Ship ClassType IX-class Submarine
BuilderDeutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG
Yard Number943
Ordered29 Jul 1936
Laid Down15 Apr 1937
Launched9 Aug 1938


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Submarine U-38 Interactive Map

U-38 Operational Timeline

20 Jun 1940 At 0336 hours, German submarine U-38, commanded by Kapit√§nleutnant Heinrich Liebe, missed the 1,776-ton unescorted Swedish and neutral steam merchant Tilia Gorthon with a G7a torpedo and then stopped the vessel by gunfire about 45 miles west of the Isles of Scilly in the southwestern tip of England, United Kingdom. At 0412 hours, the Tilia Gorthon was hit in the engine room by another G7e torpedo after the crew had abandoned ship in two lifeboats and sank. The survivors were picked up by the British sloop HMS Leith (U 36). The Tilia Gorthon had previously been on voyage from Bahia, Brazil to Gothenburg, Sweden but was stopped by a British warship and sent to Liverpool, England, United Kingdom and then to Nantes, France, however, near the Loire a new order sent her to Quiberon Bay, France and finally ordered the ship back to Liverpool.
21 Jun 1940 At 1753 hours the 5,809-ton unescorted Belgian freighter Luxembourg was hit aft by a G7e torpedo from German submarine U-38 and sank west of Saint-Nazaire, France. The ship had been bound for Antwerp, Belgium but was diverted to Bordeaux, France and anchored at Le Verdon on 20 Jun 1940 when she was ordered to leave for Falmouth, England, United Kingdom. Five men were killed and one wounded of the 46 crew members on board.
22 Jun 1940 At 0217 hours the 5,154-ton unescorted and unarmed Greek merchant steamer Neion was hit in the engine room by a G7a torpedo from German submarine U-38 while steaming without navigational lights lit on a non-evasive course at 10 knots in the Bay of Biscay about 40 miles west-southwest of Belle √éle off the coast of Bretagne, France. One crew member was lost. The master, eight officers and 22 crew members abandoned ship in one lifeboat before she sank by the stern after five minutes. The cargo of naphtha drums was recovered in 1948.
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.
1 Oct 1940 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.
19 Oct 1940 German submarines U-38, U-46, U-47, and two others attacked Allied convoy HX-79 200 miles west of Ireland, sinking 5 ships and damaging tanker Shirak.

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