SM U-32 (Germany)

Summary

History
German Empire
NameU-32
Ordered29 March 1912
BuilderGermaniawerft, Kiel
Yard number192
Laid down8 November 1912
Launched28 January 1914
Commissioned3 September 1914
FateSunk 8 May 1918 north-west of Malta. 41 dead.
General characteristics
Class and typeGerman Type U 31 submarine
Displacement
  • 685 t (674 long tons) (surfaced)
  • 878 t (864 long tons) (submerged)
Length
Beam
  • 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in) (o/a)
  • 4.05 m (13 ft 3 in) (pressure hull)
Draught3.56 m (11 ft 8 in)
Installed power
Propulsion
  • 2 × shafts
  • 2 × 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in) propellers
Speed
  • 16.4 knots (30.4 km/h; 18.9 mph) (surfaced)
  • 9.7 knots (18.0 km/h; 11.2 mph) (submerged)
Range
  • 8,790 nmi (16,280 km; 10,120 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) (surfaced)
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) (submerged)
Test depth50 m (164 ft 1 in)
Boats & landing
craft carried
1 dinghy
Complement4 officers, 31 enlisted
Armament
Service record
Part of:
  • IV Flotilla
  • 3 September 1914 – 8 November 1916
  • Pola / Mittelmeer Flotilla
  • 8 November 1916 – 8 May 1918
Commanders:
Operations: 11 patrols
Victories:
  • 37 merchant ships sunk
    (106,035 GRT)
  • 1 warship sunk
    (14,000 tons)
  • 3 merchant ships damaged
    (18,554 GRT)
  • 1 merchant ship taken as prize
    (1,115 GRT)

SM U-32 was a German Type U 31 U-boat of the Imperial German Navy.

Cornwallis sinking in the Mediterranean Sea on 9 January 1917 after being torpedoed by U-32.

Her construction was ordered on 29 March 1912 and her keel was laid down on 8 November 1912 by Germaniawerft of Kiel. She was launched on 28 January 1914 and commissioned on 3 September 1914 under the command of Edgar von Spiegel von und zu Peckelsheim. On 1 February 1916 Spiegel was relieved by Kurt Hartwig who commanded the boat until 16 February 1918 when Karl Albrecht took over. Albrecht commanded her until her loss.

U-32 conducted 11 patrols, sinking 37 merchant ships totalling 106,035 gross register tons (GRT) and one warship for 14,000 tons. On 9 January 1917, to the East of Malta, U-32 sank the British pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Cornwallis, with the loss of 15 lives.

Design

German Type U 31 submarines were double-hulled ocean-going submarines similar to Type 23 and Type 27 subs in dimensions and differed only slightly in propulsion and speed. They were considered very good high sea boats with average manoeuvrability and good surface steering.[4]

U-32 had an overall length of 64.70 m (212 ft 3 in), her pressure hull was 52.36 m (171 ft 9 in) long. The boat's beam was 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in) (o/a), while the pressure hull measured 4.05 m (13 ft 3 in). Type 31s had a draught of 3.56 m (11 ft 8 in) with a total height of 7.68–8.04 m (25 ft 2 in–26 ft 5 in). The boats displaced a total of 971 tonnes (956 long tons); 685 t (674 long tons) when surfaced and 878 t (864 long tons) when submerged.[4]

U-32 was fitted with two Germania 6-cylinder two-stroke diesel engines with a total of 1,850 metric horsepower (1,361 kW; 1,825 bhp) for use on the surface and two Siemens-Schuckert double-acting electric motors with a total of 1,200 PS (883 kW; 1,184 shp) for underwater use. These engines powered two shafts each with a 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in) propeller, which gave the boat a top surface speed of 16.4 knots (30.4 km/h; 18.9 mph), and 9.7 knots (18.0 km/h; 11.2 mph) when submerged. Cruising range was 8,790 nautical miles (16,280 km; 10,120 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 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).[4]

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. Additionally U-32 was equipped in 1915 with two 8.8 cm (3.5 in) Uk L/30 deck guns. The boat's complement was 4 officers and 31 enlisted.[4]

Fate

SM U-32 (Germany) is located in Mediterranean
SM U-32 (Germany)
Wreck location

On 8 May 1918 north-west of Malta she was shelled and then depth charged by HMS Wallflower and sunk with all hands, 41 dead.

Summary of raiding history

Date Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[5]
8 April 1915 Chateaubriand  France 2,247 Sunk
11 April 1915 Wayfarer  United Kingdom 9,599 Damaged
22 June 1915 Kiew  Denmark 1,115 Captured as prize
4 March 1916 Teutonian  United Kingdom 4,824 Sunk
5 March 1916 Rothesay  United Kingdom 2,007 Sunk
6 March 1916 Trois Freres  France 107 Sunk
7 March 1916 Ville Du Havre  France 3,109 Sunk
18 October 1916 Athene  Norway 1,847 Sunk
30 October 1916 Marquis Bacquehem  United Kingdom 4,396 Sunk
30 October 1916 Vertunno  Kingdom of Italy 3,239 Sunk
27 November 1916 City of Birmingham  United Kingdom 7,498 Sunk
27 November 1916 Karnak  France 6,816 Sunk
30 November 1916 S. Antonio  Kingdom of Italy 611 Sunk
1 December 1916 Cuore Di Gesu  Kingdom of Italy 199 Sunk
1 December 1916 Lampo  Kingdom of Italy 59 Sunk
2 December 1916 Angela Madre G.  Kingdom of Italy 155 Sunk
3 December 1916 Lucellum  United Kingdom 5,184 Damaged
6 December 1916 Campania  Kingdom of Italy 4,297 Sunk
8 December 1916 Carmelina Dominici  Kingdom of Italy 94 Sunk
12 December 1916 Saint Ursula  United Kingdom 5,011 Sunk
7 January 1917 Rosalia L.  Kingdom of Italy 7,186 Sunk
9 January 1917 HMS Cornwallis  Royal Navy 14,000 Sunk
10 April 1917 Porto Di Rodi  Kingdom of Italy 2,480 Sunk
12 April 1917 Kildale  United Kingdom 3,830 Sunk
17 April 1917 Costante  Kingdom of Italy 3,479 Sunk
18 April 1917 Rinaldo  United Kingdom 4,321 Sunk
21 April 1917 Giosue  Kingdom of Italy 140 Sunk
12 May 1917 Locksley Hall  United Kingdom 3,635 Sunk
24 May 1917 Biarritz  France 2,758 Sunk
16 July 1917 Khephren  United Kingdom 2,774 Sunk
16 July 1917 Porto Di Adalia  Kingdom of Italy 4,073 Sunk
17 July 1917 Virent  United Kingdom 3,771 Damaged
19 July 1917 Varvara  Greece 1,316 Sunk
20 September 1917 Kurdistan  United Kingdom 3,720 Sunk
22 September 1917 Caroline  France 107 Sunk
24 September 1917 Iriston  United Kingdom 3,221 Sunk
29 September 1917 Sanwen  United Kingdom 3,689 Sunk
4 October 1917 Constantinos Embiricos  Greece 2,611 Sunk
4 October 1917 Nicolaos Roussos  Greece 2,421 Sunk
10 October 1917 Transporteur  France 1,812 Sunk
21 April 1918 Bellview  United Kingdom 3,567 Sunk
1 May 1918 Era  Australia 2,379 Sunk

Original documents from Room 40

The following is a verbatim transcription of the recorded activities of SM U-32 known to British Naval Intelligence, Room 40 O.B.:[6]


"SM U-32.

Oberlt.z.S. Spiegel von und zu Peckelsheim, later to U-93. Kaptlt. Hartwig October 1916 to Sept/October 1918, then to U-63. Kaptlt. Karl Albrecht, lost with her. Came off the stocks at Kiel about the end of October 1914 and did trials at Kiel School, leaving for the North Sea on 27 November. In December 1914 and January 1915, and February 1915, she was occasionally employed on patrol in the Bight, and was twice in dockyard hands with engine or other trouble. She was attached to the 4th Half Flotilla.

  • 3 – 17 April 1915. Channel via Dover. Home northabout 1 S.S., 1 sailing vessel sunk, in Channel.
  • 12 – 24 June 1915. North Sea, 1 prize taken in.
  • 9 – 13 August 1915. Bight patrol.
  • 14th – ? 16 August 1915. Bight anti-air raid patrol.
  • 22 – 27 August 1915. North Sea. Returned owing to compass failure.
  • 11 – 13 September 1915. To Flanders (Ostend).
  • 19 – 21 September 1915. Ostend to Emden.
  • ? 2 October 1915 – ? 4 October 1915. Bight patrol.
  • 20 October 1915. Emden to List.
  • 24 – 27 October 1915. North Sea.
  • 29 December 1915 – 2 January 1916. ? North Sea patrol.
  • 17 January 1916. On Bight patrol.
  • 23 January – 3 February 1916. On Bight patrol.
  • 11 – 14 February 1916. On Bight patrol.
  • 26 February – 17 March 1916. Northabout to Channel approach. Sank 2 S.S., 2 sailing vessels.
  • 16 – 18 April 1916. Bight patrol.
  • 22 April 1916. Bight patrol.
  • 27 April – 8 May 1916. North Sea patrol.
  • 16 May – 3 June 1916. North Sea patrol (Jutland Battle).
  • 24 – 25 August 1916. Bight patrol.
  • 28 August – 1 September 1916. North Sea patrol.
  • 20 September – 1 October 1916. ? North Sea.
  • 16 October – 7/8 November 1916. Northabout to Mediterranean. Arrived Cattaro 7/8 November. Sank 2 S.S. and was fired at by S.S. ARLINGTON COURT on 30 October. When in Mediterranean she was with Pola-Cattaro Flotilla.
  • End of November – Middle of December 1916. Proceeded out from Cattaro and cruised in Mediterranean (central). Sank 6 S.S., 9 sailing vessels (including the French S.S. KARNAK). U-32 with another submarine seems to have been concerned in attack on British S.S. NAGOYA but was driven off by gunfire.
  • 2 January 1917 – 18 January 1917. On a cruise in central Mediterranean. Sank 2 S.S., 1 sailing vessel, and H.M.S. CORNWALLIS.
  • February 1917 – March 1918. Operating in Mediterranean.
  • 16 April 1918. Left Cattaro and cruised in western Mediterranean. Sank 1 S.S. and missed another by torpedo. On 24 April was sighted 50 miles N. of Algiers. She was sunk on 8 May 1918 by H.M.S. WALLFLOWER in 36°8'N., 13°30'E., apparently while returning from this cruise."

Note: S.S. = Steam Ship; S.V. = Sailing Vessel; northabout, Muckle Flugga, Fair I. = around Scotland; Sound, Belts, Kattegat = via North of Denmark to/from German Baltic ports; Bight = to/from German North Sea ports; success = sinking of ships

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.

See also

References

Notes

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

Citations

  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Edgar von Spiegel von und zu Peckelsheim". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Kurt Hartwig (Pour le Merite)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boat commanders: Kurt Albrecht (Pour le Merite)". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.
  4. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 6.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U 32". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  6. ^ National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914-1918 (Published below – Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918)

Bibliography

  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. Vol. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
  • 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.
  • Beesly, Patrick (1982). Room 40: British Naval Intelligence 1914-1918. London: H Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-10864-2.
  • Halpern, Paul G. (1995). A Naval History of World War I. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-85728-498-0.
  • 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.
  • 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.

External links

  • Photos of cruises of German submarine U-54 in 1916-1918. Great photo quality, comments in German.
  • A 44 min. film from 1917 about a cruise of the German submarine U-35. A German propaganda film without dead or wounded; many details about submarine warfare in World War I.
  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "WWI U-boats: U 32". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Uboat.net.
  • Room 40: original documents, photos and maps about World War I German submarine warfare and British Room 40 Intelligence from The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, UK.

Coordinates: 36°04′N 13°17′E / 36.07°N 13.28°E / 36.07; 13.28