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

16 - 31 August 1940

PG30271

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
16.8.1940.
 
Distribution of U-boats:
In the operations area off the North Channel:  U 30, 38, 65, 46, 48, 59, 100.
 
On outward passage:  U 32, 51, 101, 28 in the North Sea.
 
In the Atlantic: U A.
 
In the Baltic:  U 31, 34.
 
In Kiel:  U 47, 52, 61, 62.
 
In Wilhelmshaven:  U 29, 43, 124.
 
In Lorient:  U 37, 56, 58, 99.
 
On passage to Lorient:  U 60.
 
On passage from Lorient to the North Channel:  U 57.
 
 
U 57 reported the sinking of the tanker "Sylvafield", 5,709 tons.  Boat is forced to proceed to Lorient for repairs because of bomb damage.
 
 
U 65 has had to break off her patrol and dock in Lorient for repairs.
 
 
U 59 was hunted NW of Ireland and sank a freighter of about 4,500 tons.
 
 
The convoy which should have arrived at latest today at the rendezvous with the inward escort and against which U 48, 38 and 46 were detailed in 13.8 to operate, has been rerouted 50 miles to the north.  Boats were ordered to pursue it as this could still be successful, and U 48 made contact with another outward bound convoy.
 
 
Heavy seas and bad visibility prevent the boats reaching the inward bound Halifax convoy.
       
      No. 371 Flak Detachment is at present in Lorient as flak defence.  I consider this defence inadequate for Lorient base, especially with regard to light flak.  The dockyard, the U-boat berths and B.d.U. Headquarters are not adequately protected against dive bombers.  On 24.7 Fliegerkorps IV. agreed to send another Flak detachment, but this could not be arranged owing to the present air attack on England.  The reinforcement is necessary and I have again put in a request for it.  It will be necessary unless and until the G.A.F's successes in England eliminate the threat to Lorient base.
       
 
17.8.1940.
  U A was detailed to operate against the rendezvous for Task Force H and found nothing there.  Later, on 20.8, Radio Intelligence Service discovered that the rendezvous was not reached until 2 days later.  U A so far has sunk 32,300 tons.
       
      U 30 reported the sinking of the freighter "Clan Mac Phee", 6,628 tons, and bad weather and bad visibility in her operation area.
             
             
                           
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
The Fuehrer's orders, containing permission for unrestricted action against all vessels in the sea area around England, were passed to the boats.
18.8.1940.
 
U 60 put into Lorient.  She sank 2 steamers totaling 12 - 14,000 tons.
 
 
U 101 reported little traffic and bad weather in her operation area.
 
19.8.1940.
 
U 48 has sunk a Swedish freighter of about 4,000 tons from a convoy and a Belgian S.S. "Ville de Gent", not listed in the register.
 
 
U 100 has sunk 6,680 tons.  Like U 101 she reports strong air activity in her operation area.
 
 
U 28 met with little traffic and bad weather off the Minch and has therefore been ordered to proceed on to the North Channel.
 
 
U A now reports her total results as 41,000 tons.
 
 
U 65 and U 59 entered Lorient.
 
20.8.1940.
 
There is good information from radio intelligence on the movements of the Northern Patrol and I have decided to operate U A again against these enemy forces.
 
 
U-boats are being badly hampered off the North Channel by bad visibility and air activity.  The disposition is being altered so as to give the boats a better chance of evading enemy surface craft and a/c.
       
      So far they have been disposed in a N-S line, so that as many as possible would cross the steamer route, the general direction of which is E-W.  Now however, air activity makes it necessary to dispose them in an E-W line and allocate central points for individual boats.  They will then have the chance of moving away from the west.  The angle of intersection between the operational line of U-boats and the steamer route will be less favorable, but this will have to be accepted for the sake of giving the boats greater freedom of action.  The more valuable of the inward-bound transports at least approach the North Channel on a SE course and there is thus at least a small angle of intersection.
       
      U 124, outward-bound astern of minesweeper escort, was attacked by enemy a/c without success in route BLAU.  The disadvantage of escort through the North Sea therefore is clearly that the escort attracts a/c.
       
      U 51 did not arrive at the rendezvous with the escort off Lorient and has not replied to radio signals.  The boat's last position reported by radio was in square BF 14 at 1918/18/8.  The minesweeping flotilla stationed at Lorient immediately
         
         
                   
 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
checked the inward route for mines, without result.  A/c sent out from Brest to search, flew from square BF 14 to Lorient without sighting anything.
 
Because of the danger of mines off Lorient, definite orders have again been issued to the effect that U-boats may only enter Lorient during the time 2 hours before to 2 hours after high tide with escort.  The steamer ROSTOCK, which is to be converted to a Sperrbrecher, has been requested as permanent Sperrbrecher for Lorient base.  She will have to take over the escort when weather conditions are so bad that the R-boats cannot put to sea.
 
21.8.1940.
 
U 30 reported that she was returning owing to engine trouble.
 
 
Recent, rare radio intelligence reports indicate that convoys leaving the North Channel may proceed S of 580, while inward-bound convoys pass N. of this line.
 
Naval War Staff calls attention to this new situation.
 
This fresh information will be taken into account and the boats will be disposed in the area as far as 590 N. in line with central points for individual boats.
 
22.8.1940.
 
U 65 entered Brest.
     
    U 46 reported the sinking of 15,000 tons.  She made the report via U 28, as her short wave transmitter is out of action.
     
23.8.1940.
  U A is returning because of engine trouble, she did not attack the Northern Patrol.
     
    U 48 has attacked a convoy.
     
    The possibility of an outward passage through the Baltic has again been examined, because of danger to the boats sailing through the North Sea from air attack (U 124) and mines (U 25).  A convoy sails daily from Kiel to the Kattegat to Zealand Rev, from there the steamers proceed independently E. of LAESOE northward.  Individual escort for U-boats can only be provided in exceptional cases (verbal information from Group North A1).  U 47 is to sail with the usual convoy through the Baltic.
       
      Brest Group reported that a large patch of oil was seen in square BF 14 during reconnaissance.  As U 51 last reported from this square, the oil patch may have some connection with her.
       
      The entrance to Lorient is closed.  The enemy laid a/c mines there during last night.
       
 
24.8.1940.
  U 37 reported the sinking of English S.S. "Severnleigh" and "Brookwood" and another steamer of 4,000 tons.
         
         
                   
 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
25.8.1940.
 
U 37 further successes:  Destroyer of the Viscount class and a steamer of 7,000 tons.  The boat has to proceed to Lorient because of depth charge damage.
 
U 48 total successes:  46,170 tons.  She is proceeding to Lorient to supply.
 
 
U 28 and U 32 reported a convoy, which was successfully attacked by U 124 during the night (4 steamers totaling 30,000 tons).  U 124 is to haul out N. of the present disposition of U-boats, as it is suspected that traffic to England is proceeding even further N. than 590.
 
26.8.1940.
 
U 59 left Lorient for the North Channel.
 
 
U 57 is starting on her return passage as she requires a long period in the dockyard.
 
 
U 37 has sunk the English S.S. "Yewcrest", 2,500 tons.
 
 
U 101 reports from her operation area:  No traffic, no success.
 
 
Boats further E have sighted convoys on an E. course and weather and visibility conditions have been bad during the last few days.  No new disposition has therefore been ordered in view of this report, but it is planned for tomorrow if the situation has not changed by then.
 
27.8.1940.
 
U 30 entered Heligoland.
 
 
U 47 left Kiel in company with the convoy through the Baltic as far as Kristiansand.
 
      No reports have been received from boats from the operations area for 2 days and there is danger that the enemy has changed his shipping routes in view of the recent numerous U-boat successes.  I have therefore decided to make a new disposition with the intention of giving the boats greater freedom of movement and cover a larger area.  The boats will be disposed in a NW - SE line between central Ireland and the Northern approach to the Minch.
       
      Owing to the great importance of weather reports, Naval War Staff has ordered that in the future one boat is to be in the area between 55 - 600 N and 20 - 250 W.  Another boat is to lay weather buoys NW and W of Scotland.
       
      U 101 made reconnaissance signal of a convoy.
       
 
28.8.1940.
  U 30 and U A entered Wilhelmshaven.
       
      U 30 repaired in Lorient and then started for home, as major repair work is required.  She remained in her operation area off the North Channel as long as the state of her engines permitted
       
   
   
       
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
and was also successful there, sinking 3 steamers totaling 17,373 tons.
 
U A made a long patrol from the Northern Patrol to the sea area off Carnawen - Cape Verde Islands - Freetown and sank 7 vessels altogether, totaling 41,400 tons, including the English auxiliary cruiser "Adania".  She supplied from ship 33 SW of the Cape Verde Islands as planned.  Operation in the tropics did not present any unforeseen difficulties with regard to material or personnel with additional air-conditioning apparatus even our present types of boats should be fit for use in the tropics.  Taken as a whole this patrol was not altogether satisfactory.  Not all opportunities to attack were exploited and lack of perseverance can be seen.
 
 
Convoy reports from U 28, 56, and 100 confirmed present information on the routes followed by inward and outward-bound transports.
 
 
A/c mines were laid for the first time off and in the approach to Lorient.  The mines are apparently fitted with delay mechanisms and special care is indicated.
 
29.8.1940.
 
U 61 left Kiel via the Baltic for Bergen to supply.
 
 
U 48 entered Lorient.  She had to remain at sea for one day longer until Lorient approach was free of mines.
 
 
U 51 entered Bergen to supply for her return passage.
 
 
U 38 reported the sinking of 14,000 tons and is proceeding to Lorient to supply.
 
 
At 1200 B.d.U.'s Headquarters were transferred to Paris.
 
I arrived there P.M.
 
30.8.1940.
 
U 65 left Brest after repairing.
       
      U 37 entered Lorient to repair bomb damage.
       
      U 59 which only left Lorient on 26.8, reported the sinking of 3 vessels totaling 29,000 tons, an excellent result for this short time and this small boat.
       
      Exact details were received from Radio Intelligence Service of the route of Convoy SC 2.  U 124, 47 and 65 can operate and will be given orders accordingly on 2.9.
       
 
31.8.1940.
  U 57 left Bergen and will return home via route GRUEN.
       
       
                                         (Signed):  Dönitz
                                    Rear Admiral and B.d.U.
       
       
       
 
 
 
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