F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log

16 - 29 February 1940

PG30258

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
   
 
16.2
          It seems more and more likely that U 33 has been lost.  Several radio intelligence reports show that she was in action with an English minesweeper and then surrendered.  Assistance was requested to rescue survivors.  The English authorities assumed that mines had been laid.  This is not improbable, as these events took place in the early morning hours.  The boat would certainly not have chosen this time to penetrate into the Clyde and she then at latest would have been on her way out.  If she really did lay the mines, the high price paid will have been worth it.
 
 
 
17.2
          U 37 reported a convoy in southwest Biscay on a southwesterly course.  She pursued it for some hours and lost it again towards evening.
 
   
 
          U 53 sighted the convoy reported by the Radio Intelligence Service and was shadowing.
 
   
 
18.2
          U 37 came up to the convoy reported by U 53.  Apparently 2 ships were sunk. Then U 53 lost contact.  Meanwhile the boats had used so many torpedoes that they had to reload from the upper deck containers.  Both tried to do this, independently of one another, off the Spanish coast.  Neither succeeded owing to strong patrol.  They started on their return passage and reported their intention of trying again off the Irish coast.  U 37 reported 43,000 tons sunk.
 
   
 
          There is no information on U 26.  She was operating against the same convoy and must therefore be in the same sea area.  She was ordered to go to operations area "ROT" and to report.
 
   
 
          Information was received overland that U 41 did not turn up for supply "GATA".  She may have been delayed a day.
 
   
 
          U 28 sailed in accordance with Operations Order No........
 
   
 
19.2
          U 26 reported.  She is returning to her old operations area south of Ireland, as she is short of fuel.
 
   
 
          U 25 entered port.  She sank:
 
 
1) Armed merchant ship about 5,000 tons
2) Norwegian Enid   1,440 tons
 
(attempted to escape)
     
3) Escorted steamer (Pajala?)   6,873 tons
4) Norwegian Sonja   2,977 tons
 
(contraband)
     
5) S.S. Armanistan (English)   6,805 tons
6) Steamer in Zone A   5,000 tons
      27,795 tons
 
          She was also the first boat to supply under "Moro".  C.O.'s report on this:  Enemy patrol vessels immediately outside territorial waters.  Careful, effective preparations had been made at the place of supply.  No difficulty in supplying without being noticed.  No moon essential.
               
                              
 
 
- 92 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
   
 
          "Nordmark" operations completed.  U 29 has been ordered to continue on her passage.
 
 
 
20.2
          Nothing to report.
 
   
 
21.2
          Nothing to report.
 
   
 
22.2
          U 50 made contact with a convoy and sank a tanker from the group.She was then ordered to return to port since one of her diesels had broken down.
 
   
 
23.2
          Ice conditions still do not permit an estimation of the dates of readiness of the next boats.  It is to be expected however, that U 30, U 34, U 38 and U 52 will be ready by the end of February and U 43, U 47, U 49, U 46 and U 51 at about the same time at the beginning of March.  A special operation had originally been planned for U 38 and U 43, but it has been postponed by C-in-C Navy for political reasons.  Then it was intended to operate these boats in the Mediterranean in the Cape Bon sea area.  This project also had to be abandoned on the orders of C-in-C Navy, for political reasons.  I now intend to form an attacking group with the boats which will be ready at about the same time, i.e. U 43, U 46, U 47, U 49 and U 51.  Its main task will be to intercept a convoy in the area of greatest convoy traffic.  If this succeeds I think it will have better results than would the same amount of single-ship tonnage sunk. It is also necessary to get experience of controlled U-boat operations in good time, so that, when more boats are available, there will be a clear idea of the best way of conducting such operations.  The subsidiary task for this group will be to rake the sea area north and northwest of Scotland for warships which have often been reported there.  (For execution see Operations Order No. 29).
 
   
 
          U 30 and U 34 cannot join this group as their radius of action is too small.  They are to operate west of the Channel.  This is a good area, but cooperation is difficult as it is so close to the coast.  The boats will have to operate individually in the main.  They can therefore sail as soon as they are ready and need not wait for one another.
 
   
 
          U 52 is a new boat.  She is to make her first patrol alone in areas which are less strongly patrolled.  
 
   
 
  U 38 will probably be the first boat ready and first to go to the area west of Portugal.  She may later join the attacking group.
 
   
 
24.2
          U 32 sailed for her operations area, but had to enter port again on the same day because of a trace of oil.
 
   
 
          U 48 entered port.  She carried out her minelaying operation quickly and well, and also sank:
     
1. Dutch S.S. Burgerdyk
6,853
tons
2. English S.S. Sultan Star
12,306
tons
3. Dutch tanker Den Haag
8,971
tons
4. Enemy steamer of about
6,000
tons
   
34,130
tons
               
                              
 
 
- 93 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
   
 
          She has now sunk a total of 16 ships, 114,510 tons, in 4 patrols.  Her sinking figures are the highest at present.  She has done excellent work, especially as her last patrol was a mining as well as torpedo operation.  Successes from the minelay are not yet known, but can certainly be expected, and will have to be added to the figures sunk given above.
 
        With regard to the C.O.'s decision to pursue the convoy instead of taking up the "Ark Royal" position, it is a fact that he did not act in accordance with orders.
 
          But in view of the impression which he had, he only realized late that he had done wrong.  I have therefore omitted to take any further action.
 
   
 
25.2
          U 26 reported that she was starting on her return passage.  
 
   
 
          No news has been received of U 41.  She did not turn up for supply "Cata".  She should have reported if she had been prevented from carrying out the supply operation.  She cannot yet be presumed lost for certain, but her loss is likely.
 
   
 
26.2
          U 32 and U 38 left for their operations areas in accordance with Operations Orders No. 26 and 29.
 
   
 
27.2
          U 53 has been ordered to report her position.  Since she reported her intention to reload torpedoes on the Irish coast, nothing has been heard of her.  It is possible that she started on her return passage without reporting and has now been in the North Sea for some time.  Operations control must know where she is.
 
   
 
          U 37 entered port.  She sank:
 
 
1) Tanker
about
6,000
tons
2) Steamer in Zone A
"
7,000
"
3)         "        "           B
"
4,500
"
4) Patrol vessel
"
?
"
5) Steamer in Zone B
6,500
"
6) Steamer
7,000
"
7)         "
8,000
"
8) Tanker
6,000
"
   
45,000
tons
 
          An excellent patrol.
 
          The boat observed strong enemy patrols off the Spanish coast, which confirms the recent radio intelligence picture.  This will have to be taken into consideration for later operations.
 
   
 
28.2
          U 53 did not report.  The order has been repeated.
       
 
29,2
          No news of U 53.  Otherwise nothing to report.
       
 
                                       (signed):  Donitz
               
                                                    Rear Admiral and B.d.U.
 
 
- 94 -
 
     

 


 

Click the icons to view the associated records

Return to the B.d.U. KTB/War Standing Orders page