World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

German submarine U-39 (1938)

Article Id: WHEBN0008256682
Reproduction Date:

Title: German submarine U-39 (1938)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: German Type IX submarine, 6th U-boat Flotilla, German Type IX submarines, Battle of the Atlantic, List of shipwrecks in October 1940
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

German submarine U-39 (1938)

U-37 at Lorient in 1940
U-37, (an identical U-boat to U-39) at Lorient in 1940
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-39
Ordered: 29 July 1936[1]
Builder: AG Weser, Bremen[1]
Yard number: 944[1]
Laid down: 2 June 1937[1]
Launched: 22 September 1938[1]
Commissioned: 10 December 1938[1]
Fate: Sunk on 14 September 1939 north-west of Ireland. 0 dead and 44 or 43 survivors (sources vary)[2][3]
General characteristics [4][5]
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
58.7 m (192 ft 7 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 hp (3,281 kW)
2 × SSW 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 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 nautical miles (19,400 km; 12,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
65–78 nautical miles (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
Armament:
Service record
Part of: Kriegsmarine:
6th U-boat Flotilla
(10 December 1938-14 September 1939)[2]
Identification codes: M 12 679[1]
Commanders: Kptlt. Gerhard Glattes[2]
Operations: One[2]
Victories: No ships sunk or damaged

German submarine U-39 was a Type IXA U-boat of the Kriegsmarine that operated from 1938 to the first few days of World War II.[2]

She was ordered by the Kriegsmarine on 29 July 1936 as part of the re-armament program (Aufrüstung) in Germany, which was illegal under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The keel for U-39 was laid down on 2 June 1937, by DeSchiMAG AG Weser of Bremen. She was commissioned on 10 December 1938 with Kapitänleutnant Gerhard Glattes in command.[2]

On 14 September 1939, just 27 days after she began her first patrol, U-39 attempted to sink the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal by firing two torpedoes at her. The torpedoes malfunctioned and exploded just short of the carrier; U-39 was immediately hunted down by three British destroyers, disabled with depth charges, and subsequently sunk. All of the crew members survived and were captured.[6][7]

U-39 was the first German U-boat to be sunk in World War II.[8]

Service record

Patrol and Sinking

U-39 conducted only one war patrol during her entire career, as part of the 6th U-boat Flotilla. She left Wilhelmshaven with U-31, U-32, U-35 and U-53 all of which were also a part of the 6th Flotilla, on 19 August 1939, in preparation for the beginning of World War II. She headed into the North Sea and eventually circumnavigated the British Isles.[9] Prior to her sinking, U-39 was attacked in the North Sea on 10 September while en route to the British Isles. She was depth charged by an unidentified British vessel and was forced to dive to 100 meters (328 feet) to escape the attack.[6]

On 14 September 1939, after only 27 days at sea, U-39 fired two torpedoes at the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal off Rockall Bank north-west of Scotland. However, both torpedoes exploded short of their target. Following the failed attack, three British destroyers in the vicinity of the Ark Royal, HMS Faulknor, Firedrake, and Foxhound detected U-39. All three destroyers depth charged the U-boat and seconds after Firedrake released her depth charges, U-39 surfaced. Foxhound, which was the closest to the U-boat, picked up 25 crew members while Faulknor rescued 11 and Firedrake saved the remaining eight. The crewmen were then taken ashore in Scotland and spent the rest of the war in various prisoner-of-war camps, including the Tower of London, before being shipped to Canada.

U-39 was the first of many U-boats to be sunk in World War II; at .[6][8]

Aftermath

Four other U-boats joined U-39 on her ill-fated patrol, U-31, U-32, U-53 and U-55. According to a report by the Seekriegsleitung (German Supreme Naval Command) on 22 September 1939, U-32 and U-53 were heading back to their home port of Kiel while only U-31 and U-35 remained in the operational area north of the British Isles. According to plan, U-39 should also have made for Kiel. However, there had been no contact with the U-boat for several days. A lack of response from U-39, despite several requests to give her current location, began to fuel rumours that she was sunk. This belief was later confirmed by a British radio transmission detailing the arrival of the first German prisoners of war who were members of the Kriegsmarine, at a London railway station a few days later.[2]

References

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g "U-39 Type IXA". ubootwaffe.net. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Helgason, Guðmundur. "U-39". German U-boats of World War II. Uboat.net. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed, German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. 1997. p. 60. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3
  4. ^ Gröner 1985, pp. 105-6.
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Type IXA". U-Boat War in World War II. Uboat.net. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "U-39 The First U-boat to be Sunk in World War II". HMS Firedrake Page 20. HMS Firedrake.com. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Kemp, p. 60.
  8. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "U-boat losses-1939". U-boat fates. Uboat.net. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol info for U-39 (First patrol)". U-boat patrols. Uboat.net. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
Bibliography

External links

  • Hofmann, Markus. "U-39". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 7 December 2014. 

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.