April 1941 events of the Battle of the Atlantic  
 
  Overview  
  1 Allied warship was sunk by a U-boat.  
  1 Allied warship was damaged by a U-boat.  
   
  2 U-boat were sunk by Allied warships.  
   
  43 Allied or neutral merchant ships were sunk by U-boats totaling 231,022 tons.  
  2 Allied merchant ships were damaged by U-boats totaling 13,077 tons.  
  1 ship totaling 8,300 tons was sunk by the German raider Atlantis  
   
  Naval Action in the Atlantic Ocean  
  Thursday, April 3, 1941  
  After providing ocean escort duty for the dispersed convoy SC-26, the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire (F 29) was torpedoed and damaged by the U-74, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat, southwest of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 1 died.  
   
  Sunday, April 6, 1941  
  Six Beaufort torpedo-bombers from 22 Squadron of Coastal Command attacked the German cruiser SMS Gneisenau anchored in Brest harbor. One, piloted by Flight Officer Kenneth Campbell made a successful attack before being shot down. The damage done to the SMS Gneisenau took six months to repair. Campbell was awarded a posthumous Victorian Cross.  
   
  Friday, April 11, 1941  
  The destroyer USS Niblack (DD 424), while rescuing survivors of the Dutch freighter Saleier (torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-52 the day before after the dispersal of convoy OB 306) depth charged what was believed to be a German U-boat off Iceland. A thorough investigation by the German navy, however, would conclude that none of their submarines were in the vicinity at the time of Niblack's attack. The U.S. Navy's conclusion was that the USS Niblack had depth-charged a false contact.  
   
  Sunday, April 13, 1941  
  The armed merchant cruiser HMS Rajputana (F 35), commanded by Captain Frederick H. Taylor was torpedoed and sunk by the U-108, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Klaus Scholtz, west of Reykjavik, Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 40 died and 283 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Legion (F 74).  
   
  U-Boat Losses  
  Saturday, April 5, 1941  
  The U-76, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Friedrich von Hippel, was sunk south of Iceland by depth charges from the destroyer HMS Wolverine (D 78) and the sloop HMS Scarborough (L 25). Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and 42 survived. During its career under Oberleutnant zur See von Hippel the U-76 sank 2 ships for a total of 7,290 tons.  
   
  Monday, April 28, 1941  
  The U-65, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Joachim Hoppe, was sunk in the North Atlantic southeast of Iceland by depth charges from the destroyer HMS Douglas (D 90). All of the ship’s complement of 50 died. During its career under another commander (Kapitänleutnant Hans-Gerrit von Stockhausen) the U-65 sank 12 ships for a total of 66,174 tons and damaged 3 ships for a total of 22,490 tons.  
   
  Attacks on Allied and Neutral Merchant Ships  
  Wednesday, April 2, 1941  
  Sailing with Convoy SC-26, the British motor tanker British Reliance was torpedoed and sunk by the U-46, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Engelbert Endrass, southwest of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 50 survived and were picked up by the British motor merchant Royal Ulsterman. The 7,000 ton British Reliance was carrying gas oil and was bound for Clyde, United Kingdom.  
   
  The unescorted British steam merchant Beaverdale was torpedoed and sunk by the U-48, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Schultze, southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 21 died and 58 survivors were picked up by the Icelandic trawler Gulltoppur. The 9,957 ton Beaverdale was carrying general cargo and was bound for Liverpool, England.  
   
  Thursday, April 3, 1941  
  A straggler from Convoy SC-26, the British steam merchant Alderpool was torpedoed and sunk by the U-73, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Helmut Rosenbaum, southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 39 survived and were picked up by the British merchant Thirlby. The 4,313 ton Alderpool was carrying wheat and was bound for Hull, England.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy SC-26, the British steam tanker British Viscount was torpedoed and sunk by the U-73 southwest of Reykjavik. Of the ship’s complement, 28 died and 20 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Havelock (H 88). The 6,895 ton British Viscount was carrying Admiralty fuel oil and was bound for Scapa Flow, Scotland.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SC-26, the Belgian steam merchant Indier was torpedoed and sunk by the U-73 southwest of Reykjavik. Of the ship’s complement, 42 died and 4 survived. The 5,409 ton Indier was carrying steel and general cargo and was bound for Glasgow, Scotland.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SC-26, the British steam merchant Westpool was torpedoed and sunk by the U-73 southwest of Reykjavik. Of the ship’s complement, 35 died and 8 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Havelock (H 88). The 5,724 ton Westpool was carrying scrap iron and was bound for Leith, Scotland.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy SC-26, the Greek steam merchant Leonidas Z. Cambanis was torpedoed and sunk by the U-74, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat, southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 27 survived. The 4,274 ton Leonidas Z. Cambanis was carrying wheat and was bound for Swansea, England.  
   
  The Finnish steam merchant Daphne was torpedoed and sunk by the U-76, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Friedrich von Hippel, south of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 22 died. The 1,939 ton Daphne was carrying coal and was bound for Lillehammer, Norway.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy SC-26, the British steam merchant Thirlby was torpedoed and damaged by the U-69, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Jost Metzler, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. The 4,887 ton Thirlby was carrying wheat and was bound for Hull, England.  
   
  Friday, April 4, 1941  
  Dispersed from Convoy SC-26, the British steam merchant Athenic was torpedoed and sunk by the U-76, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Friedrich von Hippel, south-southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 40 survived and were picked up by the corvette HMS Arbutus (K 86). The 5,351 ton Athenic was carrying wheat and was bound for London, England.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy SC-26, the British steam merchant Harbledown was torpedoed and sunk by the U-94, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Kuppisch, south-southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 40 survived and were picked up by the corvette HMS Arbutus (K 86). Of the ship’s complement, 16 died and 25 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Veteran (D 72). The 5,414 ton Harbledown was carrying wheat and was bound for London, England.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy SC-26, the Norwegian steam merchant Helle was torpedoed and sunk by the U-98, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Robert Gysae, south-southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 24 survived and were picked up by the destroyer HMS Havelock (H 88). The 2,467 ton Helle was carrying pulp and steel.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy SC-26, the British steam merchant Welcombe was torpedoed and sunk by the U-98 south-southwest of Reykjavik. Of the ship’s complement, 20 died and 21 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Havelock (H 88). The 5,122 ton Welcombe was grain and was bound for Loch Ewe, Scotland.  
   
  The unescorted British steam merchant Marlene was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 13 died and 47 survived. The 6,507 ton Marlene was carrying general cargo and pig iron and was bound for the United Kingdom.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy OB-304, the British motor tanker Conus was torpedoed and sunk by the U-97, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Udo Heilmann, southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland in the western Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 59 died. The 8,132 ton Conus was carrying ballast and was bound for Curaçao, the Netherlands Antilles.  
   
  Saturday, April 5, 1941  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Ena de Larrinaga was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg Schewe, 205 miles east of St. Paul Rocks in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 5 died and 38 survivors were picked up by the Brazilian steam passenger ship Almirante Alexandrio. The 5,200 ton Ena de Larrinaga was carrying coal and general cargo and was bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina.  
   
  Sunday, April 6, 1941  
  The unescorted Norwegian motor tanker Lincoln Ellsworth was torpedoed and sunk by the U-94, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Kuppisch, about 150 miles west of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 29 survived and were picked up by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Derbyshire (F 78). The 5,580 ton Lincoln Ellsworth was carrying ballast and was bound for Trinidad.  
   
  Monday, April 7, 1941  
  The unescorted Canadian steam merchant Portadoc was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, about 150 miles southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 20 survived and reached land by lifeboat. The 1,746 ton Portadoc was carrying ballast and was bound for Freetown, Sierra Leone.  
   
  Tuesday, April 8, 1941  
  Dispersed from Convoy OG-57, the British steam merchant Eskdene was torpedoed and sunk by the U-107, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Günter Hessler, southeast of the Azores in the central Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 39 survived and were picked up by the British steam merchant Penhale. The 3,829 ton Eskdene was carrying coal and general cargo and was bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy OG-57, the British steam merchant Helena Margareta was torpedoed and sunk by the U-10 southeast of the Azores. Of the ship’s complement, 27 died and 9 survivors were picked up by the fleet oiler Cairndale. The 3,316 ton Helena Margareta was carrying ballast and was bound for Takoradi, Ghana.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy OG-57, the British steam merchant Tweed was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 3 died and 28 survivors reached land by lifeboat. The 2,697 ton Tweed was carrying ballast and was bound for Pepel, Sierra Leone.  
   
  Wednesday, April 9, 1941  
  The British motor tanker Duffield was torpedoed and sunk by the U-107, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Günter Hessler, west-southwest of Madeira in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 25 died and 28 survived. The 8,516 ton Duffield was carrying fuel oil and was bound for Gibraltar.  
   
  Dispersed from Convoy OG-57, the steam merchant Harpathian was torpedoed and sunk by the U-107 southeast of the Azores. Of the ship’s complement, 4 died and 39 survived. The 4,671 ton Harpathian was carrying RAF stores and was bound for Freetown, Sierra Leone.  
   
  A straggler from Convoy HX-117, the Dutch steam merchant Prins Willem II was torpedoed and sunk by the U-98, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Robert Gysae, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 3 died and 22 survivors were picked up by the Swedish steam merchant Klipparen and the British motor merchant Tuscan Star. The 1,304 ton Prins Willem II was carrying sugar and was bound for London, England.  
   
  Thursday, April 10, 1941  
  Dispersed from Convoy OB-306, the Dutch steam merchant Saleier was torpedoed and sunk by the U-52, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Salman, in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 63 survived and were picked up by the destroyer USS Niblack (DD-424). The 6,563 ton Saleier was carrying coal and was bound for Port Said, Egypt.  
   
  Friday, April 11, 1941  
  The unescorted Greek steam merchant Aegeon was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 4 died and 27 survived. The 5,285 ton Aegeon was carrying wheat.  
   
  Saturday, April 12, 1941  
  The unescorted British steam merchant St. Helena was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, about 100 miles southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 41 survived and were picked up by the destroyer HMS Wishart (D 67). The 4,313 ton St. Helena was carrying grain and general cargo, including canned meat, cotton, rice, and wet hides and was bound for Hull, England.  
   
  Sunday, April 13, 1941  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Corinthic was torpedoed and sunk by the U-124, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg-Wilhelm Schulz, southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 39 survivors were picked up by the Dutch motor tanker Malvina. The 4,823 ton Corinthic was carrying grain and was bound for the United Kingdom.  
   
  Monday, April 14, 1941  
  The unescorted Belgian steam passenger ship Ville de Liège was torpedoed and sunk by the U-52, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Salman, about 700 miles east of Cape Farewell, Greenland in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 40 died and 12 survived. The 7,430 ton Ville de Liège was carrying general cargo, including steel, wool, wheat, and bacon and was bound for Liverpool, England.  
   
  Thursday, April 17, 1941  
  The unescorted and neutral Swedish motor merchant Venezuela was torpedoed and sunk by the U-123, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinz Moehle, south-southwest of Rockall in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 49 died. The 6,991 ton Venezuela was carrying paper pulp and was bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina.  
   
  The 8,300 tons Egyptian passenger ship Zamzam was shelled and sunk by the German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis (Schiffe 16, aka "Raider C") in the South Atlantic Ocean. 138 Americans (including 24 British-American Ambulance Corps drivers) were among the rescued passengers. Even U.S. citizens travelling in ostensibly neutral ships found themselves at risk. The Zamzam was en route from New York to Mombasa, Kenya. After debarking, the ambulance unit was to travel by rail to Kisumu, Uganda and then overland towards Lake Chad, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and link up with Free French elements in the East African campaign. They carried enough supplies and spare parts (including 600,000 Lucky Strike cigarettes) to remain in the field for a year.  
   
  Sunday, April 20, 1941  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Empire Endurance was torpedoed and sunk by the U-73, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Helmut Rosenbaum, 73 southwest of Rockall in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 65 died and 29 survivors were picked up by the corvette HMCS Trillium (K 172. The 8,570 ton Empire Endurance was carrying general cargo, military stores, and two motor launches as deck cargo and was bound for Alexandria, Egypt.  
   
  Monday, April 21, 1941  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Calchas was torpedoed and sunk by the U-107, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Günter Hessler, north of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 24 died and 89 survivors reached land by lifeboat. The 10,305 ton Calchas was carrying general cargo, including wheat, butter, flour, and steel billets and was bound for Liverpool, England.  
   
  Friday, April 25, 1941  
  Dispersed from Convoy OG-58, the Norwegian steam merchant Polyana was torpedoed and sunk by the U-103, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze, in the southern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 25 died. The 2,267 ton Polyana was carrying coal and was bound for Freetown, Sierra Leone.  
   
  Sunday, April 27, 1941  
  The British steam merchant Henri Mory was torpedoed and sunk by the U-110, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp, about 330 miles west-northwest of the Blaskets Islands, Ireland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 28 died and 4 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Hurricane (H 06) and the British merchant Lycaon. The 2,564 ton Henri Mory was carrying iron ore and was bound for Barrow, England.  
   
  The unescorted Norwegian steam merchant Rimfakse was torpedoed and sunk by the U-147, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Eberhard Wetjen, about 130 miles northwest of Scotland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 11 died and 8 survivors were picked up by the British steam merchant Hengist. The 1,334 ton Rimfakse was carrying coal and was bound for Patricksfjord, Iceland.  
   
  The unescorted British motor merchant Beacon Grange was torpedoed and sunk by the U-552, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Erich Topp, south of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 82 survivors were picked up by the Belgian trawler Edouvard Anseele. The 10,119 ton Beacon Grange was carrying ballast and was bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina.  
   
  The 227 ton British steam trawler Commander Horton was torpedoed and sunk by the U-552, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Erich Topp, south of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 14 died.  
   
  Monday, April 28, 1941  
  Sailing with Convoy HX-121, the Norwegian motor tanker Caledonia was torpedoed and sunk by the U-96, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, south of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 12 died and 25 survivors were picked up by the British rescue ship Zaafaran. The 9,892 ton Caledonia was carrying diesel and fuel oil and was bound for Glasgow, Scotland.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-121, the British motor tanker Oilfield was torpedoed and sunk by the U-96 south of Iceland. Of the ship’s complement, 47 died and 8 survivors were picked up by the ASW trawler HMS St. Zeno (FY 280). The 8,516 ton Oilfield was carrying benzine and was bound for London, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-121, the British steam merchant Port Hardy was torpedoed and sunk by the U-96 south of Iceland. Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and 97 survivors were picked up by the British rescue ship Zaafaran. The 8,897 ton Port Hardy was carrying mutton, cheese, zinc, and general cargo and was bound for Avonmouth, England.  
   
  Sailing with Convoy HX-121, the British motor tanker Capulet was torpedoed and damaged by the U-552, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Erich Topp, south of Iceland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement and passengers, 11 died and 35 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Douglas (D 90) and the British rescue ship Zaafaran. The 8,190 ton Capulet was carrying fuel oil and was bound for Scapa Flow, Orkneys.  
   
  Tuesday, April 29, 1941  
  The unescorted British steam passenger ship City of Nagpur was torpedoed and sunk by the U-75, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Helmuth Ringelmann, about 600 miles west of Valentia Island, Ireland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement and passengers, 16 died and 452 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Hurricane (H 06). The 10,146 ton City of Nagpur was carrying general cargo and passengers and was bound for Karachi, India via Glasgow, Scotland.  
   
  Wednesday, April 30, 1941  
  Dispersed from Convoy OB-309, the British motor merchant Lassell was torpedoed and sunk by the U-107, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Günter Hessler, about 250 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 51 survivors were picked up by the British steam merchant Benvrackie and the British steam merchant Egba. The Benvrackie herself was sunk four days later by the U-105. The 7,417 ton Lassell was carrying general cargo and was bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina.  
   
  Other Battle of the Atlantic Events  
  Wednesday, April 9, 1941  
  U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Danish Minister to the United States Henrik de Kauffman signed an Agreement Relating to the Defense of Greenland whereby the American government agreed to take over the defense of Greenland in exchange for the right to construct air and naval bases on the island. This allowed the United States to establish a protectorate over and occupy Greenland. With the approval of a "free Denmark," the U.S. would build naval and air bases as counters to the U-boat war.  
   
  Thursday, April 10, 1941  
  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a message to the U.S. Congress asking for the power to requisition idle foreign ships that had been interred in American waters since the onset of the European war.  
   
  The U.S. State Department announced that the United States and Danish governments signed an agreement whereby the American government agreed to take over the defense of Greenland in exchange for the right to construct air and naval bases on the island. Read the State Department statement and text of the agreement. This allowed the United States to establish a protectorate over and occupy Greenland. With the approval of a "free Denmark," the U.S. would build naval and air bases as counters to the U-boat war.  
   
  Roosevelt authorized, under the Lend-Lease Act, the transfer of 10 "Lake"-class Coast Guard cutters to the Royal Navy. Roosevelt’s decision was based on his belief that the defense of the United Kingdom was essential to the defense of the United States. U.S. Coast Guardsmen would train the British crews in the waters of Long Island Sound.  
   
  Friday, April 11, 1941  
  Roosevelt authorized, under the Lend-Lease Act, the transfer of 10 "Lake"-class Coast Guard cutters to the Royal Navy. Roosevelt’s decision was based on his belief that the defense of the United Kingdom was essential to the defense of the United States. U.S. Coast Guardsmen would train the British crews in the waters of Long Island Sound.  
   
  Tuesday, April 15, 1941  
  RAF Coastal Command assumed operational control of the Admiralty. This would lead to an increase in its effectiveness in the battle against the U-boats.  
   
  Thursday, April 24, 1941  
  The U.S. Neutrality Patrol was extended east to 26°W (just west of Iceland).  
   
  Saturday, April 26, 1941  
  The U.S. Neutrality Patrol was ordered extended southward to 20°S (covering Brazil to just north of Rio de Janeiro).  
   
  The U.S. Navy inaugurated carrier task group patrols when the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV 7) (embarked squadrons: VF 72, VS 71, and VS 72) and departed Hampton Roads accompanied by the heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA 39) and destroyers USS Livermore (DD 429) and USS Kearny (DD 432). U.S. U.S. Navy Task Group 2, as the force was designated, would steam 5,292 miles before it arrived at Bermuda on May 12.  
   
  Wednesday, April 30, 1941  
  The first four "Lake"-class U.S. Coast Guard cutters were turned over to the Royal Navy: The USCGS Pontchartrain became the HMS Hartland (Y 00), the USCGS Tahoe became the HMS Fishguard (Y 59), the USCGS Mendota became the HMS Culver (Y 87), and the USCGS Itasca became the HMS Gorleston (Y 92).  
     
   
     
   
 

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