Daily Event for May 10, 2010

Launched at A.G. Wesser in Bremen on April 26, 1915 and commissioned May 12, 1915, SMS UB-16 had a successful career sinking 24 ships for a total of over 19,000 tons. She had several commanders, the last was Oberleutnant zur See Vicco von der Lühe. This was his first command and possibly his first war patrol, he had taken command of the boat on April 22, 1918. On May 6 the boat departed Zeebrugge for a patrol in the Hoofden.

On May 10, 1918 the boat was returning home on the surface when it was spotted by HMS E-34 and her commander Lt. Richard I. Pulleyne, D.S.C., at first he thought the unidentified submarine was British, but he submerged anyway, not wanting to risk his boat. Using the periscope he identified the boat as German and began to ready torpedoes.

The enemy boat failed to see the stalking British submarine which was only 400 yards distant, evidence for this is that Lühe did not submerge his boat. It was after 19:00 hours when Pulleyne fired two torpedoes at the submarine, the first one hit her in the bows, but was a dud, the second was a death blow hitting UB-16 amidships below the conning tower and sending her to the bottom instantly. All onboard were lost with the exception of Lühe who was pulled from the North Sea a few minuets after his boat was sunk. Lühe was taken to a POW camp, but never returned home. He contracted influenza and died on March 1, 1919.

Lt. Pulleyne received the D.S.O. in August 1918, posthumously, he and E-34 left Harwich on July 14, 1918 to lay mines, sadly the boat was never seen again, her exact fate still unknown.
© 2010 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Remembrance
Zum Gedenken an die Gefallenen des Unterseeboot SMS UB-16
"In the memory of the fallen crewmen of submarine SMS UB-16"

Bongert, W.
Engelke, Heinrich
Gross, Alfred
Haase, Otto
Hofmann, C. R.
Jenk, Karl
Klockgether, M.
Koch, Georg
Köhler, Konrad
U-Obermatrose d.Res
Kroll, Johannes
Kuckhahn, F.
Lang, Wilhelm
Lühe, Vicco von der
Oberleutnant zur See
Commanding officer
Pohlmann, Arthur
Schmidt, August
Schneider, L.
Wagner, Alb
Died as POW Mar. 1, 1919

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2009 Daily Event