German submarine U-440

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History
Nazi Germany
Name: U-440
Ordered: 5 January 1940
Builder: Schichau-Werke, Danzig
Yard number: 1491
Laid down: 1 October 1940
Launched: 8 November 1941
Commissioned: 24 January 1942
Fate: Sunk 31 May 1943 in the North Atlantic in position 45°38′N 13°04′W / 45.633°N 13.067°W / 45.633; -13.067, by depth charges from a RAF Sunderland.
General characteristics
Class and type: Type VIIC submarine
Displacement:
  • 769 tonnes (757 long tons) surfaced
  • 871 t (857 long tons) submerged
Length:
Beam:
  • 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in) o/a
  • 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) pressure hull
Draught: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Installed power:
  • 2,800–3,200 PS (2,100–2,400 kW; 2,800–3,200 bhp) (diesels)
  • 750 PS (550 kW; 740 shp) (electric)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) surfaced
  • 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) submerged
Range:
  • 8,500 nmi (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 80 nmi (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth:
  • 230 m (750 ft)
  • Crush depth: 250–295 m (820–968 ft)
Complement: 4 officers, 40–56 enlisted
Armament:
Service record[1]
Part of:
Commanders:
  • Kptlt. Hans Geissler
  • 24 January 1942 – 19 May 1943
  • Oblt.z.S. Werner Schwaff
  • 20–31 May 1943
Operations:
  • 1st patrol: 1–21 September 1942
  • 2nd patrol: 19 October – 13 November 1942
  • 3rd patrol: 12 December 1942 – 26 January 1943
  • 4th patrol: 27 February – 11 April 1943
  • 5th patrol: 26–31 May 1943
Victories: None

German submarine U-440 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 1 October 1940 by Schichau-Werke, Danzig as yard number 1491, launched on 8 November 1941 and commissioned on 24 January 1942 under Oberleutnant zur See Hans Geissler. On 20 May 1943, Geissler was replaced as commander by Oberleutnant zur See Werner Schwaff.

Design[edit]

German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-440 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged.[2] She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two AEG GU 460/8-276 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).[2]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph).[2] When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-440 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history[edit]

The boat's career began with training at 5th U-boat Flotilla on 24 January 1942, followed by active service on 1 September 1942 as part of the 1st Flotilla for the remainder of her service. In 5 patrols she sank no ships.[1]

Wolfpacks[edit]

U-440 took part in seven wolfpacks, namely

  • Pfeil (12–14 September 1942)
  • Streitaxt (29 October – 2 November 1942)
  • Delphin (4–5 November 1942)
  • Spitz (22–31 December 1942)
  • Neuland (6–13 March 1943)
  • Dränger (14–20 March 1943)
  • Seewolf (21–29 March 1943)

Fate[edit]

U-440 was sunk on 31 May 1943 in the North Atlantic in position 45°38′N 13°04′W / 45.633°N 13.067°W / 45.633; -13.067, by depth charges from RAF Sunderland from 201 Squadron. All crew members died.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type VIIC boat U-440". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, pp. 43-46.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Edwards, Bernard (1996). Dönitz and the Wolf Packs - The U-boats at War. pp. 112, 117, 175. ISBN 0-304-35203-9. 
  • 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. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9. 

External links[edit]