German Submarine in New London 1916

The German submarine DEUTSCHLAND visited the Unite States in 1916 to promote trans-Atlantic undersea trading during wartime. During this visit she collided with a tug in New London, killing 5 crew members.

There have been a number of news items locally about the anniversary of the visit of the German cargo submarine DEUTSCHLAND to New London in the Fall of 1916. You can read the story from The Day of New London here. The arrival of the sub caused excitement up and down the east coast as she also made her way to Baltimore earlier during the same visit.

A major part of the story in New London, beyond the fact that Americans were warmly welcoming a representative of a combatant in a war that had already claimed American lives, was the loss of five lives in the accidental sinking by the U-boat of a tugboat that was assisting it.

The Museum holds a number of documents pertaining to the sinking of the tug in its collection of papers from the T.A. Scott Company. The T.A. Scott Company was a salvage and wrecking company that owned the tug in question. One of their lawyers felt that the captain of the U-boat, Paul Koenig, should be charged with manslaughter because of the circumstances following the loss of five crew members in the collision.

This postcard from the Museum’s collection shows Koenig and the DEUTSCHLAND

Deutschland Postcard

The following letter was sent by Koenig to the T.A. Scott company expressing his regrets over the sinking.

Koenig Letter

In addition to newspaper stories about the visit to New London, boating magazines of all types also followed the visit of the submarine to America, witness the page from an issue of MotorBoat magazine in 1916.

Deutschland Motorboat

Koenig went on to play a role as an officer in the German Navy in World War I and died in 1933 after returning to his civilian career with the shipping line North German Lloyd.