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Osprey New Vanguard 50 : U-Boats of the Kaiser's Navy

As was the case in the Second World War, one of the greatest threats to Britain during the First World War was the German U-boat menace. Gordon Williamson traces the development of the U-boat of German submarine design from the Brandtaucher designed by Wilhelm Bauer, the father of the German submarine arm, in 1850, through to the commissioning of Germany's first U-boat to go into service, the U-1, in 1906. All of the main types of First World War U-boat are then covered. The U-boat was originally designed as a purely defensive weapon and the realisation of its potential in the offensive led to great technological advances as the Navy moved from the complex steam driven U-1 type to newer diesel driven boats. The rapid and bewildering rate of development as new class after new class was introduced during the war years culminating in the hugely successful U-81 type on which the Type VII of the Kriegsmarine was directly based. The operational history of the U-boat service is also covered in some depth. This includes such achievements the sinking of three British cruisers within one hour by Otto Weddigen in September 1914 using the 238-ton U Class submarine U-9, a crude and already obsolete weapon. The campaigns in the Atlantic and Mediterranean are also covered, along with the slow build up of anti-submarine measures by the allies. Text by Gordon Williamson with illustrations by Ian Palmer.

    Contents
  • The Early Developmental Years
  • The Larger U-boats
  • The U-Cruisers
  • Powerplants
  • Electric Motors
  • Closed Circuit Systems
  • Steering
  • Torpedoes
  • Armament
  • Optics and Other Equipment
  • Operational Use - The Opening Stages
  • Bibliography
  • Commentary on the Colour Plates

 

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