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The First 18 German U-Boats,The Körting Engine Boats

Article about: The first 18 U-boats the Germans commissioned from 14 December 1906 to 17 November 1912 were powered by the Körting "parafin" engine. Parafin was the fuel the engine burned, which

  1. #1

    Default The First 18 German U-Boats,The Körting Engine Boats

    The first 18 U-boats the Germans commissioned from 14 December 1906 to 17 November 1912 were powered by the Körting "parafin" engine. Parafin was the fuel the engine burned, which to Americans is known as kerosene. The Germans chose the Körting because it was safer than gasoline engines and the MAN diesel had not yet reached the point of development that made it suitable for U-Boats. The MAN was too heavy and required too much engine room space.

    The Körting worked just like a diesel engine in that it had no electrical ignition system and no carburator. What the Americans call a "glow plug" was used to promote ignition as the piston compressed the fuel/air mixture. The resulting propulsion system was similar to the subsequent diesel-electric system, as is shown in the drawing below.
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    This is a cut away of the U-1 on display in the Deutsches Museum in Munich, showing the Körting engine and the electric motor propulsion system

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    This is the engine room of a Körting boat, probably one of the later series such as the U-5 or later.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The First 18 German U-Boats,The Körting Engine Boats

    Very interesting. To go to war under the sea in a machine such as the U-1 must have been a nerve wracking experience.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The First 18 German U-Boats,The Körting Engine Boats

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    U-1
    The Körting engine produced thick white smoke that was visible for miles at sea. And at night the stack emitted a continous shower of sparks that were equally visible. In addition, the engine produced a series of "pos and bang" that sound much like a gasoline engine back-firing, whci was audible for long distances. The U-1, shown here, was a one-of-a-kind boat. The subsequent designs were much larger.

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    U-3 & U-4
    The U-2 is not included in this thread because it was equipped with a Daimler engine. So, the next boats in the series were U-3 and U-4. These wre considered ocean-going submarines that could operate with the fleet. The problem was that the Körting engine's fuel consumption caused a drastic limitation to the boats' operational range. This colorized photo of the U-3 appears to have been altered because there should be a type II stack where the rectangular contraption is between the sailor near the stern and the group around the after mast.

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    U-5 to U-8
    The U-6 shown in this photo postcard is equipped with the type II stack, that was considerably taller than the rimp stack used on U-1, but still too short. Crews compained that with a following wind, smoke obscured the conning tower and made keeping watch difficult.

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    U-9 to U-12
    The U-9 series featured the type III tall stack that became standard for all the following boats. Even with improvements in the Körting engine and the practice of installin up to four engines in a boat, the operating range remained badly limited. From Helgoland, a Körting boat could reach the mid-east coast of Britain or the eastern area of the English Channel. In both cases the time on station was limited to five days.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The First 18 German U-Boats,The Körting Engine Boats

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    The most famous boat among all the Körting boats was the U-9 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen

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    On 22 September 1914, Weddigen sank HMS Aboukir, Cressy, and Hogue in less than an hour. In this postcard, only the Cressy's bow is visible on the right side.

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    U-12, shown here alongside the U-1 in Kiel, was the last in the U-9 series. The photo illustrates the difference in size between the costal U-1 and the ocean-going U-12. The difference is about fifty feet. The U-1 through U-8 were rated to 30 m (98 feet) and the U-9 and later boats were rated to 50 m (164 feet)
    Last edited by drmessimer; 03-14-2012 at 03:10 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The First 18 German U-Boats,The Körting Engine Boats

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    U-13 to U-15

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    U-16 was another one-of-a-kind boat

  6. #6

    Default Re: The First 18 German U-Boats,The Körting Engine Boats

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    U-17 & U-18

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    Back Row L-R: U-9, U-12, U-6, & ukn.
    Front Row L-R: U-13, U-5, U-11, U-3, U-16
    The stern torpedo tubes are clearly visible on U-13, U-11, and U-16. The tubes are barely visible on U-3. Also clearly visible in this photo is the stack on U-3 that was edited out of the earlier colorized photo. Of the identifiable boats in this photo only U-3 and U-16 survived the war. Of the 17 Körting boats discussed here, only three survived, U-9, U-16, and U-17. Dwight



  7. #7

    Default Re: The First 18 German U-Boats,The Körting Engine Boats

    Very interesting thread.
    I'm just a bit claustrophobic. I'd last maybe 3 days before I would start trying
    to claw my way through the hull.
    gregM
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

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