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German submarine U-140 (1940)
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: U-140
Ordered: 25 September 1939
Builder: Deutsche Werke, Kiel
Laid down: 16 November 1939
Launched: 28 June 1940
Commissioned: 7 August 1940
Fate: Scuttled, 2 May 1945
Class & type: Type IID U-boat
Service record
Part of:

1st U-boat Flotilla (1940–41)

22nd U-boat Flotilla (1941–45)
Commanders: Kptlt. Hans-Peter Hinsch (Aug 1940–Apr 1941)
Kptlt. Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel (Apr–Dec 1941)
Kptlt. Klaus Popp (Dec 1941–Aug 1942)
Kptlt. Albrecht Markert (Sep 1942–Jul 1944)
'Kptlt. Herbert Zeissier (Aug–Nov 1944)
Kptlt. Wolfgang Scherfling (Nov 1944–May 1945)
Operations: One patrol
Victories: Three ships sunk for a total of 13,204 gross register tons (GRT)
One submarine sunk for a total of 206 tons

German submarine U-140 was a Type IID U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine during World War II. She carried out only one combat patrol, but still managed to see action as a training boat in the summer of 1941. Built at the Kiel shipyards during 1939 and 1940, as a Type IID U-boat, she was too small for major operational work in the Atlantic Ocean, which was now required by the Kriegsmarine as the Battle of the Atlantic expanded.

War patrol[edit | edit source]

U-140 only carried out one raiding patrol, under her first captain, Hans-Peter Hinsch. He took her round the north of Scotland in December 1940 following her work-up program, and it was here that she sank her first victim, twelve days into the voyage. Six days later north of Ireland, on 8 December she sank the steel 3-mast barque Penang of neutral Finland, inbound from Stenhouse Bay, South Australia to Cobh in neutral Ireland with a cargo of grain. The Penang and her 18 crew were all lost at 55°15′00″N 10°09′00″W / 55.25°N 10.15°W / 55.25; -10.15.[1] Later that day she heard the British freighter Ashcrest broadcast that she needed assistance as her rudder was broken, at 54°35′N 09°20′W / 54.583°N 9.333°W / 54.583; -9.333. U-140 sank Ashcrest with the loss of the entire crew of 37.[2] She then headed home towards retirement. U-140 was docked, her crew transferred and she was converted into a training boat, designed to operate solely in the Baltic Sea, training submariners for the main U-boat force.

Training boat[edit | edit source]

It was during this onerous yet necessary duty that her new captain, Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel, found himself facing a small Soviet submarine on the surface, well into the Baltic, a month after the invasion of the Soviet Union. In a careful attack, U-140 torpedoed and sank her rival with his scratch crew of new recruits. Orders had been pushing U-140 further into the Baltic during the preceding months, with the hope that she might achieve just such a victory.

Following this excitement, U-140 returned to training duties, which she continued for the remainder of the war without further incident, save in the final months, when she was transferred to Wilhelmshaven in a general shipment of equipment and personnel to the West. It was there, on the 2 May 1945 in Jade Bay, that U-140 was scuttled by her crew to prevent her seizure by the advancing British forces. Post-war she was raised and scrapped.

Summary of raiding career[edit | edit source]

Date Ship Nationality Tonnage Fate
2 December 1940 SS Victoria City  Great Britain 4,739 Sunk
8 December 1940 Bq "Penang"  Finland 2,816 Sunk
8 December 1940 SS Ashcrest  Great Britain 5,652 Sunk
21 July 1941 Submarine M-94  USSR 206 Sunk

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Penang". Ships hit by U-boats. http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/708.html. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  2. "Ashcrest". Ships hit by U-boats. http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/709.html. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 

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