American auxiliary cruiser heavily damaged a U-boat during the Action of 4 April 1918. Records of wrecked or sunken Royal Navy and merchant ships are held separately and the Royal Navy records are generally more detailed and extensive. 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. The German Empire relied on imports for food and domestic food production (especially fertilizer) and the United Kingdom relied heavily on imports to feed its population, and both required raw materials to supply their war industry; the powers aimed, therefore, to blockade one another. During the first half of the year German U-boats sank Allied merchant ships, tankers, passenger liners, and of course warships with relatively no challenge. In November 1916, Admiral Jellicoe created an Admiralty Anti-Submarine Division, but effective countermeasures arrived slowly. And, as will be seen, even now there is much uncertainty about many ships and how they were sunk, damaged or attacked. About 178 German U-boats were sunk during WW1. 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. Germany could not possibly deal with British naval strength on an even basis, and the only possible way Germany could impose a blockade on Britain was through the U-boat. 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. The U-boats' main weapon was the torpedo, though mines and deck guns (while surfaced) were also used. However, he was unable to hold back the pressures for taking such a step. Of the 1,959 people aboard, 1,198 were killed, 128 of them US citizens. She had just delivered a convoy to Rimouski and was returning to Gaspe. U-193 was patrolling off the southeastern Florida coast when she encountered the brand new tanker “Touchet,” which was carrying 140,000 barrels of oil. Two of the ten U-boats were lost. Aircraft began to play an increasingly effective role in patrolling large areas quickly. It was recognised the U-boat had several drawbacks as a commerce raider, and such a campaign risked alienating neutral opinion. Despite the proven success of troop convoys earlier in the war, the Channel convoys between England and France, and the Dutch, French, and Scandinavian convoys in the North Sea, they initially refused to consider widespread convoying or escorting. Though their participation in the conflict was intended as a counter-submarine effort, they were engaged by enemy shore batteries, charted a path through a minefield and helped sink two Austro-Hungarian destroyers at the naval base of Durazzo, Albania. The first depth charges were developed by the British in World War I for use against German submarines or U-boats, beginning in late 1915. [26], The Constantinople Flotilla was established in May 1915 and operated U-boats in the Black Sea. Seven Type U-151 and three Type U-139 had been built, the Type U-151 originally as large merchant U-boats for shipping material to and from locations otherwise denied German surface ships, such as the United States, and 6 Type U-151 were refitted for war duty in 1917. More than 5,000 people had been killed. Rammed & sunk a U-Boat: Titanics sister ship RMS Olympic took on a U-Boat & won. Alphabetical listing by war years. At the end of World War II, 174 U-boats were surrendered to the Allies, while over 200 were sunk to avoid capture. It was disliked by both merchant and naval captains, and derided as a defensive measure. In March alone, 48 ships were attacked by U-boats, and nearly all were sunk. [61] 12 U-boat crewmen received the Goldene Militär-Verdienst-Kreuz, the highest bravery award for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men.[62]. Ships Sunk or Damaged 1939 to 1941 due to war causes. That night a group of Italians pt boat and submarines jumped a Uk convoy (with the famed US oiler OHIO) they sunk two cruisers (Cairo by submarine and Manchester by MS22 and MS 16) and five merchant ships Three more Americans were killed when the U 24 sunk the Passenger liner Arabic on 19-Aug-1915. The first attacks on merchant ships had started in October 1914. Hooligan Navy The American government brought pressure to bear on Germany and demanded an end to sinking without warning. On 21 August UC-5 became the first submarine minelayer to penetrate into the English Channel, laying 12 mines off Boulogne, one of which sank the steamship William Dawson the same day. The heaviest losses were suffered in April 1917 when a record 881,027 tons were sunk by the U-boats. Faced with a German fleet that turned away, he would assume a submarine trap, and decline to follow, but would move at high speed to the flank, before deploying or opening fire; the aim of this would be to fight the battle away from the ground chosen by his enemy, and forcing any U-boats present to surface if they intended to follow.[24]. 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 aim was to use them to carry high value goods to neutral nations such as the US, which still maintained a strict neutrality, and was prepared to trade with Germany as with any other nation. From September to November 1918 6 U-boats were sunk by this measure. U-Boats in the German Navy: Find out about some of the most important U-boats used by the German navy. 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. German U-Boat Attacks: Pre-War. July 21, 2013— -- British archaeologists recently discovered more than 40 German U-boats sunk during World War I off the coast of England. The DNOG patrolled the Dakar-Cape Verde-Gibraltar triangle, which was suspected to be used by U-boats waiting on convoys, until 3 November 1918 when it sailed for Gibraltar to begin operations in the Mediterranean, with the exception of the Rio Grande do Sul, Rio Grande do Norte, and Belmonte. German U-boats in World War II operated in all oceans of the world and were responsible for sinking enemy ships in areas as far distant as the Dutch East Indies and the Arctic Ocean. In response to the British declaration in November 1914 that the entire North Sea was now a war zone, on 4 February 1915 Admiral Hugo von Pohl, commander of the German High Seas Fleet, published a warning in the Deutscher Reichsanzeiger (Imperial German Gazette): (1) The waters around Great Britain and Ireland, including the whole of the English Channel, are hereby declared to be a War Zone. The campaign was initially a great success, nearly 500,000 tons of shipping being sunk in both February and March, and 860,000 tons in April, when Britain's supplies of wheat shrank to six weeks worth. The graves of German sailors shot while attempting to come ashore surrendering. During the war the U-boats sank about 2,779 ships for a total of 14.1 million tons GRT. (3) Navigation to the north of Shetland, in the eastern parts of the North Sea and through a zone at least thirty nautical miles wide along the Dutch coast is not exposed to danger.[10]. Only one attack was carried out, when U-15 fired a torpedo (which missed) at HMS Monarch. Finally, the Mediterranean offered the advantage that fewer neutral ships would be encountered,[14] such as US or Brazilian vessels, since fewer non European citizens then travelled the waters. It was decided the same month that further reinforcements were called for, and a further large U-boat, U-38 sailed for Cattaro. PT-59 (more on her later) is credited with sinking Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) submarine I-3 on December 9, 1942 near Guadalcanal. The new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare was initially a success. After surviving 21 attacks over 30 hours, the RO-105 was sunk by the England 's Hedgehogs. SS Gulflight was the first merchant vessel torpedoed by a German U-boat, U-30, on May 1, 1915, resulting in 3 killed. During the war the U-boats sank about 2,779 ships for a total of 14.1 million tons GRT. In the second note Wilson rejected the German arguments that the British blockade was illegal, and was a cruel and deadly attack on innocent civilians, and their charge that Lusitania had been carrying munitions. The convoys were harder for U-Boats to find and attack, but the U-Boats still posed a terrifying threat. Only 13 people died in the seven sinkings, their deaths caused by a capsized lifeboat. She picked up only 34 survivors. In October U-9 sank the cruiser Hawke, and on the last day of the year SM U-24 sank the pre-dreadnought battleship Formidable. There were no survivors. German film from 1917 about a cruise of the German submarine U-35. The SM U-9. The results in both cases were inconclusive.[20][21]. [57], Allied losses included 10 battleships, 18 cruisers and several smaller naval vessels. By July of 1942, 397 ships had been sunk or damaged. For example the American Naval Collier Cyclops disappeared some where in Bermuda Triangle with all hands. This failure, and the various restrictions imposed on the U-boat Arm in the Atlantic area largely brought the campaign there to a halt, although it continued with little hindrance in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, where there was less likelihood of offending neutrals. It was the first ever submarine war patrol. On the old game show "What's My Line?" In April 525,000 tons of British shipping were lost. A few of the U-cruisers also made long voyages south to the Azores and the African coast, where they operated generally unmolested against shipping operating in the area, though one, U-154, was torpedoed by the British submarine HMS E35 off the coast of Portugal in May 1918. The last ship sunk by a U-boat in the Gulf was Dec. 4, 1943. In April 1917, 430 Allied and neutral ships totaling 852,000 tons were sunk, and it seemed likely that the German … Although Germany’s WWI submarines were generally superior to Allied submarines, their first action against the British Royal Navy in August 1914 was not particularly successful. The U-boat campaign then became a race between German sinkings of merchant ships and the building of ships, mainly in the United States, to replace them. As a result, the Germans sailed directly for Spain where they scuttled their boat. The most successful U-boat commanders of World War I were Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière (189 merchant vessels and two gunboats with 446,708 tons), followed by Walter Forstmann (149 ships with 391,607 tons), and Max Valentiner (144 ships with 299,482 tons). [Note 1]. More than 500 were killed when a steamer bound for north Wales was torpedoed by a U-boat 100 year ago. However monthly shipping losses had dropped to around 300,000 GRT, and never rose to the levels suffered in spring 1917. That month, 18 ships were sunk, for a total of 63,848 tons. Ten of her ship's company were lost. Encouraged by the success of U-151, U-156, U-117, and the large Type 139, U-cruisers U-140 were despatched on similar missions, but the US Navy was now ready for them, and the hunting was not as good. So many ships were attacked that, in time, the waters near Cape Hatteras earned a nickname: “ Torpedo Junction. In the first two weeks of the campaign, a mere five U-boats sank 25 allied ships totalling 200,000 tons. The U-boats were to surrender to Rear-Admiral Reginald Tyrwhitt at Harwich, ... by which time 15 capital ships were sunk, and only Baden survived. More than 160 U-boats surrendered at Harwich, Essex in November 1918. Some of the smallest just disappeared and were never recorded as why they were lost. Historical footage of U-boats in World War I, Armistice between Russia and the Central Powers, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=U-boat_Campaign&oldid=996171323, Ships sunk by German submarines in World War I, Naval battles of World War I involving Germany, Naval battles of World War I involving Austria-Hungary, Naval battles of World War I involving France, Naval battles of World War I involving the United Kingdom, Naval battles of World War I involving the United States, Naval battles of World War I involving Brazil, Naval battles of World War I involving Canada, Naval battles of World War I involving Italy, Naval battles of World War I involving Japan, Naval battles of World War I involving Russia, Articles needing additional references from January 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2014, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from July 2009, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Total sunk in combat: 178 (41 by mines, 30 by depth charges and 13 by, Men lost in U-boats: 515 officers and 4894 enlisted men, This page was last edited on 24 December 2020, at 23:04. How many ships were sunk by German U-Boats in world war 1? From arming ships for self-defence, the next step was arming ships for the purpose of engaging the U-boats in gun battles; two U-boats were sunk in 1915 whilst attacking trawlers so fitted. [48] She returned to Kiel on 20 July 1918 after a 94-day cruise in which she had covered a distance of 10,915 mi (17,566 km), sunk 23 ships totalling 61,000 tons, and had laid mines responsible for the sinking of another 4 vessels.[49]. 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. 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. During 1918 no convoy escorted by air patrol lost a ship, and U-boats were forced increasingly to operate at night or beyond aircraft range. Kptlt. On 21 December 1914 U-12 torpedoed the French battleship Jean Bart, causing her to retire, and on 27 April 1915 U-5 sank the French cruiser Léon Gambetta, with a heavy loss of life. The Allies insisted that an essential precondition of any armistice was that Germany surrender all her submarines, and on 24 October 1918 all German U-boats were ordered to cease offensive operations and return to their home ports. The U-boats scored a number of impressive successes, and were able to drive the Grand Fleet from its base in search of a safe anchorage, but the German Navy was unable to erode the Grand Fleet's advantage as hoped. 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. She made a second equally successful voyage in autumn of that year. The U.S. had warships, but a shortage of transport vessels led President Woodrow Wilson to approve, in April of 1917, the greatest shipbuilding program in history: an order for 1,000 300-ft long steamships to be built in only 18 months. 1942 When the year ended 9 of them had been lost. [5] 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. The Japanese ships were very effective in patrol and anti-submarine activity. German U-boat U-14. 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