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U-9 ready for patrol.
Career (German Empire) Kaiserliche Marine Ensign
Name: U-9
Ordered: 15 July 1908
Builder: Kaiserliche Werft, Danzig
Launched: 22 February 1910
Commissioned: 18 April 1910
Fate: Surrendered 26 November 1918. Broken up at Morecambe in 1919.
Class and type: German Type U 9 submarine
General characteristics
Displacement: 425 tons surfaced, 601 tons submerged[1]
Length: 57.3 m (188.0 ft)[2]
Beam: 6 m (19.7 ft)[3]
Draught: 3.5 m (11.5 ft)[4]
Speed: •26.3 km/h (14.2 kn) surfaced[5]
•14.8 km/h (8.0 kn) submerged[6]
Range: 6,216 km (3,356 nmi) at 15.9 km/h (8.6 kn)[7]
Armament: •four 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes[8] (two bow, two stern, six torpedoes)[9]
•1 x 37 mm (1.46 in) deck gun[10]
Service record
Part of: Kaiserliche Marine:
I Flottille
Commanders: Otto Weddigen
Johannes Spiess
Operations: 7
Victories: 13 ships sunk for a total of 8636 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 (Kaiserliche Marine), and engaged in commerce war 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.

The men of U-9.
Propaganda postcard depicting victories of U-9.

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 were 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. 1459 British sailors died.[11] It was one of most notable submarine actions. Members of the Admiralty who had considered submarines mere toys no longer expressed that opinion after this event.

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 tons: 10 small fishing vessels and three British steamers (Don, Queen Wilhelmina and Serbino).

After April 1916, she was withdrawn from front-line duties and used for training.

Besides the raider Emden, U-9 is the only ship on which Kaiser Wilhem II ever awarded an Iron Cross.


  1. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. "U-Boats (1905-18)", in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare, "(Phoebus Publishing, 1978), Volume 23, p.2534.
  2. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  3. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  4. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  5. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  6. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  7. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  8. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  9. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  10. ^ Fitzsimons, p.2534.
  11. ^ "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 978-0241108642.  
  • 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 978-1857284980.  
  • Roessler, Eberhard (1997). Die Unterseeboote der Kaiserlichen Marine. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3763759637.  
  • Schroeder, Joachim (2002). Die U-Boote des Kaisers. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 978-3763762354.  
  • 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.  

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