April 1940 Events of the Battle of the Atlantic  
 
  Overview  
  1 Allied submarine was sunk by a U-boat.  
  1 Allied submarine was sunk by German minesweepers.  
  1 Allied war vessel was destroyed in engagements with German forces.  
   
  4 U-boats were sunk by Allied war vessels, planes, or mines.  
   
  8 Allied and neutral merchant ships were sunk by U-boats totaling 33,748 tons.  
  1 Allied merchant ship was damaged by a U-boat totaling 6,999 tons.  
   
  Naval Action in the Atlantic Ocean  
  Friday, April 5, 1940  
  Operation Wilfred, the British mining of Norwegian waters began.  
   
  Sunday, April 7, 1940  
  While on neutrality patrol off Cuba, the destroyer USS Twiggs (DD 127) attempted to tow the Norwegian freighter Spind off some rocks approximately six miles off Cape San Antonio but was unsuccessful in two tries. The Salvage tug Warbler, however, freed the Spind from her predicament. The USS Twiggs resumed her patrol.  
   
  Wednesday, April 10, 1940  
  The submarine HMS Thistle (N 24), commanded by Lt. Commander Wilfrid F. Haselfoot, was torpedoed and sunk by the U-4, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Peter Hinsch, southwest off Stavanger, Norway. The HMS Thistle had earlier fired upon the U-4 but missed. All of the ship’s complement of 53 died.  
   
  Saturday, April 13, 1940  
  After some engagements with German warships, the damaged Norwegian cruiser-minelayer HNoMS Frøya was beached near Søtvika, Norway and demolished by the crew when the fortress surrendered and the ship was trapped in the Fjord. Later that day the U-34, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Rollmann, struck the vessel with a coup de grâce to prevent salvage operations, ripping off the stern.  
   
  Thursday, April 18, 1940  
  The submarine HMS Sterlet, commanded by Lt. Commander Gerard H. S. Haward, was presumed sunk in the Skaggerak south of Larvik, Norway by the German anti submarine trawlers UJ-125, UJ-126 and UJ-128. She might also have been mined while returning to base.  
   
  U-Boat Losses  
  Saturday, April 6, 1940  
  The U-1, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Jürgen Deecke, was lost around 6 April, 1940 in the North Sea, probably to a British mine in the mine barrage Field No 7. All of the ship’s complement of 24 died. During its career under Kapitänleutnant Deecke the U-1 sank or damaged no ships.  
   
  The U-50, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Max-Hermann Bauer, struck a mine and sank in the North Sea north of the Terschelling, exact position not known. All of the ship’s complement of 44 died. During its career under Kapitänleutnant Bauer the U-50 sank 4 merchant ships for a total of 16,089 tons.  
   
  Saturday, April 13, 1940  
  The U-64, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, was sunk in the Herjangsfjord near Narvik, Norway by a bomb from a Swordfish aircraft carried on the battleship HMS Warspite (03). Of the ship’s complement, 8 died and 38 survived and made it back to Germany. During its career under Kapitänleutnant Schulz the U-64 sank or damaged no ships.  
   
  Monday, April 15, 1940  
  The U-49, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Kurt von Gossler, was sunk near Narvik, Norway by depth charges from the destroyers HMS Fearless (H 67) and HMS Brazen (H 80). Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and 41 survived. During its career under Kapitänleutnant von Gossler the U-49 sank 1 merchant ship for a total of 4,258 tons.  
   
  Attacks on Allied and Neutral Merchant Ships  
  Tuesday, April 2, 1940  
  A straggler from Convoy HN-23A, the Finnish steam merchant Signe was torpedoed and sunk by the U-38, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Liebe, in the North Sea. All of the ship’s complement of 19 died. The 1,540 ton Signe was carrying ballast and was bound for Burntisland , Scotland.  
   
  Saturday, April 6, 1940  
  The Norwegian steam merchant Navarra was torpedoed and sunk by the U-59, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Harald Jürst, north of Scotland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 12 died and 14 survivors were picked up by the Finnish steam merchant Atlas. The 2,118 ton Navarra was carrying coal and was bound for Oslo, Norway.  
   
  Wednesday, April 10, 1940  
  The unescorted and neutral Swedish motor tanker Sveaborg was torpedoed and sunk by the U-37, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 5 died and 29 survivors were picked up by the armed boarding vessel HMS Northern Chief (4.34). The 9,076 ton Sveaborg was carrying gas, diesel oil, and fuel oil and was bound for Gothenburg, Sweden.  
   
  The unescorted Norwegian motor merchant Tosca was torpedoed and sunk by the U-37 approximately 45 miles northwest of the Faroe Islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 32 survivors were picked up by the armed boarding vessel HMS Northern Chief. The 5,128 ton Tosca was carrying general cargo, including zinc concentrate, cotton seed, lead, wheat, and beans and was bound for Eitrheim, Norway.  
   
  Friday, April 12, 1940  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Stancliffe was torpedoed and sunk by the U-37, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann, 45 miles northeast of Muckle Flugga, Shetlands in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 21 died and 16 survivors reached land by lifeboat. The 4,511 ton Stancliffe was carrying iron ore and was bound for Immingham, England.  
   
  Wednesday, April 17, 1940  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Swainby was torpedoed and sunk by the U-13, commanded by Max-Martin Schulte, 25 miles north of Muckle Flugga, Shetlands in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 38 survived. The 4,935 ton Swainby was carrying ballast and was bound for Kirkwall, Scotland.  
   
  Sunday, April 21, 1940  
  Sailing with supply Convoy AP-1 to support the British landings in Norway, the British motor merchant Cedarbank was torpedoed and sunk by the U-26, commanded by Heinz Scheringer, northwest of Bergen, Norway. Of the ship’s complement, 15 died and 30 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Javelin (F 61). The 5,159 ton Cedarbank was carrying military stores, ammunition and vehicles and was bound for Aandalsnes, Norway.  
   
  Friday, April 26, 1940  
  The unescorted Danish steam merchant Lily was torpedoed and sunk by the U-13, commanded by Max-Martin Schulte, north of Scotland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 24 died. The 1,281 ton Lily was carrying china clay and was bound for Preston, England.  
   
  Sunday, April 28, 1940  
  The British steam tanker Scottish American was torpedoed and damaged by the U-13, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Max-Martin Schulte, west of Pentland Firth in the North Atlantic Ocean. The 9,491 ton Scottish American was carrying fuel oil and was bound for Scapa Flow, Scotland.  
   
  Other Battle of the Atlantic Events  
  Monday, April 8, 1940  
  The British and French governments announced that their navies had mined Norwegian waters in an effort to prevent German warships from passing through them.  
   
  Wednesday, April 10, 1940  
  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, acting under the Neutrality Act of 1939, issued a proclamation extending the combat zone to include the northwestern part of the Soviet Union on a line to the southern point of Svalbard, a Norwegian possession, to the northwestern tip of the combat zone issued in the President's proclamation of November 4, 1939.  
   
   
     
   
 

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