Ships hit by U-boats

British General

British Steam tanker

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

NameBritish General
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage6,989 tons
Completed1922 - Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Jarrow 
OwnerBritish Tanker Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack6 Oct 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-37 (Victor Oehrn)
Position51° 42'N, 24° 03'W - Grid AL 8424
Complement47 (47 dead - no survivors)
ConvoyOA-222 (dispersed)
RouteTyne (27 Sep) - Methil (30 Sep) - Abadan 
History Completed in June 1922 
Notes on event

At 18.55 hours on 6 October 1940 the unescorted British General (Master Frank Oswald Armstrong), dispersed from convoy OA-222, was hit underneath the bridge by one torpedo from U-37 about 550 miles west of Valentia Island. The hit had not much effect but the tanker stopped after being hit aft by a second torpedo at 23.10 hours. The U-boat stayed nearby during the night to wait for the ship to sink, but the disabled British General remained afloat. U-37 could not finish her off with the deck gun because she was armed and around noon the tanker crew even tried to communicate with the U-boat by Morse signals. The tanker finally sank in 51°42N/24°50W at 20.00 hours on 7 October, after being hit by two coups de grâce. The master, 45 crew members and one gunner were lost.

On boardWe have details of 47 people who were on board

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