First Happy Time

1 Jul 1940 - 31 Oct 1940

Contributor:

ww2dbaseAt the start of 1940, the French Navy was the fourth largest in the world and it was the British Royal Navy's biggest ally in the Battle of the Atlantic. The events of May and Jun 1940, however, significantly changed the situation. As France surrendered to Germany, only a small percentage of French warships sailed to the United Kingdom to join the newly formed Free French government under Charles de Gaulle. Additionally, with the Germans now controlling the French coast, German submarines now operated out of Brest, Lorient, La Pallice, and La Rochelle, putting them in direct access to the Atlantic Ocean, thus increasing their operational ranges; these new bases began operations in about Jul 1940. Finally, with loss of the French Navy as an ally, the Royal Navy must now remove some warships previously assigned to convoy duty to bolster coastal defense especially along the English Channel, which made ocean-going convoys even more vulnerable to German surface and submarine raiders. To remedy the situation, Winston Churchill approached Franklin Roosevelt for assistance, which led to the Destroyers for Bases agreement in which the United States would provide surplus destroyers to the United Kingdom for 99-year leases on certain British bases in Newfoundland, Bermuda, and the West Indies. It would be some time before these destroyers could be rearmed and be readied for British service, however.

ww2dbaseIn the mean time, with the advantages gained from the current war situation, German submarines became an even more effective weapon against the United Kingdom than they had been in the fall of 1939. Between Jul 1940 and the end of Oct 1940, 282 Allied ships were sunk in waters off Britain and in the Atlantic Ocean, totaling 1,489,795 tons. The attacks on Allied shipping were so successful during this period that the German submariners nicknamed it the Happy Time (Die Glückliche Zeit). Although the British were improving convoy techniques (combining several smaller convoys into one large convoy, decreasing the frequency of convoys arriving and departing from Britain, etc.), the Germans were also improving their Rudel, or wolfpack, tactic. At the same time, while the British had cracked the German naval Enigma code, the Germans also deciphered the British Naval Cypher No. 3, which allowed the Germans to track Allied convoy movements.

ww2dbaseIn Aug 1940, 27 Italian submarines arrived in Bordeaux, France, and soon joined the German submarines in raiding Allied shipping; the number would increase to 32 shortly after. They would contribute much to the Battle of the Atlantic despite not impressing German Navy chief Admiral Karl Dönitz; "inadequately disciplined" and "unable to remain calm in the face of the enemy", Dönitz described the Italian sailors.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

First Happy Time Interactive Map

First Happy Time Timeline

1 Jul 1940 German submarines attacked various Allied ships off the French coast. 300 miles west of Brest at 0400 hours, U-30 sank British ship Beignon of Allied convoy SL-36, 6 were killed, 30 crew and 81 survivors of British ship Avelona Star, sunk on the previous day, were rescued. U-102 sank British ship Clearton of Allied convoy SL-36, killing 8; British destroyer HMS Vansittart found U-102 and sank her with depth charges, killing the entire crew of 43; 26 survivors from Clearton were picked up by HMS Vansittart. U-65 sank Dutch ship Amstelland; 1 was killed and 39 survived. U-29 sank Greek ship Adamastos; all 25 crew members survived. Meanwhile, southwest of Ireland, German submarine U-26 damaged British steamer Zarian of Allied convoy OA-175; British corvette HMS Gladiolus forced U-26 to surface with depth charges, which was then bombed by a Sunderland aircraft of the No. 10 Squadron RAAF; the crew of U-26 scuttled the boat before surrendering.
5 Jul 1940 German submarine U-34 sank British destroyer Whirlwind off Land's End, southwestern tip of England, United Kingdom. 50 miles southwest of Ireland, U-34 torpedoed British destroyer HMS Whirlwind, killing 59; 51 survivors were rescued by destroyer HMS Westcott before Wescott scuttled Whirlwind. Also off Ireland, U-99 damaged Canadian steamer Magog, breaking her into two; the stern section sank immediately, but the remainder of the ship remained afloat largely due to the timber she was carrying; 23 survivors were rescued by Swedish merchant ship Fidra.
6 Jul 1940 German submarine U-34 sank Estonian collier Vapper south of Cape Clear, Ireland; 1 was killed and 32 took to lifeboats; German submarine U-99, which had chased Vapper for the past 90 minutes, observed the sinking. To the south, U-30 sank Egyptian ship Angele Mabro west of Brest, France, killing all aboard.
7 Jul 1940 German submarine U-99 sank British ship Sea Glory at the very start of the day, killing the entire crew of 29. Toward the end of the day, U-99 struck again, sinking Swedish ship Bissen 80 miles south of Cape Clear, Ireland; the entire crew of 20 survived. Also on this date, U-34 sank Dutch tanker Lucrecia 100 miles west of Land's End in southwestern England, United Kingdom, killing 2; 30 survivors were later rescued by Portuguese ship Alfarrarede.
8 Jul 1940 German submarine U-99 sank British ship Humber Arm of Allied convoy HX-53 60 miles south of Ireland at 0753 hours; 42 crew members and 1 passenger were later rescued by destroyer HMS Scimitar. The submarine was attacked with 107 depth charges from various escorting vessels for the following 14 hours, but the German boat under the command of Otto Kretschmer would be able to escape harm.
9 Jul 1940 German submarine U-34 sank Estonian ship Tiiu southwest of Ireland at 1232 hours; the crew of 20 were rescued by a British trawler. In the same general area, at 2119 hours, German submarine U-43 sank British ship Aylesbury; the crew of 35 were rescued by destroyers HMS Harvester and HMS Havelock.
10 Jul 1940 German submarine U-34 sank Finnish ship Petsamo close to the southern coast of Ireland, killing 4. On the same day, U-61 torpedoed Dutch ship Alwaki 10 miles off Cape Wrath, Scotland, United Kingdom; the torpedo failed to detonate, but it knocked a hole in the hull, and the ship listed to port; all 41 crew and 10 passengers aboard were rescued by British ship Harmonic.
11 Jul 1940 German submarine U-34 sank Norwegian ship Janna 100 miles southwest of Ireland at 0700 hours. The entire crew of 25 took to lifeboats and would reach Mizen Head, Ireland 3 days later.
12 Jul 1940 German submarine U-56 attacked British transport ship Dunera with a torpedo in the North Channel between England, United Kingdom and Ireland; the torpedo glanced off the ship without exploding; the commanding officer of U-56 did not realize that Dunera was carrying, among others, Italian and German prisoners of war bound for Australia. To the southwest, 160 miles southwest of Ireland, German submarine U-99 sank Greek ship Ia at 0200 hours; 3 were killed and 27 were later rescued. At 2300 hours, U-99 struck again and fired a torpedo at Estonian ship Merisaar, but missed; with shots from the deck gun, she stopped the Estonian ship and forced her to sail into the German-occupied French port of Bordeaux (before reaching Bordeaux, however, a German aircraft would sink her on 15 Jul).
14 Jul 1940 German submarine U-52 sank Greek ship Thetis A. off Brest, France at 1818 hours. 9 were killed and 20 survived.
15 Jul 1940 German submarine U-34 sank Greek ship Evdoxia 40 miles southwest of Ireland at 0321 hours; 1 was killed and 22 survived.
16 Jul 1940 German submarine U-61 torpedoed British tanker Scottish Minstrel 130 miles northwest of Ireland, killing 9; 32 were later rescued by corvette HMS Gardenia. With her cargo of 9,200 tons of fuel oil burning, the tanker would remain afloat for another day before sinking.
17 Jul 1940 German submarine U-34 sank Greek ship Naftilos south of Ireland at 0110 hours (all 28 abandoned the ship, but 1 of them would later die of wounds suffered during this attack); 135 miles northwest of Bloody Foreland, Ireland at 1040 hours, U-43 sank British ship Fellside (12 were killed and 21 were rescued). 120 miles south of Ireland, German bombers sank Estonian ship Leola, killing 2. North of Scotland, United Kingdom, U-57 sank Swedish ship O. A. Brodin (at 0455 hours; 3 were killed and 21 were rescued) and British ship Manipur (at 2222 hours; 14 were killed and 65 were rescued). Meanwhile, 5 miles off the Netherlands, British submarine H31 sank German anti-submarine trawler Steiermark; other anti-submarine trawlers attacked with depth charges in response, but failed to destroy H31.
18 Jul 1940 German submarine U-99 sank British ship Woodbury 150 miles southwest of Ireland; the entire crew of 35 survived and took to lifeboats. German submarine U-58 sank Norwegian ship Gyda 30 miles northwest of Ireland at 1641 hours; 11 were killed and 9 survived.
19 Jul 1940 German submarine U-62 sank a British ship 30 miles northwest of Ireland; 13 were killed and 26 survived.
21 Jul 1940 German submarine U-30 sank British ship Ellaroy 180 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain. The entire crew of 16 took to lifeboats and were later rescued by Spanish trawler Felix Montenegro.
26 Jul 1940 German submarine U-34 attacked convoy OB-188 with three torpedoes 320 miles west of Ireland at 1447 hours, sinking British passenger ship Accra (which was also carrying 1,700 tons of cargo on this trip), killing 24; 465 survivors were rescued by British ship Hollinside, Norwegian ship Loke, British sloop HMS Enchantress, and British corvette HMS Clarkia. British merchant ship Vinemoor was also hit but without any fatalities; she would remain afloat until the following day after her crew of 32 were rescued by HMS Clarkia.
27 Jul 1940 German submarine U-34 attacked Allied convoy OB-188 350 miles west of Scotland, United Kingdom before sunrise, sinking British ship Sambre at 0258 hours and British tanker Thiara at 0313 hours. British destroyer HMS Winchelsea rescued Sambre's entire crew of 48 and 36 of 61 of Thiara's crew (25 were killed).
28 Jul 1940 British HMS Alcantara was hit by 3 shells from German armed merchant ship Thor 740 miles off Brazil, near the island of Trindade; 2 were killed and 7 were wounded; as Thor turned away to disengage from battle, Alcantara fired and hit Thor with 2 shells, killing 3. On the same day, German submarine U-99 sank British merchant ship Auckland Star 80 miles west of Ireland at 0557 hours. The entire crew of 74 were taken to lifeboats and would make it to the Irish shore.
29 Jul 1940 German submarine U-99 sank British ship Clan Menzies 80 miles west of Ireland at 0215 hours; 5 were killed and 88 took to lifeboats.
31 Jul 1940 German submarine U-99 sank British ship Jamaica Progress at 0138 hours (killing 7) and British ship Jersey City at 1324 hours (killing 2) 50 miles north of Ireland. She was attacked by depth charges by escort vessels and a bomb from a flying boat, but she was able to escape undamaged.
1 Aug 1940 German submarine U-34 detected British submarine HMS Spearfish on the surface in the North Sea and sank Spearfish with her last torpedo at 1904 hours, killing 41; one survivor, Able Seaman William Pester, was taken aboard U-34 as a prisoner of war.
1 Aug 1940 German submarine U-59 sank Swedish ship Sigyn at 0345 hours 60 miles northwest of Ireland; the entire crew was rescued.
2 Aug 1940 German submarine U-99 torpedoed British merchant ship Alexia, British merchant ship Lucerna, and Norwegian merchant ship Strinda of convoy OB-191. All three were damaged but none of them sank. No men were killed as the result of the attack.
3 Aug 1940 German submarine U-57 sank Swedish ship Atos at 0810 hours north of Ireland; 1 was killed and 27 were rescued. German submarine U-A stopped Yugoslavian ship Rad at 1900 hours 300 miles off of the coast of Senegal in western Africa and later found out she was carrying chemicals from the United States for South Africa; the crew of 29 was put to lifeboats, and U-A sank Rad with a torpedo.
4 Aug 1940 German submarine U-58 sank Greek ship Pindos with two torpedoes 10 miles from the Irish coast at 2120 hours; 3 were killed and 29 took to lifeboats. 300 miles northwest of Ireland, German submarine U-52 sank three transports in convoy HX-60: Geraldine Mary (3 killed, 48 survived), Gogovale (all 37 survived), and King Alfred (7 killed, 34 survived); U-52 was depth charged by Royal Navy escort vessels, causing significant damage, but she was able to escape and sail to Kiel, Germany for repairs; she would be out of action until 17 Nov 1940.
5 Aug 1940 German submarine U-56 attacked British ship Boma at 2138 hours 20 miles north of Ireland; 3 were killed and 50 survived; Boma would sink on next day. British ship Cape St. George hit the wreck of Yugoslavian ship Rad off of the coast of Senegal in western Africa, which was sunk by German submarine U-A two days earlier; as Cape St. George sank, the crew of 65 were rescued by British ship Grodno, which was carrying the survivors of Rad.
7 Aug 1940 German submarine U-38 torpedoed and sank British troopship Mohamed Ali El Kebir 160 miles off Ireland at 2140 hours en route from England to Gibraltar, killing 86 of the 697 military passengers and 10 of the 165 crew aboard. Destroyer HMS Griffin depth charged U-38 for two hours and then returned to pick up all 766 survivors.
8 Aug 1940 German submarine U-37 sank British ship Upwey Grange, carrying 5,380 tons of frozen beef from Argentina to Britain, 200 miles west of Ireland at 0114 hours; the entire crew of 86 took to lifeboats, but one of the boats, carrying 36, was never seen again.
9 Aug 1940 German submarine U-30 sank Swedish merchant ship Canton 70 miles west of Ireland at 2032 hours; 16 were killed and 16 survived. Canton was carrying 7,900 tons of cargo (including iron) from India and South Africa to Britain.
10 Aug 1940 German submarine U-56 struck HMS Transylvania 20 miles north of Ireland at 0100 hours with U-56's last torpedo, killing 36. Destroyer HMS Ashanti and several trawlers rescued 300 survivors, and then attempted to tow Transylvania back to port, but Transylvania would sink during the process.
11 Aug 1940 German submarine U-38 sank British ship Llanfair 125 miles west of Ireland at 1519 hours; 3 were killed and 30 were rescued by American merchant ship California.
12 Aug 1940 Italian submarine Malaspina sank British tanker British Fame with 6 torpedoes near the Azores, killing 3. Malaspina spent the remainder of the day towing a lifeboat full of survivors to safety.
13 Aug 1940 German submarine U-60 sank Swedish ship Nils Gorthon 10 miles north of Ireland at 2147 hours; 5 were killed and 16 survived.
14 Aug 1940 German submarine U-59 sank British ship Betty 15 miles north of Ireland at 2034 hours, killing 30. 4 survivors were later rescued by British anti-submarine trawler HMS Man o' War.
15 Aug 1940 German submarine U-A sank Greek ship Aspasia 700 miles west of Gibraltar at 2000 hours with two torpedoes, killing the entire crew of 19. Far to the north, 190 miles northwest of Rockall, Ireland, German submarine U-51 sank British tanker Sylvafield, which was carrying 7,860 tons of fuel oil, killing 3; 20 survivors were rescued by Belgian trawler Rubens and 16 survivors were rescued by British minesweeping trawler HMS Newland. In Germany, German Navy ordered the construction of 86 new submarines.
16 Aug 1940 German submarine U-100 sank British ship Empire Merchant 150 miles northwest of Ireland, killing 7. 48 survivors were rescued by tug HMS Salvonia. 150 miles further northwest, a German submarine wolfpack consisted of U-30, U-46, and U-48 attacked Allied convoy OB-197, sinking Swedish ship Hedrun (8 killed, 20 survived) and British ship Clan Macphee (67 killed, 41 survived), and damaging Dutch ship Alcinous. In the same general area 170 miles northwest of Ireland, British Coastal Command Sunderland flying boats of 210 Squadron attacked German submarine U-51 with depth charges; U-51 narrowly survived the attack; this was the first successful use of aircraft against a German submarine.
17 Aug 1940 Adolf Hitler announced an air and sea blockade of Britain, threatening that all ships approaching Britain would be sunk without warning.
19 Aug 1940 German submarine U-48 sank Belgian passenger ship Ville de Gand off Ireland just after midnight; 15 were killed and 38 survived. Also off Ireland, at 0154 hours, U-101 sank British ship Ampleforth; 9 were killed and 29 were rescued by British destroyer HMS Warwick. U-A sank British ship Hungarian Kelet off Ireland at 1000 hours, killing 6, all of whom were survivors of the ship Clan Macphee that was sunk by U-30 on 16 Aug 1940; 33 crew and 35 other Clan Macphee survivors were rescued by Norwegian merchant ship Varegg.
20 Aug 1940 British submarine HMS Cachalot torpedoed and sank German submarine U-51 in the Bay of Biscay 100 miles west of St. Nazaire, France, killing the entire crew of 43.
21 Aug 1940 Italian submarine Dandolo damaged Dutch tanker Hermes 200 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal.
23 Aug 1940 German submarine U-37 torpedoed Norwegian ship Keret in the Atlantic Ocean 500 miles west of Ireland at 0222 hours, killing 13; 7 survivors in a lifeboat and a raft were rescued by British ship Trident. In the general area, at 1250 hours, U-37 sank British ship Severn Leigh, killing 32 crew and 1 gunner; 10 survivors would make it to Outer Hebrides, Scotland on 5 Sep.
24 Aug 1940 German submarine U-57 attacked Allied convoy OB-202 2 miles north of Ireland just after midnight; British ships Saint Dunstan and Cumberland were sunk, killing 14 and 4, respectively; British ship Havildar was damaged. German submarine U-48 sank British tanker La Brea, carrying 9,410 tons of fuel oil, 130 miles west of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1414 hours, killing 2; 31 survived and made it to the Outer Hebrides on lifeboats. 500 miles west of Ireland, German submarine U-37 sank British ship Brookwood at 0314 hours, killing 1; 35 crew and 1 gunner would remain adrift for 5 days before being picked up by British merchant ship Clan Macbean. At 2038 hours, U-37 struck again, sinking British sloop HMS Penzance escorting Allied convoy SC-1, killing 90; 7 survivors were rescued by British ship Blairmore.
25 Aug 1940 Allied convoy HX-65 from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to Liverpool, England, United Kingdom was tracked and attacked by German submarines all day; at 0245 hours, German submarine U-48 sank the ship Empire Merlin (35 were killed and 1 was rescued by corvette HMS Godetia) and tanker Athelcrest (30 were killed and 6 were rescued by HMS Godetia) 90 miles north of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland; at 0748 hours, German submarine U-57 sank tanker Pecten (49 were killed and 8 were rescued) 75 miles north of Ireland; between 2350 and 2356 hours, German submarine U-124 fired four torpedoes at the convoy 23 miles north of the Outer Hebrides, sinking British ships Harpalyce (42 were killed) and Fircrest (entire crew of 39 was lost), while damaging Stakesby. Also on this date, German submarine U-37 sank British ship Blairmore 500 miles west of Ireland at 0146 hours; 5 were killed and 36 were rescued by Swedish ship Eknaren. Closer to the Irish coast, German submarine U-100 sank British ship Jamaica Pioneer, killing 2. At about 2345 hours, U-37 struck again, sinking British ship Yewcrest.
27 Aug 1940 US President Roosevelt signed the joint resolution authorizing him to call Army Reserve components and National Guard into federal service for one year; meanwhile, at the US Congress, the legislation that allowed US Navy and US Marine Corps reserve aviators to be called up to active duty was enacted. On the same date, Roosevelt met with Secretary of the Navy Knox, Secretary of War Stimson, and Secretary of State Hull regarding a compromise that might persuade the opponents of the destroyers-for-bases exchange to back down. Subsequently, Roosevelt met with US Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Stark, Secretary of the Navy Knox, Secretary of State Hull, and British Ambassador Lord Lothian to continue destroyers-for-bases discussions; Stark certified that the destroyers in question were available for British use without concerns of weakening US defense. Finally, Roosevelt received a ruling from Attorney General Robert H. Jackson which suggested that the destroyers-for-bases exchange was legal. Meanwhile, out at sea, German submarines continued to attack Allied shipping in the Atlantic Ocean. German submarine U-46 attacked British armed merchant cruiser Dunvegan Castle with three torpedoes 75 miles northwest of Ireland; 27 were killed and 250 were rescued by destroyer HMS Harvester and corvette HMS Primrose; Dunvegan Castle would sink on the following day. German submarine U-28 sank Norwegian ship Eva 200 miles northwest of Ireland at 1603 hours, killing 1. Finally, German submarine U-37 sank Greek ships Theodoros T. 300 miles west of Ireland at 2231 hours.
28 Aug 1940 German submarine U-101 torpedoed Finnish ship Elle 200 miles northwest of Ireland at 0425 hours, killing 2; after the 27 survivors were rescued by sloop HMS Leith and delivered to Greenock, Scotland, HMS Leith returned on 30 Aug to scuttle the ship with gunfire. German submarine U-28 sank British ship Kyno 200 miles northwest of Ireland at 2100 hours; 4 were killed and 33 were rescued by British ship Queen Maud.
29 Aug 1940 German submarine U-100 hit five ships in Allied convoy OA-204 150 miles northwest of Ireland. British ship Hartismere was damaged at 0023 hours; British ship Dalblair was sunk also at 0023 hours (4 killed, 37 survived); British ship Astra II was sunk at 0140 hours (5 killed, 20 survived); Swedish ship Alida Gorton was sunk at 0336 hours (11 killed, 13 survived; 20 survivors of Dalblair were also killed); and British ship Empire Moose was sunk at 0427 hours (all 36 survived).
30 Aug 1940 German submarine U-32 sank three ships of Allied convoy HX-66A four miles off Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom between 0200 and 0248 hours; British ship Mill Hill was sunk with the entire crew of 34 lost, British ship Chelsea was sunk with 24 lost and 11 rescued by armed trawler HMS Lord Cecil, and Norwegian ship Norne was sunk with 17 lost and 11 survivors rescued by corvette HMS Hibiscus. Several hours later, German submarine U-59 attacked two ships of Allied convoy OB-205 70 miles northwest of Ireland between 0934 and 0953 hours; British tanker Anadara was damaged but remained float and without any casualties, and would be towed to the Clyde in Scotland by tug HMS Schelde; Greek ship San Gabriel also took on damage without sinking, but suffered 2 kills (she would later be declared a loss and her remaining 22 survivors would be taken off by destroyer HMS Warwick). Finally, also on this date, German submarine U-25 sank with all hands near Terschelling, the Netherlands after one of her own mines exploded.
31 Aug 1940 Allied convoy OB-205 was attacked by German submarines 100 miles north of Ireland; at 0000 hours, German submarine U-60 hit Dutch passenger ship Volendam, carrying 273 crew and 606 British passengers (many were children) for Canada, killing 1 though the death occurred during the evacuation rather than during the attack; at 0206 hours, German submarine U-59 sank British ship Bibury, killing the entire crew of 38 and 1 gunner; at 0615 hours, German submarine U-38 sank British ship Har Zion; 33 were killed and 1 survived (rescued by Polish destroyer Blyskawica on the next day). To the west, 100 miles northwest of Ireland, German submarine U-46 sank Belgian passenger ship Ville de Hasselt; the entire crew of 53 survived on 4 lifeboats.
1 Sep 1940 German submarine U-101 sank Greek ship Efploia 100 miles northwest of Ireland just after 0000 hours; the entire crew survived on two lifeboats and were rescued by British destroyer HMS Anthony. 200 miles west of Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1725 hours, U-32 attacked British cruiser HMS Fiji, killing 5 and badly damaging the ship; Fiji would be able to sail to the Clyde, Scotland under her own power for repairs. To the south, near Brest, France, British submarine HMS Tigris sank the small French fishing vessel Sancte Michael with the deck gun.
2 Sep 1940 German submarine U-58 departed Lorient, France; only 30 miles out of the port, she was detected by British submarine HMS Tigris, which fired a spread of torpedoes at her; all torpedoes missed. German submarine U-46 sank British ship Thornlea 200 miles northwest of Ireland at 2200 hours, killing 3; 19 survivors were rescued by Canadian destroyer HMCS Skeena, while another 14 survivors would be rescued on the following day by the Norwegian ship Hild. 200 miles west of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom, German submarine U-47 sank Belgian ship Ville de Mons with four torpedoes at 1900 hours; all 54 aboard survived. Far to the south, German armed merchant cruiser Widder sank British tanker Cymbeline with the deck gun and a torpedo in the Central Atlantic 800 miles west of the Canary Islands, killing 7; Widder remained in the area for four hours and rescued 26 survivors.
3 Sep 1940 German submarine U-60 sank British collier Ulva about 150 miles southwest of Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0326 hours; 3 were killed and 17 survived. A British convoy escort vessel depth charged German submarine U-101 200 miles west of Ireland, damaging her and causing flooding, but U-101 would survive and reach Lorient, France on 16 Sep for repairs.
4 Sep 1940 German submarine U-45 sank Irish ship Luimneach 200 miles west of Brest, France at 2000 hours. 3 were rescued by U-45 and 15 were rescued by a French fishing boat.
9 Sep 1940 German submarine U-28 sank British ship Mardinian of Allied convoy SC-2 70 miles north of Ireland at 0447 hours; 6 were killed and 22 survived. Italian submarine Comandante Faŕ di Bruno damaged British tanker Auris 750 miles west of Gibraltar.
11 Sep 1940 German submarine U-28 attacked Dutch ship Maas (sank, killing 20) and British ship Harpenden (seriously damaged, killing 1), both of Allied convoy OA-210, 200 miles northwest of Ireland between 0326 and 0328 hours.
14 Sep 1940 Italian submarine Emo attacked British tanker Saint Agnes 500 miles west of Porto, Portugal with torpedo and deck gun.
15 Sep 1940 German submarine U-99 attacked Canadian ship Kenordoc with the deck gun 200 miles northwest of Ireland just after midnight, killing 7 and wounding 13; heavily damaged, she would later be scuttled by Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent and British destroyer HMS Amazon after the destroyers took the survivors aboard. German submarine U-48 sank British sloop HMS Dundee northwest of Ireland at 0025 hours; 12 were killed and 83 were rescued. At 0123 hours, U-48 attacked Greek ship Alexandros with a torpedo, killing 5; 23 survivors were rescued by destroyer HMS Wanderer. At 0300 hours, U-48 yet attacked again, sinking British ship Empire Volunteer; 6 were killed and 33 were rescued. 180 miles west of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0605 hours, German submarine U-65 sank Norwegian ship Hird; the entire crew of 30 survived, rescued by Icelandic trawler Ţórólfur.
16 Sep 1940 German submarine U-99 sank Norwegian ship Lotos north of Ireland at 0241 hours; the entire crew of 17 survived in two lifeboats.
17 Sep 1940 German submarine U-48 attacked British passenger liner City of Benares 400 miles west of Scotland, United Kingdom; City of Benares was evacuating 90 British children and their families to Canada but this fact was unknown to the German captain; both torpedoes missed and U-48 would continue to stalk her prey. German submarines U-99 sank British ship Crown Arun of Allied convoy HX-71 200 miles west of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0832 hours; the entire crew of 25 were rescued by destroyer HMS Winchelsea. German submarines U-65 sank British ship Tregenna of Allied convoy HX-71 200 miles west of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1626 hours; 33 were killed and 4 were rescued by British ship Filleigh.
18 Sep 1940 Italian submarine Bagnolini sank Spanish ship Cabo Tortosa off Porto, Portugal; all members of the crew survived the attack and were rescued by Spanish ship Monte Ayala.
19 Sep 1940 Italian submarine Comandante Faa Di Bruno attacked a ship 700 miles west of Gibraltar without success. Italian submarine Guglielmo sank Spanish trawler Almirante Jose De Carranza in the Bay of Biscay north of Spain; only 1 survived.
20 Sep 1940 German submarine U-A sank Panamanian collier Tuira 400 miles west of Ireland at 0027 hours, killing 2. German submarine U-46 torpedoed and damaged Greek ship Leonidas M. Valmas 50 miles northwest of Ireland at 2150 hours; she would not sink due to its cargo of wood, but 16 crew members died in the fire; 2 survivors were rescued by British destroyer HMS Arrow. 10 miles north of Malin Head, Ireland, German submarine U-138 fired three torpedoes at Allied convoy OB-216 between 2120 and 2126 hours; all three torpedoes hit, sinking Yugoslavian collier Boka was sunk (8 killed, 26 survived) and British passenger liner City of Simla (3 killed, 182 crew and 165 passengers survived); British whale factory ship New Sevilla was damaged but would remain afloat until the next day (2 killed, 282 survived).
21 Sep 1940 German submarine U-138 attacked Allied convoy OB-216 10 miles off Malin Head, Ireland at 0227 hours, damaging British ship Empire Adventure, killing 21. Empire Adventure was taken in tow, but would sink on 23 Sep.
22 Sep 1940 Allied convoy HX-72 continued to be attacked by German submarines in the Atlantic Ocean after being detected and attacked in the previous day. Between 0022 and 0214 hours, German submarine U-100 sank British ship Empire Airman (33 killed, 4 rescued), British tanker Frederick S. Fales (11 killed, 32 rescued), British ship Scholar (entire crew of 45 survived), Norwegian ship Simla (5 drowned after jumping overboard, 31 survived), and three other ships. At 0740 hours, U-32 attacked British ship Collegian with her deck gun, but return fire from Collegian drove off the attack. Meanwhile, 100 miles south of the Faroe Islands, German submarine U-31 sank Faroese trawler Union Jack at 1755 hours by deck gun fire; the entire crew of 7 survived. 1 mile off the French coast near Bordeaux, British submarine HMS Tuna sank Norwegian passenger liner Tirranna; the commanding officer of HMS Tuna did not know that Tirranna was a prize ship taken by German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis back in Jun, and it carried 274 prisoners; of the 88 killed, only one was German; the remainder were all civilians of friendly nations.
23 Sep 1940 British submarine H-49 sank German ship Heimdal 7 miles northwest of Terschelling Island, the Netherlands.
24 Sep 1940 British submarine HMS Cachalot attacked a German submarine in the Bay of Biscay off France without success.
25 Sep 1940 German submarine U-32 sank British ship Mabriton 500 miles west of Ireland at 0325 hours; 12 were killed and 25 survived. German submarine U-43 sank British ship Sulairia 400 miles west of Ireland at 1330 hours; 1 was killed and 56 survived. Shortly after at 1400 hours in the same general area west of Ireland, German submarine U-29 attacked British ship Eurymedon; she would sink two days later; the final casualty list included 20 crew and 9 passengers killed; 42 crew and 22 passengers survived.
26 Sep 1940 German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank Norwegian whaling factory ship Kosmos 400 miles northwest of Natal, Brazil with her deck gun after imprisoning the crew of 89; Captain Kahler of Thor would later be criticized for not transferring Kosmos' valuable cargo of whale oil aboard before sinking the ship. German submarine U-137 fired three torpedoes at Allied convoy OB-218 10 miles off the Mullet Peninsula, Ireland between 0050 and 0052 hours, sinking British ship Manchester Brigade (44 crew and 8 navy personnel killed, 4 survived) and damaging British ship Ashantian (4 killed). At 0135 hours, U-137 struck again, sinking British ship Stratford of the same convoy; 2 were killed and 32 survived. About 20 minutse later, German submarine U-46 sank British ship Coast Wings 350 miles southwest of Ireland at 0153 hours, killing the entire crew of 16. Further out to sea, at 0234 hours, German submarine U-32 attacked an Allied convoy 400 miles west of Ireland, damaging British ship Corrientes (entire crew of 50 rescued by Swedish ship Kolsnaren), sinking Norwegian ship Tancred (entire crew of 36 survived) at 0811 hours, and sinking British ship Darcoila (entire crew of 31 killed) at 0137 hours. In the evening at 2120 hours, U-64 struck again, sinking Swedish ship Siljan; 9 were killed and 18 survived.
27 Sep 1940 300 miles west of Ireland, German submarine U-31 sank Norwegian ship Vestvard at 1113 hours (1 killed, 30 survived in one lifeboat) and German submarine U-37 sank Egyptian ship Georges Mabro shortly before midnight (all aboard were killed). 500 miles west of Saint-Nazaire, France, German submarine U-46 dove suddenly due to mechanical failure, killing Oberbootsmaat Heinrich Schenk and Matrosenobergefreiter Wilhelm Reh; control was regained, and the commanding officer aborted the mission to return to Saint-Nazaire for repairs.
28 Sep 1940 German submarine U-32 sank British ship Empire Ocelot 350 miles west of Ireland at 1609 hours; 2 were killed and 32 were rescued by British destroyer HMS Havelock. German submarine U-37 sank the already-abandoned British ship Corrientes at 2000 hours; she was damaged by U-32 on 26 Sep. German destroyers Eckholdt, Riedel, Lody, Galster, Ihn, and Steinbrinck departed Brest, France and laid mines in Falmouth Bay at the western end of the English Channel. Meanwhile, British anti-submarine trawler Recoil hit a mine and sank in the English Channel off Portland Bill in southern England, United Kingdom; 25 were killed.
29 Sep 1940 Having dispersed Allied convoy OB-218 with previous attacks, German submarine U-32 caught up with British ship Bassa, now sailing alone, from behind and damaged her with a torpedo near the stern southwest of the island of Rockall between Britain and Iceland at 0053 hours. Bassa's crew members were observed by U-32 to have abandoned ship, but captain George Edward Anderson, the other 48 members of the crew, and the 1 navy gunner were never to be seen again.
30 Sep 1940 German submarine U-37 sank British ship Samala 300 miles west of Ireland at 1013 hours, killing everyone aboard (65 crew, 1 gunner, and 2 passengers). At 2156 hours, in the same area, U-37 sank British ship Heminge, killing 1; 24 crew and 1 gunner were rescued by British merchant ship Clan Cumming.
1 Oct 1940 Italian submarine Maggiore Baracca sank Greek ship Aghios Nicolaos 400 miles west of Porto, Portugal. German submarine U-38 sank British ship Highland Patriot 300 miles west of Ireland at 0647 hours; 3 crew were killed, 136 crew and 33 passengers were rescued by sloop HMS Wellington. German submarine U-32 sank Dutch ship Haulerwijk 400 miles west of Ireland; 4 were killed and 27 survived.
2 Oct 1940 German submarine U-32 sank British ship Kayeson 400 miles west of Ireland at 1825 hours; the crew abandoned ship in lifeboats but none were seen again.
4 Oct 1940 The British Admiralty announced the sinking of seven German submarines.
5 Oct 1940 Italian submarine Nani sank British trawler HMT Kingston Sapphire 20 miles south of Cádiz, Spain; 3 were killed and the remaining rescued by a Spanish trawler. British submarine HMS Tigris attacked an Italian submarine (possibly submersible torpedo boat Otario) in the Bay of Biscay without success.
6 Oct 1940 German submarine U-123 sank British ship Benlawers 400 miles west of Ireland at 1304 hours; she was carrying military supplies from Britain to Egypt, including trucks; 23 crew members and 1 Royal Navy gunner were killed, and 27 were rescued by British ships Bengore Head and Forest. German submarine U-103 sank Norwegian tanker Nina Borthen west of Ireland at 2204 hours, killing the entire crew of 35. German submarine U-37 damaged British tanker British General with a torpedo west of Ireland at 1855 and then again at 2310 hours; U-37 could not surface to finish off the tanker with the deck gun because the British ship was armed.
7 Oct 1940 German submarine U-59 sank Norwegian ship Touraine 50 miles northwest of Ireland at 1600 hours; 1 was killed and 34 survived in 3 lifeboats. German submarine U-37 hit British tanker British General with two torpedoes 400 miles west of Ireland at 2000 hours after already damaging her with two torpedoes on the previous day; British General sank with all 47 hands lost.
8 Oct 1940 British submarine HMS Trident and German submarine U-31 exchanged fire in the Bay of Biscay off France; Trident hit U-31 with the deck gun, causing minor damage; both torpedoes fired missed. German submarine U-58 hit British ship Confield 88 miles west of Barra Head, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 2131 hours with two torpedoes, killing 1; the ship remained afloat, allowing the remaining 36 to escape via lifeboats. Far to the south, 350 miles northeast of Natal, Brazil, German armed merchant cruiser Thor attacked British refrigeration ship Natia, killing 2; after the remaining 83 crew members were captured, Natia was sunk by a torpedo and two more shells from Thor's 150-mm gun; after this attack, Thor now had 368 prisoners aboard, outnumbering her crew.
9 Oct 1940 German submarine U-103 attacked Allied convoy SC-6, sinking Greek ships Zannes Gounaris (1 killed) and Delphin (all survived) and damaging British ship Graigwen (7 killed, 27 survived). U-103 was subjected to a depth charge attack, but escaped unharmed.
10 Oct 1940 British ship Graigwen, damaged on the previous day and abandoned, was sunk by German submarine U-123 at 2333 hours.
11 Oct 1940 German torpedo boats Falke, Greif, Kondor, Seeadler, and Wolf sank British anti-submarine trawler HMT Warwick Deeping (no deaths), French submarine chasers Ch.6 (9 killed, 12 captured) and CH.7 (12 killed, 8 captured), and French armed trawler Listrac (12 killed, 25 wounded) off the Isle of Wight overnight. German submarine U-48 attacked Allied convoy HX-77 250 miles northwest of Ireland in the evening; at 2150 hours, Norwegian ship Brandanger was sunk (6 killed, 24 survived); at 2209 hours, British ship Port Gisborne was sunk (26 killed when lifeboat capsized, 38 survived).
12 Oct 1940 German submarines U-48, U-59, and U-101 attacked Allied convoy HX.77 150 miles northwest of Ireland, sinking Norwegian tanker Davanger just after 0000 hours (17 killed, 12 survived), British ship Pacific Ranger at 1800 hours (entire crew of 55 survived), and Canadian steamer Saint Malô at 2325 hours (28 killed, 16 survived).
13 Oct 1940 German submarine U-103 attacked Estonian ship Nora 200 miles west of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0846 hours with a torpedo; as Nora remained afloat, Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze of U-103 realized Nora's lifeboats were all destroyed during the attack, and broadcasted a distress message with the damaged ship's position; British sloop HMS Leith would arrive several days later and would rescue 19 survivors. German submarine U-37 sank British ship Stangrant west of Scotland, United Kingdom at 1957 hours; 8 were killed and 30 survived.
14 Oct 1940 British anti-submarine trawler HMT Lord Stamp hit a mine and sank off Dorset, England, United Kingdom in the English Channel; 25 were killed. German submarine U-137 hit British armed merchant cruiser HMS Cheshire with a torpedo 100 miles northwest of Ireland at 2128 hours; Cheshire remained afloat, and the 220 crew members were rescued by Canadian destroyer HMCS Skeena and British corvette HMS Periwinkle.
15 Oct 1940 German submarine U-93 sank British ship Hurunui of Allied convoy OA-228 100 miles northwest of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom just after 0000 hours; 2 were killed and 72 survived. Five hours later in the same general area, German submarine U-138 sank British ship Bonheur (all survived) and damaged British tanker British Glory (3 killed) of Allied convoy OA-228 between 0510 and 0515 hours. German submarine U-103 sank British ship Thistlegarth 100 miles northwest of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1933 hours; 30 were killed and 9 survived. Far to the south, Italian submarine Comandante Cappellini sank Belgian ship Kabalo 800 miles west of Casablanca, Morocco; 1 was killed.
16 Oct 1940 British motor torpedo boat MTB-106 hit a mine and sank near the Nore lightship at the mouth of the Thames Estuary in southern England, United Kingdom. German submarine U-124 sank Canadian ship Trevisa 400 miles northwest of Ireland at 0350 hours; 7 were killed and 14 survived. British submarine HMS Tigris sank small French trawler Cimcour with gunfire in the Bay of Biscay 120 miles west of La Rochelle, France. The 30-ship Allied convoy SC-7 was attacked by 7 German submarines on the last leg of its journey from Sydney, Australia to Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom; attacks followed for 3 more days, and the overall losses amounted to 20 ships totaling 79,646 tons.
17 Oct 1940 4 German destroyers and 6 torpedo boats departed from Brest, France to attack shipping in the Bristol Channel, but they were detected by British reconnaissance aircraft at 0719 hours; British cruiser HMS Newcastle, cruiser HMS Emerald, and 5 destroyers were dispatched from Plymouth at 1100 hours to intercept; at 1600 hours, the British ships found their targets and exchanged fire at the range of 11 miles; no hits were made by either side.
17 Oct 1940 At 1052 hours, German submarine U-38 sank Greek ship Aenos with the deck gun in the Atlantic Ocean; 4 were killed and 25 survived.
17 Oct 1940 British minesweeper HMS Dundalk hit a mine 20 miles northeast of Harwich, England, United Kingdom, killing 4 and wounding 7; she was towed into the harbor for repairs, but she would sink on the next day.
17 Oct 1940 German submarine U-48 fired 3 torpedoes at Allied convoy SC-7 400 miles northwest of Ireland at 0553 hours, sinking British ship Scoresby and damaging British tanker Languedoc; British corvette HMS Bluebell scuttled Languedoc with gunfire and rescued the 39 survivors from Scoresby and 39 survivors from Languedoc.
17 Oct 1940 German submarine U-93 attacked Allied convoy OA-228 300 miles northwest of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom, sinking Norwegian ship Dokka at 0317 hours (10 killed, 7 survived) and British ship Uskbridge at 0339 hours (2 killed, 6 survived); U-93 was depth charged at 0400 hours by HMS Folkestone, depth charged at 1015 hours, and attacked by aerial bombs in the evening; none of the attacks caused damage.
17 Oct 1940 In the North Sea, German motor torpedo boats S-24 and S-27 attacked Allied convoy FN.311 10 miles off Lowestoft, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom; British ship Hauxley was damaged by a torpedo, killing 1, sinking on the next day.
18 Oct 1940 German submarines attacked Allied convoy SC-7 all day; U-38 attacked British ship Carsbreck at 0636 hours; U-99 sank British ship Fiscus 100 miles northwest of Ireland, killing 38 of 39 aboard; U-100 and U-123 damaged British ship Shekatika 100 miles northwest of Ireland at 2225 hours, with all 36 aboard surviving. German submarine U-48 sank British ship Sandsend 500 miles west of Ireland at 2225 hours, killing 5. German submarine chasers UJ-116 and UJ-118 sank British WW1-era submarine H-49 off Texel Island, the Netherlands; 21 were killed and 1 survived and captured. British anti-submarine trawler HMT Kingston Cairngorm hit a mine in the English Channel; she was able to be towed back to the harbor, but would sink on the following day.
19 Oct 1940 German submarines U-99, U-100, U-101, and U-123 continued to attack Allied convoy SC-7 100 miles northwest of Ireland. U-123 sank British ship Shekatika as Shekatika received her fifth torpedo hit. U-99 sank Norwegian ship Snefjeld; the entire crew of 21 survived.
20 Oct 1940 German submarine U-124 sank Norwegian ship Cubano (2 killed, 29 survived) and British ship Sulaco (65 killed, 1 survived) 200 miles west of Ireland.
25 Oct 1940 Three RAF Hudson bombers attacked German submarine U-46 in the Atlantic Ocean, wounding Matrosengefreiter Plaep, who would die from his injuries on the next day.
26 Oct 1940 German submarine U-28 hit British ship Matina 250 miles northwest of Ireland at 0432 hours with a torpedo, then surfaced to hit her with 15 shells with the deck gun; 67 crew members and 2 gunners of Matina abandoned the ship in lifeboats, but they would never to be seen again. On the same day, German Fw 200 Condor bomber discovered and hit British troop ship Empress of Britain with two 250kg bombs 70 miles northwest of Aran Island in the Atlantic Ocean; most of the 416 crew, 2 gunners, and 205 passengers survived the attack and abandoned ship; German submarines were alerted, and would close in for the kill.
27 Oct 1940 Italian submarine Nani sank Swedish ship Meggie 70 miles southeast of the Azores Islands; the entire crew of Meggie survived.

Maps

Map marking limit of Axis expansion in Europe, North Africa, and the Atlantic Ocean, Sep 1939-Aug 1942




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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
24 Mar 2015 03:33:14 PM

british fame.captain w g knight taken on board Italian sub spent rest of war as pow.

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