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

1 - 15 August 1940

PG30270

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
1.8.1940.
 
From today the same War Log will be kept for large and small U-boats, as in future they will be used for the same operations.
 
Distribution of U-boats:
 
In the Atlantic operations area:  U A, U 52, U 56, 57, 58, 59, 99, 102, 122.
 
On return passage:  U 34 off the Shetlands, U 62 route GRUEN.
 
On outward passage:  U 60 route I.
 
In Kiel:U 46, 47, 48, 51, 61, 101.
 
In Lorient:  U 30.
 
In Bremen:  U 124.
 
In Wilhelmshaven:  U 25, 28, 29, 37, 38, 43, 65.
 
In Memel:  U 32.
 
 
U 25, 37, 38 left Wilhelmshaven, U 46 Kiel.
 
They have been ordered to use route I for the following reasons:
 
1) In the area N. of route BLAU and off the Norwegian Coast English ships have repeatedly appeared, attacked our forces ("LUCHS", U 62, transports) and have been attacked by our own patrol forces and a/c.  At least U 1 was definitely torpedoed in this area.
2) The danger in this area is the greater because for some time U-boats have entered and left on this route only.
3) In view of these known dangers on the Northerly route, route I appears to be the safer.  Is has not been used for some time.  At the time when a change was contemplated, a chart captured from "Seal" showed 2 circles entered in this route, which led F.O. North Sea Defences to suspect that there were enemy minefields within these circles.
   Against this however:
  a) The route was several times used by U-boats after the date of issue of "Seal's" chart, and was check-swept by F.O. North Sea Defences forces.
  b) 2 sample sweeps were made in the route about a fortnight ago.
  c) Except for the Seal document, which does not give any definite indication of mines, there is no indication at all that the route is fouled.
4)  Changes of inward and outward routes, which have always been aimed at and effected, reduces the risk of these routes becoming known.
     
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
Route I must therefore be considered the safer route at the moment.
 
U 34 reported the sinking of the English S/M "Spearfish" off the Orkneys.
 
 
U 57 and U 58 are transferring their operations area from North Minch to the North Channel.
 
 
U 59 is proceeding to Bergen as she has no serviceable torpedoes left.  She has sunk one 6,000 ton steamer.
 
 
U 99, 52, 56 and 58 have been allocated operations areas off the North Channel.
 
2.8.1940.
 
U 99 reported the sinking of independently routed steamers, totaling 24,211 tons, and one freighter and 3 tankers from a convoy totaling 31,957 tons.  It appears (radio intelligence) that 3 of the vessels reported sunk were only damaged and returned to England.  But it may be that the English a/c making the report confused these with other ships.
 
 
From today repair service is in operation at Naval Arsenal Lorient.
 
3.8.1940.
 
U 34 entered Wilhelmshaven, U 60 Bergen.
 
 
U A is starting on her return passage owing to defects in her motors.
 
 
U 37 and U 38 reported passing through route I, but no such reports have been received from U 25 and U 46, which sailed later, neither have they replied to radio messages.  A/c sent out to search observed one new and one older patch of oil in route I and also reported mine-like objects in the water near the fresh oil patch.  The following was then decided in a discussion with F.O. North Sea Defences.
 
1) 2 patrol boats would immediately search the area around the oil patches.
2) 2 minesweepers were detailed to check the mines.
3) One diving tender from the dockyard, manned by diving personnel from the flotilla and carrying one U-boat officer, proceeded to the suspected scene of loss with flak protection.  At the same time further a/c were detailed to search.
      In view of this experience it seems indicated now only to allow U-boats to proceed through the endangered area in the S. North Sea with mine escort, as mines have been observed in routes GRUEN and BLAU as well as in route I.  For the moment however this requirement cannot be met.
       
 
4.8.1940.
  U 46 reported.  Her transmitter was out of order and she
       
       
               
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
was proceeding to Bergen for repairs and arrived there P.M.
 
U 337's bow caps were damaged in a bombing attack and she is proceeding to Lorient immediately.
 
 
U 57 is proceeding to Lorient to refuel.  She has sunk a steamer of 5,000 tons.
 
 
U 30 left Lorient, U 60 Bergen.
 
 
U 59 entered Bergen.
 
 
During the search operation for U 25, a S/M chaser struck a mine and sank.  She had detected a wreck shortly beforehand with her echo ranging gear.  U 25 must be presumed to have been lost in route I.  There is one small hope, in that the boats transmitter was slightly defective.  A dockyard workman repaired it shortly before she sailed, but there is a chance that it may have failed again.
 
 
The probable loss of this boat led me to reconsider my views set out on 1.8 on the subject of outward routes. I am still of the opinion that the decision to use route 1 was right in the light of information available.  One could have reproached oneself with justice if a boat had been lost on the N. route through the known dangers there.  The mines observed in route I were recently laid, as the over growth showed they were also outside the periphery of the Seal circle.  The fact that the boats used this route to a considerable extent after the date of the Seal document, without being mined or observing any mines and now suddenly, besides U 25, a S/M chaser and a minesweeper have struck mines, shows that this is a new field.  It must therefore be assumed that U 25, if she is in fact lost, was the victim of a new, hitherto unknown danger.
 
5.8.1940.
 
U 99 entered Lorient.
 
 
U 52 is starting on her return passage because of d/c damage.  She has sunk a further 3 steamers, totaling 16,875 tons, since leaving Lorient.
 
 
B.d.U.'s requirement of 3.8 for mine escort in the S. Northern Sea is to be fulfilled in future.  Boats are to be escorted through BLAU or GRUEN as far as square 3875 AN, and boats returning will be picked up here whenever possible.
 
      Passage between the approach to route BLAU and square 2800 AN must be made by the U-boats unobserved, i.e. surfaced during darkness only and in bad visibility.
       
      Routes I and II are out of use.
       
 
6.8.1940.
  The area off the North Channel is to be divided into several operation areas.
       
 
7.8.1940.
  U 57 entered Lorient.  Since leaving Kiel and after
   
   
       
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
replenishing with torpedoes at Bergen, this boat has sunk 3 steamers totaling 16,600 tons, in 2 patrols.
 
U 48 left Kiel.
 
 
A radio intelligence report indicates that listening and/or echo-ranging gear may have been laid out in Fair Passage.  This passage is therefore closed for U-boats.
 
 
Lorient reported that a dock would be ready for U 37 from 12.8
 
8.8.1940.
 
U 65 left Wilhelmshaven, U 46 and U 59 Bergen.  U 46 is sailing despite a defective short wave transmitter.  A signal station is to be set up on the Isle de Groix so as to ensure that boats which are unable to transmit can establish visual signal connection as soon as possible with the coast which they are approaching.
 
9.8.1940.
 
U 51, 100, 101 left Kiel.
 
 
U 38 reported that use of armament was restricted by weather.
 
10.8.1940.
 
U 58 reported that she had a trace of oil.  She was ordered to Lorient.  She has sunk one freighter of 8,724 tons.
 
 
U 30 reported the sinking of a steamer of 5,800 tons and that operation was difficult owing to weather.
 
 
U 38 reported the sinking of the English S.S. "Accra" 9,337 tons from a convoy.
 
      As "Hipper" is entering through route BLAU with air and surface escort, movements of U-boats have been ordered so as to prevent an encounter.
       
      The following decisions were reached in a conference with the Rear Admiral PARONA, Royal Italian Navy.
     
1) The base for Italian U-boats will be Bordeaux.
2) Germany will provide minesweeping forces, a harbor defence flotilla and Flak protection, everything else will be organized by the Italians.
3) Experienced U-boat officers will be appointed as liaison officers to both staffs.
4) Good telephone and teleprinter connections will be ensured.
5) Constant, exhaustive exchange of experiences is to be aimed at.  The possibility of an exchange of sea-going officers will be kept in view.
6) The Italian U-boats now operating in the Atlantic will enter Bordeaux for the first time when their supplies are exhausted.  The base will be ready by about 23.8.
      
      
             
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
11.8.1940.
 
U 28 left Wilhelmshaven.
 
Reports of Success:
 
 
U 37 Upway Grange 9,130 tons.
 
 
U 56 Mohammed Ali El Kebir 7,290 tons.
 
 
U 30 Llanfair 4,966 tons.
 
 
        (All English totaling 21,386 tons).
 
 
 
 
U A has arrived on square CF on her way home.
 
 
 
12.8.1940
 
U 37, U 58 put into Lorient.
 
 
 
13.8.1940.
 
Group 606 is now tactically subordinate to Group West.  The following reconnaissance is desired:
 
 
1) In the direction of Fastnet Rock, including establishing the position of gaps in the English mined area in the Bristol and St. George Channels.
2) As far west as possible.
3) In the Finisterre Sea area.
 
 
 
 
U 48, U 38 and U 46 have been ordered to operate against the Halifax convoy picked up by radio intelligence.  It is to be in square AL 0316 on 15 or 16.8.
 
 
 
14.8.1940.
 
U 56 entered Lorient.
 
 
 
 
U A reported engine trouble, but judging from her course, it can't be so bad and she has therefore been ordered to operate against a rendezvous for English forces reported by radio intelligence.  (1900/16/8 square CF 2811 right lower edge).
       
      From today K.G. 40 (FLIEGERKORPS 40) will fly reconnaissance in our operations area off the North Channel.
     
15.8.1940.
  U 65 reported that she could not carry out her special operation.  She has therefore been ordered to the operations area off the North Channel, which has been divided into 10 part areas for individual boats.
   
  U 60 has used up all her torpedoes.  She sank 2 steamers totaling about 12-14,000 tons and is now proceeding to Lorient to supply.
   
   
                             (Signed): Dönitz
                      Rear-Admiral and B.d.U.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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