Military Wiki
SM U-19 (Germany)
U-Boote Kiel 1914.jpg
SM U-19 (first row, second from the right)
Career (German Empire)
Name: U-19
Ordered: 25 November 1910
Builder: Kaiserliche Werft Danzig
Cost: 2,450,000 Goldmark
Yard number: 13
Laid down: 20 October 1911
Launched: 10 October 1912
Commissioned: 6 July 1913
Fate: Surrendered 24 November 1918.
General characteristics
Class & type: German Type U 19 submarine
Displacement: 650 t (720 short tons) ↑
837 t (923 short tons) ↓
Length: 64.15 m (210 ft 6 in)
Beam: 6.1 m (20 ft 0 in)
Height: 7.30 m (23 ft 11 in)
Draught: 3.58 m (11 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: 2 shafts
2 × MAN 8-cylinder two stroke diesel motors with 1,700 PS (1,700 hp)
2 × AEG double modyn with 1,200 PS (1,200 hp)
320 rpm ↓
Speed: 15.4 knots (28.5 km/h) ↑
9.5 knots (17.6 km/h) ↓
Range: 9,700 nautical miles (11,200 mi; 18,000 km) @ 8 kn ↑
80 nautical miles (92 mi; 150 km) @ 5 kn ↓
Test depth: 50 m (164 ft 1 in)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
1 dingi
Complement: 4 officers, 31 men
Armament: 4 x 50 cm (19.7 in) torpedo tubes (2 each bow and stern) with 6 torpedoes
1 × 8.8 cm (3.5 in) SK L/30 gun (from 1916 2 ×)
1 × 10.5 cm (4.1 in) SK L/45 gun (from 1917)
1 x 3.7 cm (1.5 in) Hotchkiss gun
Service record
Part of: Imperial German Navy III Flottille
Commanders: Constantin Kolbe
Raimund Weisbach
Johannes Spiess
Heinrich Koch
Hans Albrecht Liebeskind
Operations: 12 patrols
Victories: 46 ships sunk for a total of 64.816 tons

SM U-19 was a German Type U 19 U-boat built for the Imperial German Navy. Her construction was ordered on 25 November 1910, and her keel was laid down on 20 October 1911, at the Kaiserliche Werft Danzig. She was launched on 10 October 1912, and commissioned into the Imperial German Navy on 6 July 1913.


From 1 August 1914, to 15 March 1916, U-19 was commanded by Constantin Kolbe. During this period she had the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first U-boat casualty of World War I when she was rammed by HMS Badger on 29 October 1914.[1] Her hull was badly damaged, but she survived and was repaired. Kolbe was relieved by Raimund Weisbach, who had previously served as torpedo officer on U-20 and had (on Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger's orders) launched the torpedo that sank RMS Lusitania. During his brief command, Weisbach carried out an unusual mission: he delivered the revolutionary Roger Casement and two other agents to Banna Strand in Ireland in hopes that they would foment an uprising that would distract the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from World War I.

Weisbach was relieved on 11 August 1916, by Johannes Spiess, who was relieved in turn on 1 June 1917, by Heinrich Koch. Koch turned the boat over on 25 October 1917, to Hans Albrecht Liebeskind, who commanded for less than a month before being relieved on 17 November 1917, by Johannes Spiess again. On 1 June 1918, Hans Albrecht Liebeskind took over again and commanded U-19 until the end of the war.

U-19 conducted 12 patrols, sinking 46 ships totalling 64,816 tons, including Santa Maria (5,383 tons) off Lough Swilly on 25 February 1918, Tiberia (4,880 tons) off Black Head near Larne on 26 February 1918, and HMS Calgarian (17,500 tons) off Rathlin Island on 1 March 1918.


U-19's gun today

On 11 November 1918, U-19 was surrendered to the British, and was broken up at Blyth sometime in 1919 or 1920.

The main gun of U19 was donated to the people of Bangor, Co. Down and today sits near the War Memorial in the town's Ward Park. It was donated by the Admiralty in recognition of the valorious conduct of Commander The Hon. Edward Bingham whilst on board HMS Nestor while fighting in the Battle of Jutland in July 1916 for which he received the Victoria Cross.

Original documents from Room 40

The following is a verbatim transcription of the recorded activities of SM U-19 known to British Naval Intelligence (better known as Room 40) during 1914-1918:[2]

SM U-19

Note: S.S. = Steam Ship; S.V. = Sailing Vessel; northabout, Muckle Flugga, Fair I. = around Scotland; Sound, Belts, Kattegat = via North of Denmark to/from German Baltic ports; Bight = to/from German North Sea ports; success = sinking of ships

See also


  1. Destroyers, Antony Preston, ISBN 0-600-32955-0, p29
  2. National Archives, Kew: HW 7/3, Room 40, History of German Naval Warfare 1914-1918 (Published below - Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918)


  • Spindler, Arno (1932,1933,1934,1941/1964,1966). Der Handelskrieg mit U-Booten. 5 Vols. Berlin: Mittler & Sohn. Vols. 4+5, dealing with 1917+18, are very hard to find: Guildhall Library, London, has them all, also Vol. 1-3 in an English translation: The submarine war against commerce. 
  • Beesly, Patrick (1982). Room 40: British Naval Intelligence 1914-1918. London: H Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-10864-2. 
  • Halpern, Paul G. (1919). A Naval History of World War I. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-85728-498-0. 
  • Roessler, Eberhard (1997). Die Unterseeboote der Kaiserlichen Marine. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3-7637-5963-7. 
  • Schroeder, Joachim (2002). Die U-Boote des Kaisers. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3-7637-6235-4. 
  • Koerver, Hans Joachim (2008). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918. Vol I., The Fleet in Action. Steinbach: LIS Reinisch. ISBN 978-3-902433-76-3. 
  • Koerver, Hans Joachim (2009). Room 40: German Naval Warfare 1914-1918. Vol II., The Fleet in Being. Steinbach: LIS Reinisch. ISBN 978-3-902433-77-0. 

External links

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