:: TYPE UB III (1917-1918) ::

Type UB III attack submarines UB-59 and UB-86 (1917) High resolution picture

The Type UB III represents the pinnacle in the design of German attack submarines during the First World War, and this project was undoubtedly one of the best in the world, and during many years. After the war, some of these vessels served until 1935 with the Allied navies. Thirty-seven units had been lost during the conflict and the rest had been surrendered to the Allies following the Armistice of November 1918. As we can see in the illustration, the numerous units in this class shared a common layout while having many differences in the details.

The Type UB III began to be deployed in the mid 1917, when United States declared war on Germany. When the Allied merchant fleet started to be organized in escorted convoys, it became more difficult to engage enemy shipping without being spotted by the escorting destroyers. Nevertheless, these submarines performed very well, sinking 507 merchant ships - for a total of 1,212,553 gross register tonnes - and twelve warships, including the pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Britannia in 1918.

After the war Germany had forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles to create a new submarine force. But German admirals had no intention of allowing their nation to forget the knowledge of building submarines, and Germany started to manufacture slightly modified versions of the Type UB III for exportation. Keeping the skills of German engineers polished by this means, eventually it was ordered the construction of a new coastal attack submarine based on the Type UB III, but including improvements such as an all-welded construction and a set of electronic and electromechanical devices. The result was the Type VII, the most common class of U-boat deployed by the Kriegsmarine during the Second World War.

Type UB III: 96 units (UB-48 to UB-133, UB-136, UB-142 to UB-145, UB-148 to UB-150, UB-154, UB-155)

Type: Attack submarine

Length: 55.3057.80 meters

Beam: 5.765.80 meters

Draught: 3.673.85 meters

Displacement (surfaced): 508555 tonnes

Displacement (submerged): 629684 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 2 x Diesel engine 550 horsepower, 2 x electric motor 390 horsepower

Speed (surfaced): 13.213.9 knots (24.4-25.7 kilometers/hour)

Speed (submerged): 7.4-8 knots (13.714.8 kilometers/hour)

Range (surfaced): 71209090 nautical miles (13186-16834 kilometers) at 6 knots

Range (submerged): 50-55 nautical miles (92.6-101.9 kilometers) at 4 knots

Fuel: 34 tonnes of petrol

Test depth: 50 meters

Complement: 34

Armament: 5 x 500-millimeter torpedo tube (4 at prow, 1 astern), 10 x torpedo, 1 x 88 or 105-millimeter deck cannon

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