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

1 - 15 June 1940

PG30266

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
1.VI.
 
       U 28 and U 48 put into Trondheim to repair engine and structural damage.
2.VI.
 
        Nothing to report.
 
3.VI.
 
        U 48 left Trondheim.
 
 
        U 32 left Wilhelmshaven, both for the Atlantic.  Mines found at the southwest corner of our own declared area indicate that the minefield positions found in "Seal" may refer to this area and to routes I and II.  The inward and outward routes are therefore being changed.  Boats on their way out will for the present use route "BLAU" and boats entering, route "GRUEN".  It is not impossible that U-boats on their way out have already been lost in these minefields.  (e.g. U 44, U 1, U 50).  On the other hand no inward-bound boats have been lost in the routes.
 
 
        In accordance with instructions from Naval War Staff, Atlantic boats have been ordered not to cross the line Cadiz, bearing 2500 - latitude 360 N to the south.
 
4.VI.
 
        U 47 left Kiel for the Atlantic.
 
 
        Our own boats in the North Sea have received orders to avoid the Skagerrak and the Norwegian coast, in order to prevent confusion with our own surface forces at sea there.
 
 
        Conferences with C.O.'s of ship 33 and the U-boat UA on the subject of supplies of fuel, weapons and provisions which the U-boat is to take over from the ship in the Atlantic.  The U-boat is to attack the Northern Patrol SE of Iceland on her way out and then make use of all opportunities to attack on passage to her actual operations area.   She is then to operate off the west coast of Africa and be at the rendezvous with ship 33 on 18 July.    
 
        Extensive cooperation between ship and U-boat was discussed, but it was thought that it would hinder rather than assist both.  Views to this effect had already been reported to Naval War Staff earlier in Most Secret S.O. only 18 of 20.1.40.
 
        UA cannot use mines as her torpedo tubes are not adapted for laying TN's.  Ship 33 will nevertheless carry TM's, which can possibly be used for an operation by another boat off W. African ports when the ship returns.
 
5.VI.
 
        U 26 entered port.  She had carried supplies to Trondheim.  No attacks.
 
 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
6.VI.
 
        U 38 sailed for the Atlantic.
 
        U 45 reported from the sea area Porto-St. Vincent:  no anti-S/M activity, no shipping.  She is proceeding north to the Finisterre sea area.
 
7.VI.
 
        UA and U 51 left Kiel for the Atlantic.
 
 
        U 46 reported that she had sunk a passenger ship of about 14,000 tons, with 6-8 guns, off the North Channel.  It turned out later that this was the English auxiliary cruiser "Carinthia", 20,277 tons.  U 46 also reported a convoy off the North Channel and, according to radio intelligence, the S.S. "Eros" was probably also sunk there by a U-boat.  Heavier traffic is therefore now to be expected in this area.  In order to investigate this, all U-boats have been instructed to make observations when passing the approach to the North Channel.
 
 
        U 46 has been ordered to operate in square BE 90, U 43 in square BF 70, west of Finisterre.  These areas, according to present experiences, are much frequented by shipping.
 
8.VI.
 
        The following sailed:
U 28 from Trondheim
        U 52 from Kiel
        U 25, U 30, U 65 from Wilhelmshaven.
               All these boats are for the Atlantic.
   
 
        U 48 reported sinking 2 steamers off the North Channel.  U 101 and U 29 reported that no action was possible off the western approach to the Channel because of constant fog.  Both boats were ordered to the Finisterre area.
 
        According to the general weather situation fog is to be expected in the Channel for several more days.  It had been planned to penetrate into the Channel again, but this has been cancelled.
 
9.VI.
 
        U 37 put into Wilhelmshaven.  She sank over 43,000 tons in 26 days, a very satisfactory result after the reopening of operations against enemy trade routes in the Atlantic.
 
 
        According to instructions received from Naval War Staff, UA, U 51, U 52, U 65 and U 25, on their outward passage, have been ordered to make for the following operations areas west of the Shetlands at maximum cruising speed:
     
  UA:  square AE 99
  U 51:  square AM 33 and 34
  U 65:  An 11
  U 52:  square AF 77
  U 25:  AM 32.
 
 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
        As the English are evacuating Narvik, opportunities to attack warships and transports are to be expected.
10.VI.
 
        U 65, in the central North Sea on her way out, reported she requires repairs urgently, owing to a leaky welded seam on a pressure hull flange.  She has been sent to Bergen; as such repairs can be done there.
 
 
        No clear idea can be formed of the situation in northern waters.  Air reconnaissance and radio intelligence do not give the same results.  Naval War Staff believes that the transports from Narvik back to England have already reached home but I think that a considerable proportion of the transports are still north of the Faroes and Shetlands and I therefore think it best to let the boats remain for some time in the Faroes - Shetlands area.  This will not mean an appreciable delay in attacking supply lines in the Atlantic and it will give the always welcome chance to score successes against warships and troop transports.
 
        In the course of the day this view was confirmed by further reports.  A large convoy of 7 steamers, 1 a/c carrier, 1 battleship and several destroyers is to pass through the area occupied by the U-boats on 11.6.
 
11.VI.
 
        By midday no reports had been received from boats off the Faroes-Shetlands, and the weather there was becoming bad, visibility poor.  Boats were therefore ordered to continue on their passage in accordance with operations orders.  They will thus rake through the area once more and most of them will arrive SW of Ireland in time to operate against the Halifax convoy.  Radio Intelligence Service has obtained particularly good data on this convoy HX 48, exact details of its return route are known and above all the position of the rendezvous with the inward escort.  U 25 sighted the convoy expected from Narvik, but lost it again.  Bad visibility came to the enemy's assistance.
 
 
        UA is proceeding to Iceland to attack the Northern Patrol.  She has been informed of the last alterations in the instructions to the Northern Patrol (Alvidruhamrar light the new point of reference).
 
 
        The boats in the Finisterre area today sighted 3 convoys.  Unfortunately only one of these was attacked, by U 29, and that unsuccessfully.  It is regrettable that the other boats in the group did not manage to attack, the convoys were coming from the south and west at low speed and the remoter boats should have been able to attack.  Further details will not be known until the boats return.  It is once more confirmed that the area west of Finisterre is a good hunting ground for U-boats.  As U 37 had already observed in February, the escort passes from the Mediterranean to the Home Fleet and vice versa at this point.
 
 
        U 101 reported that she had stopped S.S. "Washington" by mistake; she mistook the ship for a Greek.  In spite of warnings to let such ships pass unhindered, it must be expected that they will be stopped from time to time.
     
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
12.VI.
 
        U 65 entered Bergen.
 
        UA's attention has been called to the fact that not all the Northern Patrol positions may be occupied.  U 38 was apparently seen before she carried out her special task.
 
 
        U 46 reported that she successfully attacked a convoy in the Finisterre area.
 
 
        According to radio intelligence convoy U-S 3, Queen Mary and 2 other large passenger ships, with 26,000 Australian and New Zealand troops on board, escorted by Hood, 1 a/c carrier and several cruisers, has arrived in the Freetown sea area.
 
        It must be attacked.
 
1) Valuable ships like this with troops on board cannot be ignored, even if data for an operation are few and far between.
2) The convoy is a comparatively fast one and particularly well escorted.  It will therefore not be possible to shadow.
3) During the last few days U-boats in the Finisterre area have been particularly active.  It must therefore be assumed that the convoy will proceed further off the coast than it otherwise would.  The convoy's general course is along 12 degs. W.  It seems best to dispose the boats west of this longitude.
4) The convoy's course is so uncertain that it will be necessary to distribute the few boats (only 5 are available) over a large area.  It is to be hoped that at least one boat will manage to fire.  In the opinion of Naval War Staff the convoy is making for England and not for France, another circumstance in favor of disposing the boats away from the coast.  According to information available, a convoy speed of up to 17 knots must be expected.  It could thus be in the latitude of Finisterre by midday 13.6.
 
        The boats U 48 (with S.O. 7th U-Flotilla as tactical commander if necessary), U 46, U 101, U 43 will be disposed in the area 1330 West to 1845 West and 4530 North to 4200 North.  3 boats in the south.  Boat's distance off the presumed enemy course line 50 miles.  2 boats 100 miles astern of this, in quarterline slightly to the east on the assumption that the convoy will alter course for England at the latitude of Finisterre.  THese positions will be reached on the morning of 13.6.
 
 
        Radio Intelligence Service has obtained very detailed information on convoy HX 48.  It is making for square 6342 BE at 8 to 9 knots, course 78 degs. to 81.5 degs., and will be picked up here at 0630/17/6 BST by the inward escort.  All available boats must therefore be operated.
 
        A Group "PRIEN" has been formed, comprising U 47 (in tactical command if necessary), U 32, U 28, U 25, U 30 and U 51.  The operation will be based on:  course of approach, enemy's rendezvous
     
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
with time, and the presumed onward passage from the rendezvous to the English Channel or the St. George's Channel.  In order if possible to give the boats a chance to attack the day before the rendezvous, in easier conditions, they have been ordered to take up positions through which the enemy, coming from the west, should pass at about midday on 16th June.  As good visibility is likely, it may be expected that an area of about 90 miles to the north and 100 miles to the south of the enemy's course will be covered.  Behind this screen of 5 boats there is a further boat on the enemy's supposed course line, and it is therefore to be expected for certain that 2 boats will be able to attack on June 16; even if the convoy passes the outer boats positions.
        If no contact is made on June 16, the boats have orders to surround the rendezvous in attacking positions at 0630/17/5.
 
13.VI.
 
        Both groups, "ROESING" and "PRIEN", have been ordered to keep radio silence, and to attack only valuable targets until the convoys arrive.
 
 
        The question of fuel supplies in NW Spain for group "ROESING" has been examined once more and the boats informed, so that they can make arrangements accordingly.
 
 
        U 25 sank the English auxiliary cruiser "Scotstown".
 
 
        U 122 left Kiel.
 
 
        U 65 left Bergen after completing repairs.
 
14.VI.
 
        U 122 left Heligoland for the Atlantic.
 
 
        U 47 reported a large convoy coming from the west SW of Ireland.  U 38 is to operate against it.  In these circumstances these 2 boats might not be able to reach their attacking positions for 1000/16/6.  U 52 was therefore asked if she could reach the area, she replied no.   U 30 on the other hand replied that she could and was directed to steer for it.
 
 
U 101 started on her return passage.  She has sunk 41,500 tons.
 
15.VI.
 
        U 43 and U 29 reported that their fuel stocks were coming to an end.  They are to make use of supply facilities in NW Spain.
       
              U 30 has been sent to reinforce Group "PRIEN".  The number of boats operating against convoy "HX 48" will thus be 7 ( U 47, U 38, both of which reached their positions in time in spite of attacking the convoy reported by U 47 on 14.6, U 28, U 32, U 51, U 25 and U 30).
       
              U 52 is to operate against traffic between the Bristol and English Channels and Atlantic ports, which, according to radio intelligence, is lively.  This is also likely in view of the general military situation in France, probably considerable numbers of British troops are being withdrawn.
       
              The disposition of Group "ROESING" against the fast, strongly escorted convoy from Australia did not succeed.  No boat made
 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
contact.  The boats have therefore been given freedom to operate in strips without limits E or W.  The direction of their operations will therefore cross the general convoy and shipping route.
 
 
 
                               (signed):  Dönitz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
   
   
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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