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SM U-29 in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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SM U-29



1st September 1914 British Battleships  

HMS Dreadnought

Name: HMS Dreadnought, Dreadnought Class Battleship.
Ordered: 1905, Builder: HM Dockyard, Portsmouth
Laid down:2 October 1905, Launched:10 February 1906.
Commissioned: 2 December 1906, Decommissioned: February 1919.
Fate: Scrapped, 1923.

Displacement: 18,120 long tons (18,410 t)
Length: 527 ft (160.6 m), Beam: 82 ft 1 in (25.0 m), Draught: 29 ft 7.5 in (9.0 m)
Installed power: 23,000 shp (17,000 kW), 18 Babcock & Wilcox water-tube boilers. Propulsion: 4 shafts, Parsons direct-drive steam turbines.
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Range: 6,620 nautical miles (12,260 km; 7,620 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)

Crew complement: 700810 officers and ratings.

Arament and Armour.

  • Armament:
  • 5 twin BL 12-inch Mark X guns
  • 27 single 12-pdr 18 cwt Mark I guns
  • 5 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes
  • Armour:
  • Belt: 411 in (102279 mm)
  • Deck: 0.753 in (1976 mm)
  • Barbettes: 411 in (102279 mm)
  • Turrets: 312 in (76305 mm)
  • Conning tower: 11 in (279 mm)
  • Bulkheads: 8 in (203 mm)

HMS Dreadnought was a battleship of the Royal Navy that revolutionised naval power. Her entry into service in 1906 represented such a marked advance in naval technology that her name came to be associated with an entire generation of battleships, the "dreadnoughts", as well as the class of ships named after her. The generation of ships she made obsolete became known as "pre-dreadnoughts". She was the sixth ship of that name in the Royal Navy.

Admiral Sir John "Jacky" Fisher, First Sea Lord of the Board of Admiralty, is credited as the father of the Dreadnought. Shortly after he assumed office he ordered design studies for a battleship armed solely with 12-inch (305 mm) guns and a speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph). He convened a "Committee on Designs" to evaluate the alternative designs and to assist in the detailed design work. One ancillary benefit of the Committee was that it would shield him and the Admiralty from political charges that they had not consulted leading experts before designing such a radically different battleship.

Dreadnought was the first battleship of her era to have a uniform main battery, rather than having a few large guns complemented by a heavy secondary battery of smaller guns. She was also the first capital ship to be powered by steam turbines, making her the fastest battleship in the world at the time of her completion. Her launch helped spark a naval arms race as navies around the world, particularly the German Imperial Navy rushed to match her in the build-up to World War I.

Dreadnought did not participate in any of World War I's naval battles as she was being refitted during the Battle of Jutland in 1916. This was the only time that British dreadnought battleships fired on their German counterparts during the war. She became the only battleship to sink a submarine when she rammed the SM U-29 when it unexpectedly broke the surface after firing a torpedo at another dreadnought in 1915. She was relegated to coastal defence duties in the English Channel after Jutland, only rejoining the Grand Fleet in 1918. She was reduced to reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap two years later.

Dreadnought became flagship of the 4th Battle Squadron in December 1912 after her transfer from the 1st Battle Squadron, as the 1st Division had been renamed earlier in the year. Between September and December 1913 she was training in the Mediterranean Sea. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, she was flagship of the 4th Battle Squadron in the North Sea, based at Scapa Flow. She was relieved as flagship on 10 December by HMS Benbow.

Ironically for a vessel designed to engage enemy battleships, her only significant action was the ramming and sinking of German submarine SM U-29, skippered by K/Lt Otto Weddigen (of SM U-9 fame), on 18 March 1915. U-29 had broken the surface immediately ahead of Dreadnought after firing a torpedo at HMS Neptune and Dreadnought cut the submarine in two after a short chase. She almost collided with HMS Temeraire who was also attempting to ram. Dreadnought thus became the only battleship ever to sink a submarine.

18th March 1915 U-Boat Index - WW1  SM U-29

Type U 27 Shipyard Kaiserliche Werft, Danzig (Werk 19) Ordered 19 Feb 1912 Launched 11 Oct 1913 Commissioned 1 Aug 1914.
Commanders.
1 Aug 1914 - 15 Feb 1915 Wilhelm Plange.
16 Feb 1915 - 18 Mar 1915 Otto Weddigen.

Career 1 patrols.
start date unknown - 18 Mar 1915 IV Flotilla

Successes 4 ships sunk with a total of 12,934 tons. 2 ships damaged with a total of 4,317 tons.

  • 11 Mar 1915 U 29 Otto Weddigen Adenwen (damaged) 3,798 br
  • 11 Mar 1915 U 29 Otto Weddigen Auguste Conseil 2,952 fr
  • 12 Mar 1915 U 29 Otto Weddigen Andalusian 2,349 br
  • 12 Mar 1915 U 29 Otto Weddigen Headlands 2,988 br
  • 12 Mar 1915 U 29 Otto Weddigen Indian City 4,645 br
  • 14 Mar 1915 U 29 Otto Weddigen Atalanta (damaged) 519 br

Fate 18 Mar 1915 - Rammed by HMS Dreadnought in Pentland Firth. Sank 5820N 0057E. 32 dead (all hands lost).

There was another U 29 in World War Two.
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 29 Aug 1936 and commissioned into the Kriegsmarine on 16 Nov 1936.

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.



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SM U-29

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