Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Das Boot" at Rauner

Cover of Logbook for U-53On May 5, 1916, the German Navy ordered a submarine from the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel, the most important construction wharf in Germany. The U-112 was one of ten submarines built by the shipyard between 1916 and 1918. It was launched on October 26, 1917. As was the norm, the U-112 underwent a months long inspection period overseen by the Unterseeboot Abnahme-Kommission (U.A.K.), a commission established to ensure that the submarine was built to and performed to specifications. The U-112 completed its inspection period on June 30, 1918. However, it never got the chance to perform. It was surrendered to Great Britain on November 22, 1918 and was scrapped in 1922.

The story of the U-112 is represented in a small collection of German submarine material from World War I, which we have here at Rauner. Among the documents are rules, regulations and orders like this one, which, addressed to the command of the "S.M.S U 112," describes the rules for entering the Germania shipyard.

Letter U-112, frontLetter, U-112, reverse

"From land the shipyard may only be entered or left through the door by the fire station. A list of all names and ranks will have to be presented to the guard. Climbing over fences and doors is strictly forbidden. Smoking is not allowed in the shipyard. When entering the shipyard everyone has to identify themselves by uniform and identity card. A uniform alone is not acceptable…. People entering over land who do not belong to the crew have to be escorted by a fireman to the vessel and will have to be escorted back by a crew member, using the shortest distance…."

Embezzlement document; crew member stealing money for cigarettes
Another document describes the case of a crew member who had pocketed money intended for the cigarettes he distributed. In response it is requested that those in charge are to make sure that only trustworthy individuals and people who are not too young in age and rank be chosen for such as task and that they should be adequately supervised.

Telegram: Crew member asks for leave for weddingIn this telegram a crew member asked for a few extra days of leave because his wedding had to be postponed, pointing out that his marriage certificate would certify this.

The collection also includes an engineer's log of submarine U-53 and a general orders folder from the U.A.K.

You can find the collection under call number MS-5.

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