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

1 - 15 October 1940

PG30274

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
1.10
 
Positions of U-boats:
In the Atlantic operations area:  U 31, 32, 37, 38, 43, 60, 61, 103, 123.
 
On return passage off Lorient:  U 29.
 
In Lorient:  U 28, 47, 48, 58, 59, 65, 99, 100, 101, 124, 137, 138.
 
In St. Nazaire:  U 46.
 
In Stettin:  U 30.
 
In Kiel:  UA, U 52, 56.
      The following are now detached for training purposes, besides boats types IIa and b.:  U 62, 139, 140, 141, 142, 34.
 
U 52 and 94 are temporarily at the disposal of the training flotillas.
 
The following will join the training flotillas on completing their next repairs:  U 30, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 143.
 
There are therefore at present available for operations:
 
6 boats type IIc, 4 of which will go home shortly.
 
10 boats type VII
 
7 boats type IX
 
1 special type (UA)
 
 
U 29 entered Lorient.  She had to put into Bergen for a few days for repairs on her way out.  She hardly encountered any traffic in her operations area and only met with convoys on her way to Lorient.  The poor condition of her engines was a great disadvantage on operations.  Success:  1 steamer (Emyedin), 6,300 tons.
 
During the last few days no traffic has been observed in the sea area N. of 58, which has hitherto been used by the English for imports.  U 29 sighted a convoy to the south approximately at the latitude of 51, approaching the North Channel on a NE course.  English air reconnaissance also reported an English convoy on the same course off the Porcupine Bank.  The English thus seem to be scattering their inward-bound shipping considerably.  As the 5 boats at present on operations can only effectively cover a restricted area, I have decided to draw them closer together and search to the SW.  The G.A.F. should fly reconnaissance N, NE, S, and SE of the operations area but, in spite of my efforts, has not sufficient a/c to do this.  The boats thus have to carry out reconnaissance, which is not properly their task.  They will be disposed in attacking positions, distance apart about 60 miles, i.e. double the maximum visual range.  In taking up those positions they will at the same time survey a considerable sea area.
 
2.10
 
U 59 left Lorient.
 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
U 31 reported that she was starting on her return passage, because of a crack in her diving tank.
 
U 38 reported the sinking of "Highland Patriot", 14,172 tons.  U 32 reported further successes and has now sunk a total of 42,644 tons on this patrol and damaged a steamer with several gun hits.
 
 
U 60 reported on entering Bergen that there had been explosions close to the boat off the North Channel, which caused her to report suspected mines by radio.  Details correspond more or less to those given by U 43, which had a similar experience about a month ago off the SW coast of Norway.  It is unlikely that mines are involved, but the respective areas must nevertheless be regarded as possibly mined and boats have been informed accordingly.
 
3.10
 
U 103 reported one weather buoy laid, the second was a dud.
 
4.10
 
U 61 reported starting on her return passage, no success, all torpedoes still on board.
 
 
There is bad weather in the operations area and off Lorient.  Boats which left Lorient had to return to port, as the escort vessels could not hold their own against the heavy seas outside the harbor entrance.
 
5.10
 
U 60 left Bergen via route GRUEN for Kiel.
 
 
U 28, 48, 101, 124 left Lorient.  U 28 is going to dock in St. Nazaire, the remaining boats are proceeding to the operations area off the North Channel.
 
 
U 58 and 59 have been ordered to operate off the North Channel.  If bad weather continues they are to go to Pentland Firth and take up position off the W. or E. approach according to weather conditions.
 
 
U 93 left Kiel via the Baltic and the Kattegatt for the operations area.
 
 
6.10
  U 61 entered Bergen.
       
      U 32 entered Lorient.  This boat again successfully operated against convoys reported by others and sank 7 ships totaling 39,393 tons within 18 days, making full use of her torpedoes and guns.
       
      Soon after leaving port U 93 reported a break in one of her periscope wires.  She is proceeding on and repairs will be carried out in Bergen.
       
      The reconnaissance line in the SW of the operations area has not so far intercepted a convoy.  Reconnaissance must now be carried out to the N. across the inward routes.  The boats will turn and cruise through the center of the operations area on a NE course to
  
  
     
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
a position line from AL 3566 to AM 1985.  The boats coming from Lorient, now S of Ireland, have been ordered to the area A 43 to 51.  When they arrive there will be 7 boats covering an area of about 280 miles in deep quarterline.
7.10
 
U 61 left Bergen via route GRUEN for Kiel.
 
8.10
 
U 31 entered Lorient.  She operated NW of Ireland.  Success:  1 steamer of 4300 tons, 1 small sailing vessel.  While attacking a convoy she was herself attacked by an enemy S/M with torpedoes.  Damage forced her to return off Lorient she was again attacked by an enemy S/M with 2 fans and afterwards U 31 thought she saw the enemy laying mines.  This is unlikely, but a search will be made.
 
 
U 60 entered Kiel.
 
 
U 93 entered Bergen to repair her periscope.
 
 
U 138 left Lorient.
 
9.10
 
U 93 left Bergen for Atlantic operations area.
 
 
The line of U-boats consisting of U 123, 103, 48, 38 and 37 has now arrived W. of Rockall Bank.  Nothing was found on passage northward at right angles to the inward routes.  Today however, U 103 reported an inward-bound convoy and shadowed until she was driven off with D/C's.  Although I took action, none of the boats was able to keep in contact, very bad visibility and heavy seas reduced their speed, made their position uncertain and made it impossible to use their armament.  As a last attempt, the boats have been ordered to form a patrol line ahead of the convoy by A.M. 10.10.  
 
 
In accordance with instructions from Naval War Staff, U 65 is to operate off Freetown base, which has now become important.  Freetown is used as a base for all convoys in the E. Atlantic and heavily occupied and there is a lot of traffic; defenses are thought to be weak, as so far none of our forces have appeared in this sea area.  A surprise operation should lead to considerable actual success in sinking valuable units, in addition to the desired diversionary effect.
 
10.10
 
The convoy reported by U 103 was not found again, owing to fog.  The boats have therefore again been redisposed, concentrating around the Rockall Bank, as inward-bound traffic apparently steers for this point.
 
      An Italian U-boat S. of Cape St. Vincent reported a convoy bound for England.  Attempts to shadow failed, because the Italians have not been trained for this type of warfare.  They are only prepared for attacks on warships and bases, and they have neither practiced holding a convoy and bringing up other boats nor is their communications equipment and procedure suited to such an operation.
 
 
   
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
U 58 reported the sinking of an English ship type "Clan Mac Arthur", 10,528 tons.
 
U 48 encountered a convoy in her operations area which is fairly far west, and shadowed and attacked in spite of bad weather (she reported wind force 9, visibility 1/2 mile).  U 48 was ordered to make beacon signals to bring up other boats.  Contact was lost during the night after U 48 had sunk 3 steamers.
 
 
U 100 left Lorient, U 28 St. Nazaire.
 
12.10
 
U 59 reported the sinking of 2 steamers, 1 type "Pacific Ranger", 6,000 tons, and 1 type "Loch Geil", 9,000 tons.
 
 
According to radio intelligence an Italian (Argo or Tacroli) sank the Yugoslav S.S. "Orav" 5,135 tons S. of Cape St. Vincent.  There may have been a second success.
 
 
Contact with the convoy was not regained during the day because of bad visibility and heavy seas, even though there must have been 6 boats in the vicinity.  The convoy is now approaching the coastal zone, strongly patrolled by a/c and surface forces, and no improvement in the weather is expected in the east.  Boats have therefore been ordered to take up their old positions after dark.  2 boats made a short situation report, which confirmed the impression I had formed so far:  both convoys were only slightly damaged, although the boat's tactics were correct.  The unfavorable weather was on the enemy's side.
 
13.10
 
U 46 has left St. Nazaire, U 99 Lorient.
 
 
U 59 started on her return passage to Lorient.  She has sunk 2 steamers totaling 16,300 tons.
 
14.10
 
U 47 left Lorient.
 
 
U 58 left Bergen for home.
 
      U 59 entered Bergen to refuel for her return passage.
       
      U 43 started on her return passage to Lorient.
       
      U 93 and U 137 each made contact with a convoy and boats in the vicinity were detailed to operate.  U 137 soon lost contact but not until she had sunk the armed S.S. "Devonshhire", 11,100 tons.
       
 
15.10
  U 65 left Lorient for Freetown.  She was attacked with torpedoes by an English S/M off Lorient.
       
      U 37 is returning to Lorient because her fuel supplies are exhausted.
       
      U 93 lost contact.
 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
U 138 is returning, having used all her torpedoes.  She sank 2 tankers totaling about 20,000 tons and damaged S.S. "Dagnin".
 
 
                                (Signed):  DÖNITZ
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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