List of all U-boats




Ordered2 Feb 1935
Laid down11 Feb 1935 Deutsche Werke AG, Kiel (werk 236)
Launched15 Jun 1935
Commissioned29 Jun 1935Kptlt. Klaus Ewerth
29 Jun 1935 - 30 Sep 1936  Kptlt. Klaus Ewerth
1 Oct 1936 - 2 Feb 1938  Kptlt. Alexander Gelhaar
29 Oct 1938 - 6 Apr 1940  KrvKpt. J├╝rgen Deecke
2 patrols
1 Jul 1935-1 Sep 1939  U-Bootschulflottille (school boat)
1 Sep 1939-1 Feb 1940  U-Bootschulflottille (school boat)
1 Mar 1940-6 Apr 1940  U-Bootschulflottille (active service)
SuccessesNo ships sunk or damaged

Sunk 6 April 1940 in the North Sea north of Terschelling, in approx. position 54.14N, 05.07E, by a mine in the British minefield Field No. 7, laid by the British destroyers HMS Express, HMS Esk, HMS Icarus and HMS Impulsive. 24 dead (all hands lost). (FDS/NHB, December 1993).

Loss position

View the 2 war patrols

U-1 was reported missing on 21 April 1940 after it failed repeatedly to report its position. In fact, the boat had already been mined and sunk on 6 April in the barrage laid by British destroyers on its exit route on 3 March 1940. This mine field probably accounted for several U-boats on their outbound or return journey.

Discovery of the wreck
The wreck of U-1 was located by divers in June 2007 and her anti-aircraft gun salvaged, confirming the loss in mine barrage Field No. 7. The entire aft section of the boat was blown off indicating a direct mine hit. See more information and photos here:

Previously recorded fate

  • Sunk on 16 April 1940 in the North Sea southwest of Stavanger, Norway, in position 58.18N, 05.47E, by a torpedo from the British submarine HMS Porpoise. (Postwar assessment)
    Notes. But this attack was against U-3, which escaped unharmed.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-1 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

Media links

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

There was another U-1 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 4 Aug 1906 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 14 Dec 1906. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 1 during WWI.

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