SM U-38 with crew
|Career (German Empire)|
|Ordered:||12 June 1912|
|Laid down:||25 February 1913|
|Launched:||9 September 1914|
|Commissioned:||15 December 1914|
|Fate:||Surrendered 23 February 1919.|
|Class & type:||German Type U 31 submarine|
685 tons (surfaced)|
878 tons (submerged)
971 tons (total)
64.70 m (overall)|
52.36 m (pressure hull)
6.32 m (overall)|
4.05 m (pressure hull)
Diesel (2 x 950 PS)|
Electric (2 x 600 PS)
1850 hp (surfaced)
1200 hp (submerged)
16.4 knots (surfaced)|
9.7 knots (submerged)
|Range:||8790 miles @ 8 kn (surfaced) 80 miles @ 5 kn(submerged)|
|Test depth:||50 m|
|Part of:||II Flottille, Imperial German Navy|
Hans Heinrich Wurmbach
138 ships sunk for a total of 292,848 tons.|
5 ships damaged for a total of 27,112 tons.
1 ship taken as prize for a total of 1,441 tons.
1 warship damaged for a total of 10,850 tons.
SM U-38 was a German Type U 31 U-boat which operated in the Mediterranean Sea during World War I. It ended up being the third most successful u-boat participating in the war sinking 138 ships sunk for a total of 299.985 tons.
Its longest serving captain was Max Valentiner, who was awarded the Pour le Mérite while in command of U-38. Valentiner was in command of U-38 in November and December 1915 when she sank the passenger liners SS Ancona and SS Persia; both were controversial since the ships were sunk by torpedoes without warning, in defiance of the then-current Prize rules, which stated that merchant vessels carrying passengers be given an opportunity to evacuate their passengers before being sunk.
After World War I ended, U-38 was surrendered to France and docked in Brest in 1919, and then broken up.
- type U31
- Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. "U-Boats (1905-18)", in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare, "(Phoebus Publishing, 1978), Volume 23, p.2534.
- Fitzsimons, p.2575; he mistakenly identifies it as 86mm p.2534.
- Eberhard Rössler: Geschichte des deutschen U-Bootbaus - Band 1. Bernhard & Graefe Verlag 1996, ISBN 3-86047-153-8
- Bodo Herzog: Deutsche U-Boote 1906-1966. Manfred Pawlak Verlags GmbH, Herrschingen 1990, ISBN 3-88199-687-7
- 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. (1938). 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.
- Homepage for Christian August Max Ahlmann Valentiner:
- Photos of cruises of German submarine U-54 in 1916-1918. Great photo quality, comments in German.
- A 44 min. film from 1917 about a cruise of the German submarine U-35. A German propaganda film without dead or wounded; many details about submarine warfare in World War I.
- Uboat.net: More detailed information about U-38.
- Room 40: original documents, photos and maps about World War I German submarine warfare and British Room 40 Intelligence from The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, UK.
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