U-40 file photo [29184]


Ship ClassType IX-class Submarine
BuilderDeutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG
Yard Number945
Ordered29 Jul 1936
Laid Down1 Jul 1937
Launched9 Nov 1938
Commissioned11 Feb 1939
Sunk13 Oct 1939
Displacement1,032 tons standard; 1,153 tons submerged
Length251 feet
Beam21 feet
Draft15 feet
Machinery2 diesel engines (4,300bhp), 2 electric motors (990shp), 2 shafts
Speed18 knots
Range10,000nm at 10 knots surfaced, 65-78nm at 4 knots submerged
Armament4x53.3cm bow torpedo tubes, 2x53.3cm stern torpedo tubes, 22 torpedoes, 1x10.5cm SK C/32 gun, 1x3.7cm SK C/30 anti-aircraft gun, 1x2x2cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun


ww2dbaseU-40 was commissioned into service in Feb 1939. In her short career, she had two commanding officers, KapitÀnleutnant Werner von Schmidt and KapitÀnleutnant Wolfgang Barten. She conducted two war patrols. In Oct 1939, she struck a mine in the Strait of Dover and sank. 39 were killed during the sinking and 9 survived. 6 of the survivors would die of wounds or exposure, however. The 3 survivors were rescued and taken prisoner aboard destroyer HMS Boreas.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: May 2020

Submarine U-40 Interactive Map


U-40 at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 1939U-40, circa 1940

U-40 Operational Timeline

29 Jul 1936 The order for the construction of U-40 was issued.
1 Jul 1937 The keel of U-40 was laid down by Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG in Bremen, Germany.
9 Nov 1938 U-40 was launched by Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG in Bremen, Germany.
11 Feb 1939 U-40 was commissioned into service with KapitĂ€nleutnant Werner von Schmidt in command. She was assigned to the 6th Submarine Flotilla.
19 Aug 1939 U-40 departed Wilhelmshaven, Germany for her first war patrol. She was to patrol waters off of Gibraltar.
18 Sep 1939 U-40 arrived at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, ending her first war patrol.
10 Oct 1939 U-40 departed Wilhelmshaven, Germany for her second war patrol. She was to patrol waters off of Portugal and Spain.
13 Oct 1939 U-40 struck a mine in the Strait of Dover and sank. 39 were killed. 9 survived the sinking, but 6 would die before being rescued.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Graham Clayton says:
28 Jun 2020 06:53:18 PM

That would have to be one of the shortest operational careers of any U-Boat in WW2 - 7 weeks and 2 patrols.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
6 Jul 2020 03:08:23 AM

On 10 February 1944, HMS Boreas (Lt. Cdr. Michael W. Tomkinson, RN), the ‘B Class’ destroyer which picked up the survivors from U-40, was loaned to the Greek Navy and renamed RHN Salamis. She was returned to the Royal Navy in 1951 for decommissioning.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB
More on U-40
Event(s) Participated:
» Start of the Battle of the Atlantic

Submarine U-40 Photo Gallery
U-40 at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 1939
See all 2 photographs of Submarine U-40

Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!