Military Wiki
SM U-41 (Germany)
Career (German Empire)
Name: U-41
Ordered: 12 June 1912
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Laid down: 22 April 1913
Launched: 10 October 1914
Commissioned: 1 February 1915
Fate: 24 September 1915 - Sunk by gunfire from Q-Ship Baralong in Western Approaches 49.10N 07.23W.. 35 dead and 2 survivors.
General characteristics
Class & type: German Type U 31 submarine
Displacement: 685 tons (surfaced)
878 tons (submerged)
971 tons (total)
Length: 64.70 m (overall)
52.36 m (pressure hull)
Beam: 6.32 m (overall)
4.05 m (pressure hull)
Height: 7.68 m
Draught: 3.56 m
Propulsion: Diesel (2 x 950 PS)
Electric (2 x 600 PS)
1850 hp (surfaced)
1200 hp (submerged)
Speed: 16.4 knots (surfaced)
9.7 knots (submerged)
Range: 8790 miles @ 8 kn (surfaced) 80 miles @ 5 kn(submerged)[1]
Test depth: 50 m
Complement: 4 officers
31 crewmen

SM U-41' was one of the 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. U-41 engaged in naval warfare and took part in the First Battle of the Atlantic.

U-41 was sunk by British Q-ship on September 24, 1915 in the Second Baralong Incident. At this stage in the war, U-boat commanders were under orders to scrupulously observe the rules of war (the "cruiser rules"). After spotting merchant targets, submarines surfaced nearby, boarded the ships, and searched for contraband. This prevented the sinking of neutral vessels, but exposed the submarines to great risk.

Prior to being sunk, a boarding party from U-41 went aboard 6,651 gross register tons (GRT) merchantman SS Urbino. After finding war material on board, the merchant crew were evacuated to lifeboats. (This was a violation of the cruiser rules, since lifeboats were not "a place of safety".)[citation needed] U-41 was in the process of sinking Urbino with gunfire when HMS Wyandra (in the guise of the American-flagged merchantman Baralong) arrived on the scene, flying an American flag. When U-41 approached, Wyandra, fired on and sank the U-boat without striking the American flag. This was a violation of the rules of war; while the use of a False Flag was allowed, it was required that a belligerent identify themselves before initiating hostilities.

The event generated widespread outrage in Germany, especially among Kriegsmarine officers. The sinking was also commemorated in a propaganda medal designed by the German engraver Karl Goetz.


  1. type U31
  2. Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. "U-Boats (1905-18)", in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare, "(Phoebus Publishing, 1978), Volume 23, p.2534.
  3. Fitzsimons, p.2575; he mistakenly identifies it as 86mm p.2534.

External links

Coordinates: 49°10′N 7°20′W / 49.167°N 7.333°W / 49.167; -7.333

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