And so Germany entered the First world war, glorified “submarines of the Kaiser” as the most formidable weapon in the war at sea. Entered, having … only 28 submarines, half of which, as it was considered unlikely to have been able to act out of sight of shore, and the rest were barely able to operate close to even the nearest East coast of the UK. And any ideas on how all this “wealth” to use. Moreover, much improvement in the near future and not expected: in the program of development of the submarine fleet, adopted in 1912, it was decided to build 70 units. At first glance, quite a lot, but 36 of them were intended for the defense of the German Bay and 12 to cover the direct approaches to the bases, first of all, to the Keel, 10 had to be “material reserve”. And only 12 boats, according to the Admiral-staff, led the naval operations of the German fleet was originally allocated for active operations. Not later than in the North sea. Was also surprised by the slowness of time: the 70 units was supposed to have in the ranks already… in 1919! Germany almost all put on the development of the surface of the high Seas Fleet, which was to crush the British Grand fleet in a decisive battle at the expense of higher-quality ships and training of personnel.
This explains the indecision, not to say timidity, with which the Germans began submarine warfare. The beginning it was very strange. On the second day of the war, on the morning of 2 August 1914 the command issued several boats from the harbour of the island of Helgoland, with orders to anchor in close proximity and to observe the sea. In the evening the whole party returned to its port. So poor “creative” can be explained, perhaps, by fears of an immediate RAID of the British Navy to establish a blockade near.
However, the British did not go to such stupidity, and the Germans slowly began to use submarines much more active. Although initially still failed. In the first campaign to the shores of Britain went from 10 boats. “U-15” seems to be immediately taken: August 8, near the Shetland Islands from the boat was noticed by British dreadnoughts, conducted target practice. She even made a torpedo attack, but missed. Divers decided to continue the hunt, but suddenly turned themselves into the game. The next morning, “U-15” were in a stationary state on the surface of the water, I noticed from the cruiser “Birmingham”. According to the British, on the boat not even monitored environment, and there is just not noticed a large ship! But the commander of the cruiser did not resist and immediately ordered to go to the RAM. Birmingham first hit the submarine in the stern, then turned sharply again and rammed his victim, this time severing it in half. The British could celebrate the victory, although the value of this boat for modern warfare was more than doubtful: “U-15”, most likely, there were some technical problems, and applied “Birmingham” reception came more ships, at least the last century. This first dozen not returned, and “U-13”, the fate of which remains unknown. (Most likely she died on the mines.)
It is clear that such “progress” could only confuse the German command. Even the Admiral Tirpitz suggested that the attacks of enemy ships in the open sea just technically impossible. Remained to guard the British in some key points, e.g. in the vicinity of their locations. This decision quite unexpectedly brought success. A couple of submarines went to the entrance of the Bay in the Firth of Fort, one of the British bases. It was there on 5 September “U-21” came across a flotilla of British destroyers at the head of a small cruiser “Pathfinder”. They were more like hunters than prey, and the excitement was quite strong and considerably rocked the boat. But all this did not prevent the submarine commander Otto Hersing accurately aim and hit a single to send the cruiser to the bottom with 259 crew members.
And this was only a prelude to the soon afterwards a disaster for Britain. The disaster, which can tell, and organized-something the British themselves. The leadership of the Admiralty allocated to patrol the area between the coasts of southern England and Belgium and Holland, which bore even a special name “Broad fourteenth” (to the depth of water, equal to about 14 nautical fathoms), the whole squadron of large cruisers and two fleet destroyers and a flotilla of submarines. Solely on the grounds that “Britain in all wars kept a squadron there”; in reality, slow-moving armored “cressey” could be is that the only easy prey for the German battle cruisers.
Submarine “UB-1” (Type UB I), Germany, in 1907
It was built by firm “Germaniawerft” in Kiel. Type of construction – single -. Displacement underwater/surface – 127/166 T. Dimensions: length 28,10 m, diameter 3.15 m, draught 3.03 m hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 50 m Engine: 1 diesel engine capacity of 60 HP and 1 electric motor with 120 HP Speed surface/underwater -6,5/5,5 uz. Armament: two 450mm torpedo tubes in the nose (2 torpedoes), one 8 mm machine gun. The crew – 14 people. In 1914 and 1915 built 17 units in two subseries. Used mainly as a training. In 1919, bred from the Navy, bought the firm “Germaniawerft” and transferred to the German Museum in Munich
Submarine “UB-18” (a Type UB II), Germany, 1915
It was built by the firm “Blom und Voss” in Hamburg. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 127/166 T. Dimensions: length of 36.10 m, case diameter of 4.41 m, draft 3,7 m Material of hull steel. Immersion depth up to 50 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 280 HP and 2 electric motors with a capacity of 280 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 9/5,75 uz. Armament: two 500-mm torpedo tubes in the nose (4 torpedoes), one 50-mm gun. The crew – 22 men In 1915 — 1917 constructed 30 units in two subseries. 18 of them were killed in the fighting, and the rest divided between the allies and went for scrap after the war
However, the executioner unexpectedly appeared the German submarine. And one of the first. “U-9” under the command of captain-Lieutenant Otto Weddigen came from Kiel, 20 September, with orders to attack the transports off the coast of Flanders. However, the “old lady” was unable to cope with strong wave that drove her to the coast of Holland. Within two days, the boat rested on the surface, fighting the waves, which carried it straight into the unexpected and coveted goal. On the morning of 22 September Weddingen noticed appropriate from the South, British armored cruisers. It was patrolling the “Aboukir”, “Hogue” and “cressey”, marching in slow speed. Two more ships of the 7th squadron, including the Admiral’s, for various reasons, went to the base-probably to their happiness. Destroyers were absent: they interfered with the same excitement.
“U-9” managed to take unnoticed (remember not heroic in this respect, the characteristics of the first German boat) and get off at the ideal position, 500 m from sedentary target – the head of the cruiser. The only released the torpedo hit almost in the middle of the “Aboukir”. The cruiser lurched heavily, and his commander, replaces part of the missing squadron commander, made a fatal mistake. It is not given the possibility of a torpedo attack, he decided that the ship struck a mine and ordered “hogu” and “cressey” approach to remove the command. First ripe “Hogue”, of the stalled cars and started to lower the boats. All this in 300 meters from the boat Weddingen! Tom just remained nothing how to release two more torpedoes. Both hit, and “lifeguard” followed save very quickly, disappearing under the water in ten minutes.
Meanwhile, the miracles continued. Through the periscope Weddingen with increasing astonishment saw that the third cruiser stand still! And this for more than 20 minutes. The German commander got the taste and decided to attack, despite the fact that the batteries are slender boat was almost fully discharged. But the boat had to be deployed to enter into business aft torpedo tubes. No matter: the British, too, not in a hurry. The periscope they are, after all, noticed but it was too late. Two torpedoes, one hit the target in the middle. “Kressi” banked and could not provide any resistance. “And-9” was the only torpedo. She reloaded the bow apparatus and released into the helpless cruiser. He turned over, and 15 minutes later on the surface there is nothing left except a few boats and hundreds fighting for their lives in the waves of British sailors. And “U-9” surfaced quietly and went home, her battery is really fully discharged.
Losses from a rather primitive and outdated submarine was monstrous. Killed nearly fifteen thousand people, not to mention themselves cruisers with a total displacement of more than 35 thousand tons. Weddigen well as his team, waiting for the highest rewards. The commander received the Iron Cross first and second class once, and the whole crew the Iron Cross second class. Although the enemy rewards could well be to give British admirals of the Admiralty, who sent their ships to slaughter. As commanders of the cruisers themselves, of wine which, however, partly kompensiruet complete ignorance of the capabilities and qualities of new types of combat forces at sea – submarines.
Of course, the British drew the necessary conclusions. Threat in terms of possible submarine attacks, the waters of the big ships were instructed to only move in a zigzag pattern and at a high enough speed. And in any case not to stop to rescue the crew, even when one of them became a victim of underwater blast! For this purpose, you could only “expendable” – small escort ships.
But what could I do in those cases when such rescue was not at hand? The harsh response to the question gave the same Weddingen, as before, with the participation of the British Admiralty, continuing the vicious practice of obsolete cruisers patrol those waters, where they could do that to play the role of targets for the enemy. This time it was about the 10th squadron, which consisted of large armored cruisers of the “Edgar”, who was 15 in the line of patrols in the same North sea. Once again, the Admiral was absent on the spot: his ship went to take the coal. The rest of the cruisers stretched out in a line at a distance of 10 miles from each other. About one o’clock on the flagship “the Edgar” received a radiogram from another cruiser, “Theseus”, stating that he was attacked by a submarine, but evaded the torpedoes. The detachment was ordered to immediately leave the patrol area, but one of the ships, “hawk”, is not answered. The orders came to him too late: “hawk” by that time it was at the bottom. In 9:30 he stalled the car to pull the boat for the reception of the mail, which is delivered “colleague”, “Endymion”. “Hawk” had to move, but by the time the fixed target have tracked Weddingen, had time to occupy a favorable position. And at 10:30 followed by a hit, as usual, knight Iron cross sent almost in the middle of the body. From the cruiser managed to pull only two boats; they were only 68 sailors and escaped. The remaining five hundred were killed – and this despite the fact that the rest of the cruisers would have to be within line of sight! Again the failure to observe the simplest of safety precautions was the cause of death of people who didn’t even see your enemy. Four days before in the Baltic sea a similar fate in approximately the same circumstances – patrol cruisers low speed and straight course, had met a Russian cruiser “Pallada”. A torpedo from “U-26”, attacked despite the presence of “on stage” destroyer “Novik”, entered the cellar of ammunition, and the subsequent explosion literally tore the ship and his entire team to shreds.
Not surprisingly, the nervousness of the sailors in all ranks, not wishing to die from the “vile enemy”, has increased. Everything and everywhere was now seeing periscopes. This often led to very serious consequences. So, a few of the famous squadrons of the Grand fleet on 1 September 1914, urgently out to sea from its main base at Scapa Flow after duty sailors from the cruiser “Falmouth” notice “submarine”. Admiral Jellicoe kept the entire fleet at sea for 5 days, spending a lot of expensive and scarce fuel and thoroughly “loaded” people and mechanisms, and not finding the boat, most likely, a panic provoked not surfaced in time… seal. This episode even got inclined to the irony of the English title “the First battle of Scapa”. A month later hosted the “Second battle of Scapa”. Again was seen the any signs of the torpedoes, or the periscopes of several submarines. Ships also opened fire indiscriminately on the waves. Shells ricocheted from the water, and only by miracle nobody has suffered. As a result, the Admiral Jellicoe again took their battle fleet away from the German boat, now on the other side of the British Isles in the Loch, Scilly, on the North coast of Ireland. As a result, the Grand fleet was out of the game for more than three weeks, leaving the North sea in the hands of the Germans. (Fortunately for the British, the enemy about this and did not know). Only at the very end of 1914, have taken significant measures to protect the main base of the British fleet. In the Straits, leading to a huge RAID, set minefields, and on the banks offers a variety of batteries and spotlights, subsequently blocking part of the Straits fully booms and even sunken merchant ships. And no wonder: for all of these measures were already the real reason. In November, “U-18” tried to implement what seemed to the English sailors. Fox entered the RAID Scapa Flow through the Strait of hawks Sound, but, fortunately for the British, the hen house was empty – the ships of the Grand fleet at this time were in the sea. Frustrated, the commander had already gone back, but the periscope “U-18” was observed aboard a small trawler on duty, who bravely crushed the “eyes” of the enemy. The Germans tried to escape on a winding Strait, but stumbled on a rock and floated to the surface, where the brave trawler struck a second ramming punch. He was joined by the destroyers, opened fire, and the crew had to scuttle the boat and surrender.
It should be noted that losses in men, but still noticeable damage to the status of “mistress of the seas” became the most unpleasant effects of the combat fleet of the British Empire. Although the number sunk during the First world war, German submarines combat units is noticeable (and in addition to Weddingan there were many other commanders, including such masters as we have already mentioned, Otto Hersing, sink two British battleships and two cruisers, or Hugo von Heimburg sending to the bottom four submarines), from the financial point of view, these losses were not so important. Most of the sunk large ships, battleships and cruisers were old and not meant a lot in the overall balance of forces. Victims of German submarines during the war were only two modern ship that had real military value – light cruisers “Nottingham” and “Falmouth”, sunk in 1916.
However, many times stronger the threat of a German boat was not military ships, and peaceful “merchants”. Initially, the use of submarines for trade war in all countries was seen as a minor task. Indeed, the rules of war provided for a complicated procedure: inspection of the suspect vessel a prize party and, in the case of the existence of contraband, escorting it to the port where the validity of the detention was to be decided by the court, which could release “the suspect even” together with its cargo. It is clear that the submarines, with their low speed and weak armament is not always able to do all these necessary steps.
The violations were inevitable. And they followed quickly enough. 20 Oct 1914 “U-17” stopped by a small British steamer “Petra” coming from Norway. The load not pulling on a military smuggling: sewing machines and whiskey, even with a very big imagination difficult to attract such. However, the commander of the boat Lieutenant Feldkirchner ordered the British team to go to the boats, and then landed on the ship, the Germans opened the seacocks.
The commander of “U-17” was not happy with his “victory” over workers and heavy drinkers. He clearly has not fulfilled the requirements of the rules of war at sea and were very concerned that after returning to the port it will give a judgment. However, on the contrary, his actions caused complete approval. Moreover, they took a sample. Admiral-staff has asked the government and the Kaiser for permission to use much more brutal methods. The idea seemed simple: if you sink the merchant ships without any examination and prevention, together with the teams, the sea-trade, which is very much dependent on England, stop. No one wants to risk their goods, especially lives.
It was a start. The basic principles of unrestricted submarine warfare formulated. But the execution still remain in limbo: the German government was more hesitant. Until the end of 1914, German submarines sank only three merchant ship of the allies. But in February of the following year, a decisive step was taken. Any ship in British waters knowingly declared the purpose to be destroyed without notifying his team. The war started the German submarines against the rest of the world. However, it actually started before. In October 1914 “U-24” Lieutenant-commander Schneider, without warning, torpedoed in the English channel, the French steamer “Amiral Gant”, on Board of which there were about 2,000 Belgian refugees, including women and children. Then innocent people are lucky: the torpedo only damaged the ship and it was towed into port, although 40 people still died. However, this crime was only the first “flower” of the German submariners. Bloodshot “berries” were found.
Next month a number of sunken British ships abruptly increased to nearly three dozen. But the decisive was the April, when the submarine has reached the major in the war of “success”, dropping to the bottom of the liner “Lusitania” with a displacement of 44 tons. “Distinguished” Lieutenant commander Walter Swiger, the commander of “U-20”. He was ambushed by the transatlantic, on Board of which there were almost 2,000 people, and, without surfacing and without warning, hit him with a torpedo. The huge ship sank quickly, within 20 minutes, killing 1,200 passengers and crew members.
The ensuing international scandal involving the US led to the fact that the German government cancelled the order on the conduct of a total submarine war. But not immediately (it took almost four months) and not fully, but with numerous reservations. It was clear that such a beneficial way inflict great damage finally nestled in the minds of German Ministers and admirals. The renewal of the “extraordinary measures” it was only a matter of time.
And Germany decided not to waste our time. To total action truly effective, needed to have a lot of submarines, while the number of mid-1915 was still a minor. But the measures had already been taken and had to wait for the results.
As for the types of submarines, there was not a problem. Additional time to develop something radically new was required. Developed by the beginning of the war option, usually referred to as “type III” quite meet the German command. So literally in the first weeks followed by a mobilisation order for six units: “U-51” – “U-56”, almost no different from those prescribed before the war subtypes “U-31” and “U-43”. They were soon followed by the next six, “U-57” – “U-62”, as well inherited company “Weser”. The following three units, “U-63” – “U-65”, got “Germaniawerft”. On the stocks of the same company built five similar submarines for the allied Austro-Hungary, that has not prevented to seize them in its favor. They got number: “U-66” “U-71”.
Submarine “UB-48” (Type UB III), Germany, 1917
It was built by the firm “Blom und Voss” in Hamburg. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 516/651 T. Dimensions: length 55,30 m, width 5,8 m, draught 3,75 m hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 50 m. Engine: 2 diesel with a capacity of 1100 HP and 2 electric motors with a power of 790 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 13,5/7,5 bonds. Armament: five 500 mm torpedo tubes (4 in the nose, 1 aft), 10 torpedoes, one 88-mm gun (in 1918, replaced by 105-mm.) the Crew of 34 people. In 1917 – 1918 years ordered 200 units, but only completed the construction of 98
Submarine “U-51” (Type “U-19” – “military series”), Germany, 1915
It was built by firm “Germaniawerft” in Kiel. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 715/900 T. Dimensions: length 65,2 m, width 6.4 m, draft 3.6 m hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 50 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 2400 HP and 2 electric motor power 1200 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 17/9 bonds. Armament: four 500-mm torpedo tubes (2 in nose and 2 aft), 8 torpedoes, two 88-mm guns. The crew of 35 people. In 1915 — 1916 built, 6 units: “U-51” – “U-56”. “U-51” and “U-56” died in 1916, “U-55” after the war, transferred to Japan, scrapped in 1922, Others scrapped in the same year
Submarine “U-66″ (Type”UD”), Germany, 1916
Based on hovery in Danzig. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/ surface – 790/935 T. Dimensions: length of 69.5 m, width 6.3 m, draught of 3.8 m. hull Material -steel. Immersion depth up to 50 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 2300 HP and 2 electric motors with a capacity of 1260 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 16,75/10,25 bonds. Armament: five 500 mm torpedo tubes (4 in the nose and 1 in the stern), 12 torpedoes, one 88-mm gun. The crew – 36 people Ordered by Austria-Hungary seized with the outbreak of war, completed the changed project. In 1915 built 5 units, “U-66” “U-70”. All except “U-70”, was killed in 1916 – 1917, “U-70” scrapped after the war
Submarine “U-87” (“Military type”), Germany, 1916
Based on hovery in Danzig. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 755/998 T. Dimensions: length 65,8 m, beam 6.2 m, draught 3.9 m hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 50 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 2400 HP and 2 electric motor power 1200 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 16,75/9 uz. Armament: six 500 mm torpedo tubes (4 in nose and 2 aft, 12 torpedoes), one 105-mm gun. The crew – 36 people. In 1916 built, 6 units: “U-87” – “U-92”. All except “U-91”, was killed in 1916 – 1918, “U-91” scrapped in 1921
Submarine “U-166″ (the”Project 43”), Germany, 1917
It was built by the firm Vulkan in Bremen. Design type – double-hulled. The displacement of supply-ing/surface – 800/1000 tons Dimensions: length and 71.6 m, width 6.3 m, draft 3.9 m hull Material – steel. Immersion depth up to 50 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 2400 HP and 2 electric motor power 1200 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 16,75/8,5 ties. Armament: six 500 mm torpedo tubes (4 in nose and 2 aft, 12 torpedoes), one 105-mm gun. The crew -36 people In 1917-1918 built 8 units of “U-160” – “U-167”. The last boat in the series “U-168” was not completed as ordered 13 more units. 3 units of the same type were not included. All scrapped after the war
After the first successes of their submarines off the coast of Britain, the Germans realized that the most popular technical parameters of the boats at the moment, be the cruising range and speed of immersion. Therefore, the fuel supply was increased to 130 tons, and to escape from the surface of the water, the new “mobilization” of the submarine was able, in less than a minute, which served as a special tank, emergency dive. The range of the underwater stroke were very small, only 50 miles. But for the destruction of merchant ships and it was not required, in contrast to the “artillery”, which has already doubled in the project up to two 88-millimetrovogo. And in the course of the war some of the submarines instead of one of those guns appeared long-barreled 105-mm gun – very serious “argument” in the battle with armed trawlers and steamers.
Series slightly modified “threes” followed one after another. The most serious changes are the appearance of the nose of the second pair of torpedo tubes. For the first time, this reinforcement was made on the cancelled forfeited “austriackich”, spreading then to the domestic submarines. At the same time increased the supply of torpedoes -from 6 to 12 pieces (a pair on each machine). The rest of the development of submarines were all on the same starting line: a dozen or more tons of fuel for a few seconds more than a quick dip. At the latest in the war series submarines torpedoes the number again increased to 16 years. The reason lay in the changed circumstances of the attacks, which we still tell. And so, in fact, Germany had ended the war with the same basic boat with which it begins. Ordered the last “treshki”, “U-229” – “U-262”, although he had a displacement, which reached 900 tons, but almost all his growth went to increased fuel capacity (up to 160 tons – one and a half times more than the first “mobilization”).
Yes, the type of submarine fleet and its command quite satisfied, but not the speed of construction. In the fateful August of 1914, almost all assumed that the war wouldn’t last longer than a year, maximum a year and a half. The Germans were well aware that units of the type “U-51” will not ripen in this period.
So after three weeks after the start of hostilities Navy Department demanded to develop a project for such submarines, which can be put into operation not later than the autumn of 1915. It is clear that the product of such development will be small, and rather primitive. However, the solution of the problem could only be in the form of a return to small boats.
However, the return was realized at a new level, first of all, home. The Germans occupied a piece of coast, belonging to Belgium, thereby sliding the possible outlet points in a campaign much closer to the ports of the southern and Eastern shores of Britain. And, of course, the underwater case has stepped forward since U-1. However, the first option, “project 32”, look quite so modest. A displacement of only 80 tons, single engine, single torpedo tube… But the engineers have ensured that such ships can “rivet”.
Prudence customers (that is, admirals and specialists in underwater vessels) enough to agree to increase the size of the boat, even at the expense of a small increase the time of construction. It was chosen somewhat increased and more efficient 125-ton “project 34”, became the incarnation of a type of “UB-1”. And all the same design internally monohull, remained very primitive. Room enough only for a very small 60-horsepower diesel, the main advantage of which was that he had to develop. He is also the only motor for twice the power worked on one shaft. Himself a robust housing was a cylinder, to which both sides have pricipales truncated cones, in turn ending a little more rounded light designs. On top of the hull superstructure was located with a small cockpit in the middle. Interestingly, when the shared project of the company-the builders had considerable freedom in his incarnation, so that the unit built at different shipyards had many minor differences, from the shape of the hull and superstructure to the number and size of scuppers. It is also worth noting that, as in the case of large boats, the Germans paid particular attention to the weapons and only a minimum of habitability. The main weapon was the two 450-mm torpedo tubes in the bow. There was a kind of “artillery”, a role which he played an 8 mm machine gun on the tripod, mounted the wheelhouse or on the deck. In General, indeed, the reincarnation of the first submarines of the XX century on a new technological level. This is not just a manner of speech: term immersion in small boats managed to cut nearly a third of the minutes. Yes, and under water without up-charging batteries, they could pass almost as much as their older “sisters” – about 40 miles. Impressive and immersion depth, which in a working embodiment, was 50 m. the testing head “UB-1” stayed there for two hours without any leaks.
As regards the conditions of life and work, the crew of 14 people had very hard times. Originally, this was justified, at least what the boat was designed for trips lasting no more than three days; they had neither a full galley, no bunks for the whole team. At the same time rest could only a third of the crew. In fact, the range of the surface progress of the baby was about 1600 miles, so she could stay at sea for more than 10 days. However, after a week of campaign forces people are almost exhausted, so a longer “cruises” have been extremely rare. Even the attack proved to be very difficult. After the release of the torpedo the bow of the boat immediately went up, and the team had to rush headlong into the torpedo Bay to balance their little craft, which, otherwise, immediately found his presence.
But engineering decisions look brilliant. One of UB “Germaniawerft” managed to deliver over a period of a little more than three months, the result is simply phenomenal. And commissioning looked very high-tech. Most boats were delivered to the place of service in a disassembled form. The submarine pre-test, it was disassembled, loaded on railway platforms and sent to the scene of action, sometimes for hundreds and even thousands of kilometers. Build bases or ports with decent equipment took no more than two weeks. After leaving the boat was tested on water resistance; after that they were fully prepared to “work”. Most of them passed all of these procedures in the former Belgian Antwerp, where they were floated on pontoons on the river Scheldt and canals to home in Bruges, which took less than a week. Some UB had a much more distant way in the Austrian base in the Field. After joining the Ottoman Empire in the war even discussed the possibility of transporting and assembling in Constantinople, but at that time Germany had no land connection with Turkey, and from this idea was abandoned.
“Project 34” built the first 17 units of UB, and then entered into the taste, the Germans decided to reinforce their coastal submarines. And quite significantly. Displacement type UB II exceeded itself from predecessors by more than half. The increase went to the transition to a two-shaft power plant, which significantly increased operational capabilities. Because in any accident the only diesel on the first boats of the type UB transformed them from feared pirates in a helpless immobile victim. In addition, the little ones appeared guns, albeit a small 50-mm, but it is not the guns. And torpedo is a “low power” 450 mm steel standard 500-mm. Appeared, and spare torpedoes (the original version was limited to only two devices), first two, then four. In the end, the combat capabilities of “babies” has increased significantly.
New project of UB II was built three dozen submarines: “UB-18” to “UB-47”. The boat is still under construction, when divers demanded of the next enhancement. In the end, was born the third option is UB, which had with its predecessors has almost nothing in common. Without further ADO, the designers took as a prototype the same primary, and, as it turned out in the end, the most successful “three” in its “mobilization” version, removing all that was possible. Thus was born an intermediate option: formally, coastal submarine, but in a universal guise. With a displacement of 500 tons with a small boat again had a double casing, durable plus lightweight, five torpedo tubes and a dozen torpedoes (including the spare). He returned to his seat on the deck and formidable 88-graph paper. In General, it’s armed to the teeth with a small shark. Yes language does not turn to call it small or “coastal” range UB III reached 8500 – 9000 miles, depending on the company. Again, as in the case of UB I, the builders received a significant degree of freedom in making particular design decisions, so that type crashed into many subtypes, differing mechanisms, places of their location and even size.
However, deciding to build boats in large numbers, the Germans approached the matter with their characteristic thoroughness. Once a draft of the next series to speed the development of drawings transferred to large pieces of drawing paper at a scale of 1 to 10. This allows you to thoroughly customize part of the “paper case” no extra costs for the calculations and redrawing. Then the metal produced separate compartments twice larger (1:5) and tested them under pressure in special tanks for durability. Such “executions” were subjected to a model or full-scale details, calculate which for the then “computer engineering”, presented, for the most part, an adding machine, it would be too difficult or long. In the end, the saved and the time and the means to achieve the result.
As carefully and reasonably developed and the process of construction. Contractors received orders for machinery and equipment simultaneously with the launch of the new series. The installation of diesel engines and electric motors was carried out in the already launched boat. This allowed us to carefully calibrate the line of the shafts, thus reducing friction and noise of the “mechanics”. Completed the process of building extensive acceptance tests, which included not only immersion and emersion, but maneuvering in a variety of conditions. Then there was target practice with artillery and torpedoes. It should be noted that the test program was maintained even under the severe war conditions of 1917 and 1918 in full. Another “U-boot” could be deemed to be accepted in the fleet only if the deed was signed by all members of the Commission: the presence of “private opinions” meant that the ship was not good enough for fighting.
All this allowed to deploy a truly massive construction of boats in terms by no means favourable. Retaliatory trade blockade of Germany, introduced to Britain from the beginning of the war, an increasingly noticeable effect on the economy, including the military. For the same boats often lacked scarce materials, had to be tricky and to look for substitutes. “Ersatz” occupied the main place in the menu, and sailors, and workers who built the submarine, especially, members of their families who by the end of the war has openly been starving. However, extremely successful choice of the main submarine before the outbreak of hostilities, plus the discipline and ingenuity helped to create a very formidable weapon, in the end, nearly brought to its knees the main enemy – Britain.
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