German submarine U-49 (1939)

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For other ships of the same name, see German submarine U-49.
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-49
Ordered: 21 November 1936
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel
Cost: 4,439,000 Reichsmark
Yard number: 584
Laid down: 15 September 1938
Launched: 24 January 1939
Commissioned: 12 August 1939
Fate: Sunk, 15 April 1940, near Narvik
General characteristics
Class & type: Type VIIB U-boat
Displacement: 753 t (741 long tons) surfaced
857 t (843 long tons) submerged
Length: 66.5 m (218 ft 2 in) o/a
48.8 m (160 ft 1 in) pressure hull
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft 4 in) overall
4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 2 × supercharged Germaniawerft 6 cylinder, 4-stroke F46 diesel engines totalling 2,800–3,200 bhp (2,100–2,400 kW) Max rpm 470-490 surfaced
2 × BBC GG UB 720/8 electric engines totalling 750 shp (560 kW) submerged
Speed: 17.9 knots (33.2 km/h; 20.6 mph)
8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
Range: 8,700 nmi (16,112 km; 10,012 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)surfaced
90 nautical miles (170 km; 100 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph)
Test depth: 230 m (750 ft). Calculated crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 44 to 48 officers and ratings
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine:
7th U-boat Flotilla
Identification codes: M 06 383
Commanders: Kurt von Goßler
Operations: Four
Victories: One ship sunk for a total of 4,258 gross register tons (GRT)

German submarine U-49 was a Type VIIB U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was ordered on 21 November 1936 in defiance of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and laid down on 15 September 1938 at the yards of Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft AG in Kiel as Werk 584. Launched on 24 June 1939, she was commissioned on 12 August and assigned to the 7th U-Boat Flotilla under the command of Kurt von Goßler.

War Patrols[edit]

First patrol[edit]

Following training exercises, U-49 departed on her first active patrol on 9 November 1939. She was attacked by allied forces twice during this time. On 13 November she was bombed by British aircraft and forced down to 160 meters (520 feet), suffering minor damage. Three days later, she was located by the British destroyers HMS Echo and Wanderer and depth charged. The submarine was forced to dive to 170 metres (558 ft) to escape.

At 09.35 hours on 19 November U-49 came into contact with the 4,258 ton British merchant ship SS Pensilva carrying a cargo of 6,985 tons of maize. A bow torpedo at 11.15 hours and a stern shot at 11.24 both missed their mark, but a third fired at 12.19 hit, and the ship sank slowly by the stern at position 46°51′N 11°36′W / 46.850°N 11.600°W / 46.850; -11.600. The ship's master and crew were picked up by HMS Echo and later landed at Plymouth by HMS Wanderer.

Second patrol[edit]

U-49's second patrol began 29 February 1940 at Kiel and lasted only six days in the North Sea. No ships were attacked on this patrol, and she made port at Wilhelmshaven on 5 March 1940.

Third patrol[edit]

On 11 March 1940, U-49 departed Wilhelmshaven for the Norwegian coast, in 19 days at sea, no ships were attacked and the submarine returned to Wilhelmshaven on 29 March 1940.

Fourth patrol[edit]

3 April 1940 saw the beginning of U-49 '​s fourth and final patrol. In 13 days off the Norwegian coast, no ships were attacked.


On 15 April 1940, U-49 was sunk near Harstad, Norway in position 68°53′N 16°59′E / 68.883°N 16.983°E / 68.883; 16.983 by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Fearless and Brazen. Of her crew of 42, one man died but there were 41 survivors.

Wreck Site[edit]

The wreck of U-49 was found on 3 March 1993 by the Norwegian submarine Skolpen. She lies at a depth of 300 metres (980 ft).

Summary of Raiding Career[edit]

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
19 November 1939 Pensilva  United Kingdom 4,258 Sunk


  1. ^ "U-49 successes". Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler). ISBN 3-8132-0514-2. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIB boat U-XXXX". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 8 December 2014. 49.htm webpage for U-49]
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U-49". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - (in German). Retrieved 8 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 68°53′N 16°59′E / 68.883°N 16.983°E / 68.883; 16.983