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German submarine U-440

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

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 a 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.[2]

Service history

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

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

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

  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

  • 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