So sorry to report that I haven't the foggiest as to what purpose the humped frames might serve.
However, I can say on further inspection, the U-DEUTSCHLAND also has cut out hand holds up the side of the hull forward of the turret at least on the port side, at least during her original configuration and on the starboard side in the same location as seen in post-war images of her in England.
Those humps, however, seem to have become undeniably significant tell tails.
I retract my earlier statement about extra life rafts. After blowing up the one picture and getting a better look I have few new ideas. I work in heavy industry with massive equipment. We have riggers in all the time erecting equipment, moving it, or tearing it down. Those items on the deck look like temporary jigs used to attach several ropes or cables.
1. I think it may have been a safety item installed for sea trials to lift the U-boat off the ocean floor if something went wrong.
2. It could have been an extra set of hard points to connect mooring ropes that were later removed.
3. It was not used for towing. They are in the wrong position.
STB, I saw the photo of the Deutschland in London with the foot holds, but they were of a different configuration and much bigger. I think they may have been put in after U-Deutschland became U-155. I have looked through all the pictures I could find of the U-Deutschland in 1916 and cannot find foot holds. If I am missing something please show me. Otherwise I will stand my ground and state in 1916, U-Bremen had foot holds in its side and the U-Deutschland did not.
As to the post war evidence of the hand/footholds forward of the turret, starboard side, I'm not claiming they were installed originally. On the other hand, as will become perfectly evident when you review the footage in entry 160, we ought not rule out handholds being on both sides of both boats.
Hope this helps.
Steve: Your description of the "things" is accurate, but they aren't lifting points. They appear to be attached to the casing deck, which was far too weak to host lifting points. On the first heave the deck would have separated from the pressure hull, all or in part. The arch shape and the holes are vaguely familiar, but I can't place where I saw something similar. My guess is that they are some sort of attachment point. Actually, being that it is a two-dimensional photo, I wonder if they are actually welded to the starboard side tank deck and are part of the raising system for the tall radio masts? If that's the case, we might be seeing only their tops. One thing's for sure, only the Bremen had them. Dwight
Thanks for the reply. I am going to bed. I will check out the video tomorrow. You have the watch.
I am sorry, I just assumed outright that if they were lifting points they went right through the top deck and attached to the pressure hull. I should have stated my assumption earlier. Your hypothesis about having something to do with the radio masts is a very good possibility. I need to sleep on it.
Good night all.
Both the masts are beside the casing. I would assume if the "things" had to do with masts they should be placed on a line between the masts.
It look like the things are placed more to the center line of the boat. Their position is very close to the lifting points, but as Dwight mentioned they don't look like having the strength. I was thinking of some kind of hatches down to the lifting points, but at pics of deck from above and drawings the hatches should be square-formed.
Wow! The cut-in hand/foot hold ladder is very visible on the starboard side forward of the turret in this November 1916 image of the U-DEUTSCHLAND (i,e, a page out of Dwight's great book) at low tide in New London, Conn. USA.
This goes to show that with different lighting and shadow conditions any of us are liable to either catch some particular items in some photographic images that we would have absolutely missed in others. The more searching eyes, the more we can collectively discover.
Fantastic catch with the video clips in post #160! I am impressed! I also have a theory. The footholds only show up in the two short clips and still pictures from new London, CT. (This is clearly not some kind of ladder, but actual holes cut into the side of the boat.) This is the second trip to the U.S.A. All the other clips from this video, and pictures I have seen, clearly do not have them. (Except for U-155 naturally). I do not believe it is a trick of the light. Many of the other still pictures are great close ups and they just are not there.
I believe these holes were cut into the boat just prior to its second trip to the United States. Most of the pictures and post cards were made before, during, and just after U-Deutschland’s first trip. Clearly the holes are there on U-Deutschland, but they are of a different size and configuration than those shown on the U-Bremen.
I am still working on the mystery structures on the U-Bremen’s deck. You will notice that they are not in all the pictures. So either they were removed, or could be installed and uninstalled as needed.
I have spent some time looking over the humped frames in the photos of the U-Bremen, and discussing them with friends at the local pub. We still could not come up with a good idea. The one thing that we are pretty sure about is that they most likely do not have anything to do with hoisting up the radio masts. The forward most “bump” is still to far back to be of any use as an anchor point for a block and tackle system. If we had some better pictures we could possibly come up with a better answer.
Is there a snowballs chance in hell that the original blue prints might still be around somewhere?