Military Wiki
SM U-9
U-9 ready for patrol.
Career (German Empire)
Name: U-9
Ordered: 15 July 1908
Builder: Kaiserliche Werft, Danzig
Cost: 2,140,000 Goldmark
Launched: 22 February 1910
Commissioned: 18 April 1910
Fate: Surrendered 26 November 1918. Broken up at Morecambe in 1919.
General characteristics
Class & type: German Type U 9 submarine
Displacement: 493 metric tons (543 short tons) ↑
611 metric tons (674 short tons) ↓
Length: 57.3 m (188.0 ft) (OA)
Beam: 6 m (19.7 ft)[1]
Draught: 3.55 m (11.6 ft)[2]
Propulsion: 2 shafts
2 × Körting 6-cylinder and 2 × Körting 8-cylinder two stroke paraffin motors with 900 PS (890 hp)
2 × SSW electric motors with 1,040 PS (1,030 hp)
550 rpm ↑
600 rpm ↓
Speed: 14.2 kn (26.3 km/h) ↑
8.1 kn (15.0 km/h) ↓
Range: 6,216 km (3,356 nmi) @ 14 kn (26 km/h; 16 mph)[3]
Boats & landing
craft carried:
1 dingi
Complement: 4 officers, 25 men
Armament: 4 x 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes (2 each bow and stern) with 6 torpedoes
1x 5 cm (2.0 in) SK L/40 gun
1 x 3.7 cm (1.5 in) Hotchkiss gun
12 P-Mines
Service record
Part of: Imperial German Navy:
I Flottille
Commanders: Otto Weddigen
Johannes Spieß
Operations: 7
Victories: 13 ships sunk for a total of 8,636 GRT
5 warships sunk for a total of 44173 tons

SM U-9 was a German Type U 9 U-boat. She was one of 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy, and engaged in the commerce war (Handelskrieg) during World War I. Her construction was ordered on 15 July 1908 and her keel was laid down by Kaiserliche Werft in Danzig. She was launched on 22 February 1910 and commissioned on 18 April 1910.


On 16 July 1914 the crew of U-9 reloaded her torpedo tubes while submerged, the first time any submarine had succeeded in doing so. On 1 August 1914, Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen took command. On 22 September, while patrolling the Broad Fourteens, a region of the southern North Sea, U-9 found a squadron of three obsolescent British Cressy-class armoured cruisers (HMS Aboukir, HMS Hogue, and HMS Cressy), (sardonically nicknamed the "Live Bait Squadron") which had been assigned to prevent German surface vessels from entering the eastern end of the English Channel. She fired all six of her torpedoes, reloading while submerged, and sank all three in less than an hour. 1,459 British sailors died.[4] It was one of the most notable submarine actions of all time. Members of the Admiralty who had considered submarines mere toys no longer expressed that opinion after this event.[citation needed]

On 15 October, U-9 sank the protected cruiser HMS Hawke. On 12 January 1915, Johannes Spieß relieved Weddigen, and commanded U-9 until 19 April 1916. During this period, she sank 13 ships totalling 8,635 GRT: 10 small fishing vessels and three British steamers (Don, Queen Wilhelmina and Serbino).

After April 1916, she was withdrawn from front-line duties to be used for training.

U-9 and the raider SMS Emden were the only ships which Kaiser Wilhelm II awarded an Iron Cross.

File:SM U-9 - Archive photo of crew and officers.jpg

The men of U-9.

Propaganda postcard depicting victories of U-9.


  1. Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  2. Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  3. Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  4. "Sinking of HMS Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue by U-9". World War 1 Naval Combat. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 


  • 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. 
  • Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare, "U-Boats (1905–18), Volume 23, p. 2534. London: Phoebus Publishing, 1978.
  • Halpern, Paul G. (1995). 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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