Why not more merchant submarines like Deutschland

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Iskander neptu
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Why not more merchant submarines like Deutschland

Post by Iskander neptu » 04 Aug 2011 17:05

Hi,

I'm having a hard time finding information about WHICH specific strategically vital goods the British naval blockade denied to Germany during the war. Can anyone point me in the right direction please?


Also, the real question: I'm baffled as to the reasons for not investing more in blockade running merchant submarines by Germany during the war.

If half the u-boat tonnage built by the Navy had been redirected to blockade-running, wouldn't that alleviate Germany's scarcity problems? At least of compact things like precious metals.

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Terry Duncan
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Re: Why not more merchant submarines like Deutschland

Post by Terry Duncan » 05 Aug 2011 00:22

Without a book to hand the following come to mind, rubber, oil, sugar, and fertilizers -nitrates? There was also the Welsh coal that the HSF ran on, it was higher quality than the German coal, it allowed higher speeds to be obtained and also left far less klinker to be cleared from the boilers.

The sub bit has been debated several times, but the main problem is that it cannot bring in more than a fraction of Germany's needs. There is one thread on the subject here;

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... =cargo+sub

Iskander neptu
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Re: Why not more merchant submarines like Deutschland

Post by Iskander neptu » 05 Aug 2011 10:29

Thank you Terry, for your enlightening reply.

Cheers

Mad Zeppelin
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Re: Why not more merchant submarines like Deutschland

Post by Mad Zeppelin » 05 Aug 2011 17:13

Actually, the two journeys of the DEUTSCHLAND were quite profitable (but the 2nd vessel, BREMEN, was lost on her maiden voyage); she could sell chemical products for an excellent price and import 727 tons of caoutchouc, 155 tons of tin, and 515 tons of nickel, of which the Krupp Company had a deposit in the USA, plus iron and silver. - The third journey, planned for early 1917, was eventually chancelled because of deteriorating relations with the US, which led to the belief she wouldn't be serviced. Anyhow, this voyage would have co-incided with declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare and thus hardly have been successful.

Six more trade submarines had been under construction - but then in 1917 were converted to submarine cruisers, as the German Navy was more interested in sinking enemy shipping than have civilian companies trade rare resources from neutrals. And it is improbable that German chemicals could have been sold to any other neutral country than the US, which became an enemy in 1917.

DEUTSCHLAND became U 155, the first to be ready; the other boats U 151 - 154 and U 156 and 157.

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tigre
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Re: Why not more merchant submarines like Deutschland

Post by tigre » 16 Aug 2020 02:43

Hello to all :D; a complement..........................................

Destiny of the German Merchant U-Boat Bremen.

The Bremen was a German merchant submarine. She was delivered from the Germania shipyard in July 1916. Like its sister ship, the Deutschland, it was supposed to fetch strategically important cargo from the United States for the German Empire. The Bremen left the port of Kiel on August 21, 1916 and was lost. She left port under the command of Kapitän Karl Schwartzkopf heading for Norfolk, Virginia. In addition to a load of chemical dyes and other goods in demand in America, the captain is said to have carried an advance payment of US $ 10 million for the US pioneer Simon Lake for his use in financing the construction of cargo submarines in America for Germans Commercial interests.

After leaving Germany, the Bremen was never seen again and was never heard from again. Her fate remains a complete mystery to this day. The only evidence ever found was an oil-smeared life jacket from that boat, which washed ashore in New England months after it left home port.

Source: https://www.explorermagazin.de/boote/merchantboot1.htm
https://www.ebay.at/itm/WK-I-Illustrier ... 1cce6687c6

Greetings. Raúl M 8).
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Tanzania
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Re: Why not more merchant submarines like Deutschland

Post by Tanzania » 16 Aug 2020 07:39

Let me add an interesting Detail story of one of these merchant submarines:

German U-Cruiser SM UB 154 attacked Monrovia in Liberia in West Africa on 10. March 1918


BACKGROUND
The West African coastal state Liberia was besides Ethiopia at the beginning of the 20th century, the only independent state in Africa
remained. However, the country had to accept a number of territorial losses against the two colonial powers, Great Britain and France,
and the economic control was in the hands of US companies, their plantations and mines. Politically, America, England and France
dominated the small country even at the beginning of the First World War. But also the German Trading company `Woermann´ had
developed alongside other German companies since 1910 as the important economic factor of the Liberian foreign trade. And since
the beginning of 1913, the "German-South American" telegraph company had operated a submarine cable from Emden in Germany via
Tenerife to West Africa. The capital of Liberia, Monrovia developed into the most important distribution centre here, as further connections
from Lomé and Duala, as well as to Pernambuco in Brazil took place here. Despite the neutrality of Liberia, the cable station and other
property was seized by France and England during the war. The staff of this station and all other Germans were interned. Between 1914
and 1917 the Liberian President Daniel Edward Howard succeeded in preserving the neutrality of his country. But after the US declared
war on the German Empire on 6th April 1917, Liberia, on the pressure of the Allies, abolished diplomatic relations with the Central Powers
on 9th May 1917, and declared the war on them on the 3rd August 1917. All the German properties were put under requisition and the cable
station was now used by Allies.



The German Submarine SM U 154 shelled the capital of Liberia, Monrovia on 9th / 10th April 1918,
sunk the only warship of Liberia and supposed to rob the Gold of the British West-African Bank.
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Original Source: http://www.ebay.de/itm/1918-D-Uboot-bes ... 1506556328




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Original Source: https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newsp ... 15.2.44.32


" MONROVIA (BOMBARDEMENT)
HC Deb 15 May 1918 vol 106 c332

8. Mr. Houston asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has any information to
the effect that last month a German submarine shelled the town of Monrovia, West Coast
of Africa, and afterwards the crew of the submarine landed, stole the whole of the gold
deposited in the bank, re-embarked, and escaped with the same?

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Balfour) My information is
that an enemy submarine appeared off Monrovia on April 10th and shelled the wireless
telegraph station on the outskirts of the town. It appears from the reports received from the
acting British Consul-General that the crew of the submarine did not land, and I understand
that there is no foundation for the suggestion that the money was removed from the bank.

Mr. HOUSTON has Liberia declared war on Germany?

Mr. BALFOUR Yes; I fancy that that is so. . . "



The Liberians are said to be SM "U 154" and his attack on Monrovia on 9/10. March 1918 later even 'dedicated' a song:
" . . . O German Submarine, Aba; - Come to bombard Monrovia, Aba . . . "

Sources:
http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bi ... 15.2.44.32
https://books.google.de/books?id=PzuvAg ... 0.&f=false
Chapter 5. Prerequisite, Seite 36-42, In: »Liberia Communication«, Samuel R. Watkins, Milton Keynes, UK 2007
File: FO 458/1-157: Liberia, 1882-1950, »Account of a German submarine attack on Monrovia« National Archives, UK.

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Cheers Holger
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tigre
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Re: Why not more merchant submarines like Deutschland

Post by tigre » 16 Aug 2020 15:01

Thanks for sharing it here :wink:. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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