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Name: HMS E40
Builder: Armstrong Whitworth, Newcastle upon Tyne
Laid down: 9 November 1916
Commissioned: May 1917
Fate: Sold, 14 December 1921
General characteristics
Class and type: E class submarine
  • 662 long tons (673 t) surfaced
  • 807 long tons (820 t) submerged
Length: 181 ft (55 m)
Beam: 15 ft (4.6 m)
  • 2 × 1,600 hp (1,193 kW) diesel
  • 2 × 840 hp (626 kW) electric
  • 2 screws
  • 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) surfaced
  • 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) submerged
  • 3,000 nmi (5,600 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 65 nmi (120 km) at 5 kn (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) surfaced
Complement: 30

HMS E40 was a British E class submarine launched by Palmer, Jarrow in 1916 and was completed by Armstrong Whitworth, Newcastle upon Tyne. She was laid down on 9 November 1916 and was commissioned in May 1917.

During her World War I service while patrolling Scandinavian waters E40 encountered a U-boat. As the submarine dived the captain was hit with shrapnel and had to be dragged in; the hatch stuck and the vessel took on water, going straight to the bottom. After an hour the air was poor; with the captain unconscious, the first lieutenant asked the crew if he could use the remaining oxygen to try to raise the submarine. This succeeded and the E40 managed to get back to Middlesbrough where it had been posted missing, presumed sunk. The captain survived.[citation needed] HMS E40 was sold on 14 December 1921.[1]


Like all post-E8 British E-class submarines, E40 had a displacement of 622 tonnes (686 short tons) at the surface and 807 tonnes (890 short tons) while submerged. It had a total length of 180 feet (55 m)[2] and a beam length of 22 feet 8.5 inches (6.922 m). It contained two diesel engines each providing a power of 1,600 horsepower (1,200 kW) and two electric motors each providing 840 horsepower (630 kW) power.[3] Its complement was thirty-one crew members.[2]

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) and a submerged speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). British E-class submarines had fuel capacities of 50 tonnes (55 short tons) of diesel and ranges of 3,255 miles (5,238 km; 2,829 nmi) when travelling at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[2] E40 was capable of operating submerged for five hours when travelling at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph). It was fitted with a 12 pounds (5.4 kg) quick-firing gun gun (12 pounder), five 18 inches (460 mm) torpedo tubes, and one spare torpedo tube. Its torpedo tubes were fitted at the front and the aft; unlike pre-E9 submarines, the two midship section torpedo tubes were not included.[2]

E-Class submarines contained wireless systems with 1 kilowatt (1.3 hp) power ratings; in some submarines, these were later upgraded to 3 kilowatts (4.0 hp) systems by removing a midship torpedo tube. Its claimed highest dive depth was 100 feet (30 m) although it was capable of reaching depths of below 200 feet (61 m). Some submarines contained Fessenden oscillator systems.[2]


  1. ^ Hutchinson, Robert (2001). Jane's Submarines: War Beneath the Waves from 1776 to the Present Day. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-710558-8. OCLC 53783010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Innes McCartney; Tony Bryan (20 February 2013). British Submarines of World War I. Osprey Publishing. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-1-4728-0035-0. 
  3. ^ "E Class". Chatham Submarines. Retrieved 20 August 2015.