German submarine U-140 (1940)

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For other ships with the same name, see German submarine U-140.
History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-140
Ordered: 25 September 1939
Builder: Deutsche Werke, Kiel
Yard number: 269
Laid down: 16 November 1939
Launched: 28 June 1940
Commissioned: 7 August 1940
Fate: Scuttled, 2 May 1945
General characteristics
Class and type: IID
Type: Coastal submarine
Displacement:
  • 314 t (309 long tons) surfaced
  • 364 t (358 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 4.92 m (16 ft 2 in) (o/a)
  • 4.00 m (13 ft 1 in) (pressure hull)
Height: 8.40 m (27 ft 7 in)
Draught: 3.93 m (12 ft 11 in)
Installed power:
  • 700 PS (510 kW; 690 bhp) (diesels)
  • 410 PS (300 kW; 400 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Range:
  • 3,450 nmi (6,390 km; 3,970 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
  • 56 nmi (104 km; 64 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth: 80 m (260 ft)
Complement: 3 officers, 22 men
Armament:
Service record
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Hans-Peter Hinsch
  • August 1940 - April 1941
  • Kptlt. Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel
  • April - December 1941
  • Kptlt. Klaus Popp
  • December 1941 - August 1942
  • Kptlt. Albrecht Markert
  • September 1942 - July 1944
  • Kptlt. Herbert Zeissier
  • August - November 1944
  • Kptlt. Wolfgang Scherfling
  • November 1944 - May 1945
Operations: One patrol
Victories:
  • Three ships sunk for a total of 13,204 GRT
  • One submarine sunk for a total of 206 tons

German submarine U-140 was a Type IID U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She carried out only one combat patrol, but still managed to see action as a training boat in the summer of 1941. Built at the Kiel shipyards during 1939 and 1940, as a Type IID U-boat, she was too small for major operational work in the Atlantic Ocean, which was now required by the Kriegsmarine as the Battle of the Atlantic expanded.

Design[edit]

German Type IID submarines were enlarged versions of the original Type IIs. U-140 had a displacement of 314 tonnes (309 long tons) when at the surface and 364 tonnes (358 long tons) while submerged. Officially, the standard tonnage was 250 long tons (250 t), however.[1] The U-boat had a total length of 43.97 m (144 ft 3 in), a pressure hull length of 29.80 m (97 ft 9 in), a beam of 4.92 m (16 ft 2 in), a height of 8.40 m (27 ft 7 in), and a draught of 3.93 m (12 ft 11 in). The submarine was powered by two MWM RS 127 S four-stroke, six-cylinder diesel engines of 700 metric horsepower (510 kW; 690 shp) for cruising, two Siemens-Schuckert PG VV 322/36 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 410 metric horsepower (300 kW; 400 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 0.85 m (3 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 80–150 metres (260–490 ft).[1]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 12.7 knots (23.5 km/h; 14.6 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.4 knots (13.7 km/h; 8.5 mph).[1] When submerged, the boat could operate for 35–42 nautical miles (65–78 km; 40–48 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 3,800 nautical miles (7,000 km; 4,400 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-140 was fitted with three 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes at the bow, five torpedoes or up to twelve Type A torpedo mines, and a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of 25.[1]

War patrol[edit]

U-140 only carried out one raiding patrol, under her first captain, Hans-Peter Hinsch. He took her round the north of Scotland in December 1940 following her work-up program, and it was here that she sank her first victim, twelve days into the voyage. Six days later north of Ireland, on 8 December she sank the steel 3-mast barque Penang of neutral Finland, inbound from Stenhouse Bay, South Australia to Cobh in neutral Ireland with a cargo of grain. The Penang and her 18 crew were all lost at 55°15′N 10°09′W / 55.25°N 10.15°W / 55.25; -10.15.[2] Later that day she heard the British freighter Ashcrest broadcast that she needed assistance as her rudder was broken, at 54°35′N 09°20′W / 54.583°N 9.333°W / 54.583; -9.333. U-140 sank Ashcrest with the loss of the entire crew of 37.[3]

She then headed home towards retirement. U-140 was docked, her crew transferred and she was converted into a training boat, designed to operate solely in the Baltic Sea, training submariners for the main U-boat force.

Training boat[edit]

It was during this onerous yet necessary duty that her new captain, Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel, found himself facing a small Soviet submarine on the surface, well into the Baltic, a month after the invasion of the Soviet Union. In a careful attack, U-140 torpedoed and sank her rival with his scratch crew of new recruits. Orders had been pushing U-140 further into the Baltic during the preceding months, with the hope that she might achieve just such a victory.

Following this excitement, U-140 returned to training duties, which she continued for the remainder of the war without further incident, save in the final months, when she was transferred to Wilhelmshaven in a general shipment of equipment and personnel to the West. It was there, on the 2 May 1945 in Jade Bay, that U-140 was scuttled by her crew to prevent her seizure by the advancing British forces. Post-war she was raised and scrapped.

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate
2 December 1940 Victoria City  United Kingdom 4,739 Sunk
8 December 1940 Penang  Finland 2,816 Sunk
8 December 1940 Ashcrest  United Kingdom 5,652 Sunk
21 July 1941 Submarine M-94  Soviet Navy 206 Sunk

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 39–40.
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Penang". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ashcrest". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4. 
  • Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IID boat U-140". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 140". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 30 January 2015.