German submarine U-40 (1938)
U-37, (an identical U-boat to U-40) at Lorient in 1940
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||29 July 1936|
|Builder:||DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen|
|Laid down:||1 July 1937|
|Launched:||9 November 1938|
|Commissioned:||11 February 1939|
|Fate:||Sunk on 13 October 1939 in the English Channel by a mine. 45 men died, three survived|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Type IXA submarine|
|Displacement:||1,032 t (1,016 long tons) surfaced
1,152 t (1,134 long tons) submerged
|Length:||76.5 m (251 ft) o/a
58.75 m (192 ft 9 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.51 m (21 ft 4 in) o/a
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Height:||9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 PS (4,340 shp; 3,236 kW)
2 × SSW 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 PS (986 shp; 735 kW)
|Speed:||18.2 knots (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) surfaced
7.7 knots (14.3 km/h; 8.9 mph) submerged
|Range:||10,500 nmi (19,400 km; 12,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
65–78 nmi (120–144 km; 75–90 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)|
|Complement:||48 to 56|
6th U-boat Flotilla
(11 February 1939-13 October 1939)
|Identification codes:||M 19 297|
|Commanders:||Kptlt. Werner von Schmidt
Kptlt. Wolfgang Barten
|Victories:||No ships sunk or damaged|
U-40 conducted two war patrols during her career. Both of which were part of the 6th U-boat Flotilla. During her short time in the war, she sank no ships.
U-40 was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 29 July 1936 (as part of Plan Z and in violation of the Treaty of Versailles). Her kneel was laid down on 1 July 1937. U-40 was launched on 9 November 1938 and commissioned on 11 February 1939 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Werner von Schmidt.
Like all other Type IXA U-boats, U-40 had 2 MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, that put out 4,400 PS (4,340 shp; 3,236 kW) as well as 2 SSW 2 GU 345/34, double-acting electric motors that produced 1,000 PS (986 shp; 735 kW) and allowed her to travel at 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) while surfaced and 7.7 knots (14.3 km/h; 8.9 mph) submerged. She had a range of 10,500 nmi (19,400 km; 12,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) while on the surface and 65–78 nmi (120–144 km; 75–90 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) while submerged. U-40 had six torpedo tubes (four in the bow, two in the stern). She also carried a total of 22 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedoes and had a 10.5 cm (4.1 in) SK L/45 deck gun with 180 rounds. She was also equipped with 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft guns. U-40 had a crew of forty-eight men, however she could hold up to fifty-six crew members at any given time. After being commissioned and deployed, U-40 was stationed in the German port city of Wilhelmshaven, which to be her home for the rest of her fairly short career.
U-40 left Wilhelmshaven on 19 August 1939, before World War II began, for her first patrol. For nearly four weeks she operated off the coast of Gibraltar, before returning home on 18 September that same year. U-40 would once again leave Wilhelmshaven, this time under the command of Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Barten, on 10 October 1939. During this patrol, she was to conduct joint operations off the coasts of Portugal and Spain.
On 13 October 1939, U-40 was sunk by a British mine at . She was to operate as part of the first pack of U-boats in World War II; however, because she left port late, Barten decided to take a shortcut to the U-boat's designated meeting point, southwest of Ireland. This shortcut was through the English Channel, which was festooned with many British naval mines. Choosing to make the voyage nearly three and a half hours after high tide, the mines were not at their lowest point. The boat struck one of these devices and sank immediately to the sea floor. Nevertheless, nine crew members were able to exit through the aft escape hatch. Using escape equipment, they were able to reach the surface; one of the nine died on his journey. Once there, five more died from exposure to the harsh elements of the English Channel. Nearly ten hours after the sinking, the remaining three men were rescued and taken prisoner by HMS Boreas.
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- Gröner 1985, pp. 105-6.
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- 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 (1985). U-Boote, Hilfskreuzer, Minenschiffe, Netzleger, Sperrbrecher. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815–1945 (in German) III (Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe). ISBN 3-7637-4802-4.
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- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXA boat U-40". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
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