Perhaps the most part, even far from the sea and naval Affairs readers will agree that the word “submarine” the first thing comes to mind is the thought about German. Dark grey body, emerging from the waves and drowning defenseless transport goods or people torpedoes or shoot his target from a cannon. What can you do Germany and its leaders have done much to leave this not very honorable, but terrible mark in both world wars.
But it all started more than modest. As we remember, the German inventors of the nineteenth century demonstrated their exceptional quality, creating more than a hundred different projects of underwater vessels. However, no noticeable assistance from the state they had received. Prior to 1870, because a unified Germany simply was not on the map as separate principalities did not particularly claim to be the owners of a curious “whim”. But after combining all the pretensions of designers to introduce their offspring to the still present in the children as the Navy had no success. Oddly enough at first glance, one of the “persecutors” were the famous Admiral Tirpitz, the actual Creator of the Kaiser’s naval forces. However strange it seems at first glance. Despite the rapid development of industry and active “development” is taken from the French indemnity, effort and funds to create all the elements of a formidable military machine of the Empire was not enough. And Tirpitz deliberately tried not to go into fairly expensive experiments. In his speech to the Reichstag in 1901, he calmed deputies, having informed them of the fact (in principle, it is obvious) that Germany is too small for the coast and its ports are located, as a rule, deep in the mouths of rivers, so submarines are not necessary for the defense and attack of these enemy ships will not have success.
Actually, the problem was primarily in the media. Three years later, the Grand Admiral lifted the veil, saying that “the German Navy is closely monitoring the progress in this field, but considers it premature to proceed to action as long as submarines are inherent weaknesses and shortcomings are eliminated. We have no money for experiments; we have to leave the luxury of rich countries, such as England and France”.
Indeed, Tirpitz very clearly formulated his approach to the problem of underwater shipbuilding. More precisely, only the first half. As soon as the submarine recognized leaders, the USA and France, after much suffering began to get out of the harbors to the open sea, the attitude of the Creator of the German Navy is to them has changed dramatically. From the category of “toys for the rich” the boat was quickly becoming a potentially dangerous and powerful weapon.
Diagram of a submarine “U-1” – “U-4”
Submarines type U-1, Germany, 1907
It was built by firm “Germaniawerft”. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement – underwater/surface 238/285 t Dimensions: length – 42,4 m diameter – 3.8 m draught – 3.2 m. hull Material – steel. Immersion depth: working – 30 m, maximum – 65 m. Engine: 2 kerosene motor Kertinge power of 400 HP and 2 electric motor producing 400 HP Speed: surface/submarine project – 10,5/8,5 knots on tests in 10.6/8.7 in uz. Armament – single 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (3 torpedoes). Crew – 12 people. Used mainly as a training. In 1919, bred from the Navy, bought the firm “Germaniawerft” and transferred to the German Museum in Munich
Submarines “U-5 and U-6”, Germany. 1911
It was built by firm “Germaniawerft”. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement – underwater/surface 505/635 t Dimensions: length – 57,3 m, diameter – 5.6 m, draft – 3.6 m case Material – steel. Immersion depth: working – up to 50 m, maximum – up to 100 m. Engine: 2 kerosene motor Kertinge power of 900 HP and 2 electric motor power 1040 HP Speed surface/submarine project – 14,5/12,5 knots testing – 13,7/10,3 bonds. Armament: four 450 mm torpedo tubes (2 in nose and 2 in the stern, 6 torpedoes); in 1916 added one 50-mm gun. The crew – 29 people. In 1910 – 1911 built 4 units: the “U 5” “U-8”. All died during the First world war
Diagram of a submarine “U-9”-“U12”
However, at the dawn of the twentieth century, Germany started to build submarines. Even without guaranteed government support. Initiated by the famous Friedrich Alfred Krupp, head of the “dynasty cannon kings”, which has already become by the time the main private supplier of weapons to the army and Navy of Kaiser Wilhelm. Prompted him to this in 1902, the Spanish aristocrat and part-time engineer Raimondo d Equilio (or Aquila, as it is sometimes transcribing). This 30-year-old Marquis by that time had already managed to work our old friend Maxim Labefa, creating his own submarine project as a pure electric, and combined with the “mechanics”. Ambitious engineer-aristocrat was in a hurry to go to an independent “floating”, suggesting its development, the Ministry of the Navy of France, but failed. As we know, there were enough of their inventors and designers; for a foreigner virtually no chance remained. Moreover, d Equilio something quite successfully borrowed from his employer.
In Germany, he found powerful patrons, has enormous financial resources. He was able to “treat” not only the old F. Krupp, and departed in another world just a few months after meeting with the Marquis, and his heiress, the daughter of Bertha and her husband Gustav von Bohlen, who was himself an engineer by training, and not shied away from interesting ideas. Money Krupps in 1903 the Marquis built a tiny “Forelle” with a displacement of just 16 so the Boat was powered by a single electric motor and, of course, had no military importance, but it attracted the attention of both the Kaiser and his brother, Prince Henry of Prussia, Grand Admiral and one of the leaders growing by leaps and bounds the German Navy. Such attention were costly; the Spanish designer tried to consolidate and strengthen, quickly releasing the German translation of his book on the history of development of submarines. And no wonder: just arrived Russian-Japanese war. And after less than three months after the beginning of Equilio and its patrons Krupp received his first crop. Russia received as a gift “Forelle”, ordered from a respectable company of world value, and its longtime provider, three submarines, a project which has created just in time “floated to the surface” Marquis. Although, it is worth noting, on account of his nothing but a “paper” options and miniature toy “Forelle” was not.
However, trust Krupp, he was acquitted, having developed in just four months, the drawings are quite solid for the time boat, which became in Russia a type of “Carl”. Not without scandal: French journalists accused the Marquis no more and no less than the theft of ideas and the drawings from his former employer M. Lobata, hurried to find in the “Russian fish” his “Egret”. As you can see, the main driving force behind this truly “military campaign” became shipbuilders and financiers of the French Republic, presciently plazewski dangerous competitor. However, d Equilio now had a powerful rear: the technical experts and lawyers of the Krupp firm were able to prove the lightness of the claims bypassed the competitors. Russian boats are laid in December 1904.
But the main prize was another order from the rapidly growing German Navy. After just a year and a half after cited earlier keynote speech Tirpitz decided that it’s time has come. And in the autumn of 1905 at the shipyard facilities of the firm “Germany” (“Germaniawerft”), the laying of the first German combat submarine, the predecessor of the enormous flocks “steel predators” of both world wars. But at the time it was very difficult even to imagine such a future, and the submarine received a completely unsophisticated marking: Unterseeboot-1, i.e. simply – “Submarine-1”, or abbreviated to “U-1”. So this letter with a serial number and is preserved as a notation for all the subsequent units up to the present time. Except that after each of the world’s disasters defeated Germany had to start counting from the beginning. But real names received only a few units; the rest had to settle for indexes.
Order U-1 gave rise to another controversy, a purely historical properties. In some works of our local authors subsequently claimed that the Germans could use the Russian order as a kind of “ground” on which other people’s money they worked out constructive solutions for its fleet, eliminating the defects identified during testing of “Karpov”. However, U-1, really launched almost a year later than its Russian “friends”, began testing and was commissioned in late 1906, that is, a few months earlier.
U-1 is only slightly different from their Russian “sisters” and was a combination of ideas Lobea with in-house developments of Aquila, which can be called quite reasonable. In particular, the submarine had five compartments – a very good sign for that time. Let’s remember its American and British contemporaries who cannot maintain buoyancy even after minor hull damage. Well ordered the designer and intrashell space, placing him supplies of fuel and oil, and part of the ballast tanks. From lubarovska ideas to the German boat moved form the outside of the outer hull with sharp contours in the extremities, while the rugged interior was almost correct cylinder. If we talk about the use of the “Russian experience”, it can be attributed except for weapons, and then only with great difficulty. If “Karp”, “Karas” and “Kambala” carried three torpedo tubes, U-1 Equilio by the decision of the customer, the German Navy refused impractical “lattices,” Drzewiecki. The apparatus remains in the singular, but in the rugged nose. But the number of torpedoes didn’t change; they also had three pieces, that is, the boat could produce as many as three successive attacks. This idea (repeated overcharging) was inherited from the first “U-bot” to his younger “cousins.” As a result, German submarines were prepared for future actions better than their rivals of the Entente.
Successful was and other technical solutions. So the superstructure was made of 40-mm non-magnetic Nickel steel, allowing you to use a regular magnetic compass when driving motors in positional status. (Although, of course, when you start the motors with their powerful field, he began to “go crazy”.) Optimal can recognize and 12 mm thickness plating durable housing, sufficient to dive up to 70 m; but the maximum operational depth was considered to be 30-meter.
However, “U-1” was a typical experimental ship, with a very small range, hardly able to perform combat missions outside coastal waters. Although the battery was not only “own” a special compartment, but also a lot of space at the bottom of the quarters for the officers and main compartment – control, submerged boat could pass a maximum of 50 miles. And most of the “crawl” at its cruising speed of five knots. While the maximum speed under electric motors placed batteries in just a couple of hours.
Nevertheless, Tirpitz could celebrate a victory, albeit a purely financial properties, and partly against his own will. (It should be noted that Grand Admiral rested against the inclusion of “underwater firstborn” in the fleet until the last moment.) His words that “let France and built a lot of boats, but those who launched until 1905, have no military significance,” said in 1907, was quite fair. As the judgment about the unsuitability of diesel engines as the main engines for surface running. Indeed, kerosene engines, installed on the U-1 was more convenient and much safer. In General, Germany was able to extract a very real benefit from what was entered in an underwater race later than the other great powers. And very carefully.
The Germans managed to not only save on the first submarines, but, as we shall see below, also to get them quite a nonzero income. The second boat, “U-2” became the undoubted success of the “German shipbuilding genius.” The designers managed to significantly improve the contours, which is 1.5 times larger in displacement, the submarine showed even slightly greater surface speed … with the same engines! For example, it is clearly seen how rapid was the progress in the field of electrical engineering. The second German boat was only 130 batteries is almost four hundred (!) on U-1, but they had 70% more capacity, although it weighed only one-third more. Thought engineers about purely martial qualities. Now armament consisted of two units, one in each of the extremities of the hull. And observation added a third periscope down to the Central post, allowing you to control the boat in position as position from the wheelhouse and from the bottom of the hull. Not without secrets, one of which was “patented method Berling”, allegedly allows to automatically balance the submarine, firing torpedoes and even recharging devices. In both cases, the redistribution of mass from small submarines was a serious problem, until the ejection of the nasal tip to the surface. However, this unpleasant situation is largely preserved for many years: indeed, together with by the boats grew, and the bulk of their main weapon, a steel “fish” – torpedoes.
But all was not serene. Even recognized by the German motor industry sometimes make significant failures, one of which came during a U-2. Originally kerosene engines Kerting appeared on the test is not powerful enough, even though them failed to develop the record for 1907 a speed of 15 knots on the surface. They decided to replace the new motors Daimler. However, the known designer of automotive engines has postponed the delivery of the new baby for months, during which the submarine remained on the plant. And when, finally, this “masterpiece” wait, was that him constantly having trouble with Dynamo.
And what about a Spanish nobleman who so successfully laid the foundations of the German submarine fleet? The fate of d Aquila is reminiscent of the end of the creative journey of an American pioneer Holland. As soon as it came to large orders, Yes, even from their own Ministry of Marine, “undesirable foreigner” immediately pushed from the feeder. The management of “Germaniawerft” chose to have in the role of chief designer and technical Director, responsible for the creation of submarines, trustworthy German. And, as in the case of Spears, took the place of Holland in the “electric boat” and not only continued the work of his eminent predecessor, but also offer our very successful decisions, the Germans made a good choice. Is the awning Division submarine in 1907 was headed by Hans Techel perhaps the most famous designer of German “U-Baotou”. It was under his leadership was created the following project, which has built four boats: “U-5” – “U-8”, which was followed by another and a noticeable improvement in both combat and technical properties. On submarines there were two pairs of torpedo tubes in the bow and stern. The technical specification provided for a very decent surface speed of 15 knots, and that boats had to be at least 2000 miles, that is, they were really “ships of the open sea”. Decent expected and underwater speed more than 10 knots. For the first time the submarine appeared gyrocompass so that its commander is now not dependent on the unreliable testimony of the ancient magnetic device. An important innovation was the application of electric drive to control the horizontal rudders. Was changed and the production technology, in particular, greatly strengthened the case due to the additional longitudinal “stiffeners”. Since the fleet of Emperor Wilhelm got in your hands is really strong and deadly weapons. Minor trouble (scheduled high speeds and under water and on its surface failed to achieve) -do not count.
After the first Quartet was followed by another order for the same amount, with small but sometimes important changes. After horizontal rudders his “Electromashina” was obtained and the main vertical rudder.
A reasonable question arises: where did the “U-bots” at numbers 3 and 4? So the Naval Ministry of Germany preferred to sell them “on the vine” ally of the Empire of Wilhelm II, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Fortunately, they were built at the state shipyard in Danzig, and the interests of the Krupp no way affected. Again the decision proved wise: a large part of the trouble with the engines Kerting went to the sailors of the “patchwork Empire”, as the Germans themselves during this time, more or less calmly coped with the problem.
Submarine “U-13”, Germany, 1911
Based on hovery in Danzig. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement – underwater/ surface 515/645 t Dimensions: length – 57,9 m, diameter – 6.0 m, draft – 3.4 meters hull Material – steel. Immersion depth: working – up to 50 m, maximum – up to 100 m. Engine: 4 kerosene motor Kertinge capacity of 1200 HP and 2 electric motor power 1200 HP Speed surface/submarine project – 15/12,5 knots testing – 14,8/10,1 bonds. Armament – four 450 mm torpedo tubes (2 in nose and 2 in the stern, 6 torpedoes). Since 1916 added one 50-mm gun. The crew – 29 people. In 1910 – 1911 built 3 units, “and-13” “-15”. In similar project company “Germaniawerft” in 1912 built another unit – I-16. All died during the First world war.
Submarines “U-17 and U-18”, Germany, 1912
Based on hovery in Danzig. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/ surface 565/690 t Dimensions: length – 62,4 m, diameter – 6.0 m, draft – 3.4 meters hull Material – steel. Immersion depth: working – up to 50 m, maximum – up to 100 m. Engine: 4 kerosene motor Kertinge capacity of 1200 HP and 2 electric motor power 1200 HP Speed: surface/submarine project – 15/12,5 knots testing – 14,9/10 kt. Armament: four 450 mm torpedo tubes (2 in nose and 2 in the stern, 6 torpedoes); in 1916 added one 50-mm gun. Crew: 29 persons. In 1910 – 1911 built 2 units – “U-17 and U-18”. The last, 5th series of “U-5”. “U-17” 1916 – the training ship, “U-18” sunk by coastal artillery in Scapa Flow in 1914
Submarine “U-19” (type “U-19”, 1-series), Germany, 1913
Based on hovery in Danzig. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/ surface 650/840 T. Dimensions: – length 64,2 m, diameter – 6.1 m, draft – 3.6 m case Material – steel. Immersion depth: working – up to 50 m, maximum – up to 100 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity 1700 HP, and 2 electric motor power 1200 HP Speed: surface/submarine project – 10,5/8,5 knots on the test of 15.4/9.5 in uz. Armament: four 500-mm torpedo tubes (2 in nose and 2 in the stern, 6 torpedoes), one 88-mm gun. Crew: 35 people. In 1913 – 1914 GT. built 4 units of 1-series, “U-19” – “U-22”. In 1916, added another 88-mm gun. “U-20” was killed in 1916, “U-21” submerged crew in February 1919, the two remaining scrapped in the same year. A new type of German submarines; only four series on hovery in Danzig and firm “Germaniawerft” built 23 units, up to “U-41”.
Diagram of a submarine “U-31” – “U-37”
Submarine “U-39” on the slipway
The construction of submarines in Germany, spun, and very quickly. In July 1908 was followed by an order for four units of 500-ton boats, “U-9” – “U-12” almost completely repeats its predecessors. Curiously, the Naval Ministry had managed even to push away from the “trough” of Krupp: all new units were built at Danzig of goverli. The most influential in the field of arms supplies, the firm was concerned, but with military directness sailors reported that price from a private person, though so famous, too big. Followed by negotiations, as the historian of the German Navy, “sensitive”, then “Germaniawerft” got the same a year later, the order of the following four “U-13” – “U-16”. But only for one boat; the other three also went to the state factory in Danzig, is gradually becoming a major supplier of submarines for the Imperial Navy.
Interestingly, even when it seems to be a very modest amounts of German submarines became too close. The results of the first joint maneuvers command noticed that the simultaneous use of multiple boats is difficult because of the danger of collision, because in a submerged position “colleagues” can’t see each other. It seems a bit naive, but, actually, the comment was very sensible, if you remember numerous accidents in other navies, underwater when the ships rammed each other on the teachings, sometimes “fatal”.
However, accidents are avoided and a neat and methodical Germans. On going a long way “U-3” has decided to conduct exercises beginners. At the same time, the commander wanted to test how well coped with its task builders. Test dive made directly on the waters of Kiel Harbor, which was very important from the point of view of further developments. The hatch was closed, the hull began to disappear under the water. And suddenly a powerful jet gushing into the engine compartment through the ventilation shaft. Her valve was left open, though the measure testified that the closing was successful. While the sailors were figuring out how to turn the valve for a few seconds the water had accumulated so much that the feed went steeply down. People fell on the floor. The commander remained on the bridge, ordered the entire crew to run to the front compartment to balance the boat. The order and saved the people rushed through the narrow aisles toward the lifts up up the nose. Having reached the goal, they managed to prevent further flow of water, of course, just because the clip had watertight bulkheads. In the end, to close the forward compartment crowded 29 people, literally, on each other. The light went off as soon as the water reached the battery Yam – the rest of the body was completely submerged, except for the wheelhouse where he had left the commander, log officer and helmsman.
Trouble, however, was just beginning. Caught in batteries water caused the active release of chlorine gas, which became four years later the first chemical warfare agents. Stacked in the first compartment, the crowd also quickly consumed the oxygen, which is in a small room and it was a little, replacing it with exhaled carbon dioxide. There are useful filters and caustic soda, used by the Germans as a reserve for air purification. In General, people kept breathing, hoping for outside help after the accident occurred directly in the main base of the German Navy.
In fact, “non-standard” disappearance “U-3” was noticed only after two hours when clearly passed all the deadlines for trial. Immediately into place drove two powerful floating crane of 150 tons, a Special salvage ship “the Vulcan” was in dry dock, where it was hastily released. After 11 hours the divers managed to get ropes under the bow part of the hull. The crane began its work; to raise the boat completely they could not, therefore, anticipated to pull on the surface of the output cover of torpedo tubes, so the tubes could get out of the deadly traps, or at least a little fresh air.
However, rescuers and rescued were waiting for the bad: the boat slipped out of the ropes, and again sank to the bottom. It took another 14 hours to re-start a “loop” and lift, finally, the bow of the hull to the surface and retrieve the crew. 29 accident held in this “chest” for more than a day, but all survived, although barely moving. Meanwhile, the place had it towed over this “Volcano”, equipped with everything necessary to lift the boat. It took another five hours, and the water seemed to be the entire body. First of all, opened the hatch of the cabin. It was almost dry, but while there it didn’t help. Deprived absorption of rounds, the commander and his companions died from suffocation. Studied and the cause of the tragedy. The small chest opened simply: the factory installed gauge close the valve so that it showed as exactly the opposite: “closed” when the valve opened and “open” – when closed. So a test dive in the port proved to be salutary for three dozen people, which inevitably would have perished in the open sea. But, more importantly, to survive they allowed intelligent design split into sections. Foreign “colleagues” in such cases, sank with all hands. In General, the Germans attached great importance the strength of their underwater vessels. So, if U-1 the maximum distance between the “edges” of the set-frames was more than five feet, in a U-2 it was reduced to meters, and from “U-9” again “halved”, only up to 0.5 m.
How strange to hear it now, the weakest element of the first serial German submarines remained… motors. The famous diesels were on the approach, and the engines Kerting had a lot of specific “features” that could more appropriately be called serious disadvantages. So, they could not be reversed, so the designers mounted on a U-2 – “U-12” a tricky and complex system of three motors, and electric Kertinge, successive to each other and are worked on one shaft. But the “U-13” – “U-15” for such a system had not, so had to maneuver solely on electric go! It is easy to imagine how it could be dangerous if discharged batteries. Batteries gradually improved, but life remained limited: no more than four years. Practical Germans have come up with special rails, through which it was possible to change the battery quickly enough, and remove it for a week (the French, this required sometimes up to a month), and installed in just half a day. However, the operation itself, and, in particular, batteries were very expensive, and for the full service life of the boats was a significant part of its total price.
It is clear that Germany, like other pristupova to mass submarines in the country, not over trying to find “magic ball” – a universal motor, suitable for underwater and surface speed. Thus, the firm “Deutz Gas engines” has developed a highly original use as fuel a mixture of nitrogen dioxide (to give the decomposition of oxygen) and gas produced during the combustion of kerosene. The naval Ministry has supported this project for several years in the hope that you will get a wonderful boat, capable of a displacement of 700 tons to go through about 360 miles at a speed of 12 knots or as many as 800 miles at eight knots. These figures looked for 1907 – 1909 years just fine compared to the 85 miles at 5 knots is achieved at the then electrical. However, a truly explosive mixture manifested itself: in 1913, all equipment to test a new secret motor blew up, taking with him several human lives ending at the same time with hopes of the sailors and Industrialists. Around the same time, more cautious of the Cologne engineer Paul Wynand developed the installation on a very similar principle, trying to “cross” oxygen and diesel fuel in a single engine. He even had some success, but only for the 30-horsepower motor, besides demanding almost “time accuracy” of the device for supplying pure oxygen. The Wynand managed to do without the accidents, but the result of his experiments was as little productive.
Tried to jump into the increasingly full speed Express underwater shipbuilding, the founder of the German boats D Equilio. The Marquis put everything in a known modification of the “alkaline” steam engine proposed by Moritz Honigmann from Aachen in the previous century. We already described this principle earlier: the steam engine in the submerged position exhaust steam is absorbed by a solution of caustic soda, which is heated to a temperature that is successfully transferred to vapor water in the surrounding absorber, the shirt is powering the car ferry. After surfacing a couple battery could be “recharged”, evaporating the solution, using the “normal” steam from a conventional boiler. (So was the submarine Josiah Taka already in 1896!) And again the fleet took an old new idea with enthusiasm: indeed, D Equilio promised for a standard 700-ton boat speed up to 20 knots on the surface and 12.5 – under water, considerably more than the then kerosene or diesel motors and electric motors. Sailors was also attracted by the fact that the alkaline battery can be fully “recharged” in just three to four hours, while the electric batteries are required for this six to ten hours. Operation involving a well-known company “Weser” lasted a long time, since 1908 until the outbreak of the First world war. The harsh reality was done with hopes to eliminate the problems associated with disposal of large amounts of heat in a submerged position, strong corrosion “battery” alkali and other troubles had neither the time nor the desire. As a result, the Germans finally put on the right horse: diesel engines. The path was not easy: initially German firms have experienced an equally significant difficulties with the production of powerful, lightweight and durable diesel engines, like their counterparts in other countries. Even afterwards, the world-renowned manufacturer of this type of motor, the factory of MAN in Augsburg, was not able to immediately cope with the task. It took the mighty “Germany”, a favorite of the Naval Ministry, but the firm could supply our products for primary testing only in 1911, and the daily mileage of its diesel was able to overcome only at the end of 1912. However, the Naval Ministry has put on them-and won. First, it was assumed to install new engines on the submarine “U-17 and U-18”, the Ministry was ready to issue an order even in 1908, when no suitable for submarines, the diesel engine did not exist in principle. However, the risk seemed too great, and these boats also received four “kerosene” Cartinha.
And yet, late in the autumn of 1910 was followed by a contract for four units of “U-19” – “U-22” with diesel engines MAN, whose appearance here was expected, and in March 1911 a further four boats (“U-23” – “U-26”) with diesel engines from Germany, which, as we have noted, at that time not even passed the initial tests. It was very basic: the submarine was a new, much improved compared with the previous 500-ton units relating to different varieties of the type “U-5”. So the risk was significant. But everything turned out almost happily, although demodulate in a terrible rush “Germanische” engines in the service brought a lot of trouble. However, these submarines were definitely the most important milestone in the development of the German submarine forces. First of all, in the field of armaments. Although the number of torpedo tubes has not changed, their calibre was increased to 500 mm, while all the main competitors were limited to 450-mm torpedoes. As a result, significantly increased warhead and effectiveness of impact. Now many of the enemy ships, especially old buildings, could have died from a single 500-graph paper, while the weaker English torpedoes mostly just damaged the ships and not even always stoked merchant ships of the enemy.
The next most important innovation was the emergence of “regular artillery”, and immediately very impressive. The Germans chose for this purpose 88-mm gun, albeit relatively short (the length of the barrel – 30 caliber). Its shell weighed a lot more than the allied 76 mm, not to mention toy 57-, 47 – and 37-millimetrovykh. It was a more serious weapon, capable of quickly enough to sink even a large transport, which soon were to be sure allies, and the most sad for them.
Managed to patch a few and one very nasty “hole” in the design: the German boats first generations immersed no faster and even slower than some of their foreign rivals. Even fully prepared to dive, the submarine spent three to five minutes in order to disappear from the surface of the water. A sudden dive to a depth of 10 m required seven or eight minutes: not just a lot, a lot, even for the second decade of the twentieth century. On diesel submarines has been cut by more than two times.
It is worth noting another, not too honorable, characteristic of German submarines. The living conditions in the “iron coffins of the Kaiser” was originally very heavy. The team had to use only electric heaters, and in the cold waters of people were literally knocked his teeth at their posts and on a narrow, tiered bunks. Then added and steam heating in residential premises to allow the crew to somehow relax. But, as we have noted in the description of the accident “U-3”, even on the first submarines had a decent filtration system and refreshing the air, allowing the team to stay under water for up to three days without surfacing. These characteristics are still improved in the second ten units, while talking about the amenities would still be too optimistic. The whole idea of the design of the German submarines can be summarized as follows: for all combat tasks and the minimum for “comfort”. Simple and efficient, just what was required for “major war” that has hung over the world.
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