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German Submarine Development during World War I and the story of Kapitänleutant Otto Weddigen and U-9

Article about: In the first part of this thread, some history of the German and British navies in World War I will be discussed with particular emphasis on the development and deployment of the German subm

  1. #61


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    Sailor. "Everyone is good with the sea for his Fatherland. Near to death near to death, fearless and courageous everyone stands there loudly, the bell is now calling over the deck, nothing helped fighting, the ship is sinking."
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    The crew of a German submarine fends off an English air raid.
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    Because we fight against England.

  2. #62


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    “God Protects You while your dutiful wife or girlfriend waits at home.”

  3. #63


    Patriotic Postcard
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    Song of the English Captain overpowered by a U boat.
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    “Give for the submarine donation”
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  4. #64


    Sinking of the HMHS Liandovery Castle by U-86. Patriotic postcard
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    Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Howard MacDonald of Nova Scotia, HMHS Llandovery Castle was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-86 on 27 June 1918. Firing at a hospital ship was against international law and standing orders of the Imperial German Navy. The captain of U-86, Helmut Brümmer-Patzig, sought to destroy the evidence of torpedoing the ship. When the crew, including nurses, took to the lifeboats, U-86 surfaced, ran down all but one of the lifeboats and machine-gunned many of the survivors.
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    This concludes postings to this thread concerning German Submarine Development during World War I and the story of Kapitänleutant Otto Weddigen and U-9. Additional material will be added in the future.

  5. #65


    I am enclosing some corrections to the posting numbers 9-12, and 18. Dwight Messimer kindly reviewed the materials which I included in my thread concerning German Submarine Development during World War I and the story of Kapitänleutant Otto Weddigen and U-9. I greatly appreciate his criticisms and I fully accept any errors in my original postings having relied upon the reference materials that I used and considered accurate.
    1. U-29 and the encounter with the Royal Navy on March 18, 1915.
    When Otto Weddigen was in command of U-29 and returning from deployment on March 18, 1915 he surfaced to periscope depth in the presence of units of the British Fleet which included HMS Marlborough, Neptune and Dreadnought. These ships were zig-zagging. Dwight Messimer provided me with the verbatim account in the Royal Navy after action report which reads:
    “At 1315, HMS Marlborough, leading the port-wing column, sighted a periscope and almost immediately saw a torpedo pass astern of HMS Neptune, the last ship in the column.
    At 1320 HMS Marlborough signaled HMS Dreadnought, ‘U-boat dead ahead of you.’ At 1328, Dreadnought, the port wing vessel, sighted the periscope 1,200 yards to port and hoisted the red flag for ‘U-boat in sight.’ The Dreadnought increased to full speed and turned toward the periscope. The submarine’s periscope remained extended as the boat made frequent course changes, but maintained a southward base course. At 1335, HMS Dreadnought rammed the submarine, but did not see the conning tower. The boat’s bow rose up exposing thirty feet of the boat’s forward section. The number U29 was clearly seen painted on the pow.’”
    2. Functions of the Kingston Valve.
    I want to correct the explanation on the function and mechanism involving the Kingston valves as pointed out by Dwight Messimer. Air is not pumped out of ballast tanks. The Kingston valves are on the bottom of the ballast tanks and the vents are on top. Both valves open simultaneously so that the water enters from the bottom of the tanks and expels the air through the top. The only thing that is pumped is water, which is pumped to and from the trim and compensation tanks, out of the heads, and out of the bilges.
    3. Submarine torpedo firing.
    With regards to torpedo firing Dwight Messimer provided me with some additional information which goes as follows. “Torpedoes can be fired while the boat is on the surface or submerged. A submerged torpedo attack is always done at periscope depth, which on the U-9 was about thirty-one feet, measured at the keel, and on U-29 about the same. That made the upper rim of her conning tower about ten feet below the surface. The maximum rated depth for all WWI U-boats was 30 meters, which is 98.4252 feet, usually expressed as 100 feet. During a submerged torpedo attack, the captain and the navigator are in the conning tower. The captain sets up his target problem by looking through his periscope and his navigator writes down the figures and other information that the captain tells him. Once the captain has collected all the data needed to work the problem, he passes it to the torpedo officer who is in the central control room, immediately beneath the conning tower. The torpedo officer sets the torpedo for depth of run, determines the run-time to target and watches his stop-watch from the moment the torpedo is fired until it is heard to explode. The captain observes the torpedo’s track through the periscope.”
    4. U-29 and the ramming by HMS Dreadnought.
    Dwight Messimer pointed out to me as a matter of interest, that Weddigen made a cardinal error by keeping his periscope up for extended periods and this is what got him rammed. “When he fired that lone torpedo at HMS Neptune, the torpedo left a bright, white wake that pointed directly back to the U-29. Undoubtedly, the wake was spotted and all eyes focused on the spot where it started. They saw a periscope. The periscope was still up when HMS Dreadnought turned to ram, and all the battleship had to do was head directly at the periscope. Weddigen was still looking through his eye-piece when the battleship slammed into him, and the U-29 went down like a rock. You can visualize the set-up; U-29’s keel was about thirty-one feet below the surface, and HMS Dreadnought drew thirty feet. She literally cut the boat in half.”
    5. Electric propulsion motors.
    I incorrectly referred to the electrical propulsion as an “engine” when it is actually a motor. Dwight Messimer explained this is more detail as follows. “Surface propulsion was provided by diesel engines and submerged propulsion was provided by electric motors. Some U-boats did not have reversible engines and could not go astern on their diesels while running on the surface What they did was to un-clutch the diesels from the shafts and clutch-in the motors, which was done in the engine room. At the command, “All astern” (Alles rückwärts!) someone in the engine room pulled two handles in sequence that disconnected the diesels from the shafts while at the same time connecting the motors to the shaft.”

    This concludes the corrections to the above thread.

  6. #66


    Interesting thread. Well presented.
    Thank you for posting it.
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

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

  7. #67


    Very interesting and explanatory. Thank you

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