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German submarine U-41 (1939)

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U37 Lorient 1940.jpg
U-37, (an identical U-boat to U-41) at Lorient in 1940
Nazi Germany
Name: U-41
Ordered: 21 November 1936
Builder: DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen
Yard number: 946
Laid down: 27 November 1937
Launched: 28 January 1939
Commissioned: 22 April 1939
Fate: Sunk on 5 February 1940 south of Ireland. All 49 of her crew went down with the submarine
General characteristics
Class and type: Type IXA submarine
  • 1,032 t (1,016 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,153 t (1,135 long tons) submerged
  • 6.51 m (21 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.40 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Height: 9.40 m (30 ft 10 in)
Draught: 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in)
Installed power:
  • 4,400 PS (3,200 kW; 4,300 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
  • 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: 4 officers, 44 enlisted
Service record
Part of:
Identification codes: M 11 423
Commanders: Kptlt. Gustav-Adolf Mugler
Operations: Three
  • Five ships sunk for a total of 22,815 GRT
  • Two ships captured for a total of 2,073 GRT
  • One ship damaged for a total of 8,096 GRT

The German submarine U-41 was a Type IXA[1] U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine that operated during World War II. She conducted three war patrols during her short career, two as part of the 6th U-boat Flotilla and one as part of the 2nd flotilla. U-41 also sank five enemy vessels for a total of 22,815 gross register tons (GRT); captured two more for a total of 2,073 GRT and damaged one other of 8,096 GRT.[2]

On 5 February 1940, U-41 was hit by depth charges from the British A class destroyer HMS Antelope after sinking two enemy merchant vessels and was sunk off the south coast of Ireland. All 49 of her crew members were lost with the boat.


U-41 was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 21 November 1936 (as part of Plan Z and in violation of the Treaty of Versailles). She was laid down on 27 November 1937 by AG Weser, Bremen as yard number 946. She was launched on 28 January 1939 and commissioned on 22 April of that same year under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Gustav-Adolf Mugler.[2]


As one of the eight original German Type IX submarines, later designated IXA, U-41 had a displacement of 1,032 tonnes (1,016 long tons) when at the surface and 1,153 tonnes (1,135 long tons) while submerged.[3] The U-boat had a total length of 76.50 m (251 ft), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.51 m (21 ft 4 in), a height of 9.40 m (30 ft 10 in), and a draught of 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW; 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 metric horsepower (740 kW; 990 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[3]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.7 knots (14.3 km/h; 8.9 mph).[3] When submerged, the boat could operate for 65–78 nautical miles (120–144 km; 75–90 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 10,500 nautical miles (19,400 km; 12,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-41 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.[3]

Service history[edit]

During her service in the Kriegsmarine, U-41 sank five commercial ships for 22,815 gross register tons (GRT); damaged one commercial vessel of 8,096 GRT and captured two ships totalling 2,073 GRT.[4]

1st Patrol[edit]

U-41 left Wilhelmshaven on 19 August 1939, before World War II began. Her first patrol involved traveling as far south as Portugal after entering the North Sea and circumnavigating the British Isles. During this patrol, two ships were captured: the Finnish Vega, of 974 tons, and the 1,099-ton Suomen Poika. U-41 then returned to Wilhelmshaven, arriving on 17 September 1939.[5]

2nd Patrol[edit]

U-41 left Wilhelmshaven with Mugler in command once again on 7 November 1939. On 12 November, both the 275 ton British vessel Cresswell and the 11,019 ton Norwegian ship Arne Kjøde were sunk by torpedoes. The 1,351-ton British merchant vessel Darino went to the bottom on the 19th. The last enemy vessel to be sunk by U-41 was the French vessel Les Barges II. She displaced a total of 296 tons and was sunk by a single torpedo on 21 November. The U-boat then returned to port on 7 December 1939.[6]

3rd Patrol[edit]

U-41 left the port of Helgoland on 27 January 1940 with Mugler still in command. During her final patrol, one enemy ship was sunk and one was damaged; both of these attacks took place on 5 February. The first ship that was hit was the 8,096-ton Dutch vessel Ceronia. The Ceronia was damaged and the 9,874-ton British ship Beaverburn was sunk. Nevertheless U-41 did not return to her home port, she was sunk on the same day.[7]


Following the attacks on the Dutch Ceronia and the British Beaverburn on 5 February 1940, U-41 was attacked by the British A class destroyer HMS Antelope with depth charges. She was hit and sunk off the south coast of Ireland. All 49 of her crew members were lost with the boat during the attack.[2][7][8]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date[4] Ship[4] Nationality[4] Tonnage[4] Fate[4]
16 September 1939 Suomen Poika  Finland 1,099 Captured
16 September 1939 Vega  Finland 974 Captured
12 November 1939 Arne Kjøde  Norway 11,019 Sunk
12 November 1939 Cresswell  United Kingdom 275 Sunk
19 November 1939 Darino  United Kingdom 1,351 Sunk
21 November 1939 Les Barges II  France 296 Sunk
5 February 1940 Beaverburn  United Kingdom 5,375 Sunk
5 February 1940 Ceronia  Netherlands 8,096 Damaged


  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Type IXA". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXA boat U-41". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 68.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-41". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol info for U-41 (First patrol)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol info for U-41 (Second patrol)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol info for U-41 (Third patrol)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Kemp 1999, p. 63.


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6. 
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 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. 
  • Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3. 

External links[edit]

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXA boat U-41". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  • Hofmann, Markus. "U 41". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - (in German). Retrieved 7 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 49°20′N 10°04′W / 49.333°N 10.067°W / 49.333; -10.067