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Ships - U-17
U-17, a German submarine, served as an escort to SMS Meteor on August 6, 1915.
Escort service provided Meteor with a way to observe and avoid ships of the British blockade. Sailing many miles ahead of the escorted ship, the submarine sailed with its deck awash, which made the boat practically invisible to other ships. Crewmen on the submarine were able to observe blockade ships in safety. Preset radio codes were used to pass information of the presence and location of these ships. Escorted vessels could then alter course to avoid the blockade ships.
Submarines doing escort work were not to engage the enemy. Their sole purposes were to observe and communicate any sightings. If significant enemy ships were encountered they were to radio the situation, submerge and return to Germany.
On escort duty the crew of the submarine would not likely see the escorted vessel during the voyage.
U-17 was built by Kaiserliche Werft, Danzig, Germany and commissioned on November 3, 1912. She was 204 feet in length, displaced 564 tons with a surface speed of 14 knots and a submerged speed of 9 knots. She had 2 bow and 2 stern torpedo tubes. A 50-mm naval gun was mounted on the deck.
U-17 sailed under the command of Kapitanleutnant Hans Walther with a crew of 34.
Following the war, U-17 was broken up at Kiel, Germany in January 1919.
RELATED WEB SITES:
uboat.net A site dedicated to German U-boats.
Das Bundesarchiv Official German war records archive site.
RAIDERS OF THE DEEP, by Lowell Thomas.
Last Revision: March 4, 2007.
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