Type U 5

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Type U 5 (“Holland” U-Boats)
U 5, U 6 und U 12= 3 U-boats


This was the third type of pre-war U-boats of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. It was put on order on 03 December 1907 at the Whitehead Shipyard at Fiume, as a construction under licence of US submarine designer John Philip Holland of the Electric Boat & Co company at Newport, USA.

The single hull U-Boats U 5 and U 6 were launched on 10 February 1909 (U 5) and on 12 June 1909 (U 6). U 5 was commissioned on 01 April 1910 and U 6 on 01 July 1910. Following the elimination of unsatisfactory technical performances both U-boats were eventually taken into full service as late as 30 August 1911 (U 6), respectively 16 September 1911 (U 5). By that, all six pre-war U-boats of the Austro-Hungarian Navy were commissioned.

p070_1_01U 12 came somewhat later to complement the 2 “Holland” U-Boats. U 12 was built by the Whitehead” Shipyard as an improved single hull version of the U 5/ U 6 U-Boats, initially under the designation “S.S.3”, it was launched on 14 March 1911.

It remained, however, at the shipyard until the beginning of World War I and was commissioned as late as 21 August 1914, i.e. after the outbreak of war. On the other hand, the performance data were much better than those of the earlier “Holland” U-Boats.

After U 4 was commissioned in 1908 as the first U-Boat of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, the U-Boat flotilla of that Navy grew to 6 U-Boats by 1911, U 12 increased the number to 7.


Year of cinstruction

1907-1909, U 12 between 1910 and 1914 (Commissioning)


Whitehead-Werft at Fiume


240 t/ 273 t submerged


32.1 m


4.2 m


3.9 m


2 Petrol engines, 2 electric engines, 2 propellers

Engine power

500 HP/ 230 HP submerged


10.7 kn/ 8.5 kn submerged


800 nm at 8.5 kn/ 48 nm at 6 kn submerged

Diving depth



2 bow torpedo tubes, 4 torpedoes, 1×7.5 cm gun