January 1941 events of the Battle of the Atlantic  
 
  Overview  
  4 auxiliary Allied war vessels were sunk by mines.  
   
  No German U-boats were sunk during January 1941.  
  1 German U-boat was damaged by an Allied war vessel.  
  1 Italian submarine was sunk by an Allied war vessel.  
   
  14 Allied merchant ships were sunk by U-boats totaling 93,925 tons.  
   
  Naval Action in the Atlantic Ocean  
  Monday, January 13, 1941  
  RAF bombers attacked the U-boat base at Lorient during the night of January 13/14.  
   
  Thursday, January 16, 1941  
  The minesweeping trawler HMS Desiree struck a mine and sank in the Thames Estuary off the eastern coast of England.  
   
  Monday, January 20, 1941  
  The minesweeping trawler HMS Relonzo (FY 843) struck a mine and sank in the Crosby Channel near Liverpool.  
   
  Wednesday, January 22, 1941  
  The minesweeping trawler HMS Luda Lady struck a mine and sank off the Humber off the east coast of Northern England.  
   
  The rescue tug HMS St. Cyrus (W 47) struck a mine and sank off the Humber off the east coast of Northern England.  
   
  Sunday, January 26, 1941  
  The submarine HMS Cachalot (N 83), commanded by Commander John D. Luce, laid the minefield FD 28 consisting of 50 mines off Bud, Norway.  
   
  U-Boat Losses  
  Thursday, January 2, 1941  
  The U-38, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Liebe, was attacked by an escort with depth charges but escaped suffering only slight damage.  
   
  Tuesday, January 7, 1941  
  The Italian submarine Nani attacked a convoy west of North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland and was sunk by the corvette HMS Anemone (K 48), commanded by Lt. Commander Humphry G. Boys-Smith off the Faeroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Attacks on Allied and Neutral Merchant Ships  
  Thursday, January 2, 1941  
  Dispersed from convoy OB-261 on December 22, 1940, the British steam merchant Nalgora was torpedoed and then sank 20 minutes later by 70 rounds from the deck gun of the U-65, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Hans-Gerrit von Stockhausen, about 350 miles north of the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. 104 crew members and three passengers survived. The 6,579 ton Nalgora was carrying boom defense equipment and was bound for Alexandria, Egypt.  
   
  Monday, January 6, 1941  
  A straggler from Convoy OB-269 due to an engine breakdown, the British steam merchant Empire Thunder was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, north-northeast of Rockall in the North Atlantic. Of the ship’s complement, 9 died and 30 survivors were picked up by the British armed boarding vessel HMS Kingston Onyx. The 5,965 ton Empire Thunder was carrying ballast.  
   
  Thursday, January 9, 1941  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Bassano was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg Schewe, northwest of Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and 56 survivors were picked up by the HMS Wild Swan. The 4,843 ton Bassano was carrying iron, steel, and grain and was bound for Hull, England.  
   
  Thursday, January 16, 1941  
  The unescorted British motor merchant Zealandic was torpedoed and sunk by the U-106, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Oesten, northwest of Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean. All 73 crew and passengers were lost. All of the ship’s complement of 73 died. The 10,578 ton Zealandic was carrying general cargo and was bound for Brisbane, Australia.  
   
  The British steam passenger ship Oropesa was torpedoed and sunk by the U-96, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, southeast of Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 106 died and 143 survivors picked up by the HMS Superman, the HMS Tenacity, and the HMS Westcott and landed at Liverpool. The 14,118 ton Oropesa was carrying general cargo including copper and maize and was bound for England.  
   
  Friday, January 17, 1941  
  The unescorted British steam passenger ship Almeda Star, carrying general cargo, was torpedoed and sunk by the U-96, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, about 35 miles northeast of Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement and passengers of 360 died including 21 officers and 121 ratings of the FAA (749, 750 & 752 FAA-Sqdn) en route to RNAS Piarco, Trinidad. The 14,936 ton Almeda Star was carrying general cargo and was bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina.  
   
  Saturday, January 18, 1941  
  The unescorted Norwegian steam merchant Gyda was torpedoed and sunk by the U-58, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Heinrich Schonder, northwest of Ireland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 11 died and 9 survivors were picked up by the Belgian steam passenger ship Ville d´Arlon. The 1,591 ton Gyda was carrying salt and was bound for Bathurst, New Brunswick.  
   
  The unescorted British steam merchant Woodbury was torpedoed and sunk by the U-99, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer, about 300 miles west of Lands End, England in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 35 survived and reached land by lifeboat. The 4,434 ton Woodbury was carrying canned meat, wheat, and general cargo and was bound for Manchester, England.  
   
  Monday, January 20, 1941  
  The British steam merchant Florian was torpedoed and sunk by the U-94, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Kuppisch, southeast of Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 41 died. The 3,174 ton Florian was carrying ballast and was bound for New York, New York.  
   
  Thursday, January 23, 1941  
  The British steam merchant Lurigethan was bombed and damaged by a German Fw200 aircraft from I./KG 40 west of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 16 died and 35 survivors were picked up by the HMS Arabis. The 3,564 ton Lurigethan was carrying cotton seed and general cargo and was bound for Hull, England. The Lurigethan would be sunk on January 25 by the U-105.  
   
  Friday, January 24, 1941  
  After losing touch with her convoy in bad weather the Norwegian steam merchant Vespasian was torpedoed and sunk by the U-123, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinz Moehle, in the North Atlantic Ocean. The 1,570 ton Vespasian was carrying ballast and was bound for British Guiana.  
   
  Saturday, January 25, 1941  
  The burning and abandoned 3,564 ton British steam merchant Lurigethan, that was damaged by a German aircraft on January 23, was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg Schewe, west of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Wednesday, January 29, 1941  
  A straggler from Convoy SC-19, the British steam merchant West Wales was torpedoed and sunk by the U-94, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Kuppisch, south-southwest of Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 16 died and 21 survivors were picked up by the by the destroyers HMS Antelope (H 36) and HMS Anthony (H 40). The 4,353 ton West Wales was carrying steel and was bound for Newport, Wales.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SC-19, the British motor tanker W.B. Walker was torpedoed and sunk by the U-93, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Claus Korth, south-southwest of Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 4 died and 43 survivors were picked up by the by the British destroyers HMS Antelope and HMS Anthony. The 10,468 ton W.B. Walker was carrying aviation and motor fuel and was bound for Avonmouth, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SC-19, the British steam merchant King Robert was torpedoed and sunk by the U-93 south-southwest of Rockall. Of the ship’s complement, all 35 survived and were picked up by the British destroyer HMS Anthony. The 5,886 ton King Robert was carrying grain and was bound for Cardiff, Wales.  
   
  A straggler from Convoy SC-19, the Egyptian steam merchant Sesotris was torpedoed and sunk by the U-106, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Oesten, south-southwest of Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean. The 2,962 ton Sesotris was bound for Dublin, Ireland.  
   
  Thursday, January 30, 1941  
  A straggler from Convoy SC-19, the British steam merchant Rushpool was torpedoed and sunk by the U-94, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Kuppisch, southeast of Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 40 survived and were picked up by the British destroyer HMS Antelope. The 5,125 ton Rushpool was carrying grain and was bound for Belfast, Northern Ireland.  
   
  Other Battle of the Atlantic Events  
  Friday, January 3, 1941  
  At his press conference President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the first steps toward a program of building about 200 merchant ships: “One is that because it is perfectly obvious that so much tonnage in the way of ships has been going to the bottom for a year and a half, probably at the end of the war, sooner or later, there will be a shortage—a world shortage—of tonnage. Therefore we have begun taking the first steps toward a program of building about 200 merchant ships—a program which will cost somewhere around $300,000,000, between $300,000,000 and $350,000,000, in a number of new plants. This is on the general theory that there has been a tremendous expansion in existing shipbuilding plants, as you all know; and the time seems to have come when it is advisable to create some new plants. Toward that program, in order to get started, I have taken $36,000,000 out of the President's Special Contract Authorization Fund.” This marked the beginning of the Liberty Ship program.  
   
  Thursday, January 16, 1941  
  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the U.S. Congress for an immediate appropriation of $350 million for the construction of at least 200 new merchant ships.  
   
  Thursday, January 30, 1941  
  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler warned the United States about aiding Britain during a speech in Berlin: “...That the German nation has no quarrel with the Americans is evident to everybody who does not consciously wish to falsify truth. At no time has Germany had interests on the American Continent except perhaps that she helped that Continent in its struggle for liberty. If States on this continent now attempt to interfere in the European conflict, then the aim will only be changed more quickly. Europe will then defend herself. And do not let people deceive themselves. Those who believe they can help England must take note of one thing: every ship, whether with or without convoy which appears before our torpedo tubes is going to be torpedoed...”  
     
   
     
   
 

The objective of WW2Timelines.com is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

 
   
  Copyright 2011
WW2timelines.com
Contact us using our email page