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

16 - 31 July 1940

PG30269

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
16.7.
 
Distribution of the U-boats:
In the Atlantic operations area:  U A in the Cape Verde area, U 26, 30, 34, 52, 99, 102, 122 in the sea area W of Cape Finisterre, Biscay, W approach to the English Channel.
 
On return passage:  U 43 W. of Ireland.
 
In Wilhelmshaven dockyard:  U 25, 28, 29, 32, 37, 38, 65.
 
In Kiel dockyard:   U 46, 47, 48, 51.
 
 
U A reported her results so far as 23,600 tons, she must therefore have sunk at least 2 medium-sized steamers in addition to the auxiliary cruiser in the N. patrol.  She considers it necessary to return home owing to damage to her engines.
 
17.7.
 
Radio intelligence reports, and reports from the G.A.F. indicate that traffic to England is being re-routed, owing to especially to the activity of the G.A.F. on the sea routes in the English Channel. One convoy has already put into the North Channel and another is to be expected shortly, according to radio intelligence.  Numerous convoys have also been observed sailing N. of Scotland to east coast ports.  This means that the North Channel, Minch and Moray Firth areas are more important for the operation of the next wave of U-boats.  At the moment the North Channel is always occupied by 2 boats, boats appear every now and then in Moray Firth and off the Minch.  Off the Western approach to the Channel there will be another void during the next few days, as the boats have to leave their positions and either refuel in Lorient or return home for major repairs.
 
18.7.
 
U 99 reported her successes as 31,300 tons and one prize which has course instructions for Bordeaux.  The boat requested to refuel in Lorient.  She is expected to enter port in company with U 56 on 21.7.
 
 
U 34 entered Lorient, she sank 7 steamers, totaling 26,338 tons, and the destroyer "Whirlwind".   She will be ready to put to sea again on 22.7.  
 
 
U 52 requested limited supplies for her return passage, which is necessary owing to engine trouble.  She has so far sunk 24,700 tons and reported no traffic in square BE 56 - BF 46.
 
19.7.
 
U 30 reported considerable engine damage:  one piston broke, damaging the crank case and causing large cracks in the engine casing.  She will have to break off the Gibraltar operation and return home, she will first be sent to Lorient for impromptu repairs.  As there are at present so few boats in the Atlantic and meanwhile a Halifax convoy has been announced, I have decided not to detail another boat for the Gibraltar operation, so that besides U 34 at least U 99 can also be used against the Halifax convoy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
- 89 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
20.7.
 
Radio intelligence has once more supplied very good information on the "HX 58" convoy, mentioned above.  It will probably be picked up by the inward escort on 27.7 in square AL 0316.  This convoy's route confirms the view that traffic is being re-routed to the North Channel.
21.7.
 
U 52 entered Lorient.  Success:  4 steamers totaling 24,700 tons.  Also U 99:  Success:  6 steamers totaling 31,300 tons.
 
 
Contrary to information issued here as to areas which are free for anti-S/M hunts, a formation consisting of "Nordmark" and 4 destroyers, with close air escort, is proceeding from Stavanger to Hanstholm.  U 43 is in the same area on her way home and U 5 on her way out.  The position of the new minefields NW of our own mined area forces the U-boats to take the route along the coast of Norway on their way in and out.  There they are exposed to danger from enemy S/M's and our own a/c in close escort of formations.  C.in C. G.A.F. has been requested to instruct all a/c again that, in areas which are not declared open for anti-S/M hunts, only such S/M's may be attacked as are unmistakably identified as enemy.
 
22.7.
 
U 43 entered Wilhelmshaven.  She was at sea for 10 weeks.  She first carried out a transport duty to Trondheim and then operated in Biscay off the Spanish and Portuguese coasts.  She did not score any success until she had been at sea for 5 weeks and had carried out supply operation BERNARDO.  Altogether she sank 4 steamers and tankers, totaling 38,509 tons.  In contrast to other boats she encountered strong anti-S/M activity and was severely attacked with depth charges for several hours by vessels with efficient location gear.
 
23.7.
 
U 58 entered Lorient.  Success:  2 steamers totaling 14,000 tons.
 
 
U 61 entered Bergen to refuel for passage home.
 
 
U 34 left Lorient for the North Channel.
 
 
The Red Cross telephoned from Berlin that the whole crew of U 26 are prisoners of war in England.  This decides the fate of one of the three missing boats.
 
24.7.
 
The Italian Navy have offered to use a maximum number of U-boats, from a base in France organized by themselves, under German operational control.  In view of impending operations it is considered that the offer should be accepted and put into effect quickly.
 
25.7.
 
U 99 left Lorient for the North Channel.
 
 
 
 
- 90 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
U 56 left Lorient for the Western approach to the Channel and the St. George's Channel.
 
According to radio intelligence S.S. "Sarita", 5,824 tons, sank recently off the Cape Verde Islands (Statements by survivors landed in Brazil); this is presumably the result of U A's activities.
 
 
The Italian offer has been accepted, with the proviso that Bordeaux may have to be used if the number of our own U-boats increases or if Lorient is increasingly threatened by air attack.
 
26.7.
 
Conference with G.O.C. Air Forces on air reconnaissance starting from Brest.  At present there are only 4 DO 18's for reconnaissance from Brest.  The range of these a/c and their small striking power as compared with enemy a/c makes it possible for them to make reconnaissance flights as far as about square BE 3000 (approx. 150 W) and in a SW direction, but the area N. of this is not to be covered, owing to the proximity of the enemy air bases, so as to avoid unnecessary losses. This reconnaissance will be flown from tomorrow.
 
 
From 29.7 there will be DO 17's 3 DO 26's and later a few HE 115's available.  These types of a/c can be used off the North Channel, there the most shipping is to be found at present.  Unfortunately the only U-boat available at the moment for operation against this traffic, e.g. the convoy HX 58, is U 34.
 
27.7.
 
U 34 reported 48,000 tons sunk in her operations area W. of the North Channel off Rockall, 42,000 of them from an outward-bound convoy.  This boat only sailed from Lorient on 23.7 and has achieved a very great success in a very short time.
 
 
U 52 left Lorient at 2100.
 
28.7.
 
Nothing to report.
 
29.7.
 
U 57 and U 58, at present off the northern approach to the Minch and W. of this, have been ordered to proceed to the North Channel if they do not encounter much traffic in their present operation area.  U 56 is also to make for the North Channel from the western approach to the English Channel and the St. George's Channel via Fastnet Rock.  According to G.I.S. reports, ships carrying Spanish ore to England make for Fastnet Rock.
 
 
U 99 reported the sinking of 18,736 tons.
 
 
30.7.
  Nothing to report.
       
        
        
                 
 
 
- 91 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
31.7.
 
U 99 was attacked W. of Ireland by a submerged S/M with 2 torpedoes.
 
 
 
 
 
                                        (Signed):  Donitz
 
                                  Rear-Admiral and B.d.U.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
- 92 -
 
     

 


 

Click the icons to view the associated records

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